During the latter years of the 1960's a group headed by Dr. John Norris began working to bring the vision of a visiting nurse association for this region to reality. Prior to that time each town had a nurse who would travel throughout the town providing education, immunizations and treatments.
Through the efforts of this group, Kearsarge Visiting Nurse Association was founded and incorporated in January 1970 as a not-for-profit home care organization. KVNA served the towns of New London, Newbury, Wilmot, Bradford, Warner, Sutton, Andover and Danbury. Subsequently, Sunapee and Grantham joined the Association; then in 1987 Kearsarge VNA merged with Newport Area Home Health Agency to become Lake Sunapee Home Health Care. With this merger the towns of Newport, Goshen, Lempster, Springfield, Washington, Unity, and Croydon became association members. Member towns support the mission of the organization by appropriating some funds yearly to help offset costs for those who have inadequate insurance or no insurance.
In 1990, Hospice of the Kearsarge Valley, a volunteer hospice organization and Lake Sunapee Home Health Care merged to become Lake Sunapee Region Visiting Nurse Association. In 1991, Medicare certified Lake Sunapee Region VNA as a hospice provider.
In 2000, Lake Sunapee Region VNA became the first agency in New Hampshire to provide home telemedicine. We invested in a home health monitoring system that allows us to monitor the patient’s health status and vital signs including temperature, weight, pulse, oxygen level in the blood, blood pressure, blood glucose and others on a daily basis. This technology allows us to dispatch our nursing resources where they are most needed and has reduced unnecessary trips to the emergency room and re-hospitalizations for our patients. It also provides patients and families a greater sense of security.
Approximately 50% of the organization’s revenue comes from Medicare, followed by Medicaid and third party insurance and private pay. In addition to town support, Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice receives support from United Ways in both Merrimack and Sullivan Counties, from grants and small foundations and from donations from individuals and businesses.
A volunteer Board of Trustees representing the geographic region served governs the organization. Today there are approximately 120 staff members and 70 volunteers providing care and services to residents of our region. Staff includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed nursing assistants, physical, occupational and speech therapists, medical social workers, spiritual counselors, homemakers, personal care support providers, companions and support staff. Services are provided to meet the health care needs of the individuals throughout the life span and include home visits, clinics, support groups and other community wellness activities. The staff provides about 65,000 visits annually and drives over 500,000 miles each year caring for our friends and neighbors.