Adult Day Club Receives Grant from Investors Foundation

Funds will support arts programs benefiting elderly adults with dementia

investors-check-photoThe Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills (VNA) has received a $4,000 grant from Investors Foundation to support arts programming at the Adult Day Club at Somerset Hills (ADC), an adult day center run by the organization. The specialized interactive music, visual, and cultural arts programs offered at the ADC are designed to stimulate brain activity and provide opportunities for self-expression, sense of accomplishment and purpose, emotional communication, and memory retrieval. Many of the elderly clientele are frail, and suffer from moderate dementia or other functional impairments due to stroke or other chronic illnesses.

“We are enormously grateful for the generosity of Investors Foundation and their support of our mission,” said Marie Sperber, VP of Business Development & Philanthropy at the VNA of Somerset Hills. “Their grant makes it possible for the Adult Day Club to continue to offer a wide range of therapeutic activities designed to enrich the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other disabling conditions.”

The Adult Day Club at Somerset Hills provides a warm and welcoming setting that enhances the quality of life for people who will benefit from companionship during the day, including those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Members enjoy a fulfilling day outside the home including a variety of engaging activities, lunch and snacks, daily exercise sessions, and personal care services. Experienced and nurturing staff are focused on supporting the individual health, emotional and recreational needs of each member. Caregivers also receive a much-needed break from their stressful daily routine, allowing time for work and other non-caregiving responsibilities while feeling confident while their loved one is safe and not lonely. The care provided at the Adult Day Club may help delay need for placing a loved one in an assisted living or nursing facility.

The Investors Foundation is dedicated to helping organizations that support the arts, education, health & human services, youth initiatives, and more. Funding is available to organizations located in the areas served by Investors Bank, which includes most of New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island. Since the foundation’s beginnings in 2005, more than $16 million has been pledged to hundreds of worthy organizations and causes.

VNA of Somerset Hills Appoints New President and CEO

Daniel E. Powell to lead New Jersey nonprofit healthcare organization

BASKING RIDGE, NJ (July 25, 2016) – The Board of Trustees of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills, is pleased to announce that Daniel E. Powell, of Bernardsville, NJ, has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. Powell, former Board Chairman of the VNA of Somerset Hills, has served as the agency’s Interim Chief Executive Officer since February. He will assume overall leadership for the nonprofit healthcare agency’s comprehensive program of home health, hospice care, adult day, and community wellness services.

“Dan Powell’s business background, leadership, and dedication to the agency and its mission make him an outstanding choice to lead the organization,” said Charles A. Reid, III, Esq., Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We are excited that he has chosen to continue sharing his considerable expertise, knowledge and guidance with the VNA of Somerset Hills in this capacity.”

Over the course of his career, Powell has specialized in leading performance improvement initiatives to grow revenues, reduce costs and improve operations as an operating executive, strategic consultant, and private equity professional. In addition to serving as a CEO and as an adviser to Boards of Directors for several companies in the consumer product, retail, business service and wholesale distribution industries, Powell has also been active in the banking, private equity, and management consulting industries with McKinsey & Company, Alvarez & Marsal, Citicorp, and The Deerpath Group. He received a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Williams College, and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University, Graduate School of Business.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead the VNA of Somerset Hills, and look forward to working with our accomplished staff and executive team as we continue the agency’s mission-based tradition of delivering high quality and innovative healthcare services to the community,” said Powell.

Appraisals by Nick Dawes on Wed. October 5th

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, October 5th 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.

Eagle Scout Builds Planting Beds for Adult Day Club

Collin Leigh of Watchung, NJ, has fulfilled his Eagle Scout service project requirement with the construction and installation of two raised planting beds at the Adult Day Club of Somerset Hills. Leigh is a member of Basking Ridge Troop 555, part of the Patriots’ Path Council. The project will benefit club members, many of whom are disabled by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Leigh developed interest in the Adult Day Club when visiting a member in attendance. After discussing project options with Maria Keenan, Adult Day Club Manager, they agreed that the raised planting beds would be a wonderful addition to the Club’s enclosed, secure outdoor garden. In addition to being an enjoyable hobby, gardening provides important therapeutic benefits such as sensory stimulation through touch and smell. For individuals with cognitive disabilities, this can help improve mood, decrease agitation, and trigger positive memories, contributing to a better quality of life. The project will provide year-round enrichment program opportunities at the Club. Indoors, members are currently nurturing the seedlings started by Leigh, and will be planting and caring for them during the late spring and summer.

“We are very appreciative that Collin chose the Adult Day Club as recipient of his project. It’s been a pleasure working together, and our members really enjoyed the warm and engaging conversation he brought during his interactive presentation,” said Keenan. “They look forward to his return.”

