On Monday, April 17, the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) invites all legislators of Coos and Northern Grafton Counties to a breakfast discussion on the Student Assistance Program (SAP) in the North Country. SAP Counselors will be in attendance to share successes and challenges working the front lines to implement school-based substance misuse prevention curriculum in North Country schools, coordinating a full range of substance abuse prevention and early intervention services in their given schools and school districts.
"One of the most important aspects of the SAP Counselor's role is relationship building with students and faculty," said Nancy Frank, Chief Executive Officer at the North Country Health Consortium. "To really integrate into their school as a trusted resource and someone students can talk to," said Frank, "SAP Counselors have to be there over time to ensure that relationships and programs are allowed to mature and programming is executed with full fidelity. This requires consistency in funding. I look forward to hearing from our SAP counselors and hosting this conversation with our local legislators."
As the hub of the North Country Regional Public Health Network and Regional Substance Misuse Prevention Network, NCHC understands that Student Assistance Programs in middle and high schools are one of the most comprehensive, evidence-based school approaches to preventing and reducing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. NCHC works with schools to initiate grant funding and contracts with the state in order to place highly trained SAP Counselors in middle and high schools. Through state funding opportunities, NCHC provides individual and peer supervision for all SAP counselors throughout the North Country.
The breakfast on Monday, April 17 will be held from 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM at the North Country Health Consortium located at 262 Cottage St. in Littleton. North Country legislators have been invited to join the discussion and listen to SAP Counselors talk about their experiences, successes and challenges, in the trenches of substance misuse prevention.
The North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers serving northern New Hampshire. For more information about NCHC and the North Country Regional Public Health Network, visit: www.nchcnh.org or call (603)259-3700.
With generous grant funding from National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO), the North Country Health Consortium and Northern NH Unit Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), partnered with Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, will be providing recovery coach training to increase addiction support services in the North Country.
Open to all local members of the MRC and greater community, this 5-day intensive Recovery Coach Academy training utilizes the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) curriculum and will focus on providing students with the skills to guide, mentor and support anyone who would like to enter into or sustain long-term recovery from an addiction to alcohol or other drugs.
Class dates: March 25, April 1, 8, 29 (Saturdays), and April 30 (Sunday)
Meeting times: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Instructors: Bernadette Gleeson, Director of Recovery Support Services, Hope for New Hampshire Recovery; Doris Enman, Center Manager, Hope for New Hampshire Recovery Berlin Community Center
To register --> http://bit.ly/RecoveryCoachAcad
For more information about the program and training, contact Amy Jeroy: email@example.com or (603)259-3700 x228
For questions or help with registration, contact Karen Hoyt: firstname.lastname@example.org or (603)259-3700 x244
The North Country Health Consortium is pleased to announce it has received a $13,000 grant on behalf of the Northern NH unit Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) from the National Association of County and Health Officials (NACCHO). These funds will support the training of 30 local volunteers- including current members of the MRC and community at large- to become certified Recovery Coaches, who will join the ranks of support service providers in the North Country to engage individuals struggling with addiction or who are in long term recovery for a substance misuse disorder.
"As the North Country contends with a crisis of substance misuse and addiction alongside the rest of the nation, it has become increasingly clear that the toll on the health and lives of our families, neighbors, and communities must be addressed with a unified front, including community-based partnerships and coordination between social services and health care," says Amy Jeroy, Director of Public Health and the Northern NH unit MRC at the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC). "Offering these trainings to the community and integrating recovery coaches into the folds of our local MRC unit and healthcare system will take the North Country a leap in that direction."
The North Country Health Consortium will partner with Hope for NH Recovery to provide two Recovery Coach Academy trainings to be scheduled for the spring and summer of 2017 in Littleton and Berlin. Recovery coaches are individuals who help people navigate non-clinical aspects of recovery and who may or may not be in long-term recovery themselves. Fifteen students will be enrolled to each 5-day intensive training lead by local Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) trained coaches. Recovery Coach Academy trainers will be Holly Cekala, the Director of Recovery Support Services for Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, an affiliate of the Face it Together state organization, and Doris Enman, Manager of Hope for New Hampshire Recovery Berlin Community Center. Graduates of the recovery coach program will be distributed throughout the North Country and support each of the following hospital service areas: Weeks Medical Center, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, Littleton Regional Healthcare, Cottage Hospital, and Androscoggin Valley Hospital.
