Vna Home & Hospice

Mission

VNA Home Health & Hospice d/b/a Northern Light Home Care & Hospice provides clinically excellent, compassionate home health and hospice care to individuals and families

Ruling year info

1945

Principal Officer

John J Doyle

Main address

43 Whiting Hill Rd

Brewer, ME 04412 United States

EIN

01-0246804

NTEE code info

Home Health Care (includes Visiting Nurse Associations) (E92)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Please see the following excerpt from the Northern Light Health Annual Report 2022 to the Community for details of community benefit projects at NLH members:Northern Light HealthPromisesAnnual Report 2022A promise made must be a promise kept. - AristotleWhen people keep their promises to us, we feel valued, respected, and appreciated. At Northern Light Health, we understand the importance of making a promise and doing the work to keep it.Our promise to the people and communities we serve across our great state of Maine is to make healthcare work for you. This means that we promise to get better every day by raising quality through teamwork, efficiency, and innovation. We promise to guide the way for our patients and their families, through the care experience. We live in a big, rural state, and we know access to care can be challenging for some people in our communities. So, we are committed to improving access. And last, but certainly not least, we promise to see patients as diverse individuals with their own unique needs.In this annual report, we highlight the ways our valued employees and community partners are working together to keep our promises to the communities we serve. From helping firefighters access lung cancer studies at world-class research hospitals, to helping busy parents schedule pediatrics appointments on their own time, and using the latest in diagnostic technology to help people with congestive heart failure stay out of the hospital. We are also helping the state address a critical shortage of psychiatric inpatient beds while addressing the state's long-term community-based mental and behavioral health needs.These stories in this report are just a few examples of the promises we work hard to keep every day. This work inspires us. We hope it inspires you too.Timothy J. Dentry, MBAPresident & CEONorthern Light HealthKathy CoreyBoard ChairNorthern Light HealthAcadia for AllEmerald Forcier is walking an aisle of gleaming white chairs carefully set on a lush green lawn overlooking the Penobscot River. Her husband, Kurt is hustling along on a lawn tractor, making sure the lawn is short and neat for the upcoming wedding the couple plans to host at their venue, Penobscot Bay Weddings in Winterport. As her four-year-old daughter, Maisie picks wildflowers, Forcier is holding her 8-month-old son Miles in her arms while she thinks about all the work she has left to do in the wedding tent. I often say to friends and family when they ask how I'm doing, I'm like, I am exhausted. We're starting a new business. And yet the deep, important things are wonderful.But seven years ago, things were not wonderful for Forcier in terms of her mental health. She was living on the island of Bali; she was having difficulty getting the medications to manage her depression, and she was in a suicidal state. She moved back to the United States and attended an inpatient treatment program, which she credits with saving her life. After six months of hard work restarting her life, she was back in Maine, but her health insurance was due to expire at the beginning of the new year. Despite spending four weeks consistently trying, Forcier could not access any outpatient provider to renew her prescriptions. Desperate for help, she ended up in a hospital emergency department on New Year's Eve 2015. Even then, she was sent away multiple times because psychiatric care was not available.I remember what it was like when I had reached my rock bottom and I needed inpatient services. I also remember the fear and helplessness of being stuck in the emergency department, unable to access the care I needed. I frankly cannot even imagine the terror and the sadness of experiencing both of these things at once. The day a person needs inpatient care is one of the worst days of their life. To be stuck in an emergency department with nowhere to go is a devastating experience far too many people face, and I cannot imagine a child or their parent going through that.Forcier's experience is unfortunately all too common. Across Maine, there simply are not enough inpatient beds and people who end up in crisis situations turn to hospital emergency departments.Nadia Mendiola, MD, an adolescent psychiatrist at Northern Light Acadia Hospital, sees it all too often. She says it's particularly troubling when children get stuck in these emergency departments for several weeks, or even months, waiting for an inpatient bed. Emergency care physicians, they're wonderful at their job but they're not psychiatrists. They have limited options, they have limited space, and you're talking about kids who can't even function in a big home or a big school and now you're confining them to a little spot. It's just not conducive to good care.This is one of the reasons why Northern Light Acadia Hospital is undertaking an ambitious expansion project to double the number of its single occupancy rooms. The 50,000 square feet expansion will add 50 pediatric inpatient rooms as well as new group and individual treatment spaces. The 50 existing inpatient rooms are being remodeled to single occupancy, adult inpatient rooms to better meet current behavioral healthcare standards.Acadia President Scott Oxley knows the expansion is needed. Unfortunately, the kids we see today are sicker than they were 30 years ago, so we need more circulation space, more room for group therapies. And really, our existing facility does not accommodate that, shares Oxley.In addition to the new inpatient rooms, there will also be an expansion of the Mood and Memory clinic for patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and an endowment created for workforce development, recruitment, and retention. All this work requires substantial investment, and Oxley says community support thus far has been exceptional.Long term, the key to our success is early detection, early intervention, keeping folks in their communities, and keeping them out of the highest level of care. The reality is there's such a shortage of inpatient beds, that the need is urgent for inpatient beds while we work strategically and collaboratively on the longer-term plan.For more information about the Capital Campaign go to northernlight.org/AcadiaForAll Donors have given generously to the Acadia for All campaign including the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation which donated one million dollars.

