Joyce Alexa, Vice President of Mission Integration and Governmental Affairs for the Visiting Nurse Association of Porter County is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Indiana Association for Home & Hospice Care’s Norah J. McFarland Award. The award is presented annually to "an individual who exhibits those qualities and standards which best represent the home health and hospice care industry, including leadership, integrity, community involvement, sensitivity and action related to home health issues and patient needs".
“Joyce has demonstrated outstanding leadership in home health and hospice care that well reflects the intent and spirit of the award. We’re proud of Joyce and are grateful that IAHHC chose to recognize her passionate advocacy for patients with the Norah J. McFarland Award," says Kathleen Holycross, President and CEO of the VNA.
Joyce’s career with the VNA began in 1973 when she joined the VNA Board of Directors. Several years later she accepted a staff position with the VNA and in 1983 became the agency’s Clinical Director. Joyce was instrumental in the start up of the VNA Hospice Homecare Program which provides compassionate end of life care for patients in their homes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the community. She also passionately educated legislators on the importance of differentiating in-patient Hospice care from nursing home or hospital care, ensuring that this critical difference was reflected in Indiana laws and rules.
In 1994, with legislation in place, Joyce worked as a member of the ground-breaking leadership team that opened the VNA Mary E. Bartz Hospice Center, the very first in-patient Hospice Center in Indiana. And in 2002, she served on various committees to help build and open the Arthur B. and Ethel V. Horton VNA Hospice Center. Last year alone, the VNA was able to provide hospice care for 780 patients and their families, including 350 patients who received inpatient hospice care at the VNA Hospice Center.
"I’m honored to receive the Norah J. McFarland Award. And, I’m so grateful to have the privilege of working with so many amazing VNA staff members and volunteers who are out in our patients’ homes, at the VNA Hospice Center or back at the office, making sure the care the VNA provides everyday is extraordinary," says Alexa.
The VNA provides care throughout Porter County, including Chesterton, Valparaiso, Kouts and Portage, in addition to surrounding communities in Lake, LaPorte, Jasper and Starke counties. For more information about the programs and services offered by the VNA, call (219) 462-5195 or visit the VNA website at www.vnaportercounty.org.
Photo: Joyce Alexa, Vice President of Mission Integration and Governmental Affairs for the VNA of Porter County is this year’s recipient of the Indiana Association for Home & Hospice Care’s Norah J. McFarland Award.