Employees Reaching Out In Our Local Community
Our VNHC employees are committed to serving their community in the same way they are committed to serving patients and families. Each fall employees participate in the United Way campaign that benefits many programs and services in the community. All are encouraged to participate regardless of the level of their contribution. For the past several years VNHC has received the United Way’s Outstanding Nonprofit Campaign award.
Since 2002, VNHC employees have participated in the United Way’s The Lunch Bunch, Fun in the Sun summer program. Employees volunteer for a weekly hour-long mentoring program for local low-income children. Through the years, many employees have had the satisfaction of seeing the positive impact they have had in the lives of these children.
Another community event that VNHC employees support is the Alzheimer’s Association Annual Memory Walk.Several employees volunteer for this fun event as Team Leaders, recruiting others to solicit pledges for their walking efforts. Many of our employees have experience with dementia, both on and off the job and they know how important their efforts are in supporting local programs and services of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Employees Reaching Out Across the Globe
In addition to the many local projects they support, our employees are partnered with Viagenco Integrated Comprehensive Care of Mbita, Kenya. The partnership between VNHC and Viagenco began in 2004 and continues to flourish.
Viagenco serves a poor rural population in Western Kenya where HIV/AIDS has affected every aspect of the community. VNHC has supported Viagenco in developing a permanent, well-staffed outpatient clinic, an in-patient facility, a home-based palliative care program, and other projects such as microfinance, permaculture, early childhood education and elder support. VNHC staff members and others support over 140 orphaned children to attend school and provide scholarships to deserving nursing students.
Fundraisers specific to the Viagenco Project enable us to reach out across the globe to help this needy community. In doing so, have learned the value of the Kiswahili word “harambee”, working together.
2490 patients were served at the Viagenco health clinic in 2012.
954 of those were identified as having HIV disease
626 had malaria
334 had typhoid
VNHC wired $28,000 to support operating costs of the clinic. The staff task force for Viagenco raised $7,780 of that amount.
VNHC wired $42,418 for other programs, including educational support for 148 orphaned children, food for the homebound elderly, housing for destitute families and nursing school scholarships for three young women. The staff task force raised all of those funds.
Goals of 2012 were:
1. Progress toward sustainability of the health clinic/palliative care program: we are moving forward in this area but have had some setbacks, notably the shutting down of the Kenyan national health insurance program due to corruption at the national level. We hope this program will eventually provide some income for Viagenco. 2013 will be the last year of quarterly wires for clinic support according to our 3-year exit plan initiated in 2011.
2. Benson Oswago, chairman of Viagenco, visited Santa Barbara to meet with our staff, make a presentation to the community about the project, and learn more about hospice and palliative care from VNHC. A highlight of the visit was Benson’s participation in our 2nd VNHC Talent Show, a fundraiser for our partnership.
3. A new partnership was established with Vitamin Angels, who provided vitamins for the Lwanda community.
Goals for 2013:
1. Continued efforts to ensure sustainability of the Viagenco programs.
2. A site visit to Lwanda by 6 VNHC staff in September.
3. Anticipated wires for clinic operations of $19,000 in 2013.
4. Anticipate wires for other programs/projects totaling about $35,000 or more.