The Connector
by Meaghan Casey

A century ago, with one nurse making more than 260 home visits to patients in one year, All Care VNA & Hospice established its roots in Lynn.  Though the expanse of the agency’s services, reach and employee base has dramatically changed – wiht more than 600 employees caring for 11,500 patients in 2010 – two things have not:  its commitment to providing affordable, quality health care at home and its commitment to the City of Lynn.

That unwavering commitment will follow through to the next century on the heels of the grand opening of a new 46,500-square-foot downtown headquarters.

The $11 million, four story administrative building, slated to open in January 2012, will merge three of All Care’s existing offices – two in Lynn and one in Wakefield – and house 140 administrative staff members.  The consolidation which will streamline operations and allow for superior communication under one roof, will transplant 75 employees to Lynn.  Hundreds of other nurses, therapists, health aides and volunteers will be in and out of the building on a frequest basis.

“All Care has been an integral part of our community for 100 years and I think this building is committing their presence for another 100,” said

Lynn  Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy.   “It’s

exciting to think about the 75 additional employees in Lynn, dining and walking around downtown.”

I commend everyone at All Care for the great work that they do,” said State Sen. Thomas M. McGee.  “It’s about helping people and caring for people, and those services are so important.  I also commend the agency for bringing together an empty lot and creating opportunities for the downtown and the waterfront.”

All Care broke ground on the site in December 2010.  The property, adjacent to the MBTA communter rail station and bus terminal at Market and Broad streets, had been vacant for more than two decades before All Care stepped in.

“This kind of project doesn’t happen overnight,” said Jay Fenton, All Care board chairman.  “it took a lot of time and a lot of energy, but I think it’s indicative of the agency’s continued loyalty to the city.”

“All Care is a Lynn-based organization and our board members are committed to maintaining that presence in the city,” said All Care President Shawn Potter.  “Probably half of our patients live in Lynn, and about 250 of our employees are Lynn residents.  We’re here to stay.”

Specializing in caring for individuals recovering from illness and injury, helping elders maintain their health and independence and providing compassionate end-of-life care, All Care serves patients in 53 communities throughout Greater Boston and the North Shore.  It provides these services to its patients regardless of their ability to pay, and, in the past 10 years, the agency has provided $2.5 million in free or subsidized care.

Much of the funding to help those in need of quality home and hospice care is derived from donor support and the proceeds of events such as All Care’s annual wine tasting and auction.  This year’s event, the 10th annual “A Matter of Taste,” was to be held on Nov 17 at Danversport Yacht Club.  Last year, more than 300 guests helped to raise a record-breaking $100,000 that directly benefited those with life-limiting illnesses in the communities All Care serves.