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In 2006 EMHS, began merging all of their homecare and hospice agencies under one umbrella completing a full merger statewide in 2015 when all became VNA Home Health Hospice. Our roots in Maine date back to 1912, however.

Early homecare organizations were known as Visiting Nurse Services or Associations. The first visiting nurse organization in this country was started in 1886 in Philadelphia. The purpose was to keep people well and to provide care of the sick at home by a nurse trained in public health nursing.  Clean milk programs, fly swatting campaigns, and even nose-blowing drills were instituted to spread the knowledge of hygiene.  In many parts of the country these early “visiting nurses” made their rounds by horse and buggy both to schools and homes. 

Today we continue to make visits to those at home who are recovering from illness and surgery and have added Hospice and other programs to help those who prefer to spend their remaining days in the comfort of their own home. We continue with public health nursing by offering immunization clinics, adult health clinics, and education/awareness events for people of all ages.  Throughout the homecare system our clinicians make in excess of 160,000 in-home visits each year caring for an average of 1,400 people on any given day.  An additional 4,000 individuals are cared for in health and wellness clinics.  We employ: Nurses; Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists; Home Health Aides; Medical Social Workers; Companions; and Geriatric Care Managers.

Each homecare site is Medicare Certified and state licensed.  Funds raised for each site remain in their respective community, unless it is a statewide initiative.
Like many of the early organizations one person’s vision became a reality.  Our office locations are no different.  To fully understand their deep history following is a list of each member’s original name and date founded:
 
  • Bangor Area Visiting Nurses:  Established in 1912, it merged with Hospice of Eastern Maine in 1999 to add hospice as a service.
  • Hancock County Homecare and Hospice: Established in 1931 as Four Town Visiting Nurses.  Hospice was added in 1998.
  • Visiting Nurses of Aroostook/Hospice of Aroostook:  Established in 1969 as the Aroostook Home Care Agency, Inc. Hospice was added in 1984 and in 1989 the name was changed.
  • VNA Home Health Hospice:  In 1921 the City of South Portland with the assistance of the American Red Cross established the South Portland Health Agency.  By 1944 it had become the South Portland District Nursing Association. Hospice was added in 1991 and the name changed to VNA Home Health Hospice.