Across the lifespan and spectrum of health, VNSNY’s multidisciplinary teams provide high quality, whole-person care to all who need it, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. VNSNY’s charitable and community-based programs reduce disparities of care and expand access to over 15,000 vulnerable individuals each year, from newborns to centenarians. In 2020, VNSNY provided more than $53 million in charitable care and community benefit programs.
COVID-19 exposed what VNSNY has long known: minority communities face disparities in health care that can last a lifetime if not addressed. VNSNY bridges disparities by increasing access to care through such programs as the Hospice Patient and Provider Education (HOPE), introducing end-of-life services to Black and Latino communities who often underuse hospice.
The VNSNY Center for Home Care Policy & Research advances guidance and understanding on home- and community-based care by conducting scientifically rigorous research on clinical and policy issues related to delivering health services at home. The research leads to informed clinical care choices and decision making by providers, policymakers, and consumers.
For aging Asian Americans isolated by poor health and language barriers, VNSNY’s Chinatown Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NNORC) and Chinatown Community Center work collaboratively to improve health and social welfare. The programs offer outreach in the home, activities and workshops, support and connection—which included securing COVID-19 vaccinations for more than 700 seniors.
VNSNY works collaboratively with fellow community based organizations to promote health-focused strategies that lead to successful community living. Nurses and rehabilitation therapists support community partners with on-site evidence-based programs, health screenings, health education, assessments, social workers, and links to care. Together, we aim to empower community residents—who might otherwise not know help is available—to take control of their health and wellness.
Attention to mental health is vital to well-being, but those most at-risk often have difficulty accessing care. VNSNY offers many programs for underserved children and adults struggling with acute or chronic mental illness or substance abuse disorders, including isolated seniors battling depression. Often offered in collaboration with schools or government partners, these life-changing programs served nearly 17,000 vulnerable New Yorkers in 2020.
Barriers to health insurance frequently translate into barriers to health care. VNSNY provides free and discounted interdisciplinary home care to under- or uninsured New Yorkers, and helps those who are eligible for Medicaid get enrolled. Through the Patient Assistance Fund, VNSNY clinicians find patients resources that promote health, such as medication co-pays, eyeglasses and air conditioners.
End of life is something no one should have to go through alone. In 2020, our interdisciplinary hospice and palliative care teams worked with 7,066 patients and their families to manage symptoms and promote quality of life. Charitable donations also support our Hospice Physician Fellowship Training program to educate future leaders in this compassionate care, as well as outreach to communities typically underutilizing hospice.
LGBTQ+ seniors are often disconnected from health care at the time they need it most. All VNSNY employees undergo training to understand the unique concerns of LGBTQ+ patients and to create a safe, welcoming environment. We conduct robust outreach to expand access to our services in the LGBTQ+ community. VNSNY also provides specialized home care before and after gender affirmation surgery.
Managing the care of a child with serious and complex medical needs is difficult for any family, and even more so for those with limited resources. VNSNY’s Maternity, Newborn and Pediatric (MNP) Services deliver family focused home care—including skilled nursing, rehabilitation therapy, social work and home health aide services—to children with conditions that include cancer, HIV/AIDS, and complications from premature birth.
A program with a track record of breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, VNSNY’s Nurse-Family Partnership works with vulnerable first-time mothers to help them stay healthy, meet educational and career goals, and keep their children thriving. VNSNY’s specially trained NFP nurses work one-on-one from pregnancy to the child’s second birthday.
Military veterans can find it hard to ask for help and can feel estranged from care. VNSNY veteran liaisons help ensure clinical care and connect veterans and families with community resources and veteran-specific benefits.Through the We Honor Veterans program, VNSNY’s hospice teams address the unique needs of military veterans at end of life.
VNSNY volunteers are an integral part of the care we deliver each day to the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Contributing 12,970 hours of service in 2020, our volunteers help out with a wide range of activities, including fundraising, visiting hospice patients (via Zoom during the pandemic), working in administrative roles, knitting blankets for patients, and tutoring elderly Chinatown residents in English.