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Berkshire VNA Clinicians, Western Mass Area Labor Federation and Community to Discuss “Future of Homecare” During May 16 Virtual Forum
During a virtual forum, Berkshire VNA clinicians will share their experiences, talk about changes to homecare and join with the community to improve patient care conditions
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Berkshire VNA clinicians, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, will talk about the evolution and challenges of homecare, share their experiences, and discuss how to improve patient care conditions during a virtual community forum co-hosted by the Western Massachusetts Area Labor Federation on May 16.
Virtual Community Forum
When: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Where: A virtual forum hosted on Zoom and shared on social media. The public and media are welcome to attend. Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89232583852. Meeting ID: 892 3258 3852.
Who: Moderated by State Senator Paul Mark, D-Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin, and Hampshire, with panelists including Berkshire VNA Physical Therapist Tamaryn Clowdus and Berkshire VNA Registered Nurse Shaun Mattoon.
“Homecare has seen changes over the years that have made it much harder for clinicians to spend quality time with our patients and maintain a sustainable work-life balance,” said Tamaryn Clowdus, physical therapist, and member of the organizing committee at Berkshire VNA. “Berkshire VNA clinicians are struggling with caring for sicker patients and an ever-greater documentation burden. We are seeking support from our community and adequate investment in our workforce to provide the best possible patient care.”
“VNA clinicians care for patients independently in their home, requiring us to assess and deal with a wide range of medical situations without the support of a typical healthcare facility,” said Shaun Mattoon, registered nurse, and member of the organizing committee at Berkshire VNA. “Earlier discharges from hospitals mean patients have more complicated issues when they arrive home. These are challenges we want to take on so we can provide care to our community, but we need more support to do so safely.”
BVNA registered nurses and physical, occupational and speech therapists joined MNA in December 2021 following an election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. Berkshire VNA is owned by Berkshire Health Systems, which also owns Berkshire Medical Center where the MNA represents approximately 900 registered nurses.
Established in 1901, the Berkshire VNA provides comprehensive care to patients of all ages who are recovering from an illness or hospitalization in their own home. The medical needs of Berkshire VNA patients are varied and complex and may include, among other things, post-surgical conditions such as total hip or total knee replacements; stroke; Parkinson's Disease; Multiple Sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); cardiopulmonary conditions; amputations; and post-trauma care (breaks, fractures).
In recent years, many hospital-based services for patients have shifted to in-home services, making VNAs and their caregivers an essential and ever-expanding part of the healthcare system. Hospitals now move patients back home faster than before as doing so reduces costs and opens in-hospital beds. This has led to a dramatic increase in the size of the region's at-home patient population as well as in the complexity of those patients.
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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.