The year was 1970 - and the Visiting Nurse Association of Porter County began providing nursing care and physical therapy from a little three-room house on Calumet Street in Valparaiso with one nurse and a bank balance of $1,467.96. Since then, the organization has grown from serving 126 patients in the first year to 2,740 patients and clients in 2009.
In recognition of their 40th Anniversary and in gratitude for the continued support of the community, the VNA will host a celebration on Sunday, September 26, 2010 from 1pm to 5pm at the VNA, 2401 Valley Drive, in Valparaiso. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
The celebration includes food, drink, and dessert, with music and entertainment for the whole family. Scheduled festivities:
- 1:00-2:00pm Rusty the Railcat
- 1:30pm Opening Program and Butterfly Release
- 2:00-4:00pm Bingo with Prizes and Celebrity Caller, Phil Potempa
- 3:30-4:30pm Balloon Sculptures 4:30-5:00pm Magic Show
In addition to the scheduled events, there will be a Dino Jump, face painting, fire department and ambulance exhibits, as well as the opportunity to donate blood at the Red Cross Bloodmobile from 1-5 pm. The VNA will offer a tour of the new VNA Center for Grief and Healing in addition to a tour of VNA history from the past 40 years.
The VNA was founded in 1970 in response to Porter Memorial Hospital nurses who were concerned with the well-being of their recently discharged patients. The Beta Gamma Epsilon sorority served as a driving force in the establishment of the VNA, helping to mobilize members of the community to action and providing seed money for the fledgling agency. The agency has grown from one nurse to an organization with 200 staff members and 400 volunteers. Over the years, in response to community needs, VNA services have expanded from basic nursing care to also include rehabilitation therapies, social services, home and inpatient hospice care, companion homemaker service, Meals on Wheels, Lifeline, Telehealth, and senior wellness. Currently, the VNA is preparing to open the new VNA Center for Grief and Healing. Come celebrate the VNA's 40 years of service to the community, as they express their gratitude to those who have made it possible. For more information contact the VNA at (219) 462-5195 or visit the VNA's website at www.VNAportercounty.org.
Photo: The VNA's first staff nurse, Blanche Wright provides care for a patient in the early days of the VNA.