VNAHG Celebrates Nurses Day

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Visiting Nurse Association Health Group Honors Nurses at Nurses’ Day Celebration

Visiting Nurse Association Health Group (VNAHG), the second largest VNA in the nation, celebrated Nurses’ Day on May 10th at Battleground Country Club in Manalapan with nurses from all around the state in attendance.

Two VNAHG nurses were recognized by their colleagues for their exceptional work and dedication.  Kathy McConnell, RN, MPH was the recipient of the Marcia Granucci Award and Cathy Kulaszewski, RN was presented with the Nurse of the Year award.

The Marcia Granucci Award is award is given in memory of Marcia Granucci who developed a community-based mental health program at the VNA and lost her life while serving the most vulnerable people in Monmouth and Middlesex County. Each year the award is given to a manager who is a registered nurse and one who provides care with sincerity and compassion, and comprehends the integral role of the nursing professional in the dynamic relationship of patient, nurse, and family.

This year’s recipient, Kathy McConnell, has been with VNAHG for over 30 years and has played an intricate role in public and community health. McConnell was hired as a staff nurse at VNAHG and quickly prospered in her career. She has helped plan and manage three community health centers while overseeing a total of 14 clinical supervisors, 90 staff nurses, and 15 support staff members. McConnell has also served as VNAHG’s Director of Nursing, Director of Hospice, Director of Special Projects, and Director of Personal Care and Community Projects. In 2005, McConnell was recognized as Hospice Director of the Year by New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. She is currently the Vice President of Care Coordination.

Marianne Brodmerkel, Business Development Manager for VNAHG stated, “Kathy’s dedication to each department and the VNA as a whole is admirable. She guides, mentors, and responds to the individuals reporting to her with a true concern for their success and the success of the organization.”

The Nurse of the Year Award is given annually to a nurse who demonstrates a strong commitment to the art of nursing and true dedication as a patient advocate.

Cathy Kulaszewski, this year’s Nurse of the Year Award recipient began her career with VNAHG in 2009 as a home care nurse. With over 20 years of experience, Kulaszewski’s compassion and dedication for her patients has always shown through her work. She takes great measures to assure her patients receive the best care, regardless of the situation. Kulaszewski showed tremendous dedication during both Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy. She assisted in helping her patients evacuate to temporary shelters, where she visited them all week long to ensure they remained diligent in taking their medications and adhering to their disease management regimens. Kulaszewski has always understood her role as a community resource and an ambassador for the organization.

Chief Nursing Officer, Marjorie Forgang stated, “Cathy is a tireless advocate, case finder, a source of strength, confidence, and competence. She truly makes her community a better place.”

The Nurses’ Day celebrations honored more than 500 nurses with VNAHG who play a critical role in helping the organization carry out its mission. This year’s celebration recognized a special group of nurses who displayed heroic acts during Hurricane Sandy as well as nurses who received degrees and certifications throughout the year. VNAHG applauds all of their nurses whose hard-work and commitment assists the organization in achieving its mission of providing care to those in need and making the community a better place to live.

About VNA Health Group
Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, serving the community for more than 100 years, is New Jersey’s largest nonprofit community health provider of home health care, hospice and community services. The organization cares for 120,000 individuals each year. Visiting Nurse Association Health Group members include VNA of Central Jersey, Cape VNA, Robert Wood Johnson Visiting Nurses, and VNA of Englewood.  For more information about VNA Health Group call 800.326.3330 or visit

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