Expenses
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Revenue
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Bingo!How's your heart health?Beverly Fowler is her name and Bingo is her game. Every Monday and Wednesday, Fowler leaves her Bangor apartment and heads to the Bangor Elks Lodge to have lunch with friends, play a few card games, and set up for evening Bingo. Usually on a Monday night, we get between 80 and 100 people, which is a good, good evening. Some winter nights, if it's snowing or something, we only get about 70, but that's still pretty good, she says. Fowler also plays Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Saturday is a free day, she says with a chuckle.At 83 years old, Fowler enjoys staying active and socializing, but managing her congestive heart failure was slowing her down. I kept filling up with fluids and ending up in the hospital for a week at a time. That's happened three or four times, says Fowler.Alan Jansujwicz, MD, general cardiologist and director of Northern Light Cardiovascular Care is working to improve the quality of life of patients like Beverly by keeping them out of the hospital. We know patients with heart failure end up being hospitalized over the course of time and each hospitalization matters. The statistics say that if you're hospitalized with heart failure, over the next six months to a year, your risk of not doing well is higher than before you were hospitalized, says Dr. Jansujwicz.Now, Northern Light Health is offering a new option to patients like Fowler, so they can monitor their condition and correct course before needing hospitalization. A remote monitoring device is implanted in the patient's pulmonary artery through a blood vessel in the groin. It measures pulmonary artery pressure and sends information to a receiver that resembles a giant pillow, which the patient lays on to take daily readings. The receiver records and sends the information to a secure website where a patient care manager like Janet Glidden, RN, BSN, MBA, reviews it. If Glidden sees troubling changes in a patient's numbers, she can call them and talk about what's happening. I'll look at their readings, and if I see they are ranging up, I'll call. They may not feel like there's any change, but I'll say, Your numbers are up. What did you do differently yesterday?' It almost always relates to diet or having too many fluids, Glidden shares.If the pressure's going up, it tells us the patient might be heading toward heart failure. Maybe we can stop that before it happens by increasing their therapies as opposed to them just slowly slipping into heart failure, getting past that early detection point, and ending up in the emergency department or hospitalized, adds Dr. Jansujwicz.Fowler says the device is indeed working, she thinks it's kept her out of the hospital at least five times so far and she's had it for less than a year. It does require the patient to commit to taking a daily reading, every week of the year even when traveling. For Fowler, it's a necessary inconvenience that keeps her out of the hospital so she can spend her time where she wants to be, which most days, is at bingo.Yes, PleaseSelf-Scheduling for busy peopleEmily Tadlock is a busy working mom with a blended family that includes her partner, Jim Bertolino, his three children, James 16, Isabella 14, Ruby 6, and their infant daughter, six-month-old Elena. A typical day starts preparing formula and getting diapers changed, making breakfast and packing lunches, and getting kids to school and daycare. Then, it's time to work a full day, and juggle after school pickups and activities such as theater practice or track practice. It's nonstop. There's always something going on, shares Tadlock. While Tadlock and Bertolino are tech savvy (he's a software engineer and she's a marketing manager for Northern Light Health), they use a very low-tech, giant white-board calendar in their kitchen to help keep all six schedules straight. We try to keep track of meals and our grocery list on there, too. If we don't have any more chocolate milk or we're almost out, we write it down there.With so much going on in their daily lives, flexibility is something they covet. Tadlock is a big fan of Northern Light Health's new online self-scheduling tool for pediatric and primary care appointments. A lot of times when I call a doctor's office, I have to sit down in front of my calendar to compare with their calendar. They have to say, okay, we have this time. Nope, that doesn't work. Okay, we have this time; that