During the Month of October of our 110th year, we continue our Healthcare Heroes through History blog post series with a focus on the 2000s.
This month, we are honored to recognize Linda Hotchkiss RN, BSHMP, MHSA, who served as the CEO of Cornerstone VNA for 23 years. Over more than two decades, the scope of services and geographic area grew significantly, along with regulatory changes and challenges.
Patient needs became more acute, with procedures being done in the home that were previously done in the hospital setting. Additionally, technology was constantly changing, and the importance of continuing education and specialty certifications were critical to continued growth and success. As an avid lifelong learner, Linda made advanced education, certifications, and workshops a priority at the VNA, ensuring that the organization provided highly skilled and expert care. Linda was also very focused on creating an engaged rehabilitation team by including them as part of the interdisciplinary care team to enhance patient care and improve outcomes.
Due to changes in the home care industry, Linda was instrumental in leading the merger of Rural District VNA and Rochester VNA in January 2000. Linda became the Executive Director post-merger and continued in her leadership role until her retirement in January 2013. The merger was necessary in response to diminishing federal dollars and to enhance services provided to the community. Linda’s incredible leadership during this important time was key to the sustainability of our VNA and future growth.
One year after the merger, she guided our organization through the process of moving two office locations, and a combined workforce of about 100 people, to a new 9,000 square foot building. This beautiful building on 178 Farmington Road in Rochester continues to be our home office location.
During her time as Executive Director, and then CEO, Linda received the 2005 Home Care Service Award from the Home Care Association of NH. Her nomination read, “Leaders come from many walks of life…they walk among us and often lead, standing right by our side. Leaders influence people, institute positive change, and possess a vision. In 2013, the Rochester District Visiting Nurse Association (now Cornerstone VNA) will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Because of Linda’s leadership, dedication, and vision, the Rochester District Visiting Nurse Association has become, and will continue to be, a center of excellence for home, hospice, and community health care services in Rochester and the areas it serves.”
Looking back, when Linda first began her career at the VNA in 1990, she was working in a small office in Farmington with fifteen staff and a budget of $500,000. By the time Linda retired in January 2013, the organization had grown to a staff of over 110, and a budget of $7,000,000. Thanks to the foundation she built, our organization has achieved further growth and success. We are tremendously grateful to Linda for her years of service and dedication to our organization.