VNA Inks Deal With Town To Offer In-Home Maternal Child Services

Jason Graziadei •

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The VNA of Cape Cod and Nantucket has inked a deal with the Nantucket Health Department to provide in-home maternal and child health services for island women and babies following a birth.

The new program will allow mothers and newborns to be seen by a nurse at their residence postpartum for a well-baby check, rather than having to return to the hospital clinic. Such visits had previously been offered by the hospital, but were discontinued several years ago.

The contract between the VNA and the town was finalized late last month, and the new program is ready to begin, said Kelsea Gray, RN, the VNA’s Nantucket team manager.

“We realized that the community has been missing out on this benefit that everyone should have,” Gray said. “The goal is that for every mom that has a baby, we can do that three-day check in the home rather than having them go back into the hospital for a revisit. It’s not only taxing and exhausting for you to leave the house with your brand new baby, but it also pulls those visits out of the clinic, and will open up more appointments in the clinic.”

The visits would include things like weight and vitals checks, lactation consultations, or checks on a woman’s incision following a C-section. In many cases, it’s just being there to answer questions that can prove the most valuable.

Gray said she is working with the labor and delivery team at Nantucket Cottage Hospital to ensure all maternity patients are aware of the new program and will have access to the services.

“My goal is that people know this service is available to them, and a referral isn’t just if something’s wrong,” Gray said. “We can come and support you and we’re working closely with the hospital.”

Gray added that the VNA already offers such services to all 13 towns in Barnstable County on Cape Cod. The contract with the town means the VNA can offer the service to patients whether they have health insurance or not.

“This has the potential to be a great partnership,” Nantucket Health Department Director Roberto Santamaria said. “Preventative care is a core tenet of public health and we are happy to be moving the island into the 21st century.”

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