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ROCHESTER—Cornerstone VNA, a nonprofit home health and hospice care organization, broke ground Oct. 15, 2020 an important capital project to expand their building and renovate their existing space. This project marks a pivotal moment in the organization’s 108 year history, and positions them for continued success in the future.
Cornerstone VNA has been in their current location at 178 Farmington Road, Rochester, since 2001. Over the last 20 years, Cornerstone VNA has experienced significant growth. According to Julie Reynolds, RN, MS, President/CEO of Cornerstone VNA, “Over the past 10 years, we have more than doubled our service area from 19 to 43 communities, and the number of patients served each year continues to climb - from 1,750 to over 5,500 in the last 10 years.” Reynolds shares that the organization has also grown in staffing from 85 employees in 2010 to over 170 employees today.
“As we’ve grown, we have managed our spatial needs by reconfiguring offices and renovating our basement in 2018, but the time has come to expand our building to better support our staff, our patients and our community”, says Reynolds. This project will ensure the continued success of Cornerstone VNA’s award-winning programs and services, the care provided by their frontline workers, and essential training of all staff.
In the words of Rochester Mayor, Caroline McCarley, “The City is so excited that Cornerstone VNA is doing this expansion. I began my time with the VNA way back when I first moved to town, as a volunteer in the well-child clinic, and the work they have done and the expansion is just amazing.”
Cornerstone VNA is proud to be working with SMP Architecture of Concord, Groen Construction of Rochester, and First Seacoast Bank, who have all teamed up to build a new wing for the Hospice, Palliative Care and Intake departments, as well as larger community meeting and training spaces. Additional renovations will be made to the existing building to address administrative staffing needs, for improved family support, and to enhance building safety and accessibility.
President of Groen Construction, Fenton Groen is thrilled that Cornerstone VNA selected Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) for their new addition. “Compared to conventional wood construction, the use of ICFs will minimize the total cost of the building by increasing the speed of construction, higher safety ratings and increased energy efficiency,” he says.
In fact, the new ICF addition with continuous insulation and solid concrete walls will assist in reducing the long-term operating expenses for Cornerstone VNA by reducing heat and cooling costs of that space by at least 30%.
Tamara Crooks-Faulkingham, RN, BSN, hospice director says , “It will be extremely helpful to have the added space to better serve our patients. It will allow us to work more efficiently as a team, which will lead to enhanced coordination of care.” Barb Boulton, RN, MSN, Program Support Director & Compliance Officer adds, “The Intake Department’s role as the initiator of the patients’ electronic health record and our active participation in coordination of care requires a detail-oriented mind and calm work environment with minimal interruptions. Our new space will create an environment which encourages high quality work that is essential to documentation integrity.”
Cornerstone VNA’s goal is to raise $2 million for this important project. To date, the organization has garnered support from their Board of Directors, the Cogswell Benevolent Trust, local businesses and more than 100 generous donors. As the 2020 beneficiary of the 15th Annual Seacoast Half Marathon, Cornerstone VNA has dedicated the race proceeds to support this expansion and renovation.
According to Advancement Director Erika Lee, “We are a healthy organization, but the support we receive will help us reduce the debt and length of debt incurred.” Lee adds, “Donations for our capital project will be key to our success. They will enable us to focus on investing in emerging opportunities to benefit our patients and to be prepared to weather unexpected challenges, such as the current pandemic.”
Cornerstone VNA recognizes that the heart of healing begins at home and stands poised and committed to providing home health and hospice care to their New Hampshire and Maine service area communities for generations to come. For those who are interested in supporting Cornerstone VNA’s important building expansion and renovation project, Cornerstone VNA offers a variety of flexible giving options and can guide donors in making a meaningful investment that aligns with their philanthropic goals. Additional details and project photos can be found at cornerstonevna.org/buildingourfuture.
About Cornerstone VNA
Cornerstone VNA is a nonprofit home health and hospice care provider, currently serving Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at Cornerstone VNA provides award-winning care and support through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty and Community Care. For 108 years, Cornerstone VNA has been committed to bringing services to people of all ages so that families can stay together at home, even when facing the challenges of aging, surgical recovery, chronic or life-threatening illnesses or end-of-life care. To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, visit www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.