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Speare updates its community needs assessment

PLYMOUTH — Every three years Speare Memorial Hospital, in cooperation with providers in the Central New Hampshire Health Partnership, conducts a formal assessment of the surrounding communities' health and social service needs. including  Earlier this year an update was made to the 2011 assessment with a series of discussion groups that included individuals from low income families, senior citizens, mental health community, educators, business leaders and the faith community from Plymouth, Newfound area towns, Lincoln and Woodstock.

The results of the discussions were categorized as the region's top 10 identified health issues. While many continue to be ongoing issues, there was some shifting of priority need and new issues were identified, including fragile families, obesity, poverty and transportation.

Central New Hampshire's Top 10 Community Needs/Issues include: greater access mental health treatment, and broader behavioral health care issues; physical activity, recreational opportunities, promotion of active living; fragile families and family stress; better diet and nutrition, as well as access to health food; greater education surrounding the various sectors of health; access to health insurance; access to dental care; general poverty; obesity reduction; and a need for better transportation to health facilities.

Overall, the perception of needs in our communities is in line with state and nationally identified issues regularly reported on in the media. The top 10 list is also reflective of how healthcare is changing to focus on the whole patient, not just the symptoms, and the desire to positively impact population health overall. Says Michelle McEwen, FACHE, Speare's President and CEO, "By understanding the underlying social determinants affecting our communities' health— such as poverty, family stress and lack of transportation—we can better respond to them."

Based on these identified needs, Speare annually develops a Community Benefits Plan and reports results/outcomes. Examples of some of the programming and services Speare has developed are: the Dental Health Program, free health screenings and information at health fairs, Community Care program for uninsured and underinsured patients, StepUp to Health & Wellness video series for healthy eating and active living, the Shamrock Shuffle 5K Health Walk/Run, offering free one-on-one sessions with Health Insurance Marketplace Navigators and hiring additional primary care providers to ensure access for all. The infographic provides a snapshot of our 2014 Community Benefits Report and Assessment.

For a complete review of Speare Memorial Hospital's 2014 Community Benefits Report and Community Needs Assessment, visit www.spearehospital.com/our-community/community-benefits/ for both reports. To request a copy email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Office of Community Relations at (603) 238-6468.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 06:57

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Work of Artists of the Month now on display

LACONIA — The works of nine local artists have been selected for January's Artist of the Month Program, sponsored by the Lakes Region Art Association.

The following member artists will each have art work on display until Jan. 19 at these Lakes Region business locations: Jean Kennedy, Bank of New Hampshire, Gilford; Gisela Langsten, Franklin Savings Bank, Gilford; Judy Palfrey, Northway Bank, Belknap Mall, Belmont; Sharon Zimmerman, Belknap Mill, Laconia; Gerri Harvey, Northway Bank, Laconia; Marie Kelly, Northway Bank, Meredith; Shela Cunningham, Northway Bank, Tilton; Marilee Sundius, VynnArt Gallery & Art Supplies, Meredith; and Marlene Witham, Franklin Savings Bank, Main Office, Franklin.

As the Association draws from the entire Lakes Region, this program is aimed at exposing the Association and its members' work across the entire area. Each month, a jury selects from submissions by member artists to be featured at various businesses in the Lakes Region. These original pieces might be oil or acrylic paintings, watercolors, pastels, photos or collages.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 December 2014 10:37

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Local woman receives Doctorate in Nursing Practice

LACONIA — Nancy E. Dirubbo, APRN, FNP-C, FAANP has graduated from the Northeastern University Bouve College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, and has received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. She was elected by her peers to present the student address at the Leadership Conference at convocation.

While a student at Northeastern, Dr. Dirubbo, a family nurse practitioner, led a group of undergraduate nursing students to the Dominican Republic to provide humanitarian care. She later returned to another area of the Dominican Republic and helped establish a women's health service. She spent two weeks at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, participating in the International School.
Her academic work focused on adult travel immunizations. She was a contributing author of a geriatric text book on the elder traveler, a guest editor for Clinician Reviews on the importance of travel health in primary care and was an invited speaker to the International Council of Advanced Practice Nursing's annual conference in Helsinki, Finland and the American Association of Nurse Practitioner's annual conference in Nashville. She received a grant from Merck and spoke on Barriers to Adolescent Immunization focusing on HPV vaccine in underserved areas in Idaho and Georgia.
Dr. Dirubbo started Laconia Women's Health Center in 1985. It is the oldest NP owned primary care clinic for women in the US today. She started Travel Health of NH in 2008. She will be focusing on travel medicine, consulting and teaching following the closure of Laconia Women's Health Center in 2015.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 December 2014 10:31

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Free health insurance enrollment assistance in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH — Speare Memorial Hospital is offering free, one-on-one health insurance enrollment assistance on 12 different days between Jan. 5 and Feb. 5.

The enrollment sessions, being held in cooperation with the Foundation for Healthy Communities, are scheduled for Mondays, Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2 and 9 from 1-3 p.m. and Thursdays, Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29 and Feb. 5 and 12 from 4-8 p.m. The deadline to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace — or the "exchange" as it is commonly referred to — is Feb. 15.

Those wishing to schedule an appointment with one of the Health Insurance Navigators at Speare, can call (603) 238-6471.

The Health Insurance Marketplace offers health insurance to those who do not have coverage. The costs of plans are based on one's income, and cover preventative services, essential health needs and pre-existing conditions. New Hampshire Medicaid is also available at no cost to income qualified individuals and families.

Health Insurance Marketplace Navigators at Speare can help individuals and families select the plan that suits them, and assist them with the enrollment process. Those who do not have insurance coverage by the Feb. 15 deadline will be subject to penalties of 2 percent of their income — or $325 per adult ($162.50 per child), whichever is higher. For more information about the federally mandate Health Insurance Marketplace, please visit www.healthcare.gov.

"For many people in our community, this is the first time they have had access to health insurance," notes Speare's Financial Counselor Stacey Lembo. "It can be a bit overwhelming at first, so taking advantage of the one-one-one sessions with the Navigators is a great opportunity to understand what is offered, what you qualify for, and get enrolled before the deadline."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 December 2014 09:59

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