VNA Recognizes Employees for Service

During the agency’s 113th Annual Meeting on May 17, 2017, the following employees were recognized for their dedication and service to the organization and all those we serve:

25 Years
Kathy Holland-Noll, Physical Therapist

20 Years
Nancy Coto, Physical Therapist
Magda Dorielan, Certified Home Health Aide

15 years
Mary Lou Daley, Manager, Social Work Services
Marie Sperber, VP of Development & Philanthropy

10 Years
Lucy Byrnes, Registered Nurse
Betty Joseph, Certified Home Health Aide
Terry Monastero, Lead Patient Service Coordinator
Nancy Ryerson, Adult Day Center Activities Coordinator

5 Years
Rex Albano, Registered Nurse
Lisa Clobes, OASIS
Reifen Flint, Certified Home Health Aide
Diane Hurley, Registered Nnurse
Karen Lewis, Pastoral Counselor
Amanda Rusinak, Registered Nurse
Joyce Tiemens, Social Worker
Daniel Wilson, Manager of Therapy Services

Leading Home-Based Health Advocate to Highlight VNA Annual Meeting

VNAA President and CEO will deliver keynote speech at VNA of Somerset Hills Annual Meeting

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills will host its 113th Annual Meeting on May 17, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. at the home care agency’s headquarters at 200 Mount Airy Road in Basking Ridge, NJ.  Tracey Moorhead, President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA), will be delivering the keynote presentation, “Changes in Home-Based Care.” Moorhead is also President and CEO of ElevatingHOME, a new nonprofit organization focused on unifying nation-wide leaders and stakeholders of home-based health care and repositioning home-based care as the center of health care delivery.

“The VNA of Somerset Hills is honored to welcome Tracey Moorhead, a respected national spokesperson for the home care industry, as guest speaker at our Annual Meeting,” said Daniel Powell, President and CEO, VNA of Somerset Hills. “As the national healthcare system continues to evolve, her insight is valuable to all those committed to improving the health and well-being of individuals and families in our community.”

As President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA), Moorhead spearheads VNAA’s strategic vision and growth, develops transformational home health care delivery and payment models, and leads policy formulation with the media and Federal policy makers. Having previously served as CEO of the Care Continuum Alliance/Population Health Alliance, she brings a population health management approach to home-based care.

In addition to Tracey Moorhead’s remarks, Powell will provide an overview of the agency’s 2016 achievements. The Annual Meeting will conclude with the installation of new Board of Trustees officers, and recognition of notable employee and volunteer accomplishments.

VNA Annual Meeting

Tracey Moorhead, President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA), will provide the keynote address, “Changes in Home-based Care” at the VNA of Somerset Hills Annual Meeting on May 17, 2017.

RSVP by May 10th: 908.766.0180 or

Communication Tips and Techniques in Alzheimer’s Disease

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, people with the disease lose their ability to use words to communicate. Learn how to enhance communication at each stage of the disease, including how to recognize behavior as a form of communication. Topics include how to identify verbal and non-verbal messages and tips on how to maintain your relationship with your loved one as Alzheimer’s disease brings changes.

Laura Hawkins, MSW, LSW
Director, Program Outreach
Alzheimer’s New Jersey

There is no fee for attending this program, though pre-registration is required.
Register online at or call 888-280-6055.

View and print a flyer for this program.

Caregivers: It’s OK to Laugh!

Laughter is great medicine for your mind and body.

Through humor and laughter, caregivers can help overcome challenges and deal with difficult situations, like caring for a family member with a chronic or life-limiting illness. In fact, scientific research shows that laughter provides important short and long-term physical, emotional and social benefits:

  • Strengthens our connection to others, and will help family members and friends enjoy special time together
  • Lowers stress hormones, including cortisol and epinephrine, and protects against damage from stress by releasing beneficial endorphins.
  • Boosts mood.
  • Diminishes pain by causing the body to produce natural pain killers.
  • May help improve the immune system by increasing the number of antibody-producing cells.
  • Protects the heart by improving function of blood vessels and by increasing blood flow. The American Heart Association has reported that the positive effects of laughter may last 24 hours!
  • Helps diffuse anger and our ability to moving on from conflict and confrontation.

It’s OK to let yourself feel good without feeling guilty, even while coping with a serious situation. Try to laugh every day, even if it feels forced or unnatural. Bring humor into your daily life through movies, TV shows, books, photos, comic books, YouTube videos, jokes, a visit to a comedy club, or by spending time with friends and family who bring joy and make you smile. Through the magic of laughter, you can improve your health, reduce care-taker stress, and create happy, memorable moments with loved ones.

Horticultural Therapy at Adult Day Center Benefits Older Adults

The Adult Day Center at Somerset Hills in Basking Ridge, NJ, has launched a professionally-facilitated horticultural therapy program, expanding the range of innovative and unique enrichment activities offered to its older adult clientele. Nature-based techniques used in horticultural therapy aid in achieving rehabilitative, social and vocational goals. Benefits including improved mood, memory, cognition, language, muscle strength, coordination, and balance are valuable for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other functional impairments.

