On the Road with COVID Vaccines

It was a busy weekend for RVNAhealth as we took our show on the road bringing COVID-19 vaccines — and food — to local events in Danbury and Ridgefield.  In Danbury, we administered over 40 vaccines at the Assembly Church of God alongside our friends at the Community Food Rescue CT, who arrived with a refrigerated truck of food. After receiving COIVD-19 vaccines, attendees at the clinic received bags filled with goodies to take home with them.  

In Ridgefield, we joined the We All Shine On festival, offering COVID-19 vaccines to kids right there on Main Street and serving up delectable energy bites and chia seed pudding, handmade by RVNAhealth registered dietitian and nutrition educator, Monica Marcello, MS, RD, who was on hand with recipes and education. 

Welcome Sophia!

Today we welcome a very special addition to our RVNAhealth team — her name is Sophia, and she is our very own therapy dog! Needless to say, there have been lots of ooohs and aaahs around the Ridgefield office today. Sophia is three years old and has been in training since her birth.  She was originally intended to be a seeing eye dog, but her calm demeanor and mild pace ultimately destined her to be the perfect facility/therapy dog.Continue reading

Volunteer Training: A Gift for Life

“The experience is a game changer,” says Ridgefield resident Maureen Bohrer (below, right), referring to the 16-hour training she attended as part of her RVNAhealth hospice volunteer orientation. While some prospective hospice volunteers find the hours daunting, Bohrer considers it a gift.Continue reading

RVNAhealth to Host COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for Children with Special Needs

Beginning Thursday, June 10th, RVNAhealth will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine clinics for children with special needs, ages 12-18. The clinics will be held at RVNAhealth in Ridgefield each Thursday in June (6/10, 6/17, and 6/24) from 9:00am – 10:30am. Additional clinics will be added in July if needed. These limited appointments are reserved especially for kids with special mental, physical, or emotional needs.  The light, clean environment of the RVNAhealth Center for Exceptional Care, paired with the skill and experience of RVNAhealth nurses, offers a calming environment and experience for vaccine recipients.

Appointments may be made here.

Please contact Stephanie Collins at 203-438-5555 x1012 with questions or for further information. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be administered, and second dose vaccines will be offered three weeks following the first dose.

These clinics are being offered as part of RVNAhealth’s mission to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals and communities without easy access, or with more complicated situations.  This initiative is made possible by the generosity of the Barker Welfare Foundation, Ridgefield Fresh Air Fund and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

RVNAhealth to Offer COVID-19 Vaccines to Kids Ages 12-18 at We All Shine On 

On Saturday, June 12 (rain date June 13), RVNAhealth will be offering COVID-19 vaccines to area children ages 12-18 at the We All Shine On town festival in Ridgefield.  The vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech) will be offered from 10:00am – 12:00pm at the RVNAhealth table in front of the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance at 440 Main Street. No pre-appointments are being scheduled —interested families may walk up, or schedule a time at the RVNAhealth booth on the day of the fair.  Parents/guardians must be present and a 15-30 minute monitoring time will follow the administration of the vaccine.

While IDs and insurance are not required to receive the vaccine, we do ask that those with insurance bring their cards to help cover the costs of vaccine administration.

With over 15,000 COVID-19 vaccines already administered, and thousands of flu shots under our belt each year, the RVNAhealth nursing team is especially experienced and sensitive to the concerns of kids and shots.  Even at a springtime street fair, we are committed to a calm, efficient and pleasant experience. Post vaccine treats will most certainly be offered.

RVNAhealth will not be back out on Main Street for second doses three weeks following these vaccines, but we’ll work with all attendees to schedule your second vaccine.  Please contact RVNAhealth at 203-438-5555 x1012 with any questions.

This initiative is made possible by the generosity of the Barker Welfare Foundation, Ridgefield Fresh Air Fund, and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

Hail to the RVNAhealth Nurses!

This May, in recognition of National Nurses Week and Month and the extraordinary work we have been doing for the last year —indeed the last century! — RVNAhealth became a participating member in the DAISY Award program, an international initiative founded to express gratitude to nurses for the extraordinary skillful and compassionate care they provide to patients and families.  In launching this program, RVNAhealth joins nearly 5,000 healthcare facilities and schools who participate in the program.

The program – officially called The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses – was founded in 1999 by the family of Patrick Barnes, who witnessed exceptional nursing care for Patrick during the final weeks of his life. Patrick succumbed to an autoimmune disease at the age of 33 and hence the DAISY — Diseases Attacking the Immune System — Award was born. Since 1999, the DAISY Award has flourished and is now awarded in all 50 states and in over 25 countries. Being named a DAISY nurse is a life-long designation.

For the inaugural round of the DAISY Award, RVNAhealth clinical team members were invited to submit nominations for their colleagues and team members across the GetWELL (home health) and ComfortWELL (hospice) disciplines, extolling the professionalism, dedication, drive, and genuine kindness that our team witnesses daily in their co-workers. The nominations were then reviewed blindly — with names anonymous — by an RVNAhealth DAISY Award committee who selected the DAISY honorees.