Grant funds will cover the cost of the two trainings and materials for 30 students. The CCAR Recovery Coach Academy training will provide students with the skills to guide, mentor, and support anyone who would like to begin or sustain long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol or other drugs. For more information about the Recovery Coach Academy trainings and the opportunity to enroll, contact Amy Jeroy at email@example.com, or call (603) 259-3700 x228.
Home of the Northern NH unit Medical Reserve Corp, the North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health agency based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. To learn more about NCHC, go to www.nchcnh.org
The Region 7 IDN Meeting scheduled for Feb. 16, 2017 has been cancelled due to weather. For more information, please contact April Allin, IDN Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us on Monday, November 14, 2016 from 8:30am-1:00pm at the Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in Whitefield, NH!
More information to follow in October 2016
The Northern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center, a program of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), has closed another successful summer of Middle School STEM-Health Career Summer Camps. The STEM-Health Career Summer Camp is designed to provide students with an interactive, local opportunity to explore a vast array of health careers. Participating in this fun, hands-on experience allows students to experience different health professions, with the hope that they may be further encouraged to pursue a health career.
Each summer, NCHC partners with the Hugh J. Gallen Career and Technical Center in Littleton and the White Mountains Community College in Berlin to offer this experience to middle school-aged students in the North Country. Marking the 7th year for the week-long health career summer camps, 2016's two STEM camps hosted a total of 39 participating youth.
"The STEM-Health Career Summer Camps are a fun way to introduce middle school students to the many career opportunities available in the healthcare field, everything from nursing and dentistry, to veterinary medicine and biotechnology," said Nancy Frank, Executive Director of North Country Health Consortium. "In the past 7 years that we've offered them, the camps have been well received by our campers and the community, so we're looking forward to next summer, and keeping up this initiative."
The Berlin camp was held the week of June 20-24, where 21 students were in attendance. NCHC was pleased to welcome to camp the Weeks Medical Center's Northwoods Center for Continuing Education of Whitefield and RizFit Fitness Coaching of Lancaster, amongst other new and returning camp presenters. Northwoods provided first-aid and CPR education, while RizFit offered a health and wellness segment to students at the Berlin Camp. Other items on the week's agenda included activities around veterinary medicine, rocket building, science with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, oral health with NCHC's Molar Express, and a field trip to the Berlin Fish Hatchery.
The Littleton camp was held the week of July 11-15 at the Hugh J. Gallen Career and Technical Center. During the week, 18 campers utilized the state-of-the-art medical training facility, including "SimMan"- a life-like simulator that tasks students with controlling all of the dummy's vitals and even talking for him, while another group administers CPR and other life-saving measures. Other activities of the Littleton camp included: intubating different SimMan models, ranging from infant- to adult-sized; inserting IVs into a training arm; creating clay replicas of the human anatomy; learning about emergency medical services with CALEX Ambulance Service; using a high-tech dental simulator for oral health training activities with the Molar Express; triaging during simulated mass casualty situations; and blood typing. Graciously welcoming campers for the last four summers, Littleton Regional Healthcare (LRH) wrapped up the camp week giving a full tour of its facility to the group of young medical career prospects.
NCHC would like to thank all supporters, presenters, and contributors of the STEM-Health Career Summer Camps. Without the collaboration of North Country healthcare organizations, this opportunity and rich experience for students to explore the health field would not have been possible. NCHC would again like to thank Weeks Medical Center's Northwoods Center for Continuing Education, RizFit Fitness Coaching, Littleton Regional Healthcare, CALEX Ambulance Service, and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
NCHC is a rural health network based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human service providers serving northern New Hampshire. To learn more about the STEM-Health Career Summer Camps, visit nchcnh.org or call Diana Gibbs, NCHC Program Manager, at (603) 259-3700 ext. 222.
HAVERHILL- On August 5-6, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) sponsored a public health emergency exercise that played out a large-scale infectious disease outbreak affecting multiple regions throughout the state. Slated to test each region's plans to deliver medication to the community- and ability to communicate and work in tandem with Federal, State, and local emergency response personnel and systems in the event of an actual emergency- this preparedness drill saw participation from each of New Hampshire's 13 Public Health Networks. Serving all of Northern Grafton and Coos Counties- and hosted by the North Country Health Consortium, based in Littleton- the North Country Public Health Network assumed their emergency response roles and training activities at the Grafton County Complex and the Haverhill Cooperative Middle School, in North Haverhill on the 5th and 6th, respectively.
