The Early Days
Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice was founded in 1911, when the Women’s Club of Montpelier hired Eleanor Black as its first District Nurse to provide support in the community for physicians making home visits. In 1912, the Barre Visiting Nurse Association was founded as a voluntary non-profit agency by the Barre Chapter of the American Red Cross. The fee for a house call was $0.75, or whatever someone could pay. By 1920, Public Health Associations were formed in Waterbury and Northfield. Over the next twenty years, nurses continued to make home visits to patients in the community, providing care for people affected by the diphtheria epidemic, as well as for local granite workers and the poor. In 1930, Dr. Homer Brigham gave $10,000 to the Montpelier Women’s Club to support the District Nurse.
The 1960s & Medicare
With the enactment of Medicare in 1965, the home health industry in the United States blossomed. In Vermont, Central Vermont Medical Center was created from a merger of Barre City Hospital and Montpelier’s Heaton Hospital. In 1966 and 1967, the Barre and Montpelier Home Health Agencies received accreditation to participate in Medicare. In 1968, the Barre Visiting Nurse Association extended service to Berlin and Williamstown. By 1969, service was expanded to East Montpelier, Middlesex and Worcester.
In 1970, The Central Vermont Home Health Agency (CVHHA)–what would become Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice–formed with the merger of Barre and Montpelier’s Visiting Nurse programs. The combined agency made 8,364 visits in 1970 from its headquarters in Barre.
The 1980s & the Introduction of Hospice
In 1981, a volunteer hospice program was initiated in central Vermont. Diana Pierce became the first director. The program served four patients that year. By 1982, 11 patients were served by the hospice program. In 1984, a bereavement group was introduced, and by 1986, hospice became a full-fledged, Medicare-certified program of CVHHA. In 1987, CVHHA and the Waterbury Public Health Association merged, providing coverage to 23 towns in central Vermont.
In 1992, CVHHA changed its name to Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice (CVHHH) and moved to its present location at 600 Granger Road. During the 1990s, many new programs, including private care, community health promotion and maternal-child health, were introduced. In 1994, CVHHH provided 116,804 home visits for clients ranging in age from three months to 106 years old.
From the start, we have been an organization of central Vermonters caring for central Vermont. Today, we are poised for another century of service to our community. We employ close to 250 staff, including skilled clinicians and caregivers, and provide care to patients of all ages. We remain committed to our community and to providing compassionate, patient-centered care to any one who needs it.