In our ongoing effort to provide continuing education and raise awareness, Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Wabash Valley, a non for profit agency offers a series of programs designed to address the needs and concerns of the community. We provide speakers at no cost to clubs, organizations, faith-based groups, senior centers and other interested audiences. The goal of our Speaker’ Bureau is to educate our community on home health and hospice services.
Our Speaker’s Bureau can tailor presentations according to your group’s needs and wishes.
• Basics of Home Health Care
• Hospice 101: Myths and Facts
To request a speaker for future presentations, please call (812) 232-7611 Ext. 248 at least one month prior to your preferred date. The Speakers Bureau is a free service. Donations are accepted to provide care to our clients in need.
Trudy Rupska, MS, RN – Chief Executive Officer
Jon Meier, RN, MBA – Clinical Director
Lynn Morales, BS, MBA, CPA – Finance Director
Kim Streeter, PHR – HR/Info Systems Director
Tracy Rippy, BSW – Business Development Director
Gayle Bland, RN, MSN – Regulatory Director
Karina Wallace, RN – VNA Manager
Robin Royce, RN – Hospice Manager
Kala Androvsky, RN – Intake Coordinator
Judi Boyd-Horndasch – Volunteer Coordinator
The Board of Directors of VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley guide the strategic direction and raise philanthropic support for the organization. We are honored and grateful to have such respected leaders from the Wabash Valley’s medical, business, and volunteer communities help serve our mission. We rely greatly upon their expertise, insights, and support.
Greg Gibson – President
Don Ireland – Vice President
President, Industrial Supply Company
B. Curtis Wilkinson – Secretary
Attorney, Wilkinson, Goeller, Modesitt, Wilkinson & Drummy
Don Scott – Treasurer
President, Sycamore Insurance Associates
Rose Hulman Institute of Technology
President, 500 Automotive Group
Girl Scouts of Central Indiana
Union Hospital Foundation
Saint Mary of the Woods College
Chief Nursing Officer,
Vice President Patient Care Services Union Hospital
Coldwell Banker/Troy Helman Realtors
Farr & Associates
Chief Financial Officer, Union Hospital
Chief Executive Officer,
VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley
President, Fox Canteen
Steven B. Heck
Complete Outdoor Equipment Company
Clifton Larson Allen LLP
Patients need a physician referral to qualify for payment through a health plan, such as Medicare or private insurance. Following the Physician’s Plan of Care, our inter-disciplinary team helps assess, direct care and provide patient/caregiver education.
VNA offers a wide range of Home Health services and programs, we customize care for patients that clearly adheres to their physician’s Care Plans.
SKILLED NURSING SERVICES: Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) support physician patient directives with in-home care in:
-Medication Management and Compliance
-Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
HOME HEALTH AIDE SERVICES: Skilled VNA Aides assist patients with their personal care and hygiene needs and provide light homemaking services.
MEDICAL SOCIAL SERVICES: VNA Social Workers support patients and families with emotional, psycho-social and financial counseling and assistance in accessing community resources.
THERAPY SERVICES: Rehabilitative services are available for patients requiring care in Physical, Occupational, Speech and Respiratory Therapy.
Whether you have had orthopedic surgery or a recent fall, have an increase in weakness or suffered the effects of a stroke, the VNA rehabilitation team can help you with your recovery. Our comprehensive team includes:
• Physical therapists
• Occupational therapists
• Speech Language pathologists
• Medical social workers
• Home health aides
Upon receiving an order from your physician, our therapists can:
• Evaluate, treat and educate you or your loved one in familiar surroundings
• Assess the patient and home for fall risks
• Review your medications for interactions and safety factors
• Make recommendations to support the rehabilitation process
• Provide rehabilitation therapy services that fit your schedule
• Talk with your physician about your progress
•Specialized post-op surgery programs for knee, hip and spinal surgeries and other fractures
•Chronis disease rehabilitation
•Home safety evaluations
•Gait and stair training
•Equipment evaluation and training
•Pain assessment and treatment
•Transfers and functional mobility training
•Improve upper extremity strength
•Improve independence in bathing, dressing, self-care and eating
•Upper extremity and hand therapy
•Balance and endurance training
•Assistance in wheelchair fitting
•Visual deficit training and safety evaluation
•Cognition evaluation and treatment
•Energy conservation and work simplification
Speech Language Therapy
•Cognitive function evaluation and treatment
•Verbal and graphic expression
The HomMed Home Monitoring System provides users the best of both worlds: the comfort and independence of staying at home and the security of daily monitoring and proper medical attention.
