Health at Home Locations
Hot Springs | Little Rock | Morrilton
Committed to providing the highest quality home health to the communities we serve. We understand every person is unique. We work with you, your family, and physicians to understand and meet your specific needs.
A large range of clinical services, such as nursing and therapy, help our patients recover and rehabilitate where they want to be most: at home.
Our History: 1938 - Present
Arkansas’ first name in home health opened its doors for business on Jan. 1, 1938; the result of concerns by the Junior League that there was a vast gap of health services in Little Rock. The Junior League, sponsors of a maternity and child health program in the community for over 20 years, was staffed by volunteers who had a front row seat to illness and other needs in the homes they visited. As they cared for the babies and mothers, they noticed that the siblings and fathers were often sick as well. A group of caring professionals and lay citizens came together to discuss a health program that would require the services of trained nurses to make home visits in the community.
Following a three month survey by the National Council of Community Chests (currently known as the United Way), it was determined that “steps should be taken which would materially strengthen, enlarge and co-ordinate a health program, and a visiting nurse service should be established.” Accepting the recommendation as a challenge, the Community Chest leaders called upon the Junior League to organize a Visiting Nurse Association. The Junior League, meeting the challenge, organized volunteers and provided the space that would become the first headquarters of VNA of Greater Little Rock, in the form of the Charles M. Taylor Memorial Home on East Capitol Avenue. The association was funded by the Community Chest of Greater Little Rock.
Organizing The Program
To organize the program, an initial committee was compiled of Junior League members and three other community leaders. The first thing the committee did was send a call for help to the national organization of Public Health Nurses. The PHN sent Dorothy Deming, its Director and an outstanding expert on public health nursing in the country, to aid in the setup. Conferring with Community Chest and Council of Social Agencies leaders, physicians, tuberculosis association officers, Red Cross leaders and many others directly interested in a public health program for Greater Little Rock, Deming devised a plan for the VNA program.
The association was enthusiastically supported by the Pulaski County Medical Society which elected a Medical Advisory Board from its members to review any medical issues that came before the board. Elizabeth Hoeltzel, long prominent in the Greater Little Rock area of Public Nursing, was appointed director. The remaining staff was comprised of two other public health nurses, Casrine Rufener, a graduate of CHI St. Vincent Infirmary and Hazel Kuhns, a graduate of St. Luke’s Hospital, Bellingham, Washington. Grown from a seed of caring concern for their fellow man, a lot of planning and hard work, the Junior Leagues’ vision had become a reality; Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Little Rock was established.
The first VNA patient’s father was unemployed and at the time of service could afford to pay nothing. The fee for services to this family was waived. During its first year of operation, the nurses employed by the VNA of Greater Little Rock made 4,842 visits to 786 patients in 642 homes.
From humble beginnings, in an ever-changing world of insurance coverage, Medicare, Medicaid, health care regulations and new technology over the past seven decades, the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Little Rock has changed and grown. As the community it served continued to grow, the name changed to the Visiting Nurse Association of Arkansas to encompass all areas of service, outside of Little Rock. Taking root in the minds and hearts of caring volunteers from the Junior League, concerned for the needs of their fellow man, an idea for a program that would minister to the health needs of people from all walks of life, regardless of their ability to pay, became a reality. Continuing the legacy of caring begun by the Jr. League Volunteers, the VNA of Arkansas has continued to provide for some of the non-clinical needs of patients through our Patient Assistance Fund, funded by community donations and grants.
On July 1, 2015, the VNA of Arkansas name changed to CHI St. Vincent Health at Home, realigning the organization more closely with CHI St. Vincent and Catholic Health Initiatives.