Published July 31, 2018
“Wellforce and Home Health Foundation are extremely pleased to announce today that we will be joining together to enhance and expand home health and hospice services in our region. Home Health Foundation will become a member of Wellforce and will partner with Wellforce current members’ home health and hospice providers. Karen Gomes, CEO of Home Health Foundation, will lead Wellforce’s home health services as CEO. She will work with Diane Farraher-Smith, President of Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice and Interim Executive Director of Circle Home, to form a comprehensive, integrated post-acute network. Karen and the team will set a vision for the future that will improve the way home health and hospice care is delivered to the benefit of current and future patients and partners.
Home health services provide a vital link in the continuum of care and the need is growing. Talented professionals delivering care in the home can improve the health of our residents, make care more affordable and provide a better quality of life to those with serious and chronic illnesses. There is much we can do through the combination of our organizations’ strengths. We will seek regulatory approval and finalize our plans over the next few months.”
– Norm Deschene, Wellforce CEO, and Scott Collins, Chairman, Home Health Foundation Board
Home Health Foundation will become Wellforce member; together organizations will create enhanced vision for home health and hospice services
BURLINGTON and LAWRENCE, Mass., July 31, 2018 – Today, Wellforce and Home Health Foundation (HHF) announced that Home Health Foundation will become the fourth member of Wellforce and together the organizations will expand and enhance post-acute services in Eastern Massachusetts with a focus north of Boston into Southern New Hampshire and Maine. This partnership, which will eventually include Wellforce’s current members Circle Home and Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, creates one of largest home health and hospice providers in the region and will be led by Home Health Foundation CEO Karen Gomes.
“Wellforce is proud to welcome Home Health Foundation, a highly respected and innovative home health and hospice provider, to our growing system. Home health and hospice care is a vital link in the continuum of care and the need is growing. Karen will lead our team, working with Diane Farraher-Smith, leader of Circle Home and Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, and the professionals at our current home health organizations, to enhance the ways we help individuals stay healthy, manage challenging health conditions, recover from illness or injury and transition to end of life. A vibrant and expanding home health and hospice organization makes the entire Wellforce network stronger. This relationship builds on Wellforce’s commitment to providing care when and where people need it and to reducing the cost of care,” said Wellforce CEO, Norm Deschene.
Wellforce and Home Health Foundation will submit their plans to the Health Policy Commission immediately and hope to finalize the agreement in the next few months to begin advancing the next chapter in home health and hospice services for the region.
“The effective and efficient delivery of medical and supportive services at home is more important than ever,” said Gomes. “Guided by our Pillars of Excellence, Home Health Foundation works to innovatively enhance health care delivery, improving quality and value with an ongoing focus of providing exceptional patient care. With a longstanding and continued commitment to our current relationships, our collaboration pillar brings into focus the importance of building a continuum of care with other providers to improve access, coordination and outcomes. We are excited to join with the outstanding health care providers of Wellforce to expand what is possible for patients throughout our service areas. Together we can provide more coordinated, convenient and high quality care for individuals and families who want to remain at home. I look forward to leading the team.”
The need for home health services is increasing as our population ages. In addition, more complex care can be offered in the home at lower costs due to medical advancements. Coordinated home health services have been shown to increase patient satisfaction, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and decrease readmissions. These services also help providers manage costs in risk contracts and reduce costs to patients, many of whom have high deductible plans today.
Wellforce is the health system formed by Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health in 2014. On January 1, 2017, MelroseWakefield Healthcare (formerly Hallmark Health) became the third founding member. Wellforce provides hospitals and physicians with a better option for collaboration. Our system brings together the strengths of academic medicine and community care in a model that respects both equally. Our independent-minded, value-driven members are dedicated to providing patients with the highest-level of care when and where they want it. Wellforce includes nearly 3,000 physicians, 12,000 employees, four community hospital campuses, one academic medical center, a children’s hospital, home health and hospice services, and $1.7 billion in revenue.
About Home Health Foundation:
Home Health Foundation, which includes Home Health VNA, Merrimack Valley Hospice and HomeCare, Incorporated, is one of the most respected home health and hospice agencies in this region. Home Health Foundation is a multi-state, full-service provider of certified home health, palliative, hospice and private duty services with annual revenue of $60 million. The agency services 110 cities and towns throughout Northeastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire with five offices and a 21-suite hospice house which together provide care to more than 16,000 patients annually. Additionally, Merrimack Valley Hospice serves the Southern Maine region as York Hospital Hospice in partnership with York Hospital. The agencies play a critical role in the health and welfare of patients and families, and are committed to innovation, clinical excellence and personalized care.
Donna Deveau, Vice President of Corporate Communication and Community Engagement