Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia records
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing [Contact Us]Claire Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Boulevard, Floor 2U, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-4217
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
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In 1959, in response to the need for a modern, innovative, and community-oriented public health nursing agency, Community Nursing Services of Philadelphia (CNSP) was created by the merging of services of the City of Philadelphia's Division of Public Health Nursing and of the Visiting Nurse Society. This merger was intended to reduce duplication of nursing services in the home so that CNSP would serve both those sick at home and those requiring nursing services in public health clinics. From 1959 to 1979, Community Nursing Services provided all nursing services in City Health Department clinics. It also delivered multidisciplinary preventative, therapeutic, and rehabilitative services to individuals and families in the home.
By 1977, it became evident that this arrangement between the Community Nursing Services and the City of Philadelphia was becoming less efficient as trends in the health care system were making such a combined agency impossible. In the 1970s, city-financed health services demonstrated changing priorities. The city's categorical clinics were consolidated into family medical care clinics, clinic nurses ceased making home visits, and traditional functions of public health nurses were delegated to city personnel such as health program representatives and social workers.
To address this problem of conflicting goals, a planning committee of the Community Nursing Service Board was appointed to study CNSP's mission, and outside consultants were engaged to assist in the study. The report of the Board's Committee recommended formation of an independent, non-profit, broad-based community organization to provide needed home health services to Philadelphia residents.
The Community Nursing Services, Visiting Nurse Society of Philadelphia, and the City of Philadelphia agreed with the Committee's recommendation. They terminated the 1959 agreement on June 30, 1979. As of July 1, 1979, an independent, voluntary, not-for-profit, incorporated agency was established known as Community Home Health Services of Philadelphia (CHHSP). The agency's newly formed Board of Trustees consisted of representatives from the City of Philadelphia, the Visiting Nurse Society, hospitals, non-profit nursing homes, and from various community organizations.
This agency continued in the tradition of Community Nursing Services, providing care to Philadelphia residents regardless of ability to pay. Funding was obtained from fees paid by individuals, Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross, and other types of insurance. Additional sources of funding included the United Way, private foundations, grant programs, and contracts for services. The Visiting Nurse Society contributed its endowment fund income. The City of Philadelphia entered into a contractual agreement with CHHSP for home health care services for patients who were enrolled in the Department's Family Medical Care program or in other community health service programs. The city was also in agreement with CHHSP for Philadelphia Nursing Home when home health services were effective alternatives to institutionalization.
CHHSP became the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia in 1990. Shortly afterward, a parent company, Philadelphia Home Care, was formed. While some health care services were realigned, the VNA of Greater Philadelphia continues to provide services to all Philadelphia residents. It is the only agency in Philadelphia that serves the whole geographic area and all economic groups of the population.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia is the successor agency to the Visiting Nurse Society of Philadelphia (whose role in recent years has shifted to funding the VNAGP). Separately incorporated, the VNAGP records consist of cost studies for the delivery of home care, reports to the National League of Nursing and other organizations, internal office files, and annual reports.
- University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Center staff, updated by Bethany Myers
- This collection was processed with funds provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission as part of the Nursing History Processing and Cataloging Project.
- Access Restrictions
This collection is unrestricted.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Center with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.
This series includes the annual report booklets from 1980-1993 and the agency's Mission Statement, Philosophy, and Objectives, 1978. There are minutes from Central office meetings (1975-1976), employee council meetings (1980), operational meetings (1980-81), and staff meetings (1978-81). The correspondence files include incoming and outgoing correspondence for funding reimbursement for services and vendor selection. The agency's personnel policies and procedure manual of 1980 is here, as is the contract "Medicare Tool-up Program" with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in preparation for Medicare certification. The study and final report for a Regional Visiting Nurse Association Project for one agency for the five county areas (1988-1989) are found in this series as well.
Found within this series are files of Sheila M. Loughlin, Executive Director from 1978 to 1981. These include administrative correspondence, files regarding Loughlin's activities with the National League for Nursing (such as "Ten Agency Group" meetings whose purpose was to demonstrate leadership in the home health field), the Council of Home Health Agencies, and with Community Health Services. The files of her remarks to the general staff concerning the establishment of the CHHS of Philadelphia (1979) are also included in this series.
This is a small series which includes a short history of CNS of Philadelphia published in a medical journal (1961) and a news release for the formation of the CHHS of Philadelphia (1979). Brochures, posters, publications of CHHS Visitor (1984-1990) and VNA Visitor (1991-1994), recruitment posters for staff, as well as the artwork for brochures and posters can be found in this series.
Included in this series are the original hand-written worksheets of audit reports and cost studies of CHHS administration expenditures and health service programs.
The photographs in this series record group photographs of staff and board members on two separate occasions for award recognition, one being a luncheon and the other a reception.
This series includes a "Community Home Health Services" flag, plaque, and pencils.
Here are audio and video cassettes prepared by the agency for television and radio spots.