This health conversion foundation continues the legacy of the North Penn Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) in building stronger and healthier communities for generations to come.
Dedicated to Our Community
Our North Penn community has seen enormous challenges in recent months, and we at the VNA Foundation stand united with those working to promote access to health and human services for ALL our North Penn residents, with respect, dignity and human compassion. We stand in solidarity with our nonprofit partners who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, on both health and economic stability, and in recognition of the fact that the pandemic has had disproportionate effects on our neighbors in communities of color and those experiencing poverty. We support those organizations committed to serving al in North Penn with a focus on those in our society who have been marginalized, oppressed, or discriminated against. We stand united with those whose tireless efforts aim to create a more just and equitable North Penn community, with healthier outcomes for all.
A reflection on the legacy of the
VNA Foundation, by Board President
Kathleen A. “Kitty” Fitzgerald
In 1919, the Red Cross assigned one nurse to Lansdale to make home visits to teach new moms about caring for their newborn babies. At the same time this one nurse took the opportunity to teach others about the importance of good hygiene and sanitation to prevent the spread of illness and disease. This nurse was part of an effort by the Red Cross to bring “Visiting Nurses” from urban settings into rural communities. The Lansdale community eventually came to financially support this nurse and after several years even bought her a car to make her home visits more efficient…..the rest they say is history. The North Penn Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) grew in number of staff, home visits and programs.
I had the privilege of serving as the Executive Director of the NPVNA for almost twenty years. Our Board of Directors, staff and volunteers understood the importance of mission … access to health care, health education and health promotion and always delivering high quality service to those patients and families who were entrusted to our care. Today, I serve as the President of the Board of Directors of the VNA Foundation of Greater North Penn and I can’t help but imagine that our one nurse, more than 100 years later, would be humbled to think that a health foundation has been established with many of the same principles that guided her work. Over the past several years the VNA Foundation of Greater North Penn has invested in organizations that are committed to bringing quality programs and services to our local community. Your work is essential in promoting access to health care, health education and health promotion, and we are proud to partner with you and look forward to the future.
Each year the VNA Foundation compiles a short summary capturing the activities and partnerships that make its work possible. View any of our Annual Summaries for a glimpse into our foundation’s past, and partner with us to help shape our community’s future.
VNA Foundation Celebrates 5 Years
In 2019, the VNA Foundation commemorated its first five years with the creation of a short video, celebrating community partnerships that reflect our commitments to Health Access, Collaboration, Capacity Building, and Basic Health Needs in the North Penn Community. We invite you to view the video here.
The F. Lee Mangan CommUNITY Celebration
F. Lee Mangan (1950-2020)
Each year, the VNA Foundation of Greater North Penn convenes leaders from the nonprofit health and human service sector to share time and thoughtful conversation about topics that affect our North Penn region, encouraging synergy and collective action. This community gathering was originally conceived by F. Lee Mangan, visionary leader and founding Board President of the VNA Foundation of Greater North Penn, with the first event taking place in 2015. In the wake of Lee’s passing in 2020, the annual event has been renamed in his honor, and celebrates Lee’s dedication to bringing people together to serve North Penn.
Notes current Board President Kitty Fitzgerald, “The VNA Foundation knows that strong communities are based on strong relationships, and we promote those relationships through our collaborative approach to grantmaking and through our signature annual event. The F. Lee Mangan CommUNITY Celebration is designed to help North Penn leaders get to know one another and forge partnerships that benefit the whole region through sharing, learning, and fellowship.”
Past event themes have included “Celebrating Diversity” and “Preparing for the Census,” and while the date and theme of the 2021 event has not yet been announced, it will likely take place in August, and we hope that we can come together IN PERSON if it is safe to do so. If not, we will hold the event virtually. Details to be posted in late-Spring, 2021!
2019 Event keynote speaker Lynne V. Newman of the Greater Philadelphia Census Bureau (center) joins the VNAF’s Diana Doherty (left) and Joanne Kline (right)
Author Chisa Merriweather (left) and her son Chase, star of her book Chase Man: How My Brother Became a Real Super-Hero, joined VNAF grantee Brandon Holiday of Athletes with Disabilities (far right) at the 2018 Event. VNAF Board member Curt Deardorff and Founding E.D. Joanne Kline are at center.
Founding Board President F. Lee Mangan (far left) at the podium at the 2017 event that featured keynote speaker Francis Jeyarag, MD (second from left) of the VNAF grantee organization International Spring Festival. Founding E.D. Joanne Kline and Shamsul Huda are at right.