Eagle Scout Collin Leigh        Eagle scout and ADC members

Music Therapy Benefits Older Adults with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

VNA Adult Day Club introduces music therapy program for all members

VNA ADC music therapyBASKING RIDGE, NJ (February 2, 2016) – Expanding the range of enrichment activities designed to enhance the quality of life of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the Adult Day Club at Somerset Hills in Basking Ridge, NJ, now offers a weekly music therapy program to all members. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, research shows that music can enrich the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Using evidence-based methods, professionally trained and certified music therapists develop programs that promote cognitive stimulation, social interaction, and emotional well-being.

Through familiar music and singing, older adults with memory impairment may improve their ability to connect with others in a meaningful way by allowing them to recover forgotten memories about their past. In addition, music therapy may encourage self-awareness, evoke positive changes in mood, and reduce agitation and anxiety.

Alyssa Gonzalez, BM, MT-DC, a Board Certified Music Therapist from Jammin’ Jenn Music Therapy, conducts small group sessions with Club clients. Using techniques including reminiscing, instrument use, vocalization, and replication, Gonzalez adapts the curriculum to the varying levels of cognitive disability in each group. “In our music therapy sessions, musical activities are custom designed to promote, specific cognitive, motor, perceptual, communication, and behavioral goals that adaptively address each group. We utilize and leverage music to build a vast array of skills and enhance the overall quality of an individual’s life,” said Ed Goodman, Managing Director of Jammin’ Jenn Music Therapy.

“Because the activities during a music therapy session are designed to stimulate participation, this is a valuable addition to the specialized programming we offer members,” said Maria Keenan, Manager of the Adult Day Club at Somerset Hills. “Regardless of cognitive ability, every participant has the opportunity to benefit from an individualized social and sensory experience.”

Scholarships Available for Local Nursing Students

BASKING RIDGE, NJ (January 19, 2016) – The Board of Trustees of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is now accepting applicants for its 2016 Nursing Scholarships. A $1000 scholarship will be awarded to two qualified Morris or Somerset County students planning to pursue a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN). Each year since 1991, the VNA has awarded college scholarships to students from Morris or Somerset County planning to receive a degree in nursing. The scholarships are financed by proceeds from the VNA’s bi-annual Rummage Sale and other fundraising efforts.

“The VNA of Somerset Hills is pleased to offer this opportunity to all men and women considering a rewarding future in the health care industry, including graduating high school students and those adults entering the field during a career change,” said Ann M. Painter, VNA of Somerset Hills President & CEO.

Scholarship applications are available from the VNA of Somerset Hills’ website at www.visitingnurse.org or by calling (908) 766-0180 X 127. Applications must be received by April 15, 2016 and will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee of the VNA of Somerset Hills Board of Trustees.

2016 NURSING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

VNA Named in 2015 HomeCare Elite

home care elite logoBasking Ridge, NJ (November 13, 2015) — Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills (VNA) today announced that it has been named a Top Agency of the 2015 HomeCare Elite™, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. Now in its tenth year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall. 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 9,718 agencies considered, 2,431 are elite.

The award is sponsored by OCS HomeCare by National Research Corporation, the leading provider of home health and hospice metrics and analytics, and DecisionHealth, publisher of the most respected independent publication in the home care profession, Home Health Line.

“The 2015 HomeCare Elite winners deserve credit for demonstrating high-quality care in their communities. As quality care initiatives become top-of-mind for healthcare providers, we recognize this as a remarkable achievement and are pleased to make this our 10th year of acknowledgement for top performing home health organizations,” said Christine Lang, VP of Product Development for OCS HomeCare. ““We congratulate VNA of Somerset Hills on being one of the top home care agencies in the country.”

VNA of Somerset Hills President and CEO, Ann Painter, credits the professional excellence of all staff and a commitment to quality focused, patient-centered care with the agency’s ability to achieve recognition as one of the HomeCare Elite. “Our highest priority is providing all patients with an exceptional care experience, and we are dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of the individuals and families we serve,” said Painter.

“Happy 10th anniversary to the winners of the HomeCare Elite. As CMS ramps up its nationwide initiatives to reward home care agencies for the quality of care they provide, this is yet another way to acknowledge those agencies that have demonstrated their commitment to improving patient care at lower costs. The winners of the HomeCare Elite Award are proving that a heightened focus on clinical outcomes, patient experience, and financial management leads to success,” said Marci Heydt, Senior Content Manager, DecisionHealth.

