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Merrimack Valley Hospice Inc.

 360 Merrimack Street, Building 9
 Lawrence, MA 01843
[P] (978) 552-4000
[F] (978) 552-4411
Donna Deveau
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3024278

LAST UPDATED: 07/09/2015
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of Merrimack Valley Hospice is to create and deliver innovative and responsive community health programs that provide effective and compassionate care.

Mission Statement

The mission of Merrimack Valley Hospice is to create and deliver innovative and responsive community health programs that provide effective and compassionate care.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2014 to Sept 30, 2015
Projected Income $14,624,760.00
Projected Expense $13,707,767.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Merrimack Valley Hospice House
  • Merrimack Valley Hospice residential program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The mission of Merrimack Valley Hospice is to create and deliver innovative and responsive community health programs that provide effective and compassionate care.

Background Statement

In the late 1970’s, inspired by the hospice movement in Britain, a group of parishioners from the West Parish Church of Andover sponsored a meeting to discuss the concept of hospice. Their goal was to develop a local hospice program to improve the quality of life for patients with a terminal illness and to  support their families and caregivers.  In 1980, with seed money from Lawrence General Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital and the Smith Purdon Fund, an independent, 30-member board of trustees was formed. The board, which included physicians, businessmen and service group members, began the development of a grassroots hospice program staffed and managed entirely by volunteers. In 1982, the organization was officially incorporated as Hospice of Greater Lawrence. During 1982 and 1983, Hospice of Greater Lawrence rapidly expanded its volunteer workforce, developed volunteer training initiatives, designed and implemented bereavement programs and hosted fundraising events. Then, in 1984, Hospice of Greater Lawrence merged with the hospice division of Greater Lawrence Home Health and Nursing Services. Thereafter, it was known as Hospice of Greater Lawrence, a division of Greater Lawrence Home Health and Nursing Services, Inc. In 1988, the agency was separately incorporated and the name changed to Merrimack Valley Hospice.

Today, Merrimack Valley Hospice is recognized as one of the most respected not-for-profit hospice agencies in the region. Itis Medicare and Medicaid certified and accredited by the Joint Commission. Our multidisciplinary teams of physicians, nurses, therapists, counselors and home health aides deliver care with compassion, commitment and the highest standards of excellence. In addition, specially trained volunteers provide a wide variety of services for the patient and the family; from errands and yard work to companionship and activities.  As Merrimack Valley Hospice continued to grow and expand programs, it became apparent that there were many patients who, for a variety of reasons, were unable to receive end-of-life care at home. In 2003,  the Home Health Foundation Board of Trustees unanimously voted to build a Hospice House. 

 Completed in June 2009, the Merrimack Valley Hospice House has14 private suites large enough to accommodate a patient and visiting family members. The Merrimack Valley Hospice House specializes in the end of life care, and provides for all the needs of patients and their families. 

Impact Statement

Accomplishments from last year include
1. Completion of the capital campaign raising $2 million to support the 7 suite wing expansion of Merrimack Valley Hospice House 
2.  Provided community education programs on the availability of hospice care in Southern Maine with the partnership between Merrimack Valley Hospice and York Hospital
3.   continued to expanded the childrens bereavement program to include services in the Lawrence Public Schools
5.  Continued to expand the Pediatric Palliative Care Program         

The fiscal year 2014 goals and objectives for Merrimack Valley Hospice are to:
  • Engage new and existing donors in our campaign to raise the necessary funds to support patients and families at Merrimack Valley Hospice House 
  • Expand geographic reach and territory of all programs
  • Expand and enhance bereavement and support programs
  • Increase programs and services in targeted nursing homes
  • Increase the depth and visibility of pediatric bereavement programs
  • Further develop referral relationships with the staff of Boston hospitals


Needs Statement

Top most pressing needs include
1.  Financial support to subsidize the care of patients requiring care at Merrimack Valley Hospice House   
2.  Increase in volunteers to support patients and families
3.  Training in pediatric palliative care for hospice staff and volunteers
4.  Medication technology for Merrimack Valley Hospice House
5.  Technology for scheduling and time entry system for the Merrimack Valley Hospice House

CEO Statement

In 2013, philanthropic support help us to maintain our mission-driven focus, one that we will not waver from although the financial challenges in healthcare loom large.  With strong leadership from our Board of Trustees and executive management team, we remain firm in our 119 year tradition of delivering quality care to meet the needs of our community.  No other organization has the range and depth of expertise, the innovations in technology, and the level of connection with the people served as the agencies of Home Health Foundation.  As an independent, not-for-profit family of agencies, we rice to meet the challenges of uncertain time by looking forward and planning ahead. 

