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Thursday, August 11, 2022 82°F New York

HR Is Now Organized into Four New Teams, Designed to Enhance the Employee Experience and Execute the VNS Health Strategy

August 9, 2022–Read All About Them Here! Human Resources (HR) recently rolled out its innovative People & Culture Strategy, which includes a reorganization of the HR function into four teams – or ”Centers of Expertise” (CoEs). The four CoEs are: Culture & Inclusion People Support (including HR Business Partners) Talent & Learning Total Rewards These four CoEs have launched a number of exciting initiatives to support the success and growth of VNS Health team members and the organization itself. Here’s what several VNS Health colleagues outside of HR are saying about the new programs: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with, as well as being the customer of the Total Rewards Team. I’m always impressed with the team’s dedication to our employee experience.” —Adam Lefebvre, Director, Process Improvement & Innovation “VNS Health having a Culture and Inclusion Team sends an important message to current and future team members that they matter. Listening to

Team Highlights

VNS Health Awarded Home Health KPI Excellence Award from HCHB

July 21, 2022–We are pleased to announce that VNS Health has been awarded an Excellence in Homecare Award from Homecare Homebase (HCHB)! This award recognizes HCHB customers who perform in the top 3% of their size cohort for Acute Care Hospitalizations. The 2022 winners of the Home Health KPI Excellence Award were announced at HCHB’s Users Conference, which took place in Plano, Texas from June 15 – 16, 2022. Congratulations to everyone who contributed toward this success!

A Day in the Life of Personal Care and MLTC Nurse Xiang Jin

July 11, 2022–Welcome to another edition of “A Day in the Life”—a Frontline series that follows team members from different parts of VNS Health as they go about a typical day at work. Xiang Jin, a nurse in VNS Health Personal Care, works three days a week calling on patients who belong to our Chinatown NNORC (Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community), and two days per week caring for members of VNS Health’s MLTC health plan. We asked him to take us through a sample day of his (very full!) schedule. 5:30 a.m. I started at VNS Health six years ago as a per-diem nurse with the MLTC health plan, then I was offered three days a week as a NNORC nurse. I continue to work with the MLTC plan Mondays and Fridays because of the nursing shortage. I also do my own scheduling, which makes for a very busy week and long days! Because

WPIX11 Featured a Therapy Dog Named Chicken Who’s Touching the Lives of Hospice Patients

July 22, 2022–The WPIX11 television station recently aired the inspiring story of VNS Health Hospice Care volunteer Ellen Landress-Bowkett, and her partner, Chicken the therapy dog.  To watch this inspiring video, click on the screen here below!

Exciting Behavioral Health Reorganization Announcement

June 23, 2022–Dear Colleagues, The Behavioral Health (BH) team has been hard at work transforming our structure to allow for more agile and dynamic growth as we expand our programs in 2022 and beyond and become integral to one VNS Health. The first step was to ensure that we can be easily identified within VNS Health and the broader community. To more accurately represent all of the work we do – both Mental Health and Substance Use services – and to better align with industry standard terminology, Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) has officially been renamed Behavioral Health! Last year, BH and VNS Health leadership developed a strategic plan that includes expanding programs in the following areas: Substance Use Disorders; Children and Adolescents; Older Adults; and Integrated Care. All new service offerings will build on our history of providing excellent care within our grant programs and will ensure a focus on meeting

Meet the 2022 Liota and Marren Award Winners!

June 21, 2022–Congratulations to the 2022 Liota and Marren Award winners: John Tawiah and Natasha Merjuste, who were nominated by their VNS Health colleagues and selected by a committee of nursing leaders! John Tawiah, Psychiatric Nurse, Bronx ACT Team, Winner of the Marilyn Liota Award The Liota Award to Promote Cultural Diversity in Nursing Leadership, named after long-time VNS Health nurse and Queens Regional Vice President Marilyn Liota, is awarded each year to help an exemplary VNS Health nurse realize her or his leadership potential. The award provides a $1,500 scholarship for expenses related to nursing studies, continuing professional development, or communication/English language skills development. “Fighting the stigma around mental illness, and helping my patients lead better lives, are my driving forces.” In the Ghanaian village in which John grew up, mental illness was viewed as demonic possession. He is haunted by memories of a childhood classmate who would occasionally vanish into the bush. “I’ve heard

A Day in the Life of Bronx Geriatric Outreach Mental Health Specialist, Carmen Tirado

May 13, 2022–Welcome to “A Day in the Life”—a Frontline series that follows team members from different parts of VNSNY as they go through a typical day at work. Frontline recently followed Mental Health Specialist Carmen Tirado through her typical Wednesday. A 26-year VNSNY veteran, Carmen, who is out in the field three days a week, joined VNSNY Behavioral Health’s Geriatric Outreach program in 2000. For the past seven years, she has been based out of the FRIENDS office on East 153rd Street in the South Bronx. 4:30 a.m. I was born and raised in the South Bronx, but now I call Bridgeport, Connecticut home. I get up at 4:30 a.m., take a shower, start my coffee maker, get dressed, get my coffee, put my makeup on, do my hair, and then I’m ready to go! My daughter drops me off at the Bridgeport Metro-North train station around 5:45 a.m., and I

A Day in the Life of Personal Care and MLTC Nurse Xiang Jin

July 11, 2022–Welcome to another edition of “A Day in the Life”—a Frontline series that follows team members from different parts of VNS Health as they go about a typical day at work. Xiang Jin, a nurse in VNS Health Personal Care, works three days a week calling on patients who belong to our Chinatown NNORC (Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community), and two days per week caring for members of VNS Health’s MLTC health plan. We asked him to take us through a sample day of his (very full!) schedule. 5:30 a.m. I started at VNS Health six years ago as a per-diem nurse with the MLTC health plan, then I was offered three days a week as a NNORC nurse. I continue to work with the MLTC plan Mondays and Fridays because of the nursing shortage. I also do my own scheduling, which makes for a very busy week and long days! Because

Community Collaborations Hosts “A Pause for Peace & Presence” Webinar

June 23, 2022–On Thursday, July 14th, from 2 – 3 PM, Community Collaborations will host “A Pause for Peace & Presence” webinar. In this presentation, participants will explore ways to achieve a better work/life balance, and find the purpose and order that can help you relax. All genders and ages welcome! Click here or use this link: https://bit.ly/3q8KnZU to register for the presentation. For more information contact [email protected] To learn more, visit the Community Collaborations website at https://www.vnshealth.org/in-the-community/events/.

Here Is the Latest News From Around VNS Health

June 15, 2022–There’s been so much happening lately at VNS Health, it might not be easy to be up-to-date with all the news. Well, here’s a quick and easy way to catch up: Read this latest edition of News Briefs! VNS Health Home Care Receives a 4.5-Star Quality Rating from CMS! The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in their April 2022 quarterly home-health-agency quality ratings update, awarded VNS Health Home Care a whopping 4.5 out of 5 Stars, our highest rating ever! The rating improves on Home Care’s strong previous quarter’s showing, when the team received its  first-ever 4-Star rating from CMS. “This notable accomplishment is one that we can all take pride in,” says Jennifer Brullo, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services. “These ratings are based on patient outcomes over a range of quality measures. The fact that we attained a best-ever 4.5 Star score is evidence of the

Marie Danieli, Risk Manager, Enterprise Risk Management

July 13, 2022–We are excited to announce that Marie Danieli has joined VNS Health in the position of Risk Manager. Marie holds a Master’s degree in Enterprise Risk Management from Columbia. She has extensive experience both in the field of research and working for not-for-profits, most recently at United Way and the Anti-Defamation League. At VNS Health, Marie will support the Enterprise Risk Management Program, including our annual risk-assessment process. Another notable role for Marie will be to support the roll-out of our Governance Risk & Compliance (GRC) software system, which is scheduled to begin implementation in mid-August. Please join us in welcoming Marie to the VNS Health Team!

“Inside Keith Patterson’s Head” Episode 3: Financial Forecasting — Difficult to See, Always in Motion Is the Future!

March 28, 2022–In Episode 1, Chief Financial Officer Keith Patterson demystified VNSNY’s financial numbers. In Episode 2, Keith explained the key forces at play in VNSNY’s financial growth. And now, in Episode 3, Keith focuses on financial forecasting — difficult to see, always in motion is the future. To watch Episode 3, click here below. To watch previous episodes, click here.  

9 Things You May Be Surprised to Know About VNSNY’s IT Service Desk Team

March 25, 2022–Is your PC loading slowly or not at all? Is an application rejecting your credentials? Did the dog eat your tablet’s charging cord? (We’re not kidding—see #6 below.) For these problems and countless more, you know where to go for help: VNSNY’s IT Service Desk, reachable through their phone hotline at 212-290-3555—where you can talk to a live human being 24/7, 365 days a year—or through the Self Service Request Portal. While there’s a good chance you’ve contacted them at least once, here are nine things you may not know about the Service Desk: 1) The IT Service Desk gets about 4,000 calls a month, with Monday and Tuesday the busiest days and 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. the busiest times. Last year, 85% of calls made to the IT Service Desk were answered within 60 seconds. 2) The IT Service Desk is able to resolve 88% of callers’ issues

SelectHealth Has a New Name: SelectHealth from VNS Health

July 15, 2022–For over a decade, SelectHealth, VNS Health’s specialized Medicaid plan for people living with HIV, individuals of transgender experience, and gender non-conforming or homeless individuals, has been dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality, personalized care to a population with complex health needs. Today, July 15, 2022, it’s also getting a new name: Going forward, VNSNY CHOICE SelectHealth will be known as SelectHealth from VNS Health. While its name is changing as part of VNS Health’s overall rebrand, the energy and look—and outstanding care management—of this successful and well-received health plan will remain the same. Updated brochures and signage will be in the community starting today. ID cards and other member materials will begin rolling out in August. Click here to visit the SelectHealth consumer website (the URL will also remain the same), and check out the images below for a look at the plan’s updated branding! 

National Nurses Month Special: Saluting Years of Dedicated Service

May 11, 2022–This year, in celebration of National Nurses Month, VNSNY honors—and thanks— all of the nurses whose hard work and dedication make such a vital and colossal contribution, and difference, to the lives of our patients, clients and members across the organization. As a special highlight, Frontline spoke to the longest-serving nurses in each part of the organization. Click on their names to go directly to their stories or just scroll here to read them all! Myrna Agosto Susan Banner Myra Cohen Eloise Goldberg Lisa Miller Elisabeth Regis Karen Terry Betty Velez Nancy Washburn Deborah Wilson   Myrna Agosto, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Queens/Brooklyn Mobile Crisis Unit, Behavioral Health — 33 years at VNSNY “I see the possibilities.” As a psychiatric nurse practitioner in the Queens/Brooklyn Mobile Crisis Unit, Myrna Agosto spends her days working with vulnerable patients at very difficult times in their lives. “Typically, we’ll get a referral

Hondo Martinez and Daniel Hope of SelectHealth from VNSNY CHOICE Join BronxNet to Share More About Upcoming Virtual AIDS Walk

May 5, 2022

Elsa Lam, VNS Health Home Care Promotion

July 13, 2022–We are excited to announce that Elsa Lam has been promoted to Vice President, Patient Care Services within VNS Health Home Care. A 20-year veteran of the organization, Elsa has been with VNS Health since November 2001. Most recently, she served as Branch Director of Home Care Branch 1 in Westchester. Elsa graduated from the College of New Rochelle with a BSN, and completed her MSN in Informatics this past February. She was also the recipient of the 2017 Marilyn Liota Award, one of VNS Health’s highest nursing honors. In her new position, Elsa will be responsible for planning, directing and evaluating VNS Health Home Care’s operations for Manhattan, the Bronx and Westchester. Her role will include managing financial metrics and developing and implementing strategic goals and objectives for these regions, as well as collaborating with Quality Management Services in developing and revising policies and procedures relating to delivery of

Meet the 2022 Liota and Marren Award Winners!

June 21, 2022–Congratulations to the 2022 Liota and Marren Award winners: John Tawiah and Natasha Merjuste, who were nominated by their VNS Health colleagues and selected by a committee of nursing leaders! John Tawiah, Psychiatric Nurse, Bronx ACT Team, Winner of the Marilyn Liota Award The Liota Award to Promote Cultural Diversity in Nursing Leadership, named after long-time VNS Health nurse and Queens Regional Vice President Marilyn Liota, is awarded each year to help an exemplary VNS Health nurse realize her or his leadership potential. The award provides a $1,500 scholarship for expenses related to nursing studies, continuing professional development, or communication/English language skills development. “Fighting the stigma around mental illness, and helping my patients lead better lives, are my driving forces.” In the Ghanaian village in which John grew up, mental illness was viewed as demonic possession. He is haunted by memories of a childhood classmate who would occasionally vanish into the bush. “I’ve heard

Allison Simms, Home Care Promotion

May 26, 2022–Allison Simms has been promoted to Associate Director of Rehabilitation Services for Home Care, effective May 21, 2022. In this role, Allison will be responsible for standardizing rehab services and recruitment initiatives for Rehab. Allison has been with VNS Health for over 10 years and has worked in various parts of the organization. She initially worked in Health Plans where she spent three years as the Rehab Clinical Manager; and most recently, she was Rehab Clinical Manager for Clinical Support Services in Home Care. She has attained degrees in Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Health Administration. Allison strives to improve quality outcomes and support the clinical team with unique perspectives and solutions in the delivery of care.   Allison, congratulations on your promotion! Your exceptional leadership and commitment led to your success and promotion.

WPIX11 Featured a Therapy Dog Named Chicken Who’s Touching the Lives of Hospice Patients

July 22, 2022–The WPIX11 television station recently aired the inspiring story of VNS Health Hospice Care volunteer Ellen Landress-Bowkett, and her partner, Chicken the therapy dog.  To watch this inspiring video, click on the screen here below!

Breaking Down Latinx Language Barriers: Spotlight On Our Hospice Team in the South Bronx

June 30, 2022–In this latest Neighborhood Spotlight video, host Amery Moultry sits down with two VNS Health Hospice Care team members—nurse Clarissa Santos and Spiritual Care Counselor Fernando Otero—to talk about barriers faced by Hispanic, Latinx and African American residents at the end of life. Click below to watch.

For Military Appreciation Month, BronxNet Interviews VNSNY Veteran Program Liaison Sung Yoon

May 12, 2022

“If You Work Hard, There is No Problem That Can’t Be Solved” – Meet Yuehua Wu, VNS Health Home Health Aide

August 3, 2022–“As long as you have a sense of responsibility and love, you don’t need to worry,” says Yuehua Wu, a VNS Health Personal Care home health aide, about her experiences caring for her clients. Wu, who is from Guangdong, China, has been working as a home health aide for VNS Health Personal Care since 2016, after a friend introduced her to the organization. Over the past six years, she has gone from being an uncertain rookie to an experienced aide whose clients trust like a family member. “At the very beginning, I didn’t know how to interact with seniors,” Wu says. She became a home health aide in her early 40s and she still remembers how nervous she was her first day on the job. “Aides only talk with their mouth without doing anything with their hands,” her client told Wu on her first day of work. Although she felt

A Day in the Life of Personal Care and MLTC Nurse Xiang Jin

July 11, 2022–Welcome to another edition of “A Day in the Life”—a Frontline series that follows team members from different parts of VNS Health as they go about a typical day at work. Xiang Jin, a nurse in VNS Health Personal Care, works three days a week calling on patients who belong to our Chinatown NNORC (Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community), and two days per week caring for members of VNS Health’s MLTC health plan. We asked him to take us through a sample day of his (very full!) schedule. 5:30 a.m. I started at VNS Health six years ago as a per-diem nurse with the MLTC health plan, then I was offered three days a week as a NNORC nurse. I continue to work with the MLTC plan Mondays and Fridays because of the nursing shortage. I also do my own scheduling, which makes for a very busy week and long days! Because

Become a Caregiver and Start Again — Meet JinXia Huang, Partners in Care Home Health Aide

May 3, 2022–Man proposes, God disposes. What do you do with changes in life? Partners in Care HHA JinXia Huang was planning to reunite with her parents in the U.S., but her father passed away a few days before she arrived. Her American dream was broken. However, she didn’t lose faith and hope, she chose to be a HHA and start her new life. She said, “Thanks for this job as a home health aide. The flexible schedule allows us to be self-reliant and help others.” JinXia Huang is from Taishan, Guangdong. The three sisters of Huang’s family have been separated from their parents for many years. Their parents worked in the United States and supported the family. Before the US visa interview in 2012, the father suddenly passed away and he failed to see his daughters. Her American dream of family reunion was broken, and the pain and depression took more

National Nurses Month Special: Saluting Years of Dedicated Service

May 11, 2022–This year, in celebration of National Nurses Month, VNSNY honors—and thanks— all of the nurses whose hard work and dedication make such a vital and colossal contribution, and difference, to the lives of our patients, clients and members across the organization. As a special highlight, Frontline spoke to the longest-serving nurses in each part of the organization. Click on their names to go directly to their stories or just scroll here to read them all! Myrna Agosto Susan Banner Myra Cohen Eloise Goldberg Lisa Miller Elisabeth Regis Karen Terry Betty Velez Nancy Washburn Deborah Wilson   Myrna Agosto, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Queens/Brooklyn Mobile Crisis Unit, Behavioral Health — 33 years at VNSNY “I see the possibilities.” As a psychiatric nurse practitioner in the Queens/Brooklyn Mobile Crisis Unit, Myrna Agosto spends her days working with vulnerable patients at very difficult times in their lives. “Typically, we’ll get a referral

Find Out What’s Happening… Here Are the Latest News Briefs from Around VNSNY!

November 30, 2021–Welcome to the latest edition of “News Briefs from Around VNSNY”— featuring quick updates on recent news and happenings across the organization.If you have any news or announcements that you’d like to submit for consideration in an upcoming edition, please click here. VNSNY’s (Virtual) Gala Raises More Than $1.4 Million! Despite fervent hopes that the 2021 Benefit Gala would be an in-person event, VNSNY made the difficult decision not to host a large, indoor celebration quite yet this year. “Even though we had to pivot to a virtual event, we released a pre-recorded program video on November 11th that people can watch at their convenience,” says John Billeci, VNSNY’s Vice President of Special Events. “It contains many of the same elements that our in-person event usually has, including a video about VNSNY and the presentation of our Lillian D. Wald Award to this year’s honorees.”  Emceed by Emmy-Award-winning PIX11 anchor

Meet Our 2021 ESPRIT Winners!

November 16, 2021