The Visiting Nursing Association of WNY is celebrating its new headquarters. The VNA cut the ribbon Tuesday for a new state-of-the art building at Airborne Parkway in Cheektowaga. The VNA now has one centralized location to serve ten counties.
7 Eyewitness News senior reporter Eileen Buckley tells us the VNA makes more than 500,000 home visits each year.
“I consider myself the president of the VNA fan club, so I’m the president of their fan club— I can’t go any higher than that,” declared MaryAnn Dukane, Orchard Park resident.
82-year-old MaryAnn Dukane of orchard park praises the physical therapist from the VNA for her recovery from spinal surgery.
The retired Disney employee has been a widow for about 30-years and lives alone.
“Because when I was leaving the hospital – you’re very apprehensive and you go – ‘oh my goodness what’s going to happen to me when I get home’ and to have him come in two or three days a week was just a blessing really and I can’t praise them enough,” Dukane said.
Dukane says the VNA sent physical therapist Dan Lukasiewicz directly to her home.
It was wonderful working with MaryAnn too because she – well - was an ideal patient as well too – if there is such a thing,” remarked Lukasiewicz.
“He was my hero of that whole post-operative period,” remarked Dukane.
Dukane recalls being unable to get up from a chair. But by after 12 weeks, she was able to drive a car again and never used a cane or walker.
“We’ll always ask them what their goals are. We will always make sure we ask them what - matters to them today,” Lukasiewicz explained.
Lukasiewicz has worked for 26-years at the VNA. He says home health care has changed through the years because now, patients are often sent home quickly from hospital stays and surgery.
“That we see people with strokes, we see people after broken legs, we see people with multiple sclerosis. Diabetes complicates problems these days, so the patient load that we are seeing is actually – I would say – is much more complicated than it was – even 20-years ago,” Lukasiewicz said.
Dukane says she’s very pleased with what she was able to accomplish with the help of the VNA’s in-home service.
“I actually am as close to normal as I’m going to get – because realistically, Eileen, at 82 I don’t ever expect to be 100-percent like I was at 62 because that’s unrealistic,” Dukane replied.
Lukasiwicz says he visits about five to six homes each day and a large portion of the VNA’s work is in geriatrics. The VNA serves more than 27,000 patients each year. Most health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid cover the cost. Dukane's physical therapy was covered by her insurance.
“What we do in the home setting and what’s expected through Medicare and through the insurances – is not to cure ever problem for somebody, but it’s to point them in the right direction and it’s probably to make sure their families well educated,” Lukasiwicz noted.
The VNA is required to follow all New York State Health Department and federal regulations for its services.
Lukasiwicz is proud to conduct his work and is thrilled the company built the new state-of-the-art headquarters where about 1,000 VNA employees make stops each day as they conduct their in-home care across the region.
“This is our mother ship,” Lukasiwicz declared.