We have spent the past year finding innovative ways to better meet the increasing needs of our community and adapted our organization to do so.  We have forged relationships with healthcare partners to further enhance the role we uniquely play in the care of patients as well as the healthcare system.  We have invested in communications infrastructure to work more collaboratively and efficiently to improve quality of care for our patients. 
While we work hard to control the factors we can, more than ever, the generosity of each and every donor allows us to bridge the gaps in payments and challenges in reimbursements.  This charitable support from throughout the community allows us to ensure that no one is denied the medical care they need, while upholding the services and care we uniquely provide to thousands of patients every day. 
We are grateful to all who enable us to keep patients at the forefront of our decision-making and maintain the quality of our services for those who rely upon us. 



John G. Albert, MBA, FACHE


Merrimack Valley Hospice

Board Chair Statement

Expanding the Merrimack Valley Hospice House to meet the needs of all patients and families was no small challenge. However, the reward of compassionate care and support for families and loved ones at such a critical time has made that investment worthwhile.

End-of-life care is hard work. It changes you – forever. The constant round-the-clock demands for medical care and support can be overwhelmingly stressful for even the most dedicated caregivers and family members. Today, there is another option in a home-like setting where medical needs are met and families are comforted. The Merrimack Valley Hospice House provides expert medical care and provides this care in the most comforting of settings. However, all too soon we found that our 14 suites were not enough to meet all the needs in our communities.   

Since opening in 2009, the Merrimack Valley Hospice House has seen unprecedented demand – more than any of us could have imagined. Putting the needs of patients and families first, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to proceed with constructing the seven suite addition while simultaneously raising the funds necessary to support construction costs. We believe firmly that this expansion has broadened and strengthened our ability to provide the quality care that all hospice patients and their families deserve.

e hold a passionate believe in our mission of caring and commitment and the extraordinary difference this project will make to those patients and families who will benefit by this special kind of care.

During our initial campaign to construct the original building, we were humbled by the breadth and scope of financial support we received from throughout the Valley and across the nation. Individuals, foundations, corporations, churches and community groups, through gifts large and small, gave generously and encouraged others to give as well.  Now, once again, we ask for your support so many more can benefit from end-of-life care in the serene and comfortable setting of the Merrimack Valley Hospice House.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, and the patients and families who will benefit from your generosity, thank you for your kind consideration.

Daniel A. Hayes Jr., Esq.

Chair, Board of Trustees

Merrimack Valley Hospice


Geographic Area Served


The Merrimack Valley and Northeastern regions of Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire and the York region of Maine

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Hospice
  2. Human Services - Family Counseling
  3. Health Care - Health Care NEC

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Merrimack Valley Hospice House

The Merrimack Valley Hospice House is the first licensed inpatient hospice residence serving the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire and the only residence in the region licensed to care for pediatric patients.  Merrimack Valley Hospice House is available for patients that, for a variety of reasons, cannot receive hospice care at home.    
Budget  3,894,342
Category  Health Care, General/Other Hospice Care
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-Term Success 
Short term success would include the ability to raise the funds necessary to support the construction of 7 additional pateint suites resulting in an increase in access to care for patients and families.
Program Long-Term Success 
Long term success would include the completion of construction to expand the Merrimack Valley Hospice House to 14 suites, an increase in market share and geographic territory to include northern Middlesex county and an increase in access to the House for patients and families in need.
Program Success Monitored By 

Merrimack Valley Hospice has made a strong commitment to quality care, efficiency and cost containment. The agency will follow a rigorous evaluation process to measure success in ensuring that all patients in need have access to end of life care regardless of ability to pay. We will continue to collect information on patient satisfaction and quality through our formal patient satisfaction process. In addition, we will solicit formal and informal family and staff feedback on all aspects of hospice care for patients, and supportive services for families throughout the year. Findings are closely monitored and incorporated into the Merrimack Valley Hospice process improvement framework.  Results will be communicated in our annual report scheduled to be completed in late spring 2012.

