The Visiting Nurse Association of Texas Continues Mission Amid Covid-19 Crisis
DALLAS, TX, April 22, 2020
The Visiting Nurse Association of Texas (VNA) serves the most vulnerable in our community, and as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic, VNA continues to provide expert, compassionate care for seriously ill patients and deliver food and friendship to homebound neighbors in need. Following recommended guidelines for keeping our staff, volunteers and clients safe during this outbreak, VNA has remained steadfast in our mission: to help people age with dignity and independence at home.
VNA’s response to the increased demand caused by COVID-19 has been swift and continues to evolve in real time. The collaborative, giving spirit of the people across North Texas is evident as they rise up to help VNA meet the evolving needs of vulnerable senior neighbors.
How VNA and our community have responded:
- The VNA kitchen is fully operational preparing hot, nutritious meals for home-delivered Meals on Wheels clients, Dallas County senior center curbside pick-up locations, City of Dallas Homeless Solutions pop-up homeless shelter and the Brady Center.
- As the organization does its part to help flatten the curve, hot meals and additional shelf-stable meals are now delivered to homebound senior clients on Thursdays or Fridays by VNA staff. Clients still receive at least five meals a week and virtual deliveries will continue until it is safe to return to our normal delivery model.
- Meals on Wheels successfully launched the virtual delivery platform in March with huge success. With the assistance of the VNA Meals on Wheels mobile app, dedicated volunteers are able to say hello, remind clients to eat one of their shelf stable meals and see if they need help with other concerns such as utility or medication assistance. Additionally, these friendly calls provide a safety check for clients and help to combat the increased isolation and they may be feeling due to COVID-19.
- VNA Hospice music therapists have created the “Front Porch Concert” series in which patients receive the critical therapy they need while maintaining the CDC guidelines for safe distances. Additionally, therapists post regular music sessions on the VNA Facebook page.
- Thanks to partnerships with the Irving, Dallas, Garland and Coppell Animal Services and Irving Police Department, all pets on the Meals on Wheels Pet Care program continue to receive their supplemental food.
- VNA’s talented hospice volunteers are hard at work making cloth masks for staff to use in case of ongoing shortages.
- Families and school groups are lovingly making greeting cards for senior clients.
- Local companies are donating PPE and hand sanitizer to protect our patients, clients and staff.
“VNA continues to deliver its mission, caring for our most vulnerable elderly through Meals on Wheels, hospice and palliative care. We want to thank our community for the tremendous outpouring of financial and volunteer support to help meet organizational needs, working together to ensure essential care continues to be provided to our seniors neighbors,” says Katherine Krause, President and CEO, VNA.
Due to the adjusted delivery process and operational changes necessary during the COVID-19 crisis, the cost of delivering a meal has increased. The lack of utilization of volunteers to deliver meals, coupled with the addition of nearly 200 homebound seniors to the VNA Meals on Wheels waiting list—the increased demand has been and will likely continue to be steady. With these changes, VNA is projecting a COVID-related deficit of $1.5 million for the 2020 fiscal year which ends on June 30.
To date, generous donors are helping us meet the growing demand. Specifically, VNA is grateful for the following community partners who have provided financial and in-kind support related to the COVID-19 crisis: Anonymous Donor; Bank of America; Cigna; Church of the Incarnation; DFW Giving Back; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation; HEB/Central Market; Hillcrest Foundation; GoGo squeeZ Squad; Kozmetsky Family Foundation; Lyda Hill Philanthropies; Mavs Foundation; Meadows Foundation; Meals On Wheels America; Moody Foundation; Molina; Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities; Pearl Energy Investments; Perot Foundation; Santander; Selections Promotional Products; Texas Baptist Men; Truist Cares; US China Chamber of Commerce; and various gifts from individual donors.
As the needs and environment continue to evolve daily, VNA continues to rely on community support to carry out our mission to help seniors age with dignity and independence at home. In addition to financial support, VNA is seeking mask and face coverings for vulnerable Meals on Wheels clients as well as non-clinical staff. Click here for easy ways the community can help VNA serve our most vulnerable neighbors.