Thank You to the Ridgefield Chorale!

RVNAhealth would like to extend a tremendous congratulations and thank you to the Ridgefield Chorale for their Sunday night Holiday Pops concert performance, hosted at the Ridgefield Playhouse!

With over 300 tickets sold — and on an appropriately snowy evening — attendees were treated to an array of holiday vocal and musical talent. Thanks to the virtuosity of the Chorale and the tremendous generosity of concert underwriters (the Kinne family, Blandine Lewine, Stephen and Patricia Ross, the Stockel family, and McLaughlin & Stern), the concert raised $5,500 for RVNAhealth’s Well-Child program. This money will fund much needed annual physicals and immunizations for uninsured children in our local area. Thank you for giving the gift of health to the children and families we serve!

The Ridgefield Chorale, led by Artistic Director, Daniela Sikora, includes four RVNAhealth employees: Jennifer Christensen, Nora Cascella, Tammy Strom, and Lynn Schneider. Thank you all for sharing your gift of holiday music with concert attendees and RVNAhealth’s Well-Child program!

Keri Linardi wins 2022 Judith Hriceniak Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership

Keri Linardi, RN, BSN, PHN, CHPCA, Chief Clinical Officer of RVNAhealth was awarded the 2022 Judith Hriceniak Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership on Thursday, November 3rd by the Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home (CAHCH). The annual award, CAHCH’s highest honor, was presented at their annual conference in Hartford, and recognizes a nursing leader who is a visionary role model in the development and implementation of innovative projects that positively affect the ever-changing home care environment. Linardi was nominated by her RVNAhealth team.

Tracy Wodatch, President and CEO of CAHCH presented the award, sharing elements and excerpts from the nomination, which highlighted Linardi’s leadership and visionary thinking. Included in the nomination were the following words from Theresa Santoro, MSN, RN, CHCA, RVNAhealth President and CEO, and 2020 winner of the same award, reflecting the organization’s admiration for Linardi:

Keri Linardi is a true visionary in the field of home health and hospice. Throughout her nursing leadership career and since joining RVNAhealth, Keri has challenged the status quo and set out to mentor and educate clinical management and staff. Her unwavering “patients over paperwork” mentality, ability to look at processes globally to maximize efficiencies, commitment to quality, and dedication to inspiring her staff by leading through example makes her an outstanding representative of this award.

Since joining RVNAhealth in 2018, Keri has greatly expanded the agency’s suite of services, including a palliative care program to support symptom management in all phases of disease progression, and a robust hospice program whose census has increased fivefold since its inception four years ago. Her accomplishments, set on the backdrop of a global pandemic and our merger with Bethel VNA and New Milford Visiting Nurse and Hospice, and you are reminded of what this nursing leader is capable of. Her knowledge of our industry and her leadership style has been transformative to our entire organization.

Linardi, who accepted the award alongside members of her family, expressed her appreciation. “I am extremely humbled to receive such a prestigious award, and to have been nominated by my team, without whom, none of our accomplishments here at RVNAhealth would be possible.  It is very fulfilling to work for an agency that embraces vision and change and a continuum of care. I am extremely lucky.”

The Judith Hriceniak Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership is named for Dr. Judith Hriceniak (1938-2000), who began her career as a registered nurse and director of Home Care Services at Bristol Hospital in Connecticut and went on to become an acclaimed champion and advocate of nursing education, serving as a mentor and role model, and receiving broad recognition for her achievements and contributions.

RVNAhealth Earns Top Workplaces Award for the 10th Time!

For the 10th time since 2011, RVNAhealth has earned a Top Workplaces award from Hearst Connecticut Media. The award is given to local companies that lead the way in workplace culture based on employee surveys. At RVNAhealth, the employees surveyed include clinical staff — nurses, rehabilitation therapists, and certified nursing assistants — as well as non-medical caregivers and administrative staff. RVNAhealth places in the mid-sized company category which includes companies with between 100 and 999 employees.

“2022 has been a year of gratitude for our employees who embody the mission and culture of our organization.  Following the pandemic and our 2020 merger with Bethel Visiting Nurse Association and New Milford Visiting Nurse & Hospice, I am proud to see the continued strength and dedication of our employees,” says Theresa Santoro, MSN, RN, CHCA, President and CEO of RVNAhealth.  “Earning this award validates the strength of the RVNAhealth mission, and the commitment of our employees to the patients and communities we serve.  It is an honor to work alongside this talented team.”

The Top Workplaces designation was awarded to 59 local Connecticut companies this year. To be considered, a company must be located in Fairfield, Litchfield, or New Haven County, have at least 35 employees, and be nominated for the award by a current employee.  Company employees then complete a survey on their organization after which results are tabulated and prizes awarded.

RVNAhealth was also named a Hearst Connecticut Media Top Workplace in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021.  In addition to enjoying a mission-driven, rewarding workplace, RVNAhealth employees receive a full range of benefits including: medical and dental insurance, company-paid life insurance, a retirement plan with generous matching contributions, flexible work arrangements, training, professional development, and career paths. To learn more about joining the RVNAhealth family, visit  rvnahealth.org/careers/.