Each day the monitor will collect heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and weight. The monitor then transmits the data to our office for review by skilled VNA nurse. HomMed helps to reduce emergency room visits and hospital admissions by assisting clinicians to identify and appropriately treat patients before their conditions become serious.
Who Would Benefit?
Patients with congestive heart failure, cardiac disease, pulmonary disease and hypertension.
The Visiting Nurse Association of the Wabash Valley is certified to participate in the Medicare program. The information below describes the key criteria to establish home care eligibility. Please use this information as a guide only.
A patient is considered homebound by Medicare if:
- Leaving the home required a considerable and taxing effort
- Absences from the home for non-medical reasons are infrequent and are for a short period of time.
The patient must have been seen by the physician ordering homecare within the 90 days prior to the start of home health care, or within the 30 days after the start of care.
Plan of Care
Services must be provided under a Plan of Care established and approved by a physician. The Plan of Care must be reviewed and updated by the physician every 60 days.
The patient must have a need for skilled nursing, physical therapy or speech therapy on an intermittent part-time basis or a need for occupational therapy.
To meet the Medicare requirement guideline of “intermittent,” the patient must have a recurring need for skilled nursing, physical therapy or speech therapy at least once every 60 days.
Terre Haute Council of Women’s Clubs addressed the Chamber of Commerce re: the identified need for a public health nursing organization
Public Health Nursing Association incorporated
Name changed to Visiting Nurse Association of Terre Haute, Inc.
Medicare certification received; Physical Therapy and Home Health Aide services added
Service area expanded to Parke, Sullivan and Vermillion counties
Hospice of the Wabash Valley was founded by Jackie Fox, RN
Name was changed to VNA of the Wabash Valley. Clay Co added to service area. Social work, occupational and speech therapies were added
VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley merged.
• Individuals with an illness causing a limited life expectancy of 6 months or less, if the disease runs its normal course.
• Individuals that have chosen palliative care (treating symptoms) rather than curative treatment.
• Individuals who choose no extreme measures to sustain life.
To be eligible for hospice care, the patient’s doctor and the hospice medical director must certify that the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less, if the disease progression were to run its normal course. When a patient elects the hospice benefit they are accepted a goal of treatment focused on palliative care, comfort and relief from pain and symptoms.
Hospice is a covered benefit under Medicare and Medicaid. Many private insurance companies offer a hospice benefit plan. The cost of caring for patients without financial resources is offset by contributions, memorials, donations and fundraising.
No patient will be denied Hospice care because of race, color, creed, age, national orgin, gender, handicap, religion, genetic makeup, marital status, diagnosis, sexual preference, or because of inability to pay for Hospice services.
This is not an all-inclusive list. In fact, any disease process in the terminal stage is appropriate for hospice care.
• Heart disease
• Pulmonary disease
• Stroke and Coma
• Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
• End-Stage HIV/AIDS
• Liver and other digestive system diseases
• Renal disease
Hospice appropriate individuals may also exhibit some or all of the following:
• Frequent hospitalizations
• Progressive weight loss
• Deteriorating mental abilities
• Recurrent infections
• Overall decline in condition
Pharmaceutical and clinical management of pain and other symptoms
24-hour response by nursing staff
Case management and advocacy
Grief and loss counseling
Trained volunteers for companionship and respite
Equipment and supplies related to hospice diagnosis
Services provided in your home, in nursing facilities, hospitals, and assisted living communities.
Physician- A patient’s own doctor or the Hospice medical director oversees care.
Nurse Practitioner- The Nurse Practitioner will make home visits and work directly with the hospice medical director. They have advanced training in diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
Hospice Nurse- The nurse makes regularly scheduled visits and coordinates the patient’s plan of care with other team members.
