After a 76-year affiliation with Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Canada, Halton VON has struck out on its own and adopted a new name- Acclaim Health. The VON Halton board of directors decided to make the change because of a re-organization by VON Canada, which would have resulted in the diminishing of management, direction and accountability of local branches. The board decided that continuing to be a locally governed health-care organization is the best way to serve the needs of the community and so as of Oct. 16 cut its affiliation with the Canadian organization. "We understand the need of VON Canada to look for ways to streamline and standardize a national organization," said David Hayward, chair of the board. "However, it shouldn't be at the expense of local branches that provide health care services and programs tailored to the individual needs of their communities." Angela Brewer, executive director of Acclaim Health, stressed that only the organization's name has changed.
"We will still be providing the same services and programs we have developed and been delivering to our community," said Brewer. The new organization continues to provide the same nursing, homemaking, Alzheimer and corporate wellness services to the same clients with the same staff and volunteers connected with VON Halton. The major funders of health care services in the area have continued to honour contracts and service agreements negotiated with VON Halton. Fund-raising initiatives and donations received will continue to support charitable community programs such as the Alzheimer Seniors Day Program, Alzheimer Support and Counseling, Friendly Visiting, Special Steps, Hospice Visiting, Bereavement Services, People in Crisis and Tele-Touch Reassurance Services. "We're quite excited about this bold step forward," said Hayward. "It will allow us to continue to maintain a local focus and provide greater management flexibility in order to effectively serve our community for a long time to come."