Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Nurse 1935 #2

(Visiting Nurse Association of Boston Photo – 1935)

I was merely a visitor there.  I had the luxury and benefit of being able to descend down the long flights toward the car and eventually into my own more comfortable reality.  I was only a guest. 

During my first month with the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston, I did what most of our new employees do: I visited homes with several of our talented and deeply committed clinicians.  I wrote here on several occasions about those early experiences (those specific posts, in fact, inspired the creation of this blog), none of which were more moving than the MCH visits.  MCH is our Maternal Child Health program, which is focused on caring for newborns and their moms.  Typically, this care is directed toward children with multiple health challenges and problems… and families who are often completely overwhelmed by them.  On those visits, I had the privilege of witnessing awesome care and compassion and even though I had the liberty of an exit, for me, it still felt overwhelming.

As per our website:

The VNAB MCH program is comprised of highly skilled obstetrical and pediatric nurses who provide home care services to women with high-risk pregnancies, premature infants, children with acute, chronic or terminal illnesses’ as well as early maternity discharge.

The MCH Team intervenes at critical junctures in a family’s life and has the opportunity to be in a setting no other members of the health care team are likely to enter—the patient's home.

Examples of VNAB MCH TEAM referrals include:

  • High-risk prenatal and postpartum care
  • High-risk infants, including prematurity, NAS
  • Infants or children with cardiac anomalies
  • Infants with feeding problems
  • Breastfeeding difficulties
  • Early Maternity Discharge visits
  • C-Section wound care
  • High-risk teen moms and infants
  • Children and adolescents with cancer
  • Children and adolescents with diabetes or asthma
  • Environmental assessment for asthma triggers

Recently, Maria Dunn, manager of the MCH program at VNAB, presented to the senior team our newly developed MCH program focused on caring for babies with congenital heart defects.  The program is specifically designed to improve outcomes for these babies and prevent unnecessary re-hospitalizations.

To that end, we’re collaborating with several Boston area health care organizations, launching new pre-op and post-op standards of care, and ensuring consistent and high levels of competency for all staff via formal certification processes.

Though we’ve been stepping into homes and caring for infants and their mothers for 125 years, our organization continues to develop and launch modern, state-of-the-art programs for the communities we serve.

For more information, please send us an email at

1 comment:

  1. Everyone should do it. One word - humbling.