By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — The leader of a Cape Ann nonprofit has been called on by the state for her expertise in the fields of home health care and hospice.
VNA Care Network & Hospice President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Ann O’Connor, RN, BSN, MBA, was recently appointed to the commonwealth’s Health Planning Council Advisory Committee.
Established within the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Health Planning Council is charged with submitting a state health plan to the governor and the General Court by Jan. 1, 2014. The state health plan identifies needs of the commonwealth in health care services, providers, programs, and facilities; the resources available to meet those needs; and the priorities for addressing those needs.
Reflecting areas of expertise and diverse perspectives on the health care system, the members of the Advisory Committee will review drafts and provide recommendations to the Council during the development of the plan.
As president and CEO of VNA Care Network & Hospice, O’Connor leads the nonprofit’s work on Cape Ann and other communities in Eastern and Central Massachusetts. The agency, with an office at 8 Angle St. in Gloucester, offers home health care services that enable people of all ages to remain at home while dealing with illness and injury. Hospice provides physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical support to terminally ill patients and their loved ones in patients’ homes, assisted living and other facilities.
“I’ve been a nurse for many years. As I worked in different levels of care, acute, long-term, home care and hospice, I knew more patients could be cared for in the home setting,” said O’Connor in a statement. “One of the best things about health care reform is that providers are finding ways to give care in the right place, at the right time and with the right team.”
VNA Care Network & Hospice’s distinctions include becoming the first Medicare-certified home health care and hospice programs in Massachusetts, opening the first hospice residence in the state and achieving accreditation from The Joint Commission. The agency has provided home- and community-based health care on the North Shore since 1908.