COMMENTARY: Amid changes, VCC’s mission stays the same

Vashon Community Care (VCC) takes pride in its role as a longtime island partner, providing care and housing for residents in their golden years. A lot has changed at VCC in the last few months, and it seems an appropriate time to clarify what has changed and, equally as important, what has not.

In December of 2017, Vashon Community Care affiliated with Transforming Age, which is a not-for-profit network of services, products and partnerships dedicated to transforming the perception of age and enhancing the lives of older adults. Their mission mirrors what we do each day at VCC — enriching the individual’s experience of aging. This affiliation means Transforming Age has taken on the leadership role and manages day-to-day operations with the guiding goal of providing exemplary care while making VCC a financially sustainable organization.

Several changes within daily operations have already created significant cost savings for VCC while also improving the level of care.

• The employee benefits package was moved under Transforming Age and includes greater medical, dental and vision coverage as well as a life insurance option, all of which ultimately reduce benefits costs to VCC.

• Implementation of PointClickCare, a cloud-based electronic health record platform, which enables employees to efficiently document resident care and code services with a tap on an iPad. This has improved care, made the team members’ jobs much easier and strengthened VCC’s financial sustainability.

• Transitioning to a pharmacy that provides intravenous (IV) medications increases VCC’s medical service offerings and its ability to accept residents in need of IV therapy. Those residents who previously needed to find IV care options off island can now receive them right here.

There have also been some changes on the fundraising side of VCC that require clarification.

The VCC Foundation, formed in 2013, still retains its own 501(c)(3) status and will continue its mission of raising funds to support Vashon Community Care. The foundation also completed a separate affiliation agreement between Transforming Age and VCC in February 2018, bringing the fundraising efforts back under the roof of VCC with the foundation being a direct subsidiary of VCC. While VCC and the VCC foundation retain their names and non-profit status, governance of both entities has transitioned to the same board of directors that governs Transforming Age and Transforming Age’s affiliates. The former VCC and VCC Foundation boards have entrusted governance to the Transforming Age board members knowing that both VCC and the foundation will be managed locally and remain integral Vashon community resources.

It is important to note that all endowment funds held by the VCC Foundation from its generous guarantors and donors remain held by the foundation and will not be used in the operational shortfall. Moving forward, the VCC Foundation will go back to its original model of community involvement by creating a development committee comprised of community volunteers who share a passion for the future of VCC and the residents it serves.

While VCC is well positioned on the path to sustainability, there is still currently a need for the VCC Foundation to provide additional operational funds to offset the lack of full Medicaid reimbursement. Full financial sustainability is expected in 2019, at which time the foundation will transition its focus to raising funds for capital projects, including interior and exterior building upgrades, program enhancements and other value-added initiatives to provide improved healthcare options for Vashon Island residents.

We are thrilled to be celebrating VCC’s 90th anniversary this year. While our community has evolved over the years and will continue to do so in order to best serve our residents, what will never change is our commitment to providing loving care at “home” on Vashon.

Visit us online at Vashon-, and click on the Transforming Age logo at the bottom of the homepage to learn about the Transforming Age story.

VCC is grateful to the Vashon community for being wonderful supporters and embracing change. Our doors are always open, and all are encouraged to visit VCC or get in touch online. Transforming Age President and CEO Torsten Hirche can be reached at, VCC Administrator Jose Brito at and VCC Foundation Development Manager Jill Venturi at

— Jose Brito is the administrator at VCC.