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VNAA has designated May 6-12, 2003, as National Visiting Nurse Associations (VNAs) Week. The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA)-the national membership association for VNAs-is spearheading celebration activities during this commemorative week. VNAs across the nation will be in the spotlight, as local and national media focus on the many services that VNAs provide to their patients and communities.


The legislation marking this week was introduced in the House by Representatives Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and John E. Peterson (R-PA) and in the Senate by Susan M. Collins (R-ME) and Russell D. Feingold (D-WI). It commemorates the over 120 years of public health service provided by VNAs and brings greater public awareness to the safety net role that VNAs play in communities across the nation.


As nonprofit home care agencies, VNAs are often the home health providers of last resort, caring for the most chronic of conditions (e.g., congestive heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, HIV/AIDS), and serving many who are unable to fully pay for their medical care. Through charitable donations, VNAs are able to help patients and address their communities unmet needs, such as hospice care, adult day care centers, meals on wheels, wellness clinics, and nutritional programs.


"VNAs offer a cost-effective healthcare alternative to hospital and/or nursing home care. They are advocates for disease prevention through immunization. VNAs are a leading provider of immunizations in the Medicare program-providing over 2.5 million flu shots a year," stated VNAA President and CEO Carolyn S. Markey.


"VNAs were pioneers in the public health movement, and in the late 1800s. VNA responsiveness meant milk banks, combating infectious diseases, and providing care for the poor during massive influenza epidemics," stated Senator Collins when introducing the Senate resolution. "Today, the same responsiveness means caring for the dependent elderly, the chronically-disabled, the terminally-ill, and providing high-tech services previously only provided in hospitals."


"The very concept of a visiting nurse can be traced to the pioneering work of Florence Nightingale...She professionalized nursing and made it an acceptable profession for educated women, devoted the rest of her life to building on her experiences, setting standards and writing books, until the mission of nursing had gained the respect of the world," according to House sponsor Rep. Markey.


In a country crippled with staggering healthcare and medical costs, VNAs continually and successfully work to achieve their mission of providing cost-effective and compassionate care to some of the nation's most vulnerable individuals.


"VNAs unquestionably deserve recognition for their noble services and by establishing this resolution, Congress supports the continuation of their mission," explained House cosponsor Rep. John Peterson.


For more information on the association, publications, meetings, and any other questions, contact:




11 Beacon Street, Suite 910


Boston, MA 02108


(617) 523-4042 voice


(617) 227-4843 fax