Social Worker- The social worker is available for listening, counseling, and offering practical support with assessments, consultations, education, resource and referral services, advocacy and discharge planning.
Chaplain- The chaplain helps with spiritual concerns while giving needed support and kindness.
Pharmacist and Dietitian- They provide support and advice regarding medication, symptom control and nutritional advice when difficulties arise.
Home Health Aides- They assist the patient with personal care needs.
Volunteers- Well-trained volunteers offer support, family respite time and help with chores, errands, etc.
Bereavement Coordinator- Provides bereavement services for people dealing with terminal illness or death, following the patients family up to 13 months after the death of a loved one.
In medieval times, hospices were inns of rest which “lodged, cherished and refreshed” the returning crusaders, the sick and the dying. The word hospice referred to a place of rest for those on a difficult journey. Today hospice is defined as a concept of care for patients and families on a truly difficult journey.
The modern hospice was founded in England in the last century by Dr. Cicely Saunders and spread to the United States in the 1970s. Dr. Saunders said hospice has come to mean “helping the dying and their loved ones to live as fully and as well as possible in the time remaining.”
Hospice of the Wabash Valley was organized in July of 1982 by Jackie Fox, RN and a group of community leaders. The hospice concept of care for the terminally ill, long practiced in Europe and spreading rapidly throughout the United States, officially became available in the Wabash Valley on September 15, 1983.
• Reduces trips to the emergency room or hospitalizations, leading to a more stable quality of life and helping patients better manage their disease and symptoms at home.
• Provides continuity of care for patients by offering a bridge between the last phases of disease-modifying therapy and the palliative focus of hospice.
• Nurses work with patients who are still receiving aggressive disease treatment and are not yet ready to embrace the Hospice philosophy.
Do you recognize yourself in some of these statements?
If so you could benefit from Bereavement Services.
The Hospice Bereavement program is designed to provide support services to bereaved family members or close friends who are touched by the death of a loved one.
Hospice support continues to be available for the surviving family members as long as desired. It is important to realize there are no instant solutions, no early answers, and no timetable for recovery.
Continuing support is available to both those having Hospice services for their loved ones and to those in our community who have had no prior affiliation with Hospice of the Wabash Valley. Services are provided by a team of professionals and lay volunteers prepared for bereavement support work.
Visitation and telephone contacts will be provided to the survivors of the Hospice patient. The amount of contact can be varied depending on the individual’s changing needs and desires. Educational materials about grief and loss will be provided through a series of mailings for 13 months following the death of your loved one.
We encourage you to attend a support group meeting with a family member, friend or by yourself. Both the newly bereaved and the longer bereaved are welcome. The meetings are informal. There is time to share with the group or one-to-one. You are also welcome to just listen.
It is important to understand grief, to learn coping skills and to have determination to survive the loss.
The group offers understanding, friendship, support and care. Monthly presentations cover areas of concern to the bereaved. Many in the group will discuss ideas that were helpful to them as individuals. There is the opportunity to recognize and express feelings.
Bereavement Support Groups
You are welcome to attend no matter where you are in your own grief journey. Support groups are free and open to the public.
Contact us for more information on current bereavement support options at (812) 234-2515 or 1-800-844-7610 or email
Handbook For Those Who Grieve
Martin Auz; Loyola Press
How Can I Help
June Kolf; Fisher Books
Healing After Loss
Martha Whitmore Hickman; Avon Books
What To Do When A Loved One Dies
Eva Shaw; Dickens Press
Losing A Parent
Fiona Marshall; Fisher Books
The Mourning Handbook
Helen Fitzgerald; Simon & Shuster
As a valued patient of VNA of the Wabash Valley you can now receive a CareLink® medical alert system for a full 60 days of service at no charge.
The CareLink® service provides you with access to assistance 24/7 so that you can remain safe and independent in the comfort of your own home. Knowledgeable, caring staff will offer you assistance at the simple touch of a button. This level of service provides peace of mind to you and to us.
Upon admission to VNA of the Wabash Valley you will be given the opportunity to have a CareLink® device professionally installed inside your home for 60 days at no cost to you. At the end of the trial period you can choose to have the device removed or continue the valuable service at a special low monthly rate without any contract or hidden fees.