‘Twas the Season — Warm, Generous, Fun

One of the reasons RVNAhealth is a top workplace year after year is because of the friendships and partnerships we have — both within our organization, and with others. They enrich our days and our work, and are just plain fun. Continue reading

Happy Caregiver Appreciation Week 2021

This past week RVNAhealth took time to celebrate Caregiver Appreciation Week and thank our StayingWELL caregivers for their tireless efforts in helping our clients to remain safely and confidently in their homes.  Caregivers were treated to a drop-in reception and a pampering-themed gift bag in both our Ridgefield and New Milford offices.  The StayingWELL caregiving team — over 200 strong — is a group of award-winning individuals who bring pride and compassion to their work and clients. We appreciate and thank these individuals for their tremendous contributions each and every day!

2021 Excellence in Emergency Management Response

On Friday, October 22, RVNAhealth was awarded the 2021 Excellence in Emergency Management Response Award by the Connecticut Association of Healthcare at Home (CAHCH).  The official presentation took place at the annual CAHCH Conference (held virtually again this year) and recognizes an individual, team, or agency that has demonstrated great emergency preparedness and management response skills through an emergency.

RVNAhealth received this award for extraordinary efforts and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The onset and early months of the pandemic were a time of great unknowns and uncertainty, and the RVNAhealth Emergency Management team, led by President & CEO, Theresa Santoro and Chief Clinical Officer, Keri Linardi, employed vision, collaboration, and ingenuity to enable RVNAhealth to step forward from the moment the pandemic arrived in Connecticut. The RVNAhealth Emergency Management team, composed of directors across RVNAhealth departments — including clinical, rehabilitation, and personal caregiving, philanthropy, IT, human resources, intake, finance, and marketing — set the stage for an agency-wide commitment to serving our patients, while ensuring the health and safety of our team and their families.

Since mid-March 2020, RVNAhealth has not turned away a single COVID-19 patient.  We have served over 300 COVID-19 patients, partnered with over 20 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, and maintained an exceptionally low infection rate throughout. During this time, we have also served thousands of non-COVID patients, enabling them to get the care they needed, at home or at the RVNAhealth headquarters, without risk of infection. Beginning in January 2021, RVNAhealth — committed to the containment of the global pandemic — began administering COVID-19 vaccines as an official State of CT provider.

RVNAhealth is deeply grateful to CAHCH for their recognition of RVNAhealth’s work and response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

See RVNAhealth in action in the early days of the pandemic.

RVNAhealth Earns Top Workplaces Award for the 9th Time!

We did it again!

For the 9th time since 2011, RVNAhealth has earned a Top Workplaces award from Hearst Connecticut Media. The award is given to local companies that lead the way in workplace culture based on employee surveys. At RVNAhealth, the employees surveyed include clinical staff — nurses, rehabilitation therapists, and certified nursing assistants — as well as non-medical caregivers and administrative staff. RVNAhealth places in the mid-sized company category which includes companies with between 100 and 500 employees.      

“2021 marks RVNAhealth’s first year as a ‘tri-agency’ — following our November 2020 merger with Bethel Visiting Nurse Association and New Milford Visiting Nurse & Hospice,” says Theresa Santoro, MSN, RN, CHCA, President and CEO of RVNAhealth.  “Earning this award together validates the strength of the union and the depth of our commitment to the work we do and the patients and communities we serve.  Each year, RVNAhealth faces new healthcare challenges and experiences new triumphs, and earning the Top Workplaces Award is always immensely gratifying. It is a pleasure to work alongside such a talented and compassionate team.” 

The Top Workplaces designation was awarded to 51 Connecticut companies this year. To be considered, a company must be located in Fairfield, Litchfield, or New Haven County, have at least 35 employees, and be nominated for the award by a current employee.  Company employees then complete a survey on their organization after which results are tabulated and prizes awarded.

RVNAhealth was also named a Hearst Connecticut Media Top Workplace in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2020.  In addition to enjoying a mission-driven, rewarding workplace, RVNAhealth employees receive a full range of benefits including medical and dental insurance, company-paid life insurance, a retirement plan with generous matching contributions, flexible work arrangements, training and professional development, agency laptops and cell phones. To learn more about joining the RVNAhealth family, visit  rvnahealth.org/careers/.

 

About RVNAhealth

RVNAhealth is a private, nonprofit, Medicare-certified organization that provides exceptional home and community health care services, supports public health and safety, and has promoted the highest quality of life for over 100 years.

RVNAhealth’s services are categorized into four WELLs —including BeWELL: Services to Keep You Healthy; GetWELL: Services to Recover Your Best Health; StayWELL: Services to Remain Safely in Your Home; and ComfortWELL; Hospice Care to Provide Comfort and Peace. The WELLs represent our continuum of care that serves individuals across a lifetime. Services include wellness and prevention, home health, hospice, rehabilitation, community health, and skilled nursing, among others. 

During RVNAhealth’s century of care, our name, services, and reach have evolved to meet the care and wellness needs of all those we serve, yet our focus on excellent care, quality and safety, and our guiding philosophy have remained steadfast – the individuals and patients we care for come first.


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 Employee Appreciation Day 2021

It was Employee Appreciation Day at RVNAhealth on Friday March 5, 2021 and all team members were invited to the Ridgefield and New Milford offices for lunch at a midday food truck featuring all-time favorites, pizza and grilled cheese. Continue reading