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DUBUQUE VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION

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DUBUQUE VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION. The Educational Division of the DUBUQUE WOMEN'S CLUB began a campaign in 1909 to raise $1,200 to obtain the services of a visiting nurse in Dubuque. A previous effort on the part of local nurses in 1907 had been unsuccessful.(1)

The Dubuque Visiting Nurse Association was founded in February 1910 in response to Dubuque's poor health conditions, including the presence of typhoid fever and malaria. (2) Anna Blanche COOK, Mrs. George Kiesel and Mrs. Herbert Adams invited the Director of the Chicago VNA to Dubuque. As a result of a meeting at which the purpose of the VNA was explained, the Dubuque chapter was established. The charter board of directors, forty-two women, represented each of Dubuque's churches. Mrs. Ben Kaufman was the board's first president.

Jessie M. Keys (at the desk) sits with two other women in the office of the Visiting Nurses Association, room 308 of the B & I Building. William J. Klauer Collection, Center for Dubuque History, Loras College
Miss Jessie Keys became the first staff member of the Dubuque VNA on May 1, 1910. (3) She had been one of the first visiting nurses in Chicago and had done visiting nurse activities in Peoria, Illinois. (4) Keys served as director, nurse, and office secretary for fifty dollars per month. Her office was located at the T. W. RUETE DRUG COMPANY where she would arrive at 8:30 to deal with messages and meet with clients from noon until 1:00 p.m. (5) Funds for her salary and the purchase of supplies were raised by the board of directors.

Keys' efforts initiated many programs in the city. In 1910 she asked to be appointed a sanitary officer for the Board of Health. Her request was received with approval because her access to many homes would give her opportunities to evaluate health conditions and prevent the spread of disease not previously available. (6) The Open Window Room at PRESCOTT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL for handicapped students was later operated by the Board of Education. A school-nursing program was started at all schools; a hot lunch program was begun at the homes of board members who transported the meals to the school.

The VNA operated the Christmas Health Seal Sale. In June 1911 the VNA held the first of Dubuque's FRESH AIR CAMPS for malnourished children and those needing medical care. (7) These were operated using the grounds of WARTBURG THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY and later the former home of James LANGWORTHY. Members of the Junior Board of the VNA served as counselors. (8) In 1916 Dubuque, through the work of the VNA, became one of only four cities in Iowa (Dubuque, Davenport, Keokuk and Des Moines) doing infant welfare work. (9)

In 1911 the Dubuque VNA established offices in the BANK AND INSURANCE BUILDING with operating costs raised by soliciting funds from local businesses. When rent was raised from twelve to twenty dollars, the VNA moved to a small office in the DUBUQUE CITY HALL. (10) Until 1958, when the first VNA fund drive was held, the activities of the organization were conducted at different sites throughout the community. Under the chairmanship of William GALLOGLY, a fund drive was able to raise sufficient money to allow the VNA to purchase a site for their organization at 412 Loras.

Although the Board of Directors in 1919 had discussed the advisability of purchasing an automobile for the organization's use, the first car was not purchased until 1935. Money for the automobile was raised by the VNA Junior Board, organized in 1932, which used funds from the "Follies of 1935." The first VNA Charity Ball was held at the DUBUQUE GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB in 1947 under the sponsorship of the Junior Board. Since 1947 proceeds from the annual charity event have been used to purchase nine cars.

In 1920 the VNA reported 1,139 calls dealing with illnesses. The organization also thanked FINLEY HOSPITAL (THE) for furnishing a pupil nurse for the staff of public health nursing and the public for helping with the "Open Air" school room, day camp, and Red Cross seal sales. (11) The Telegraph Herald in 1920 ran a daily health column directed by the VNA on how to stay healthy and prevent illness. (12)

In 1936 Tuberculosis Health Seals were sold in Dubuque through the VNA. (13) Proceeds from the sale helped support the Open Window Rooms and Fresh Air Camps at Rhomberg Park near EAGLE POINT for as many as eighty children. (14) In an effort to stop the disease, the VNA made 749 home visits in 1942. (15) Motherhood classes began being offered in 1948. (16)

On November 1, 1981 as a result of federal Title X, the VNA loosened its patient requirements so that anyone needing its services was eligible. The VNA received its funding through the United Way, federal and state grants, Cancer Society, Dubuque County Social Services Department, Medicare, and patient fees. (17)

In 1984 in association with the local hospitals, the VNA sponsored colon cancer screenings. (18) The location of the organization in 1989 was 15th and Iowa.

