The Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod (VNACC) has been providing public health nursing for more than 97 years. Now a member of Cape Cod Healthcare, the VNA provides an array of health services from skilled nursing and therapies in the home to public health programs in our communities. Changes in the health care environment such as earlier hospital discharges have led to an increasing need for the services of the VNA. To meet these challenges, we have grown to more than 750 employees, providing nearly 300,000 home visits annually. The Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod has been named to the Top 500 of the 2013 HomeCare Elite™, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States.
The Public Health & Wellness Department of the VNACC provides public health nursing programs which include child and adult immunizations; health screenings; health education and wellness programs; maternal child health nursing; evidence-based exercise and self-efficacy programs like the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program; communicable disease surveillance; adult day health and childcare centers.
PROVISION OF INFLUENZA VACCINE
The public health nurses coordinate and staff the local health department flu clinics, providing 10,000 flu shots to residents of Barnstable and Plymouth County in 2013. These clinics are delivered in multiple venues: town health department sponsored clinics; churches; community centers; assisted living facilities; senior housing; childcare centers; businesses; family shelters; pre-schools; elementary; high schools and colleges; home visits; and VNACC office clinic settings. The public health nurses participate in the local health department emergency dispensing site drills annually. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic the VNACC public health and wellness department took the lead role in collaborating with other community agencies such as Medical Reserve Corps and Barnstable County Health Department nurses in providing an additional 13,000 H1N1 flu shots to the population, while also providing the seasonal flu clinics.
PROVISION OF OTHER ADULT VACCINES
The VNACC strongly believes and fosters adult immunization programs, and responds to the needs and requests of the communities we serve. Monthly immunization clinics take place at our Falmouth office and Dennis offices. We also run a pneumonia vaccine clinic at a local physician’s group office quarterly at their request. When the meningitis vaccine was first available and recommended for college students, the public health nurses ran meningococcal clinics and when the shingles vaccine was introduced several years ago, the VNACC public health nurses provided shingles clinics, immunizing 200 + in the first years.
BILLING INSURANCE COMPANIES
The VNACC has the capacity to bill third party insurances and seeks to do so when available in an effort to make vaccines affordable to the population. We have a program that allows us to directly bill Medicare Part D plans when able (much like the pharmacy) for shingles and Tdap. The VNACC purchases these vaccines and additional flu vaccine in order to be responsive to the community and to supplement the vaccine that is state supplied.
The VNACC is a community agency and strives to work collaboratively with other public health agencies in responding to the needs of our communities.
Mary Devlin, R.N., B.S.N., Public Health & Wellness Manager
Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod
255 Independence Drive
Hyannis, MA 02601