Inter-Lakes High School’s Interact Club collecting socks for the homeless

MEREDITH — This month, the Inter-Lakes High School Interact club will be collecting socks throughout the entire month to donate to those suffering from homelessness. There are three drop off locations: the school, Pemi Youth Center in Plymouth and Lakes Region Dance in Moultonborough.

The Meredith Altrusa Club chapter has volunteered to join Interact's cause this year by collecting socks as well as the Meredith Rotary Club. The club's goal is to collect one thousand new pairs of socks over the month of October to be able to donate on November 2. The socks will be donated to the Salvation Army in Laconia, New Beginnings shelter in Laconia, and the Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region.

The Interact club was established last March. It meets twice a month and is sponsored by Meredith Rotary Club. The club focuses on developing leadership skills, making international connections, and participating in local and international service. The club is advised by Rotarian Gary Dehnel and ILHS teacher Laura Brusseau under the leadership of ILHS Interact Club President Carter Smith.

For more information to donate or become a drop off location email ILHS Interact President Carter Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LRGH's Weight Institute of N.H. receives national accreditation

LACONIA — Patients seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions have a high-quality choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care in the greater Lakes Region area.

Dr. Raza M. Shariff, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery director at Weight Institute of New Hampshire (WINH), a department of LRGHealthcare, has announced its bariatric surgical center has been accredited as a Low Acuity Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The MBSAQIP Standards, outlined in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2014 ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. The accredited center offers preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for their severely obese patients. "We are very happy to offer this service to our community and proud that we meet and even exceed the national standards," said Dr. Shariff.

WINH's commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff, leadership, and a bariatric surgeon who participates in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes. It seeks continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center.

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, WINH met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity. The center also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement. The standards are specified in the MBSAQIP Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2014, published by the ACS and ASMBS.

LRGHealthcare Director of WINH, Carole Domin, MBA RDN LD CDE says, "I am very proud of our program. We have worked hard to create a comprehensive program that not only meets all of the MBSAQIP national standards, but goes above and beyond with a commitment and focus on lifestyle and behavior change. We work closely with our patients, partnering with them throughout this very challenging and personal journey."

After submitting an application, centers seeking MBSAQIP Accreditation undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon, who reviews the center's structure, process, and clinical outcomes data. "The surgeon that did our site visit spoke highly of our patient centered program. He stated our program is built for success and has qualified for low acuity accreditation with flying colors," said Domin. Centers are awarded a specific designation depending on how many patients it serves annually, the type of procedures it provides, and whether it provides care for patients under age 18.

In the United States, around 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. Working with ASMBS, the ACS expanded this quality program for bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist bariatric patients in identifying those centers that provide optimal surgical care.

Arts Collaborative hosting 'Girl's Eye View' event on Oct. 24

MEREDITH — The second annual Circle Program Arts Collaborative event — Girl's Eye View — will showcase the work of 32 Circle teens as they express themselves through photography, shadow boxes and poetry. The public in welcome to attend the gallery exhibit — hosted by the Arts Collaborative in Meredith — between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. Light refreshments will be served and there will be an opportunity to purchase note cards and photographs created by the Circle teens.

This free event also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the Circle Program, a non-profit organization that serves 92 New Hampshire girls and teens through year-round mentorship and summer camp experiences. Free interactive craft activities for all ages will also be available. For more information, please visit

The Arts Collaborative is located at 5 Winona Road, just off Rte. 104.

‘Hugs and Kisses’ Wi-Fi system enhances infant safety at LRGHealthcare


LACONIA — LRGHealthcare has implemented the Hugs Wi-Fi Infant Protection Solution in the Lakes Region General Hospital (LRGH) Family Birthplace. LRGH is the first hospital in the state to have the Hugs and Kisses system on Wi-Fi.

The solution known as Hugs and Kisses is a state-of-the-art infant protection system that not only protects the infant while it's in the Family Birthplace, but has the technology to track the baby throughout the hospital including the parking lots. This greatly aids the ability to locate the baby should it be taken out of the Family Birthplace by tracking "live time" the baby's travel route.

The Kisses portion ensures that baby and mother are always correctly matched. Each mother is given a Kisses tag, which is bonded with her infant's Hugs tag, and whenever the two are brought together, the technology checks for a proper match. If they're a correct match, it will emit a pleasant tone and if not, an unpleasant one.

Last December the local community embraced the Hugs and Kisses security program by donating over $17,000 to help fund this program in addition to a grant of $22,500 from the NH1 Children's Auction.

The Family Birthplace is a small community unit that provides exemplary care to moms, babies, and families following the National Best Standards of Care. There are eight suites which are arranged to allow for a mother to labor, deliver, and recover in one room without separating the baby from family. The Family Birthplace also supports mothers through triage care; meeting their needs before their due date and on through supportive nursery care for their infant. Family Birthplace expects to deliver 325 babies this year.

Lauren Murphy RN, MSN, Coordinator of Family Birthplace said, "LRGHealthcare strives to achieve organizational excellence and superior care in patient safety, security, and protection of our infants. Hugs and Kisses is just one of many initiatives we have recently implemented and our staff continues to seek innovative solutions, educational opportunities, and technology to advance the care and experience we provide our families, moms, and babies."

Hugs Wi-Fi offers multiple benefits:
— Hospital-wide infant security – Exits are monitored and infants are tracked anywhere within the hospital's Wi-Fi signal.

— Out of unit alarm – If an infant is detected outside the Family Birthplace with no record of a staff member transporting him/her, an alarm will sound.

— Stand-alone exit protection – Exits are protected even in the event that communication to the server is disrupted.

— Anywhere information – System can be monitored on any Windows device with network access. Alerts will be pushed to staff via mobile digital devices.

William Losefsky, CHPA, Chief of Security Services said, "LRGHealthcare Security is constantly looking to utilize cutting-edge technology in its protective services role. The Hugs and Kisses wi-fi project is an excellent example as traditional infant protection systems limit the protection of the baby to within the family birthing center only. This is a multi-layered comprehensive security strategy utilizing best practices and mitigating risks."