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Neighborhood Health Significant Dates

June 1912
June..."Nine Wayne women joined together under the Neighborhood League name, 'to promote moral, social, and physical betterment in the community'."

October 1912
The first visiting nurse was secured and headquartered at 115 North Wayne Avenue. Salary of $750 was provided. She cared for infants with summer complaint, disease of pelvic organs, brain and nerves, kidney and bladder, typhoid fever.

1913
The first social worker was employed by The League and the Friendly Aid Committee extended its influence to both Strafford and Berwyn with disbursements of one ton coal at $5 for old couple...boys board for 11 weeks at $13.

1914
A nurse from The League "began school nursing in the Radnor School District."

1914
The Social Service Society of West Chester formed, employing a practical nurse "who had been School Nurse for many years at The Normal School....because she lacked regular training, we took the name of Social Service Society, instead of Visiting Nurse Society, although we were patterned after the Philadelphia organization of that name." History of the Social Service Society Handbook, 1940.

1915
The Neighborhood League was incorporated, to do business in parts of Delaware and Chester Counties which parallel the Main Line of Pennsylvania Railroad from Radnor to Paoli....

1915
The Dental Clinic began in the Radnor School. One woman, a mother of eight, had not been to a dentist since she was ten, with resultant bad effects on health and spirit....now better not only physically, and mentally, since necessary dental work was done. Report of the General Secretary 1920 (a year when more than 200 were treated at Dental Clinic).

1916
Downingtown Visiting Nurse Association came into being. The first nurse received a salary of $55 per month....Living quarters and office space rented from Downingtown Library. A horse and buggy hired from members, as available, was her transportation. Manual, 1969.

1917
Purchase and maintenance of small Ford automobile equipped with self-starter for nurse's transportation was purchased at cost of $234....maintenance cost of $465 for one year....by League.

1917
Offices of League moved to The Neighborhood League House on Audabon Avenue, Wayne, a home of its own", where the nurse found it more pleasant, known to the public from the sign, with easy access from the street, having space for my nursing supplies.

1918
Flu epidemic - Social Services nurses, plus six volunteer nurses a day took care of all the public health work of the town. History of the Social Service Society Handbook, 1940.

1920
The Well Baby Clinic (Child Welfare Clinic), held once a week, was introduced. When it was not possible for the mother to attend the clinic, the visiting nurse makes infant welfare visits at the home. The baby is regularly inspected, weighed, the doctor's attention called to anything needed....to cut down the infant mortality, which averages fifty percent in the first year of life....

1921
The Wayne and Devon branches of The Needlework Guild, (founded 1895) donated 220 garments....With these donations we (nurses) have been able to provide warm clothing to families under our care...

1921
Each nurse allowed one afternoon and Sunday off a week....Salary is increased to $1,700 a year, as a reward for faithful service.

1921
The Social Service Society of West Chester expanded its visiting nurse coverage....This means....meeting the districts covered by nurses of Coatesville, Downingtown, Kennett Square, Paoli....responding to calls from Willistown, Westtown, East Bradford, Thornbury....a Christmas gift of a Ford car makes this possible....

On the 8th Anniversary, The Social Service Society received the following letter, signed "a beneficiary."

"Five years seems a long time to be looked after by a society or organization, doesn't it? And yet that is just my case, and I am still practically a helpless shut-in. Not, however, needing regular attendance of the nurse, but what a comfort to know that I can call on her whenever it is necessary. And the Social Service Society, during all this time, has regularly supplied me with eggs, which forms a part of my diet, and never have they failed me even when eggs could be had only at an exorbitant price. Is it not these kindnesses which count, is not such an organization worthy of the encouragement and support of the community? Are we not helped materially and spiritually when we make an effort to help our deserving home folks?

Oh, that I could write or say something that would put the true Christian spirit into your hearts and plant desire and intention to make somebody happy and comfortable 365 days in the year."

