Health care agencies merge

A map of Litchfield County
A map of Litchfield County

NORTHWEST CORNER — On Monday, Sept. 8, health care agencies VNA Northwest in Bantam, and Foothills Visiting Nurse & Home Care in Winsted announced that the two agencies merged in late August with Salisbury VNA.
VNA Northwest and Foothills Visiting & Home Care previously merged in January 2020.
The three agencies have existed for over 100 years and the new name for the merged agency is Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Litchfield County.
The agency provides nursing, therapy, and home care services.
According to Executive Director Michael Caselas, the combined agency will serve all 26 towns in Litchfield County and three towns in Hartford County.
Caselas was previously the Executive Director of Foothills Visiting Nurse & Home Care.
“The reason why the agencies merged is because we were all covering the same territories,” Caselas said in an interview with The Winsted Phoenix. “[Foothills Visiting Nurse & Home Care] was sending nurses to different parts of their counties and the other agencies were sending nurses to our counties. Efficiency wise it made sense to merge. We were all duplicating services and staff in certain areas.”
Caselas said that it has been hard for health care agencies to survive due to increasing costs and shrinking reimbursements.
“Also, it is not easy to get nurses and therapists in the county,” he said. “There is a limited supply of them. By reducing duplication and creating economies of scale, we will now be more efficient and better able to serve patients in Litchfield County.
Caselas said that the agency’s caregiving staff has remained intact and, in the long run, the agency is looking to hire more nurses and therapists.
“Our current patients will not see any changes,” he said. “Most of them will continue to see the same nurses and therapists that they had before.”
Caselas added that the agency currently has 600 clients and more than 50 members on its staff, and that its headquarters would remain in Winsted.
For more information call 860-379-8561.