NORTH CONWAY — It took a while, but 1991 Kennett High School graduate Matt Dunn is living proof that you can go home again, recently returning to where he grew up and joining the emergency department staff at Memorial Hospital.
Having done “a little bit of everything,” in both sports and academics at Kennett, Dunn, 41, was raised in Tamworth and North Conway, where his family’s roots stretch back three generations. After Kennett, Dunn attended St. Michael’s College in Vermont, earning a degree in biology before moving on to the University of New England in Maine where he received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.
Overlapping his two higher-education experiences, Dunn from 1992-1998 was a climbing guide at the Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School in North Conway where he met his wife, Kristen, a Concord native whose family now lives in Dover, who was also working there.
The couple went to UNE-Maine together and while Matt worked on his degree, Kristen worked on hers, earning a master’s in Physician Assistant studies.
Following an internship and residency at Albany Medical Center in New York, Matt Dunn became chief resident in 2006. After graduating from residency, he took a position at Glen Falls Hospital — a 400-bed community hospital that annually sees more than 55,000 emergency patients — and stayed there for eight years.
Last fall, the Dunns — both of whom pledged that they’d one day return to the Mount Washington Valley — saw a job listing for Memorial Hospital’s emergency department and Matt Dunn applied and was accepted.
A board-certified emergency physician and Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Dunn began working at Memorial several months ago and on Wednesday, he spoke about the arc of his life that has taken him from and back to his home.
“I just had this conversation with a good friend of mine who asked me a similar question” about whether a person can truly go home again, said Dunn. “My wife and I met up here. I grew up literally down the road up here, and you wonder whether you’re coming back to a memory. But to come back as an adult and to realize that the place is truly as wonderful as you remember it, is truly fantastic.”
Living and working in the Empire State was very enjoyable, Dunn added, “but, honestly, it was a sense of community” that brought him and Kristen back to New Hampshire; the couple resides in Chocorua.
As glad as Dunn is to be in the Mount Washington Valley and at Memorial, his new boss, Kim Goodwin, MD, is equally glad to have him there.
“We’re really pleased to have Dr. Dunn join our staff,” said Goodwin, who is the Emergency Department’s medical director. “It’s great that he wanted to come back to his hometown, and we know he’s really vested in the community. It’s hard to recruit physicians if they don’t have any connections with the area.”