Fusion honors Brusseau, Walker & Adel for their 'Impact' on community

LACONIA — Somehow, winner Laura Brusseau finds time to be a director of Faith Hope and Love — the non-profit foundation she founded nine years ago, to be a full-time social studies teacher at Inter-Lakes High School, be a co-founder of the Lakes Region Dancing with the Stars, perform dog therapy and enjoy hiking, photography and traveling.

For these qualities and the fact she does it all with the intent to help people, Brusseau was one of three Fusion Impact Award winners named last night.

"I'm very humbled," Brusseau said, saying just to be included in a category with the six other nominees is an honor.

Fusion is an outgrowth of the Lakes Region Young Professional Network that morphed into an organization that recognizes and cultivates all professionals and volunteers who work to make the Lakes Region a place to stay and play.

Faith Hope and Love started as an organization that provided used prom dresses and accessories to students who couldn't afford new ones. In its nine years, Brusseau said it has given away 600 prom dresses and $20,000 in scholarships, grants, and donations to other non-profit organizations.

There were two other winners — both of whom couldn't attend Thursday's ceremony.

John Walker — the co-founder of Laconia Got Lunch — who is also active in his church, has four children and five grandchildren, is the president of the Laconia Kiwanis Club was one.

"John Walker is a doer," said former Mayor Mike Seymour, who co-hosted the event.

Krystal Adel is the operations manager of All-Brite and most recently the president of the Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity. She is a young mother with young children, said Seymour, who finds ways to give her time to three other organizations.

The other six nominees were Allison Ambrose, Amy Nutter Burke, Ashley Halsey, Don Morrissey.

The first Fusion Impact Awards ceremony was held Thursday night at the Laconia Country Club and was attended by about 100 of the movers and shakers in the Lakes Region.

The organization's only mission, said Jaime Sousa the president of Fusion, is to develop future leaders.

Victim of motorcycle crash in Belmont identified as 36 year-old local woman

BELMONT - The woman killed in a motorcycle/automobile crash on Jamestown Road on May 4 has been identified as  36-year-old Nicole Kenneson of Belmont, police report.

Her husband Gary Kenneson, 32, of Belmont was driving the motorcycle when it crashed into the rear of a car driven by Sheila Akerstrom.

Police said Akerstrom had backed out of a driveway, had not seen any lights from either director and had put her car into drive when she was struck from behind.

The crash is being investigated by the Belknap Regional Accident Investigation Team and which is considering a number of factors including sight lines, road alignment, surface conditions, speed and mechanical conditions of both vehicles.

LRGHealthcare lays off 22 in restructuring plan

LACONIA — LRGHealthcare, operators of Lakes Region General Hospital and Franklin Regional Hospital, announced yesterday that it has implemented a staff restructuring plan which has resulted in the layoff of 22 employees.

In a statement released to the media, LRGH said the move was undertaken "to ensure the provision of safe and effective patient care while remaining fiscally responsible."

While "22 people have been separated from their positions," according to Sandy Marshall, director of public relations for LRGHealthcare, an unspecified number of job titles have or will be added to address changing needs. She also said that LRGH would continue recruiting to fill 60 open positions currently posted on its website.

Marshall said the layoffs began occurring several weeks ago. She had no information as to how many of the positions were full-time and how many were part-time.

She said the layoffs were not concentrated in particular departments. "The was done equally across the organization to streamline and find leaner ways to provide quality care," Marshall said.

LRGHealthcare said it was undertaking the staff restructuring in an "uncertain environment," according to Chuck Van Sluyter, LRGH's interim president and CEO. He said an important part of this focus has been to adjust the skill mix of the workforce to meet the changing needs for services.
LRGHealthcare currently has about 1,500 employees, according to Marshall, making it the largest single employer in the Lakes Region. The organization employs the same number of people today as it did at the end of the fiscal year which concluded last September.

The layoffs and staff restructuring come as LRGHealthcare has experience a decline in revenue. At its annual meeting last month the organization reported that in Fiscal Year 2014 it experienced a $2 million increase in operating expenses while revenues declined by about the same amount, resulting in $355,000 in operating revenue, leaving an operating margin of 1.2 percent.

"We understand that these adjustments in the workforce create uneasiness," said Van Sluyter, "but we are confident that they are in the best long-term interest of our patients and the communities we serve. We ask for your understanding as we, like so many other health care organizations, work through this transformation and assure you that these decisions are being made thoughtfully," he added.