VNH Hospice Timeline

VNH has been providing hospice and home care services in our area for more than a century.  

1907: VNA services initiated in Windsor, VT.
Number of nurses: one           Salary: $50/month

“The requirements of the visiting nurse are not only practical and professional, but in a large measure spiritual. Purity of motives, integrity of work, and broad social conceptions of duty to mankind, are for her not remote ideals, but necessary qualities in satisfactorily carrying out the daily routine.”

Source: Visiting Nursing in the United States by Yssabella Waters, 1909

1948: Dame Cicely Saunders begins work with terminally ill in the U.K. Saunders first applies the term “hospice” to specialized care for dying patients.

1963: Saunders’ lecture at Yale School of Nursing introduces the concept of hospice to the U.S.

“We should not institutionalize people. We can give families more help with home care and visiting nurses, giving the families and the patients the spiritual, emotional, and financial help in order to facilitate the final care at home.” – Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying, at the first national hearings on the subject of death with dignity in 1972.

Source: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (www.nhpco.org)

1974: Florence Wald, with two pediatricians and a chaplain, founds Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Connecticut. This was America’s first hospice.

1978:  Hospice of the Upper Valley (which later became part of the VNA) is founded to support end-of-life care, a non-profit agency that provided care to all in the area, regardless of ability to pay.

1983:  Medicare initiates Hospice benefit as reimbursement for end-of-life care.

1992-2001:  VNA/VNH is formed from the merger of 11 other area VNAs. It becomes one of the largest Visiting Nurse Agencies in the area, with a territory that spans thousands of square miles and includes more than 290,000 residents.

2000: Nursing Leadership Academy in End-of-Life Care is formed, which supports palliative and end-of-life care across the lifespan and launched the start of pediatric palliative care.

2007:  100th anniversary of VNA services in Vermont is celebrated.

2012: VNA/VNH formalizes its Pediatric Palliative Care program in Vermont, which spans three counties and is the largest in the state.

2014:  VNA/VNH becomes VNH – Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire.

2016: VNH becomes an affiliate of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health.