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North Country Health Consortium

News & Events

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 29, 2020
Sunday, March 29, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 29, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, DHHS announced 44 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 258 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire.

The new cases are 25 adult females and 19 adult males. The new cases reside in Rockingham (14), Strafford (5), Merrimack (4), Carroll (2), Grafton (2), Hillsborough other than Manchester and Nashua (1), Cheshire (1), and Sullivan (1) counties, and the cities of Nashua (7) and Manchester (7). Twenty-one of the new cases have no identified risk factors. Community-based transmission continues to increase in the State and has been identified in all of counties with cases. Most of the remaining cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Five of the new cases were hospitalized for their illness; thus far, 39 patients of the 258 positive cases (15%) have been hospitalized.

 DHHS has also announced the third death related to COVID-19. The deceased was a female resident of Rockingham County who was over 60 years old with underlying health issues. We offer our sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased.

 Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(data updated March 29, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

258

Deaths Attributed to COVID-19

3 (1%)

Hospitalizations

39 (15%)

Persons Tested Negative at Selected Laboratories2

4,994

Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL

3,103

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3

144

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

1050

1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

3Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.nh.gov/covid19.

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Access this document:
http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_29.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20%E2%80%93%20march%2029,%202020.pdf

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 28, 2020
Saturday, March 28, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 28, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

On Saturday, March 28, 2020, DHHS announced 27 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 214 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. The new cases are 17 adult females, 9 adult males, and one male under the age of 18. The new cases reside in Rockingham (11), Hillsborough other than Manchester and Nashua (4), Merrimack (3), Grafton (2), and Strafford (1) counties, and the cities of Manchester (3) and Nashua (3). Eight of the new cases have no identified risk factors. Community-based transmission continues to increase in the State and has been identified in all of the counties with cases. Most of the remaining cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Three of the new cases were hospitalized for their illness; thus far, 33 patients of the 214 positive cases (15%) have been hospitalized.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(data updated March 28, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

214

Deaths Attributed to COVID-19

2 (<1%)

Hospitalizations

33 (15%)

Persons Tested Negative at Selected Laboratories2

4,524

Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL

2,934

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3

285

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

925

1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

3Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.nh.gov/covid19.  

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 Access this document:
http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_28.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20%E2%80%93%20march%2028,%202020.pdf

Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions Last Updated: March 28, 2020
Saturday, March 28, 2020

Access this document by clicking the link or image below:

Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions Last Updated: March 27, 2020
Friday, March 27, 2020

Click on the link or image to access this document: 

 

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update March 27, 2020
Friday, March 27, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 27, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, DHHS announced 29 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 187 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. The new cases are 10 adult males and 19 adult females. The new cases reside in Rockingham (8), Merrimack (4), Strafford (4), Grafton (3), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (3), Belknap (1), and Carroll (1) counties, and in the cities of Manchester (3) and Nashua (2). Sixteen of the new cases have no identified risk factors. Community-based transmission continues to increase in the State and has been identified in the majority of counties. The remaining cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Four of the new cases are currently hospitalized; thus far, 30 patients of the 187 positive cases (16%) have been hospitalized.

DHHS has also announced the second death related to COVID-19. The deceased was a male resident of Hillsborough County who was over 60 years old and had multiple underlying health issues. The State expresses our sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(data updated March 27, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

187

Deaths Attributed to COVID-19

2 (<1%)

Hospitalizations

30 (16%)

Persons Tested Negative at Selected Laboratories2

3,656

Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL

2,790

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3

296

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

925

1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.
Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.nh.gov/covid19.

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Access this document: 
http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_27.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20%E2%80%93%20march%2027,%202020.pdf

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 26, 2020
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 26, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

On Wednesday, March 26, 2020, DHHS announced 21 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 158 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. The new cases are 5 adult males, 15 adult females, and one male under age 18. The new cases reside in Rockingham (11), Merrimack (2) Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (1), Cheshire (1), Grafton (1), and Sullivan (1) counties, and in the City of Manchester (4). Five of the new cases have no identified risk factors. Community-based transmission continues to increase in the State and has been identified in the majority of counties. The remaining cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Three of the new cases are currently hospitalized; thus far, 25 patients of the 158 positive cases (16%) have been hospitalized.

DHHS also issued guidance regarding two potential community exposures of the coronavirus.

DHHS has determined that a person with COVID-19 was at Honey Dew Donuts, Season’s Corner Market, 501 South Broadway in Salem, NH on the following dates and times:

Any individuals who visited the Honey Dew Donuts on the dates and times above may have been potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus and should observe their health for fever or respiratory illness. Any person who visited the facility and develops symptoms should stay away from other people, and immediately contact their healthcare provider.

DHHS has also determined that a person with COVID-19 attended an event that began at 7:00 pm on Saturday, March 14, 2020 in the Garrish Gym at Coe-Brown Academy, 907 1st New Hampshire Turnpike in Northwood, NH. Any individual who attended the event on March 14 in the Garrish Gym at Coe-Brown Academy may have been potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus and should observe their health for fever or respiratory illness. Any person who was in the Garrish Gym during the event and develops symptoms should stay away from other people, and immediately contact their healthcare provider. The risk of exposure applies only to the Garrish Gym during the event at 7:00 pm, and not to attendance at the school or at other school activities.

Instructions for self-observation are available here: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/residents/documents/self-observation-covid.pdf

Current Situation in New Hampshire

 

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(data updated March 26, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

158

Deaths Attributed to COVID-19

1 (<1%)

Hospitalizations

25 (16%)

Persons Tested Negative at Selected Laboratories2

3,395

Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL

2,721

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3

592

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

825

1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

3Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.nh.gov/covid19.

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Access the document: 
http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_26.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20%E2%80%93%20march%2026,%202020.pdf

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 25, 2020
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 25, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, DHHS announced 29 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 137 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. The new cases are 12 adult males, 16 adult females, and one female under age 18. The new cases reside in Rockingham (14), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (8), Strafford (2), Belknap (1), Grafton (1), and Merrimack (1) counties, and in the City of Manchester (2). Thirteen of the new cases have no identified risk factors. Community-based transmission continues to increase in the State and has been identified in the majority of counties. The remaining cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Six of the new cases are currently hospitalized; thus far, 19 patients of the 137 positive cases (14%) have been hospitalized.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(data updated March 25, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

137

Deaths Attributed to COVID-19

1 (<1%)

Hospitalizations

19 (14%)

Persons Tested Negative at Selected Laboratories2

3,001

Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL

2,620

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3

712

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

650


1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

3Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.nh.gov/covid19.

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Access this document: http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_25.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20-%20march%2025,%202020.pdf

Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions Last Updated: March 24, 2020
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Click the link or image below to access this full document:

 

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 24, 2020
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 24, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, DHHS announced 7 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 108 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. The new cases are 6 adult males and 1 adult female. The new cases reside in Rockingham (4), Grafton (1), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (1), and Strafford (1) counties. Three of the cases have no identified risk factors. The remaining new cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Community-based transmission has been identified in the majority of the counties in the State. Six new cases are isolated at home. One of the new cases is currently hospitalized; thus far, 13 patients out of the 108 positive cases (12%) have been hospitalized.

DHHS also issued guidance regarding potential community exposure of the coronavirus after DHHS determined that a person with COVID-19 was on the following Concord Coach Lines buses:

Any individuals who rode on one of the Concord Coach Line buses above may have been potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus and should stay at home and monitor their health for fever or respiratory illness. Any person who was on those buses and has developed symptoms should stay away from other people, and immediately contact their healthcare provider.

Guidance for self-quarantine is available at: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/residents/documents/self-quarantine-covid.pdf

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 24, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

108

Deaths Attributed to COVID-19

1 (<1%)

Hospitalizations

13 (13%)

Persons Tested Negative at Selected Laboratories2

2,356

Persons with Specimens Submitted to NH PHL

2,530

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL3

804

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

750


1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens tested at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), LabCorp, Quest, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and those sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

3Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH PHL. Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.nh.gov/covid19.

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 Access this document: http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_24.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20-%20march%2024,%202020.pdf

North Country MACE activated to provide coordinated information and resource management for COVID-19
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

REGION - The North Country Public Health Emergency Preparedness Region has activated their Multi-Agency Coordinating Entity (MACE) due to the events surrounding the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This Regional Emergency Operations Group is comprised of multiple agency officials representing public health, healthcare, community health centers, municipal emergency managers, and other partners throughout the region. The purpose of this group is to provide public information and risk communication, resource management, and the coordination of activities in the North Country as it relates to this quickly evolving pandemic emergency.

The activation of the MACE in coordination with the State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Service, as well as the New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, helps to ensure the residents of the North Country Public Health Region have the most accurate and updated information. Through a unified process, the MACE allows resources to flow into the region to assist those partners that are experiencing a shortage of supplies.

The MACE is activated through the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), a central location from which local, state, and federal partners can provide interagency coordination and executive decision-making in support of incidents or planned events. Through the SEOC, the North Country MACE has been providing regular status updates to the State. At this time, the North Country MACE  group meets virtually twice weekly.

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) facilitates and coordinates the North Country MACE and other activities of the North Country Public Health Network.

 The North Country Public Health Region encompasses the communities of Coos and northern Grafton Counties including: Bath, Berlin, Bethlehem, Bretton Woods, Colebrook, Errol, Franconia, Gorham, Groveton, Haverhill, Jefferson, Lancaster, Lisbon, Littleton, Milan, Monroe, Mount Washington, North Haverhill, North Stratford, Pittsburg, Randolph, Sugar Hill, Twin Mountain, West Stewartstown, Whitefield, Woodsville.

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers serving northern New Hampshire. To stay up to date with the latest information and recommendations for NH regarding  COVID-19 visit: NCHCNH.org and click on the ‘News’ tab and NCHC’s Facebook page: facebook.com/NorthCountryHCNH/ Please direct questions about the North Country MACE via email to covid19@NCHCNH.org

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 23, 2020
Monday, March 23, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 23, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

On Monday, March 23, 2020, DHHS announced 23 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 101 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. The new cases are 12 adult males and 11 adult females. The 23 new cases reside in Rockingham (10), Grafton (5), Belknap (3), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (2), Carroll (1), and Strafford (1) counties and the city of Manchester (1). Four of the cases have no identified risk factors. The remaining new cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Community-based transmission has been identified in the majority of the counties in the State. Nine new cases are isolating at home. Five of the new cases are currently hospitalized; thus far, 11 patients out of the 101 positive cases (11%) have been hospitalized.

DHHS has also announced the State’s first death related to COVID-19. The deceased was a male resident of Hillsborough County who was over 60 years old and had multiple underlying health issues. We express our sympathies to this person’s family and friends.

Since first testing for COVID-19 on March 2, the State Public Health Laboratories (PHL) has conducted more than 2,400 COVID-19 tests. As the PHL continues to ramp up testing, there will be more positive tests. As COVID-19 spreads in our communities, the chance of being exposed to the novel coronavirus is increasing. It is critical that all residents take steps to protect themselves and their communities. DHHS emphasizes that residents should follow the following recommendations:

Governor Chris Sununu Issues Emergency Orders 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15
Monday, March 23, 2020

For Immediate Release:
March 23, 2020

Contact:
Ben Vihstadt
Benjamin.Vihstadt@nh.gov
603-271-2121

Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Orders 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15, as part of the state’s efforts to respond to COVID-19.

Emergency Order #11: Temporary authority to perform secure remote online notarization.

Emergency Order #12: Temporary modification of public access to meetings under RSA 91-A.

Emergency Order #13: Temporary allowance for New Hampshire pharmacists and pharmacies to compound and sell hand sanitizer over the counter ("OTC") and to allow pharmacy technicians to perform non-dispensing tasks remotely.

Emergency Order #14: Temporary authorization for out-of-state pharmacies to act as a licensed mail-order facility within the State of New Hampshire.

Emergency Order #15: Temporary authorization for out of state medical providers to provide medically necessary services and provide services through telehealth.

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https://mailchi.mp/f4c915b33b9f/governor-chris-sununu-issues-emergency-orders-11-12-13-14-and-15?e=7d35fd70b0

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 22, 2020
Sunday, March 22, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 22, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

New COVID-19 Cases in New Hampshire

On Sunday, March 22, 2020, DHHS announced 13 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 78 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. The new cases are all adults, including nine males and four females. The 13 new cases reside in Rockingham (3), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (3), Strafford (2), Grafton (1), Manchester (1), Belknap (1), Carroll (1), and Sullivan (1) counties. This is the first positive case of COVID-19 identified in Sullivan County. Eight of the new cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Five of the cases have no identified risk factors. Community-based transmission has been identified in the majority of the counties in the State. Nine new cases are isolating at home. Two of the new cases are currently hospitalized and one was hospitalized and released; thus far, six patients out of the 78 positive cases (8%) have been hospitalized.

DHHS is also updating the county of residence for a case announced on March 20. DHHS has since determined that the county of residence was Grafton County rather than Coos County. The map issued today reflects this new information.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 22, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

78

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL2

889

Total Persons Tested at NH PHL3

2341

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

850


1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL). Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

3Includes specimens sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions Last Updated: March 22, 2020
Sunday, March 22, 2020

Click the link or image below to access this full document:

NCHC provides update on COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Preparedness response, services and programs
Saturday, March 21, 2020

Community Partners,

As COVID-19 remains at the forefront of our daily lives, the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is working diligently to be responsive to our staff, clients, partners, and communities. We continue to provide the most up-to-date information we have from the State and CDC on our website and Facebook page. As we all know, things are changing by the hour and I would like to provide an update of our services and programs. 

Public Health/Emergency Preparedness:

The North Country Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) decided this week to activate the regional Multi-Agency Coordinating Entity (MACE). On Tuesday March 17th the MACE was activated for Northern Grafton and Coos Counties. The MACE is activated through the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and reports updates to the state regularly. The MACE is operating at a partial level currently to regionalize coordination of information and resources to support incident management. The MACE will meet twice weekly during this initial period to discuss partner, regional, and hospital plans.  The MACE is also prioritizing and making decisions regarding allocation of emergency supplies housed in North Country regional trailers for partners, hospitals, and EMS agencies.

Community Health Worker/Recovery Coach Programs

Friendship House and other Clinical Services:

Due to staffing concerns and the public health guidance we are being provided, we have decided to suspend taking any new clients into Friendship House and will temporarily discontinue residential services once all clients have appropriate placements. Please be assured that nobody will leave Friendship House without a safe, secure place to go.  We continue to provide an intake process in order to be ready when the current pandemic is behind us and we are again sufficiently staffed to provide residential services.

At the same time, we have expanded our telehealth capacity to allow additional outpatient and intensive outpatient services to be provided to our clients.  All clients who are currently in Friendship House will be offered telehealth services with our outpatient clinicians and encouraged to take advantage of this critical temporary bridge until there is a time when we can resume full services at Friendship House. Current clients who would like to resume treatment when we re-open residential services will be given priority. Additionally, NCHC Community Health Workers that are also trained as Recovery Coaches will be available to provide remote support for clients if necessary.  We also plan to be connected to our local Doorways to either access additional case management services or to ensure clients continue to have access to MAT services if appropriate.

NCHC will be providing regular updates at http://nchcnh.org/news.php#news_121

New Hampshire COVID-19 Updates:
https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions Last Updated March 21, 2020
Saturday, March 21, 2020

Click the link or image below to access this full document:

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update March 21, 2020
Saturday, March 21, 2020

PRESS RELEASE CONTACT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Joint Information Center
March 21, 2020
603-223-6169

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 21, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

 New COVID-19 Cases in New Hampshire

 On Saturday, March 21, 2020, DHHS announced 10 new positive test results for COVID-19.

 There have now been 65 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire.

The new cases are all adults, including five males and five females. County or city of residence are Rockingham (5), Grafton (1), Manchester (1), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (1), Merrimack (1), and Strafford (1). This is the first positive case of COVID-19 identified in Strafford County. Six of the cases have either had travel to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Four of the cases, including in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties, have no identified risk factors, indicating additional community-based transmission of COVID-19 in New Hampshire. Community-based transmission has been identified in Carroll, Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack and Rockingham counties and the city of Manchester.

One new case is hospitalized; thus far, three patients out of the 65 positive cases (5%) have been hospitalized. The other new cases are isolating at home.

 

NH Persons with COVID-19-- 65

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL --959

 Total Persons Tested at NH PHL-- 2212

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)-- 750.  

Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.  Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL). Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories. Includes specimens sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

 

 DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

 

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019ncov.htm.

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 20, 2020
Friday, March 20, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 20, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

• New Positive Cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire On Friday, March 20, 2020, DHHS announced 11 new positive test results for COVID-19. The new cases are all adults, including six males and five females. Counties of residence are Grafton (3), Rockingham (2), Manchester (1), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (1), Carroll (1), Merrimack (1), Coos (1) and Cheshire (1). The positive test results are the first cases in Coos and Cheshire counties. Four of the cases, including in Cheshire, Merrimack and Rockingham counties and the city of Manchester, have no identified risk factors, indicating additional community-based transmission of COVID-19 in New Hampshire. The other seven cases have either have traveled to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Community-based transmission has been identified in Carroll, Cheshire, Grafton, Merrimack and Rockingham counties and the city of Manchester. There have now been 55 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 20, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

55

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL2

942

Total Persons Tested at NH PHL3

1970

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

550


1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL). Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

3Includes specimens sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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Access this document: 
http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_20.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20-%20march%2020,%202020.pdf

NH DHHS Announces New Recommendations for Testing and Patient Management
Friday, March 20, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced new recommendations to help healthcare providers determine who should be tested for COVID-19. These new recommendations acknowledge that providers and first responders nationwide lack the equipment they need to safely and accurately test any person who may be exposed to the novel coronavirus. The recommendations also acknowledge that more than 80% of people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms and current inventory in all states should be directed to people with severe illness as well as healthcare workers.

Given the nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other testing supplies, healthcare providers in New Hampshire must preserve the State’s existing inventory of these materials to care for patients who will develop severe COVID-19 illness, as well as exposed health care providers and exposed first responders. Any significant decline in the healthcare workforce will have a negative impact on residents’ access to treatment for COVID-treatment and other health needs.

“The coronavirus has placed an unprecedented burden on our healthcare system, and signs of strain are showing,” said DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette. “Everyone who works in healthcare wants to test New Hampshire residents who have symptoms of COVID-19. Testing capacity at the State Public Health Laboratories (PHL) and commercial testing companies is not the issue. However, the challenge for our providers and first responders is national shortages in PPE, nasal swabs and retesting agents. Healthcare providers require access to these supplies to collect a specimen for testing. Until national supply chains are able to meet the demand for testing supplies, New Hampshire, like all states, will be forced to limit testing to those most at risk of severe symptoms and those healthcare employees who are critical to ensuring we can serve our residents’ health needs.”

“COVID-19 continues to spread in New Hampshire, and while most cases continue to be identified in people with recent international or domestic travel, there is now evidence of community-based transmission occurring in several areas in New Hampshire,” said State Epidemiologist, Dr. Benjamin Chan. “As this outbreak expands, it is important for people to stay home when not feeling well, even at the earliest symptoms of illness. It is not possible to test everybody with respiratory or cold symptoms for COVID-19, so as this outbreak expands, people that develop mild respiratory illness should stay home for at least seven days after symptoms first appear and should not go out until at least 72 hours have passed after 

symptoms begin to improve and any fever has gone away off fever-reducing medications. Everybody should continue to practice social-distancing and frequent hand hygiene to help protect themselves and their communities.”

As COVID-19 becomes more common in our communities, testing every person presenting with mild symptoms of fever or respiratory illness becomes impractical and does not change how a person’s illness is managed. Therefore, DHHS has shared the following recommendations for COVID-19 testing:

People who are 60 years of age and older, or those with chronic medical problems are at higher risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and should:

People who have mild symptoms of COVID-19, even if not tested, should stay home until:

AND

People who do not have symptoms but have been notified that they may have been exposed through close contact with a person with COVID-19 or a person presumed to have COVID-19 (without testing), and any persons who have traveled from countries with widespread sustained transmission should:

For information on the differences between isolation and quarantine, please see the following information: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/documents/terms.pdf.

Symptoms of COVID-19 most often include fever or respiratory illness, such as cough. Early mild symptoms can include fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. Fever may not develop until several days into illness, or not at all, but people can still transmit the novel coronavirus very early in their course of illness.

For more information on COVID-19 in NH, please visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm. For the latest information from the CDC, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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Access this document: 
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NH DHHS District Offices Open for Telephone, Online Applications Only
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Bureau of Family Assistance today announced that in order to protect the health and safety of its customers and staff, all District Office (DO) buildings will be closed for client-facing activities until further notice.

People in need of assistance may apply for benefits online at www.nheasy.nh.gov and will be scheduled for a phone interview in order to complete their benefits application.

The decision to close DOs was not made lightly. During this unprecedented pandemic, we are doing our part to protect our communities by avoiding unnecessary face-to-face interactions. DHHS is working to ensure our clients continue to get the services they need while limiting potential disruptions.