1922
Child Welfare Clinic expanded with new centers in Devon, Mount Pleasant, Miller Memorial Mission.

1923
The growth in the nursing service has progressed....until now, we have at our disposal three nurses. One nurse specialized in obstetrics and general nursing, another specialized in school nursing and general nursing and the third in Child Welfare and assists in general nursing....

1923
We now supply an emergency (nursing) service which operates day and night - Sundays and holidays....the only organization in this vicinity to do so." "Furnish hourly nursing service, paid for by those who can afford to do so or given free, when necessary....
...Obstetrical service, we believe unique....we furnish outfits, surgical dressings and nursing at all times." Nurses Report.

1925
The Neighborhood League Shops of Wayne debuted. A few volunteers started a small shop where secondhand clothing might be sold at low prices, thereby contributing to the maintenance of the League property and to help people of their community with their clothing problems...A North Wayne Avenue shop was rented for $50 per month....its immediate success necessitated a paid worker with $50 monthly salary....
The Suburban and Wayne Times.

The clothing was donated to the League by grateful patients visits by nurses. It was then distributed to needy families. However, the amounts stored at League House overgrew storage space. Hence, the birth of the Neighborhood League Shops.

1927
The first registered nurse joined the Social Services Society of West Chester....A third nurse was added to the staff the following year.

1928
During this year, no charge of any kind was made for nursing service in eighty-five percent of cases cared for"....5,243 visits were made by the visiting nurses.


1929
The Society of Social Services of West Chester was incorporated, when a tree fell on one of the automobiles, demonstrating the need for protection of its members against damage suits....

1929
During the four years of the Neighborhood League Cooperative Shop's existence, it has turned over to The League $10,000....made is possible to add another social worker....equip the League with more adequate means of transportation (for nurses)....there is a large rural territory to be covered with equal thoroughness....

1930
Downingtown Visiting Nurses Association purchases first car....Once known as The Emergency Aid and Home Relief Association, WW I...."All members paid dues....envelopes were left at every house asking for a penny from each family member....

1930
A record year for the nursing staff....grippe and the ills which cold weather always seem to bring...April, the shocking Devon explosion affected about 200 families. For several weeks, regular work was interrupted.

The relief of suffering was our first consideration - treating the wounded, supplying food and shelter...an extra nurse was taken on half-time....New Devon Health Center comes as a direct result...."

1931
6,016 visits of nurses defy classification....a nurse may be called to a tiny home to bathe the new baby, with ten brothers and sisters looking on, and in the evening, rush on an emergency call to the home of many rooms and servants, to help until the nurse who has been engaged can be located...

1931
In spite of hard times, the Neighborhood League Shop is not only doing business in the old way, but has opened a Woman's Exchange to help women whose incomes have been curtailed....by sale of home cooked products....

1931
Woman's Exchange locates at 185 East Lancaster .... Neighborhood League Shop moves to 191 Lancaster .... Commission Shop (shop for clothing to be sold on commission basis) now above Neighborhood League Shop....History of Shops, 1972.

1932
One of our staff (nursing) has been taking a post-graduate course with the School of Social and Health Work....It is only fair that our nursing and health staff keep abreast of times....

1933
Thanks to beneficence of those interested in League, it has a Permanent Fund....of $9,750....The League since its foundation, has carried on its charitable work without a deficit....

1934
The Nursing Service Auxiliary is fortunate to have among its members trained workers who have held salaried positions at one time....in specialized fields....This past year volunteering The Baby Clinics, Wayne Dental Clinic, Occupational Therapy, pre-school examinations....providing transportation, clerical and assistance.

1937
It's a far cry from the 'walking visits' of 25 years ago. Now....The Neighborhood League covers an area of 25 square miles....a population of about 20,000.

....The nurses attended 22 home deliveries....Thanks to Mrs. Charles S. Walton, by whose generous will (The Neighborhood League) continues to be provided a home, as long as the League's work continues to be done."

