Dear VNA Health Group Colleagues,
You may have heard reports on the media that over the weekend an airline traveler from Liberia, West Africa (via Morocco), landed at JFK airport and was then treated at two NJ hospitals (unidentified) prior to expiring today. He was diagnosed with Lhasa Fever, one of the viral hemorrhagic fevers endemic to West Africa and in the same family as Ebola (both are Group B arboviruses).
However, its epidemiology and person to person contagious potential are substantially less problematic than was experienced in the recent Ebola outbreak. The case fatality rate of Lhasa Fever is estimated at only 1% and probably 80 % of the infections are asymptomatic and undetected. It is spread in Africa by contact with the urine of a particular rat that commonly inhabits many dwellings. Casual contact with a human case will not transmit the disease. For person to person spread to occur, there must be significant exchange of bodily fluids (such as a needle stick). There is a very successful anti-viral treatment available for use in early case presentation.
There is no need for the professional personnel of the VNAHG to alter their present clinical approach to patients. General, universal precautions, as is expected with all patient contacts, is the key to disruption of any possibility of transmission. Continue to enquire regarding foreign travel in clients and families, especially if there is a fever. Caring for a known case in the home setting should be reviewed with the nursing supervisor and myself.
If any questions or issues arise, please review with your immediate nursing leadership and I always try to be available on my cell phone at: 732-673-7026.
Dr Robert Morgan
Chair, Children and Family Health Institute
On behalf of Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Barnabas Health, and Steven Landers, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Visiting Nurse Association Health Group
We are pleased to announce a new partnership between Barnabas Health and the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Health Group that is being launched with the goal of improving the quality and efficiency of post-acute care, home care and hospice in the communities we serve.
Hospitals and home care providers must find new ways to collaborate and coordinate care to provide a more seamless patient experience, reduce unnecessary re-hospitalizations, and improve health outcomes for the patients and populations we serve. The Barnabas Health and VNA Health Group partnership will position our organizations to meet these emerging health system challenges.
For many years, Barnabas Health Home Care and Hospice independently managed home health and hospice services in Essex, Monmouth, and Ocean counties, while VNA Health Group has independently operated home care and hospice services through the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey in Monmouth, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, and Burlington Counties.
This partnership expands the geographic coverage of Barnabas Health affiliated post-acute services to better align with the Barnabas Health hospital and physician footprint. For VNA Health Group, the partnership is an opportunity to grow as an independent community agency while closely collaborating with a leading health system.
VNA Health Group will continue to independently manage Robert Wood Johnson Visiting Nurses, Englewood Visiting Nurse Association, Cape Visiting Nurse Association, and other Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey programs and service.
Note: This announcement will not be made publically until 4 p.m. on Monday, May 18. We expect to operate as “business as usual. VNA Health Group patients and referral sources can continue to use the phone and email contacts as they currently have.
If you receive specific questions about referrals, please direct them to Nora Gray at 732-224-6912 or Sherl Brand at 732-224-6891.
If you receive any inquiries from press, please direct them to Jesse Dean at VNA Health Group Media Relations, 732-224-6794.