Twenty five years ago, the Community Medical Center’s Home Health program started with humble beginnings, a skeleton staff and a passion and desire to provide the highest quality medical care to the patients it served. Today, the program is approaching its two millionth home health visit and has over 200 employees, but the same commitment to excellence exists as it did a quarter century ago.
At a recent celebration to mark the 25th anniversary milestone, Mark D. Pilla, Executive Vice President of Operations for the Saint Barnabas Health Care System and Executive Director of Community Medical Center, said, “Community Medical Center’s Home Health Program had a very humble beginning on October 24, 1983, starting with two visiting nurses, a director and a nursing supervisor working out of a small trailer located in the hospital’s parking lot. We now celebrate 25 years of providing for the home health care needs of the residents of Ocean County.”
Less than a month after its inception, the Home Health program received its Medicare certification and approval from the New Jersey Department of Health to provide services to the residents of Ocean County. “Within two months, six additional nurses were hired and they were seeing an increasing volume of patients and it has continued to grow throughout the years,” Pilla said. Last year, Community’s Home Health program provided care to 152,000 patients and are approaching nearly 2 million home visits.
Pilla recognized Harriet Werkman, administrative director of Community Medical Center’s Home Health and Van Dyke Hospice program by saying, “Your leadership helped grow this program into the largest home care program in the country.” Werkman has been Community director of the Home Care division for the past 20 years.
Community Medical Center’s Home Health Program provides clinical expertise and the skilled professional care of registered nurses, dietitians, certified home health aides, physical and occupational therapists and speech pathologists, and medical social workers. The professional staff visits patients in their home environment, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The Home Health program has brought on new programs to meet the needs of the community including such innovative programs as the Joint Replacement Home Recovery Program, Maternal Child Health Services, Cardiac Conditioning Program, Congestive Heart Failure Program and Stroke Recovery Program.
For more information or to contact Community Medical Center’s Home Health program, visit www.barnabashealth.org or call
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