District Office staff will continue to provide service to residents. We appreciate the extra effort this will require from our clients, staff, and community partners, but it is important that we take measures to help prevent the spread of illness. People with no internet access who are applying for assistance through the Bureau of Family Assistance should call 1-844-275-3447.   

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View this document: 
http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_19.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20district%20offices%20open%20for%20telephone,%20online%20applications%20only.pdf

 

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 19, 2020
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 19, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, DHHS announced five new positive test results for COVID-19. The new cases are all in adults, including three males and two females. Persons reside in Grafton (2), Rockingham (1), Belknap (1), and Merrimack (1) counties. All of the individuals either have traveled to domestic or international locations or have had close contact with a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. DHHS is conducting contact investigations for each patient. All patients have mild symptoms, are isolating at home and household contacts are quarantining. There are now 44 cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 19, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

44

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL2

631

Total Persons Tested at NH PHL3

1420

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

575


1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL). Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

3Includes specimens sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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Access this document: 
http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_19.2020%20-%20Copy%201.jpg

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 18, 2020
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 18, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, DHHS announced 13 new positive test results for COVID-19. The new cases are all in adults, including six males and seven females. Persons are from the counties of Hillsborough (4), Rockingham (3), Carroll (3), Belknap (2), and Merrimack (1); the four individuals from Hillsborough County all reside in Manchester. New individuals from Carroll and Merrimack counties have no identified risk factors, indicating additional areas in New Hampshire experiencing community-based transmission of COVID-19. Community-based transmission has been identified in the following counties: Rockingham, Grafton, Merrimack, and Carroll. There have been 39 total cases of COVID-19 identified in New Hampshire. Two patients are hospitalized and they are in stable condition; the remaining people are isolating at home.

On March 18, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Orders 6, 7, and 8, as part of the state's efforts to respond to COVID-19.

Emergency Order #6: Temporary authorization for take-out or delivery beer or wine. All restaurants, diners, bars, saloons, private clubs or any other establishment that have both a restaurant license and on premise license from the New Hampshire liquor commission shall be temporarily authorized to allow for takeout or delivery of beer or wine.

Emergency Order #7: Temporary modification of data and privacy governance plans.

Emergency Order #8: Temporary expansion of access to Telehealth Services to protect the public and health care providers.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 18, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

39

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL2

231

Total Persons Tested at NH PHL3

891

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

550

1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL). Does not include tests pending at commercial laboratories.

3Includes specimens sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

Previous Updates

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at www.nh.gov/covid19.

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Access this document: http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_18.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20%E2%80%93%20march%2018,%202020.pdf

Governor Sununu Issues Three Emergency Orders To Provide Relief
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Orders 3, 4, and 5, which will provide relief for Granite Staters affected by COVID-19. "Tough decisions have been made at the state level, but we will get through this together," said Governor Chris Sununu. "Seeing what the lack of an appropriate response has resulted in around the world requires that we make some difficult decisions here in New Hampshire to ensure we stem the tide of this worldwide pandemic within our own communities. We are taking steps to help Granite Staters, ensuring they have the support and services for themselves, their families, and their businesses throughout this crisis."

Emergency Order #3: All providers of electric, gas, water, telephone, cable, VOIP, internet service, and deliverable fuel services will be prohibited from disconnecting service for non-payments for the duration of the State of Emergency.

Emergency Order #4: Landlords will not be allowed to start eviction proceedings for those unable to pay due to their financial situations. To do so would be against the law. All judicial and non-judicial foreclosure actions will also be prohibited during the state of emergency.

Emergency Order #5: Individuals who are unable to work or who have reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have immediate access to unemployment benefits. Anyone in the following situations will now be eligible for state unemployment: If your employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19; Individuals that need to self-quarantine or are directed to quarantine at the instruction of a health care provider, employer or government official; Individuals that need to care for a family member that has COVID-19 or is under quarantine; Individuals that need to care for a dependent because of school closures, child care facility closures or other similar types of care programs; Self-employed individuals that are temporarily unable to operate their business because of any of the above listed situations will also be eligible.

Individuals will need to file for each week of temporary unemployment and all of this can and should be done online at http://www.nhes.nh.gov, or by calling . People can do all of this online from your home internet connection or your phone without ever having to go into a state office. The website to access is http://www.nhes.nh.gov and the phone number to call is 603-271-7700. Governor Chris Sununu also officially submitted a request that the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration provide SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses across -New Hampshire.

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Access this document: 
http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_17.2020%20governor%20sununu%20issues%20three%20emergency%20orders%20to%20provide%20relief.pdf

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 17, 2020
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 17, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, DHHS announced nine new positive test results for COVID-19. The new cases are all in adults, including five males and four females. Persons are from the counties of Rockingham (4), Hillsborough (3), and Grafton (2). Several individuals from Rockingham and Grafton counties have no identified risk factors, indicating that New Hampshire is experiencing community-based transmission of COVID-19. In total, 26 cases of COVID-19 have now been identified. All patients are isolating at home and have not required hospitalization.

Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Orders 3, 4, 5 on March 17 to provide relief for Granite Staters affected by COVID-19.

Emergency Order #3: All providers of electric, gas, water, telephone, cable, VOIP, internet service, and deliverable fuel services will be prohibited from disconnecting or discontinuing service for non-payments for the duration of the State of Emergency.

Emergency Order #4: Landlords will not be allowed to start eviction proceedings for those unable to pay due to their financial situations. To do so would be against the law. All judicial and non-judicial foreclosure actions will also be prohibited during the state of emergency.

Emergency Order #5: Individuals who are unable to work or who have reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have immediate access to unemployment benefits. Anyone in the following situations will now be eligible for state unemployment: If your employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19; Individuals that need to self-quarantine or are directed to quarantine at the instruction of a health care provider, employer or government official; Individuals that need to care for a family member that has COVID-19 or is under quarantine; 

Individuals that need to care for a dependent because of school closures, child care facility closures or other similar types of care programs; Self-employed individuals that are temporarily unable to operate their business because of any of the above listed situations will also be eligible. Please visit www.nhes.nh.gov or call 603-271-7770 for more information.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 17, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

26

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL2

208

Total Persons Tested at NH PHL3

742

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

475

1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).
3Includes specimens sent to CDC prior t NH PHL testing capacity.

Previous Updates

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at www.nh.gov/covid19.

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Access this document: http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_17.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20-%20march%2017,%202020.pdf

NH DHHS COVID-19 Update - March 16, 2020
Monday, March 16, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 16, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

 New Hampshire residents who have questions or concerns about COVID-19 should contact 211.

What’s New

DHHS announced four new positive test results for COVID-19. This brings the total in New Hampshire to 17 cases. The new confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in three adult males and one female under the age of 18 years, who are from the counties of Grafton (2), Rockingham (1), and Carroll (1). In total, sixteen cases of COVID-19 have either been travel-related (to domestic or international locations) or identified close contacts of a person with COVID-19; one person’s risk factors are still under investigation. All patients are isolating at home and household contacts have self-quarantined.

On Sunday, March 15, DHHS received 195 specimens to be tested at the State Public Health Laboratories (PHL). Given the increase in demands on COVID-19 testing, DHHS anticipates the PHL will need up to two days conduct COVID-19 tests.

Commercial testing continues to expand to help more patients get tested through their health care providers. Some hospital laboratories are also developing local capacity to test for COVID-19. DHHS continues to communicate with healthcare providers to ensure patients and providers know how to facilitate testing through commercial labs. Commercial testing, currently available through LabCorp and Quest among others, takes 3-5 days for results.

Commercial laboratories have given assurances that any specimens sent from New Hampshire will be tested.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 16, 2020, 9:00 AM)

NH Persons with COVID-191

17

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL2

195

Total Persons Tested at NH PHL3

567

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

525


1Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).
3Includes specimens sent to CDC prior t NH PHL testing capacity.

Previous Updates

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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Access this press release: 
http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/3_16.2020%20nh%20dhhs%20covid-19%20update%20%E2%80%93%20march%2016,%202020.pdf

NH DHHS Update including New Presumptive Positive Test Result COVID-19- March 15, 2020
Sunday, March 15, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 15, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

New Hampshire residents who have questions or concerns about COVID-19 should contact 211.
What’s New

DHHS Announces New Presumptive Positive Cases of COVID-19

DHHS has announced six new presumptive positive test results for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This brings the total in New Hampshire to 13 cases. The affected persons are adults, 4 females and 2 males, and all have traveled to domestic or international locations. Five live in Rockingham County and one lives in the city of Nashua in Hillsborough County.

Governor Sununu Issues Executive Order for Temporary Remote Instruction and Support for K-12 Public Schools:
Click Here for more info

Governor Chris Sununu today issued Executive Order 2020-04, which will transition all K-12 public schools to remote instruction and support beginning Monday, March 16, through Friday, April 3, 2020. Schools will be closed to students beginning March 16 to allow districts develop a remote instruction and remote support capacity in order to transition to remote learning no later than Monday, March 23. The Department of Education will provide guidance and support to school districts as they work to develop their plans.

DHHS Recommends Child Care Centers to Remain Open

DHHS recommends that child care centers remain open. The DHHS Child Care Licensing Uint will contact licensed child care providers on March 16 to work together to address the Governor’s Executive Order issued today.

CDC Guidance for Pregnant Women, New Mothers and Infants

Pregnant women and new mothers should exercise the same universal precautions for preventing the spread of COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure. The CDC has guidance on precautions people can take to keep themselves and their families healthy, including staying home when ill, frequent handwashing, avoiding being within six feet (close contact) of a person who is sick, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. 

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report

(updated March 15, 2020, 9:00 a.m.)

NH Persons with COVID-191        13

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL2    95

Total Persons Tested at NH PHL3               379

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)         450

  1. Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
  2. Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).
  3. Includes specimens sent to CDC prior t NH PHL testing capacity.

 DHHS continues to test for COVID-19 in the NH Public Health Laboratories. DHHS is updating its website Monday through Friday to include a current summary of testing actions.

Previous Updates

NH DHHS Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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Temporary OSHA Guidance re: HealthcareProtection and N95 Filtering Facepieces
Sunday, March 15, 2020

Yesterday the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released Temporary Enforcement Guidance - Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak. The guidance can be found here:   https://www.osha.gov/memos/2020-03-14/temporary-enforcement-guidance-healthcare-respiratory-protection-annual-fit  

 A fit test is required for anyone wearing a respirator to protect against COVID-19.  Annual fit test can be temporarily suspended if employee has already been fit tested to that respirator.

See relevant bullets from memo below:

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 - March 13, 2020
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 13, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

New Hampshire residents who have questions or concerns about COVID-19 should contact 211.

What’s New

On March 13, Governor Chris Sununu declared a state of emergency for New Hampshire for the next 21 days in order to coordinate information and resources in response to the presence of COVID-19 in NH. State officials activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at the Incident Planning and Operations Center in Concord to bring together state agencies to manage response communication, coordinate responses with community partners and provide essential resources to local, state and federal healthcare and public health partners. The SEOC is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

DHHS announced a new presumptive positive test result for COVID-19 on March 13. This brings the total in New Hampshire to 7 cases. The person is an adult female from Rockingham County who notified their healthcare provider after developing symptoms. DHHS has determined that the person was at the Manchester branch of the NH Division of Motor Vehicles, at 377 South Willow Street in Manchester on March 2,3,4,5, and 10. Anyone in the Manchester DMV on those days and has developed symptoms should stay home, limit their contact with others, and immediately contact a healthcare provider. If you are not experiencing symptoms, you should self-observe for symptoms and report any by calling a healthcare provider.

The ability for residents to be tested for COVID-19 continues to increase. The State Public Health Laboratories continues to request and receive additional testing kits and supplies from the CDC to ensure capacity to test individuals potentially exposed to the virus. Commercial testing is currently available and is also set to expand to help more patients get tested through their health care providers. Some hospital laboratories are also developing local capacity to test for COVID-19. DPHS issued a Health Alert Network message on March 13 to expand guidelines for providers regarding COVID-19 testing. Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider, who will determine if testing is necessary. Providers should contact DPHS for testing facilitation. People who are sick should not report to emergency departments for clinical evaluation.

Everyone planning travel should monitor the CDC’s Travel Health Notices and avoid travel to any country with a Level 3 travel notice, which currently includes China, South Korea, Iran, and most European countries. Because of travel restrictions put in place by other countries, anybody who does travel internationally risks difficulty returning and could potentially face quarantine in that country and quarantine upon returning to New Hampshire, based on progression of the global COVID-19 outbreak. 

Because COVID-19 has become widespread in many countries around the world, and even in parts of the United States, older adults or those with chronic medical conditions should talk with their healthcare providers before travel. They should also avoid any domestic or international travel, which is consistent with guidance from the CDC, which issued a Level 2 global outbreak Travel Health Notice. Other individuals, schools, and business should also consider postponing non-essential domestic or international travel, and review the newly released guidance for those considering travel in the United States.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 14, 2020)

NH Persons with COVID-191

7

Persons with Test Pending at NH PHL2

31

Total Persons Tested at NH PHL3

250

Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

425

1 Includes specimens presumptive-positive at any laboratory and those confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2 Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).
2 Includes specimens sent to CDC prior to NH PHL testing capacity.

DHHS continues to test for COVID-19 in the NH Public Health Laboratories. DHHS is updating its website Monday through Friday to include a current summary of testing actions.

Previous Updates

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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Call in for North Country Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) Meeting, Monday March 16th
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Important Notice:

The North Country Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) meeting scheduled for Monday, March 16th @ 10 AM - 12 PM will no longer be in person. The entire meeting will be hosted virtually via phone or computer access.

This meeting will cover  Emergency Operations Planning regarding COVID-19. 

Dial-in instructions are as follows: 

Computer
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/2195289312
Meeting ID: 219 528 9312

Phone
Dial by your location:    +1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 219 528 9312

Resources for review

Click the following link or image below to access the Regional Public Health Emergency Annex (RPHEA):

Access the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Glossary of terms:

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 March 13, 2020
Friday, March 13, 2020

THIS IS AN OFFICIAL NH DHHS HEALTH ALERT

Distributed by the NH Health Alert Network

Health.Alert@nh.gov

March 13, 2020 Time 1300 (4:00 PM EDT)

NH-HAN 20200313

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak Update # 7

Key Points and Recommendations:

  1. New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) has announced a 6th COVID-19 case in a traveler from Europe. This person was rapidly identified and samples were collected with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) so community exposures are minimal.
  2. The federal government is restricting travel from Europe. All travelers from Europe now need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last day of their travel.
  3. Testing capacity is increasing at our NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL). Commercial laboratories (e.g., Quest, LabCorp) are also now testing for COVID-19, but do not collect patient samples. Some hospital laboratories are also developing local capacity to test.
  4. DPHS has developed clinical testing guidance for providers who are seeing symptomatic patients. Please review the figure below, which prioritizes testing for persons who are at highest risk of fueling community transmission.
  1. Collect the sample for testing with recommended personal protective equipment (PPE), which has been updated by the CDC.
  1. All acute care hospitals should develop plans and procedures to facilitate triage, isolation, and testing of patients with suspect COVID-19.
  1. Guidance has been developed for facilities caring for patients at high risk of complications from COVID-19: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/residents/documents/covid-19-ltcguidance.pdf.
  2. We will be hosting weekly calls to answer healthcare provider and local partner questions about COVID-19. The next discussion will be held on Thursday March 19th from 12:00 – 1:00 pm (noon hour), and calls will recur weekly. Call-in information for the Q&A session is:

Situational Update:

New Hampshire has identified 6 individuals with COVID-19; three have reported travel to Europe, and three are identified close contacts of person’s with COVID-19. To date our NH PHL has tested over 100 individuals, and more sustained community transmission has not been identified. The most updated testing numbers along with other information can be found on our NH DPHS website.

Protecting Vulnerable Populations:

Emerging data from China show that people with medical conditions and those older than 60 years are at increased risk of serious health complications and even dying if they become ill with COVID-19. A published report of more than 72,000 COVID-19 cases in China (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762130) found that 8% of patients aged 70-79 years, and 15% of patients aged 80 years or older died from infection.

Travel:

Everyone planning travel should monitor the CDC’s Travel Health Notices and avoid travel to any country with a level 3 travel notice, which currently includes China, South Korea, Iran, and most European countries. Because of travel restrictions being put in place by other countries, anybody who does travel internationally risks difficulty returning and could potentially face quarantine in another country and quarantine upon returning to New Hampshire based on progression of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Because COVID-19 has become widespread in many countries around the world, and even in parts of the United States, older adults or those with chronic medical conditions should talk with their healthcare providers before travel and avoid any domestic or international travel, which is consistent with guidance from the CDC which has issued a global Level 2 Travel Health Notice. Other individuals, schools, and business should also consider postponing non-essential domestic or international travel, and review the newly released guidance for those considering travel in the United States: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html.

Laboratory Testing for COVID-19

For guidance on collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens from patients for COVID-19, please review the CDC guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.html

To test for COVID-19 at the NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL), the provider must first report the patient to the NH DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496 (after-hours 603-271-5300). The following NH PHL Test Requisition needs to be completed and submitted with specimens: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/lab/documents/labrequisition.pdf. Commercial laboratories also now have the capacity to test for COVID-19. Any COVID-19 positive test at a hospital or commercial laboratory needs to be reported to NH DPHS at 603-271-4496 (after hours 603-271-5300).

Previously the CDC recommended collecting both a nasopharyngeal (NP) and oropharyngeal (OP) sample, and combining both specimens in a single vial of viral transport medium for testing. Going forward, the CDC is now recommending collecting only the NP swab. Lower respiratory tract specimens (e.g. sputum) should only be collected for those patients with productive coughs. Induction of sputum is not recommended. Specimens should be collected as soon as possible once a person under investigation is identified, regardless of the time of symptom onset. Maintain proper infection control when collecting specimens.

For collection of nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs, use only synthetic fiber swabs with plastic shafts. Do not use calcium alginate swabs or swabs with wooden shafts, because they may contain substances that inactivate some viruses and inhibit PCR testing. Place swabs immediately into sterile tubes containing 2-3 ml of viral transport media. Refrigerate specimen at 2-8°C prior to transport to the NH PHL for testing.

Additional Information

 

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DHHS Update

NH DHHS Announces New Presumptive Positive Test Results for COVID-19
Friday, March 13, 2020

NH Department of Health and Human Services                               

129 Pleasant Street – Hugh Gallen State Office Park

Concord, NH 03301

 

PRESS RELEASE  FOR MORE INFORMATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             State Joint Information Center

March 13, 2020 603-223-6169 | jic@dos.nh.gov

NH DHHS Announces New Presumptive Positive Test Results for COVID-19

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced a new presumptive positive test result for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This brings the total in New Hampshire to 7 cases.

The person is an adult female from Rockingham County who notified their healthcare provider after developing symptoms. There is an ongoing investigation to identify people with close contact before this individual self-isolated. Any person who has been identified as a close contact will be notified directly by DHHS. DHHS has determined that the person was at the Manchester branch of the NH Division of Motor Vehicles, at 377 South Willow Street in Manchester on the following days:

 

 

The Manchester DMV will be closed on Saturday, March 14, for enhanced cleaning and to allow DHHS to conduct the contact investigation. Any individuals who entered the Manchester DMV during those days and times may have been potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and should monitor their health for fever or respiratory illness. Any persons who were in the Manchester DMV on those days and have developed symptoms should stay home, limit their contact with others, and immediately contact their healthcare provider. Any individual who is symptomatic but does not have a healthcare provider should contact DHHS at (603) 271-4496.

Any person who develops fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) should stay home away from others and seek health advice by phone from a healthcare provider to discuss symptoms and any risk factors for COVID-19. Self-observation guidance can be found here.

Given the increasing numbers of infections globally and around the United States to protect themselves and help prevent further community spread, all persons should:

For more information on COVID-19 in NH, please visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

For the latest information from the CDC, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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NH DHHS Announces New Presumptive Positive Test Results for COVID-19
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced a new presumptive positive test result for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. There are currently 6 positive cases in New Hampshire.

The person is an adult male from Rockingham County who traveled to multiple countries in Europe. The person self-isolated upon return from Europe and notified their healthcare provider after developing symptoms. Household contacts have self-quarantined.

DHHS conducted an investigation into this person’s activities and has determined the person has been isolated at home since returning to New Hampshire except to seek healthcare. NH DHHS has not identified any person other than household contacts in New Hampshire who may have been in close contact with this person while infectious.

Despite increased testing in our communities, the NH DHHS has not yet identified any widespread transmission in NH nor individuals who test positive without clearly identified risk factors (e.g. travel or contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case). Any person who develops fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) should stay home away from others and seek health advice by phone from a healthcare provider to discuss symptoms and any risk factors for COVID-19.

Given the increasing numbers of infections globally and around the United States, all persons should:

For more information on COVID-19 in NH, please visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm. For the latest information from the CDC, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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State Launches 2-1-1 COVID-19 Hotline
Thursday, March 12, 2020

 
For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2020

Contact:
Ben Vihstadt
Benjamin.Vihstadt@nh.gov
603-271-2121
 
CONCORD, NH - Today, Governor Chris Sununu, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management, announced that 211NH has been mobilized to handle all COVID-19 related calls from New Hampshire residents. All residents with questions or concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak can call 2-1-1.

"211NH will serve as a coordinated and streamlined process for any Granite Stater concerned about the coronavirus,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Now that it is up and running, any New Hampshire residents can call with questions or concerns. I would like to thank the folks at Granite United Way and Public Health for working around the clock to stay on top of this evolving public health situation by making this critical resource available 24/7."

"It is important during an outbreak that residents get the information they need to protect their health and the health of their community," said HHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette. "2-1-1 provides that resource for our residents to get the most up to date and accurate information about the presence of coronavirus in New Hampshire."

211NH is New Hampshire's statewide, comprehensive, information and referral service operated by Granite United Way and will replace the current Department of Public Health Hotline (603-271-4496) for COVID-19 related questions.
 
Members of the media and local city and town officials, as well as emergency management officials should still call the state’s Joint Information Center. 

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NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 - March 12, 2020
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 12, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

DHHS announces a sixth presumptive positive test result for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The patient is an adult from Rockingham County, who had recently traveled to Europe. The individual has remained at home since returning from travel, and all of the person’s close contacts are in self-isolation.

New Hampshire residents who have concerns about COVID-19 can call 2-1-1.  Information and referral specialists are on hand to direct people to the appropriate resources. NH 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Outside of New Hampshire, call 1-866-444-4211.

Current Situation in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 12, 2020, 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons Confirmed 1

2

Number of Persons Presumptive Positive, awaiting CDC confirmation 2

4

Number of Persons with Test Pending in PHL 3

21

Number of Persons Tested (closed, tested negative)

94

Total Number of Persons Provided Specimens

121

Number of Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

275

1Includes specimens confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens tested at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL) and other laboratories.
3Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).

DHHS continues to test for COVID-19 in the NH Public Health Laboratories. DHHS is updating its website Monday through Friday to include a current summary of testing actions.

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

Previous Updates

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NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 - March 11, 2020
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 11, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

DHHS is closely monitoring the global COVID-19 outbreak and emerging science in order to minimize the impact to the health of our population, including rapid identification, isolation, and testing of people with suspect COVID-19. DHHS is issuing the following updated guidance for our communities.

The State Public Health Laboratories (PHL) has increased its COVID-19 testing capacity after receiving additional testing supplies from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The additional supplies will allow the PHL to test an additional 250 people who have been determined to qualify for testing.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department has issued an order requiring New Hampshire insurers to cover costs associated with testing for COVID-19 without cost sharing. The order includes information on actions insurers are advised, or required to take, including keeping residents informed about available benefits, telehealth options when possible, and expanding access to prescription medication refills.

The New Hampshire Joint Information Center has reached out to local emergency management directors, and police and fire chiefs in order to provide coordinated assistance and information around COVID-19. The JIC will serve as an information hub, streamlining the process of keeping local partners informed. 

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 11, 2020, 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons Confirmed 1

2

Number of Persons Presumptive Positive, awaiting CDC confirmation 2

3

Number of Persons with Test Pending in PHL 3

11

Number of Persons Tested (closed, tested negative)

74

Total Number of Persons Provided Specimens

90

Number of Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

250

1Includes specimens confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens tested at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL) and other reference laboratories.
3Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).

DHHS continues to test for COVID-19 in the NH Public Health Laboratories. DHHS is updating its website Monday through Friday to include a current summary of testing actions.

Previous Updates

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive 

Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, residents should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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NH DHHS Announces One New Presumptive Positive Test Result for COVID-19
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announces the fifth presumptive positive test result in New Hampshire for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This person is an adult male from Rockingham County and is self-isolated at home. Any household contacts are self-quarantining. 

This person was identified as a contact to a case of COVID-19 in another state. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health tested and notified NH DHHS of the presumptive positive case.

DHHS is conducting an investigation into this person’s activities and has determined they remained at home while ill except to seek healthcare. NH DHHS will notify any persons who may have been in close contact with this person while infectious.

Despite increased testing in our communities, the NH DHHS has not yet identified any widespread transmission in NH nor individuals who test positive without clearly identified risk factors (e.g. travel or contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case). Any person who develops fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) should stay home away from others and seek health advice by phone from a healthcare provider to discuss symptoms and any risk factors for COVID-19. Given the increasing numbers of infections globally and around the United States, all persons should:

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 - March 10, 2020
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 10, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

DHHS is closely monitoring the global COVID-19 outbreak and emerging science in order to minimize the impact to the health of our population, including rapid identification, isolation, and testing of people with suspect COVID-19. DHHS is issuing the following updated guidance for our communities.

DHHS and the NH Department of Education (DOE) continue to work collaboratively to help school districts protect their school communities and address COVID-19 concerns, particularly for school districts who have school trips scheduled. Updated guidance for educational trips can be found at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/documents/school-trip-guidance.pdf.

Because of the rapidly changing situation, DHHS and DOE recommend that schools closely scrutinize the purpose and destination of any planned travel and consider postponing any out-of-state travel for the time being. Because of travel restrictions in place in other countries, anybody who travels internationally risks difficulty returning and could potentially face quarantine in another country (e.g. Italy) and/or quarantine upon returning to New Hampshire based on the progression of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

A number of individuals have completed their quarantines and currently show no signs of illness, including those who participated in school trips to impacted areas. The cooperation and compliance of these individuals and their families has prevented potential spread of COVID-19. We thank them for exercising these important preventive measures that protect the health of their neighbors and communities.

Current Situation in NH

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report
(updated March 10, 2020, 9:00 AM)

Number of Persons Confirmed 1

2

Number of Persons Presumptive Positive, awaiting CDC confirmation 2

3

Number of Persons with Test Pending in PHL 3

10

Number of Persons Tested (closed, tested negative)

53

Total Number of Persons Provided Specimens

68

Number of Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time)

228

1Includes specimens confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2Includes specimens tested at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL) and other reference laboratories.
3Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).

DHHS continues to test for COVID-19 in the NH Public Health Laboratories. DHHS is updating its website Monday through Friday to include a current summary of testing actions.

Previous Updates

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, residents should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 - March 9, 2020
Monday, March 9, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following update for March 9, 2020, on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

DHHS is closely monitoring the global COVID-19 outbreak and emerging science in order to minimize the impact to the health of our population, including rapid identification, isolation, and testing of people with suspect COVID-19. DHHS is issuing the following updated guidance for our communities.

Emerging data from China show that people with medical conditions and those older than 60 years are at increased risk of serious health complications and even dying if they become ill with COVID-19. Everyone should monitor the CDC’s Travel Health Notices and avoid travel to any country with a level 3 travel notice (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea). Older adults and those with other medical conditions should talk with their healthcare providers before any domestic or international travel and consider postponing travel to minimize their risk from COVID-19.

DHHS and the NH Department of Education (DOE) continue to work collaboratively to help school districts protect students and communities, and address COVID-19 concerns. We offer and update many resources available both through the DOE and DHHS. The most recent school guidance from DHHS can be found here. As the global COVID-19 epidemic unfolds, there are likely to be more people in NH identified with COVID-19, and close contacts will be asked to stay home and self-quarantine, which may directly affect students and school staff.

NH DHHS will continue to have a scientifically-based and collaborative response that balances reducing risk of disease transmission with school continuity. When DHHS identifies risk from COVID-19 to a school community that warrants closure, DOE and DHHS will collaboratively alert and advise the impacted SAU. Currently, there is no recommendation for 

any school to close over COVID-19 concerns. We continue to work with the NH DOE to keep school communities updated. It is critical that school districts coordinate their COVID-19 response with DHHS and DOE to make informed decisions to protect their communities.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 is Town Meeting Day in New Hampshire. To help prevent potential spread of COVID-19 at town meeting locations, the New Hampshire Secretary of State has provided the most recent CDC polling location guidance to town election officials. The above public health recommendations apply to all polling workers and attendees. In addition, the CDC recommends election officials implement the following COVID-19 precautions for town meeting locations:

Current Situation in NH

New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report (updated March 9, 2020, 1:00 p.m.)

Total Number of Persons Tested 56
Number of Confirmed Case(s) 1 2
Number of Persons Tested (current, presumptive positive) 3 2
Number of Persons Being Tested (current, test pending) 2 8
Number of Persons Tested (closed, tested negative) 44
Number of Persons Being Monitored in NH (approximate point in time) 225

1 Includes specimens confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.
2 Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).
3 Includes specimens that have tested presumptive positive at NH PHL and are in route to CDC for confirmatory testing.

DHHS continues to test for COVID-19 in the NH Public Health Laboratories. DHHS is updating its website Monday through Friday to include a current summary of testing actions.

Previous Updates

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, residents should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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NH DHHS Issues Summary of March 8th Media Briefing
Sunday, March 8, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following summary of today’s press briefing. 

On March 8, DHHS held a press briefing to discuss the two new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, one in Rockingham County and one in Grafton County. State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan and Beth Daly, Chief of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, discussed the COVID-19 investigation in New Hampshire and steps residents can take to limit further spread of the coronavirus in the state.

Summary of Dr. Chan’s remarks

Summary of Beth Daly’s remarks

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NH DHHS Announces Two New Presumptive Positive Test Results for COVID-19
Saturday, March 7, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced two new presumptive positive test results for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

DHHS will hold a press conference on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 10:30 am at the Division of Public Health Services, 29 Hazen Drive in Concord.

One patient is an adult male from Grafton County who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Hope Bible Fellowship at 114 Seminary Hill in West Lebanon, NH on March 1st at the morning service. Due to symptoms, this individual underwent testing at our public health laboratories today. The church has cancelled services and is working with NH DPHS to advise everyone who attended a coffee social at 9 AM or the worship services at 10 AM on Sunday March 1st to stay home and avoid contact with others for 14 days (through March 15th) and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who attended the March 1 social or service and has developed symptoms of fever or respiratory illness should immediately stay home and distance themselves from household members and contact the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496 (after-hours: 603-271-5300).

Instructions for people to self-quarantine are available at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/documents/self-quarantine-covid.pdf. The second patient is an adult male from Rockingham County who traveled to Italy. Due to symptoms consistent with COVID-19, this individual underwent testing today at our Public Health Laboratories.

DHHS is investigating to identify and notify individuals who may have been in close contact with either individual.

"These new cases broaden our investigation and our public health team is working to try and prevent further community transmission,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. It is important for anybody in our communities who may have fever or other respiratory symptoms to practice social distancing and stay home when ill. We continue to work with hospitals and community organizations to respond to this challenging global COVID-19 outbreak."

DHHS conducted COVID-19 testing for both people today at the State Public Health Laboratories. Specimens from both patients will be sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmatory testing. The two patients are isolated at home and being monitored by public health staff professionals. DHHS is investigating to identify and notify individuals who may have been in close contact with either individual.

Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, all people should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:

•           Stay home and avoid public places when sick (i.e. social distancing)

•           Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing

•           Wash hands frequently

•           Avoid being within 6 feet (close contact) of a person who is sick

•           Avoid sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva

•           Disinfect frequently touched surfaces

For more information on COVID-19 in NH, please visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm. For the latest information from the CDC, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.  

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NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 - March 6, 2020
Friday, March 6, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today is issuing the following update on the new coronavirus, COVID-19. DHHS will continue to issue COVID-19 updates each day to provide media and the public with current information about the State’s efforts.

What’s New

On March 5, the Metropolitan Medical Response System, a highly-trained volunteer corps affiliated with DHHS, deployed to Lebanon to collect specimens from people determined to be potentially at risk for COVID-19. MMRS deployment was enabled by the Declaration of a Public Health Incident issued by DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette (see March 4 Daily Update). Specimens were collected from three community members for COVID-19 testing. MMRS is comprised of volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, EMTs, mental health professionals and non-medical personnel who provide medical support during public health events.

Household members such as family members, including children, of quarantined individuals are not required to quarantine. As long as they remain asymptomatic, they can leave the home and can go to public places like school and work. If the person being quarantined develops illness, household members must then also stay home on quarantine.

The State Public Health Laboratories (PHL) is now able to increase COVID-19 testing capacity after receiving additional testing supplies from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The additional supplies will allow the PHL to test an additional 200 people who have been determined to qualify for testing in order be able to meet future demand for COVID-19 tests.

Testing capacity is also set to expand due to an announcement from Quest Diagnostics, the world’s largest diagnostic testing provider, that beginning Monday, March 9, it will make testing available to patients through their healthcare provider.

On March 5, the U.S. Senate approved legislation to provide $8.3 billion for COVID-19 response. Once the bill is signed by the President, the CDC will notify DHHS when the funding is available for NH. Information from the CDC on allowable uses of the funds is pending and the State will provide information on how the funds will be utilized to support the State’s and our communities’ response to COVID-19.

Current Situation in NH

 New Hampshire 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary Report (updated March 6, 2020, 9:00 a.m.)

Total Number of Persons Tested 25
Number of Confirmed Case(s) 1 0
Number of Persons Being Tested
(current, test pending) 2
3
Number of Persons Tested
(current, presumptive positive) 3
2
Number of Persons Tested
(closed, tested negative)
20

1 Includes specimens confirmed by CDC confirmatory testing.

2 Includes specimens received and awaiting testing at NH Public Health Laboratories (PHL).
3 Includes specimens that have tested presumptive positive at NH PHL and are in route to CDC for confirmatory testing.

DHHS continues to test for COVID-19 in the NH Public Health Laboratories. DHHS is updating its website every morning around 9:00 am to include a current summary of testing actions.

Previous Updates

NH DHHS Daily Update on COVID-19 Archive

Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, residents should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions Last Updated: March 6, 2020
Friday, March 6, 2020

The purpose of this document is to provide public health and community partners with frequently asked questions and answers that may be used to assist in responding to inquiries from their communities.

Click on the link or image below to access this document: 

 

NH DHHS Announces Second Presumptive Positive Case of COVID-19 and Update on Case Investigation Concerning First Presumptive Positive Case
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced the second presumptive positive test result in New Hampshire for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new 2019 coronavirus. This individual is an adult male from Grafton County who was in close contact with the first person to test positive for COVID-19 and is currently isolated at home. DHHS is awaiting confirmation of two presumptive positive test results by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DHHS has begun a contact investigation for the second person who tested positive. We expect additional cases may be identified that are related to this investigation.

 The contact investigation for the first person identified as a presumptive positive case of the new coronavirus, COVID-19 was initiated as soon as the person was identified for testing. Through the course of the investigation, DHHS has determined that the first patient, despite having been directed to self-isolate, attended an invitation-only private event on Friday, February 28. DHHS has issued an official order of isolation to the first patient under RSA-141-C:11. DHHS is contacting attendees who had close contact with the person during the event and notifying them to follow the recommended 14-day self-isolation.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) has announced that the first person identified as a positive case is an employee. DHMC has identified staff who may have been exposed through close contact with the patient and will monitor those individuals’ self-monitoring or self-isolating. At this time, DHMC is not aware of exposure to any patients in clinical areas.

DHHS is managing the investigation into individuals in the community who may have been exposed to the virus. Any people determined to have been in close contact with the patient have been identified and are being notified. DHHS recommends that those individuals self-quarantine for 14 days after the day they were potentially exposed. Any person who develops fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) should stay home away from other people and seek health advice by phone from either a healthcare provider or the NH DHHS at 603-271-4496 (after-hours 603-271-5300).

Any person who has not been contacted by DHHS but is concerned they may have been exposed to the virus should self-observe for symptoms. Instructions for people to self-observe for symptoms of COVID-19 are available here: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/documents/2019-coronavirus-self-observation-guidelines.pdf.

If people develop symptoms such as fever or respiratory symptoms, they should contact a healthcare provider or the DHHS Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496.

DHHS continues to test for COVID-19 in the NH Public Health Laboratories. In addition to the presumptive positive test result, six tests have been conducted and identified as negative for the virus, and four tests are pending. DHHS is updating its website each morning by 9:00 am to include a current summary of testing actions.

Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, residents should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:

For more information, please visit the DHHS COVID-19 webpage at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm.

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What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Monday, March 2, 2020

Click the link or image below to access the Corona Virus fact sheet from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): 

Fourth Person in New Hampshire is Being Tested for COVID-19 ~~Individual developed symptoms after travel to Italy~~
Sunday, March 1, 2020

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced a fourth person in New Hampshire who is being tested for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The illness caused by the new coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province China, and has since spread to at least 50 other countries, including the U.S. The person recently returned from travel to Italy and notified their healthcare provider after developing fever and respiratory symptoms within 14 days of travel. They are currently isolated and being monitored by public health clinicians and do not currently pose a threat to the public’s health. Preliminary COVID-19 test results are expected possibly as early as tomorrow. There have not been any cases of COVID-19 yet identified in New Hampshire.

 "We have heard concerns from communities about returning travelers from countries outside of China that are currently experiencing widespread transmission of COVID-19, such as Italy" said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. "Any returning travelers from countries that currently have a CDC travel advisory due to sustained or widespread COVID-19 transmission should monitor their health closely for development of fever or respiratory symptoms. If such symptoms develop within 14 days of travel to an affected country, the individual should seek health advice by phone from their healthcare provider and limit their contact with others. There is not currently a recommendation that individuals who have traveled to countries other than China should self-quarantine, but given the rapidly changing epidemic, these recommendations could change as the CDC adapts their response and traveler monitoring procedures. We are aware that some schools have students who traveled to Italy over February break and have instructed their students to stay home for 14 days from travel to affected regions. We will support schools in taking steps to protect their communities during this very dynamic and challenging situation, and we have released interim guidance to help school communities to address questions and concerns."

Guidance to schools can be found here: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/documents/2019-coronavirus-schools-02292020.pdf

Instructions for returning travelers to self-observe for symptoms of COVID-19 are available here: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/documents/2019-coronavirus-self-observation-guidelines.pdf

DHHS has additionally worked to develop COVID-19 testing capabilities in the New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories (PHL) and has expedited the implementation process to ensure the State has the capacity to perform the test. Previously, all testing for COVID-19 was conducted by the CDC. We anticipate our PHL having testing capacity for COVID-19 by Monday March 2nd. The CDC is still conducting confirmatory tests on any presumptive positive test results to confirm states’ findings.

"We have asked all healthcare providers to screen patients presenting to healthcare facilities with fever or respiratory symptoms to determine whether those patients’ have traveled to countries identified with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 so that we can rapidly identify, isolate, and test patients with suspect COVID-19," continued Dr. Chan. "As we implement the COVID-19 test at our Public Health Laboratories this week, and given the global expansion of the COVID-19 epidemic, we expect more testing to take place in the coming weeks as we work to identify infections and prevent spread in our communities."

The U.S. expects to detect more introductions of COVID-19 through travel, as well as more person-to-person spread and community transmission of this virus. The CDC and New Hampshire are conducting aggressive containment efforts, including ongoing use of isolation and quarantine measures to decrease introductions and spread of the virus.

Because COVID-19, and all respiratory illnesses, are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, residents should take the same precautions as those recommended to prevent the spread of influenza:

      Stay home and avoid public places when sick (i.e. social distancing)

      Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing

      Wash hands frequently

      Avoid being within 6 feet (close contact) of a person who is sick

      Avoid sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva

      Disinfect frequently touched surfaces

There is sustained and widespread transmission of COVID-19 in several countries. The CDC has currently issued travel advisories for the following countries, but given the rapidly changing situation, these advisories are frequently changing:

      Level 3 Travel Warning (avoid all nonessential travel due to widespread community transmission): China, Iran, Italy and South Korea

      Level 2 Travel Alert (practice enhanced precautions due to sustained community transmission): Japan

      Level 1 Travel Watch (practice usual precautions but limited community spread has been reported): Hong Kong

For more information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. For the latest information from the CDC, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information for Businesses
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Many business organizations within New Hampshire are concerned about how the current outbreak of COVID-19 in China and other countries will impact their communities and are seeking ways to stay healthy. The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (NH DPHS) is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support our communities and medical providers by developing guidance and education materials.

What is the difference between seasonal coronaviruses and the virus causing COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses but there are different types of coronavirus within that family. Some frequently cause the common cold, but the virus causing COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus that we believe moved from animals into humans and is infecting people for the first time.

What are common symptoms of COVID-19?
For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

How is COVID-19 spread?
This virus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets (such as occur when an infected person coughs). Risk for transmission between people is highest with close contact (e.g., family members, healthcare settings).

 How is COVID-19 infection prevented or treated?
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent infection with this virus, and there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended once infected. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

How should businesses prepare for the potential of coronavirus in their community?

What preventive measures can employees and customers take to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses?
Employees and customers should follow these steps to prevent the spread of respiratory infections:

What precautions should be taken for employees who traveled internationally?
Employees should avoid all travel to any locations for which CDC has issued a Level 3 travel notice. See CDC travel notice website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

Employees who have returned from mainland China are being monitored by public health authorities and must stay home for 14 days after their arrival.

