Press Releases

Memorial Service Hosted by Bennington VNA & Hospice

The Bennington Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice, an office of the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region, invites the community to attend a free memorial service on Sunday, December 11 at 3pm at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse on 108 School Street in Bennington. Through music, poetry, art and fellowship, this special ceremony, open to individuals of all ages and faith, will help pay tribute to loved ones that have passed away.  For questions about the service or to register, please call 802.442.5502

CLICK HERE: PSA about the Memorial Service

Coping with the Holidays Workshop Offered in Bennington

CLICK HERE: PSA about the Holiday Workshop

The Bennington Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice, an office of the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region, will offer a free workshop to help individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one learn coping skills during the holiday season.

The workshop will be held on Monday, December 5 from 6-8pm and again on Thursday, December 8 from 2:30-4:30pm in the Rotary Room at the Bennington Free Library on Silver Street in Bennington. Led by Lucy Ijams, Chaplain and Elizabeth Fredland, LICSW from the Bennington VNA & Hospice, participants will learn suggestions for coping with loss and be provided with resources and information. Free materials are available for those who are unable to attend either date. To register for the workshop, please call 802.442.5502

“This workshop will provide individuals and families with the tools they may need to cope with loss this holiday season,” says Nicole Moran, MSN, BA, RN and director of the Hospice program. “Our caregivers, volunteers and staff care deeply for the families of our patients and this workshop is just one of the ways we can help them deal with grief and loss. “


About the Hospice program of the VNAHSR

Under the direction of Allan Eisemann, MD, oncologist and Medical Director of VNAHSR, the staff provides a variety of services to patients and their families in both Rutland and Bennington County. A patient must be diagnosed with a terminal illness and admitted to the program by a physician. The attending physician continues to be involved in the patient’s care, and patients and family members work directly with nurses, social workers, chaplains, nurse aides and volunteers.

Remembrance Ornaments On Sale


click on image above for an order form

Remembrance ornaments are now on sale and are a meaningful way to honor a loved one or friend while helping the Hospice program of the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR). Each ornament is beautifully crafted and engraved by New England Ornaments.

Remembrance OrnamentThis year’s tear-drop shaped ornaments are made of a clear optical glass with beveled edges and can be engraved with the name of a special loved one and a date of significance. Ornament measures 3-3/4 long x 2-3/4 at its widest.  Ornaments are tied with a satin ribbon and presented in a dark silver gift box.  Ornaments are $20 each. Orders can be shipped directly or picked up at the Tree of Remembrance ceremony on December 6 (for pick-up at the ceremony orders must be placed by November 18).

“Since we began this project Remembrance Ornaments have been given as gifts to loved ones living across the United States,” says Nicole Moran, MSN, BA, RN and Director of the Hospice program.. “For some people, giving the Remembrance Ornament has become a family tradition. It’s heartwarming to know we are part of that special tradition.”

For information, please call 802.775.0568

Tree of Remembrance Ceremony Hosted in Rutland

The Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR) will host its 28th Annual Tree of Remembrance ceremony at the Franklin Conference Center, Howe Square in Rutland on Tuesday, December 6 at 5pm.  The event is free and open to the public. For inclement weather a snow date of December 13 has been set.

The Tree of Remembrance ceremony is a way for community members to reflect, honor and celebrate loved ones and friends who have passed away. The ceremony will feature music by the Hospice Trillium choir, remarks by Hospice medical director Allan Eisemann, MD, recitation of loved ones’ names, the lighting of the tree, refreshments and fellowship.

Director of Hospice & Palliative Care“This ceremony is about families who have lost a loved one and their legacy,” says Nicole Moran, MSN, BA, RN and director of the Hospice program. “Our caregivers, volunteers and staff care deeply for the families of our patients and offer a variety of services to them to help deal with grief and loss. This ceremony is a beloved annual event and is just one of the many ways we want to honor and remember their loved ones for years to come.

To add a loved one’s name to the wall of remembrance, to RSVP or for event questions, please call 802.775.0568.



Naylor & Breen Golf Invitational Raises Funds for Hospice

Team Naylor & Breen From left to right ~ Don Houle, Ron Bruce, Kerry Wetmore, Kim Levins and Rich Davis

From left to right ~ Team Naylor & Breen Don Houle, Ron Bruce, Kerry Wetmore, Kim Levins and Rich Davis

Naylor & Breen Builders, Inc. hosted their second annual golf invitational at Neshobe Country Club in Brandon, Vermont to benefit the hospice program of the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region. Nearly $29,000 was raised in support of hospice care in the communities served. In just two years, the tournament has raised nearly $50,000 for hospice.

