Archives for December 2015

Cornerstone VNA Offers PCSP Training, Jan. 16th

The Life Care Program at Cornerstone VNA will be offering a certification program for anyone interested in becoming a Personal Care Service Provider (PCSP).  A PCSP is a person who performs and assists with routine tasks of daily living for persons with disabilities and special health needs. In general, a PCSP is someone who helps people live as independent as possible.

This training program will be taught by Sandy Powers, Registered Nurse, Donne Marchetto, Physical Therapist and Janice Howard, Life Care Private Duty Director. The cost is $40 and will take place on Saturday, January 16th from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm at Cornerstone VNA, 178 Farmington Road, Rochester, NH.  Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of this training program.

1/13/2016 – Update – This class is now full, thank you!  To be notified of future PCSP training opportunities, please contact Janice Howard, Life Care Director at or call 603-332-1133 x108.

PCSP Training Registration Form

Life Care

Sue Houle Awarded The 2015 Nightingale Award

Florence Nightingale (May 12, 1820 – August 13, 1910), who came to be known as The Lady with the Lamp, is the founder of modern nursing. Modern nursing is complex, ever changing, and multi focused. Since the time of Florence Nightingale, however, the goal of nursing has remained unchanged, namely to provide a safe and caring environment that promotes patient health and well-being.

Nightingale’s lasting contribution has been her role in founding and setting high standards for the nursing profession. She set an optimum example and implicitly laid the foundation for nurses everywhere of compassion, commitment to patient care and advocacy. She advocated for educated nurses who had a knowledge base and a specific role in healthcare and established the expectation that nurses would advocate for their patients. Further, she envisioned the extension of nursing as the essential force which would meet the growing healthcare needs in sectors outside of the hospital. This resulted in the development of nursing in the military, midwifery, poor law nursing (care of paupers), and nurse visiting (public health and home care nursing). This role expansion created a full range of services in and out of the hospital and across the life span, thus further expanding the role and autonomy of the nurse.

         …Nightingale never wavered from the idea that a basic human right

         was high-quality patient care provided by a dedicated nursing staff.

At Cornerstone VNA-

The Nightingale Award for Nursing Excellence recognizes the highly skilled, caring individuals who play such a vital role on our health care team. He or she exemplifies nursing excellence and provides inspiration to future generation of exceptional nurses as a patient advocate and mentor in best practices while enhancing the quality of health care.

Criteria: This individual demonstrates excellence in five areas:

  1. Delivery of trusted, compassionate and expert quality patient care.
  2. Communication with patients, their families and health care colleagues
  3. Exceeding expectations when it comes to influencing the growth and development of healthcare to meet the needs of the community
  4. Commitment to health care as a career, and enhancing quality of life.
  5. Inspiring other health care professionals as a role model.

So for her extraordinary contributions to health care as a nurse, teacher, advocate and mentor, I would like to present the Nightingale Award to Susan Houle.

Sue Houle

The “Nightingale lamp” Nightingale lamp  (also known as the “Lamp of Nursing” or the “Lamp of Learning”) is an insignia of nursing and nursing education. The lamp represents the warmth of caring. The light of the lamp symbolizes the striving for excellence. The oil represents the energy and commitment of the nurse to heal others.                                   

                                                         December 2015

Mary Timmons, RN 2015 Cornerstone Award Recipient


In Barrington, NH a young girl who dreams of one day being a nurse has just graduated from Spaulding High School, Class of 1958. Her sights are set on Boston, Massachusetts and New England Baptist School of Nursing. Her life was about to change.

Nursing School was different in the 50s. For your annual tuition of $500.00 you received room and board. The students did have to pay for their own uniforms and books. Students went to school year round with only one month off per year. No jewelry could be worn, hair had to be off your collar, or you wore a hair net. You were not permitted to have a boyfriend and could not be engaged or married. If so, you were asked to leave school. As a nursing student you were capped within three months and then began working in the hospital. By the end of your first year a student worked every other weekend at the Baptist and began 3 month affiliations at each of the following Hospitals; Boston Children’s Hospital, Metropolitan State Hospital and Boston Lying In Hospital. Students in their junior year and senior years worked at each of the hospitals as the staff with only a head nurse as a supervisor.

Mary did get engaged her senior year to Richard Timmons. She purchased a stunning wedding gown of satin and Chantilly lace at Filene’s Basement in Boston (for only $4.00-originally priced at $149.00) and was married 6 weeks after her graduation from nursing school in 1961. That’s the kind of person that Mary is…she knows what she wants and she works to achieve it!

During Mary’s first year as a nurse, she worked at Frisbie Memorial Hospital. She and her new husband soon moved to Rutland, Vermont where she worked in a nursing home. After one year in Rutland, Mary and Dick moved back to Rochester where she worked at Frisbie Memorial Hospital until the birth of her first son Paul. During the next six years, Mary gave birth to two more sons, Carl and Glen and enjoyed her time as a stay at home Mom. Well not exactly stay at home…she was very involved in her sons’ activities even serving as Den mother and Secretary/Treasurer for the Boys Scouts. She was also a Sunday school teacher at her church and the secretary for the Gonic School PTA. When her two oldest boys where in school, Mary again answered her calling and returned to Frisbie Memorial Hospital from 1971 to 1976.