Employees who have returned from other locations with travel notices for COVID-19 may continue to attend work. They should be counseled that if symptoms develop (e.g. fever, cough, or shortness of breath), they should:

Business cleaning procedures
Businesses should routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

Where can I go for the most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 outbreak?
Outbreaks involving COVID-19 evolve quickly and recommendations from public health officials may change as new information becomes available. Please check the following websites often for updated information:

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NH DHHS Continues Working with Healthcare Providers, Emergency Responders to Prepare for Potential Coronavirus Activity
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

CONCORD, NH - No New Hampshire residents have tested positive for COVID 19. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is taking steps to prepare for potential community spread of the new coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 in New Hampshire. There are also steps New Hampshire residents can take now to protect themselves.

“The COVID-19 outbreak was first identified in China, and it has since spread to multiple other counties, which has appropriately caused concern about the potential impact on our New Hampshire communities. We have not yet identified any cases of COVID-19 in our State, and we have been working closely with our healthcare partners to be able to rapidly identify any individuals suspected of having COVID-19 in order to prevent further spread of this new virus,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “Given what we have seen in other countries, it is certainly possible that we could see community spread at some point in the U.S. and New Hampshire. Therefore, we continue to work with hospitals, emergency responders, community organizations, local health departments and public health partners to ensure they are prepared and have the resources they need to respond if and when the virus is present in New Hampshire.”

To date, NH DHHS key activities have included:

• Activating our Incident Management Team to coordinate our public health response with emergency services, homeland security officials, and other public health partners

• Identifying and investigating people with suspect COVID-19 and their close contacts

• Implementing illness monitoring and quarantine for travelers returning from mainland China

• Preparing and shipping specimens to CDC for testing while simultaneously working with CDC to implement the testing locally here in the NH Public Health Laboratories

• Providing technical guidance and information to healthcare and public health partners through health alerts, written guidance and webinars

• Informing the public on prevention measures through media interviews and social media posts

• Planning for future potential for community transmission in the United States including addressing needs for medical surge, community mitigation, and providing housing, transportation, and wrap-around services (e.g. food) for people under isolation or quarantine due to illness or exposure

• Maintaining situational awareness for 2019 Novel Coronavirus across the globe and providing updates to stakeholders

• Maintaining daily communications with federal partners including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and other national organizations

• Maintaining regular communications with other state agencies, local health departments, and other partners

• Informing the public on respiratory disease prevention measures through media interviews and social media posts

“This is a rapidly changing situation and we are working closely with our federal, State and local partners to collectively address the challenges of COVID-19,” Dr. Chan continued. “We are closely monitoring the outbreak and remain committed to working with concerned residents, communities and health care providers so we can be prepared to respond and protect the health and well-being of our communities.”

To protect themselves against this new coronavirus and the many different respiratory viruses that we know circulate this time of year in New Hampshire, NH DHHS continues to recommend that all residents take the following precautions:

• Stay home and avoid public places when sick (i.e. social distancing)

• Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing

• Wash hands frequently

• Avoid being within 6 feet (close contact) of a person who is sick

• Avoid sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva

• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces

For more information on COVID-19, including webinars, health alerts and fact sheets, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.

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Mental Health First Aid Rescheduled for March 16th!
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Due to inclement weather predicted for Wednesday evening February 26th into Thursday evening February 27th throughout the region, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training has been rescheduled.  Monday, March 16th is the new date for MHFA. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. Participation in this training is still available (and free of charge). Register online: http://bit.ly/MHFA-Feb2020

NCHC's Spring 2020 Community Health Worker Training open for registration
Monday, February 10, 2020

North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) has opened registration for its Spring 2020 Community Health Worker Training, beginning on March 5th in Littleton, for community members who wish to enhance their practical skills and knowledge for work in a Community Health role.

The upcoming 9-week CHW course will jump start and sharpen participants' skills and know-how to be a Community Health Worker (or other roles under the CHW umbrella) for a current job— or for entering a new field or volunteer opportunity that positions them to help individuals, families, and/or communities to improve their health, find and access needed services, and improve conditions for health. Though not an exhaustive list, some of the types of roles and functions found in the community, which fall under the CHW umbrella, are patient advocate, outreach worker, home visitor, and other positions that provide coaching, social support, or care coordination. Past participants of the CHW Trainings have included individuals who work for health or social service organizations and have been sent by their employer for job training, as well as those who have pursued opportunities that put their new CHW skills to work.

NCHC's Community Health Worker Training meets weekly on Thursdays, between March 5th – April 30th, from 9 AM – 3:30 PM. Aligned with current National standards of Community Health Worker core competencies, the course curriculum covers: Communication strategies, care connections, CHW processes, health-related topics, resource building, problem solving, action planning, and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Referred to as "change talk," MI is an evidence-based style of collaborative communication that helps people resolve their ambivalence in order to move towards behavior change. The dedicated Motivational Interviewing segment of the CHW Training spans two days on the Thursday and Friday of March 19th and 20th, from 9 AM – 4 PM, each day.

Enrollment in CHW Training is $950.00, which covers the cost of the course and materials. To learn more about NCHC's upcoming Community Health Worker Training, or to register, visit: http://bit.ly/Spring2020CHW. If you have any questions about the Community Health Worker Training Program, contact: chw@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-4669.

 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, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700.

Community Health Worker (CHW) training for Spring 2020 begins on March 5th at the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) in Littleton for community members who wish to enhance their practical skills and knowledge for work in a Community Health role. To sign up for the 9-week training, click the link to register online: http://bit.ly/Spring2020CHW

Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop series offered at Weeks Medical Center, free of charge
Thursday, January 23, 2020

Are you living with or caring for a loved one with a chronic condition(s), such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, COPD, chronic pain, or anxiety? Join the Better Choices, Better Health Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop to gain support and find practical ways to help manage your health, keep active, and feel more in charge of your life—or help a loved one to do so. Sign up for free by calling: (603)259-4805.

Better Choices, Better Health is a program created and tested at Stanford University, with proven results. Program participants have been shown to improve in areas such as exercise, general health, fatigue, and spending fewer days in the hospital. Meeting once per week for six weeks, participants will be guided to make weekly action plans, share experiences, and help each other solve problems they come across in creating and carrying out their self-management program. Topics covered during the class series include: techniques to deal with difficult emotions, fatigue, and pain; exercise tips for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, endurance and preventing falls; medication usage; communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals; nutrition and weight management; action-planning, decision-making … and more!

The upcoming Better Choices, Better Health workshop will take place at Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster on Mondays from 1:00 – 3:30 PM on the following dates: February 17, 24 & March 2, 9, 16, and 23. Space is limited. Register for free online: http://bit.ly/BCBH-Weeks. Contact the program leaders, John at (603) 259-4805, or Amber at (603) 259-4804.

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers serving northern New Hampshire. To learn more about Community Health Worker services, the Ways2Wellness CONNECT program, and other initiatives of NCHC, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700.

 

Community Health Workers from the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), John Gilbert (left) and Amber Culver (right) will be holding a six-week class series, Better Choices, Better Health Chronic Disease Self-management Program at Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster on Mondays from 1:00 – 3:30 PM beginning  February 17th. This free class is offered to anyone who is managing a chronic condition(s)—such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, COPD, chronic pain, or anxiety— or is a caretaker for someone else who is. Sign up by calling: (603)259-4805

Pleasure Unwoven film screening followed by panel discussion on January 22nd to shift understanding of addiction
Friday, January 3, 2020

Stand Up Androscoggin Valley (SUAV) together with the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) invites the community to a free screening of the film, Pleasure Unwoven, followed by a panel discussion to understand addiction as a disorder of the brain. The event is on January 22nd  from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the Medallion Opera House in Gorham. As the 4th Pleasure Unwoven screening event offered in the North Country, it is part of the "North Country Speaks Recovery" campaign launched by NCHC to shift the community understanding of substance use disorder and to increase recovery support for residents.

On Wednesday, January 22nd, doors to the Medallion Opera House will open at 5:00 PM, providing time to visit resource fair tables before opening remarks at 5:30 PM. All attendees are encouraged to join the panel discussion at 7:00 PM. The panel will include, Dr. Lars Nielson, the prescribing physician for both Doorways in Littleton and Berlin, as well as representatives from Coos County Family Health Services, the Family Resource Center of Coos and Northern Grafton County, and other local experts, people in recovery, and their family members.

"To study addiction is to look at some of the basic concepts of what it means to be human," said producer, Dr. Kevin McCauley, of his film, Pleasure Unwoven, a personal journey about addiction. "Pleasure, memories, our genes, our ability to cope with stress, even free-will itself takes place in an organ that embodies who we are; addiction is a disorder of the brain."

Any questions about the event can be directed to Heidi Ballentine, Community & Professional Education Coordinator of the Wellness And Recovery Model (WARM) at North Country Health Consortium: hballentine@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-1744.

This event is being supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number D04RH31641 for the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program and grant number H1URH32387 for the Rural Health Opioid Program. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) 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 the Wellness And Recovery Model (WARM) and other NCHC programs supporting substance misuse prevention and substance use disorders, visit NCHCNH.org.

Pleasure Unwoven, a film that provides an in-depth look at the debate over whether or not addiction can really be considered a disease, is coming to Gorham on Wednesday, January 22nd from 5 – 8 PM at the Medallion Opera House. The event, including a panel discussion of local addiction and recovery experts, as well as people in recovery and their families, is being offered in the North Country as part of the “North Country Speaks Recovery” campaign launched by the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC).

Prevention is... NCHC's 2019 Annual Report available in digital format!
Thursday, December 12, 2019

This year, for the North Country Health Consortium’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Annual Report, the NCHC team rallied around the theme of Prevention— a term used in its broadest sense, and across all of NCHC's diverse program areas. In highlighting what "Prevention is…" we realize that we have certainly covered a lot of ground and had much to celebrate in 2019 alongside our collaborating partners and communities! Looking forward to 2020, we invite you to reflect back on 2019 with us as you peruse the pages of NCHC’s 2019 Annual Report:

Prevention Is... Hear from North Country Prevention champions!
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

What is prevention? The following video produced by NCHC's Substance Misuse Prevention team was featured in November at North Country Health Consortium's 2019 Annual Meeting. We invite you to hear more about what Prevention is from some of the community-level faces of prevention in  North Country communities:

NCHC invites Partners & Friends to Celebrate Prevention at its 2019 Annual Meeting!
Monday, November 4, 2019

Partners, Friends, and Community Members -

Please join the North Country Health Consortium to celebrate another year of growth and achievement at NCHC’s 2019 Annual Meeting!

The theme of the event this year is Prevention, in the North Country and across NCHC programs. We will be taking a look back to highlight What Prevention Is... and how this past year of collaboration, and initiatives encapsulates Prevention!

NCHC is pleased to welcome our Featured Speakers...

- Tym Rourke, Director of New Hampshire Tomorrow, a comprehensive partnership bringing together hundreds of organizations and businesses towards a single goal: increasing opportunities so that young people can reach their potential and be ready to contribute to New Hampshire’s communities and workforce.

- Kerry Nolte, Clinical Assistant Professor, Harm Reduction Education & Technical Assistance Project Director of UNH Nursing.

Breakfast & lunch will be provided.

Please register online BY Tuesday, November 5th: http://bit.ly/PreventionisNCHC2019 

Questions? Contact Karen: khoyt@NCHCNH.org

Senator Shaheen attends roundtable discussion with HASMPC members
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

On October 8th, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen visited Woodsville to learn more about the Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant and its impact on the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC), a DFC grant recipient under the administrative home of the North Country Health Consortium, a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton.

 At the end of September, NCHC staff members, including Mariah Coulstring, Drug Free Communities Program Coordinator for HASMPC, had attended a legislative forum in Milford where she presented the Coalition’s accomplishments alongside other DFC grantees from across the state advocating for their programs. After the presentation, Senator Shaheen approached the NCHC team and requested the opportunity to come to the North Country to learn more about HASMPC and personally hear from members of the Coalition. 

Gathered around the table to meet Senator Shaheen and members of her staff that afternoon at Woodsville High School were Chief Executive Officer of NCHC, Nancy Frank, who provided introductions, SAU 23 Superintendent, Laurie Melanson, who followed to welcome the group, as well as Woodsville High School students and members of Youth Leadership Through Adventure (YLTA). One by one, attending HASMPC members provided a historical timeline for the Coalition, including relevant statistics of youth substance use, and highlighted the Coalition’s priorities and initiatives throughout the tenure of the DFC grant: Drug Take Back Day, various chem-free community events, sticker shock campaigns, and community education sessions, including opportunities to learn about the dangers of vaping and detecting drug use and risky behaviors in teens for parents.

"Reaching young people through prevention and educational initiatives is fundamental to turning the tide of the substance use disorder epidemic," said Shaheen via Facebook following her October 8th visit, "I’ll continue to work across the aisle to support youth prevention programs such as the DFC program."

The Mission of the HASMPC is "to reduce and prevent substance abuse among youth by working together to build a healthy, safe and drug-free community." The Coalition is made up of citizen stakeholders representing 12 different sectors, including, state and local government, substance misuse organizations, youth, parents, business, media, schools, youth serving organizations, law enforcement, civic organizations, religious organizations, and healthcare.

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 Prevention Network, visit: www.nchcnh.org or call (603)259-3700. Find the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC) on Facebook to stay up to date on Coalition activities: https://www.facebook.com/hasmpc/

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen visited the North Country to attend a roundtable discussion at Woodsville High School on October 8th with members of the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC), North Country Health Consortium, and Youth Leadership Through Adventure (YLTA).

 

Following a roundtable discussion at Woodsville High School to discuss the impact of Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant funding on the local community and the accomplishments of the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC), Shaheen paused for a photo op with Coalition members (Front, left to right): Don Waterman, Wells River Village Trustee and 302 Cares Coalition liaison, Kaycee Reagan, Junior at Woodsville High School and HASMPC’s Youth Sector Representative, Karen Woods, Administrative Director of Cottage Hospital and HASMPC Chair, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Mariah Coulstring, HASMPC Program Coordinator, Nancy Frank, CEO of North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), (Back, left to right): Shauna Kimball, Bridge Weekly, Sherri Sargent, Director of Haverhill Recreation Center, Mike Strauch, Dean of Students at Woodsville High School, Steve Robbins, EMT of Woodsville Rescue Ambulance, Marcie Hornick, Grafton County Attorney.

North Country Health Consortium earns three-year CARF accreditation
Friday, September 6, 2019

A CARF three-year accreditation was awarded to the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) for its Residential, Intensive Outpatient, and Outpatient Substance Use Disorder Treatment programs. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is an international accreditor of health and human services providers. CARF’s decision to designate three years to the Consortium represents the highest level of accreditation that can be granted to an organization.

"This achievement is truly a testament to our entire organization and team at large," said Nancy Frank, Chief Executive Officer of the North Country Health Consortium. "NCHC’s overarching mission to improve the health status of Northern New Hampshire means not only do we care for individuals, taking a genuine, person-centered approach with our clients accessing services for substance use disorder, but we’re also mindful that our programming must be supported by a strong organizational foundation in order to do this important work."

 As described on CARF International’s website, "The CARF accreditation process starts with an organization’s commitment to continuous improvement and culminates with external review and recognition that the business and service practices meet international standards of quality—with all the steps in between focused on optimal outcomes for the persons served and sustained organizational success."

 During NCHC’s review, CARF surveyors visited all NCHC locations, including the North Country Health Consortium’s headquarters in Littleton, the Friendship House residential substance use disorder clinical services treatment facility in Bethlehem, and satellite sites in Berlin, Woodsville, and Center Conway. In addition to interviewing staff, as well as community partners, clients, and their families, surveyors evaluate organizational practices and review appropriate policies against rigorous CARF standards that champion quality care, services, and safety for clients seeking recovery.

 North Country Health Consortium offers Residential treatment and Intensive Outpatient services for substance use disorder at its 28-bed residential facility, Friendship House, in Bethlehem. Outpatient substance use disorder services are also available at NCHC’s satellite locations in Berlin, Woodsville, and Center Conway. If you would like to speak to an Intake Coordinator about entering treatment and the appropriate recovery pathway for you or a loved one, call: (603) 869-2210

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. To learn more about NCHC’s Substance Use Disorder Clinical Services and other programs, visit NCHCNH.org.

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) team came together to celebrate NCHC’s recent receipt of a CARF three-year accreditation for its Residential, Intensive Outpatient, and Outpatient Substance Use Disorder Treatment programs, demonstrating its commitment to quality care and outcomes for clients seeking recovery for substance use disorder and continued organizational success. If you would like to speak to an NCHC Intake Coordinator about entering treatment and the appropriate recovery pathway for you or a loved one, call: (603) 869-2210

North Country Health Consortium Recognized as Prevention Provider of the Year
Friday, July 26, 2019

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) was recognized as the 2019 recipient of the Prevention Provider of the Year Award by the NH Providers Association (NHPA).

 Nominated by Ryan Fowler, certified recovery support worker with Granite Pathways, Fowler presented the award to NCHC’s Chief Executive Officer, Nancy Frank, and Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator, Greg Williams, at NHPA’s Annual Meeting on July 18th.

 "I am thrilled to receive this award on behalf of our entire Prevention team," said Nancy Frank. "This speaks to the dedication of our staff, without whom the depth and breadth of the work that we do in the North Country would not be possible. We thank the NH Providers Association for this incredible honor."

 NCHC was recognized for its pragmatic approach to prevention. Fowler highlighted NCHC achievements, including its work facilitating: five local coalitions, a Drug-Free Communities grant, Student Assistance Programming (SAP) throughout the North Country, Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative, National Drug Take Day, educational opportunities, such as Drug Recognition and dangers of vaping presentations, Youth Leadership Through Adventure (YLTA), Young Adult Strategies, and, in the past two years, the installation of permanent prescription drug drop boxes in five additional communities.

Each year, the NH Providers Association selects award recipients for recognition at their annual meeting, with accolades including Provider of the Year for Treatment, Recovery, as well as Prevention. Nominated with careful consideration of criteria set forth by the NHPA Board of Directors and selected by vote of the Association’s entire membership, award recipients are "those whose exceptional delivery of services to the community sets a high standard of quality and impact in the substance abuse and behavioral health field."

 Selected amongst Nashua and Manchester Public Health Networks as nominees, the North Country Health Consortium was humbled to receive the honor of 2019 Prevention Provider of the Year.

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. To learn more about Substance Misuse Prevention initiatives in the North Country region, contact NCHC’s Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator, Greg Williams: gwilliams@NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700 x295. For more information about NCHC, visit NCHCNH.org.

North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) was honored to receive the Prevention Provider of the Year Award on July 18th at the NH Providers Association 2019 Annual Meeting. In attendance to receive the award were (bottom right to left): NCHC Board President, Ed Shanshala, CEO of NCHC, Nancy Frank, and NCHC’s Substance misuse Prevention (SMP) team, including: North Country SMP Coordinator, Greg Williams, Director of Programs, Amy Jeroy, Drug Free Community Coordinator for the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC), Mariah Coulstring, Continuum of Care/Student Assistance Program (SAP) Facilitator, Stephanie Gould, and Management Information System Administrator, Drew Brown.

The 2019 North Country Community Compass is here!
Monday, July 15, 2019

The 2019 North Country Community Compass is now available! Start navigating local resources for substance use disorder by clicking on the link or image (below) to access and share the electronic version:

 

STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp registration open, sign up your middle schoolers!
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Parents: School is out for the summer! Do you have your middle schoolers’ vacation days filled with fun and enriching activities? Just in time, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Health-Careers Summer Camp at the Hugh J. Gallen Career and Technical Center in Littleton, is open for registration and enrolling students entering 6th – 8th grade for the 5-day long camp on July 15th – 19th from 9 AM – 3 PM, each day.

In its 10th year, the STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp, an initiative of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) in partnership with Littleton’s Gallen Career and Technical Center, continues to provide students with a local, low-cost opportunity to engage in STEM-focused activities, while exploring an array of health careers. This year’s camp line-up includes: simulated cardiac scenarios with state-of-the-art simulators, midwifery and childbirth, work with therapy dogs, optometry and vision care, oral health and hygiene, physical fitness, and more.

 Cost of the camp is $100 per camper. Scholarships are available and may be requested on the registration form. Parents are encouraged to register their middle school students early to secure a spot. To register online, go to:  http://bit.ly/LittletonSTEMCamp2019, or access the paper application found at http://bit.ly/STEM-Health2019 and mail the completed form to the North Country Health Consortium located at 262 Cottage Street, Suite 230, Littleton, NH 03561.

 North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. For more information about the STEM-Health Careers Summer Camps initiative or the Northern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center (NNH AHEC), a program of NCHC that co-hosts the STEM Health-Careers Camp program, contact: lremick@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700, x219. To learn more about NCHC, visit: NCHCNH.org

At STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp (2018), sponsored by North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) and the Hugh J. Gallen Career and Technical Center in Littleton, campers participate in a variety of activities based in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), while exploring different career opportunities in the health field. Find out more at NCHCNH.org, click on the 'Area Health Education Center' button.

North Woods Speaks Recovery series to screen 'Pleasure Unwoven' followed by panel discussion on June 27th to shift understanding of addiction
Monday, June 17, 2019

The Colebrook Area North Woods Action Committee (NWAC) together with the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) invites the community to a screening of the film, Pleasure Unwoven, followed by a panel discussion to understand addiction as a brain disease. This upcoming event is on June 27th from 5:00 to 7:30 PM at the Tillotson Center in Colebrook and is the second event of the "North Woods Speaks Recovery" series launched by NWAC and NCHC to shift the community understanding of substance use disorder and to increase recovery support for residents.

