“My dad is constantly raving about his home health nurse. I’m so pleased with Affilia.”

Affilia Home Health Care Blog

Home health nurse attains gold standard in care

Home health nurse attains gold standard in care 

Chris Menet

Registered Nurse Chris Menet from Affilia Home Health’s Reading office is the most recent nurse to meet the stringent qualifications for certification from the Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB®) – the gold standard in nursing care.

Wound, ostomy, incontinence and foot care are among the most critical services provided to patients in their homes. Especially for those who have undergone surgery for an ostomy, the home health registered nurse plays a vital role in assessing the wounds while helping patients to feel confident that they can handle this change and resume their lives as normally as possible.


Registered Nurse Chris Menet from Affilia Home Health’s Reading office is the most recent nurse to meet the stringent qualifications for certification from the Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB®) – the gold standard in nursing care. The other two nurses are Janice Quint-Turzi in Lancaster, and Christine Clauser in Harrisburg.


“There is a real need for specialization in this area as people with ostomy-, incontinence-, wound-, and foot-related issues are being discharged from the hospital sooner,” explained Menet. “This certification has enhanced the care I give directly to patients and has enabled me to provide support and guidance to my colleagues as well.”


“This certification enables Chris to assess wounds that can be more complicated, or are not healing, and make treatment recommendations,” said Sheila Baublitz, Affilia Home Health’s Chief Operating Officer. “It’s like having the doctor’s eyes in the home because every patient is different.”


Baublitz added that all Affilia Home Health registered nurses provide wound care and undergo annual refresher training. If a patient’s wound is not healing, then one of the WOCNCB nurses provide an assessment.


Affilia Home Health (formerly VNA) is affiliated with PinnacleHealth System, Reading Health System, and Lancaster General Health, which serves as the parent organization. For more information, visit www.affiliahomehealth.org.

Daisy Award Winner – December 2014

DAISY Foundation Recognizes Extraordinary Nurses at Affilia Home Health

Alyssa Lowther, RN, and Sarah Spangler, RN are recipients of the DAISY Award in December 2014 — the first home health staff members to be recognized for this award that is presented to two Lancaster General Hospital nurses each month.

The nurses were honored by Michael Killinger, LGH 5 East Nurse Manager, who recognized them for going above and beyond to ensure a safe discharge to home for a patient in need of a continuous infusion for end-stage heart failure treatment. Killinger stated in his nomination that, “Alyssa Lowther was the RN at the hospital who helped get the ball rolling on the entire process, and was a frequent liaison between the 5 East team, the patient, Horizon Healthcare Services, and Affilia Home Health. Sarah Spangler was the Affilia RN who went waaayyy out of her way to physically drive to the patient’s home and pick up all of the home infusion supplies he needed…including a bag of IV medication and the tubing. She also stayed with the patient at his bedside for 20 minutes plus setting the entire system up and getting him ready for discharge. I would also like to point out this was all done from 5:30pm – 7:30pm on a Friday to get the patient discharged prior to the weekend. And in the end…it all worked!”

Sarah Spangler and Alyssa Lowther

Daisy Award Recipients (left to right) Sarah Spangler (Cardiac IV Nurse) and Alyssa Lowther (Home Care Coordinator)

Jean Eshbach, Sarah Spangler, Alyssa Lowther, and Victoria Testa

Jean Eshbach, Clinical Manager and Victoria Testa, Director Clinical Operations honor the Daisy Award winners. From left to right Jean Eshbach, Sarah Spangler, Alyssa Lowther and Victoria Testa.

Affilia Home Health Team with Daisy Award Honorees

Affilia Home Health Team with Daisy Award Honorees

“We are proud to be among the hospitals participating in the DAISY Award program and its launch by the DAISY Foundation,” said Karen Flaherty-Oxler, President, LGH, and Chief Nurse Executive. “Nurses are heroes every day, and it’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued. The DAISY Foundation provides yet another way for us to do that.” The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation, based in Glen Ellen, CA, was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 in 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

Visit www.DAISYfoundation.org for information about its initiatives to help fight diseases of the immune system.

Affilia Home Health Named a 2014 HomeCare Elite Top Agency

Lancaster PA, November 2014 — Affilia Home Health has been named a Top Agency of the 2014 HomeCare Elite™, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. Affilia Home Health, affiliated with Lancaster General Health, PinnacleHealth System and Reading Health System, provides home healthcare services to residents throughout central and southeastern Pennsylvania.

Now in its ninth year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25% of Medicare-certified agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

Affilia Home Health acting president, Carolyn Carlson, credits clinical excellence and a consistent focus on quality with the agency’s ability to achieve recognition as one of the HomeCare Elite. “Our outstanding team of staff and managers are committed to providing exceptional care to their patients and families each and every day,” said Carlson.

Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice (process measure) implementation, patient experience (Home Health CAHPS®), quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least one outcome in Home Health Compare. Out of 9,994 agencies considered, 2,501 are elite.

