A $100,000 grant was presented to The Visiting Nurse Association of Utica and Oneida County. The funding from The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties is to expand the groups work with chronically ill patients receiving healthcare from home.

The funding will go towards the purchase of 20 in-home Telehealth units and interpreter services. VNA officials say the home monitoring machines will help patients making difficult transitions from the hospital to home. The machines collect patients vital signs and other health information and transmits it via telephone line to VNA caregivers--linking patients to healthcare from their homes. According to VNA, since the implementation of the home monitoring system in 2002, their research revealed that they limit a patients chance of being re-admitted to the hospital by 10 to 15 %.
Peggy O'Shea, President and CEO of The Community Foundation said, "Members of The Community Foundation Grants  Committee were impressed with the program's success in reducing the re-hospitalization rate of patients and the positive impact it has on clients's quality of life. We are pleased to be able to support an expansion of the program."
According to VNA the home monitoring machines also lower the cost of healthcare service saying it's costlier for a nurse to visit a patient at home in order to collect vital signs and other healthcare information. Having the machines provide the information Nurses need via telephone, eliminates the constant need for home visits.
According to VNA the funding will also go towards improving communication with non-English speaking patients and their families. Transitional Care Manager, Michelle Sandock, RN, BSN who authored the grant proposal said, "With the added ability to provide the under served refugee population with Telehealth services and additional interpretive support, VNA will be able to continue to provide quality healthcare with positive outcomes in even the most challenging situations."
According to VNA, the home monitoring machines are made by Honeywell HomMed and can accommodate 12 languages. More information can be found by contacting Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare at (315) 624-5600 or at: www.faxtonstlukes.com.