The late 1800s was a time of widespread urbanization resulting in an increase in disease and health issues. Many people could not afford healthcare. This growing need for healthcare in the community prompted the birth of home health care.

1906

Inspired by Florence Nightingale, Lillian Wald founded public health nursing and was able to attract a prominent philanthropist to support her efforts. These efforts were shared throughout the country and by 1913 there were hundreds of VNA organizations supported by their communities.

1913

The Rochester Women’s Club, under president Norma Snow and the Ladies Aide of the First Church Congregational, founded a VNA to provide homecare services to residents in Rochester. Grace L. Reeds was the first visiting nurse with an annual salary of $750.

1920s

The Red Cross identifies community health nursing as a critical need and provided a car and a part-time assistant for the visiting nurse.

1930s

Healthcare services were provided mainly to the poor with limited funding from insurances, towns and donations.

1940s

Beulah Thayer, June Liberty, Helen Nute and Helen McLaughlin were lead women of the Farmington Women’s Club to help organize the Farmington Visiting Nurse Association.

1950s

Besides in-home care, visiting nurses associations provide health care services in public schools and hold clinics for the public.

1960s


Rochester VNA was incorporated. Rural District Health Council was formed as satellite of Portsmouth Rehab Center.

1970s

Rochester VNA (RVNA) & Rural District Health Council (RDHC) developed maternal child health programs providing clinics in the community. RDHC moved to Farmington, RVNA became Medicare certified.

1980s

Shortened hospital stays increased need for acute medical in-home care. Nurses began on-call 24/7 service. Rochester VNA provided door-to-door outreach in testing preschool children for lead poisoning. Farmington VNA merged with Rural District Health Council.

1990s

RVNA, RDVNA, Tri Area VNA and Squamscott VNA formed the Coalition of Strafford County Agencies to support the provision of homemaking services. Decreasing Medicare funding and for-profit competition called for assessing collaboration of RVNA & RDVNA.

2000s

Rochester VNA and Rural District VNA merged into Rochester/Rural District VNS & Hospice, later dba: Your VNA. Your VNA implemented electronic records and the Telehealth program. Personal Care Service Providers (PCSP) and adult day care were added to the program of services.

2010-2012

Rochester District VNA launches the only nonprofit hospice program in the area in order to meet the needs of the community. In 2012 RDVNA makes plans to change its name to Cornerstone VNA due to the expansion of service area in Rockingham County in NH and the addition of 10 communities in York County, Maine.

2013

Cornerstone VNA celebrates 100 years of care.
  • Cornerstone VNA celebrated 100 years of caring on January 4, 2013.  It was a year of celebration and recognition of providing trusted, compassionate and expert care in 25 communities.
  • In January 2013, we began to expand our private duty services and re-named this program “Life Care”. Life Care provides private duty services 7 days per week/24 hours per day, allowing patients to stay safely in their home while providing support and respite for caregivers.
  • Cornerstone VNA continued to grow in 2013, with extensive research and the development of a comprehensive expansion plan. Successful expansion into the Greater Seacoast Area and York County occurred in 2014, along with the addition of a Palliative Care program to meet the needs of our patients.
  • Our journey continued in 2018 as we celebrated 105 years of caring. Each year, we experience growth and change, but what will never change is the care and compassion we continue to provide to each generation.
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