doesn't work either. Whereas with this, I can just pull it up and see what's open and it's easy for me to go, Oh this is the perfect time; here it is.' Even if I get distracted; if Ruby comes over and asks me for a paper towel or whatever, I can still come right back to it. I don't have to try to hold her off while I'm on the phone.Mary Archdeacon, a patient service representative at Northern Light Pediatric Care in Bangor agrees scheduling takes a lot of time. If somebody calls with three kids to schedule three well child visits, that's a long time on the phone, and we could be doing other tasks such as answering patient questions, shares Archdeacon.Darmita Wilson, vice president of operations for the Northern Light Medical Group says self-scheduling is just one of the new digital offerings designed to improve patient access and experience, staff experience, and employee job satisfaction.It is a splendid way for us to bring healthcare to patients. We can provide care how patients want it, when they want it, and where they want it. Self-scheduling is one of the basic tenets of all things going forward, shares Wilson. Other digital experience applications allow patients to fill out their paperwork electronically before coming to the medical practice, saving time in reception.Northern Light Health offers self-scheduling for many pediatric and adult primary care visits, as well as screening mammograms at most locations. Current patients can get to the tool through the patient portal, but even new patients can schedule appointments online using the Provider Finder or the Schedule an Appointment links found on Northern Light Health websites. Access is what Northern Light is really all about, adds Wilson.For Tadlock, less time on the phone and more time with her family is something to be celebrated. It's a game changer for busy families for sure.A Different Kind of PharmacistAre you in control of your diabetes?Darlene Ouellette is a retired schoolteacher who often put her health needs behind the rest of her family. Caring for her children, including a son with autism, was her priority. On a recent visit with her primary care provider, who happened to be a former student, she had a frank conversation about her health.I felt very comfortable talking to my provider about what was going on in my life, the stress levels and everything. She said she was concerned; she said, Would you mind talking with Jessica, our pharmacist, and we'll see where we can go with it?' I said, Sure. I knew at that point I had to do something, recalls Ouellette, who was struggling to keep her blood pressure and diabetes in check.What Ouellette, did not realize, was that Jessica Bates, PharmD, is not the type of pharmacist that you visit in a retail pharmacy and have a conversation with while picking up medications. Bates is an ambulatory care pharmacist.Primary care practitioners refer patients to meet with me for a variety of reasons ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure to medication management. I work directly with the practitioner which allows me to adjust people's medication and provide education about their medications. I also review their medication list for drug interactions and streamline their therapy to ensure they're on the optimal medications, shares Bates. But limiting the number of medications they have to take is the primary goal.Patients like Ouellette, meet with Bates in her office, typically for 20-40 minutes. The discussion is primarily about medications and Bates says she can learn a lot about her patients in those meetings that she can share with the primary care practitioners in addition to information she learns about new and existing medications.We have monthly meetings, and I usually provide updates for them about clinical guideline changes, new and emerging therapies, or clinical trials that have been published. This relationship is mutually beneficial for the provider, for me, and ultimately the patients, says Bates.Ouellette is a huge fan of this added level of collaboration and care. After ignoring her own medical needs for so long, she's now making progress. She is more careful about her diet and goes for walks every day. She says Bates helped get her blood pressure medications adjusted and her diabetes in check.If people come up to me and say, what are you doing? I tell them it's a collaboration between me, my pharmacist, and my physician. We talk all together. It makes it so much easier to know everyone's on the same page. They want to do what's right for you, and t

