LONDONDERRY, Vt. – The newly launched local nonprofit agency known as My Community Nurse Project has been awarded a grant of $5,000 from the Upper Valley Community Nurse Project Inc. The Upper Valley organization, based in Lebanon, N.H., provides advice, counsel, and support to nine independent community nurse projects, all of which have been operating in Upper Valley towns such as Hartland, Norwich, Thetford, and Hanover. MCNP is the newest of the nine community nurse projects and the first to be developed in the southern mountain town area, serving the towns of Londonderry, S. Londonderry, Peru, Landgrove, Weston, and Andover.
Regina Downer, R.N., M.S., is an advanced practice nurse and the sole employee of My Community Nurse Project. As a community nurse, she creates an individualized care plan to address client or caregiver needs, which includes family support, education, and health counseling to maximize wellness and safety. Downer assists with care coordination, medication reconciliation, fall-risk assessment, and provides patient advocacy. At times, this might entail attending a medical visit with the patient.
Most recently, with the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, Downer has facilitated many telemedical visits, which are often quite challenging for a patient to manage on his or her own due to complications of phone or internet services. The overall goal of community nurse involvement with a patient is to offer healthful counsel, support, and at times intervention so that the patient may remain within his or her own home within his or her own community.
Referrals are received from area physicians and clinics, hospitals, family members, neighbors, and the patients themselves. This is true community nursing at its best. It is not the practice of medicine and does not involve prescribing medicines or medical interventions. It means that the nurse works on behalf of the patient to enhance the regimen established by the patient’s primary care physician, in order to maximize health, wellness, and safe independent living.
Downer has been supported in her efforts by a corps volunteers and a small, but active and dedicated steering committee. With their ongoing assistance, the team has delivered – and continues to deliver – more than 250 hot suppers, 75 loaves of freshly baked bread, gifts of drawings and well-wishes created by local children, prescriptions, and groceries to residents of the six mountain towns.
The agency is nonprofit, and there is never a charge for services. MCNP is supported by the generous donations of community members, which means that 98% of donated funds go towards direct services. The office is located in the Londonderry Plaza. Due to COVID restrictions, the office has remained closed; however, Downer is actively providing home visits – with appropriate precautions including masks. She may be reached at 802-772-5607 or at 802-824-9596 or at MCNP, P.O. Box 57, Weston, VT 05161.
She offers a “heartfelt thank you!” for the communities’ support of the ongoing mission of My Community Nurse Project.