NMVNA serves community with ‘extraordinary’ care
Much has changed in the town of New Milford and around the world the past 100 years.
But one thing has remained the same locally: the commitment the New Milford VNA & Hospice has for the community and its people.
“We have a great connection to the community,” said Kerri Brinckerhoff, executive director/CEO of NMVNA.
To celebrate the nonprofit organization’s 100th anniversary, it will hold a community celebration Aug. 3 from 4 to 10 p.m. on the Village Green.
Since its beginning in 1918, the NMVNA has served people of all ages. With each passing decade, more needs arose in the community and the NMVNA responded.
Today, the agency offers services in: care of the sick nursing, hospice and palliative care, rehabilitation therapies, elder care manager services, support groups, wellness programs, flu clinics, private pay home care (through VNA Home), Lifeline medical alert, and the Nurturing Families Program, which provides free foundational assistance to new parents in the Greater New Milford area.
This year, the hospice program and VNA Home celebrate their 30th and fifth anniversary, respectively.
“I think they’re all angels,” said Lila Pyle of New Milford, who has utilized NMVNA services for seven years, of the nurses, aides and other staff who help with her case.
“We don’t call upon people until we need them,” she said. “And (the VNA) is always there when I need them, and they’re all polite and caring.”
Pyle said she appreciates how the NMVNA staff and services have complemented her needs.
“I was always extremely independent and had a hard time asking for help,” Pyle explained. “But they don’t make you feel like you’re less than. They don’t take any dignity away.”
“They’re like family,” she added.
The agency serves the towns of New Milford, Bridgewater, Kent, Roxbury, Sherman, Warren, Washington, Danbury, Brookfield, New Fairfield, Litchfield, Morris, Southbury, Bethlehem and Woodbury.
“The staff is like a family,” said Brinckerhoff, who became executive director/CEO six months ago, succeeding longtime executive director Andrea Wilson, after serving as hospice director for a year. “The team is so dedicated, so supportive.”
“We all share the same goal, all looking forward to the second 100th year,” she said.
The organization recently moved its finance office and Nurturing Families Program, which had been situated in the white house next to the NMVNA office, into additional space it purchased in the nearby building that already houses VNA Home.
Social work services will be incorporated into the space, too.
Brinckerhoff said the hope is to eventually own the whole building so it can further expand its services, perhaps even develop a community room where a variety of health classes, training programs and an area for outpatient physical therapy can be offered.
“We’re trying to incorporate newer ways to treat health, and to offer wellness to people of all ages,” Brinckerhoff said.
To that end, the NMVNA is looking “for more natural ways to treat our patients,” too, she said, citing reflexology, meditation and other methods of healing.
As health care continually shifts, the NMVNA keeps up. The goal is to “try to keep people at home as long as possible,” she said.
David Cohen praised the NMVNA for the “extraordinary” care they provide his father, longtime New Milford resident Harry Cohen.
“The level of service is far beyond anything my wife and I could have envisioned,” he said.
He said the “care and compassion (the NMVNA has provided) has allowed my father to age in a familiar, loving environment.”
The VNA recently became a preferred provider with the Western Connecticut Health Network, meaning upon discharge from one of WCHN’s hospitals, NMVNA is one of the agencies to which patients will be referred. The NMVNA is also a 4 Star Agency; and has been a Home Care Elite agency for 11 consecutive years.
For more information about NMVNA & Hospice or NMVNA Home, visit www.nmvna.org, or call the 68 Park Lane Road (Route 202) office at 860-354-2216.