Douglas County Visiting Nurses 2020 Annual Report

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COVID-19 made 2020 a challenging year, but positivity prevailed as VNA’s staff and the community at large came together to support one another and adapt during the pandemic.

Page Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Message from the CEO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 HOME HEALTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 HOSPICE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 HELP AT HOME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Adapting and Surviving COVID-19 Together . . . . . . 8 Long-time Service Awards and Retirements . . . . 10 The “Cookie Lady” and VNA Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . 11 Employee of the Year Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Quality and Patient Satisfaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Fundraising and Financial Information . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Board of Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15


OUR MISSION (newly phrased in 2020)

Improving quality of life through compassionate patient care wherever you call home

From left: Positive messages on hearts filled the third-floor windows of the Community Health Facility, encouraging VNA staff and other essential workers providing necessary services during the pandemic. Sir Allen Bearhouse has served as the official social distancing bear of VNA, residing in the closest chair to the desk of VNA’s CEO, Cynthia Lewis, to ensure that visitors to her office observe proper social distancing. Total Body Nutrition kindly offered a discount to VNA staff as a thank you and show of support amid the pandemic. The amazingly talented and creative young people at Van Go, an arts-based social service agency that provides programs for high-needs and at-risk youth, made and delivered some fun, encouraging cards for VNA’s staff to help keep spirits high.


MESSAGE FROM THE CEO We started 2020 much as we expected, with staff driving in winter weather, anticipating a fairly typical year ahead, and celebrating our 51st anniversary. Then, in mid-March, everything turned upside down.

Cynthia Lewis, M.H.S.A., C.P.H.Q.

When COVID-19 became a concern throughout our country, VNA paused, planned, and then moved cautiously forward. Virtual meetings became a weekly occurrence for our clinical field staff as their team meetings shifted to an online platform. Members of our management team and I were “glued” to our computer screens for information about COVID-19 spread, infection control protocols including personal protective equipment (PPE), and human resource guidance.

At the end of March, most of our administrative staff shifted to remote work at home. A core group remained in the office to lead clinical operations and address personnel and infection control needs. Initially, finding medical PPE for staff was a challenge, but we persevered. With daily searches we accumulated adequate supplies for multiple months in preparation for a COVID-19 surge. Fortunately, in Douglas County, that surge did not occur. The response of our community was overwhelming. So many of our friends and neighbors provided gifts of their talent with homemade masks. Others responded to our call for donations to offset additional costs associated with enhanced infection control measures. Throughout the summer, we watched infection case rates in Douglas County. Some administrative staff began to return to the office in June and July. By the time COVID-19 cases started to increase in the fall, we were prepared. Again, VNA is fortunate to operate in a community with strong public health leadership and residents who choose to care for each other by following the guidelines. We ended the year with the gift of COVID-19 vaccination rollout. The majority of our staff received their first dose Christmas week. Now, with full-scale availability across our community, we look forward to more “normal” operations in the coming months. I never envisioned leading a healthcare organization through a pandemic — but then, who does? However, the focus on our mission — improving quality of life through compassionate patient care wherever you call home — was our North Star. Our staff never wavered from their commitment to our patients, and I never ceased to be awed and inspired by their resilience. I am grateful for everyone who supported us through this past year. May joy and good health be your thanks in return! —Cynthia Lewis, CEO



Home Health visits in 2020


Home Health patients served in 2020

VNA has always provided medical care for homebound patients in their time of need to help them maintain independence. In 2020, VNA’s Home Health program took on a new challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic. After a slow start to the year, VNA’s Home Health census picked up considerably to care for both COVID-positive and COVID-recovered patients, all while still caring for patients recovering from injury, illness and surgery. COVID-19 Stats


visits to COVID-positive patients between April and December 2020

$75,646 $153,364

spent on supplies to safely care for them

cost of caring for those COVID-positive patients

Above: Mary Kay Hampson, an LPN at VNA, takes care of various medical needs for residents at Arbor Court, including helping Earl with his eye drops.




Hospice visits in 2020


Hospice patients served in 2020

VNA’s Hospice program improves patients’ quality of life through dignity and compassion, helping patients at the end of their lives to achieve physical and emotional comfort. Grief Support To-Go Grief support is an essential component of VNA’s Hospice program. In order to safely provide grief support during the pandemic, VNA utilized virtual grief support programs for adults. Before the pandemic, children and teens were invited to participate in Keepsake Day, an afternoon program for participants and their parents/caregivers who are grieving the death of a close family member or friend. This year, it was transformed into Keepsake Activity Kits, including five hands-on grief support activities for participants to do with their family. These activities help name and share feelings, identify coping tools, and explore ways to remember and celebrate their loved one. Healing Kits were introduced in 2019 as a way to offer grief support to children and teens who were not ready to join a group. VNA had a head start to safely provide this grief support option because of the prior production of these kits. Above: Healing Kits provide tools to help grieving children and teens understand and work through their grief on their own or with family. Left: VNA’s activity-based Keepsake Kit was incorporated into the children’s grief support library in 2020 to support children and families in need during the pandemic.



