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VNS Westchester Announces Launch of New Foundation at Annual Gala

Annual Benefit Raises $110,000 for VNSW Foundation, Inc.
May, 30th 2017 in Press Releases

Photo: (left to right): Michael Gargiulo,Tim Leddy, Honoree Congresswoman Nita Lowey; Honoree Dr. Amy Ansehl; Katharine Conroy; and Mary Gadomski

Rep. Nita Lowey and Dr. Amy Ansehl Receive Awards for Extraordinary Commitment to Healthcare Community  

There’s a growing gap between the cost of delivering high-quality home healthcare services and government reimbursements to help pay for them.   That results in a challenge for organizations like VNS Westchester, which provides critical healthcare services to an increasing number of people in Westchester and the region. To meet that challenge head-on, the organization has launched The VNSW Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization that will help ensure the future of the home care agency’s programs and services through charitable outreach to the community. Dr. Amy Ansehl, RN, DNP, FNP-BC, board chair, Westchester Visiting Nurse Services Group, Inc., announced the launch at the organization’s 19th Annual Spring Benefit Gala on May 10, where she and Congresswoman Nita Lowey received honors. Nearly 200 colleagues, friends and donors generously contributed $110,000 to the foundation at the event, held at the Willow Ridge Country Club in Harrison.

“Our rapidly aging population relies on our agency to address increasingly complex healthcare needs, and the resources we develop are critical to maintaining the level of care we provide,” said Ansehl, who also serves as executive director of the Partnership for a Healthy Population at New York Medical College’s School of Health Sciences and Practice. 

The foundation will support VNSW’s free community health screenings, health education programs focusing on preventative care and chronic disease management, and home care services for underinsured patients. It will also enable healthcare innovation and the creation of new pilot programs, said Ansehl, citing as an example the success of VNSW’s Tobacco Cessation program, which screens 84,000 home care patients a year to help them stop smoking.

Following Dr. Ansehl’s announcement, she and Congresswoman Nita Lowey received the evening’s honors. The awards were presented by Timothy P. Leddy, president and CEO, VNS Westchester, and Katharine W. Conroy, a member of the board of directors. In his remarks, Leddy acknowledged the many individuals, local businesses, corporate sponsors, partner organizations, and other contributors from throughout the community who had made the evening possible. “Your support translates into our ability to provide enhanced services through the 237,000 visits we make to over 10,000 patients annually. They are the ultimate beneficiaries of your generosity, and we thank you on their behalf,” he said.

In accepting her Distinguished Service Award, Congresswoman Lowey praised the organization’s service to the community for over 116 years. “This organization gives nurses the tools to provide 21st century healthcare, and through the valuable services it provides, improves health outcomes for so many in the region. I’m honored to be an honoree with Amy, and I’m so inspired by the work that you do!”

 Dr. Ansehl, recipient of the Community Leadership Award, thanked the organization’s supporters who help VNSW fulfill its vital mission. She also spoke about the dedication of the individual nurses who provide much-needed care, week in, and week out. “I never realized how important VNSW was until I went with staff from home to home, in the rain and on icy roads. Our staff pushes through to make their visits and provide services, which are so valuable to the patients they see.”

The event was emceed by Westchester resident, Michael Gargiulo, anchor, NBC 4 New York, and co-chaired by Karen Herrero, of Scarsdale, a WVNS Group Board Member, and co-owner of the NY Hospitality Group, and Mahopac resident Debra Swee, communications consultant and WVNS Group Board Member.

Proceeds from the Spring Benefit Gala directly support VNS Westchester’s efforts to provide expanded programs and charitable care for its home healthcare patients in Westchester, the Bronx, Dutchess, Putnam and Rockland counties. Funds also support the wide range of free community health education programs and services that the agency provides to seniors and other populations in the five-county region it serves.

The evening also featured the debut of a new video, featuring several patients who have benefitted from VNSW’s services, including Andrew Risoli, who attended the dinner with his wife, Agnes Risoli, and with the assistance of his nurse, Velma Nicholson. Faced with multiple debilitating and chronic health conditions, he requires ongoing healthcare at home,  including the agency’s Telehealth remote patient monitoring services. The Risoli’s say they have found life-changing support through VNSW. The video may be viewed at the agency’s web site at







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