VNA Honors Work Done, Looks Toward Future at Annual Awards Dinner

By: Sam Malkowski Last Updated: February 23, 2016

The Porter County Visiting Nurse’s Association starts off every year with an award dinner and a presentation on what members can expect for the following year. On February 22, 2015 they gathered at the Old Town Banquet Hall in Valparaiso Indiana.

Director of Development Maria Galka said that the importance of a celebration over private thank yous to each award winner was, “The camaraderie. Everyone with the same mission and mindset is in the same room. It builds enthusiasm.”

Click here to see all the photos from the VNA Annual Dinner!

The Vision of the VNA is to provide quality care with compassion to patients and their families through the aging process. This year they are adding many services to their roster, including palliative care, pet therapy, and massage therapy.

“Be the hands that hold the hands of the sick, the elderly,” said Chaplain Craig Forwalter, “That is the VNA. We are there for you when we are needed.”

As of February 1st the local VNA shed their Porter County prefix as they grew to accommodate more of the region. The 2016 Rebranding project included a new name, NWI VNA, that members hope will welcome more people into the fold. All of their social media, mission statements, and even association uniform colors are updating.

“We need people to understand that they are already a part of the VNA family,” said President of NWI VNA Ann O’Heir.

They are a family that keeps on growing. This year they reached four hundred volunteers, and gained more medical expertise.

“The evolution of healthcare in our careers has been phenomenal,” said Dr. Kenneth Black in his presentation of the VNA Physician of the Year Award to Dr. Barbara Fuller. “We live in an era of ABC Soup- MRIs, CAT Scans… but the art of medicine is in the spirit and that is often forgotten.”

Each of the night’s award winners exhibited that same spirit and humbleness that the VNA’s members have become known for. They do not expect praise because they consider their work to be a privilege not a right.

Dr Fuller’s acceptance speech passed her recognition on to others. “I want to thank the hospice care workers for the way they’ve treated the patients I’ve referred to them. I want to continue our relationship.”

President O’Heir agreed. “I’m grateful to our board and committee members, our staff, our volunteers, and our donors for their work and continued support of our mission. It is because of you and your compassionate, dedicated commitment to excellence that the community has placed its trust in the VNA.”