On Thursday, June 27th, doors to the Tillotson Center will open at 5:00 PM, providing time to visit the resource fair tables and purchase snacks at the concession stand before the screening of Pleasure Unwoven begins at 5:30 PM. All attendees are encouraged to join the panel discussion at 6:40 PM to listen, share thoughts, and learn from other community members, including families and individuals in recovery and other experts in the field of addiction. "To study addiction is to look at some of the basic concepts of what it means to be human," said producer, Dr. Kevin McCauley, of his film, Pleasure Unwoven, a personal journey about addiction. "Pleasure, memories, our genes, our ability to cope with stress, even free-will itself takes place in an organ that embodies who we are-- addiction is a disorder of the brain."

Any questions about the event can be directed to Heidi Ballentine, Program Coordinator of the Wellness And Recovery Model (WARM) at North Country Health Consortium: hballentine@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-1744.

This event is being supported by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation, as well as with Federal support awarded to NCHC from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) 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 the Wellness And Recovery Model (WARM) and other NCHC programs supporting substance misuse prevention and substance use disorders, visit NCHCNH.org.

Members of the Colebrook area North Woods Action Committee (NWAC) in partnership with the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) invites all community members to the second event of the "North Woods Speaks Recovery" series, a screening of the film, Pleasure Unwoven, followed by a panel discussion to understand addiction as a brain disease, on Thursday, June 27th from 5-7:30 PM at the Tillotson Center in Colebrook. The planning committee for this event includes (from left to right): NWAC members, Paul Pack and Ellen Pack, NCHC Program Coordinator of the Wellness And Recovery Model (WARM), Heidi Ballentine, NWAC members, Laurie Wells and Jim Davis, and NCHC’s Regional Substance Misuse Prevention (SMP) Coordinator, Greg Williams.

North Country students Rise "UP" for positive change and prevention at the 2nd Annual UP Granite Youth Conference
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The 2nd Annual UP Granite Youth Conference is in the books! With almost 200 students throughout Coos and Northern Grafton Counties gathered on May 29th at the Mount Washington Hotel, the ball room was abuzz with excited energy throughout the evening as students mingled to the beats of DJ GenReal in the backdrop, engaged with keynote speakers, and presented before their peers alongside classmates and other students—all in the name of standing UP for positive change, speaking UP against bullying and drug and alcohol misuse, and lifting one another UP in the process.

 The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) organized and sponsored the event, partnering with 11 local schools to gather the crowd of youth, along with Student Assistance Professionals (SAPs) and chaperones, to represent their respective schools: Berlin High School, Davenport School, Gorham High School, Groveton High School, Lin-Wood High School, Lisbon High School, North Country Charter Academy, White Mountains Regional High School, Haverhill Cooperative Middle School, Lancaster Elementary School, and Whitefield Elementary School.

 The UP lineup was kicked off by national mental health and youth motivational speaker, Jeff Yalden, who shared his perspective as a man living with mental illness and the importance of a growth mindset to own your behavior and choices.

 Student attendees then took to the stage to present videos they produced for the "Magnify Your Voice" video contest. Standing for other students like herself who have been bullied for their looks and sexual orientation, Sophomore student-athlete of White Mountains Regional High School, Lily Kenison, was awarded the 1st Place UP Cup for her story of getting heckled on the basketball court during an away game and how she was able to rise above the bullying with the help of her teammates and community. Woodsville High School Sophomore and member of the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC), Kaycee Reagan, received the Runner UP Cup for her video spotlighting a conversation with Legislator Corey Booker to whom she advocated for the substance misuse needs of her community.  

 Wrapping up the UP Granite Youth Conference, founder and lead percussionist of the group, Recycled Percussion, Justin Spencer, captivated the audience with his message of purpose and gratitude. Telling the story of his now nationally-acclaimed group’s humble rise to success, Spencer was a local New Hampshire high school Junior from a rough background when he founded Recycled Percussion to enter a talent show, which the group ultimately did not win. "When you don’t have a lot," said Spencer, "it’s a gift because you know what it feels like to not have a lot. The gift of gratitude is planted inside of you. That’s your purpose."

 Funding for this event was provided in part by the NH Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services and from generous sponsors, including: Dobles Foundation, Genfoot America, Black Crow Project, Jerry Jam Music Festival, Chutters, Omni Mount Washington Hotel, Drummond’s Mountain Shop, and other anonymous donors.

 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. To learn more about the UP Granite Youth Conference and how your school can get involved next year, contact NCHC’s Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator, Greg Williams: gwilliams@NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700 x295. For more information about NCHC, visit NCHCNH.org.

Almost 200 students from 11 schools across the North Country attended the 2nd Annual UP Granite Youth Conference hosted by the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) on May 29, 2019 at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, NH.

Student representatives of Youth Leadership Through Adventure (YLTA) (Left to right), Bailey Saladino, Nic Wade, Kai Goode, and Sophia Schoenbeck helped kick off the festivities at the 2nd Annual UP Granite Youth Conference by leading the crowd in a round of ice-breaker Bingo.  

(Left to Right) Ayriana Young-Baker of Lancaster Elementary School, Malakai Valdez of White Mountains Regional High School, McKenzie Pape of Groveton High School, Kaycee Reagan of Woodsville High School, Lily Kenison of White Mountains Regional High School, and Isaiah Tillison of North Country Charter Academy took the stage to present the video each of their respective groups produced for the "Magnify Your Voice" video contest at the 2nd Annual UP Granite Youth Conference.

Sophomores at White Mountains Regional High School and Woodsville High School, respectively, Lily Kenison (left) was awarded the 1st Place UP Cup, while Kaycee Reagan (right) received the Runner UP Cup, for their video submissions in the "Magnify Your Voice" video contest at the 2nd Annual UP Granite Youth Conference in May, 2019.  

Students Assistance Professionals (SAPs), (from back, left to right) Chad Steen of Lin-Wood High School, Amy Manhard of North Country Charter Academy, and Kattie McKinnon of White Mountains Regional High School, exchange smiles and resources with the regional SAP Coordinator, Stephanie Gould from the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) during the 2nd Annual UP Granite Youth Conference.

Lead percussionist and founder of the group, Recycled Percussion, Justin Spencer (right), flashes a peace sign and smile at the camera alongside Regional Substance Misuse Prevention (SMP) Coordinator of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), Greg Williams (left), right before Spencer delivers his endnote talk to wrap up the 2nd Annual UP Granite Youth Conference on May 29, 2019. 

NCHC hosts free FEMA training on Preparedness Planning for Access & Functional Needs for emergency managers, public safety
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is pleased to partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to bring to the region the training entitled, "Response Planning for People with Access and Functional Needs in Rural Communities." The target audience includes: emergency managers, public safety and municipal officials, emergency preparedness coordinators for hospitals and long-term care facilities, and other entities that have clients with these identified needs. This important training will be held on June 18th from 8 AM – 4 PM at Littleton Regional Healthcare (LRH) in Littleton. Registration is free and space is limited. To reserve your spot, go online to: http://bit.ly/NCHCMTG403

This MGT 403 course will assist in preparing emergency officials of rural communities, like the North Country, in meeting the assistance and safety needs of older adults and individuals with access and functional needs in the event of a crisis scenario. The eight-hour curriculum will provide an overview on crisis planning and response (Incident Command System, or ICS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS), as well as focused discussion on the needs and care issues of older adults, with an emphasis on individuals from assisted living and nursing homes.  For questions regarding the upcoming training, contact North Country Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Coordinator, Jim Richardson: jrichardson@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700 x255. Register for MGT 403 Access and Functional Needs Preparedness Planning for Rural Communities online at http://bit.ly/NCHCMTG403

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) 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, the regional Public Health Network, and other Emergency Preparedness initiatives in the North Country, visit: www.NCHCNH.org

NCHC's Ways2Wellness CONNECT program offers website with local resources to help you get healthy in the North Country
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Ways2Wellness CONNECT, a program of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is based in the idea that "health starts at home."  Medical providers are essential when dealing with illness or a chronic disease, but so many of the small steps taken to get healthy are the things people do in their everyday lives.

 The Ways2Wellness website at ways2wellness.org is for those looking for ways to make small changes to their lifestyles that can impact their health in big ways. This website offers ideas and links to resources to eat healthy, be active, stress less, and make connections in the community.  All suggestions and resources are locally sourced or accessible to residents of Coos and Northern Grafton Counties, and the ideas are universal and helpful to everyone. To learn more, head to the website, ways2wellness.org, and click on the button that reads, "I want to get healthy."

 The Ways2Wellness website is part of a program at NCHC called Ways2Wellness CONNECT.  Through the Ways2Wellness CONNECT program, residents of Coos and Northern Grafton Counties who are 55 and over and managing a chronic disease— such as heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes— can be connected with a trained Community Health Worker (CHW) to help them reach their goals. A CHW does not provide clinical services, but instead is a liaison— or bridge —between the patient and healthcare or social services providers. CHWs help people find the direction that meets their needs and desired goals, while translating and simplifying the often-complex healthcare and social service "landscape."

 If you want to find out more about the Ways2Wellness CONNECT CHW program, visit ways2wellness.org and click the "Learn more about Ways2Wellness" button. This part of the website shares details about the Community Health Worker program, including how healthcare providers and social service organizations can refer patients to be matched with a CHW, and success stories, like Rosie’s, a local resident and CHW client (pictured below). Rosie has worked hard with a Community Health Worker, John, to get to know resources that can provide her with the services she needs to live a happy and healthy life. Like many other independent North Country residents, it was hard at first for Rosie to accept help, but after developing a trusting relationship with her CHW, Rosie and John became a team and tackled her health goals together.

 When it comes to your health, what small step might you be willing to take? Ways2Wellness.org has a "Personal Assessment" that you can take to help you get started!

 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 the Ways2Wellness CONNECT program and how to get referred to a Community Health Worker (CHW), visit: NCHCNH.org or contact Way2Wellness CONNECT Program Manager, Annette Carbonneau: acarbonneau@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700 x221. Explore ways2wellness.org to learn about local resources and tips for getting healthy in the North Country.

Littleton resident, Rosie, catches up with Community Health Worker (CHW) from the North Country Health Consortium’s (NCHC), John Gilbert, during a regular check-in meeting at Rosie’s home, where they discuss health issues that are important to her and how to stay on track with her goals. During their talk, John shares with Rosie the Ways2Wellness.org website, which boasts tips and local resources for community members to stay healthy in the North Country.

Clean out your medicine cabinet for Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27th!
Monday, April 15, 2019

Clean out your medicine cabinet! Saturday, April 27th from 10 AM – 2 PM is National Drug Take Back Day and participating police departments throughout the North Country are calling on residents to drop off their expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications to their local drop box located at the following police stations: Berlin, Bethlehem, Carroll, Colebrook, Gorham, Groveton, Haverhill, Lancaster, Littleton, Lisbon, and Whitefield.

 Accepted items for drop boxes at all locations are prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Illegal drugs, needles, lotions or liquids, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, and hydrogen peroxide will not be accepted for collection. People depositing medications at drop box sites should keep medicines in their original containers and must be the prescription holder of the medicines for disposal.

 Twice a year across the country, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) declares Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Leading up to each bi-annual Take Back event in April and October, prevention specialists and advocate groups across the state, meet at the DEA Manchester District Office to strategize for their respective regions. Representing the North Country, staff members from the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC)—including the regional Substance Misuse Prevention (SMP) Coordinator, Greg Williams, and Drug Free Community (DFC) Coordinator of the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC), Mariah Coulstring— joined other Prevention workers and advocates to plan for the upcoming April 27th Drug Take Back Day. Along with Take Back Day activities, other safe drug disposal initiatives that the group discussed include the Deterra® Drug Deactivation System, a drug disposal pouch provided by the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (ralinh.org), which gives people an easy method to deactivate and dispose of unused, expired or unneeded medications in their own home.

 "The state of NH together collected 11,880 pounds of unneeded medications during the last Drug Take Back Day in October, 2018," said Williams. "815 pounds of that came from the North Country. Let’s beat those numbers together, as a state and region!"

 For the 15th bi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27th from 10 AM – 2 PM, community members are encouraged to deposit their unwanted and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications at a participating North Country police station: Berlin, Bethlehem, Carroll, Colebrook, Gorham, Groveton, Haverhill, Lancaster, Littleton, Lisbon, and Whitefield.

North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. For more information about participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, acquiring a permanent prescription drug drop box in your local community, or other Substance Misuse Prevention efforts, contact: gwilliams@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700, x295. To learn more about NCHC, visit: NCHCNH.org

Leading Up to National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27, 2019, North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) staff members, Mariah Coulstring (left), Drug Free Community (DFC) Coordinator of the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC), and Greg Williams (right), regional Substance Misuse Prevention (SMP) Coordinator, met at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Manchester District Office to strategize with other prevention specialists throughout the state for the bi-annual initiative. Mariah and Greg are pictured in front of the DEA, Manchester with DEA Special Agent overseeing the state of New Hampshire, Jon DeLena.

North Woods Speaks Recovery event on May 2nd to kickoff community conversation around recovery
Monday, April 15, 2019

The Colebrook Area North Woods Action Committee (NWAC) in partnership with the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) invites all to come together for an open discussion about addiction and recovery on Thursday, May 2 for the North Woods Speaks Recovery kick-off event at the Colebrook Elementary School. All community members are invited to attend to expand their understanding of substance use disorder and the opioid crisis. The kick-off event will start at 5:15pm beginning with a free spaghetti dinner. Program activities and presentations will follow from 6 - 7:30 PM. The evening will include an update on the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS), a lineup of local guest speakers to share their personal recovery stories, and an open question and answer discussion session.

 NWAC Co-chair, Laurie Wells, invites all and shares that "We are working in collaboration with our community members, North Country organizations, and neighbors to come together to learn and understand substance use disorder to reduce stigma and build compassion. Please help us bring the change that our communities need by joining us on May 2nd for the kick-off event in learning how we as community members can be a part of the solution." Another NWAC member, Megan Fellows, adds that, "Substance misuse isn’t something that’s happening somewhere else. As a community, we can come together and be part of the solution."

 Registration is appreciated, but not required to attend. Childcare is provided for the evening. To register for the North Woods Speaks Recovery Kick-Off Event on May 2nd from 5:15 – 7:30 PM at the Colebrook Elementary School, go online to http://bit.ly/NWSpeaksKickoff. Any questions about the event can be directed to Heidi Ballentine, Program Coordinator of the Wellness And Recovery Model (WARM) at North Country Health Consortium: hballentine@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-1744.

This event is being supported by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation, as well as with Federal support awarded to NCHC from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

 The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) 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 the Wellness And Recovery Model (WARM) and other NCHC programs supporting substance misuse prevention and substance use disorders, visit NCHCNH.org.

Submit your SUD recovery story for the #NorthCountrySpeaksRecovery Video Project!
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Are you in recovery? Are you inspired to share your substance use disorder recovery story?

North Country Health Consortium's Wellness And Recovery Model (WARM) is requesting video submissions for #NorthCountrySpeaksRecovery, a project that aims to reduce stigma, create a unified recovery voice in the North Country, and empower individuals in recovery to speak out.

Your video could be featured in the #NorthCountrySpeaksRecovery Social Media series during the week of April 22-26 on North Country Health Consortium’s Facebook page!

The project objective is to create and submit a 3-5-minute video that highlights your recovery. The video must include:

The focus of your video should be on personal recovery and not addiction.

Please submit your video no later than April 12th for consideration to be part the series. Go to the following link for more information: http://bit.ly/NorthCountrySpeaksRecovery2019

Know someone with an inspiring recovery journey?  Click the following link to share the #NorthCountrySpeaksRecovery Video project flyer and encourage them to submit a video. 

Visit North Country Health Consortium’s Facebook page during the week of April 22-26 to tune in to #NorthCouintrySpeaksRecovery and join the Recovery Conversation, learn about recovery pathways, local resources, and other information!

Questions? Contact WARM Program Manager, Diana Gibbs: dgibbs@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700 x222

Berlin region prepares to exercise emergency preparedness drill on April 13th
Friday, March 1, 2019

BERLIN – Don’t be alarmed if you see several local police cars, fire trucks, and NH State vehicles steering through town on Saturday, April 13th, and gathering at Berlin High School. There will be an exercise (drill) taking place to test and improve the Berlin region’s overall preparedness for an emergency event.

The exercise is fictional and will simulate a bio-terrorism event requiring Berlin area residents to receive antibiotics. The scope of this initiative is a collaborative effort between several organizations from the local and state levels, including: City of Berlin (Emergency Management, SAU 3, and Police and Fire Departments etc.); the towns of Gorham and Milan; North Country Public Health Network – North Country Health Consortium; NH Department of Health and Human Services; and NH Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

In the event of an actual public health emergency that would require providing protective medications or vaccinations to residents, regional dispensing clinics, known as “PODs,” would be open to area residents. The exercise on April 13th will run and test the Berlin region’s POD, which is located at Berlin High School. During the drill, medical and emergency personnel, volunteers, and other staff will simulate receiving and providing antibiotics. The incident is not real; however, response activities during the fictional exercise will be practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible.

The location of the exercise at Berlin High School will be clearly marked. For the safety of the community and in order to complete the exercise in a realistic environment, the exercise area will not be open to the general public. However, any community members who are interested in participating in the drill are welcome to volunteer as “actors” to walk through the POD and simulate receiving antibiotics. All actors, including their family members, must be pre-registered in order to participate (anyone who is not registered will not be permitted on the premises). To register as a volunteer actor, complete the online form: http://bit.ly/BerlinPOD-Actor

If you have any questions or concerns about the exercise, contact Chief John Lacasse, City of Berlin Fire Department: (603)752-3135 or jlacasse@berlinnh.gov

View Official Public Announcement Letter for the Berlin POD Exercise on April 13th by visiting the City of Berlin's website.  

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) 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 the North Country Public Health Network and other Emergency Preparedness initiatives in the North Country region, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or contact North Country Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Jim Richardson: (603)259-3700 x255 or jrichardson@NCHCNH.org

Molar Express Celebrates National Children's Dental Health Month, grant opens services to kids through age 5 at local Head Starts and pre-schools
Thursday, February 21, 2019

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! The month-long health observance is underway to raise awareness about the importance of adopting good oral hygiene habits for kids. Molar Express, a portable dental program of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), has kicked off a new Early Intervention Project that focuses on children through age five. Thanks to a generous grant from the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation, Molar Express adds pre-schools and Head Start programs to its roster with locations throughout Coos and Northern Grafton Counties including, Colebrook, Groveton, Whitefield, Littleton, and Woodsville. 

"Despite the fact that it’s almost entirely preventable, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children," said Molar Express Certified Public Health Dental Hygienist, Annette Cole. "It can begin as soon as a baby gets his or her first tooth, so caring for baby teeth needs to begin before the first tooth arrives. The Molar Express Early Intervention Program is partnering with dedicated professionals at pre-schools and Head Starts to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, and teachers."

This month, Molar Express begins services and referrals for children and education services for pre-school and Head Start parents. With portable state-of-the-art dental equipment in tow, the Dental Hygienist offers preventive services—including screenings, fluoride varnish, and decay-stopping fluoride treatment—and referrals to dental homes for continued care. Since 2004, Molar Express has been providing oral health care to North Country residents, and currently serves 20 schools (K-12), in addition to the newly added pre-school and Head Start sites.

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’s Oral Health programming, Molar Express and other NCHC programs, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700.

 

Just in time for National Children’s Dental Health Month, Kelly Hadlock (left), Health and Safety Content Manager for Head Start, and Annette Cole (right), Certified Public Health Dental Hygienist for Molar Express, a portable dental program of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), have worked together to coordinate the kickoff of Molar Express programming, starting in February, to be offered at Head Start locations throughout Coos and Northern Grafton Counties, including: Colebrook, Groveton, Whitefield, Littleton and Woodsville

NCHC offers free trainings in bleeding control to community to help save lives
Friday, January 25, 2019

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is offering free training to community members in bleeding control principles, so individuals are able to provide immediate life-saving aid in emergencies until first responders arrive. Upon completion, participants of the Bleeding Control Basic Course each receive a complimentary "Stop the Bleed" kit, which includes a Combat Application Tourniquet—or "C-A-T"— shears, and bandages, thanks to a generous donation from the Mascoma Savings Bank.

"This training is invaluable for groups such as, school administration/personnel, snowmobile or hiking clubs, worksites, childcare facilities, and anyone who may find themselves in an emergency bleeding scenario," said NCHC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Coordinator for the North Country, Jim Richardson.

Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma. No matter how quickly emergency responders arrive, help given by an immediate responder—or a bystander present at the accident scene who can initiate bleeding control right away— will always be first, often making the difference between life and death.

The "Stop the Bleed" agenda includes the Primary Principals of Immediate Response, which covers the "A-B-C’s of Bleeding": Alerting emergency responders by calling 9-1-1; Locating the Bleeding injury and recognizing when it is life-threatening; and applying a Compress, or other means of pressure, such as a tourniquet, to stop bleeding.

