Report from Department of Veterans
April 9, 2003
Frank Wilner, MSW, Primary Care Social Worker
Inspection of Robin Hill Farm
Brian Hoffman, MSW, Social Work Supervisor
1. This worker along with Meri Robinson, RN and Kim Lessard,
RD inspected Robin Hill Farm, West Deering, NH on March
26, 2003. Joseph Stillings & Doris Murray, representing
Fire & Safety, will inspect at another time. The team
met with the Administrator, Wendy Carney, RN along with
the respective Program Managers: Lois Normandin (Our Town),
Suzanne Brisette, LPN (Hillsborough & Supported Residential
Program), Diane Duvernay (Blue House) and Sheryl Roy (White
2. Robin Hill Farm was first established in 1983 to deal
with the post acute rehabilitation of persons with brain
injury. Robin Hill Farm is licensed by the State of New
Hampshire as a residential Care and Rehabilitation Center.
When the VA team first inspected the facility in August
of 1992 there were 15 patients/residents in the program.
They now have 27 residents spread over five distinct programs.
The breakdown is as follows: White House (7), Blue House
(7), Supported Residential Program (4), Our Town (5) and
Hillsborough (4). White House, Blue House and SRP are located
on campus while the "Our Town" Program is in Peterborough,
NH. All of these programs are staffed around the clock seven
days per week. They have between 85-90 staff members. At
present there are six veteran residents. Three are in the
"Our Town" Program while the others are on campus.
3. Robin Hill Farm provides a variety of activities throughout
the day for their clients. Life
and social skills continue to be an important part of their
daily therapeutic routine. These include banking,
shopping and laundry in the nearby community of Hillsborough.
Residents are also assigned various in-house chores. While
their program has expanded over the years, the
emphasis at Robin Hill continues to be one of family living
away from the more traditional institutional approach.
In what's know as the "White House" one gets the
feel of a "country inn".
4. Patients are admitted to Robin Hill Farm only after
acute rehabilitation (of) brain injury has been completed.
Individuals are assessed and a plan
of care is formulated which include long and short term
goals. Monthly assessments are completed. Goals may
change from time to time depending on the patient's progress.
We receive reports on a monthly basis on veterans. Occupational,
vocational, speech and physical therapies are not provided
on a regular basis, although there are consultants who review
the status of each patient monthly. These services are provided
to some residents in the private sector.
5. The six veterans in residence are [names deleted to
protect residence's privacy] ..............., ...............
and ............... (12/2/96), ............... (12/1/85),
............... (5/17/99) and ............... (8/4/90).
The dates in parenthesis represent when the veteran was
admitted. ............... and ............... are being
subsidized by the Manchester VA Medical Center. All of these
veterans receive their medical care at the Manchester VAMC.
In addition to life and social skills
mentioned earlier, there are a variety of recreational activities
provided. These include exercise and gym time, swimming
at Crotchet Mountain, Horse Power, snow tubing, trips to
NH State Parks, poetry and ceramics. The family also purchased
a restaurant in Peterborough where a number of the residents
have worked (this was sold in January of this year) and
continue to do so. Other residents have part-time jobs in
6. While the first comprehensive VA inspection by a regional
team was completed in August of 1992, an earlier local inspection
was done on July 19, 1989. In that report, I stated the
following "Staff at Robin Hill
Farm appear to be warm, caring and enthusiastic in their
approach. The program seems to be filled with activity.
This kind of living experience should
allow clients to maximize their potential. I was
most impressed and heartedly recommend the program."
While the program has obviously expanded since then, my
impression and observations remain the same. This
is a unique program and one that is much needed. Our veterans
appear to be well cared for and overall have made significant
gains over the years.
FRANK WILNER, MSW