Dear Community Members,
As I look back over the year, I am overwhelmed with pride as I think about how we navigated the pandemic. Providing care to our rural communities over the past year has certainly had its challenges. The support of NCH was paramount for our small agency in terms of securing PPE and obtaining vaccines for our staff as well as our homebound patients. Even though COVID-19 continues to be a reality that effects our daily lives and operations, we are experiencing stability and growth in our programs, and for that I am grateful.
Some of the most exciting growth we are experiencing is in our Palliative Care program. We started the program in 2019 as a pilot with five patients. Over the past two years, we have grown the program to maintain an active census on average of 65 patients. Our team of Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Social Workers have added depth to this program that we couldn’t have imagined two years ago. This program is serving our community in a way that allows patients and their families to understand their disease process, set goals and discuss end-of-life care planning all from the comfort and safety of their own home. Navigating a serious illness can be difficult, but we have pledged to help our community members through these hard times. The response to the program has been immense.
One of our main goals over the past years has been to expand our territory south to Plymouth, NH and surrounding towns. Being able to offer our services, specifically Palliative and Hospice care, to a larger portion of Grafton County is something our referral sources have been asking for. We are happy to deliver. Our management team continues to focus on ensuring we provide quality care; continually monitoring visit utilization, focusing on episode management, working to improve the patient experience, and encouraging staff to partake in enhanced trainings and obtain certifications as we see the acuity of our patients increase substantially.
It’s also important to recognize that our agency celebrated its 50th year of service to the community last year. This accomplishment has been celebrated by giving back to the community that supports us and welcomes us into their homes by doing “50 Acts of Kindness” in each community we serve. I am a strong believer that the lessons we have learned throughout the pandemic, coupled with our passion for serving our community, will allow us to thrive as we look towards the future. A big thank you to our Board of Directors, NCH, our staff members and the community; the support you have shown us this year has been humbling.
President & Chief Executive Officer
North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency