Executive director talks about the mission of Visiting Nurse Association of Utica and Oneida County
By David Podos
Amy Bowerman is the executive director for Home Care Services for Mohawk Valley Health System. It consists of three companies, Visiting Nurse Association of Utica and Oneida County, Mohawk Valley Home Care and Senior Network Health. It has 49 clinical staff and an annual budget of $12 million.
She has been executive director since 2020.
Q: What services are offered through the Visiting Nurse Association?
A: We have a comprehensive line of services that we offer to patients in their private residence. We have skilled nursing, rehabilitation services which offers many types of therapies such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and respiratory therapy. We also have medical social workers that come into the home and help with counseling, as well as health aides that provide personal care and daily activities.
Q: What criteria have to be met for a person to receive assistance from the Visiting Nurse Association?
A: We are an extension of acute care. So a lot of times when a patient is coming home from the hospital and not able to access services that they need to improve as an outpatient, we provide those services. So, we generally require that a patient would have difficulty leaving their home for continued therapy services; if that is the case we then can provide our services. They must also be under the care of a personal physician. The care we give is short-term and intermittent as we want to see our patients get back on their feet and be as independent as soon as possible for their well being. We accept most all private insurance coverages as well as Medicaid and Medicare coverage.
Q: How is the organization funded?
A: That is based primary on insurance reimbursement. However, we do have some patients that are private pay.
Q: How do the services you provide contribute to the emotional, psychological and physical well being of your patients?
A: Well, I think most people want to be in their own home. That’s where they are really comfortable. So most patients are really receptive to receiving care in their homes because that is where they want to be. That is where they heal the best.
Q: You provide your services in Oneida County, are there considerations to offer those services to adjacent counties?
A: We are always looking for growth and development in our surrounding counties. There is always a potential for that.
For more information on VNA of Utica and Oneida County, call 315- 624-8903.