hours of Help at Home care provided in 2020


Help at Home patients served in 2020

VNA’s Help at Home program aids with everyday activities to help people live safely and independently in the comfort of their own homes. The Help at Home program’s trained caregivers specialize in personal care assistance, companion care, and homemaker services. VNA’s Help at Home program persisted through challenges brought by COVID-19 by continuing to provide necessary services to their patients. Early in the pandemic, VNA was able to acquire the PPE needed to keep staff and patients as safe as possible. Above: Lana Neir, Help at Home Certified Home Health Aide, shared,

“I’m very appreciative of the way VNA took care of us in providing all of the appropriate PPE at all of the right times when we needed it. It made me feel like they cared about us as well as my patients.”


ADAPTING AND SURVIVING COVID-19 TOGETHER The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 a challenging year for people and organizations throughout the community and the entire world. VNA was not exempt from the challenges presented by the pandemic, but is fortunate to have a dedicated staff and tremendous community support to help overcome those challenges. With the nationwide PPE shortage, VNA is thankful for the support given by the incredible community members who helped ensure staff and patients had the necessary PPE to stay safe. Take a look at the amazing support VNA received to help with this throughout 2020.


N-95 respirators

3,165 gloves

Community PPE Donations During COVID-19

2 cases

disinfectant wipes

72 N-95 2,246 respirators

homemade cloth masks





homemade cloth masks

2 cases


surgical masks

ear savers


3,165 10 face disinfectant wipes


face shields


surgical masks


total monetary value of donated goods

ear savers


total monetary value of donated goods

Monetary Donations During COVID-19

funding from the Douglas County Crisis Relief Fund $13,000 grant and the Mabel A. Woodyard Memorial Fund at DCCF + $7,500 total donations from private donors $20,500 total monetary donations

funding from the Douglas County Crisis Relief Fund $13,000 grant and the Mabel A.8 Woodyard Memorial Fund at DCCF + $7,500 total donations from private donors

VNA’s Adaptable Staff Community support provided a tremendous boost for VNA from the start of the pandemic, but that wasn’t the only thing that helped VNA continue its mission — improving quality of life through compassionate patient care wherever you call home. The impressive adaptability of VNA’s staff ensured that this mission continued to be fulfilled throughout the pandemic. Here are some of the adaptations made in 2020:

VNA’s staff supply drive-throughs allowed staff to safely pick up supplies for their patients, grab a treat and bottle of water, and say a quick “hello” to some of their fellow staff members.

Most of VNA’s clinicians are used to working in the field, so working remotely wasn’t much of a change for them. VNA’s office staff, however, faced more of an adjustment. Many of them packed up the hardware needed to do their jobs and adapted to working remotely.

Stephanie Unekis, VNA Home Health Team Manager and Physical Therapist, worked with VNA’s Business Development team to create an exercise program encouraging community members to stay active and healthy even when stuck at home. In this video, Stephanie demonstrates exercises that can be done while seated, using household items or resistance bands to improve strength and mobility. Watch the video on VNA’s YouTube channel or Facebook page.

VNA staff typically offer flu shots to seniors at LMH Health’s Community Health Fair, but a new method for administering shots was needed when the event was cancelled due to COVID-19. Using the parking lot north of the Community Health Facility, VNA staff collected necessary paperwork and administered flu shots to community members who remained in their cars.


LONG-TIME SERVICE AWARDS AND RETIREMENTS The longevity of VNA’s staff is a testament to the special connection that staff members have with each other, with patients, and with the community. Numerous staff members celebrated milestone anniversaries in 2020, but a few of those milestones are truly incredible.

From left: Janice White, VNA’s longest-serving employee and resident historian, celebrated her 50th anniversary at VNA in 2020, just one year after the organization’s 50th anniversary. Carolyn Milleret has been an important part of the VNA family for 25 years, as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Home Health Aide, Restorative Aide, and Certified Dementia Care Specialist. Pat Deaver, VNA’s Help at Home Manager, has been a vital part of VNA’s continuum of care and celebrated her 25th anniversary at VNA in 2020.

Three dedicated VNA employees retired in 2020 after many years of contributing to VNA’s success. From left: Debbie Carter retired in December 2020 after six years as a Receptionist and Executive Assistant at VNA. Staff wore tie-dye, Debbie’s favorite, on her last day to celebrate her retirement. Ginger Hayes retired in July 2020 after 24 years as a Registered Nurse with VNA’s Home Health and Hospice programs. VNA staff and Ginger’s family held a small outdoor surprise celebration for her on her last day at VNA. Shirley Hitt retired in May 2020 after 31 years as a Licensed Master Social Worker at VNA. Shirley was recognized at the 2019 Kansas Home Care Association conference for her 30-year career as a Social Worker at VNA.


