Last night at our 72nd Annual Meeting we were so excited to award employee of the year to our fantastic Senior Home Health Aid Jo Ellen Ricard! Jo Ellen works tirelessly as both a home health aide in the field as well as coordinating the home health aide program. Jo Ellen has been with the Franklin VNA & Hospice from birth. She was one of our original healthy baby visits! Over her 37 years working with us she has helped countless patients receive care to help them get better faster! She is a dedicated Hospice aid as well, providing comfort to hospice patients and their families through difficult and emotional times. Jo Ellen embodies the cradle to grave philosophy of caring at Franklin VNA & Hospice. Thank you Jo Ellen for your amazing work and caring. We're so proud to claim you as part of the Franklin VNA & Hospice family!
A hat trick, or three successes of the same kind, within a limited period of time is not an easy feat whether that be in hockey or healthcare, yet Franklin VNA & Hospice has done just that earning perfect CMS survey results, a perfect score on the CMS’s Targeted Probe and Educate and earning five-stars, the highest rating available, on the Patient Satisfaction Survey!
That’s a whole lot of clinical excellence backed up by excellent patient care, and they are rightfully proud.
If you aren’t into the nitty gritty of home care, here’s what all that means. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), conducts a stringent survey of every home health and hospice agency who wants to be able to accept patients with Medicare or Medicaid insurance. Each agency is surveyed every two years and those results are made available on Home Health Compare Website: medicare.gov/ homehealthcompare. Beginning this January, CMS released new conditions of participation for agencies to adhere to, setting yet a higher bar in the quality of care patients must receive. On the heels of all these changes to patient rights and higher standards of care Franklin VNA & Hospice earned perfect survey results!
If that weren’t enough to be proud about they also completed CMS’s Targeted Probe and Educate program (“TPE”) with flying colors. This program is designed to help providers and suppliers reduce claim denials and appeals. They do this by reviewing 20 – 40 claims and all supporting medical records to ensure that every signature and document are present, and that all documentation necessary to support the claim is there as well. This is to prevent any overpayment for services. This rigorous review is another new program home care and hospice agencies are going through and in their first time through it Franklin VNA & Hospice had a perfect score!
Perhaps most exciting is that for the second time in a row they have earned a perfect 5-Star rating for Patient Satisfaction. This rating provides an indicator of an agency’s performance compared to other agencies. Across the country, most agencies fall “in the middle” with three or three and a half stars. This holds true even within our state, yet Franklin VNA & Hospice’s patients reported excellence in communication, discussion of medicines, pain and home safety, and professionalism. It also asked if they would recommend the home health agency to friends and family, and for an overall rating of experience. Those responses were tallied into a glowing Five-Star rating available to see and compare to other agencies on the medicare.gov/homehealthcompare Web site.
Asked about her feelings on her agency’s well-earned accolades, Barbara Normandin, Executive Director, said, “I am so proud of each and every member of the Franklin VNA & Hospice family. We work hard, we work together, and we work every day to get our patients the care they need and deserve. People have a choice in their VNA whether they are in the hospital coming home, or already at home. They can choose us, and we work hard to be worthy of that choice.”
Looking for quality, local home care or hospice services? Franklin VNA & Hospice is an independent, non-profit organization established in 1945 to serve the Home Health care needs of the community. They provide home care (nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, LNA, and homemaking services), Hospice, clinic and community education services to Andover, Belmont, Boscawen, Canterbury, Franklin, Hill, Laconia, Northfield, Sanbornton, Salisbury, Tilton, Webster and surrounding towns, as requested. For more information, call Franklin VNA & Hospice at 934-3454 or visit www. FranklinVNA.org Your choice, your local VNA.
This article can be seen in the Winnisquam Echo on page A13. You can download the entire paper for free by clicking here.
This money will be used to purchase “The Caregiver Help book”, which is the resource manual for the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program being co-facilitated by Franklin VNA & Hospice’s Kelly Fuller (second from right) and LRGHealthcare’s Melissa Lee (third from left). Each class participant will receive a copy of this book when attending the class. This six week class series promotes the development of self-care tools for caregivers to reduce stress, communicate effectively in challenging situations, manage their emotions and make tough care-giving decisions.
The FSB Fund for Community Advancement was established in 1997 to provide support to enhance the lives of the people in the communities it serves.
Franklin VNA & Hospice has completed the first phase of work on a new Hospice Memorial Garden. This was a joint project between volunteers from the VNA and students at the School of Agricultural Science at Winnisquam Regional High School. Janet Rosequist, a teacher at the Agricultural School, supervised several students in the design of the garden and the students took charge of buying the various flowering plants and shrubs and planting them.
Christine Fournier, VNA Hospice Administrator, says “It has long been our desire to have a Hospice memorial garden. We hope this will become a place for our Hospice families to go and remember their loved ones among the peace and beauty of the plants and flowers. We are very grateful to the Winnisquam agricultural students and Janet Rosequist for all of their hard work and dedication to this project.”
The garden is located behind the VNA office at 75 Chestnut Street in Franklin, in an area described by Fournier as “a previously untamed wilderness”. The area was cleared in 2015 by donated equipment from MB Tractor and the “elbow grease” of many volunteers, among them several Hospice volunteers and at least one Board member. Says Fournier, “Once we had cleared the area, we knew we needed some help in designing the garden so one of our volunteers contacted Janet at WRHS and asked if this was something they would be interested in doing. We were met with a resounding ‘yes’. The students made several trips to our location to get the design just right and in May started purchasing plants. They worked hard to make our dream a reality.”
The garden features a white stone path encircling the main planting area which, when all plants have bloomed, will be a rainbow of colors and have an interesting variety of flowers and shrubs. Future plans include a bench or two and possibly more greenery.
“We hope that this garden will become a place of peace for all of our Hospice families. We are so thankful to all of the volunteers, to MB Tractor, and especially to the WRHS Agricultural Department’s teacher and students for making this garden literally come alive in such a beautiful way. This is an example of what can be done when people work together for the common good and we are so fortunate to serve in communities where people are willing to do so.” Fournier concluded.
Franklin VNA & Hospice is an independent, non-profit organization established in 1945 to serve the Home Health care needs of the community. The list of services offered includes: skilled nursing, physical/occupational/speech therapies, home health aides, homemakers, Hospice care by an interdisciplinary team, Medical Social Worker, foot care clinics, immunization clinics, community education and health screening and disease care management. They provide home care services to Andover, Belmont, Boscawen, Canterbury, Franklin, Hill, Northfield, Sanbornton, Salisbury, Tilton, Webster and surrounding towns, as requested.
For more information, call Franklin VNA & Hospice at (603)934-3454.