Senator Flanagan Participates In Smithtown Home Care Visit

John J. Flanagan

April 15, 2005

SMITHTOWN—Anne Johanson, a bed bound patient with multiple sclerosis (MS) who needs significant nursing assistance to remain at home, was visited Thursday by New York State Senator John J. Flanagan (R,C-East Northport). Senator Flanagan came to Ms. Johanson’s Smithtown home to learn more about the high-tech nursing services she receives through New York’s Medicaid Private Duty Nursing program.

Ms. Johanson’s condition (she has a tracheostomy and is on a ventilator) requires her to have nursing care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Since 2000, the Babylon branch of All Metro Health Care has provided nurses who have taken care of Ms. Johanson with state-of-the-art high-tech care, enabling her to live at home and her family to maintain their daily routines.

New York’s Medicaid Private Duty Nursing program provides cost-effective services for severely disabled children and adults, many of whom are reliant on high-tech equipment to survive. Private duty nurses provide complex and technical care such as wound and tracheotomy care to their patients to help prevent more serious illnesses in addition to providing assistance with daily living. Many patients are able to maintain employment, homes and social lives with the assistance of skilled nursing services. This program helps patients to remain in their communities with their families.

Senator Flanagan said, "The Medicaid Private Duty Nursing program is a great resource for people who need a high-level of care and would prefer to remain in their own home. After all, most people want to stay in their home for as long as possible and, more and more, doctors are telling people that the best place to receive continued care is in the comfort of their own home."

"We have seen how successful this program can be for our patients by allowing them to remain at home with their families rather than being forced into more restrictive and more costly institutionalized and impersonal settings," said Amy Carroll, Suffolk County Branch Manager for All Metro.

"We in home care and skilled nursing are part of what enable clients to live as full a life as possible," according to Sheryl Guillot, RN for All Metro and one of Ms. Johanson’s nurses. Ms. Johanson’s husband, William Johanson, said, "I’m glad Senator Flanagan came down to see how important Private Duty Nursing is to my family. Anne should be at home with the proper care and home nursing allows her to be an active part of the family."

Without the nursing care the All Metro nurses provide through the high-tech Private Duty Nursing program, Ms. Johanson would need to be cared for in an institutional setting, away from her home and family. The nursing care provided to Ms. Johanson also allows her husband to continue to work.

All Metro Health Care is one of the oldest and largest regional health care providers in New York and has been providing quality home health care services for fifty years. All Metro is licensed by the Department of Health and JCAHO accredited. All Metro specializes in high-tech skilled nursing services and have unique programs dedicated to pediatric, ventilator dependent, and traumatic brain injury patients.

Senator Flanagan's visit was arranged by the New York State Association of Health Care Providers, Inc. (HCP), a statewide trade association representing the full spectrum of home care and hospice agencies in New York.