In 1996 the VNA and FINLEY HOSPITAL (THE) announced a corporation affiliation that would benefit both groups. At the time, the VNA had 93 nurses, home health aides, and social workers. (19)

The Visiting Nurses announced free or low-cost physicals in 1999 for kindergarten, school, sports, well-babies and well-baby immunizations. (20)

In 2013 UnityPoint Health and the VNA provided:

Services for Children

Immunization Clinics

Offers recommended immunizations for infants and children up to 18 years of age for uninsured and underinsured families who cannot afford to obtain the immunizations from a physician office. These clinics are a component of the Federal and State of Iowa Vaccine for Children Program. Contact the VNA office for eligibility criteria.

Oral Health Services

Provides a variety of services to at risk, uninsured and Medicaid children including education and screenings through WIC and VNA clinics. Also provides referrals to dentists' offices and limited funding for children with dental needs. Sealant clinics conducted in Dubuque Community schools provide exams and sealants for second third and fourth grade school children each year.

hawk-i (Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa)

A low-cost or no-cost health care program designed for children ages 0-19 to assure access to medical and dental care. Many families are unaware that hawk-i exists or that they may qualify. Hundreds of children in the Dubuque community will unnecessarily spend time sick and in pain because their parents are unaware of the State hawk-i insurance program. The VNA's goal is to give every child in this community access to health care. Contact either VNA at 563-556-6200 Ext. 1927 to speak with the VNA hawk-i Outreach Coordinator or call hawk-i at 1-800-257-8563 with any questions regarding applications, eligibility, or coverage.

Preventive Protective Home Visits

Home visits are made by Family Advocates and/or social workers to families at increased risk for child abuse and/or neglect. Referrals are received through the VNA's own Perinatal Mother/Baby Program, Department of Human Services, and other community agencies. Program assists families in obtaining needed health care and social services in the community. This program is voluntary and the goal is to promote appropriate parenting and child care skills. 1st Five Healthy Development Program

VNA coordinator assists doctors' offices with resources to ensure children are on track with age-appropriate physical and mental development. Also promotes screening for maternal depression which can affect a child's ability to grow and develop.

Services for Adults

Home Care Aide and Homemaker Service

Supportive services, including assistance with personal cares and homemaking for low income elderly and chronically ill clients in their homes. Services are available on a sliding fee scale for those earning above low income guidelines or through the Dubuque County Public Health Services grant for those who qualify.

Respite Services

Respite service allows caregivers time outside the home for errands or personal time away from caregiving responsibilities.

Representative Payee

This program provides clients with assistance in budgeting and money management. Service enables many Representative Payee clients to remain living in the community instead of in a facility.

Communicable Disease Follow-Up

Provides Dubuque County with investigation service for reportable infectious diseases, client education, assistance with access to medical treatment and monitoring of medication treatment regime. Service is critical to limit spread of infectious disease and limit outbreaks.

HIV and Hepatitis C Testing

Programs provide free and confidential testing, screening, follow-up counseling and referral. Includes risk assessment for Hepatitis C Testing and provides Hepatitis A and B vaccination. Education for clients on healthy practices to reduce risk for HIV and Hepatitis.

Ryan White Case Management Program

The VNA case manager assigned to this program provides HIV-positive Iowa residents with assistance. The case manager assesses the clients' needs focusing especially on health needs and access to insurance coverage for care and medications. The focus is on ensuring that the client is able to ensure maximum health by regularly seeing a physician and taking prescribed medications.

Breast and Cervical Cancer Program

Provides referrals and assistance to low income women over 50 years of age who meet program criteria and have no insurance to obtain pap smears and mammograms through community health providers.

Services for Families

Preventive Protective Home Visits

Home visits are made by Family Advocates and/or social workers to families at increased risk for child abuse and/or neglect. Referrals are received through the VNA's own Perinatal Mother/Baby Program, Department of Human Services, and other community agencies. Program assists families in obtaining needed healthcare and social services in the community. This program is voluntary and the goal is to promote appropriate parenting and child care skills.

Child Health Case Management and Care Coordination

Focuses on ensuring that a child and his/her family's long term needs are addressed helping families establish a medical and dental "home" with a local provider. Helps families get health insurance coverage or with application for Iowa Medicaid or hawk-i programs.

1st Five Healthy Development Program

VNA coordinator assists doctors' offices with resources to ensure children are on track with age-appropriate physical and mental development. Also promotes screening for maternal depression which can affect a child's ability to grow and develop. Lead Poisoning Prevention

Program providing lead screening, case management, and cleaning services if needed, for families at risk for lead poisoning. Lead screenings are done at immunization clinics and on scheduled days at the VNA office. Contact the VNA office to schedule an appointment. Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Program

Assists families who qualify for Medicaid in setting up well child physicals, immunizations, dental care and other preventive medical and dental services in the community.

The 1987 through 1993 Dubuque City Directory listed 15th and Iowa.

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Source:

1. "Raise Fund for Visiting Nurses," Telegraph Herald, November 11, 1909, p. 3. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=cB9CAAAAIBAJ&sjid=a6oMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5326,1222460&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

2. Kruse, Len. "Visiting Nurses," My Old Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa: Center for Dubuque History-Loras College, 2000, p. 45

3. "Visiting Nurse Comes to Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, March 2, 1910, p. 8. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=NilCAAAAIBAJ&sjid=gKoMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3602,3965534&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

4. "Visiting Nurse Comes to Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, March 2, 1910, p. 8

5. "Visiting Nurse Comes to Town," Telegraph Herald, May 4, 1910, p. 3. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=yW5CAAAAIBAJ&sjid=86oMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5897,2048847&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

6. "Visiting Nurse A Sanitary Power," Telegraph Herald, May 28, 1910, p. 8

7. "Dubuque Visiting Nurse Association Work," Telegraph Herald, August 6, 1916, p. 5. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=PmZfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=418NAAAAIBAJ&pg=1890,7598525&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

8. "Pageant Outlines 52-Year History of Dubuque VNA," Telegraph Herald, May 2, 1962, p. 17

9. Ibid.

10. "Visiting Nurses Occupy New Offices," Telegraph Herald, October 25, 1929, p. 17. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=O51FAAAAIBAJ&sjid=C70MAAAAIBAJ&pg=5227,1982428&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

11. "Visiting Nurses Had Busy Month," Telegraph Herald, March 14, 1920, Part II, p. 1

12. "Visiting Nurses to Give Daily Health Talks in the Telegraph Herald," Telegraph Herald, July 18, 1920, p. 11. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=rRNeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CWANAAAAIBAJ&pg=5582,1570222&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

13. Ibid., p. 46

14. "Fresh Air Camp Open Wednesday is Latest Plan," Telegraph-Journal, July 5, 1921, p. 5

15. "Visiting Nurse Association to Sponsor Motherhood Classes," Telegraph Herald, April 4, 1948, p. 24. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=KE1hAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2nQNAAAAIBAJ&pg=2790,548792&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

16. "Dubuque TB Work Outlined," Telegraph Herald, December 6, 1942, p. 23. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=yGBFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=LLwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4638,2979492&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

17. Demerest, Dusti. "Visiting Nurse Group Loosen Income Rules," Telegraph Herald, January 2, 1982, p. 8. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=H-lFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Uf4MAAAAIBAJ&pg=5105,2476276&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

18. "Colon Cancer," Telegraph Herald, April 29, 1984, p. 18. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2RZFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=VLsMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3489,3606303&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

19. Gwiasda, Susan B. "Visiting Nurses, Finley to Form Partnership," Telegraph Herald, May 15, 1996, p. 2. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZVZFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CLwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6792,2178523&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

20. "Visiting Nurses Offer Free, Low-Cost Clinics," Telegraph Herald, February 13, 1999, p. 5. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=amRFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JLwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5050,2864146&dq=visiting+nurses+dubuque&hl=en

 Follies of 1935 (Courtesy: Paul Hemmer) : File:Follies-1935.pdf