The entire list of 2015 HomeCare Elite agencies can be downloaded by visiting the National Research Corporation website at http://www.ocshomecare.com/HomeCare-Elite.aspx.

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. For more information, visit http://www.visitingnurse.org

About National Research Corporation
For more than 30 years, National Research Corporation (NASDAQ: NRCIA and NRCIB) has been at the forefront of patient-centered care. Today, the company’s focus on empowering customer-centric healthcare across the continuum extends patient-centered care to incorporate families, communities, employees, senior housing residents, and other stakeholders.

National Research is dedicated to representing the true voice of patients and other healthcare stakeholders. This integration of cross-continuum metrics and analytics uncovers insights for effective performance improvement, quality measurement, care transitions, and many other factors that impact population health management.

For more information about HomeCare Elite, call 888-325-3396, write to HomeCareElite@ocsys.com or visit www.ocshomecare.com/HomeCare-Elite.

About DecisionHealth®
For over 25 years, DecisionHealth has served as the home care industry’s leading source for analysis and tools to improve revenue cycle performance, profitability and regulatory compliance. 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-C1 through its Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance, and provides custom consulting services to agency leaders through its DecisionHealth Professional Services unit. For product information, call 1-855-CALL-DH1 or visit www.decisionhealth.com.

Alzheimer’s Foundation’s National Memory Screening Program Comes to Basking Ridge

VNA of Somerset Hills to Hold Free, Confidential Memory Screenings on November 18

BASKING RIDGE, NJ (November 10, 2015) — As part of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s (AFA) National Memory Screening Program, VNA of Somerset Hills in Basking Ridge will offer free, confidential memory screenings on November 18, 2015. Screenings will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Somerset County Senior Wellness Center. To make an appointment, call 908-204-3435.

Qualified healthcare professionals will administer the memory screenings and provide educational materials about memory concerns, brain health and caregiving. The face-to-face screenings consist of a series of questions and tasks, and last approximately 10 minutes.

“The VNA of Somerset Hills is pleased to partner with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and help raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” said Ann Painter, President and CEO of the VNA of Somerset Hills. “We encourage members of the public to take advantage of this important free health screening opportunity.”

Memory screenings are an important part of successful aging and are gaining in popularity. Last year alone, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) screened more than 250,000 people through its National Memory Screening Program (NMSP). Further, a recent study suggests that screenings may detect cognitive impairment up to 18 years prior to clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

AFA suggests memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; who believe they are at risk due to a family history of dementia; or who want to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons. Warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting people’s names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion and personality changes.

Screeners emphasize that results are not a diagnosis, and encourage individuals who score below the normal threshold, as well as those who still have concerns, to see their primary care physician for a thorough evaluation.

Currently, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to nearly triple by mid-century. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

For more information about the National Memory Screening Program, call (toll-free) 866-232-8484 or visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.org.

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. For more information, visit http://www.visitingnurse.org

About the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 2,300 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a national, toll-free helpline staffed by licensed social workers, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlzheimersFoundationofAmerica.

NJ Physician to Be Honored for Service as Hospice Medical Director

Dr. Kenneth Adler to be recognized at dinner benefiting VNA Adult Day Club

BASKING RIDGE, NJ (October 21, 2015) – On November 1st, Kenneth R. Adler, M.D., F.A.C.P., will be honored for 31 years of service as Hospice Medical Director of the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills. Adler will be honored at Dinner with Friends, an annual fundraising event hosted by the Friends of the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills. Proceeds from the event benefit the Adult Day Club at Somerset Hills.

“Dr. Adler has been a pillar to our hospice and palliative care program since its inception in 1984. His calming influence, wealth of knowledge, and patient advocacy expertise provide invaluable guidance and inspiration to our care team and to other physicians caring for those we serve,” said Debra Hoppel, Director of Hospice and Palliative Care at the VNA of Somerset Hills. “In addition, his passionate commitment to provide comfort, support and dignity to all Adult Day Club members, patients and families is a value we embrace across the organization.”

A board certified specialist in hematology/oncology, Dr. Adler is also currently Attending Physician in Hematology/Oncology at the Carol Simon Cancer Center; Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Associate Member of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and Chairman of the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research.

The Adult Day Club at Somerset Hills offers a supportive and enriching environment that enhances the quality of life for its members. Providing person-centered care in an interactive group setting, the Club is ideal for adults needing companionship throughout the day. Caregivers also benefit because it allows them the freedom to go to work, handle personal business or just relax knowing their loved one is well cared for and safe. The Club has served more than 1,000 community members during the past 27 years.

For more information about Dinner with Friends and to purchase tickets: http://www.bitly.com/dinnerwithfriends