To bring "Stop the Bleed" to your organization located in the North Country, contact NCHC PHEP Coordinator, Jim Richardson: jrichardson@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700 x255. Richardson is also available to work with community leaders to train the trainer in "Stop the Bleed" in order to encourage sustainability of the program.

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, Emergency Preparedness in the North Country and other North Country Public Health initiatives, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700.

During a “Stop the Bleed” Training hosted in Gorham, Chief Jay Watkins of the Gorham Fire Department offers an arm as a community member applies a tourniquet. As a trained trainer through the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), Chief Watkins is now available to provide “Stop the Bleed” training to groups and individuals in the Gorham/Berlin area. To request a “Stop the Bleed” training in your community, or for a train-the-trainer course, contact NCHC:  jrichardson@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700 x255

North Country Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Attends FEMA Healthcare Emergency Management Training
Monday, December 17, 2018

North Country Health Consortium, home of the North Country Public Health Network, recently deployed Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Coordinator, Jim Richardson, to attend the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Training Center in Anniston, Alabama. Richardson, a career Public Safety and Emergency Management veteran, completed the 4-day training, titled "Framework for Healthcare Emergency Management,” a course designed for personnel who are responsible for the development, implementation, maintenance, and administration of emergency management programs and plans for healthcare facilities. This training marks Richardson’s 4th trip to the Anniston FEMA site for training.

 Richardson joined the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) in the Summer of 2018 to accept the PHEP Coordinator role for the North Country region, where he collaborates with several regional partners, including healthcare and long-term care agencies. “I am happy to be able to leverage my past work experiences in the field of public safety and emergency management with my North Country partners,” said Richardson.

 The PHEP Coordinator works with regional partners to emphasize planning for points of dispensing (POD), a federally instituted best-practice model designed to provide medications, vaccines, or medical supplies to the community during a public health emergency. The Coordinator also assists partner organizations in conducting emergency drills and exercises to compliance with the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Emergency Preparedness rules. Effective November 2017, these rules require seventeen provider types, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community health centers, to have emergency operations plans, conduct drills and exercises, and have policies and procedures in place in the event their facility experiences an emergency.

 “A recent exercise with the Coos County Nursing Hospital was enthusiastically attended by staff from the hospital, NH State Police, Coos County Sheriff’s Department, Bellows Falls Fire and Rescue Department, and the 45th Parallel EMS agency,” said Richardson. “We were able to help connect these various response agencies for a day of interactive scenarios to help ensure the safety and security of staff, residents, and responders.”

 Before joining NCHC, Jim spent two years in Massachusetts where he was the PHEP Coordinator and Program Manager for forty-nine cities and towns with a population of 1.7 million residents. Native to New Hampshire, Richardson has eight years of PHEP experience in his home state as a Public Health Network Coordinator in southern NH. No stranger to northern NH, however, Jim has also partnered with many North Country schools and school administrative units (SAUs) during his time working on the NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s (HSEM) School Safety and Security Program. As a retired Battalion Chief for the Derry, NH Fire Department, Richardson’s early career included twenty-six years in public safety services. 

 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 Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, visit: NCHCNH.org or contact Jim Richardson: jrichardson@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700 x255.

Jim Richardson, Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Coordinator for the North Country region, recently returned from a trip to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Training Center in Anniston, Alabama after completing a 4-day training designed for personnel who are responsible for the development, implementation, maintenance, and administration of emergency management programs and plans for healthcare facilities. Back at the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) headquartered in Littleton, NH, Richardson will continue to work with regional partners- including health care and long-term care facilities- to ensure emergency management plans are sound and in compliance with the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Emergency Preparedness rules.

On-demand webinar: Learn how CHWs can enhance patient care, experience, and your practice!
Monday, November 26, 2018

Join this on-demand webinar to learn about the role and value of Community Health Workers (CHWs) for your practice and the Ways2Wellness CONNECT program, including patient eligibility and referral mechanisms. Click brown bag to access webinar:

WHO should attend:

Nurses, physicians, physician assistants, administration

WHERE/WHEN:

Anywhere you have access to high-speed internet. Follow this link to view webinar anytime: http://bit.ly/CHWBrownBagEdu

WHAT ELSE?

Continuing Education Available:

North Country Health Consortium/NNH AHEC is an Approved Provider of continuing nursing education by the Northeast Multistate Division, an accredited Approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. This activity has been approved for 1 Nursing Contact Hour. Activity #399

The North Country Health Consortium/NNH AHEC, accredited by the NH Medical Society, designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity

For Other Professionals: One Professional Hour of Continuing Education

Learning Objectives:

Speakers:

Join the North Country Health Consortium on Nov. 16th for NCHC's 2018 Annual Meeting!
Monday, October 29, 2018

On November 16th, partners, friends, and community members are invited to join the North Country Health Consortium to celebrate another year of growth, achievement, and collaboration at NCHC’s 2018 Annual Meeting! 

The theme of the event is “Creating Healthy Communities: a Public Health Approach.” The lineup features state updates from the NH Division of Public Health Services, the status of NH’s Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative, “The Impact: a conversation with North Country Health Consortium Friends,” and “Engaging the Voices of Communities.” 

Breakfast and lunch are included at the event, which will take place from 8:30 AM - 1 PM at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield. Access the following link to view (and share!) the event flyer and preview the agenda: http://nchcnh.org/images/NCHCuplds/NCHC_Annual_Meeting_2018_Invitat.pdf

Register online: http://bit.ly/NCHC2018 

Questions? Contact Karen: khoyt@NCHCNH.org

Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, October 27th: Clean out your medicine cabinet!
Friday, October 12, 2018

On Saturday, October 27th from 10 AM - 2 PM, North Country Police Departments participating in National Drug Take Back Day are calling on the community: Clean out your medicine cabinets! The following police stations will be ready to collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications: Berlin, Bethlehem, Colebrook, Gorham, Groveton, Haverhill, Lancaster, Lisbon, and Littleton.

Acceptable items for collection in designated drop boxes are prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Illegal drugs, needles, lotions or liquids, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, and hydrogen peroxide will not be accepted. People depositing medications at drop box sites must keep medicines in their original container and also be the prescription holder.

Twice a year the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) declares National Drug Take Back Day. Police departments across the country offer a convenient point-of-collection for the safe and anonymous disposal of unused, expired, and unwanted prescription medications to avoid accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse, as well as contamination of the water supply, if flushed.

During Drug Take Back Day this past April, the North Country brought in 815 pounds of potentially harmful medications. Together, North Country Police are challenging community members to help surpass last year’s total by making their way down to their closest participating station— on Saturday, October 27th from 10 AM – 2 PM— to deposit their expired, unused, and unwanted medicines!

 North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. For more information about participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, acquiring a permanent prescription drug drop box in your local community, or other Substance Misuse Prevention efforts, contact: gwilliams@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700, x295. To learn more about NCHC, visit: NCHCNH.org


National Rx Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, October 27th from 10 AM – 2 PM. Clean out your medicine cabinet and make your way down to your closest participating local collection site at the following North Country police stations: Berlin, Bethlehem, Colebrook, Gorham, Groveton, Haverhill, Lancaster, Lisbon, and Littleton. 

North Country Health Consortium awarded $950,000 in Grants for Substance/Opioid Use Disorder Programs
Monday, October 8, 2018

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is expanding its portfolio of programs to address Substance Misuse issues in the North Country, including opioids, with two new grant awards, from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

“These resources will allow us to take an in-depth look at the full continuum of care— ranging from Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery— to provide direct service to individuals who are in need of services” says Nancy Frank, NCHC CEO.  These services will include creating an innovative connection between emergency departments in the region and substance use disorder treatment resources.  “North Country Healthcare looks forward to collaborating with the Consortium as well as other community partners and the State of NH to ensure that access to critical services and resources is available and coordinated to meet community need,” shares Edward Duffy, Interim CEO of North Country Healthcare- the five-medical center affiliation that includes local hospital emergency departments. 

In support of NCHC’s mission as a public health organization, a campaign focused on substance/opioid misuse will be designed for the needs of North Country residents and will include education and training for individuals, families, law enforcement, health care providers, and others.

Recognizing the many initiatives that are in motion to address Opioid Use Disorders in the North Country, NCHC will also support an assessment of services and resources related to substance misuse treatment and recovery in the region to help ensure collaboration, non-duplicative services, and identify gaps. 

The North Country Health Consortium, a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton, serves Coos and northern Grafton Counties.  NCHC collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. For more information about NCHC, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700.

North Country Students Show "UP" for Substance Use Prevention at NCHC's UP Granite Youth Conference
Friday, October 5, 2018

The inaugural UP Granite Youth Conference on September 21st hosted students from all over Coos and Northern Grafton counties around the unifying theme, “UP,” designed to encourage young people in the North Country to get UP, stand UP, and speak UP against drug and alcohol misuse, while working towards a positive school climate that is respectful of all students.

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) organized and sponsored the event at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield, partnering with 10 local schools to ultimately gather a crowd of 140 youth to represent their schools: Berlin, Gorham, Littleton, Woodsville, Lincoln, Profile, Groveton, North Country Charter Academy, Lisbon, and White Mountains Regional High School.

Headlining the UP Conference was a national speaker on recovery, Tony Hoffman, who described his career in the off-road racing and stunt riding cycle sport— BMX—when he was in high school and a top-ranked BMX amateur boasting multiple endorsements.  However, experimentation with alcohol and other drugs derailed his early success, leading him to a two-year prison sentence. Today, Hoffman travels the country, bringing awareness to the dangers of prescription pill and heroin abuse and advocating for a shift in thinking towards current addiction-recovery processes.

Throughout the afternoon’s activities, students enjoyed opportunities to interact and express themselves, sharing their ideas and aspirations to improve their school and community climate, especially as related to substance use. They advocated for more resources in their community and school, so that people with a substance misuse problem can get the help they need, when they need it. Students also spoke out for more education about substances, both in the school and community, and ways to help students realize their potential without resorting to drugs. Wrapping up the UP Granite Youth Conference, Rapper GeNreal, closed with two inspirational performances that reinforced previous messages.

Funding for this event was provided in part by the NH Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services.

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. To learn more about the UP Granite Youth Conference and how your school can get involved next year, contact NCHC’s Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator, Greg Williams: gwilliams@NCHCNH.org. For more information about NCHC, visit: NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700.

 

Students representing 10 schools from all over Coos and northern Grafton Counties showed “UP” for substance misuse prevention in their schools and communities at the inaugural UP Granite Youth Conference hosted by the North Country Health Consortium in September. To learn more about the UP Youth Conference and how to get your school involved next year, contact NCHC Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator, Greg Williams: gwilliams@NCHCNH.org.

NCHC Announces Friendship House Ribbon Cutting & Open House on October 19th
Thursday, October 4, 2018

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) invites the community to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the newly constructed Friendship House, a residential substance use disorder treatment facility. The event is set for October 19th from 10 AM - 12:00 PM. Beginning with a ribbon cutting ceremony from 10 - 10:30 AM, refreshments and guided tours will be offered after the ribbon cutting until 12 PM. The state-of-the-art Friendship House treatment facility broke ground last Fall, replacing the former building that had served the area for over 30 years, and will enhance services, capacity, and access to needed substance use disorder resources in the northernmost region of New Hampshire. For more information about the event, contact NCHC Office Manager, Karen Hoyt: khoyt@NCHCNH.org. The Friendship House is located at 2957 Main Street in Bethlehem, NH. 

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, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700.

The North Country Health Consortium invites the community to a ribbon cutting and open house event on October 19th from 10 AM – 12 PM to celebrate the opening of the newly constructed Friendship House, a substance use disorder treatment facility at 2957 Main Street in Bethlehem, NH. 

NCHC Welcomes Annie Crowley, Grafton County Drug Treatment Court Coordinator
Monday, September 10, 2018

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) now holds the contract for the Grafton County Drug Treatment Court (DTC), an Alternative Sentencing Program designed to help adult offenders whose substance use disorder has led to criminal behavior. 

Lillian “Annie” Crowley of Wells River, Vermont has recently accepted the position of Drug Court Coordinator. While she joins NCHC to take on this role, Crowley is not new to the program. She was previously the Case Manager of the Grafton County DTC when the contract was held by Grafton County. As the program transitioned to the North Country Health Consortium, so too did Crowley, who now oversees the overall management and compliance of the program.  “I have a passion for this population,” said Crowley, “I have a desire to make change that matters.”

 The mission of the Drug Treatment Court Sentencing Program for Grafton County is to assist criminal offenders in breaking the cycle of crime and substance misuse, while improving community safety, and decreasing financial costs currently incurred by the criminal justice system. Within an 18- to 36-month window, each part of the multi-phase intervention program focuses on key concepts of addiction recovery, from stabilization to continuing care.  DTC works with its participants to determine the appropriate level of care needed, collaborating between several agencies to provide substance use disorder treatment, psycho-educational programs, and consistent supervision—including swift sanctions for violations and rewards for positive behavior— aimed at supporting participants to maintain a drug-free lifestyle.

 “With her professional background, commitment, and belief in the program,” said Nancy Frank, Chief Executive Officer of the North Country Health Consortium, “Annie will continue to be an asset to the Grafton County Drug Treatment Court Program, in addition to the overall mission of NCHC.”

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, visit: NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700.

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) welcomes Lillian “Annie” Crowley to the team as the Coordinator for the Grafton County Drug Treatment Court, an Alternative Sentencing Program focused on rehabilitation and designed to help adult offenders whose substance use disorder has led to crime.

Save the Date! 15th Annual NH Suicide Prevention Conference is coming up
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

CHaD (Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock)/Injury Prevention Center will be holding their 15th Annual NH Suicide Prevention Conference on November 1st at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. Look out for the announcement when registration opens!

Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop Series Offered at AVH, Free of Charge
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Are you, or someone you know, living with or caring for a loved one with a chronic condition(s), such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, COPD, chronic pain, and anxiety? Join the Better Choices, Better Health Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop to gain the support and skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage your health, keep active, and feel more in charge of your life—or help a loved one to do so. Sign up for free at (603)575-9078.

Better Choices, Better Health is a program created and tested at Stanford University, with proven results. Program participants have shown to improve in areas such as exercise, general health, fatigue, and spending fewer days in the hospital. During the once-weekly course over six weeks, participants will be guided to make weekly action plans, share experiences, and help each other solve problems they come across in creating and carrying out their self-management program. Topics covered during Better Choices, Better Health include: Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation; Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance; Appropriate use of medications; Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professional; Nutrition; Decision making; How to evaluate new treatments… and more!

 The upcoming Better Choices, Better Health Workshop will take place at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin on Fridays from 9:00 – 11:30 AM on each of the following dates: August 10, 17, 24, 31, and September 7 and 14. Space is limited. Register for free online: http://bit.ly/BCBH-AVH. Contact the program leaders, John at jgilbert@NCHCNH.org or (603)575-9078 x717, or Cory at cjackson@NCHCNH.org or (603)575-9078 x718.

 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. To learn more about Community Health Workers and other NCHC programs, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700.


Community Health Workers at the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), John Gilbert and Cory Jackson are leading a Chronic Disease Self Management Workshop for community members who have, or who are caring for a loved one with, a chronic disease(s), which will take place at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin on Fridays from 9:00 – 11:30 AM on each of the following dates: August 10, 17, 24, 31, and September 7 and 14. Sign up online at: http://bit.ly/BCBH-AVH or call class leaders, John or Cory: (603)575-9078, x717 and x718

Lisbon PD Installs Permanent Rx Drop Box at Local Station
Monday, June 4, 2018

The Lisbon Police Department has recently installed a permanent prescription drop box at their local station to allow for the proper disposal of unused and expired medications in an environmentally-friendly way, while keeping them out of the hands of kids and teens

Often, opioid prescriptions that are not finished by the patient are stored in the household for potential future pain management. Along with unmonitored medications for attention deficit disorder, severe arthritis, and other conditions, opioid prescription drugs are commonly easily accessible for abuse and diversion.  

The drug drop box is available to the community for prescription drug collection at the Lisbon Police Department every day from 7:00 AM-midnight. Accepted items for the drop box are prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Refrain from depositing the following items that are not accepted: illegal drugs, needles, lotions or liquids, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, and hydrogen peroxide. Please note: Only prescription holders are authorized to deposit their own prescriptions for disposal. The permanent drop box was made possible by the KidCents Safe Medication Program and the Rite Aid Foundation.

Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator at the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), Greg Williams, works with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to partner with local law enforcement in an effort to increase the number of permanent prescription drop boxes in the North Country region. Local police stations that currently carry a permanent drop box include: Berlin, Bethlehem, Haverhill, Lancaster, Littleton, and most recently, Lisbon. Any local police departments interested in applying for a permanent drop box is encouraged to contact the North Country Health Consortium for assistance.  

North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. For more information about acquiring a permanent prescription drug drop box in your local community or other Substance Misuse Prevention efforts, contact: gwilliams@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700, x295. To learn more about NCHC, visit: NCHCNH.org.

Lisbon Chief of Police, Scott Pinson, and Greg Williams, Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator at the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), debut the newly installed permanent prescription drop box at the Lisbon Police station.

Clean out your medicine cabinets for Drug Take Back Day, Saturday 10 AM - 2 PM!
Thursday, April 26, 2018

On Saturday, April 28th from 10 AM - 2 PM, the North Country will be participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, with the following local police stations on hand for collection of expired and unused medications: Berlin, Bethlehem, Colebrook, Gorham, Groveton, Haverhill, Lancaster, Littleton, and Lisbon.

Together, North Country Police Departments call on community members to drop off any unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs—no questions asked.

Accepted items for drop boxes at all locations are prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Illegal drugs, needles, lotions or liquids, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, and hydrogen peroxide will not be accepted for collection, with the exception of the Groveton PD. With help from the Groveton EMS, the local station will be equipped to handle needles and sharps. Groveton PD asks that medications be left in their original containers and to avoid mixing medications and sharps, as they will be disposed of separately.

Twice a year across the country, participating police departments encourage community members to clean out their medicine cabinets, offering a point-of-collection at their local station for the safe and anonymous disposal of unwanted prescription medications. Unused and expired prescription drugs are a matter of public safety with the potential to cause accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. While unused prescriptions thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold, when flushed, these drugs contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs both saves lives and protects the environment.

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials had reported that last year’s Take Back event in October, 2017 saw 48 tons of expired or unwanted prescription drugs collected between the six New England states alone—456 tons nationwide—representing the highest collection numbers to date.  New Hampshire was third among New England states, with more than 13,000 pounds of prescription medication collected at more than 100 sites across the state.

North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. For more information about participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, acquiring a permanent prescription drug drop box in your local community, or other Substance Misuse Prevention efforts, contact: gwilliams@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700, x295. To learn more about NCHC, visit: NCHCNH.org

Standing by at the Groveton Police Department for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in October, 2017, Program Coordinator at the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) and Student Assistance Professional (SAP) of Groveton High School, Erik Becker, will be on hand again to assist collection efforts for this year’s Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28th from 10 AM - 2 PM.

Bethlehem PD Installs Permanent Rx Drop Box at Local Station
Friday, March 30, 2018

The Bethlehem Police Department has recently installed a permanent prescription drop box at their local station to allow for the proper disposal of unused and expired medications in an environmentally-friendly way, while keeping them out of the hands of kids and teens.

Often, opioid prescriptions that are not finished by the patient are stored in the household for potential future pain management. Along with unmonitored medications for attention deficit disorder, severe arthritis, and other conditions, opioid prescription drugs are commonly easily accessible for abuse and diversion.  

The drug drop box is available to the community for prescription drug collection at the Bethlehem Police Department 24/7 year round with 24-hour video surveillance of the area. Accepted items for the drop box are prescription drugs (Schedule II – V controlled and non-controlled substances) and over-the-counter medications. Please refrain from depositing the following items that are not accepted: illegal drugs, needles, lotions or liquids, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, and hydrogen peroxide.

Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator at the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), Greg Williams, works with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to partner with local law enforcement in an effort to increase the number of permanent prescription drop boxes in the North Country region. Part of Williams’ work also includes facilitating National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which occurs twice a year in April and October, with local police departments— both stations that do and do not have a permanent drop box.  The next National Drug Take Back Day is on April 28th from 10 AM – 2 PM. Local police stations that currently carry a permanent drop box include: Berlin, Haverhill, Lancaster, Littleton, and most recently, Bethlehem. Other local police departments in various stages of the application process are expected to acquire a permanent drop box later this year.  

North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. For more information about acquiring a permanent prescription drug drop box in your local community or other Substance Misuse Prevention efforts, contact: gwilliams@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700, x295. To learn more about NCHC, visit: NCHCNH.org.

                                            
Officer Josh Basnar of the Bethlehem Police Department and Greg Williams, Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator at the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), debut the newly installed permanent prescription drop box at the Bethlehem Police station.