1938
This year there were 6 home deliveries, while 34 of our mothers were delivered in the hospital.

Increasingly, the importance of special educational preparation for the nurse in Public Health work is stressed. Year by year, a higher level of standards is reached.... Each year, one nurse takes some course connected with Public health Nursing at The University of Pennsylvania.

1938
Delaware County Health and Families Agencies survey touched on but a small portion of our work because of our unique and not altogether enviable geographic location centered where three counties meet....

The report emphasized the large number of small agencies....and asked us to consider amalgamation with several other agencies to obtain a unit large enough to permit closer supervision of the work....This was not found practical at the time."

1942
In these troubled times....organized community life is affected by our great concern for other things. What is the place of a social service and nursing agency in a time when the whole nation seems to prepare only for war or faces a drift toward catastrophe?"

The Neighborhood League joined United Charities Campaign, the precursor to the United Way.

1945
The nurses, besides their usual activities, have met the unusual responsibilities caused by the war....mostly adjusting to the doctor shortage." Social Service Society Handbook, 1945.

1947
The Family Agency was founded....all social work was relinquished by the Social Service Society, which then changed its name to the West Chester Visiting Association.

1954
With the help of a legacy from Mrs. Emmarean S. Moore, a permanent home at 121 West Union Street was purchased." Visiting Nurse Association of Central Chester County Board Manual.

1955
Polio vaccine is now available. The Visiting Nurse assists local physicians in mass vaccinating projects.

1958
Orthodontia Clinic began at The Neighborhood League. Suburban and Wayne Times, October 18, 1962.

1958
Separation of Neighborhood League Shops and Woman's Exchange.

1961
Downingtown and West Chester Visiting Nurse Association consolidated, creating The Visiting Nurse Association of Central Chester County.

1965
Medicare began. For the first time, home health agencies that met the standards for Medicare certification were reimbursed by the federal government for care provided to Medicare beneficiaries.

1965
Community Nurse Association of Malvern-Paoli-Berwyn disbanded and relinquished their service area to Neighborhood League, which became The Neighborhood League of the Upper Main Line.

1973
The Visiting Nurse Association of Central Chester County joins Community Home Health Agencies of Chester County, a group formed to consider problems common to all VNA's in the county and be a voice for them.

1975
Avon Grove Visiting Nurse Association disbands. Home health care in Southern Chester County is provided by the Chester County Public Health Department.

1980
The Visiting Nurse Association of Central Chester County and Neighborhood League of the Upper Main Line merge, forming Home Health Services of Chester County & Vicinity. At the same time, Chester County Public Health Department relinquishes home health care in Southern Chester County to the newly formed agency. A third office is established in West Grove.

1980
Hospice of Chester County begins.

1981
Home Health Services of Chester County & Vicinity receives National League for Nursing/American Public Health Association Accreditation, joining an elite group of 104 other home health agencies nationwide with this accreditation.

Home Health Services, Inc. enters into Chester Valley Health Services (private duty services) partnership with Brandywine Home Health Agency and Homemaker-Health Services of Chester County and Vicinity.

1985 Home Health Services of Chester County & Vicinity restructures into a parent corporation, Home Health Services, Inc., and three subsidiaries - The Visiting Nurse Association of Chester County & Vicinity, Hospice of Chester County, and Neighborhood League Health Services.

1987 75th Anniversary of The Visiting Nurse Association of Chester County & Vicinity.

The agency's original mission to meet the home health care needs of the community remains unchanged.

Elizabeth Z. Cathcart departs as CEO after 12 years service to the agency and community to pursue new career challenges.

Mahlon R. Fiscel hired to replace Mrs. Cathcart (February).

$217,000 Bequest received from the Thayer Estate.

Pediatric Department obtains first contract with Chester County Government - Children and Youth Services to provide direct care to children and teaching for parents. Also, contracts established with several school districts to provide school and sports physicals.

New patient record system introduced, modeled after that developed by VNA of York (PA), providing record in patient's home for the first time.

Home Health Services, Inc. and subsidiaries reaccredited by National League for Nursing for another three years.

