VNA & Hospice Gold Star Employer Status Renewed


Contact: Dianne M. Cutillo

(802) 447-5413

BENNINGTON — The Vermont Assembly of Home Health Agencies (VAHHA) renewed Gold Star Employer status for the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Southwestern Vermont Health Care

VNA & Hospice of SVHC became Vermont’s first Gold Star Employer home health agency in 2007.

The Gold Star Program recognizes home health agencies that use best practices to recruit and retain caregivers, particularly direct care staff. According to VAHHA research, best practices that lead to successful recruitment and retention rates contribute to improved quality of care for clients and employee satisfaction.

“I congratulate and thank everyone in our agency who worked so hard to make our team so successful that our Gold Star status was renewed,” said Julia H. Maroney, RN, MHSA, CHCE. Maroney is VNA & Hospice’s executive director.

VNA & Hospice’s Gold Star Award was renewed after a yearlong process. To qualify for renewal, the agency improved operations in one of seven best practice areas. VNA’s project was in the area of team approaches.

“Our project was to strengthen the participation of direct care staff in their patients’ care planning process,” said Shannon M. Tatro, RN. Tatro is quality and education coordinator at VNA. She said everyone from personal care attendants to nurses to VNA managers participate in the patient care conferences.

The meetings improve patient care and employee satisfaction. For example, satisfaction with orientation and training grew from 4.21 to 4.61, said Anne Hill, director of human resources and the Gold Star project leader.

Tatro said, “It is rewarding to be part of an agency that truly cares about its patients and the employees who serve clients.”

Tatro said representatives of state agencies that regulate VNA & Hospice have observed the patient care team meetings. They commended VNA for the quality of the conferences.
VNA & Hospice is part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, whose president and CEO is Harvey M. Yorke.

“This renewed award is about a workplace that breeds professionalism and job satisfaction,” Yorke said. “It is about achieving positive organizational results. VNA & Hospice employees make it possible because they are willing to work hard to make improvements that benefit the people we serve.”

A not-for-profit organization, VNA & Hospice of Southwestern Vermont Health Care provides home care to residents of Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford. The agency offers home nursing, high-tech care, and rehabilitative therapy, among other services, and houses Bennington's only full-service, Medicare-certified hospice program.


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