Please call our expert Carelink representative Sherry Rader. Sherry gives every customer 110% of her personal attention and has been working with medical alert systems to help care for our patients for over 18 years. Give her a call at 812-232-7611 to discuss setting up a medical alert unit for you or your family member today.
What Can a Volunteer Do for Our Patients?
• Support patient and families by providing respite
• Small tasks to help patient and family
• Provide companionship by “being there” while caregiver is away
• Read to the patient
• Write letters
What Can a Volunteer Do for the Agency?
• Clerical support
• Committee or task groups
• Board of directors
• Bereavement support
• Speaking engagements
Our objective is to match the special skills and talents of each volunteer with the needs of our patients, families and agency.
Basic qualifications for being a Hospice of the Wabash Valley volunteer are to demonstrate a sensitive approach to fellow human beings, show respect for others’ values and belief systems, and have a desire to help maintain the dignity and self-worth of the incurably ill patients and family.
One of the principles of the hospice philosophy of care is the use of volunteers as a part of the interdisciplinary team. Education and training of the volunteer are essential.
All volunteers are required to attend a series of orientation sessions before becoming certified as a hospice volunteer. The training is focused on:
• The goals and philosophy of hospice care
• The responsibilities and duties of caring for patients and their families
• The physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of death and dying
• Listening and communication skills
• Patient and family rights
• Family relationships
• Spiritual and cultural diversity
• Patient confidentiality
After training is completed, volunteers determine how much time they can commit to hospice work. Whether dedicating as little as two hours a month or six hours a week, all efforts are appreciated and much needed.
Our Annual Tulip Bouquet Sale, which is our largest volunteer fundraiser of the year is a wonderful event in the Wabash Valley. Our volunteers deliver over 1300 bouquets each year. There’s an easy way to remember when it’s “tulip time” because it is always held on Administrative Professional’s Day. Our Tulip Sale is a wonderful way that we can celebrate the sign of life and the hope of spring with someone special.
Our first Annual Run and Remember event was held on March 9th 2013 at the Championship Lavern Gibson Cross Country Course in Vigo County. Over 250 runners and walkers participated in our 5K & 10K Run/Walk event and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout. All of the proceeds from the event supported services for people with a life limiting illness and their families.
Our Hospice Holiday Celebration is an evening event that consists of a cocktail reception accompanied with a silent action that is usually held on the first Thursday of December. Presentation of the Chapman S. Root Award is the highlight of the evening at the annual Hospice Holiday Celebration.
The award, established in 1990 and honoring Chapman S. Root, is presented to an individual whose generosity and leadership has enhanced the quality of life in the Wabash Valley. In choosing the recipient, consideration is given to such contributions as enhancing the quality of life intellectually, educationally, culturally, physically and spiritually.
Previous Recipients of the Chapman S. Root award:
1990 Susan Root
1991 Donald E. Smith
1992 Max Gibson
1993 D. Omer Seamon
1994 Mary Fendrich Hulman
1995 John G. & Alice Oakley Schmidt
1996 Congressman John T. Myers
1997 William G. Bannon, M.D.
1998 P. James Diehl
1999 Senator Evan Bayh
2000 Dr. Samuel F. Hulbert
2001 Larry Schopmeyer
2002 Jackie Fox
2003 John Etling
2004 Larry & Susan Helman
2005 Paul J. Pfister
2006 Carl S. Riddle
2007 Daniel T. Tanoos
2008 Ronald G. Reeves
2009 Fred P. Rubey
2010 Donald W. Scott
2011 Craig M. McKee
2012 Joy Saccopolus
2013 Senator Richard Lugar
2014 Thomas T. Dinkel
In 2007, Hospice of the Wabash Valley and Visiting Nurse Association established the Dr. William G. Bannon Award. This award recognizes exceptional leadership and contributions by individuals who fulfilled one or more of several roles and who is an employee or volunteer of our organization.
Previous Recipients of the Dr. William G. Bannon award:
2007 Vickie Balder
2008 Leota Ehm
2009 Bobbi Froderman
2010 Maryann Ax
2011 Donna Doti
2012 Tom Miller
2013 Wayne Hutson
2014 Walter Sommers