"I believe that it was important to come together, as a state and a region, to play out the protocols standardized for large-scale public health emergencies," commented, Amy Jeroy, Public Health Coordinator of the North Country Public Health Region, "because we don't want these basic steps to feel novel in the case of an actual event." In the event of an infectious disease outbreak, North Country residents would be notified about a Point of Dispensing (POD) site to which they would report should treatment be required. For this part of the emergency exercise in the North Country, Haverhill Cooperative Middle School housed the simulated POD activities, including staging: a landing zone on campus to receive a Black Hawk helicopter transporting the NH National Guard with the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) supply of medications and vaccinations for distribution; and space to host medical providers, response and administrative staff, security personnel, the media, and crowd of community volunteers standing in as patients being triaged for treatment.
While Saturday's events at the Haverhill Cooperative Middle School were the more visible, Friday's behind-the-scenes activities marked the official start of the drill. That Friday morning, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) transmitted the first alert to all 13 NH Public Health Networks via the Health Alert Network- or HAN- the nationally shared, integrated electronic information and communication system. Receiving the call, Jeroy, assembled the command team at the Grafton County Complex, which served as the stand-in command post. Stationed at the Grafton Complex, collaborating expertise and coordinating response activities, the command team tracked the simulated emergency through HAN as it unfolded throughout the day; and in a series of communications with State and Federal entities, deployed a SNS of emergency medical supplies for next-morning delivery to the Haverhill Cooperative Middle School to be inventoried, administered to patients, and re-inventoried before getting packed and airlifted back to one of the unidentified SNS storage sites scattered throughout the country.
After the large-scale SNS exercise spanning two days and two sites in the North Country, Jeroy reflected on the experience. "I am proud of the North Country for the job we all did in this statewide exercise," she shared, commending her team, including all participating local responders and partners. "Since the drill," Jeroy continued, "the Public Health team has already met to further refine our processes, which would not have been possible without the insight gained from our active participation in the drill. As a region of small communities, the North Country has to resist the notion that large-scale emergencies just don't happen here. No matter how unlikely they are, we must be prepared for incidents, big and small. That example starts with our Public Health system."
Home to the North Country Region Public Health Network, North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is a non-profit rural health agency based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers serving northern New Hampshire. To learn more about the PODs in your region, opportunities to volunteer at upcoming POD emergency preparedness trainings, or other NCHC programs and services, visit www.nchcnh.org, or call Amy Jeroy at (603) 259-3700.
North Country- The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process is underway throughout Coos and Northern Grafton counties. All community members are encouraged to participate in the survey, which is open to residents of the North Country, including Berlin, Colebrook, Lancaster, Littleton, and all surrounding towns. The survey asks people to report their experiences and opinions on different aspects of health and well-being in their community and will take about 10 minutes to complete.
The Community Health Needs Assessment is conducted by the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) in collaboration with the North Country Healthcare system: Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Littleton Regional Healthcare, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, and Weeks Medical Center.
"The Community Health Needs Assessment relies on the voices of the people who live here to understand the circumstances that affect health," says Nancy Frank, NCHC Executive Director. "Because survey results are used to inform and strengthen the programs, services, and care that collectively make North Country communities healthy, it is so important to hear from as many people as possible, so the needs of the whole community are represented."
The purpose of the CHNA is to gather information about the overall status, concerns, unmet needs, and suggestions for improvement in regards to health in the North Country communities. Results from the CHNA survey will help North Country hospitals and health and human services leaders understand and identify the areas of opportunity for their organizations that represent the most pressing health needs of the communities that they serve.
If you live in the North Country, we urge you to participate. The opportunity to complete the Community Health Needs Assessment survey will close at the end of August. You can access the survey online with this link: http://bit.ly/CommunityNeeds2016. Paper versions of the survey will also be available at your local North Country hospital, select locations throughout your community, or by contacting Diana Gibbs at North Country Health Consortium: (603) 259-3700, ext. 222.
NCHC is a rural health network based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human service providers serving northern New Hampshire. To learn more about the Community Health Needs Assessment or NCHC programs and services in your community, visit www.nchcnh.org or call (603) 259-3700.
WHITEFIELD- The 5th Annual North Country Health Improvement Summit, hosted by the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), gathered on June 9, 2016 at the Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in Whitefield. Representing Health professionals, government officials, local business and community members from across the state, summit participants came together around the theme and common vision of "Embracing a Culture of Wellness."
