Emily Rothenberger and the VNA

By Michelle Cannon Epting

Emily Rothenberger’s entire life has been about service. The daughter of a military father, she grew up in locations across the U.S., from Hawaii to Miami, Colorado to Vermont. Seeking a warmer climate in 1983, she migrated back to Florida.

After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication, Emily eventually found herself working at a local hospital directing guest relations services for patients and training employees and volunteers in customer service. Over time she learned of the VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) and found herself drawn to its community reputation.

The VNA is a nonprofit, Medicare certified home health agency providing nurses; physical, speech, and occupational therapists; home health aides; and medical social workers to patients throughout Brevard and Indian River Counties. These clinical professionals allow patients to safely recover from illness, injury, or surgery, in the comfort of their own homes with a personalized plan of care, and they provide support and education to caregivers.

Emily joined VNA in October 2002. She was impressed by the employees’ commitment and dedication to the organization, as evidenced by the low turnover rate (“happy employees mean happy patients.”) This allows them to cultivate relationships with patients. Patients often call and request the
agency and specific staff.

“It is truly a privilege to work with the caliber of professionals at the VNA and know that when I represent their skills and dedication, I am able to do so with pride and honesty.” — Emily Rothenberger, VNA of Space Coast

Her specific role within the VNA is that of Physician Liaison, representing the organization to both the medical and general community. She works with physicians to establish the needs of patients. This ensures that VNA staff works as an extension of the physician’s practice and provides the care that patients need for their successful recovery. Additionally, she provides speaking engagements to community groups and organizations about the VNA, or covering specific topics, such as fall prevention or medication management, as well as talks from physicians related to their expertise and practice specialty.

Personal experience reinforced the importance of what both Emily and the VNA do for their clients. The value of home health care became personal when her husband had major surgery. Having medical professionals in their home alleviated the exhaustion that came from repeated hospital visits and the anxiety about caring for her spouse once he returned home.

The home health nurses showed her that she could be an effective caregiver, and they provided reassurance that recovery would happen. Emily and her husband never felt alone on the journey to recovery. Emily Rothenberger lives her life by the simple philosophy of the Golden Rule. With a background centered on service, she believes that in giving to others one gives to oneself. “If you identify what other people need, and set out to meet those needs, it comes back to you in a positive way.”

For more information visit VNA Space Coast online at vnatc.com.