Alyson Santaniello, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, has joined the palliative care team at Lake Sunapee VNA, bringing with her 22 years of nursing experience. With a BSN from the University of Rhode Island and an APRN from UMASS Lowell, Santaniello has worked in inpatient and outpatient oncology, done research in neuro-oncology, and for the last five years worked at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack, NH.

“The palliative care program at Lake Sunapee VNA is unique to our region of New Hampshire because we are providing palliative care to people in their homes,” says Jen Taylor, APRN, Hospice and Palliative Care Program Director. “We are providing access to in-home visits from trained palliative care providers, who usually work in inpatient or clinic settings at large hospitals. It is rewarding to bring a knowledgeable, experienced and compassionate team directly into the homes of our rural community.”

Palliative care is specialty medical care that focuses on providing an extra layer of support to those facing serious illness (e.g., cancer, kidney disease, lung disease, Alzheimer’s, ALS), especially if they are experiencing a decline in health and/or frequent trips to the hospital. It helps people better understand and navigate their illness with an emphasis on personal goals and symptom management. Palliative care does not replace primary care or any other treatment the person may be receiving. It can be utilized as a stand-alone service or work with other treatments and services to improve quality of life.

Santaniello joins Lori Richer, MD, Board Certified Palliative Care Physician, in providing this service at Lake Sunapee VNA. “I am so excited to be a part of Lake Sunapee VNA’s developing palliative care program,” says Santaniello. “I am looking forward to teaching providers, patients and families more about this medical specialty and how it can be beneficial to those facing a serious illness. I find it meaningful and important to be able to walk this journey with my patients and their families, while providing them with a good quality of life.”

For more information, call Lake Sunapee VNA at 603-526-4077.