Examples of Program Success 
Examples of program success include access to care for patients who cannot receive hospice care at home such as
an elderly man to frail to care for his terminally ill wife
a middle aged man with young children who wants to be remembered as strong and healthy
a patient with uncontrolled pain or other symtoms that interfer with quality of life 

Merrimack Valley Hospice residential program

Provides comprehensive end-of-life care in homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals as well as berevement support and counseling to familes and caregivers 
Budget  17,091,225
Category  Health Care, General/Other Hospice Care
Population Served Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
100% of patients will receive comprehensive pain and symptom management and a compassionate end-of-life care experience
100% of families and loved ones will recevie requested bereavement support and counseling
Program Long-Term Success 
To continue to be the provider of choice to pateints and families in our service area. 
To continue to expand services into the southern Maine region.
Program Success Monitored By 
Success is monitored by satisfaction surveys mailed to families and loved ones 6 months after the death of the patient.  In addition, bereavement counselors document family satisfaction during counseling sessions and interviews.  Findings are closeley monitored and incorporated into the Merrimack Valley Hospice process improvement framework.  Results will be communicated in our annual report scheducled for the spring of 2013.
Examples of Program Success 
Examples of success includes
a patient who receives comprehensive pain and symptom management for a compassionate end-of-life journey
a family that receives bereavement support and counseling and finds comfort and support
a child who recieves bereavement support and is able to cope with the passing of a beloved family member  

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Looking back on 2014 there are so many things that we have accomplished  including branching into Maine with certified hospice services.  We've had thousands of successful visits with our patients and wonder care provided throughout the more than 100 cities and towns in our service area.

Our organization is strong and as we head toward our 120 year anniversary our longevity is based on our ability to weather the fiscal storms that we might be faced amid political or economic uncertainty.  We have a solid and stable foundation that is a hallmark or our longstanding tradition of excellence.
By anticipating changes we have found ways to be more resourceful as healthcare dollars shrink.  Investing in technology we have been able to monitor and treat more patients by expanding access to specialize expertise.  With predictive modeling we have been able to prepare and allocate clinical support teams to ensure timely, well coordinated care.  And by empowering our patients to become engaged in their own care we have achieved improved outcomes.
As we rise to the challenges presented by a dynamic healthcare landscape, what holds true is the value we bring to the thousands of patients and their families and the evermore innovate ways we maintain the highest quality care for each and every one. 
While I can't predict the future, I can be certain of a few things as I look forward to 2015.  Our agency will continue to delivery the highest quality patient care.  With technology, professional collaboration and dedicated commitment, we will remain the leader in hospice care in this region.  And, we will continue to deliver on our promise of being a trusted and essential component of the health and wellbeing of our community.
John G. Albert, MBA, FACHE 


CEO/Executive Director Mr John G Albert
CEO Term Start June 2010
CEO Email
CEO Experience

John Albert is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Home Health Foundation, The Foundation is comprised of Home Health VNA, Merrimack Valley Hospice and HomeCare, Inc. Together, these organizations provide a full continuum of the highest quality home health and hospice services to patients and families in 90 cities and towns throughout Northeastern Massachusetts, the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire, with offices in Lawrence, Newburyport, Lowell and Peabody Massachusetts, and North Hampton, New Hampshire.

John has worked in the health care industry for over 30 years. He most recently held the position of Executive Director of the Massachusetts region hospital division for Kindred Healthcare.  Previously, John served as Principal and Managing Partner at Landmark Health Solutions of Haverhill, MA and as CEO of Hale Hospital in Haverhill MA.

John has served on the Board of Trustees for the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Extended Care Federation and on the Board of Trustees for New Hampshire Catholic Charities.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Joan Stygles-Hull Feb 1997 June 2010
Phebe Goldman Richards Mar 1988 Feb 1997

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Kristine DiFiore Vice President, Human Resources --
Margaret Doherty Vice President, Operations --
Margaret Hogan Vice President, External Relations --
Anthony Jorge Vice President, Finance --
Nancy Kendrick Interim Vice President, Merrimack Valley Hospice --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
Associated Grant Makers 2012
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Home Care Alliance

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) - Medicare Certification 2012


Merrimack Valley Hospice has a strong belief in collaboration with other community agencies to strengthen and enhance services. Collaboration also helps to maximize community resources and minimize duplication of services. Examples of Merrimack Valley Hospice’s collaborative response includes participation in a wide variety of community awareness events, community education programs, community service  and other projects and events designed to advocate for our patients in need of a variety of health and community services. Merrimack Valley Hospice also works collaboratively with physician groups, community health centers and local hospitals including Lawrence General Hospital, Anna Jaques Hospital, Merrimack Valley Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Lowell General Hospital and Saints Memorial Medical Center.