"I think it is important to understand that many critical indicators are used to rank health outcomes and determine that health factors are moving in the right direction," said Nancy Frank, Executive Director of the North Country Health Consortium. Addressing the group during her opening remarks, Frank pointed out the positive strides in Coos County since NCHC's initial Health Improvement Summit in 2011, including: a 5 percent decrease in adult smoking; a nearly 1 percent and 3 percent drop, respectively, of adults who reported poor physical health days and physical inactivity; and a 26 percent rise in adults' reports of access to exercise opportunities.
Delivering the keynote address, Rebecca Busanich, PhD, Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Active Living and Healthy Communities at Plymouth State University, discussed, "The Weight We All Carry: Resisting Cultural Narratives Around Body Weight to Improve Health and Well-being." Dr. Busanich argued that the current focus on weight, and on health as a collection of numbers, is a narrow lens with which to consider obesity. What's more, the culture's obsession and negative language attached to weight, food, and physical activity hurts the cause. In closing, Busanich asked the audience to challenge the way they think and talk about health- and "run for joy," as she put it- to focus on positive health behaviors.
The presentation lineup continued to paint the big picture of health, including the importance of cultural, social, and environmental influences on individuals and communities, also known as "Social Determinants of Health." Ashley Conley, MS, Epidemiologist for the Nashua Public Health Department, described how conditions in which people grow, live, work, and play affect a population's health. Since individual communities have conditions distinct to their region and people, it is crucial to understand the unique needs of a population when working towards positive changes for health and well-being. Closing sessions wrapping up the Summit offered tips and resources for breaking up desk time with physical activity; asthma management education for health providers; worksite wellness best-practices to improve employee health; and tools to plan and start a personal wellness journey.
"We all have been working hard to improve health outcomes in the region," praised Frank, "but we still have work to do." Collaboration is key to continuing this positive momentum. The North Country Health Consortium extends an invitation to anyone interested to join the North Country Health Improvement Working Group- a collaboration of health professionals, local business and community members, and others dedicated to the health of the North Country.
NCHC is a rural health network based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human service providers serving northern New Hampshire. To join the North Country Health Improvement Working Group and to learn more about NCHC, visit www.nchcnh.org or call (603) 259-3700.
LITTLETON- The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) assembled emergency preparedness kits to be given to community members for use in case of emergencies or disasters.
As the home of the North Country Public Health Network (NCPHN), which serves Northern Grafton and Coos counties, NCHC collaborates with local health systems to increase health status and ensure the safety of North Country residents. NCHC partners with local communities and residents to: prepare for emergencies, access healthcare, provide healthcare professional and community-based education, as well as oral healthcare services, and prevent and address substance misuse disorders.
"We wanted to tie the public health work that we do every day directly with service to our local communities," says Nancy Frank, Executive Director of NCHC. "Making these kits was an opportunity for us to give back to the community, while connecting our efforts with other local organizations that do great work, like Granite State Independent Living."
North Country Health Consortium received generous donations from Home Depot and Walmart of Littleton, Shaws in Lancaster, and Staples to stock utility buckets with essential items, such as water, first-aid kits, and materials outlining emergency protocols. The emergency preparedness kits will be distributed to area residents through Granite State Independent Living (GSIL).
"Granite State Independent Living provides support to seniors and consumers with disabilities to live their lives as independently as they choose," says Donna Potter, Director of Home Care North at Granite State Independent Living. "The emergency preparedness kits provided by the generosity of North Country Health Consortium will go a long way to assist GSIL consumers, many of whom are unable to leave their homes, in maintaining their independence."
NCHC is a rural health network based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human service providers serving northern New Hampshire. Learn more at www.nchcnh.org or call (603) 259-3700.
Please join us for the 5th Annual North Country Health Improvement Summit for an energizing day filled with opportunities to connect with and learn from others about health in the North Country!
The goal of the Summit is to provide practitioners and leaders updates and resources available that foster health improvement in the North Country. The Summit will provide tools for improving health at the personal, professional, organizational, and policy levels.
Register at: http://bit.ly/5thSummit
White Mountains Community College President Matt Wood welcomed Governor Hassan to the North Country on Friday, March 25. Governor Hassan unveiled the new "Gateway to Work" initiative in partnership with the New Hampshire Community College System that will begin in the summer of 2016. The Gateway to Work initiative will repurpose federal funding to provide supports for individuals to reduce barriers to gainful employment, such as transportation, job skills, etc.
