LRGHealth names CEO - Kevin Donovan to lead Lakes Region health care group as of next month

Kevin Donovan - LRGH CEO 2016

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — A week after the annual meeting of LRGHealthcare, the Board of Trustees announced yesterday that Kevin W. Donovan has been appointed president and chief executive officer, succeeding Seth Warren, who resigned suddenly in March.

Since 2010, Donovan, who lives in New London, New Hampshire, has served as president and chief executive officer of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor, Vermont. He will begin work at LRGHealthcare in the middle of next month.

During the search culminating in the appointment of Warren last October, providers, administrators and trustees tapped Donovan as their second choice. In reply to a question posed at the annual meeting last week, Scott Clarenbach, the chairman of the board said that negotiations were underway with one of the two finalists and indicated an announcement would soon be forthcoming. In a prepared statement, Carenbach said yesterday, "I was confident in our decision as a board to explore the opportunity with Kevin after Seth's resignation."

Donovan, whose family includes medical clinicians and hospital administrators, has worked in healthcare since the 1990s. Before joining Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center, he served as a senior vice president at the Elliot Health System in Manchester, director at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, as well as an administrator of hospitals and physician practices in Massachusetts.

In a prepared statement, Donovan said, "I've been working towards a position such as the president and chief executive officer of LRGHealthcare for as long as I can remember. It has always been my goal to lead a full-service, community-focused hospital and health system like those I grew up around." He added that the position at LRGHealthcare represents an opportunity to achieve his professional goals and remain in New Hampshire, where he has raised four children for 17 years.

Donovan has held positions with a number of professional and civic organizations and is president-elect of the Northern New England Association of Healthcare Executives, a board member of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, a member of the American Hospital Association Small and Rural Governing Council and the Vermont Regent to the American College of Health Care Executives.

"Vermont Biz" reported that during Donovan's tenure at Mt. Ascutney Hospital he presided over "a hospital that was undergoing significant change and renewal. A major capital campaign led to facility upgrades and the opening of a new Rehabilitation Center." Donovan also oversaw adjustments to new regulatory challenges and created major community health outreach programs. Most recently Donovan worked to establish a successful affiliation with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

"Kevin," said Clarenbach, will be a leader who will be seen in our hallways as well as a visible member of our community."

Belknap House work progressing, volunteers sought to fix up shelter

By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Work has been underway for several weeks now on the Belknap House, a former office building on Court Street which is being converted into a shelter for homeless families during the winter months and will serve as a hostel for visitors during the summer.
Colleen Garrity, president of the Belknap House board of directors, says that the home will provide a safe shelter for homeless families from Belknap County during the coldest months of the year: mid-October through mid-May. It will provide space for five or six families during that time and will be able to accommodate as many as 19 people while used as a hostel.
Currently the Carey House, operated by the Salvation Army, is the only shelter for homeless families in the Lakes Region, but it has capacity for only three families, leaving scant options for the rest, who are often directed to Concord.
Garrity and Belknap House directors Alfred Columb, treasurer, and Robert Dingman and Don House provided a tour of the facility yesterday to show the progress of the renovation project as workers struggled to remove the 500-pound radiators from the old heating system, which is being replaced. It is expected that the work will be completed by Oct. 1.
They said that volunteers, local religious and community organizations, and area businesses have provided the needed labor, in-kind donations, and monetary support for many fundraising events to get the project underway. In February, Belknap House completed a $25,000 matching fundraiser campaign which allowed it to match a $25,000 gift from an anonymous donor.
The purchase was completed on April 5, thanks to donations from the community and a loan through the Franklin Savings Bank, for the $250,0000 project.
Local architect Sonya Misiaszek of the Misiaszek Turpin architectural firm, provided the drawings for the ADA-compliant plans, including entrances and exits, bedrooms, bathrooms with showers and tubs, and a renovated kitchen. A new sprinkler system will be installed for fire safety compliance.
The renovated building will have a reception area as well as a common area for residents and office space for an executive director, who will be the only paid employee of Belknap House, which will rely on volunteers to help provide needed services.
The Laconia Zoning Board of Adjustment recently approved a special exception for the property, which was was required since neither a shelter nor a hostel is a permitted use in the commercial district where the building is located.
The ZBA attached three conditions to its decision. The property must be screened from abutting properties, Temple B'nai Israel to the west and a residence on Pearl Street to the south, by either fencing or shrubbery. Families referred to the shelter by the welfare directors of towns in the county would remain domiciled in those towns, which would be responsible for providing any public assistance and services to them as well as schooling their children. Finally, the shelter will be open only to families referred to it by welfare directors in Belknap County.
With renovations underway, more volunteers are being sought to help complete the renovations and room sponsors are also being sought.
Those with questions about volunteering or donations, may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The next large Belknap House fundraiser will be the second annual Belknap House Golf Tournament on Aug. 22 at Lochmere Country Club in Tilton.

