History

Incorporated in 1961, the Visiting Nurse Association was a pioneer in home health care in Greene County. As the first home health care provider in Southwest Missouri, the VNA wore the mantle of leadership and dedicated its services to meeting the needs of the community.

With a single RN as the initial staff, the purpose of the not-for-profit corporation was:

“To provide bedside nursing services, under the direction of the patient’s physician, to the ill in Springfield and Greene County . . . in their homes . . . such services to be offered without regard to race, creed, or economic status,”

“To study problems in relation to community nursing needs and to create public opinion favorable to meeting those needs in an effective manner.”

By 1988, VNA had grown to serve 19 counties in Southwest Missouri, adding home health aides, homemakers, therapists, social workers and utilizing new technologies and innovation to improve their services and productivity. The Visiting Nurse Association founded the first hospice service in Southwest Missouri, Hospice Care of VNA, to further enhance to quality of care available in the Ozarks.

The VNA Foundation was created April 6, 1990 with a gift from Orville G. Satterlee in support of the VNA services. Mr. Satterlee and his wife, Mariam, both received home health care from the VNA and its hospice. He was a VNA volunteer and a valued friend who did whatever he could to help. Helping was in his nature, and in that spirit, the Foundation continues.

In 1996, St. John’s Health Systems acquired the VNA with the proceeds placed in the VNA Foundation. The VNA Board approved and issued their first grant on June 24, 1996 to the HospiceCare of VNA in support of care provided to indigent patients. Since then, they have issued over $1,700,000.00 in grants to over 100 non-profit organizations in the Southwest Missouri area.

In 2003, the Board of Directors voted to change the Foundation’s name to Ozarks Health Advocacy Foundation to better reflect the Foundation’s broadened health-related mission.

In keeping with its beginning, the Foundation has embarked on extending its mission to implement health-related programs by providing grants to local agencies who have identified the need for such programs. With the VNA tradition of working cooperatively with the community, the region, the state and the nation, quality of life – and care – can continue to be nurtured and advanced.

The Ozarks Health Advocacy Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) charitable foundation with a Board of Directors representing a broad cross-section of area leaders.

Gifts to the Foundation are deductible to the limits of the IRS tax code.