Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is now VNA Health

Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is now VNA Health title=
Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is now VNA Health
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Lynda Tanner, President & CEO of VNA Health (Photo: Fritz Olenberger)

Source: VNA Health

Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care has rebranded and launched its new name – VNA Health – embracing its legacy of trusted care, innovation, and synergy to position the organization for growth and continued success. VNA Health also launched its new website – – Santa Barbara County’s first healthcare organization to use the dot-health domain as its primary online portal.

“This is exciting for our organization, our patients, and our community,” said Lynda Tanner, RN, MSN, President & CEO of VNA Health. “Our Board of Directors and Leadership Team embraced this endeavor three years ago to address confusion in the marketplace and to strategically position this organization for continued success so that we can serve our community for another 100 years.”

A Marketing Task Force including the organization’s Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team implemented a strategic phased approach. Much of the time invested was in the market research phase. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted countywide, including one-on-one interviews, group interviews, phone surveys, and online surveys.

Photo: Fritz Olenberger

“We asked…We listened…We responded,” remarked Tanner. “We learned that many people call us VNA, which is understandable since our organization was founded as the Visiting Nurses Association of Santa Barbara and was known as VNA for decades. We also learned that regardless of age or stage of health, ultimately, people just want to live well. Changing our name to VNA Health and our tagline to “Live Well” reflects our ongoing commitment to providing quality health care and our promise to help the communities we serve to live well.”

With the rebrand, VNA Health has a new icon that is an innovative reflection of the nursing pin worn by Marian Watts, the organization’s founder. In 1898, Marian graduated from the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing; and during those times, a nurse was identified by her nursing pin. When people saw the pin, they knew they would receive expert, trusted care. The early nurses embraced this trust and responsibility so deeply, that when they died, they instructed their families to send their pin back to their nursing school to ensure no one could misuse their pin and pretend to be a nurse. VNA Health’s icon is symbolic of that trusted pin and the agency’s heritage of creating synergy between groups to for the health and well-being of the community.

Founded in 1908, VNA Health is the third oldest VNA in California and started the first, non-hospital, non-clinic healthcare services in Santa Barbara; well before city and county health departments and nursing school programs. Santa Barbara became a health haven in the 1860s. Years later, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital opened in 1891; Potter Metabolic Clinic with Dr. William Sansum opened in 1919; and both Santa Barbara Medical Clinic and Sansum Medical Clinic opened in 1921. So for decades, VNA was Santa Barbara’s healthcare trailblazer, building new programs to meet the needs of patients and their families between visits to the hospital and the clinics.

In NOTICIAS, produced by the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Erin Graffy describes VNA’s function: “It would launch a program to address a health problem, and then when the time was appropriate, turn it over to another agency or appropriate government entity that could embrace and sustain the needed services.”

For example in 1911, VNA established the VNA Dispensary, our community’s first urgent care, a concept 75 years ahead of its time. Over the next 12 years, VNA went on to establish the VNA Dental Clinic, VNA County Nursing Program, Tuberculosis Clinic, Cardiac Clinic, and Posture Clinic. Each of these programs were built to meet a critical need for our community; and eventually VNA passed the baton to a fellow community partner. Today, VNA Health is focused on providing home health care, palliative care, hospice care and community care programs like the Loan Closet and Serenity House.

While the organization has a new name, icon, mission and vision, its values and services remain the same.

  • Mission: Caring for our community with compassion and integrity.
  • Vision: Every person lives with health and dignity.
  • Values: Compassion, Integrity, Teamwork, Excellence.
  • Services: VNA Health provides comprehensive in-home healthcare, helping patients and their families…live well at home…wherever they reside and call home.

As a nonprofit organization, VNA Health remains committed to supporting its charitable community care services and programs such as the Loan Closet, subsidized care at Serenity House, We Honor Veterans, and community education programs like the annual PHorum: Perspectives in Healthcare. The VNA Health Foundation raises more than $2 million every year to support these programs, thanks to the generosity of donors and philanthropic funders.

“On November 8, VNA Health will celebrate its 111th anniversary as an organization built by the community for the community, and sustained by the community,” Tanner shared. “In 1908, ‘synergy’ was not a common word, yet our founders created community synergy. They were described as ‘public spirited and far sighted.’ Today, VNA Health continues to have a ‘public spirited and far sighted’ team of board members, staff, and volunteers. We are focused on continuing to be an innovative healthcare leader helping our communities live well."

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MountainMan4865 Sep 30, 2019 06:32 PM
Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is now VNA Health

This is an absolutely invaluable asset in our community. With anyone that has experienced the trial of aging parents, relatives, neighbors - this is a gem of an organization. Thank you for all you are and all you do. The Loan Closet is an amazing resource!!!

EastBeach Sep 30, 2019 09:18 PM
Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is now VNA Health

VNA is indeed an asset to the community. I know two people who are healthcare providers at VNA and have found them to be a dedicated and caring bunch.

Flicka Oct 01, 2019 09:37 AM
Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is now VNA Health

When my mom was a little girl grandma took her to VNA, on the corner of Haley and Santa Barbara Streets, to have her throat "swabbed" once a week for her problem with tonsils (about 1918). About 88 years later we had their hospice care for Mom. VNA was a pioneer in helping with health care in SB. Thank you, VNA for all you have done for the last 111 years.

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