Members at the Adult Day Center have enthusiastically embraced the program. “The individual members are always eager and excited to experience the benefits of therapeutic horticulture. They are a delightful group and are always giving me recommendations and ideas for our future programs,” said Amanda Mammas, program facilitator. She also notes that the hands-on participation from Center staff has been wonderful, and enhances the overall experience for participants. To date, projects have included evergreen tabletop Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, herbal seed planters, and Valentine’s Day floral arrangements.

Mammas, certified in Horticultural Therapy from the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, has facilitated programs at various locations in New York and New Jersey including NYU Langone Medical Center, the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers, and Allies Inc. of New Jersey. She is also the 2016 Awardee of the Linda M. Ciccantelli Memorial Scholarship by the Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network (MAHTN).

Gardening activities have been an integral part of the Adult Day Center program since the Center opened in 1988. The large, fully enclosed outdoor garden offers safe and frequent opportunities for socialization and activity. Features include pathways, raised beds, planting containers, and plants with a variety of colors and textures.

Adult Day Center horticulture therapy Adult Day Center horticulture therapy

Rummage Sale Donations

Huge variety of clothing, household merchandise, sporting goods, toys and other items is accepted.

Click here to view the most current list of acceptable and unacceptable items

For more information about the Rummage Sale and making donations, click here.

Proceeds from the volunteer-run sale will provide home health, hospice care and wellness services to community members and their families without adequate insurance or financial resources. In addition, dollars raised will help enable the VNA to offer important wellness services not covered by any insurance.


Appraisals by Nick Dawes on Wed. May 3rd

Nick Dawes, antiques and fine art expert and auctioneer

Renowned antiques and fine art expert and auctioneer, Nick Dawes, will be at the Far Hills Fairgrounds on Wednesday, May 3rd from 10am-2pm. He will be offering informal appraisals of your personal items. The $10 per item fee (maximum two) will generously be donated by Nick to the VNA of Somerset Hills.

VNA of Somerset Hills Named as a Top Agency of the 2016 HomeCare Elite

homecare elite top agencyThe Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills today announced that it has been named a Top Agency of the 2016 HomeCare Elite®, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. For more than ten years, HomeCare Elite has annually identified the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

The ranking is developed by ABILITY® Network, a leading information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare; and sponsored by DecisionHealth, publisher of: Home Health Line, The Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual and The Home Health Coding Center.

“Improving quality of care and the patient experience continue to underpin a rapidly evolving healthcare environment,” said Christine Lang, Senior Director, Product Management, for ABILITY Network. “At the same time tracking, measuring and interpreting data that support these efforts is becoming more complex. The 2016 HomeCare Elite winners have demonstrated the highest-quality care in their communities, which is a remarkable achievement. We congratulate VNA of Somerset Hills on being one of the top home care agencies in the country.”

Daniel Powell, President and CEO, VNA of Somerset Hills, credits the highly qualified professional team and a commitment to providing every patient with a superior care experience with the agency’s ability to achieve recognition as one of the HomeCare Elite. “We are dedicated to providing patient-centered healthcare services that improve the quality of life of the individuals, families and communities we serve,” said Powell.

“We are proud to recognize the HomeCare Elite agencies for demonstrating a commitment to improving quality patient care at low costs. The clinical best practices and data tracking skills these agencies have implemented can position them for future success in government programs such as value-based purchasing and star ratings,” said Marci Heydt, Senior Content Manager, DecisionHealth.

Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice (process measure) implementation, patient experience (Home Health CAHPS®), quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least one outcome in Home Health Compare. Out of 9,406 agencies considered, 2,353 are recognized on the 2016 HomeCare Elite winners list overall.

The entire list of 2016 HomeCare Elite agencies can be downloaded by visiting the ABILITY Network website at

About VNA of Somerset Hills
The Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills and its subsidiaries provide individuals and families with comprehensive, high quality, cost-effective home and community healthcare services, regardless of ability to pay, using partnerships where appropriate. The VNA is a charitable, tax-exempt home health agency and hospice certified by Medicare, accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) and licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

About ABILITY Network
ABILITY® Network is a leading healthcare information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare through innovative applications and data analytics. ABILITY is headquartered in Minneapolis with principal offices in Boston and Tampa. For more information visit or write to

For more information about HomeCare Elite, call 888.572.4009, write to or visit

About DecisionHealth®
For over 30 years, DecisionHealth has served as the home care industry’s leading source for analysis and tools to improve revenue cycle performance, profitability, regulatory compliance and quality patient care. Agencies nationwide turn to DecisionHealth for education and training, coding and billing solutions, and ongoing expert guidance through its family of online products, print solutions, and live training events. DecisionHealth also certifies home health agency professionals in ICD-10 coding and OASIS-C2 through its Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC), and provides custom consulting services to agency leaders through its DecisionHealth Professional Services unit. For product information, call 1 855 CALL DH1 or visit