Archive for Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A look back: Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association through the years

February 11, 2014


VNA executive directors

• Lynn Rothwell

• LaVonne Donihue

• Susan Petefish

• Rene West

• Jan Jenkins

• Marceil Lauppe

• Judy Bellome

• Cynthia Lewis

VNA funding sources

• Medicare

• Medicaid

• Private insurance

• Self-pay

• Community support (United Way, Douglas County government, Ethel & Raymond F. Rice Foundation, Douglas County Community Foundation, Soroptomist International, donations)

Important events in the history of Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association:

• Feb. 2, 1969: Officially begins providing certified home-health services in Douglas County.

Lynn Rothwell was the founder and first executive director. Staff nurses included Marceil Lauppe and Delores Palmer, while LaMerle McCoy was a home health aide, Gwen Kitos was nutritionist and Helen Blake was secretary.

The first office was at 342 Missouri St. It shared an unfinished basement with the American Cancer Society and the rest of the house with Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. The VNA entrance was through the back porch; metal storage cabinets were used as room dividers.

United Way begins providing a $1,000 grant in 12 installments of $83 per month.

• 1973: Moves into shared space with Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department at 701 New Hampshire St.

• 1980: Relocates (with health department) into remodeled wing of the old Lawrence Memorial Hospital building, 336 Missouri St.

Lauppe becomes executive director (and goes on to serve in that role for 22 years).

• 1981: Establishes hospice program.

• Feb. 2, 1985: On 16th anniversary, moves into newly renovated basement of the same building, the staff of 85 relocating from 800 square feet to 6,000 square feet.

• 1992: Establishes long-term care program.

• 1994: Home health program moves to 2901 Lakeview Road, splitting the organization into VNA East and VNA West.

• 1995: Begins staffing medical clinic at Douglas County Jail.

Starts CareLink program.

• 1999: Moves into current space at 200 Maine St. (17,870 square feet), which was built from a 1-cent sales tax approved in 1994.

• 2009: Starts private duty program (private pay for non-medical support services such as cooking, cleaning, etc.)

• 2011: Opens branch office in Topeka.

• Feb. 2, 2014: With staff up to 115, celebrates 45th anniversary.


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