VHA Home HealthCare has a long and vibrant history of providing community health and support services to people of all ages and cultural backgrounds when, where and how they want it. 1925 The Visiting Housekeepers Centre is founded by Miss Barbara Blackstock to provide homemaking services to families where the mother is ill. By the end of its first year, 14 housekeepers are trained and in service. The Canadian Red Cross, Toronto Branch, provides a building and temporary financial support for the service.
1935 The Visiting Homemakers Association (V.H.A.) incorporates.
1937 V.H.A. administers a fund to provide parental relief for polio victims.
1951 Homemaker services extended to care for sick children of working mothers of single-parent families.
1957 A three-year pilot project begins to determine needs for home care of the aged.
1958 Home care initiated under a federal health grant. V.H.A. is a participating agency. Provincial legislation means the province now provides financial assistance to municipalities for homemaker services.
1964 V.H.A. receives grant from the Rotary Club to ensure pilot project with the elderly continues. V.H.A. provides service to Home Care Program. The Borough of East York begins providing senior services.
1969 V.H.A. moves to 170 Merton Street—a building donated by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation in memory of Mrs. Garfield Weston, a V.H.A. client.
1974 Parental Relief Program financed by United Community Fund. Family Support Service begins offering homemaking to families with a physically handicapped mother or one-parent families with a physically handicapped father.
1976 V.H.A. is accredited by the National (U.S.) Council for Homemaker-Home Health Aide Service Inc.
1977 Parental Relief Program receives subsidy from Metro Department of Social Services.
1980 V.H.A.’s Executive Director becomes the first President of the newly incorporated Canadian Council on Homemaker Services.
1981-85 Increasing demand for homemakers and growing provincial government awareness means by 1985, 355,000 hours of service are provided.
1998 Nursing and health services programs developed to complement the home and community support services. Complex nursing and medical procedures are increasingly performed in a client’s home. V.H.A. Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses work in private homes as well as hospitals and long-term care facilities.
2000 V.H.A.’s 75th anniversary year. Three-year accreditation status is awarded by the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation. United Way, along with the City of Toronto’s Homeless Initiative Fund, supportV.H.A.’s Extreme Cleaning Program. The service helps people—often suffering from mental health challenges—facing eviction because their home does not meet public health standards.
2001- 2002 Our name officially changes from Visiting Homemakers Association to VHA Home HealthCare, reflecting our growing continuum of health and home support services.
More than one million hours of care are delivered to over 9,500 clients and their families across all VHA programs. Owned by VHA, Adams House, a supportive housing complex for tenants with severe mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, opens in downtown Toronto.
2003 – 2004 Our long-serving CEO/President David Wright retires and VHA welcomes Carol Annett as its CEO.
VHA wins breakthrough CCAC nursing contracts with Durham Access to Care, North York, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia Lambton CCACs growing our nursing program by over 100,000 service units.
VHA is accredited for a second three-year term.
2005 – 2006 VHA celebrates its 80th anniversary and launches its Heroes in the Home award to recognize family members and friends who provide extraordinary home care to loved ones.
2009 COTA Health’s Rehabilitation Services–which includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, social work services and diet and nutritional services– joins the VHA family to become VHA Rehab Solutions.
VHA earns accreditation status from Accreditation Canada for a third time.
2010 VHA celebrates its 85th anniversary.
2011 VHA moves its head office to 30 Soudan Avenue, Suite 500. Its tagline is changed to “Creating More Independence” to better reflect what we provide to clients. After an in-depth analysis of our history and future aspirations as an organization, VHA revitalizes its Vision, Mission and Core Beliefs.
2012 Accredited with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada.
2014 Introduces the Client and Family Voice, including creation of a Client and Carer Advisory Council. As a community care trailblazer in incorporating client and family insights, VHA begins speaking on the experience at conferences and, in 2015, is asked to advise other home care organizations on creating similar programs.
2015 VHA celebrates the 90th anniversary of the organization and the 10th anniversary of its Heart of Home Care Award! After three years as a candidate, VHA becomes a Registered Nurse Association of Ontario (RANO) Best Practice Spotlight Organization® (BPSO) designate.
2016 VHA receives accreditation with Exemplary Standing for the second consecutive time by Accreditation Canada.
VHA rolls out the Electronic Medical Records Initiative (EMRI) province-wide, starting with adult nursing program service providers.
2017 VHA receives Anchor Partner status with the United Way Toronto & York Region.
VHA expands nursing and dietetic teams in Greater Toronto Area and discontinues service in Erie St. Clair region.
2018 VHA continues partnership with University Health Network and Sunnybrook Hospital for two research fellowships for VHA staff and service providers.