Board of Directors of Home Health Services, Inc. approves strategy to close Jennersville Office, sell house used for office in West Chester and purchase interest as a partner in new office building in West Chester, adjacent to Chester County Hospital. Clinical operations and CEO office to relocate to new space, fiscal staff to remain at 119 W. Wayne Avenue, Wayne, PA, with nurses using office for blood pressure clinic, record keeping when serving patients in that area.

Agency joins the VNA of The Delaware Valley, a coalition of 13 voluntary, non-profit home health agencies providing HMO's and other third-party payors with cost effective, quality assured home health care via contract.

1988 Agency sells former West Chester space and moves into new office in the North Hills Medical Building, also closes Jennersville Office.

Administrative staff downsized.

1989 Agency structure reorganized, suspending multi-corporate focus, relinquishing Medicare Certified Hospice Status, and providing all direct care through one agency (VNA).

Name changes for our agencies approved by Board of Directors, reflecting respect and appreciation for the historical significance of the work performed by the volunteers and staff of The Neighborhood League. Neighborhood Health Agencies, Inc. (Parent Corp.); Neighborhood Visiting Nurse Association; Neighborhood Hospice (inactive); and Neighborhood League Health Services (inactive).

Board of Directors decides to enter a two-year close down process for the Orthodontic Clinic, which had provided subsidized care to the community since 1958. This resulted from a reassessment of the agency's mission.

Board of Directors voted to terminate contracts with hospital home care departments that were not providing the agency with minimally acceptable reimbursement.

1990 Neighborhood Health Agencies, Inc. and subsidiaries reaccredited by National League for Nursing, Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) through a format change to annual unannounced accreditation from the previous three-year cycle.

1991 46% visit growth experienced over 1990.

Additional positive impact of 1989 organization consolidation realized - financial stability significantly improved.

Exterior of Wayne Office repaired and painted.

Neighborhood Health Agencies, Inc. and subsidiaries reaccredited by National League for Nursing Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP).

$31,000 two-year grant received from The Pew Charitable Trusts for expansion of the Adult Health Supervision Program.

Neighborhood Health Agencies, Inc. and Brandywine Home Health Agency (remaining partner) close Chester Valley Health Services after ten years of operation (5/2/92).

Neighborhood League Health Services, Brandywine Home Health Agency and Community Home Support Service, Inc. (Ardmore, PA) form new private duty service partnership, Chester Valley Home Health Services (6/3/92).

1992 80th Anniversary of Neighborhood Visiting Nurse Association celebrated.

19% visit growth experienced over 1991.

nitiated NVNA in-house delivery of Certified Home Care Aide Service reaching a total employee roster of 1.5 supervisors and 14 Home Care Aides as of 12/31/92.

Neighborhood League Shops restricted contribution allowed NHA, Inc. to enter into a 3-year purchase agreement for much needed additional space (3,100 sq. ft.) nearby the existing space in the West Chester Office building.

$26,000 two-year grant received from The Pew Charitable Trusts for expansion of prenatal care and additional support services for women and children residing at the Oak Street Housing Project in Coatesville, PA.

Initiated test marketing of Personal Care Service following requests from clients.

Initiated two-year installation process for Continuous Quality Improvement System (aka TQM).

"Face" introduction provided for Good Morning America (ABC Network) TV program - 3/18.

1993 14.77% visit growth experienced over 1992.

$40,000 two-year grant received from The Pew Charitable Trusts for continued support of our Healthlink (formerly Adult Health Supervision) Program.

30,000 two-year grant received by the West Chester University School of Nursing for research regarding the Healthlink Program and for two (2) student interns.

Personal Care Service (NLHS) met business plan expectations and became a regular service component.

NHA, Inc. Board of Directors approves the $76,000 purchase of additional computer hardware and a new software system that we will help to develop as a test site.

Fall of 1993, middle management and support staff positions redefined with new titles to provide better horizontal and vertical integration. Director of Professional Services title changed to Chief Operating Officer and Director of Fiscal Services title changed to Chief Financial Officer.