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Keeping it LocalHow was your trip to see us?Nearly 20 years ago, Gavin Ducker, MD, joined Northern Light Health to become what he calls a country doctor. Since that time, Dr. Ducker has provided primary care to thousands of patients in towns throughout central Maine at Northern Light Primary Care in Waterville. He's made the wellness of others his professional commitment and has seen the importance and benefits of screenings for the early detection of lung cancer. He also knows the importance of keeping care close to home. Over the years, I've had many patients die from lung cancer. It's a sad moment, and I've often wondered how we could have effectively detected those cancers early on to try and cure them. Despite years and years of research, we've never come up with an effective way of doing that until about six or seven years ago.When it comes to lung cancer, early detection is key. Seventy-five percent of cancer cases in Maine are detected too late and, as a result, are less likely to be curable. So, when Dr. Ducker has a patient who may qualify for Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center's Lung Cancer Screening Program, patient navigator Amy McClary, RN, steps in. The Lung Cancer Screening Program is helping patients discover potential issues earlier, resulting in more treatment options, and leading to brighter and better outcomes. To make the process more convenient for people in rural areas, Eastern Maine Medical Center partners with hospitals in smaller communities, allowing patients to have a low-dose CT scan done closer to home. Once complete, Amy and her team take it from there, handling everything from tracking appointments to working with the patient's local primary care provider, like Dr. Ducker.Having this program is so important because early-stage lung cancer is asymptomatic. A lot of the cancers we find are people who just came in for their normal scan, had no symptoms, and didn't even realize they were walking around with this cancerous lung nodule in them. The symptoms for lung cancer don't appear until very late stage when there are fewer treatment options available, explains McClary.Ryan Saucier, BS, RDMS, RT(R), CRA, director of Medical Imaging at Northern Light Inland Hospital has witnessed first-hand how the collaboration helps patients stay close to home. Instead of driving to Bangor for a five minute scan, patients are scanned with state-of-the-art equipment right at Inland Hospital. When I think of providing this service to the community and the potential to make a difference in catching a cancer that 75 percent of the time is found too late, it's a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in someone's life by participating in this kind of work. I ask myself, how do we find a way to serve our patients in a meaningful way?X And this is a great way that we're able to do it, and it feels good.The National Institutes of Health finally came up with a program that involves low dose CT scanning, they published the data about six or seven years ago. We've mimicked exactly what they do here at our lung cancer screening program. Each of our member hospitals who can do a low dose CT scan now offer screening to patients locally and get them into the program. It's a big step forward, adds Dr. Ducker.To see eligibility requirements or more information go to northernlighthealth.org/EMMCLCS Breathing EasierCan we bring care closer to you?Portland Fire Lieutenant Dave Crowley keeps a watchful eye as he steams across Casco Bay and patrols the islands and mainland looking for any signs of trouble from boaters, fishermen, or island residents. As a lieutenant, he's responsible for the operation of the boat and the safety of the crew. Saving lives is the job he signed up for. He's rescued stranded boaters and shuttled injured islanders to mainland hospitals. When I started working on the fire boat, one of my first calls was for Cliff Island, which is eight miles out and about a half hour run. The call was for an eight-year-old child who fell out of a tree. Female, unconscious, not breathing. And, I know it's my kid.It was one of the scariest calls he would answer in his years on the fireboat. Fortunately, his daughter's injuries were not as severe as they initially appeared, and she ended up recovering fully. Crowley admits that while he's looking out for the well-being of others, he's not always been that good about taking care of his own healthcare needs. My wife pushes me to do a better job of it, shares Crowley.One thing he is a big fan of