A History of Hospice and Home Care in NJ
VNA: The Leader in Community Health Care for more than 100 years, Visiting Nurse Association Health Group has served vulnerable populations such as at-risk children, the elderly, those with disabling and chronic illness, and people facing the end of life.
A Long History of Caring for Others
Our organization began with a meeting of volunteers on June 24, 1912, at Brookdale Farm in Lincroft, NJ. The young organization set out to improve prison conditions and achieve a more humane approach to public assistance. By 1918, the agency adopted the name Monmouth County Organization for Social Service (MCOSS).
The 1930s brought a training program for student nurses, nursery and play schools at the Hartshorne Health Center in Belford to assist working mothers, and an expansion of services for handicapped children. The agency also assisted Fitkin Hospital (now Jersey Shore Medical Center) in establishing a social service department.
During the war years, MCOSS spearheaded a pioneering medical-dental plan for veterans. In the late 1940s, the agency participated in organizing the Cancer Society, Heart Association and Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center in the county. The agency’s program that provided healthcare for migrant workers received national recognition. In the following decade, the agency gave field training to graduate nursing students from Rutgers and Columbia Universities.
In the 1960s, the agency and the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders worked out a plan for countywide bedside nursing care. An active Southern Monmouth Auxiliary opened the doors of the Thrift Shop in Manasquan in 1960.
The high quality of nursing, the aging of the population, the growing costs of hospital care and advances in-home care technology led to explosive growth in-home care in NJ services in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1988, the agency expanded to serve the people of Middlesex County through acquisition of the Visiting Nurse Association in Middlesex. In an effort to make the organization’s identity clear in both Middlesex County and Monmouth County, the agency’s trustees voted in December, 1993 to adopt the name Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ).
Significant developments of the 1980s and 1990s included the founding of the VNA hospice program; growth of the rehabilitation therapy services department; and establishment of primary care centers staffed by nurse practitioners. In 1988, our hospice care program in NJ was certified by Medicare, and now serves more than 3,000 terminally ill patients and their families annually.
In 2008, VNA of Central Jersey joined with Visiting Nurse and Hospice Services and partnered with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to enhance and expand home and community care options for the residents of Mercer, Somerset, Union, Burlington, Gloucester, and Camden counties. In 2009, Essex Valley Visiting Nurse Association, serving residents in Essex and Hudson counties, joined the VNACJ family.
In 2011, VNA of Central Jersey, its affiliates and partners joined together as Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Health Group and added, its most recent member VNA of Englewood. In 2016, VNA Health Group and RWJBarnabas Health formed a partnership to provide home health, hospice and private care services in Burlington, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean Counties, operating as Barnabas Health Home Care and Hospice in Northern New Jersey and VNA of Central Jersey in Central and Southern New Jersey.
Today, VNA Health Group is the state’s largest not-for-profit community health provider of home health, hospice and community services. More than 1,500 certified home health aides, therapists, social workers, and visiting nurses bring their skilled care and compassion to people who need it most each day. Whether in their homes or through community programs, VNA bridges gaps to secure the health care people need most. Our home and hospice care services reach people who need them most—many who may never have known about them.
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Our Mission Statement
Visiting Nurse Association Health Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families achieve their best level of well-being by providing compassionate, coordinated, innovative care in their homes and communities.
Learn more about the VNA, or get a referral. To contact us, call 800-400-0981.
We partner with organizations who are driving innovation and quality to achieve patient-centered and cost-effective care. To top it all off we are nationally recognized, accredited and Medicare-certified with the skills to provide you the highest quality of care.