Berlin region prepares to exercise emergency preparedness drill on April 13th
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

BERLIN – Don’t be alarmed if you see several local police cars, fire trucks, and NH State vehicles steering through town on Saturday, April 13th, and gathering at Berlin High School. There will be an exercise (drill) taking place to test and improve the Berlin region’s overall preparedness for an emergency event.

The exercise is fictional and will simulate a bio-terrorism event requiring Berlin area residents to receive antibiotics. The scope of this initiative is a collaborative effort between several organizations from the local and state levels, including: City of Berlin (Emergency Management, SAU 3, and Police and Fire Departments etc.); the towns of Gorham and Milan; North Country Public Health Network – North Country Health Consortium; NH Department of Health and Human Services; and NH Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

In the event of an actual public health emergency that would require providing protective medications or vaccinations to residents, regional dispensing clinics, known as "PODs," would be open to area residents. The exercise on April 13th will run and test the Berlin region’s POD, which is located at Berlin High School. During the drill, medical and emergency personnel, volunteers, and other staff will simulate receiving and providing antibiotics. The incident is not real; however, response activities during the fictional exercise will be practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible.

The location of the exercise at Berlin High School will be clearly marked. For the safety of the community and in order to complete the exercise in a realistic environment, the exercise area will not be open to the general public. However, any community members who are interested in participating in the drill are welcome to volunteer as “actors” to walk through the POD and simulate receiving antibiotics. All actors, including their family members, must be pre-registered in order to participate (anyone who is not registered will not be permitted on the premises). To register as a volunteer actor, complete the online form: http://bit.ly/BerlinPOD-Actor

If you have any questions or concerns about the exercise, contact Chief John Lacasse, City of Berlin Fire Department: (603)752-3135 or jlacasse@berlinnh.gov

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) 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 the North Country Public Health Network and other Emergency Preparedness initiatives in the North Country region, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or contact North Country Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Jim Richardson: (603)259-3700 x255 or jrichardson@NCHCNH.org 

Molar Express featured in Rural Health Information Hub!
Wednesday, February 21, 2018


The Rural Health Information (RHI) Hub features Molar Express as an example of a rural program that utilizes a mobile clinic model to deliver general dental services to children and adults without a regular dental care provider. Click on the link or image to learn more!

Brandon Novak talk about Addiction & Sobriety in Woodsville postponed to Thursday, February 8th!
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Due to the impending snow storm this Wednesday, "A Conversation About Addiction & Sobriety" with Brandon Novak has been postponed to Thursday, February 8th! We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The safety of our community is our top priority. The program will remain in the same venue, and at the same time. 

TV personality, best-selling author, Brandon Novak, to speak about addiction and sobriety in Woodsville
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC) and the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) invite the community to a free event featuring MTV television personality and best-selling author, Brandon Novak, who will talk about his personal experience with drug addiction and sobriety on February 7th at the Clifford Memorial Building in Woodsville starting at 6:00 pm.

Novak was hooked on heroin and other drugs for over two decades, bouncing in and out of treatment programs. With three years of sobriety under his belt, Novak is now a prolific speaker and recovery advocate who relays the important message that it’s never too late to get help. "The disease of addiction is not a death sentence,” Novak has said, “as long as you are breathing, it is never too late and your history does not have to dictate your future.” In Novak’s New York Times best-selling book, “Dreamseller,” an addiction memoir, the author recounts his turbulent journey.

Brandon Novak will be speaking on Wednesday, February 7th from 6-8pm at the Clifford Memorial building at 65 S Court St. in Woodsville. This free event is open to all. For more information, contact Mariah at: mcoulstring@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700, ext: 251.

This presentation is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention through a Drug Free Communities Support Program Grant to the North Country Health Consortium.

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, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or call: (603)259-3700. Find the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition on Facebook to stay up to date on coalition efforts: www.facebook.com/hasmpc/


Join MTV television personality and New York Times best-selling author, Brandon Novak at “A Conversation About Addiction and Sobriety” on Wednesday, February 7th in Woodsville at the Clifford Memorial Building, 65 S Court. St. For more information visit: www.NCHCNH.org or contact Mariah: mcoulstring@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700, ext: 251.

HASMPC and NCHC invite the community to "A Conversation About Addiction & Sobriety with Brandon Novak"
Friday, January 19, 2018

Members of the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC), (pictured left to right) Joe Mitchell, the Coalition’s youth representative, and Mariah Coulstring, the North Country Health Consortium’s Drug Free Community Coordinator for the Haverhill/Woodsville area, invite the community to, “A Conversation About Addiction and Sobriety with Brandon Novak.” Television personality, Novak, will be speaking at the Clifford Memorial Building in Woodsville on February 7th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. For more information, visit: http://nchcnh.org/ or contact Mariah at: mcoulstring@NCHCNH.org or (603)259-3700, ext: 251.

NCHC's North Country Regional Community Compass now available!
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Follow the link to access NCHC's North Country Regional Community Compass of resources for substance misuse disorders throughout the region. 

                    

North Country Health Consortium Celebrates 20 Years
Friday, November 17, 2017

Founded to organize healthcare providers, community resources, and increase access to health and human services, the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) celebrated its 20th anniversary last week.  The Consortium’s many leaders took the opportunity to reflect on the group’s growth, which has been largely driven by the challenges facing the health sector nationally and in the North Country.

CEO Nancy Frank explained that NCHC exists because small regional partnerships weren’t working anymore.  In 1995, Littleton and Berlin area coalitions organized.  In 1997 a Rural Health Network Development Grant, with Ammonoosuc Community Health Services as the fiscal agent, brought together the two consortia to establish the North Country Health Consortium. 

“They decided they could never do what they needed to do without each other” explained Frank who said that the collaboration encouraged providers to look at “health” in a broad sense.

She emphasized that the keystone goal was not merely good healthcare, but a social, economic, and physical environment where people can thrive.

The Consortium pools strategic planning and management costs, coordinates resources, and shares community health information.  Its headquarters has moved from two sites in Littleton, then to Whitefield, and most recently back to Littleton. 

A handful of NCHC’s efforts include: 350+ flu shots provided to students at school based-clinics, groundbreaking for the Friendship House facility, including new management of substance misuse disorders clinical services, and partnerships in Carroll County with the statewide Integrated Delivery Network initiative, resulting in more than 14 million dollars coming into the North Country to integrate primary care and behavioral health services.

Just one example illustrates the creativity required to meet basic needs in the North Country.  Preventive dental care is key for health, especially among children and seniors, but few live close enough to a dentist or can afford to make a semi-annual visit.  The Consortium’s answer brings its portable dental clinic, Molar Express, to schools and nursing home, 31 sites in all, spread across the constellation of towns and villages north of the notch. 

NCHC also partners with White Mountains Community College to help support the training of allied health professionals, almost 100 this year. 

When describing the Consortium’s Live, Learn & Play in Northern NH program for medical students fulfilling their clinical rotations, Frank said that the experience of serving the North Country gives many a sense of place: “[when] students come here, they experience immersion in community service work, and many understand why they want to return here to serve as providers.”

“This is a community that looks out for each other,” said Ed Shanshala, CEO of Ammonoosuc Community Health Services and Board President for the Consortium, who said that NCHC’s founders were “way ahead of the curve” in terms of pooling and coordinating resources across rural areas.

The next 20 years are sure to challenge the ingenuity and resources of the North Country Health Consortium and its members further with our region’s unique difficulties.  None the less, Nancy Frank is confident that whatever challenges may arise, the collaborative model pioneered by NCHC will rise to meet them.  “Our job is to meet the needs of the community,” she said, expressing a sense of confident humility.  “I can’t tell you what’s going to be the greatest need in the next five years, but that’s what NCHC is built to do, to respond to those needs.”


Left to right: Nancy Frank, CEO North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), former NH State Supreme Justice, John T. Broderick, and Ed Shanshala, CEO Ammonoosuc Community Health Services and NCHC Board President, pose for  a photo after Mr. Broderick's moving account of his son's mental illness at NCHC's 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting. NCHC is a non-profit public health organization, learn more at NCHCNH.org. 

 


Annie Patoine, North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) employee, fills out a "piece of the puzzle" with more than 100 other participants at NCHC's Annual Meeting, representing all the people and programs that have made the Consortium successful for 20 years. 

North Country Substance Misuse Prevention Professionals "Primed" to Serve
Friday, November 17, 2017

Student Assistance Professionals (SAPs) from schools around northern New Hampshire and North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) staff attended a three-day substance misuse prevention training at the end of October to adopt the “Prime for Life” model into their respective programming for at-risk students and clientele.

“We are dedicated to reducing the misuse of alcohol and other drugs within our region,” said Nancy Frank, Chief Executive Officer of NCHC, “and are fortunate to be able to integrate this program with our work with North Country youth.”

“Prime for Life” is an evidence-based practice that has demonstrated success in changing high-risk attitudes, drinking and drug use, and increasing abstinence with teens and adults. The program emphasizes inclusion and non-judgement. Attendees are trained to create a safe environment for people to consider how their choices affect their lives and make educated decisions about substance use based on what they learn about their personal risk factors.

NCHC sent staff members, Kristy Letendre, Continuum of Care Coordinator for the North Country Regional Prevention Network, Chris St. Cyr, town of Berlin’s Restorative Justice Program Coordinator, and Annette Carbonneau, Program Manager/SAP Supervisor, to the three-day training in Augusta Maine along with SAPs from the following seven schools: Gorham Middle-High School, Groveton High School, Woodsville High School, Lisbon High School, White Mountains Regional High School, North Country Charter Academy, and White Mountains Community College.

Attendance to this training was funded by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services through a grant to the North Country Health Consortium.

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 Prevention Network, visit: www.nchcnh.org or call (603)259-3700.

Student Assistance Proffesionals (left to right): Kattie McKinnon from White Mountains Regional High School , Jane King from Lisbon High School, Charlie Mae Johnson from Woodsville High School, Erik Becker from Groveton High School, Joy Burrill from Gorham High School, and Georgia Caron from North Country Charter Academy were part of the group  that the North Country Health Consortium sent to “Prime for Life,” a three-day evidence-based Substance Misuse Prevention training in Augusta, Maine last month. 

NCHC's North Country Continuum of Care resource guide released!
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Follow the link to access NCHC's Continuum of Care resource guide of Prevention, Intervention, Treatment, and Recovery resources in the North Country. 

                         

                      

Haverhill Coalition Promotes Efforts to Reduce Underage Drinking and Substance Misuse
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dedicated to reducing the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol in the Woodsville/Haverhill area communities, this fall, the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC) is rallying behind efforts to reduce underage drinking, including, the “Buyers Beware” sticker shock campaign, “Banner Swap” project, and calling attention to NH state laws.

On Saturday September 30th, student volunteers from Woodsville High School worked with HASMPC to affix “Buyers Beware” stickers to alcohol packaging sold at area businesses as part of the local campaign. The main purpose of the “Buyers Beware” project is to raise awareness about the consequences associated with supplying alcohol to minors, including paying a fine of up to $2000 and/or serving up to a year in jail. This sticker shock campaign will be an ongoing effort, with “Buyer Beware” tags getting periodically replaced as alcohol inventory is sold.

When it comes to reducing underage drinking, HASMPC recognizes the importance of “all hands on deck,” and advises the community to know and understand New Hampshire’s Party Host Liability Law. Many people are unaware that if they host a party or social gathering at their home, they are legally responsible for the safety of their guests. If minors are present drinking alcohol or using drugs, the party “host” may be charged with a misdemeanor, fined up to $2,000 and/or spend a year in jail. Party guests under the age of 21 with an alcoholic drink stand to lose their license, vehicle, and college scholarship. Community members whose properties may be the site of underage drinking or drug parties are advised to: take action to prevent the party; try to stop the party if it has already started; and tell local law enforcement officials as soon as possible.

Everyone in the community has a role to play to prevent underage drinking. Later this month, members of HASMPC will be approaching local businesses that display banners advertising alcohol to request that they swap the advertisements for ad-neutral banners supplied by the coalition. HASMPC thanks local business owners who are already involved with the “Buyer Beware” initiative and urge them to participate in the upcoming “Banner Swap” effort. Families are reminded to familiarize themselves with New Hampshire’s Party Host Liability Law and to help keep youth safe by avoiding the provision of alcohol and substances to minors.

These projects are funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention through a Drug-Free Communities Support Program Grant to the North Country Health Consortium.

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 Prevention Network, visit: www.nchcnh.org or call (603)259-3700. Find the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC) on Facebook to stay up to date on Coalition activities: https://www.facebook.com/hasmpc/

Prescription Drug Awareness Project Underway with Mariah Coulstring Facilitating as new DFC Coordinator
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Autumn leaves strewn about the streets are a familiar sight this time of year all around the North Country. But this fall, Woodsville and Haverhill area residents may also start noticing something else popping up around town: prescription drug bottles.

That’s because the Prescription Drug Awareness Project is underway. Mariah Coulstring, newly appointed Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Coordinator, is facilitating the campaign with the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC).

“This initiative is designed to act as a public service announcement about the increasing epidemic of prescription drug misuse,” said Coulstring. “It provides a visual demonstration of how accessible prescription drugs are to local youth, while educating the community on the hazards and safety precautions, like how to appropriately get rid of prescription drugs so that youth will not have the ability to misuse these substances.”

Throughout the fall, prescription drug bottles will be placed in local businesses and other public spaces throughout the Woodsville and Haverhill area. The bottles will contain information inside, including: the severity of prescription drug misuse in the area, instructions for the proper disposal of unneeded or unused prescription drugs at the local police department, and risks that come with prescription drug misuse. The intent of the campaign and army of pill bottles, explained Coulstring, is to “gain as much attention as possible to the issue of prescription drug misuse, and to interact with as many people in the community as possible.”

As a born-and-raised Bath resident, Coulstring said of her new DFC Coordinator appointment, “I am eager to give back to my own community and take great pride in being able to do my part.”

This project is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention through a Drug-Free Communities Support Program Grant to the North Country Health Consortium.

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 Prevention Network, visit: www.nchcnh.org or call (603)259-3700. Find the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition on Facebook to stay up to date on coalition efforts: https://www.facebook.com/hasmpc/

Newly appointed Drug-Free Community (DFC) Coordinator by the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), Mariah Coulstring takes her post to facilitate the Prescription Drug Awareness Project in the Woodsville/Haverhill area.

With the Prescription Drug Awareness Project underway, Woodsville/Haverhill area residents may notice prescription drug bottles— affixed with cautionary labels and containing information about the dangers associated with prescription drug misuse— scattered around local businesses and other public spaces throughout the community.

Kristy Letendre joins NCHC as Continuum of Care Facilitator for North Country Public Health Network
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is pleased to introduce Kristy Letendre as Continuum of Care Facilitator of the North Country Public Health Network headed by NCHC.

“I am so thrilled to have Kristy join our team,” said Nancy Frank, Chief Executive Officer of NCHC,” especially at such a critical juncture with the epidemic of substance misuse, locally as well as nationally, and the need to address gaps and barriers to services, and issues around capacity in our region.”

Letendre joins NCHC as a seasoned Substance Use Disorder professional, with a 14-year career at Tri-County Community Action Program (TCCAP). Since starting at TCCAP in 2004, Letendre worked in the Division of Alcohol & Drug Services, becoming the Division’s Director in 2014. As the Director of the Division of Alcohol & Drug Services until 2016, Letendre headed high and low residential programs, and the Outpatient department for the Friendship House in Bethlehem, including its satellite locations throughout the North Country. From 2016 to 2017 at TCCAP, Letendre was the Director of Clinical Services, maintaining senior leadership of Alcohol and Other Drugs programs, before assuming the Continuum of Care (CoC) role at the North Country Health Consortium.  

As the CoC Facilitator, Letendre is tasked with bridging the vital components of care and services for Substance Use Disorders (SUD) with Regional Public Health Network (RPHN) partners throughout Coӧs and northern Grafton Counties. In the CoC role, and with her vast field experience, Letendre is primed to facilitate opportunities for collaboration amongst regional SUD experts and service providers across the continuum, including: health promotion, prevention, early identification and intervention, treatment, and recovery supports.

“Kristy’s talents will undoubtedly complement the mission of NCHC,” said Frank, “and the work we do to further integration of primary health care and behavioral health in order to enhance the current SUD infrastructure supporting our communities.”

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’s Continuum of Care Development plan, visit: www.NCHCNH.org or contact Kristy Letendre at: kletendre@NCHCNH.org and (603) 259-3700 x258.

The North Country Health Consortium welcomes Kristy Letendre to the NCHC team in her new role as Continuum of Care Facilitator of the North Country Public Health Network. 

NCHC and Partners Wrap up 8th Annual STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

On July 24 – 28th, North Country middle schoolers enjoyed an action-packed week, exploring a variety of health and medical professions at the STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp in Littleton.

 “It was very exciting and relieving when we got v-fib and a stable heart beat,” replied one camper describing her experience training with a simulator when surveyed on her favorite thing about camp. “Working together was fun and we were a good team.”

 For the 8th consecutive summer, the Northern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center, a program of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), partnered with Hugh J. Gallen Career and Technical Center in Littleton to offer the camp. During the week, middle school students from the North Country take part in a fun, local hands-on opportunity to experience a vast array of health careers. Long-time hosts of the STEM Camp program, White Mountains Community College in Berlin will resume a Berlin-based camp in summer 2018. This year, the Littleton camp at Hugh J. Gallen welcomed 16 students, including several returning campers.

 Campers used the state-of-the-art medical training facility at the Hugh J. Gallen Center, including “SimMan”— a life-like simulator that talks back and tasks students with controlling how it reacts, while another group administered CPR and other life-saving measures. Other activities of the Littleton camp included: intubating simulation models, ranging from infant to adult-sized; inserting IVs into a training arm; frog dissection for learning the anatomy; midwifery and childbirth demonstration; creating clay replicas of the human anatomy; oral health training activities with the Molar Express; triaging during simulated mass casualty situations; and blood typing. Graciously welcoming campers for the last five summers, staff at Littleton Regional Healthcare (LRH) wrapped up the camp week, giving the group of young medical career prospects a full tour of LRH’s facilities.

NCHC would like to thank all supporters, presenters, and contributors of the STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp program. Without the collaboration of North Country healthcare organizations, this opportunity and rich experience for students to explore the health field would not be possible. NCHC would again like to thank Natanya Champney of “As it Was Midwifery” and Littleton Regional Healthcare for their generosity.  

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human service providers serving northern New Hampshire. To learn more about STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp, visit www.nchcnh.org or call Diana Gibbs, NCHC Program Manager, at (603) 259-3700 ext. 222.

North Country Health Consortium Receives Grant to Boost Health Care Delivery System
Monday, July 31, 2017

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is pleased to announce it has received a Rural Health Network Development (RHND) grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Rural Health Policy totaling $900,000 to support expansion of existing programming to strengthen the health care delivery system in Northern New Hampshire.

 The three-year RHND grant will support the development of the Ways2Wellness CONNECT program, emphasizing the integration of Community Health Workers (CHWs) with care coordination teams in the area. Further, NCHC will hire and train CHWs to partner with area health care teams to assist older adult patients in accessing care and services in the community.

 “The North Country has a proportionately larger aging population than the rest of the state and country as well as higher rates of chronic conditions—  such as diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases,” said Nancy Frank, Chief Executive Officer at NCHC.” Although relatively new to the state, CHWs have been an indispensable part of health care teams throughout the country for decades, and will allow NCHC to address factors that affect health, disease progression, and care, including isolation, access to transportation, and healthy food.”

 The Ways2Wellness CONNECT model was designed to keep patients with chronic diseases from “falling through the cracks,” with CHWs functioning as both care coordinators and health educators to bridge connections between providers, patients, family members, communities, and resources. In conjunction with the Ways2Wellness CONNECT program, health professions students completing rural community rotations through NCHC’s Live, Learn, Play in Northern NH program will participate in care coordination activities with CHWs.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to grow the CHW workforce in the region,” said Frank, “and we continue to share their value with providers and community residents to sustainably integrate CHWs into the greater infrastructure.”

 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 Community Health Workers, visit: www.nchcnh.org or call (603) 259-3700.

Free Recovery Coach Academy Training Open for Registration
Friday, July 7, 2017

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is pleased to announce registration for Recovery Coach Academy training is open. This free training will provide participants with skills to guide, mentor, and support anyone who would like to begin or sustain long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol or other drugs. 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.

“We are working to build a network of recovery coaches in the North Country in order to broaden the current infrastructure to support a person—members of our communities— to achieve and sustain long term recovery,” says Amy Jeroy, Director of Public Health and the Northern NH Unit Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) at the North Country Health Consortium. “The plan is for the new group of recovery coaches to work with the Hope for NH Berlin Recovery Community Center and the North Country Serenity Center in Littleton, with possible expansion to other North Country facilities.”

The 5-day intensive recovery coach training course will begin in August and meet on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. on the following dates: August 5, 12, 19, 26, and September 9th at the North Haverhill United Methodist Church (UMC). Participants are capped at 15 and must commit to attending all 5 dates to complete the training. Course instructors are from Hope for NH Recovery and are trained recovery coaches credentialed by the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR).