is getting something for free. When he was offered an opportunity to get a lung cancer screening as part of a clinical research trial through the joint efforts of the Portland Fire Department, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Northern Light Mercy Hospital, he didn't need much convincing. The Portland Fire Department used federal funding earmarked for firefighter wellness initiatives to pay for 50 of its firefighters to get lung scans. Through a clinical affiliation agreement with Northern Light Health, firefighters like Dave Crowley were able to get their screenings done right at Mercy Hospital in Portland, who then shared that information with researchers at MGH. Because it didn't cost Crowley anything and it was convenient, he was on board. I thought it's free, you know, and I've got Scottish blood in me and if I'm going to get something that somebody else is paying for, I'm in line, Crowley says the whole process was quick. It took me longer to get to Mercy Fore River from Commercial Street than it did to do the scan, including the check-in and everything. It was painless. You lie down on the table, put your arms up over your head, hold your breath, and then they run you through the machine twice and you're done. The decision to get the free screening proved to be a critically important one for Crowley. His screening detected a small spot on his lung. That was an eye opener; you know, it shows us our mortality, he said.The spot was caught very early so the plan for Crowley is to go back to Northern Light Mercy Hospital every three months for another scan to see if the spot grows any larger. If it does, he will assess his options with his care team but, because they detected this spot, Crowley says the prognosis is very good.They go in with a small scope and pluck it out. Most people don't even have shortness of breath afterwards, Crowley said. But if he hadn't had this screening and the spot was cancerous and went undetected, he could have easily been another lung cancer statistic. While he doesn't dwell upon that, he does acknowledge the effect of having this new piece of health information.Even the bad news is good news. It's virtually a 100 percent chance of survival. You don't get that for a root canal, he laughs. My theory of the way I live my life is you should never be so afraid of dying that you're afraid to live. I still do everything I've done before.Northern Light Health FoundationNorthern Light Health, Investing in Care for the Future of Maine with the Help of Donor SupportWith the help of generous and committed community members and corporate partners, Northern Light Health is making good on its promise to make healthcare work for you.2022 will be remembered as a year where communities across Maine came together to invest in the future of healthcare for all Mainers. In Greenville and Blue Hill, Northern Light CA Dean and Blue Hill Hospitals broke ground on brand new hospital buildings, designed with private inpatient rooms and 24/7 emergency departments. With new, modern layouts, these facilities are designed to ensure that care teams can make the most of space and equipment, to provide the best care possible for patients.In Ellsworth, Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital opened a spacious, family-focused birthing center ready to welcome future generations to the Downeast region. A two-phase project, the hospital's former obstetrics space will soon be renovated, becoming inpatient rooms that offer enhanced privacy for patients to rest and heal.Northern Light Acadia Hospital's behavioral health services have statewide reach, thanks to telehealth and embedded providers at Northern Light Health member facilities, but the need for inpatient care has outgrown the physical hospital space in Bangor. In 2022, Northern Light Acadia Hospital broke ground on their much-needed expansion, to increase the number of pediatric inpatient rooms and treatment areas, and update adult inpatient rooms for single occupancy.January 2023 celebrates one year of One Mercy! We're happy to provide one expanded healthcare campus along the Fore River Parkway.Statewide Support for Cancer CareSadly, cancer will touch most of our lives in some way, as a patient, as a family member, or as a friend. Northern Light Cancer Care is committed to providing services for cancer patients throughout Maine. We are grateful for the generous individuals who are stepping up to support these programs.A

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Vna Home & Hospice
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