THE “COOKIE LADY” AND VNA VOLUNTEERS VNA’s office volunteers are a special group of people. They are dedicated to helping VNA in any way they can, and they have been doing so for a combined 82 years. Even among this incredible group of volunteers, one stands out. Beverly Cates has a special connection to VNA. She has been a volunteer for 34 years and is the mother of VNA’s longest-serving employee, Janice White, who has been a VNA employee for more than 50 years. Beverly’s husband, Richard, was a volunteer and former patient of VNA’s Home Health, Hospice, and Help at Home programs. Beverly’s granddaughter, Larissa, also worked for VNA for several years. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, VNA’s office volunteers were sent home along with much of VNA’s office staff, but they still wanted to help VNA in any way they could. It was at this time that a new super hero — the “Cookie Lady” — came to be. Just like any great super hero, the Cookie Lady gave her time and energy to give others just what they needed. She provided positivity and something to enjoy and look forward to in a time of darkness and difficulty. At first, Beverly Beverly Cates baked more than 6,000 cookies in 2020, earning superhero status. baked cookies for VNA’s staff to pick up at staff supply drive-throughs — but even later, when staff came back to the office and the drive-throughs stopped, the Cookie Lady kept baking. Over the course of the year, Beverly baked more than 6,000 cookies and provided much-needed joy for VNA’s staff. She has made snickerdoodles, pumpkin chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, molasses, and applesauce raisin cookies to help keep spirits high. Beverly’s commitment to support VNA in any way she can makes her a true hero. There may only be one Cookie Lady, but all of VNA’s volunteers are heroes. The office volunteers have continued to help VNA from home by folding barrier sheets and packaging gloves. They are anxiously waiting to return to the VNA office when it is deemed safe for them to do so.


EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR AWARD The Marceil Lauppe Employee of the Year Award is presented annually to an employee who exemplifies the mission and values of Visiting Nurses. Like almost everything else in 2020, VNA’s Employee of the Year Award was a little different than in most years. VNA’s CEO, Cynthia Lewis, explained this in the video made to announce the award winner: “2020 has been an extraordinary year, to say the least. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all had to adjust to new and changing guidelines and procedures, and with that, new and sometimes challenging expectations. Professionally and personally, our staff has had their fair share of uncertainty, and we’ve continuously had to rewrite the way we do things. At the heart of VNA are our patients, and despite these trying times, our employees continue to provide excellent patient care or support those who do. From our field staff to our office staff, they’ve stepped up. They’ve taken on different roles, worked outside of their comfort zones, and done whatever it takes to make us successful in the face of adversity. Thank you to each and every one of them for working through these extraordinary times — and for that reason, this year, the employee of the year is our entire VNA staff. They are heroes and are all so very deserving.” Congratulations to the entire VNA staff for being selected as the 2020 Marceil Lauppe Employee of the Year Award recipients. Thank you for your dedication to VNA!


QUALITY AND PATIENT SATISFACTION Providing excellent care to patients is VNA’s highest priority. The skilled and certified staff at VNA strive to exceed expectations of patients and their families/caregivers. VNA evaluates this through standardized surveys for the Home Health and Hospice programs. Visiting Nurses exceeds the state and national benchmarks for the following:

HOME HEALTH Improved ambulation Communication between provider and patient Improved breathing Diabetic foot care and education Management of oral medications Patients who would definitely recommend HOSPICE Communication with family Help for pain and symptom management Willingness to recommend Getting timely help

VNA State National



2020 Fundraising and Grants: $449,775

2020 Other Support: $824,868

Annual Appeal Ethel and Raymond F. Rice Foundation Grant Douglas County Disaster Response Fund at the Douglas County Community Foundation Mabel A. Woodyard Memorial Fund of the Douglas County Community Foundation Lawrence Rotary Club Grant Douglas County Grant

2020 Total Revenue: $7,781,354

2020 Total Expenditures: $6,510,656

Patient Revenue County Funding Contributions/Fundraising/Grants In-Kind Donations Investment Income

Memorials Other Monetary Donations Other In-Kind Donations Major Gifts

To see a complete list of donors, visit


Patient Care Expenses Administrative Expense Operating Expense Investment Expense


Sue Iverson, M.S.M., B.S.N., B.S., R.N., President

Lori Heasty, J.D., Vice President

Shari Quick, M.D., Secretary

Carol Wheeler, R.N., B.S.N., F.A.C.H.E., Treasurer

Jodi Barr, D.O.

Gary Beasley

Irene Byrne

Ellen Chindamo

Sheryle D’Amico, M.H.A., P.T.

Walter Farrell, M.D.

Jim Moore

Rosalie McMaster, Ph.D.

Michael Taylor

Janelle Williamson, N.P.-C., A.C.H.P.N.

Ex Officio: Cynthia Lewis, M.H.S.A., C.P.H.Q.


Dale Seele 1961–2020 In loving memory of long-time friend and Building Manager at the Community Health Facility (200 Maine St.), our “Maine Man,” Dale.