Scholarships for participants and course materials are made possible thanks to grant funding from the National Association of County and Health Officials (NACCHO). The upcoming summer course is the last of a series of trainings available with support from NACCHO. Space is generously provided by Pastor Clint Brake and the North Haverhill UMC. For more information about the recovery coach training, contact Amy Jeroy at ajeroy@nchcnh.org, or call (603) 259-3700 x228. To register for the upcoming summer 2017 Recovery Coach Academy training, go to: http://bit.ly/RecoveryCoach or call Karen at 603-259-3700 ext. 244.

Home of the Northern NH Unit Medical Reserve Corps, the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton. NCHC collaborates with health and human services providers to improve the health status of northern New Hampshire. To learn more about NCHC, visit: www.nchcnh.org or call (603)259-3700.

Free Community Presentation including Naloxone Administration Training
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Come to a community event on Thursday, July 27th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. This free event will include training of participants in the administration of the opioid overdose-reversal drug, Naloxone, and an opportunity for the group to engage in a question and answer session with a panel of field experts: NH Licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Errol Rescue Training Officer, Jim MacDonald; and from the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), Continuum of Care Facilitator, Kristy Letendre, and Public Health Coordinator, Elaine Belanger.

All are welcome and qualified attendees will receive a free Naloxone kit—also called ‘Narcan’— with the completion of training. The training presentation will cover signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, the importance of calling 9-1-1 and rescue breathing, and step-by-step instructions on how to administer naloxone.

This event is organized by Coӧs County ServiceLink, a Tri-county Community Action Program (TCCAP), presented by NCHC, and hosted by Brookside Park Apartments. Join us on July 27th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Brookside Park Apartments located at 155 Maynesboro Street in Berlin. RSVP is appreciated but not required.

North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. To RSVP or for more information about scheduling Naloxone administration training for your group or at your next event, contact: ebelanger@nchcnh.org or (603) 259-370, x229. To learn more about NCHC, visit: www.nchcnh.org.

Middle School Students: Register Now for Littleton STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp!
Thursday, June 8, 2017

ATTENTION Parents! Are you the parent of a middle school student? Are you looking for a different kind of summer camp this year? The North Country Health Consortium and the Hugh J. Gallen Career and Technical Center are pleased to invite middle school students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with a Health Careers twist (STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp)! The Littleton STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp is open to students who have completed 7th or 8th grade. Space is limited so early registration is essential.

This week-long STEM-Health Career Camp will be held each day from 9am-3pm at the Hugh J. Gallen Career and Technical Center in Littleton the week of July 24-28. Attendees of the STEM-Health Careers Summer Camp will be given hands-on career exploration opportunities, including the use of state-of-the-art dental and medical simulators, various workshops and presentations with health professionals, and a comprehensive hospital tour experience.

The focus of the STEM-Health Career Summer Camp initiative is to provide students with a low-cost, local opportunity to explore a vast array of health careers. Participating in this hands-on, interactive camp is a fun experience that will allow students to explore different health professions with the hope that they may further pursue a career in the field. Developing interest at the middle school level allows students to gain a broad understanding of the potential opportunities that exist in the field.

The Northern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center (NNH AHEC), a program of the North Country Health Consortium and the Hugh J. Gallen Career & Technical Center sponsor the STEM-Health Camp. To obtain a registration application for the Littleton camp, please log onto bit.ly/2017HealthCareerCamp or call Diana Gibbs, NCHC Program Manager, at (603) 259-3700 ext. 222. To watch YouTube videos of past summer camps, please visit: www.youtube.com/NNHAHEC

NCHC 'Live Heart Smart' Event a Success, Promotes Heart-healthy Living in North Country
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

On June 1st, the North Country Health Improvement Working Group, an initiative of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), hosted an educational half-day event devoted to heart health at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield. Entitled “Live Heart Smart,” the event gathered community members from around the North Country and surrounding regions to raise awareness around heart disease and stroke, with a focus on highlighting local resources and personal wellness practices to promote heart healthy living.

“It was encouraging to see the variety of attendees that turned out for this event,” said Nancy Frank, Executive Director of the North Country Health Consortium, “from seniors to nurses and other professionals, all actively engaged in their personal health and that of their loved ones and patients. With risk factors for heart disease and stroke being largely modifiable by lifestyle, we hoped to expand people’s ‘toolbox’ of resources for everyday self-care.”

The “Live Heart smart” agenda boasted relevant topics presented by experts local to the North Country and beyond, including the keynote address, “the Heart is the Seat of the Body.” An open heart surgery survivor, Kathleen Kelley, who is an independent consultant to non-profit organizations as well as a Randolph resident, kicked off the keynote by telling her personal story to regaining health and encouraging the audience to be a “heart hero” to themselves and their loved ones. Sharing the stage with Kelley, Professor of Health and Human Performance, and Director of the Center for Active Living and Healthy Communities at Plymouth State University, Dr. Barbara McCahan, provided heart research along with tips to reframe and reduce stress.

Breakout session topics that followed covered: practical fitness tips for heart health, “Living an Anti-inflammatory Life,” mindfulness meditation, and overcoming ambivalence to health behavior change. Attendees left “Live Heart Smart” armed with resources, including the cookbook “Good and Cheap: Eating Well on $4/Day” by best-selling author, Leanne Brown, and a fold-out guide produced by NCHC that highlights heart-friendly offerings and events around the North Country, including farmers’ markets, cooking demos, support groups, and physical activity options.

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, visit: www.nchcnh.org or call (603)259-3700.

Live Heart Smart! Check out heart healthy resources from around the North Country!
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Photo live heart smart

NCHC Live Heart Smart

NCHC Health Improvement Group invites you to Live Heart Smart, a community event on June 1
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

On Thursday, June 1st, the Health Improvement Working Group of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) invites the community and health professionals to Live Heart Smart, a half-day event dedicated to heart health. Held from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield, this educational event will leave attendees with plenty of practical knowledge and strategies to begin or recharge a Heart Smart way of life.

Fun interactive breakout sessions will answer the What? Why? and How? behind simple and accessible tools and resources. Join us for: mindfulness meditation, practical “do anywhere” strength and cardio fitness methods, community health workers as patient advocates, Living an “anti-inflammatory” life, and overcoming ambivalence to adopt healthy habits. Continuing nursing education credits are available.

Doors will open at 9:30 AM for registration with the event kicking off at 10:00 AM. Registration for Live Heart Smart is $25 and will include lunch and cookbook, “Good and Cheap: Eat well on $4/Day” to take home. To register for this event, go to: http://bit.ly/LiveHeartSmart.

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 visit: www.nchcnh.org . For questions about Live Heart Smart, contact Anna: ashum@nchcnh.org or (603)259-3700 x257.

 

3rd Community Health Worker Summit a success, explores the role of CHWs in NH
Monday, April 24, 2017

PLYMOUTH – On Wednesday, April 19th, the 3rd Community Health Worker (CHW) Summit in New Hampshire convened at the Common Man in Plymouth. Hosted by the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) in partnership with the Southern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center (SNAHEC), the full-day event gathered CHWs across the state together with other advocates  representing healthcare and health and human services organizations.

 “Many factors determine the health of an individual,” said Nancy Frank, Chief Executive Officer of NCHC, “we are working to problem solve barriers one might face to make an appointment and arrive at the provider’s office, for instance. CHWs have shown to improve health outcomes within the communities that they serve,” said Frank, “so we continue to work towards building the workforce and sharing the value of CHWs in the North Country.”

The day’s agenda was filled with a variety of field experts who delivered presentations and interactive breakout sessions centered on: understanding the current landscape for CHWs, fostering CHW leadership and collaboration, and looking at the road ahead to advance the CHW movement in New Hampshire. An informative panel session provided a platform for NH-based CHW’s— hailing from Indian Stream Health Center, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the Nashua Health Department, and Manchester Community Health Center— to share successes, challenges, and insight gained in their roles on the job.  

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 community health workers, visit: www.nchcnh.org or call (603) 259-3700.

NCHC to Host Legislative Breakfast to Discuss Student Assistance Programs in the North Country
Thursday, April 13, 2017

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.

Hope for NH Recovery, Berlin Recovery Community Center to host community event, including Naloxone training by NCHC
Friday, March 17, 2017

The Hope for NH Berlin Recovery Community Center invites the public for an evening of education and awareness about substance use disorders and the disease of addiction.  Too many people and their families— in our communities and nationwide— are affected. This event will be an opportunity for the community to see what resources the Center offers, while learning about the importance of the full continuum of care including, prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery

The March 29th event will be held from 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM, and include: a pot luck supper; training for Naloxone administration by the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC); and screening of The Anonymous People, a documentary featuring stories from people amongst the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

“Our communities are hurting from the opioid epidemic,” says Doris Enman, Center Manager for Hope for New Hampshire in Berlin, “there is sadness and fear, with many suffering in silence. We want to reach out to individuals struggling with addiction, and to their families and friends, so we can support one another in a nonjudgmental way and offer our resources. With the increasing rise in narcotic misuse and overdoses, it is very important for our communities to be educated and trained to administer Naloxone, especially if someone you love has a substance use disorder.”

The event will open with a pot luck supper at 4:30 PM. Light refreshments will be provided, though attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share. Training for Naloxone administration will run from 6:00 to 7:00 PM with Elaine Belanger, Public Health Coordinator at NCHC. All training participants will receive a free Naloxone kit - also known as Narcan – upon completion. Screening of The Anonymous People will start at 7:15 PM, followed by an open audience-driven discussion.

“The Berlin Recovery Community Center members want to extend an open invitation to the community,” says Enman. “Whether or not you have a substance use disorder, and regardless of if you’re in recovery or not, anyone can get involved and you are always welcome here, no appointments needed.”

The Hope for NH Recovery Community Center is located at 823 Main Street in Berlin. Open Monday – Friday 9 AM – 5 PM, with additional hours for mutual aid and other support groups. For more information, or if you plan to attend the event, please call Doris Enman at (603)752-9900 to reserve your Narcan kit for the training.

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is a non-profit public health organization that serves the North Country of NH.  If you are unable to attend, but would like to learn more about scheduling a Naloxone training for yourself or your group, contact Elaine Belanger at the North Country Health Consortium: ebelanger@nchcnh.org or (603)259-3700 x229.

NCHC and Partners to Host HPV and Related Cancers Event, including Film Screening and Panel
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

On Tuesday, May 2nd at the Rialto Theater in Lancaster, NH, the North Country Health Consortium, in partnership with Norris Cotton Cancer Center, American Cancer Society, Southern NH Area Health Education Center, and the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration, invites parents, community members, and local healthcare providers to attend a free educational event, including a film screening of Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic. This documentary looks at the lives of five women affected by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the widely misunderstood virus that causes several types of cancer, including cervical cancer. Community members will learn about how they can protect themselves, their families, and their children- both sons and daughters. Providers are encouraged to attend to be part of the discussion to understand how they can help protect patients from future cancers. Continuing education will be available for nurses and providers.

 The HPV event on May 2nd will begin with doors opening to the public at 5:30 PM and the film beginning at 6:00 PM. A panel discussion with local experts— featuring a pediatrician, OB/GYN, and a representative from the NH immunization program—will begin at 7:30 PM, and include an opportunity for audience members to engage in Q&A with the panelists. Light refreshments will be provided for this event.

 There is no cost to attend, but your registration is appreciated. To register for the event, go to: http://bit.ly/NorthCountryHPVEvent. Contact Diana Gibbs for more information and questions: dgibbs@nchcnh.org or (603)259-3700 x222.

 The North Country Health Consortium 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 NCHC, visit: www.nchcnh.org

Recovery Coach Academy Training begins March 25th - Sign up today!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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: ajeroy@nchcnh.org or (603)259-3700 x228

For questions or help with registration, contact Karen Hoyt: khoyt@nchcnh.org or (603)259-3700 x244

North Country "Speaks Up" against Stigma of Addiction with Panel Event
Monday, February 27, 2017

LITTLETON— Last month on Wednesday, February 21st, the Health Improvement Working Group of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) convened Speak Up NH: Changing the way we talk about addiction in the North Country. This panel event gathered North Country community members— ranging from addiction and health and human services workers, high school students, and individuals in long-term recovery— in the Tower Room of the Littleton Opera House to address the issue of social stigmas faced by individuals with an addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

The two-hour event featured a lineup of local experts, including: Ammonoosuc Community Health Services’ Director of Integrated Behavioral Health, Stephen Noyes, LICSW; Hope for New Hampshire Recovery’s Director of Recovery Development, Bernadette Gleeson, along with Center Manager of Hope’s Berlin location, Doris Enman, M.Ed.; and Black Crow Project Co-founder and Groveton Student Assistant Counselor, Erik Becker. Through the course of the evening’s presentations and concluding questions and answers section, each speaker shed light on relevant topics spanning: what makes addiction a disease; the concept of raising the “recovery capital” of addicted individuals; the weight of our words and of our reactions to people when it comes to perpetuating stigma; and what it means to recover as a community.

The Changing the way we talk about addiction in the North Country panel event piggybacks on the statewide campaign, Speak Up NH, an initiative of Partners for a Drug-free New Hampshire. The Speak Up NH campaign, which launched on February 8th at the Executive Council Chambers in Concord with the support of Governor Sununu, is a rallying cry to the people of NH to change the conversation around addiction in order to create a more supportive and inclusive environment that presents individuals with fewer roadblocks to recovery.

Host of the Health Improvement Working Group, 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

CANCELLED: 2/16/17 IDN Meeting
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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 aallin@nchcnh.org.

MRC Grant to Increase Addiction Support Services in North Country with Recovery Coach Training
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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 ajeroy@nchcnh.org, 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

North Country takes part in "Speak Up NH" Anti-Stigma Campaign with Upcoming Event
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

On Wednesday, February 15, the North Country Health Improvement Working Group of the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) invites you to Speak Up NH: Changing the way we talk about addiction in the North Country. This panel session is part of Partnership for a Drug-free NH’s statewide campaign, Speak Up NH, an initiative aimed at creating a more supportive and inclusive environment that presents individuals with fewer roadblocks to recovery. Arriving at the heels of the official campaign launch at the Executive Council Chambers in Concord on February 8th, the Speak Up NH panel event will follow suit to address the issue of stigma and initiate the conversation shift around addiction and substance misuse in the North Country.

The Speak Up NH event will be joined by a panel of local experts to engage the audience with presentations on: the medical basis for understanding addiction, personal stories of hope and recovery, as well as insight and resources for the community to break the stigma and get involved with local efforts to help the North Country amidst the national crisis of substance misuse and addiction.

Located at the Littleton Opera House on 2 Union St., the Speak Up NH: Changing the way we talk about addiction in the North Country panel event will run from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. This free event is open to all, including community members and leaders interested to be a part of the rallying cry to change the way we think and talk about addiction as a community.

For more information or to register to attend the Speak Up NH panel session in Littleton, go to: http://www.nchcnh.org/health_wellness.php or contact Anna at North Country Health Consortium: ashum@nchcnh.org or (603) 259-3700 x257.

Host of the North Country Health Improvement Working Group, the North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) 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

Northern NH takes on Statewide Effort to Transform Behavioral Health System in Region
Monday, December 5, 2016

The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) is playing a key role in leading Northern NH to transform its behavioral health system in a 5-year $150 million statewide initiative. As the Administrative Lead representing Coos, northern Grafton, and Carroll Counties in the program, NCHC together with a network of local partners will work to change the way physical and behavioral health care are delivered to Medicaid beneficiaries with behavioral health conditions, including substance misuse disorders, and other co-occurring chronic health issues.

On January 5th this year, the state of New Hampshire received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to access new federal funding under a Section 1115(a) Waiver, known as “Building Capacity for Transformation.” Also referred to as a Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP), this initiative paved the way for 7 state-proposed Integrated Delivery Networks (IDN) to form and cover the state. Each regionally-based IDN is made up of a broad range of physical and behavioral health providers, and community-based organizations that have agreed to work in collaboration and integrate services with sights on improving access to behavioral care and reducing avoidable hospital use, while lowering health care costs. Partners working together in Coos, northern Grafton, and Carroll Counties, including Administrative Lead, NCHC, make up the Region 7 IDN.

“Building Capacity for Transformation and the concept behind Integrated Delivery Networks ring true to the causes and very mission of the North Country Health Consortium,” said Nancy Frank, Executive Director of NCHC. “Leading innovation through collaboration is our work,” said Frank, “and it is work that is vitally important to the Northern New Hampshire, where challenges to health care faced by the most vulnerable populations across the state are often compounded by the rural geography in the region. I am honored to unfold this groundbreaking work with Region 7 IDN partners.”

The goal of the statewide incentive program is to better support Medicaid recipients by tasking IDNs with multiple aims: integrating physical and behavioral health care, expanding capacity of the behavioral health workforce, and reducing gaps in care through coordination across providers and linking Medicaid beneficiaries with community supports. In order to receive its share of up to $30 million per year over the next 5 years, each IDN must collectively achieve predetermined measures for system transformation, clinical care, and population health during semi-annual reporting cycles. Funding allotted to each of the 7 networks was determined in proportion to Medicaid beneficiaries in the given service area. In the first year of DSRIP, North Country Health Consortium has received an initial $2.4 million on behalf of Region 7 IDN to build capacity for workforce and develop an information technology infrastructure that allows providers across its network to share health records and communicate in real time.

The North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit rural health agency based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers serving northern New Hampshire. For more information about the Region 7 IDN, contact April Allin, IDN Program Manager at aallin@nchcnh.org or call (603) 259-3700 x220. To learn more about NCHC, visit: www.nchcnh.org.

NCHC Provides Naloxone Administration Training at Berlin Event, Distributes Kits
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) partnered with Hope for New Hampshire Recovery in Berlin and White Mountains Community College (WMCC) to host an educational community event centered on substance misuse and addiction, including training of the group in the administration of the overdose-reversal drug, Naloxone, and viewing of The Anonymous People, a documentary featuring stories from people amongst the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The November 9th event at WMCC in Berlin brought together a diverse group, including Berlin Hope’s own Recovery Coach Volunteers, staff of Northern Human Services, WMCC students, and members of the greater community.

“The increasing rise in narcotic misuse makes offering these trainings really important,” said Doris Enman, Manager of the Hope for New Hampshire Recovery Center in Berlin. “Addiction does not discriminate, but recovery is a reality,” said Enman. “We require our employees to be trained [in the administration of Naloxone] and most of our dedicated volunteers already are.”

Enman’s wishes to expand training and access to Naloxone echo those recently expressed by Dr. Vivek Murthy in the new Surgeon General’s report on alcohol, drugs, and health, “Facing Addiction in America,” issued last month. Marking the first time in which a Surgeon General defines substance use disorders as a disease, the report calls on the nation to help address the current opioid crisis, including changing our attitudes about addiction and supporting harm reduction strategies like Naloxone to give drug users a chance to get help when they are ready.

Acting in cooperation with the NH Department of Health and Human Services, NCHC provides trainings to organizations and communities for administering Naloxone. Training participants are provided with a free Naloxone kit - also known as Narcan - upon completion. In the past year, NCHC has trained school groups and hospital staff, in addition to broader community members at public events, such as the annual North Country Moose Festival in August 2016. Last spring, NCHC partnered with the Black Crow Project and the Lancaster Rialto Theater to host the public awareness forum, “Heroin in the North Country.” With 145 life-saving kits issued to attendees, this forum was the largest Naloxone distribution event in the state to date.

“Everyone deserves to have access to this life-saving medicine,” said Enman. “There has been an increase in inquiries to have more training… I believe that the community is learning more about the value of having individuals trained.”

North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit rural health agency based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. For more information about scheduling Naloxone administration training for your group, community, or at your next event, contact Amy Jeroy, NCHC Public Health Director at ajeroy@nchcnh.org or call (603) 259-3700 x228. To learn more about NCHC, visit: www.nchcnh.org.

Save the Date! North Country Health Consortium's 2016 Annual Meeting: November 14, 2016
Friday, September 23, 2016

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

NCHC and Partners Wrap Up 7th Annual STEM-Health Career Summer Camps
Wednesday, September 7, 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.

Statewide Emergency Preparedness Drill, North Country Public Health Network Partakes
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

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.

2016 Community Health Needs Survey Underway, Calling All Residents for Input
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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.

5th Annual Health Summit Convenes Around 'Culture of Wellness'
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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.

Emergency Preparedness Kits Assembled for Local Public Health Effort
Friday, June 17, 2016

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.

Register NOW for the 5th Annual North Country Health Improvement Summit
Monday, May 16, 2016

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

Governor Hassan Visits the North Country to Unveil Workforce Development Initiative
Monday, April 4, 2016

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 dgibbs@nchcnh.org or call (603) 259-3700 ext. 222.

NCHC's Quality Improvement Program Recognized at the Federal Level!
Monday, February 29, 2016

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/

Are you interested in becoming an Allied Health Professional?
Monday, December 7, 2015

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 Youth Leadership Through Adventure Annual High School Conference
Thursday, November 12, 2015

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

North Country Health Consortium, NH Citizens Health Initiative and New England Regional Partners Receive Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative Award
Thursday, October 1, 2015

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/

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Preparedness and Response Public Health Advisory Council
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