Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Fort Myers-based Hope HealthCare Services, announced today that Visiting Nurses Association of Southwest Florida, a community-based home health care agency, has become part of Hope’s Continuum of Care.

Services will continue with no interruption or changes for current patients of VNA, Beckwith said, adding that she hopes all VNA staff will remain in place for the comfort and care of patients during the transition and beyond.

“Hope HealthCare has been providing services in Southwest Florida for over 30 years, and the Visiting Nurses Association is the oldest home healthcare agency in the region,” Beckwith said. “We are both long-standing community organizations dedicated to providing access to quality care, regardless of an individual’s illness or ability to pay. We share the same values and the same commitment to providing excellent, compassionate care to members of our community during difficult times.”

Hope now will offer Medicare-certified home health and private duty services. According to Beckwith, more than 90 percent of seniors prefer to receive care in their homes, and nearly 66 million American caregivers need home health support.

“Home health is a natural complement to the services Hope has provided for decades,” Beckwith continued. “Our entire healthcare model is based on caring for people with serious illness – and for most of those individuals, our care takes place in their homes. Now, in addition to our community based programs, services and hospice care, we can use our outstanding skill set to provide the same compassionate, comforting care to those who require home health services.”

“This model is the future of healthcare,” she said. “We can serve individuals over a longer period of time, allowing us to provide more seamless, personalized care and attention, and offer the opportunity for more family involvement. We will continue to partner with organizations that can help us provide comprehensive care to all who are in need.”

The Visiting Nurses Association of Southwest Florida was established in 1966 as Lee County’s first home health agency. The agency has provided medically needed services to clients in their place of residence by nurses, therapists, social workers and home health aides; all services are ordered and monitored by a physician, which will continue under Hope.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to welcome VNA into the Hope HealthCare family,” Beckwith said.