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Work is underway on the Belknap House, a former office building on Court Street which will become a shelter for homeless families during the winter months and a hostel during the summer months. Colleen Garrity, president of the Belknap House board of directors, and directors Alfred Columb, Don House and Robert Dingman, say that volunteers are being sought to help with the renovations. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Local scholars honored with trip to Fisher Cats game

LACONIA — Nearly 5,000 students from all over New Hampshire were invited to spend the day enjoying a Fisher Cats game at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester yesterday for the New Hampshire Scholars graduation. New Hampshire Scholars urges students to pursue the more challenging classes and a broad course load with focus on physics, foreign languages, math and engineering. By completing these courses, students are better positioned to be accepted in the college of their choice and pursue their career dreams.

“Nearly 100 percent of these New Hampshire Scholars graduates head straight to college,” said Scott Power, director of New Hampshire Scholars. “Due to their dedication and hard work and devotion, a college degree is within reach. We are so proud of these young men and women, and they deserve recognition for their hard work.”

The founding organization for New Hampshire Scholars is the New Hampshire College and University Council, a consortium of public and private colleges and universities in the state of New Hampshire. “New Hampshire’s success relies on the hard work of our future generation,” said Tom Horgan, president and CEO of NHCUC. “These young people are proof that if you set high expectations, and provide the tools needed to reach them, anything is possible. I am honored to be a part of recognizing the New Hampshire Scholars Class of 2016.”

Speaking at the event were Tom Raffio, chairman of the State Board of Education and president/CEO of Northeast Delta Dental; Dr. Cheryl Wilkie, senior vice president of Easter Seals/Farnum Center; Bill Quigley, vice president of marketing and events for New Hampshire Motor Speedway; and Muji Karim, former UNH football captain and current Paralympic runner. MB Padfield, a local acoustic singer-songwriter performed live.

Students participating from Laconia High School were: Jocelyn Allain, Jordan Audet, Emily Bentley, W.Alexander Cammack, Kyle Chiasson, Charles Clarke-Mergenthaler, Natalie Compton, Dominic Cutter-Cannuli, Elizabeth Davis, Emily DeDucca, Alyssa, Desautelle, Joshua Emond, Robin Friend, Taylor Gagne, Raina Gately, Mariah Hawkins, Mackenzie Howe, Kyle Johnson, Robin Kaigle, Rachel Lowe, Erika Marchione, Jessica McDermott, Kaity-Anne Neylon, Kailey Nute, Griffin Nyhan, Kayla Phelps, Chance Privette, Daniel Romprey, Andrew Salta, James Salta, Samantha Sapier, Gabrielle Smith, Madeline Smith, Taylor Sullivan, Trevor Weeks, Matthew Westcott and Madison Wunsch.

Editor’s note: Names of students from other area schools were not available at press time. We hope to run those tomorrow in The Sun.

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Laconia High School scholars enjoyed a day at the ballpark yesterday in honor of their hard work. Students from other area schools also attended.  (Courtesy photo/Gil Talbot Photography)

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MB Padfield, a local singing star, entertained the students at the event yesterday. (Courtesy photo/Gil Talbot Photography)

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Former UNH football star Muji Karim, who lost his legs in a car accident but is headed to the Paralympic Games in Rio as a runner, inspired the crowd. (Courtesy photo/Gil Talbot Photography)