April 18, 2019

Concord Regional VNA, Community Marks 25 Years of Hospice House

CONCORD, N.H. – Concord Regional VNA and the community is celebrating the 25-year anniversary of welcoming the first resident to Hospice House, the state’s first Hospice House.

“Concord Regional VNA Hospice House is a place where families can celebrate life,” said Beth J. Slepian, MBA, PT, President/CEO of Concord Regional VNA. “It is a treasured community resource that offers a warm and inviting setting where our team delivers compassionate, high quality care to patients and families while easing the burden during a stressful and difficult time.”

One of our hospice nurses has fond memories of the first resident.

“I had the pleasure of going to the patient’s mobile home to bring her to Hospice House as our first patient,” said Joann Chamberland, RN. “She had a difficult time leaving her tiny mobile home and it took some time for her to trust me that she was going to a good place.”

“When the patient arrived at Hospice House, she settled in,” she said. “The room was brightly lit with the warmth of the sun seeping in as well as the smell of food cooking. She cried and said, ‘this is too beautiful for me.” 

Since before its opening in 1994, community members rallied behind efforts to construct Hospice House and displayed overwhelming support again during the 10th anniversary campaign to build a memorial garden, to make needed renovations, and to increase education about end-of-life care.  

In 2014, additional renovations included kitchen updates, removal and installation of a new roof, and installation of a new family kitchen area. 

Today, Hospice House features 10-bedrooms, a living room, family kitchen, four-season solarium, and multi-faith meditation room. Volunteer services and bereavement and grief support is also available to patients and families. In front of Hospice House is the Susan McLane Memorial Garden.

“We are extremely fortunate that the agency’s previous leaders had the foresight and vision to recognize that there was a need in the community for Hospice House,” Slepian said. “Having a warm and inviting home to provide a safe and comfortable setting for families to receive care, live life to the fullest, and die with dignity has made such a significant impact and has also allowed many families to spend quality with each other.”