CONCORD — Nearly 200 staff members, volunteers, partners, community members and local officials gathered recently at Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association to celebrate the agency’s 120th anniversary.
Concord Regional VNA was incorporated in 1899 as the not-for-profit “Concord District Nursing Association” to establish and maintain a system of district nursing in Concord.
“Today, Concord Regional VNA is the state’s largest home health and hospice provider, serving the residents of 44 communities in New Hampshire across the entire life span — from birth to end-of-life,” a news release states.
Concord Regional VNA employs more than 400 clinicians and staff members who provide a broad array of services, including home care, hospice care, palliative care, pediatric and maternal child health and personal home services to more than 6,500 New Hampshire residents of all ages each year.
The agency also offers community clinics and wellness programs to help people maintain their health, well-being and independence.
“Over the past 120 years, our name and location have changed, our technology has advanced and our services have expanded, but our mission remains true to the goal upon which our agency was founded – our business is everybody’s health,” said Beth Slepian, president and CEO, Concord Regional VNA.
To commemorate the agency’s 120th anniversary and to honor the “respect, compassion, excellence, leadership and stewardship” of its employees, VNA officials introduced the “Living Our Values” award.
The inaugural, peer-nominated award was presented to Director of Paraprofessional Services Cindy Bergeron by Slepian and CFO Geraldine Holmes.
Bergeron, who has been with Concord Regional VNA for nearly 15 years, began as a home-care nurse and has held various positions within the agency. In October, she was promoted to her current role, in which she oversees the agency’s 94 Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) and Home Health Aides.
According to the news release, the colleagues who nominated Bergeron for the award noted, “Cindy’s interactions with patients and families are nothing short of amazing,” and, “Cindy’s commitment to her work and the agency inspires others to want to do and be better, work harder, and achieve more.”
A number of prominent members of the community spoke about Concord Regional VNA’s significant value to the community, including Capital Region Health Care trustee B.J. Entwisle, M.D., and representatives from the offices of United States Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan. Slepian also read a commendation from New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu.
Concord Regional VNA has been caring for people in their homes since 1899, from tuberculosis clinics in the early 1900s, to family planning and homemaker services in the 1970s, to sexually transmitted disease services in the 1980s, to senior care services and wellness programs in the 1990s, to flu clinics, wellness programs and more in the 2000s.
In 1994, the agency opened New Hampshire’s first Hospice House, which marked its 25th anniversary in June.
“Concord Regional VNA has excelled for 120 years by understanding the needs of our community and adapting to provide the best possible care,” Slepian said.