“The 2014 HomeCare Elite winners demonstrate a commitment to providing high quality care in their home health communities and we recognize them for their remarkable achievements,” said Mary Oakes, Senior Vice President of Post-Acute at National Research. “We congratulate Affilia Home Health on being recognized as a top home care agency.”

The award is sponsored by OCS HomeCare by National Research Corporation, the leading provider of home health metrics and analytics, and DecisionHealth, publisher of the most respected independent newsletter in the home health profession, Home Health Line.

“HomeCare Elite recognition is a significant acknowledgement. In today’s healthcare ecosystem, it is imperative that our seniors have access to quality home healthcare in order to ensure better patient outcomes and improve overall cost, and therefore, home healthcare continues to remain an integral part of the care continuum. The winners of the HomeCare Elite Award are proving that a heightened focus on clinical outcomes, patient experience, and financial management lead to success,” said Marci Heydt, Product Manager for the post-acute care business group of Decision Health.

The entire list of 2014 HomeCare Elite agencies can be downloaded by visiting the National Research Corporation website at www.nationalresearch.com/homecareelite.

About Affilia Home Health

Affilia Home Health provides high-quality, comprehensive healthcare services to residents throughout central and southeastern Pennsylvania. We are a unique organization of home health teams affiliated with the region’s largest health networks – Lancaster General Health, PinnacleHealth System, and Reading Health System. Working together with physicians and our hospital-based partners to ensure a seamless care experience, we offer advanced practices that help our patients manage their health at home.

About National Research Corporation

For more than 30 years, National Research Corporation (NASDAQ: NRCIA and NRCIB) has been at the forefront of patient-centered care. Today, the company’s focus on empowering customer-centric healthcare across the continuum extends patient-centered care to incorporate families, communities, employees, senior housing residents, and other stakeholders.

Recognized by Modern Healthcare as the largest patient satisfaction measurement firm in the U.S., National Research is dedicated to representing the true voice of patients and other healthcare stakeholders. This integration of cross-continuum metrics and analytics uncovers insights for effective performance improvement, quality measurement, care transitions, and many other factors that impact population health management.

National Research is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. For more information, call 800-388-4264, write to info@nationalresearch.com, or visit www.nationalresearch.com.

About DecisionHealth®

For over 25 years, DecisionHealth has served as the home care industry’s leading source for analysis, guidance and tools that improve revenue cycle performance, profitability and regulatory compliance. Agencies nationwide turn to DecisionHealth for education and training, coding and billing solutions, and ongoing expert guidance through its family of subscription-based services. DecisionHealth also certifies home health agency professionals in coding and OASIS-C through its Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance, and provides custom consulting services to agency leaders through its DecisionHealth Professional Services unit. For product information, call 1-855-CALL-DH1 or visit www.decisionhealth.com

Patriot Award Recognition

Sheila Baublitz, Astor DelGrande, and Jennifer Horst

Col. James Astor, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) volunteer, presents the Patriot Award Certificate to Nina DelGrande, Director of Affilia Home Health’s Harrisburg office. Pictured from left to right are: Affilia’s Chief Operating Officer Sheila Baublitz, Astor, DelGrande, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Horst, the Affilia employee who nominated DelGrande for the Patriot Award. ESGR is a program of the US Department of Defense.

HARRISBURG, PA, JULY 8, 2014 – Affilia Home Health’s Nina DelGrande was awarded a Patriot Award in recognition of her support of an employee’s military service. Col. Jim Astor, United States Air Force (retired), presented the award on behalf of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a program of the US Department of Defense.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Horst of Wormleysville, who works as an office support associate in Affilia Home Health’s Intake Department, nominated DelGrande for allowing the National Guardsman to leave early or take days off before or after training weekends and deployments. Horst spent a two-week deployment at Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in July.

“From the very first day, Nina has been accepting of my military service,” said Horst, who has worked for Affilia Home Health for about one year. “She understands that military duty is a priority in my life and is very supportive.” Serving in the military for 23 years, Horst has been deployed to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Bosnia.

“I am so grateful to young men and women like Jennifer who step up and serve in the National Guard and Reserves,” said DelGrande of Camp Hill, Director of Affilia’s Harrisburg Office. “Allowing them to flex their schedules so they can meet their commitments is a small price to pay for the protection they provide all of us.”

Astor, an ESGR volunteer, said the Patriot Award recognizes the employers’ efforts to support “Citizen Warriors” through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. ESGR strives to inform employers of the requirements of the Uniformed ServicesEmployment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), a federal law that establishes rights and responsibilities for uniformed service members and their civilian employers.

The law is intended to encourage uniformed service so that the United States can enjoy the protection of those services, staffed by qualified people, while maintaining a balance with the needs of private and public employers who also depend on these same individuals.

“The Patriot Award recognizes employers who go above and beyond the requirements of the law,” Astor said. “The PA Committee for ESGR truly appreciates the outstanding support shown for our service members. Without that support from their personal families, and the work families, too, our servicemen and women would not be able to do the great jobs that they do serving our country.”