‘Creativity’ Supersedes Pandemic at VNA


April 15th, 2021

Photo provided by Lisa Ellis.

OMAHA – Over a hundred years ago, Visiting Nurse Association (or VNA) was founded here in Omaha. VNA provides in-home and community-based services to individuals of all ages and stages of life. The organization brings door-to-door nurses to those who don’t have access to medical services in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area.

Carole Patrick, Vice-President at VNA. KVNO News Zoom interview.

Carol Patrick, vice-president at VNA, is overjoyed to celebrate one more anniversary of this organization.

This is my fourth year of being with the organization, but more important than that our organization is celebrating its 125th year of serving Omaha this year,” Patrick said.

How have they been able to serve Omaha and its surrounding communities for 125 years?

We were founded in 1896 by the daughter of the Omaha mayor,” Patrick said. “She was a nurse and wanted to make sure that those who did not have access to health care or supportive services for their health had that access, and we have carried that mission on for 125 years now.”

Coordination for the celebration this year has many moving parts. First, it has to be safe due to the pandemic; local restaurants are preparing pots of soup and local artists will have a silent auction of their work. The result of all this planning: “Virtual Art and Soup” Fundraiser.

Patrick says that during the COVID-19 pandemic, she has come to realize that nurses and all employees at VNA, during its 125 years of service, have risen to the occasion in many other health crises before.

From H1N1, HIV Aids, Spanish influenza, all of those, we have been a part of that,” Patrick said, “and we currently have 60 nurses who are giving COVID immunizations in this city.”

VNA, among other health services, provides nurses in each homeless and domestic violence shelter in Omaha and Council Bluffs. Essentially, with their Art and Soup fundraiser, VNA continues to provide all types of medical and dental services in each one of those shelters.

We go where others don’t and we serve the others won’t,” Patrick said.

This is the 24th “Art and Soup” fundraiser that VNA has arranged. 25 local artists will donate 50% of their sales to VNA. Restaurants will donate soup and supporters can buy a “soup passport” to pick up a cup of soup from each of the participating restaurants. From the 12th through the 17th of this month, supporters can bid on the different pieces of the art online, all produced by local artists. This Sunday, April 18, there will be a drive-thru, where people can pick up their art and some restaurants will be on site.

For more information about Art and Soup, visit vnatoday.org

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