‘Eyes and Ears of 500,000 Patients’

“Home health agencies provide interdisciplinary health care to individuals at home,” wrote HCA President Al Cardillo in a recent opinion piece for the Legislative Gazette.

“You may be familiar with some forms of this care. Thousands of exceptional people with specialized training make it happen, working together to overcome countless medical, social and environmental hurdles in too-often untold ways.”


The Gazette piece, describing home care as the “eyes and ears of more than 500,000 NY patients,” was one of many ways that HCA, our provider members and organizations across the U.S. celebrated National Home Care and Hospice Month in November.

One example of those “eyes and ears” is Capital Region-based Eddy Visiting Nurse and Rehab Association. The Eddy’s home care division has served the community for over 100 years, says its Vice President Michelle Mazzacco, an HCA Board Member, in a video featuring patients and caregivers that is posted to Facebook (please share!).

“We bring the expertise of nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists, social workers and home health aides into patients’ homes every single day to help them finish recovering from an illness or injury.” Upon a patient’s discharge from the hospital or therapy facility setting, these specially trained teams “have an opportunity to meet [patients] at home, to see what their home environment is like, to help them make sure they can get around the home environment safely and to get them back on their feet again.”

Throughout the month of November, Visiting Nurse Service of New York used social media to cover multiple dimensions of home care and hospice practice through the stories of patients and VNSNY staff. Many of these stories are collected in one place: Stories of Care – Every Encounter Tells a Story.

There you’ll learn about a former Army medic who is providing compassionate hospice care to veterans, VNSNY’s care for the oldest living American, a woman undergoing hospice care who devoted her lifetime to activism and affordable housing advocacy, and some of the specialized programs championed by VNSNY to help patients coping with depression, physical therapy needs, diabetic wound care, and more.

VNSNY President Marki Flannery also marked the occasion by highlighting a newly launched VNSNY Care360° Solutions initiative, which provides care management through insurers to help vulnerable members with multiple chronic illnesses avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and make lifestyle changes that support independence and well-being.

HCA’s National Home Care Month website has some additional stories. But this recognition work is not limited to November. Please consider using the occasion — especially before the begin of legislative session — as an opportunity to visit with a home care patient and see home care in action, no matter what time of year.

HCA is happy to help facilitate these important connections with patients in your district supported by exceptional teams delivering specialized, compassionate and cost-effective care directly in patients’ homes.

Please contact HCA’s Communications Director Roger Noyes at (518) 810-0665 or rnoyes@hcanys.org for assistance or information.