In 1976, she joined the Rural District Health Council which later became the Rural District VNA. Nine towns were in the territory including Barrington, Strafford, Deerfield, Northwood, Nottingham, Farmington and the three that Mary was in charge of-Middleton, Milton and New Durham. There were 5 nurses and one LNA at that time. Her uniform consisted of a fashionable blue pinstripe dress in the summer and navy blue pants and white top in the winter! The office was located over the hardware store in Farmington.

In her role as a home care nurse, Mary has held many positions from the coordination of community care at clinics providing health screenings and immunizations to home health nurse, nurse trainer and Clinical Supervisor. It was during the early period in Mary’s home health care career that the demand for skilled nursing in the home started to grow. The NH Bureau of Maternal and Child Health formed an alliance with Home Health Agencies and along with providing health screening clinics for members of the community, nurses were now providing Well Child Clinics and making home visits to patients enrolled at the clinics. At that time a new position for a Referral Coordinator was established and Marie Dexter RN filled this roll along with providing visits to patients in Barrington and Strafford. This allowed for increased referrals from the hospital for patients needing home health care. Not only were referrals growing, but so too was the skill set being demanded of home health care nurses. In the 1980s blood draws and IVs were needed in the home for the first time and Mary was the first nurse at the VNA to perform blood draws in the home and to start and manage IVs. Changes were again on the horizon. In the year 2000 The Rural District VNA merged with the Rochester VNA. This merger along with the demand for home health nurses soon led to growth in the home care team which now included 2 nursing teams, a rehab team, a separate LNA team and the introduction of multidisciplinary teams.

During her time at the VNA Mary saw many changes. The offices moved several times from the hardware store to the Yea Old Courthouse-then Winter Street and to Charles Street in Farmington. After the merger in 2000 the offices located where we are today-176 Farmington Rd in Rochester.

Mary had the pleasure of working with and developing relationships with many people-clinicians, support staff and volunteers; and maintains countless friendships today. Nursing requirements and standards of care have evolved, but what hasn’t changed is the commitment to providing trusted, compassionate and expert care to patients and their families. One of the most important lessons that Mary learned early on as a nurse and one that she maintained throughout her practice was “you can’t impose your values upon the patients”. You can teach them, care for them, and support them but you can’t make them do anything. That is up to the patient.” She places great value on Home health care nursing. “It allows you the opportunity to provide one on one care for the patient, teaching the patient and their family how to care for themselves.” It’s more personal and for Mary it was a rewarding career.

Mary retired from the VNA in 2006 after 30 years of dedicated service. But her service to others continues. She attends a Bible class weekly, is the Financial Secretary at Church, and volunteers for Red Cross Blood Drives. She is also a Deacon at her church and is on the Committee of Church Ministry of the Carroll and Strafford Association of the UCC. She has traveled the world visiting such countries as England, Israel, Egypt, Ireland, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, China, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany and Alaska. (We told you she knows what she wants and she works to achieve it!)   In 2007 she became a hospice volunteer for Seacoast and Beacon Hospice and in 2011, returned to Cornerstone VNA as a hospice volunteer. Through her volunteerism, as in her nursing career, she has not only brought companionship, care and comfort to patients and their families but has also found meaning, purpose and fulfillment from the all of the relationships that she has acquired.

Today, we honor Mary Timmons, for her many years of service and volunteerism, and for her dedication and commitment to advancing the mission at Cornerstone VNA.

MaryTimmons&Julie Reynolds Mary Timmons, RN is pictured on the left next to Julie Reynolds, CEO after receiving the award on Dec. 1, 2015

The Fabulous Find To Benefit Cornerstone VNA


The board of directors of A Caring Community, dba The Fabulous Find Resale Boutique announces the recipients for December 2015. Cornerstone VNA has been selected as a recipient and will share the profits of December’s sales with the Community Tool Box and Seacoast Pathways.

The Fabulous Find, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is a boutique style resale shop on Route One in Kittery which partners with local non-profit organizations each month.

All profits are donated to worthy organizations selected by the Board of Directors which includes Marcye Philbrook, Board President and Judy Hansen, Sue Sowerby, Phyllis Welch, Anne Hunter and Anne Bryer, Special Liaison. Store Manager is Deb Higgins. To date, The Fabulous Find, which opened in July of 2010, has logged thousands of volunteer hours to help manage the store and merchandise, and has donated more than $700,000.00 to worthy organizations including:


“During this holiday season we are reminding of the importance of giving,” states Susan Paquette, RN, Director of Advancement at Cornerstone VNA. “The Fabulous Find reminds us of the importance of giving all year long to worthy organizations in need. Their good work and the volunteers who donate so many hours to support their work are truly a gift to the community! We are grateful to be included in the long list of past recipients and are proud to share December’s profits with the Community Tool Box and Seacoast Pathways.”

Cornerstone VNA is a non-profit home, health and hospice organization serving Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at the VNA uses the latest technology to provide the most highly skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, social work, and support services in their service area.

Certified Specialty programs include Wound Care, Diabetes Management and Education, Certified Behavioral Health Nursing, Certified Intravenous Therapy, Chronic Care Management, Palliative Care Consultations, a Maternal Wellness Program and Fall Prevention & Balance Therapies. Specialty services include a Telehealth Program, an in-home health monitoring system, and Smart Care, an emergency response and communication system for patients and their families providing 24 hour, 7 day a week peace of mind and added sense of security when making the transition to homecare.

For more information visit or

Cornerstone VNA is a center of Excellence for Home Health and Hospice Care.