Contact Us

VNA of Care New England
51 Health Lane
Warwick, RI 02886
P: (401) 737-6050
P: 1 (800) 348-6417


M-F: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Weekdays and Holidays:
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

VNA of Care New England is leading the way in developing a comprehensive advanced illness management (AIM) program that will serve as an important component of the Palliative Care Program at Care New England. Advanced illness, according to the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC), occurs when one of more conditions becomes serious enough that a person’s general health and functioning decline, and treatments begin to lose their impact. This is a process that continues to the end of life. At the VNA, advanced illness management has two components:

  • First, nurse practitioners oversee the care of patients with advanced illness. The nurse practitioners teach home health nurses how to help patients manage their symptoms and engage patients in discussions about what matters most to them as they face serious illness.
  • Then, for patients with complex medical needs, the program extends to palliative care into the community, providing nurse practitioner house calls to patients whose general health and function has declined as a result of one or more serious illnesses. Nurse practitioners enhance communication with the primary care provider, and can assess and treat patients in the home.

The goal is to help people understand their options when facing a serious illness and give them the opportunity to receive the type of care they want at home, with the hospital or nursing home as a last option.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people do not understand their care options for serious illness, often leaving them hospitalized or in skilled nursing facilities as opposed to receiving community-based care at home. Those over the age of 80 are particularly prone to advanced illness. Rhode Island is currently home to more than 52,000 men and women who have reached this milestone, and the US Census Bureau projects that this demographic will continue to grow, prompting health care providers to examine and implement models of care to meet the needs of this population.

Terry Rochon, MS, MA, FNP, ACHPN, RN-C, was hired in late 2013 by VNA of Care New England to spearhead the AIM program. She has extensive experience in pain management, hospice and palliative care and has shared her expertise as a policy and practice health services teaching associate at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Additionally, she co-chairs the Rhode Island Improving End-of-Life Care Coalition and has helped to develop medical orders for life-sustaining treatment (MOLST) legislation and regulations.

Rochon has been working closely with Kate Lally, MD FACP, director of palliative care at Care New England, to develop the community-based clinical care model that will include the use of nurse practitioners to assess patients and provide in-home care. A phased-in roll out will occur throughout 2014.