Cornerstone VNA, a local nonprofit provider of high-quality, skilled care at home, is pleased to welcome their newest medical provider to their Palliative Care Team, Dr. Andrew Kunkemueller, MD, Palliative Care Medical Director.
“The Palliative Care Medical Director is a new position within our growing Palliative Care Department,” explains Julie Reynolds, RN, MS, President/CEO of Cornerstone VNA. “We are so pleased to have a physician joining our Palliative Care team, especially Dr. Kunkemueller, who is returning to Cornerstone VNA and eager to help us expand this important program.”
Dr. Kunkemueller graduated from Dartmouth School of Medicine in 1997 and completed his residency at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in 2000. As a board-certified Internal Medicine physician, Dr. Kunkemueller worked in a primary care setting for seven years before transitioning to hospital-based medicine in 2007. While working as a hospitalist at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Dr. Kunkemueller was able to treat patients at various stages of their recovery or illness, including those at end-of-life. It was here that he began to show a deeper interest in, and appreciation for, Hospice Care. “In 2010, Cornerstone VNA reinstated their hospice license due to a growing need for hospice services, and in 2011, I was pleased to join their team as the Associate Hospice Medical Director,” shares Kunkemueller.
Dr. Kunkemueller worked as the Associate Hospice Medical Director at Cornerstone VNA until 2018 and then went to Exeter Hospital. Since that time, Dr. Kunkemueller has continued to work closely with Cornerstone VNA as a referral partner and has been intrigued by how Palliative Care positively impacts the lives of people living with chronic illnesses by providing improved coordination of care and symptom management. In his new role as Palliative Care Medical Director, Dr. Kunkemueller will be instrumental in fostering relationships with referral partners, and educating patients and medical professionals of the benefits of Palliative Care. Additionally, he will be providing Palliative Care consultations at both Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Frisbie Memorial Hospital. As a valuable member of the Cornerstone VNA medical team, he will also provide support and guidance to the Hospice Medical Director and Hospice Team as needed.
“I am so pleased to be coming back to Cornerstone VNA to help them further expand their Palliative Care program,” Kunkemueller shares. “As a nonprofit organization, Cornerstone VNA is well-anchored in the community and has a solid reputation for providing high-quality care at home,” Kunkemueller added that he is looking forward to spending more time with patients, getting to know their health goals, and working with them to develop an appropriate care path.
Cornerstone VNA is a nonprofit organization currently serving Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap, and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at Cornerstone VNA provides award-winning care and support through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty, and Community Care. For 107 years, Cornerstone VNA has been committed to bringing services to people of all ages so that families can stay together at home, even when facing the challenges of aging, surgical recovery, chronic or life-threatening illnesses, or end-of-life care. To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, visit www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.