North Country Health Consortium Executive Director, Nancy Frank, succeeded Gov. Hassan to discuss current Northern NH Area Health Education Center (NNH AHEC) workforce development initiatives, including the North Country Health Career Initiative Program. In 2015, the NNH AHEC- a program of the North Country Health Consortium- was fortunate to secure federal funding to provide direct scholarship support to economically or educationally disadvantaged residents to complete allied health training programs through the White Mountains Community College (WMCC). This collaboration with WMCC has created obtainable training opportunities for students to enter Licensed Nursing Assistant, Medication Nursing Assistant, and Health and Wellness Advocate Certificate training programs.
Programs such as Gateway to Work and the North Country Health Career Initiative Program create further supports to ensure that a well-trained workforce exists in Northern NH communities.
To learn more about the Governor's Gateway to Work initiative, visit: http://governor.nh.gov/media/news/2016/pr-2016-03-02-community-colleges.htm
To learn more about the North Country Health Career Initiative Program, contact Diana Gibbs at email@example.com or call (603) 259-3700 ext. 222.
North Country Health Consortium's Quality Improvement efforts have been recognized by the Rural Health Information Hub's feature on the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Grants in Motion feature, titled "Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant: A Cultural Shift in Quality for Providers". View the feature at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/rural-monitor/quality-improvement-grant/
If you would like to become a Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA), or move up from a current LNA to a Medication Nursing Assistant (MNA), or become a Health and Wellness Advocate, North Country Health Consortium and White Mountain Community College offer a scholarship program that provides funding to cover 100% of your tuition and training costs! More Info & Schedule [136 KB pdf]
North Country Health Consortium is proud to host the annual Youth Leadership Through Adventure high school conference. Involving almost every high school in the North Country and involving upwards of 100 participants, this three day leadearship and skills building experience will ready the Youth Leadership groups to lead change back at their schools.
Location: American Youth Foundation's Merrowvista Camp, Tuftonboro NH
Collaborative network will join federal government and other partners in supporting large-scale health care transformation among clinician practices
Littleton, NH - The North Country Health Consortium is a partner in one of the 39 health care collaborative networks selected to participate in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. The Northern New England Practice Transformation Network is a partnership between the New Hampshire Citizens Health Initiative at the University of New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice, Maine Quality Counts, and Vermont Program for Quality in Healthcare, Inc.
In New Hampshire, the Practice Transformation Network will be led through the NH Citizens Health Initiative at the University of New Hampshire's Institute for Health Policy and Practice. "We are very excited to be able to provide NH's medical practices with practical assistance to help them respond to the changing health care payment and practice environment and better serve their patients' needs," said Jeanne Ryer, Director of the NH Citizens Health Initiative.
The Citizens Health Initiative will connect Practice Transformation Network activities to its Accountable Care Project learning network and work with key partner North Country Health Consortium to provide health practices around the state with Practice Transformation Coaches. Coaches will assess individual practice needs and provide technical assistance to enhance patient care, improve care coordination and quality outcomes, and lower costs. "We are thrilled to be a partner in this important initiative and to work with practices throughout the state. We will be working at the community level to ensure patient and clinician needs are being met as we move New Hampshire forward toward better health," said Nancy Frank, Executive Director of the North Country Health Consortium. The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is a rural public health organization whose mission is to improve the health status of North Country residents. NCHC will be working with the statewide Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program to provide a network of Practice Transformation Coaches at the community level.
"Having worked with CHI on both the patient centered medical home and accountable care project efforts in my role as CEO of Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, as well as a Board Director at NCHC on efforts including the North Country Accountable Care Organization, I am pleased to see this investment in CHI and NCHC as it will once again demonstrate how New Hampshire is first in the nation in moving health care reform forward," said Ed Shanshala.
The Northern New England Practice Transformation Network will support 500 primary care and specialist practices to expand their quality improvement capacity, learn from one another, and achieve common goals of improved care, better health, and reduced cost. The network will conduct a readiness assessment for each practice; provide direct technical assistance through the network of practice "coaches"; offer a range of options and opportunities for regional and cutting-edge distance-based collaborative learning; provide evidence-based team trainings; and build networking and tools to improve care coordination across the participating practices.
These awards are part of a comprehensive strategy advanced by the Affordable Care Act that enables new levels of coordination, continuity, and integration of care, while transitioning volume-driven systems to value-based, patient-centered, health care services. It builds upon successful models and programs such as the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Organization Program, Partnership for Patients with Hospital Engagement Networks, and Accountable Care Organizations.
For more information on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, please visit: http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Transforming-Clinical-Practices/