MOULTONBOROUGH — The Melanoma Foundation of New England (MFNE) announced that Moultonborough Academy and Winnisquam Regional High School have been selected as a $500 prize winner of the Your Skin Is In no-tanning pledge contest.
The Your Skin Is In pledge contest ran from January-April, 2014 in High Schools and Colleges across New England, educating teens and young adults about the dangers of tanning and the direct link between tanning beds and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Young melanoma survivors traveled to schools to tell their stories of survival and to encourage teens to take the Tanning is Out pledge.
Schools that registered for the Your Skin Is In contest were challenged with obtaining 70 percent participation by students signing the pledge. Student leaders at each school led the awareness campaign by hanging posters throughout the school, taking pledges during assemblies and lunch hour, and acting as ambassadors by spreading the word about the dangers of tanning. All participating schools that reached the minimum pledge number were entered into a drawing to win cash prizes that can be used toward their school, the prom, or other programming.
Deb Girard, MFNE's Executive Director, praised both Moultonborough Academy and Winnisquam Regional High School for committing to the Your Skin Is In program and learning the truth about tanning. She said, "Teens want to believe that 'it can't happen to them,' or that it's safe to just get a 'base tan' before the prom or before spring break. The truth is that there is no safe tan - whether in a tanning booth or outside in the sun - tanning can lead to skin cancer." She adds, "2.5 million teens annually use tanning beds. Through Your Skin Is In we've been able to reach a quarter million students and we hope the message resonates throughout adulthood. By taking the Tanning is Out Pledge these students become empowered to take charge of their own health, and become advocates for safe skin-care."
Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 09:55
LACONIA — The multinational cast of Up with People (UWP) that has toured to 38 countries around the world during the last 48-years, has announced that Laconia will be a stop on their 2014 tour. On Friday and Saturday, September 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. Up with People will perform public shows at Laconia Middle School in Laconia.
While in Laconia between September 1 and September 8, Up with People will spend time participating in service projects and live with local host families. Beginning in mid-July Up with People will be recruiting families to host international cast members during their stay in Laconia. By the end of their five-month world tour, the cast will visit dozens of communities throughout the United States, Europe and Mexico.
The international cast of 100 will also complete more than 1,000 hours of community service reaching out to and supporting many local non-profit organizations. Community members are invited to join the cast to give back to their own communities. Volunteering is not the only way to get involved, as anyone between the ages of 17 and 29 can apply to travel in future programs. In recent years many New Hampshire natives have traveled the world with Up with People, including local community members Beth Clay and Pamela Littlefield.
Voices, UWP's latest production, is a performance featuring both original and popular music and is a dynamic blend of feature soloists, full cast production numbers, fast-moving choreography and colorful costumes. Voices is inspired and motivated by recent worldwide events and aims to leave the audience feeling empowered to connect, communicate and create positive change in their communities.
Up with People's visit to Laconia is sponsored by Stand Up Laconia, Bank of New Hampshire, Aavid Engineering, Meredith Village Savings Bank and Laconia Police Relief Association. Local charities in and around The Lakes Region are the beneficiaries of the show. For more information or to become a sponsor visit www.upwithpeople.org.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 09:44
PLYMOUTH — Laboratory Professionals Week celebrates professional medical technologists for the results they get for patients on a daily basis to assist in the detection and treatment of disease. For Speare Memorial Hospital's laboratory professionals, this year's annual recognition also marks the introduction of increased testing options for higher quality and more exacting results in a shorter amount of time.
"We are adding molecular testing for earlier detection of MRSA, Clostridium difficile (a highly contagious bacterial intestinal infection), Group B Strep for expectant mothers, and sexually transmitted disease" says Speare's Laboratory Director Thomas Costigan, MT, AAB. "Before it would take up to two days to verify MRSA while we waited for a culture to grow. Now with the new molecular test we will be able to have the results within an hour and 99 percent certainty."
Costigan explains the molecular tests are more expensive, but are more exact, hence the higher quality result in a very short amount of time. He says, "In the end the new testing is cost neutral, because we can put a patient's mind at ease, or enable their doctor to begin treatment, sooner."
Speare's Lab will also be employing new testing for the detection of Lyme Disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 95 percent of reported cases of Lyme Disease in 2012 came from 13 states, including New Hampshire. Beginning in early May, Speare's Lab will begin validating a new test for Lyme Disease that produces results in 45 minutes. Previously, the Lab would have to send out for results which would take two to three days. Costigan explains that while the Lab will use this new test for primary results, they will also be validating and comparing those results with other testing methods to ensure accuracy.
While the quality and accuracy of these new tests is enhanced, Costigan says the quality of testing at Speare's Lab overall is significantly higher than a large, independent, for profit, high volume lab. He explains, "It is important for patients to know that they do have a choice in which lab they go to, or have their testing sent to. While many insurance providers are offering lower or no co pays to patients who utilize laboratory services in other parts of the state, the trade off is convenience and travel time, not to mention delays in getting results.
"We know our patients and have a more complete picture of their health history. Not to mention we have some of the best phlebotomists anywhere," said Costigan, in reference to the fact the Lab has a large population of "seasonal" patients who come to Speare just to get their blood drawn—some from as far away as New York.
Speare's Lab is accredited by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP,) which advocates for high-quality and cost-effective medical care. CAP is a voluntary accreditation that measures performance against industry best practices and recognizes laboratories for "excellence of the services being provided." The process includes an inspection of the lab's records and quality control procedures, as well as a review of staff qualifications, equipments, facilities, safety program and record.
The main Lab located at Speare is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. There is also a blood drawing station at the Hospital's medical office building—Speare Memorial at Boulder Point—located on Boulder Point Drive off Tenney Mountain Highway. It is open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 09:36
ASHLAND — The small town of Ashland has experienced major changes over the past year, as HEAL NH has worked with Ashland town officials, as well as community members, to support several projects designed to provide residents with more healthy eating choices and opportunities to get out and be physically active.
In April alone, Ashland launched two healthy eating, active living projects. An organic community garden was launched, where over 50 people showed up at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Dot's Bread & Butter joined The Common Man Restaurant - two Main Street eating establishments in Ashland - to offer healthy menu items to their customers.
As part of the program, Dot's Bread & Butter and The Common Man worked with a registered dietitian at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth to modify and/or add several menu items to meet healthier standards, including lower fat and sodium content. The program also requires that the HEAL approved menu items be clearly marked.
According to Joe Collins, Executive Chef at Dot's Bread & Butter, the menus have been altered because, "We believe that the sky is the limit with the positive impact this type of thinking can make. Giving opportunities for people to make healthier choices in this manner can really make a difference."
The healthy restaurant program in Ashland is part of a growing movement with restaurants in New Hampshire and across the country responding to consumer demand for healthier menu items. While there were only four participants in HEAL NH's statewide healthy restaurant initiative about a year ago, participation has tripled in the past few months, with more in the process to join. The Common Man and Dot's Bread & Butter are two of the most recent restaurants to participate illustrating how members of a community can unite to make impacting changes.
"The Common Man Family is proud to not only support but also partner with HEAL in efforts to bring health-conscious options and practices to the Ashland Community," said Jason Lyon, CEO of the Common Man Family. "Our HEAL children's menu has been very well received, and we plan to offer a new summer menu with more great healthy options for our guests."
Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 09:28
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