Lahey Health and Visiting Nurse Association of Middlesex-East Join Forces

Deal Expands Lahey Health's Ability to Provide Exceptional Home Care, Palliative Care, and Hospice Integration to its Patients throughout Eastern Massachusetts

June 26, 2014

BURLINGTON, MA – Today, Lahey Health and the Visiting Nurse Association of Middlesex-East (VNAME) announced that the organizations have agreed to the terms of an affiliation agreement to bring VNAME into the Lahey Health System.  Merry Beth Rucker will remain CEO of VNAME.

Pending Massachusetts Health Policy Commission review and standard regulatory approval, this affiliation will bring together two high performing organizations with a shared vision – to create an exceptional healthcare delivery system, focusing on a comprehensive, patient-centered, integrated, and high-quality continuum of care for the communities of eastern Massachusetts. The agreement will strengthen Lahey Health’s ability to provide coordinated home care, palliative care and hospice services across its growing service area.

Under the affiliation, VNAME’s home hospice and Sawtelle Family Hospice House, a 10 bed residential facility located in Reading, MA,  will continue to provide care to patients and families managing terminal illnesses, and its hospice and palliative care services will grow within the Lahey Health system, ensuring that more patients and families are able to receive compassionate and expert care at the end of life.

“We are thrilled to welcome Visiting Nurse Association of Middlesex-East to the Lahey Health network of providers,” said Howard Grant, JD, MD, chief executive officer of Lahey Health.  “VNAME is greatly respected in the community for the compassionate home and hospice care that their staff provides to so many patients in Massachusetts. Together we will continue to deliver on our commitment of providing our patients the highest quality care at every stage, from physician office to hospital to home. This affiliation will further strengthen Lahey Health’s home care service which also includes Lahey Health at Home and soon-to-be Winchester Home Care.”

With more than 130 employees and 50 volunteers, VNAME has long been recognized as one of the highest performing home health agencies in Massachusetts.  Since 2003, VNAME has been named among the Home Care Elite, an annual review produced by OCS, a healthcare benchmarking service that rates the most successful Medicare-certified home health providers in the country. For over a century, VNAME has provided compassionate and expert home healthcare that promotes healing and prevents re-hospitalization.

“Visiting Nurse Association of Middlesex-East has been working with Lahey Health for many years, and we have always maintained a shared goal of providing top quality, coordinated home and hospice care for our patients,” said Merry Beth Rucker, chief executive officer of VNAME. “This affiliation offers us even greater opportunities for collaboration and integrated care planning while preserving our vision for the future of home health care in Massachusetts.”

For more information about Lahey Health, its services and physicians, visit, become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. For more information about Visiting Nurse Association of Middlesex-East, contact 800.607.4299, visit, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

About Lahey Health
Lahey Health is what's next in healthcare, providing a full continuum of integrated health services close to where you live or work. It is comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals—including an academic hospital and medical center, and community hospitals—primary care providers, specialist physicians, behavioral health services, post-acute programs such as home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and senior care resources located throughout eastern Massachusetts.

Lahey Health offers nearly 1,000 locally based physicians providing clinical excellence and an exceptional patient experience in adult and pediatric primary care and every medical specialty, including kidney and liver transplantation; neurosurgery, cancer, cardiovascular and orthopedic medical and surgical care; local emergency and trauma care; urological surgery; chronic disease prevention and health management; and pediatric emergency, newborn and inpatient care provided in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital physicians.

Lahey Health includes Lahey Hospital & Medical Center—a teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine—and Lahey Clinic physician group with practices in Burlington, Peabody and other locations throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire; Beverly Hospital; Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass.; Lahey Health Senior Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services as well as more than 30 primary care physician practices and multiple outpatient and satellite specialty care facilities.

Together, we are making innovative, integrated healthcare more personal and more accessible. For more information, visit and its member websites Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Beverly Hospital, and Lahey Health Behavioral Services

About VNA of Middlesex-East
VNA of Middlesex-East provides a comprehensive range of home health and hospice care services in 62 Greater Boston communities.  The agency also owns and operates the 10-bed Sawtelle Family Hospice House in Reading.  It is consistently rated among the top homecare agencies in the nation and achieves high marks on all mandated standards of care tracked by Medicare.  The agency also maintains one of the lowest patient rehospitalization rates in Massachusetts.  This outstanding clinical competence is coupled with personal and compassionate service that helps patients stay safe and independent in their own home when recovering from illness or managing a chronic disease.

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For more information:
Kyle B. Reilly
Director of Media Relations
Lahey Health

Christine Hawrylak
Community Relations Director
Visiting Nurse Association of Middlesex East
781.224.3399 x 2340