Expanded services to include a Rehab Nursing Program.

Certified Home Care Aide service grew to 17 Home Care Aides as of 12/31/93.

1994 5.54% reduction (3,339) in visits experienced compared to 1993. 200 more referrals received than in 1993, impact of more managed care mentality from payers reduced visits.

Hospice Program of NVNA became Medicare Certified in August.

Certified Home Care Aide service grew to 18 Home Care Aides as of 12/31/94.

Personal Care Service (NLHS) exceeded business plan expectations by 3,376 hours (84.5%), requiring the use of 7 Home Care Aides.

NHA, Inc. and Subsidiaries accredited by National League For Nursing, Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP).

Chester Valley Home Health Services changes name for business purposes to First Choice.

1995 On April 1, 1995, NHA, Inc. and Subsidiaries merged with Home Health and Community Services (H3CS), a subsidiary of The Chester County Hospital Foundation, with NHA, Inc. the surviving corporation. This positioned NHA, Inc., NVNA and NLHS for continuing their missions in the quickly expanding managed care delivery system.

NHA, Inc. and Subsidiaries accredited by National League for Nursing, Community Health Accreditation Program.

NHA, Inc. and Subsidiaries changed operating years from January 1 - December 31 to July 1 - June 30, effective July 1, 1995.

Managed care health insurance products begin to increase market share in our service territory resulting in more admissions, but fewer visits per admission. Managed care payment rates for home care less than for traditional health insurance plans.

1995-1996

  • $40,000 two-year grant received from The Pew Charitable Trusts for the Senior HealthLink Program.
  • $55,000 grant received from The William Penn Foundation for the Senior HealthLink Program.
  • $10,000 grant received from The Connelly Foundation for the Senior HealthLink Program.
  • NHA, Inc. and Subsidiaries accredited by National League for Nursing, Community Health Accreditation Program.
  • Staff completed development of eleven disease specific care plans (critical pathways with outcome measures) for home health care.
  • The penetration of managed care health insurance products increased in our service territory.

1997
NHA, Inc. celebrated our 85th anniversary.

July 1997
NHA, Inc. begins using Infomed STAT 2 software for financials and orders.

1998
Nursing staff begin to utilize laptop computers to document patient visits.

April 1998
Mahlon Fiscel leaves position of CEO to pursue other career opportunities.

June 1, 1998
Andrea Devoti begins as Vice President/Chief Operating Officer.

July, 1998
Financial staff moves from Wayne to West Chester Office. No services are provided from Wayne Office.

February 1999
Roger Strauss, CFO, resigns for a position with VNA of York. His position is not replaced full-time.

October 1, 2000
Prospective Payment begins for Medicare clients.

May 1, 2003
McKesson's "Horizon" Home Care Product for point of care documentation for all clinical staff was implemented.

November 11, 2004
Peter F. Apple steps down as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of NHA, Inc. and Keith D. Coughey is elected Chairperson.

Fall 2005
Home Health Aides begin documenting via Telephony system.

June 2006
$50,000 Grant received from Brandywine Health and Wellness to establish outreach through senior Healthlink to the Hispanic population.

June 2007
Hospice department moves to the 400 East Marshall Street Building.

August 27, 2007
Inpatient hospice unit opens and admits its first patient after receiving licensure.
It is the only facility of its type in Chester County

June 2008
$20,000 grant received from Brandywine Health and wellness to continue SHL program for Hispanic population.

October 2009
Hired Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner to visit uninsured in their homes through a PA Department of Health grant.

March 2010
The Health Network of The Chester County Hospital reorganizes and becomes The Chester County Hospital and Health System. NHA maintains its name and logo.

September 2011
Neighborhood Visiting Nurses Association is renamed "Neighborhood Health" and reworks it's logo into a streamlined version of the old version. Neighborhood Health moves their website to be a part of The Chester County Hospital and Health System's website.

Last Updated: 12/12/2011