Over 115 years ago, in 1908, a group of visionary, philanthropic community members founded VNA Health—the first non-hospital healthcare provider in Santa Barbara County—for the “good of the community.” VNA Health began with the belief that all people deserve quality healthcare; and through the years, VNA Health became a medical safety net, caring for those who could not go to the hospital or doctor’s office. Today, VNA Health continues to be Santa Barbara County’s largest and only nonprofit Home Health Care, Palliative Care, and Hospice Care organization. Our mission-based approach, in addition to the charitable Community Care programs we provide, have made VNA Health the trusted professionals that generations of families have turned to for support and guidance.

“You want the best for your loved ones…for your family, your friends,” shares Sofia Mendoza, a VNA Health employee of ten years. “I don’t pick VNA Health for them just because I work here. I chose VNA Health even before I started working here. I have worked in the medical field for more than 40 years, and I want my loved ones to get the best care…and that’s with VNA Health.”

Like VNA Health, Sofia’s family is richly woven into the history of Santa Barbara—five generations and over 500 relatives living in Santa Barbara. In 1955, VNA Health started caring for Sofia’s grandmother, Angela Jacinto Berber. Angela had cancer, and at that time, chemotherapy was not available. Angela’s 16-year old daughter, Pauline Berber, was supported and trained by the VNA Health nurses to provide comfort care in the four remaining months of her mother’s life. This was the beginning of VNA Health providing Home Health Care and Hospice Care to over 20 members of the Jacinto-Berber-Munoz-Torres-Madrigal- Garnica-Apodaca-Leon-Montoya family.

Angela with her daughter Pauline

Most recently, VNA Health cared for Sofia’s beloved father, Ross Munoz, an old style draftsman and civil engineer, and a man of many talents. “He was loved by all, and remembered for his big gleaming smile. He was always available for his family, especially his grandchildren, and always serving his community in one way or another,” shared Sofia. “I am thankful for VNA Health. My father was on hospice care at home for three months with VNA Health. And the care that my father received extended to our family. We all felt supported during this very hard time in our lives. Everything that I thought I knew changed because now I was on the other side of the door seeing what our clinicians have to do and what had to be done.”

Sofia with her father Ross

“Hospice clinicians have a calling and it is different than regular nursing care. They are angels. They are a different breed. They treat patients like we are family. They help us understand, and the help the whole family ease into the end of their loved one’s life, while providing comfort and the best medical care. We also can’t say enough good things about Serenity House. We were treated like the only patient or person in the building with attention, love, compassion, and care.“

Like Sofia’s family, VNA Health is here to support you, your loved ones, and future generations with Home Health Care after surgery or illness, with Palliative and Hospice Care to ensure dignity and comfort during a terminal condition, or with Bereavement Care for anyone experiencing grief or loss.

As a nonprofit healthcare organization, VNA Health provides charitable Community Care programs and services such as the Loan Closet, Serenity House, Pet Therapy, and the We Honor Veterans program. Also, VNA Health ensures every patient has equitable access to our trusted and compassionate care, regardless of their ability to pay, by offering subsidized charity care.

VNA Health is able to provide $2.7 million in charitable Community Care programs through the generosity of community members like you. Today, we care for nearly 10,000 community members each year, and the need continues to grow. We need your help. Your donation will ensure that your family and your children’s families will have VNA Health to rely on, in times of need, for generations to come. Together, we can continue the VNA Health legacy of care for the next 115 years.

Your donation makes a difference!

Supports subsidized charity care
Supports charity care for two Rehabilitative Therapy visits
Provides for one day of room and board at Serenity House
Supports Bereavement Care and Counseling for four people
Keeps the Loan Closet open for one month