With roots in both Mercyhealth and the Visiting Nurse Association, Mercyhealth at Home is a vital part of a long tradition of healthcare excellence in Janesville, Rock County, and beyond.
Mercyhealth at Home came to be in 1964. Then, it was known as Visiting Nurse Health Care Services.
It was the vision of VNHCS to offer its home care patients hospice services from the same familiar and friendly staff. The agency felt that, for patients going from home care to hospice, changing staff was very traumatic. By offering home hospice services to complement its home health services, the agency could offer patients an easy transition to hospice, with the same staff and same routine that the patient is used to. That tradition of compassionate care and continuity became Mercyhealth Hospice in 1993 and is honored to this day.
In 2011, Mercyhealth Home Health became separate from Mercyhealth Hospice, but both maintain their deep roots in the community and their commitment to quality, excellence, and caring.
A timeline for Mercyhealth at Home
Civil War surgeon, Dr. Henry Palmer, opens Janesville’s first hospital, known then as Janesville City Hospital; the building still stands at 1005 Sutherland Avenue.
The Sisters of Mercyhealth of Chicago purchase the hospital from Dr. Palmer’s son, Dr. William H. Palmer, and rename it Palmer Memorial Mercyhealth Hospital. In 1913, they again renamed it, this time to Mercyhealth Hospital.
The Janesville Federation of Women establishes a Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) following increasing requests for in-home nursing made to the city health department.
VNHCS received home health Medicare certification.
VNHCS began working closely with Mercyhealth Health System and took many patient referrals.
VNHCS developed the Friendly Visitor volunteer program, now called Visiting Friends.
Javon R. Bea is hired as president and CEO, and Mercyhealth Hospital begins its nationally acclaimed transformation from a single community hospital to today’s regional Mercyhealth Health System.
The VNA became a subsidiary of the Mercyhealth Health System.
The agency changes its name from the Visiting Nurse Association to Visiting Nurse Health Care Services. The agency moves to the new Assisted Living Center, now known as the Henry Palmer Building on the Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center campus.
In-home hospice care is in high demand. To fulfill this important need, Visiting Nurse Health Care Services receives state licensing and certification for its new in-home hospice services.
The Visiting Nurse Health Care Services became Mercyhealth Assisted Care. Its hospice services were then renamed Mercyhealth Assisted Care Hospice.
Mercyhealth Hospice and Mercyhealth Home Health become two formal entities, separate but complementary.
Mercyhealth Hospice, Mercyhealth Home Health and Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) combined to become known as Mercyhealth at Home