The Campaign for the Vineyard Nursing Association
For close to 30 years, the Vineyard Nursing Association has been a critical component of the health care system on Martha’s Vineyard. From making sure that patients take their prescriptions properly to helping people manage their pain to providing physical therapy, our staff provides an array of essential services a patient needs to recover from illness or surgery. We are the only certified home health care agency on the Vineyard, and our nurses and home health aides serve more than 1,000 people each year.
Our ability to do our job became constrained by space limitations in our previous building. In less than a decade, the number of annual home visits has more than doubled – from 15,000 to over 40,000 – and we have grown our staff to 125 people on two islands in order to keep pace with the change. In that same time frame we have moved locations twice – in 2006 and 2008. Lacking sufficient room, we were unable to enroll everyone who wanted to attend our Stroke Support Group or to schedule additional support groups for other interests. Our aides, therapists, and nurses shared desks. Supplies were piled high in the attic, the only space we had to spare.
The VNA’s mission is not only to care for our community in the present, but also to anticipate the needs of the future. By all accounts, in ten years the island population will have both grown in size and shifted in demographics. It is estimated that by 2020 more than 20% of people living on the Vineyard will be senior citizens. We also know that 70% of people aged 65 and older require long-term health care services at some point in their lives.
The need for home health care services on Martha’s Vineyard is only going to dramatically increase as time passes. And it is crucial that we expand both our staff and our services in order to meet that need.
Fundamental to that goal is having the necessary space: to host community support groups; to accommodate new programs such as Adult Day Health; to hold professional training classes and interdisciplinary conferences; and to store nursing and physical therapy supplies as well as personal health records.
The answer is clear. In 2012 the VNA purchased 29 Breakdown Lane in Vineyard Haven with a mortgage. The building gives the Vineyard Nursing a permanent home and the ability to expand to meet projected demand for home health care services.
Ownership has twofold benefits: stability and flexibility.
Stability – no longer will the VNA be subject to escalating rental costs and/or relocation.
Flexibility – the VNA will have the ability and space to pursue programs that an aging Vineyard population will need.
We need your help.
By purchasing the building outright (paying off the mortgage), the VNA will be able to:
Recruit staff to meet the anticipated growth in demand for homecare services;
Provide adequate facilities for training and educating the staff on an ongoing basis;
Expand the number and size of our community support groups;
Reduce overhead costs by $100,000 per year, savings that can then be reinvested into the agency;
Establish, with the support of other senior programs, a home for a Senior Day Health Program.