Chairing this year’s tournament was Rob Naylor, Tanner Romano and Peter Breen with committee participation from Rodney Bicknell, Ron Cioffi, Christine Hoard, Pam Horvath, Linda Hurley, Bob Kelly, Marc Miele and Chris Naylor. 30 teams enjoyed a great day of golf and participated in on-course games, a 50/50 and dinner and auction. “We had a great group of people helping to organize this event,” said Rob Naylor, President of Naylor & Breen. “We’re proud that so many of our friends and business partners joined us help make difference in the lives of terminally ill patients and their loved ones in our community.”

“It was a great tournament and we had a fantastic day on the links,” said Ron Cioffi, RN, Executive Director. “I thank all of our attendees and sponsors for their generous support. All proceeds benefit our hospice program and will help to ensure that we can continue to help so many in their time of greatest need.”

“It is such an honor to merit the support of Naylor & Breen and the many other businesses that participated in the tournament,” said Christine Hoard, Director of Philanthropy at the VNA. “We couldn’t be more grateful for this wonderful show of support for end-of-life care.”


Quality Improvement Specialist Passes Coding Exam

ann-pollockThe Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR) is pleased to announce that Ann Pollock, RN, BSN, COS-C, HCS-D, recently passed the Home Care Coding Specialist – Diagnosis (HCS–D) exam through the Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC), the credentialing arm of the Association of Home Care Coding & Compliance (AHCC).

The HCS-D credential is earned by professionals with advanced skills in classifying medical data from home health patient records. Coding specialists review patients’ records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis. Pollock, through the exam demonstrated expertise in the application of ICD-10-CM conventions and guidelines and in-depth clinical knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy/physiology, disease processes, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. Professionals with this designation are able to use their coding knowledge to better work with clinical staff in understanding complex coding principles and guidelines, and to ensure proper reimbursement from payer sources.

Pollock, a 26-year employee of the VNAHSR began her career as a staff nurse and has held a variety of managerial positions. She was recently named Clinical Informatics Specialist.


About the Association of Home Care Coding & Compliance (AHCC)

AHCC is the community for professionals who are dedicated to providing quality care in post-acute care settings and establishing, meeting, and maintaining standards of excellence in their area of expertise. AHCC’s credentialing arm, the Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC), offers professional credentials, including the only nationally accredited home health coding credential that tests coding skills exclusively, the Home Care Coding Specialist—Diagnosis (HCS-D), and the Home Care Clinical Specialist – OASIS (HCS-O) .

AHCC also engages in advocacy activities that focus attention on the vital role home care plays in meeting the national goals of ensuring affordable, quality care for all, while lowering health care costs.

Start the Conversation Presentation

As many of you know, talking to your family about healthcare needs, especially during the end of life, can be the hardest conversation to have. Start The Conversation is a free education initiative on advance care planning from the VNA’s of Vermont, Home Health and Hospice Agencies.

On Wednesday, February 24th at 1pm at the Godnick Center in Rutland, RAVNAH will hold a presentation about Start The Conversation. The presentation is free and open to the public.STC Flyer for Godnick Center 2.24.16

At any time, you or someone you love may be unable to communicate health care choices as a result of an injury or serious illness. When time becomes short, every moment is precious. Avoid having to make last minute decisions or wondering if your decision was what your loved one would have wanted. Starting the conversation early is vital and is the first step to ensure that the choices for yourself and your loved ones are heard.

This presentation will give you the tools to help you get started.

For more information about this presentation, contact John Campbell at or call 775-0568.

Easy IRA Charitable Rollover


There is good economic news for seniors interested in making a charitable gift to Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR) thanks to a recent tax code amendment that included a permanent extension of the IRA charitable rollover.
Donors age 70½ or older can now make tax-free charitable gifts of up to $100,000 per year directly from their Individual Retirement Accounts to eligible charities.
Taxpayers age 70½ and older are required to take annual distributions from their IRAs, which then are included in their adjusted gross income and subject to tax. The IRA charitable rollover permits taxpayers to make donations directly to charitable organizations from their IRAs without counting them as part of their AGI. This rollover distribution counts toward the required minimum distribution for IRA holders.
To make a gift to using the IRA charitable rollover:
• Contact your IRA administrator and authorize them to send a check from your IRA directly to VNAHSR.
• Ask your IRA trustee or administrator to clearly reveal this is an IRA rollover provision gift for 2015 and identify you as the IRA account owner.
• Send your IRA Charitable Rollover gift to:
PO Box 787
Rutland, VT 05702
For more information, contact the Philanthropy Office at (802) 362-1255 or