In addition Home Health VNA continues to work collaboratively with a variety of health and social service agencies including:

·        Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley

·        National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

·        Local Boards of Health

·        The Council of Churches

·        The Massachusetts Department of Public Health

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 83
Number of Part Time Staff 69
Number of Volunteers 120
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 8%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 143
Hispanic/Latino: 8
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 141
Male: 11
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions

Commercial General Liability
Crime Coverage
Disability Insurance
Accident and Injury Coverage
Commercial General Liability and Medical Malpractice
Professional Liability
Automobile Insurance

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Atty Daniel A Hayes Jr
Board Chair Company Affiliation Morris, Rossi & Hayes
Board Chair Term Jan 2013 - Dec 2015
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
John G Albert Home Health Foundation Voting
John P Chemaly Trinity EMS Voting
Scott A Collins USB Private Wealth Management Voting
Ila S Cox Retired Voting
Debra S Grabowski Foundation for Seacoast Health Voting
Atty Daniel A Hayes Jr Morris, Rossi & Hayes Voting
Dr. Joel B Hellmann MD Aetna Insurance Voting
Dennis C Ingram Lawrence General Hospital Voting
David W Nesbitt Retired Voting
Ronald J Pollina Retired Voting
Barbara B Sager Community Volunteer Voting
John J Sarro Pentucket Medical Voting
Keith N Soucie Enterprise Bank Voting
Mary Jane Thomas Community Volunteer Voting
Ellen K Zappala Retired Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 15
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 10
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Capital Campaign
  • Compensation
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Investment
  • Nominating
  • Technology

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

We are actively recruiting minority members to join our Board to more accurately represent the communities we serve. 

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2014 to Sept 30, 2015
Projected Income $14,624,760.00
Projected Expense $13,707,767.00
Form 990s

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

Audit Documents

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

2010 Audit

2009 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $17,107,934 $18,606,093 $15,049,179
Total Expenses $15,311,792 $16,219,068 $13,617,535

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $509,263 $450,500 $524,160
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $14,969,236 $17,430,734 $14,513,459
Investment Income, Net of Losses $658,599 $566,123 $-89,762
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $970,836 $158,736 $101,322

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $13,004,049 $14,109,242 $11,731,783
Administration Expense $2,040,025 $1,816,202 $1,600,105
Fundraising Expense $267,718 $293,624 $285,647
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.12 1.15 1.11
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 87% 86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 53% 65% 54%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $25,279,573 $23,447,243 $21,566,496
Current Assets $9,341,270 $10,157,372 $9,441,286
Long-Term Liabilities $2,893,794 $3,024,376 $3,149,569
Current Liabilities $3,966,003 $3,932,470 $4,539,250
Total Net Assets $18,419,776 $16,490,397 $13,877,677

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
E Rhodes and Leona B Carpenter Foundation $10,000.00
TD Bank Foundation $20,000.00
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
TD Bank Foundation $10,000.00
E Rhodes and Leona B Carpenter Foundation $20,000.00
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
Horne Family Foundation $10,000.00
Kenneth B Schwartz Center $12,000.00

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates Aug - Apr
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 2.36 2.58 2.08

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 11% 13% 15%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Currently, Merrimack Valley Hospice, like other not-for-profit hospice agencies, is facing unprecedented reimbursement and regulatory challenges.  Hospice programs nation-wide are preparing for the devastating impact of multiple Medicare cuts while working diligently to comply with new regulations that are not in line with the operational realities of compassionate patient care.  In addition, there has been an increase in for-profit hospices in this region, many of which may not provide all the care patients need to maximize quality of life - which is hallmark of our mission and that of not-for-profit hospice agencies nation wide. 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials covering just Merrimack Valley Hospice, and not the affiliate, per the back of the audit, with supplemental data for expenses per the Form 990.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?