About Concord Regional VNA

Since 1899, Concord Regional VNA has been committed to meeting the health needs of our patients, clients, and families. Today as the largest home health and hospice provider in the state, our not-for-profit, community-based agency offers people of all ages a wide range of personalized services and programs including home care, hospice, palliative (as part of Capital Region Palliative Care and Hospice), personal home services, and wellness programming.

Vision, Mission and Values

Our Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers are committed to our Vision, Mission, and Values. The hard work and impact they make on the lives of our community members is remarkable and make the greater Concord region a better place to live.

Vision

A community where wellness and well-being is achieved through compassionate care to those in need.

Mission

The mission of Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association is to improve the health of the people and communities it serves by managing illness and promoting wellness through all stages of life.

Values

  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Competence
  • Culture of Excellence
  • Leadership
  • Stewardship

History

Our agency was organized as the Concord District Nursing Association in October 1899 by Lilian Carpenter Streeter and Dr. Nelson McMurphy. They were aware of the health needs of the poor in Concord and were motivated by the district nursing movement in England.

District nursing began in Liverpool, England in 1859 by William Rathbone, a wealthy philanthropist who was influenced by Florence Nightingale. Miss Nightingale founded the first school to train nurses to work in hospitals and district nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London called the Nightingale Home in 1860.

By 1872, U.S. schools for training nurses opened based upon the Nightingale philosophy as well as hospital-based schools. In 1885, Dr. Alfred Worcester started the Waltham Training School for Nurses where our agency’s first nurse Miss Katherine B. Hill attended.

On October 27, 1885, the area’s first hospital opened along with a nursing school four years later. On December 15, 1891, this hospital was replaced by The Margaret Pillsbury Hospital, a facility donated by George Pillsbury in honor of his wife.

In October 1896, New Hampshire Memorial Hospital for Women and Children opened and started a nurse training school, and in 1888, a training program began at NH Asylum (now known as NH Hospital).

By the late 1890s, some people used hospitals or hired a private nurse for health care, but many people could not afford this. In response, Mrs. Streeter and Dr. McMurphy and 13 people representing 10 city churches organized the Concord District Nursing Association on October 11, 1899. The Association was incorporated by the State seven days later.

Miss Hill began her work on December 1, 1899, and from the very first day was kept busy, conclusive proof that the great need of a district nurse in Concord had not been over-estimated. (Annual Report of Concord District Nursing Association.)

During the first winter, Miss Hill traveled on foot, especially when deep snow rendered the streetcars inoperable. The Executive Committee held a special fund-raising effort to purchase a "first class chainless bicycle for her" the following May. By 1901 the Boston & Maine Railroad granted free transportation on the streetcars and the five local stables offered free carriage rides during bad weather.

The Association provided Miss Hill with housing on Main Street that also served as the first home for the Concord District Nursing Association. She received her orders from physicians and by March was assisted by a visiting committee of volunteers who helped her with her work.

The Association decided in the beginning that the work would be wider and more far-reaching, and do more good to those who needed it, if everyone paid something, even though a small sum, for the nurse’s work. (Annual report 1901) Over half of the cases were treated free. Fund raising was and continues to be important. From the beginning, subscriptions were sold and contributors became members of the Association.

Concord District Nursing Association offered three local nurse training programs to include district nursing in their clinical experience. In December 1900, an agreement with the State Hospital School of Nursing provided a nursing rotation under the supervision of Miss Hill.

The Association has served through the epidemic of influenza in 1918, the flood of 1936, the Great Depression, two World Wars, and a century of change. The founders laid a firm foundation that would enable the Agency to meet the challenges of the years to come.

Sources:

District Nursing, by Lilian C. Streeter, October 14, 1902
Concord And Her Visiting Nurses, by Lilian C. Streeter, May 6, 1905
A Kindly Interest, by Jill C. Wilson, 1989
Concord District Nursing Association Annual Reports

Read More

Key Events

1899

Founded in Concord, NH and began home health visits

1981

Began providing hospice care in homes and nursing facilities

1994

Opened the first Hospice House in New Hampshire

1994

“Baby's First Homecoming” visits began to help moms and newborns with the transition from Concord Hospital to home

2001

Began use of laptop computers by nurses in homes

2001

“Bringing Children Home” is instituted to bridge the gap between inpatient pediatric care and home care and provide enhanced training for pediatric nurses, thus improving home care for children with complex medical needs. This collaboration of the Visiting Nurse Association Health System of Northern New England includes Concord Regional VNA and five other not-for-profit, community-based homecare agencies.

2005

Received Walter J. Dunfey Award for Excellence in Management

2008

Received largest gift in our history, $1 million from Eugene & Anne Slusser

2009

Concord Regional VNA moved to 30 Pillsbury Street in Concord

2012

Introduced Home Care Medication Management Project with pharmacist focused on caring for patients who have complex care needs

2012

Medication Reconciliation & Transitional Care Nursing Project with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Concord helps at-risk patients reduce preventable hospitalizations and is later expanded to Concord Hospital Medical Group patients

2012

"A Matter of Balance" and Better Choices, Better Health™ added as community benefit programs

2013

Hospice Program named a We Honor Veterans Partner Provider

2013

"Powerful Tools for Caregivers" added as a community benefit program

2013

Implemented a behavioral health nursing program to improve our care of home care patients

2014

Introduced Community Health Educator Program, funded by a gift from the Audrey M. Lindgren Trust, to help patients with complex care needs make lifestyle and behavior changes to meet their personal health goals

2014

Hospice House Renovation Project included kitchen updates and creation of a family kitchen area. Patients were cared for by our staff at Concord Hospital and moved back to the Hospice House in January 2015

2015

Our Transitional Care Nurses named Best Nursing Team runner-up in the May issue of ADVANCE for Nurses magazine

2015

Capital Region Palliative Care and Hospice, a collaboration of Concord Regional VNA and Concord Hospital, with support from Riverbend Community Mental Health and community providers offer comprehensive palliative care services