The May 2021 inaugural RVNAhealth DAISY Award honorees are: Kate Anthony, RN, GetWELL Home Health (pictured above, at right) and Adriana Clesidor, RN, ComfortWELL Hospice care (pictured above, at left). Both Kate Anthony and Adriana Clesidor received not only heartfelt and glowing nominations from their colleagues, they also received multiple nominations each.

Anthony, a biology major who started her career in Human Resources before returning to school for a nursing degree, is famous among the RVNAhealth team for her intense dedication to her patients, and her persistence in getting a job well done.  Kate Anthony is not only an excellent and skilled nurse, her sensitivity and compassion are boundless.

Likewise, Adriana.

Prior to finding her place in hospice care, Adriana worked in many other venues —a jail, a hospital, a nursing home, and with a state department of mental health. But Adriana was after people, more than paperwork, and she sought the human connection. At RVNAhealth, she has found it in hospice care. And Adriana is single-minded about helping patients ‘wrap up their lives’ with pride, dignity, and a recognition of the value they have brought to their worlds.

“The DAISY Award,’ says RVNAhealth Chief Clinical Officer, Keri Linardi, RN, BSN, PHN, CHPCA, “unites nurses across an agency, but also connects them to the universe of nurses and recognizes and honors them among their peers. It’s a special tradition and one that we are proud to introduce to RVNAhealth.”  Daisy Award Honorees receive many benefits for their lifetime, including reduced tuition at Chamberlain University College of Nursing, special invitations from professional nursing organizations, access to scholarships and grants, and more.

In addition to Kate Anthony, RN, and Adriana Clesidor, RN, the following RVNAhealth nurses received DAISY Award Nominations:

GetWELL (Home Health)

  • Jackie Belowich, RN
  • Ashley Dibble, RN
  • Brenda Kimberly, LPN
  • Autumn Longo, RN
  • Amy Maier, RN

ComfortWELL (Hospice)

  • Tashanda Benjamin, LPN
  • Tammi Book, BSN, RN
  • Karyn Doherty, LPN
  • Lauren Messina, MA, BSN, RN
  • Catherine Peru, BSN, RN
  • Nancy Schaffer, BSN, RN
  • Karen Tiberi, BSN, RN
  • Jessica Velasco, RN

Moving forward, DAISY Awards will be actively encouraged from the entire RVNAhealth organization, as well as from patients, family members, and physicians who experience or observe extraordinary compassionate care being provided by a nurse. RVNAhealth is also adding a DAISY Award category for our BeWELL team nurses, who represent RVNAhealth in the community.

RVNAhealth Talks OT on ‘Lutheran Home Live’

Recently RVNAhealth had a chance to discuss Occupational Therapy with Wendy Mutter, Marketing Director and Admissions Liaison from Lutheran Home of Southbury.  Wendy hosts a regular series called Lutheran Home Live, profiled on Southbury.com, aiming to educate the Southbury public on available health and aging services.  Danielle Taibi MOTR/L, CDP (below, left), a licensed Occupational Therapist since 2013 and Home Health Aide Supervisor for RVNAhealth StayWELL Services, had a chance to talk about RVNAhealth services and cover the basics of Occupational Therapy and its approach.

Danielle Taibi, MOTR/L, CDP

Danielle began by explaining the difference between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy – a topic very often misunderstood.  Occupational Therapy often focuses on addressing an injury or illness that has disrupted a person’s normal activities of daily life – activities as basic as eating, bathing, dressing, for example – and then helping that person regain function.  Typically, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist will have the same goals for a patient’s recovery, but their approach and techniques will differ.  Occupational Therapy focuses less on bio-mechanical exercise — typical of physical therapy — and more on common meaningful activities and fine motor skills to help one regain their optimal function.  Danielle provided the example of using laundry folding as a functional Occupational Therapy technique to work on a person’s range of motion improvement.

Falls prevention was another topic discussed and of frequent importance to Occupational Therapists working in the home.  More than 1 in 4 older adults fall every year and 60% of these falls happen in the home.  When an Occupational Therapist enters a home to work on mobility issues, falls prevention is a priority and can be addressed through a home assessment.  An Occupational Therapist can identify risks in the home and make recommendations, often starting with the removal or securing of area rugs and electrical wires and assessing the bathroom for possible assistance equipment needs or grab bars.  While often simple recommendations, changes such as these can make a significant difference to remaining safe in one’s home.

RVNAhealth offers Occupational Therapy services both in the home and at our outpatient Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, located in Ridgefield.  Please visit our website to learn more about RVNAhealth’s Occupational Therapy services and team.  And for more information specific to falls prevention, please see RVNAhealth’s recent Falls Prevention webinar.

Thank you to Wendy Mutter of the Lutheran Home of Southbury for profiling Occupational Therapy and RVNAhealth.  And thank you to On the Mend Medical Supplies & Equipment for hosting the interview in their wonderful store in Southbury.  You can view the full video interview here.

For more information on Occupational Therapy or other services provided by RVNAhealth, please email or contact us at 203-438-5555 x2.

Community Food Drive in Progress!

This summer, RVNAhealth is partnering with the Danbury Health Department to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine reaches underserved communities where obstacles, such as time, transportation, information, and access, are preventing people from getting vaccinated.Continue reading