Higgins Kicks Off National Nurses Week with Visiting Nursing Association of WNY

Updated: 5/7/2012

Congressman Congratulates VNA for Top Marks in Patient Experience Survey Released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)


(L to R): Judy Baumgartner, President of the VNA of Western New York, Congressman Brian Higgins, and James R. Kaskie, President and CEO of Kaleida Health

Congressman Brian Higgins visited the headquarters of the Visiting Nursing Association (VNA) of Western New York to celebrate National Nurses Week and congratulate the local organization for receiving top scores in a national survey on patient satisfaction. 

“From its inception, the Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York has been a trailblazer in top quality patient care,” said Congressman Higgins.  “These nurses provide patients and their families with the incredible gift of compassionate home care, allowing for continued independence and delivering peace-of-mind.”

National Nurses Week is celebrated every year beginning May 6 and ending May 12, which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday, who is recognized as the founder of nursing.  Congressman Higgins is also a co-sponsor of a resolution commemorating National Nurses Week.

"Our primary focus is providing the highest level of quality care for our patients, allowing them to stay in the comfort of their homes in our Western New York communities,” said Judy Baumgartner, the president of the Visiting Nursing Association. “We are very proud of our results on the recent Patient Experience Survey. It is a testament to the dedication, excellence and compassion of all of our staff at VNA.  Having Congressman Higgins recognize and thank our team for this achievement was a fantastic way to kick off National Nurses Week." 

In the Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems measured by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the VNA ranked above state and national averages.  The survey is a new tool providing patients and caregivers the opportunity to compare home health agencies by looking at patient opinions. The surveys, which are updated every four months, are designed to increase transparency, create incentives for home health agencies to improve quality of care and give patients access to comparative data.  The comparison tools are available to the public at: http://www.medicare.gov/.   The VNA has been an early adopter to this newly mandated national survey process. 

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than average for all occupations.  Growth is attributed in part to a large baby boomer population who live longer and more active lives than previous generations.  This increase in the need for nurses is expected in traditional hospital settings as well as non-traditional settings including physician’s offices and home healthcare services. 

In 1885 Elizabeth Coe Marshall, a Buffalo teacher, founded what became the VNA when she recognized the need and collected donations to support a traveling nurse to serve the ill and indigent.  The VNA was one of the very first visiting nurse charities here in the United States and over the years has grown to one of the largest home health care agencies in the nation providing a range of services for all ages and 350,000 home visits annually.  Over the decades the VNA of WNY, a member of the Home Care Association of NYS, has continued to adapt to meet the latest needs and incorporate today’s technology to provide top quality patient care.