VNA of Cape Cod Celebrates 90th Anniversary

In the summer of 1916, the Woods Hole Woman's Club considered creating a "public" nursing service for the community. Soon thereafter, the Visiting Nurse Association was created at a Falmouth town meeting. The first VNA nurse was Elizabeth A. Eliot-Smith, an English woman who rode a bicycle to make patient visits. She provided bedside nursing, prenatal and infant welfare, care for tubercular patients and school programs. Over time, Elizabeth needed more than a bicycle to make her rounds - so a used Model T was purchased.

The cars and the communities have changed. But one thing has remained constant. The VNA of Cape Cod continues its mission of providing exceptional care to the community for people of all ages.

Cape Cod Healthcare is pleased celebrate the VNA of Cape Cod's 90th anniversary this summer. The significant milestone will be recognized in events throughout the summer, including the publication in August of a special edition of Cape Cod Healthcare's news magazine, Currents , which will be devoted entirely to the VNA of Cape Cod.

"The VNA of Cape Cod has been an integral part of the healthcare landscape on Cape Cod for decades," said Stephen L. Abbott, President and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare, parent company of the VNA of Cape Cod. "It plays such a vital role in the health of people on Cape Cod . We're delighted to honor this special organization on the occasion of its 90 th anniversary."

"The VNA is one of Cape Cod 's best-kept secrets," said Clifton Gustafson, who, along with his recently-deceased wife Janet, has been a longtime user of VNA programs and services, and who has also made important charitable donations to the organization. "Through our personal use of VNA services, we learned first-hand about the VNA's wide array of services. The organization touches a lot of people every day on Cape Cod . I hope everyone on Cape Cod pays tribute to the VNA during their 90 th anniversary celebration."

"I personally experienced the tremendous work of the VNA when my husband was recovering from treatment for cancer," Chatham resident Polly Warner said. "I realize the VNA makes a difference in many lives on Cape Cod . This 90 th anniversary celebration is a chance for everyone who has been touched by the VNA to say thank you."

"The bottom line is taking the best care of the patient in their homes and in the communities and that hasn't changed for the VNA in 90 years," said VNA of Cape Cod President Dianne Kolb. "We look forward to another 90 years of meeting the home and community healthcare needs of countless Cape Cod residents and visitors."

The VNA of Cape Cod provides more than 370,000 annual home health care visits. In addition to providing direct patient care in the home such as wound treatment, IV therapy, rehabilitation services, and hospice and palliative care, the VNA also provides numerous services designed to improve the health and wellness of Cape communities, including screenings, immunizations and programs that not only help people deal with illnesses, but prevent them in the first place. The VNA also provides a range of support groups for different illnesses. VNA services are available to Cape Cod residents and visitors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. For more information on VNA services, call 800-631-3900.

The Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod is a partner within Cape Cod Healthcare, a comprehensive, regional health care system spanning the entire Cape . Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of health care services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod . With more than 400 physicians, 4,000 employees and 1,000 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare has two acute-care hospitals, the largest home health services agency on the Cape (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility and numerous health programs. For more information, visit Cape Cod Healthcare's web site at