Health and Wellness

Study finds increase in tobacco sales to minors

CONCORD — New Hampshire tobacco retail sales to youth were higher in 2015 compared with the previous year, according to a new report from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. A survey of 338 randomly selected licensed tobacco outlets across the State found that 16.6 percent of tobacco retail sales in 2015 were to children under that age of 18, an uptick from 2014, when 14.4 percent of sales were to youth.

"We've seen a slight but troubling increase in tobacco sales to young adults in recent years," said Joe Harding, Director of the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services at DHHS. "Using tobacco is unsafe at any age, but poses a greater risk to the developing brains of New Hampshire youth. As a result, DHHS is working with the Division of Liquor Enforcement to develop a more diverse array of products and tools to educate merchants and youth."

The number of sales to youth is not the same as actual tobacco use among youth. According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the rates of youth smoking in New Hampshire have declined 10.5 percent more than the past five years, from 27.9 percent in 2011 to 17.4 percent in 2015.

However, while use of tobacco products among youth is on the decline, some young smokers purchase products directly from a licensed tobacco retailer. Data from the 2015 YRBS shows that 13.6 percent of the 14,837 students who answered this question report they get their cigarettes from a store or gas station, indicating a need to improve merchant education and enforcement in New Hampshire.

"Obviously we strive for 100 percent compliance with New Hampshire's tobacco laws, but these data show we have work to do," Harding said. "We understand that some retailers struggle with turnover and we are developing tools to help them train staff and educate the public about the State's tobacco laws and related penalties."

The data were captured by the Synar compliance check program, a federally mandated effort from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, and includes reports from 338 merchants randomly selected out of 1,488 tobacco-licensed outlets across the State. In accordance with federal tobacco regulations, states are required to provide detailed information on progress made in enforcing youth tobacco access laws. The Annual Synar Report format provides the means for states to comply with the reporting provisions of the Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C. 300x-26) and Tobacco Regulation for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) (45 C.F.R. 96.130 (e)). The results of the report, 16.6 percent of sales to minors, is below the federal Synar requirement of less than 20 percent.

To read the full version of the 2017 NH Synar Results, visit the DHHS BDAS data page at

LRGHealthcare pharmacists receive their national board certifications

LACONIA — LRGHealthcare congratulates two of its own pharmacists, Linda Horton and Michael Smith, who recently achieved national board certifications.

Linda Horton, Pharm D, received her recertification by the National Certification Board for Anticoagulation Providers. The designation is CACP (certified anticoagulation provider). It is awarded to providers who meet education and patient care requirements and take an exam every five years for certification and recertification. By having this designation, it also enables LRGHealthcare to maintain its Center of Excellence designation for its Anticoagulation Clinic through the National Anticoagulation Forum.

Michael Smith, Pharm D, has been awarded his Board Certification in Critical Care; designation is BCCCP (Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist). He joins just six other NH pharmacists with the credential and is one of only 1,104 within the United States. Board certification through BPS (Board of Pharmacy Specialties) is recognized as the gold standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels and meet the expanding expectations of patients, physicians, insurance companies, and employers who recognize the increasing need for a team approach to healthcare.

LRGHealthcare congratulates and thanks Linda and Michael for expanding their knowledge to provide the best care possible to LRGHealthcare's patients.

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Michael Smith and Linda Horton received certificates as pharmacists from a national board. (Courtesy photo)

Two LRGHealthcare volunteers honored by president

LACONIA — LRGHealthcare recently honored its volunteers at a brunch held at Pheasant Ridge Country Club in Gilford.

The event was an occasion to recognize all the efforts of the 170 volunteers, who provided 21,000 hours of service.

In recognition of these outstanding achievements, volunteers Richard Guerin and Nancy Paterno were presented with the President's Call to Service Award.

To be eligible to receive the President's Call to Service Award, awarded by the president of the United States, individuals must have completed 4,000 or more hours of volunteer service over the course of their lifetime.

The President's Call to Service Award is issued by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers make to our nation.

The brunch was provided by Contigiani's Catering. And, in the spirit of the holidays entertainment was provided by the Rockin' Daddios.


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Volunteer Coordinator Darcy Peary, left, and Sandy Marshall, right, director of volunteer services for LRGHealgthcare, congratulate Nancy Paterno on receiving the President's Call to Service Award. (Courtesy photo)


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Sandy Marshall, left, director of volunteer services at LRGHealthcare, and Darcy Peary, right, volunteer coordinator, congratulate Richard "Scrooge" Guerin on receiving the President's Call to Service Award at the annual LRGHealthcare Volunteer Recognition Brunch. (Courtesy photo)

LRCS employee named Direct Support Professional of the Year

LACONIA — Scott Fox of Plymouth, a Lakes Region Community Services employee who has spent almost a quarter of a century supporting people with disabilities, was named the Direct Support Professional of the Year by the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities at its October 21-22 Annual DSP Statewide Conference held at the Grand Summit Hotel in Bartlett.

"Scott has been employed at LRCS since December of 1993," said Acting Executive Director Rebecca Bryant. "He has always demonstrated a high level of commitment to the agency and to the individuals he supports. Being chosen as DSP of the Year is a significant honor. As an organization, LRCS is proud to have him on our team."

Fox's dedication was evident late last year when an individual he supports was hospitalized for a month. Fox traveled an hour to the hospital to be there for that person to help him communicate and to be comfortable during a very stressful time. Because of the trust Fox has built, this individual's changing needs continue to be addressed. Fox has worked extra hours whenever needed, telling his management team, "I'll do whatever is needed."

Mark Dickinson, Fox's direct supervisor, describes him as very compassionate and "awesome" with the individuals he supports. "Scott is very deserving of the award," he said.

Vicki Cram, one of LRCS' Shared Family Living providers, was nominated by the agency for NH Home Provider of the Year. Cram's naturally compassionate and selfless nature has enabled her to develop a solid rapport with the person she supports in her home. With Cram's guidance and caring support, this individual's health has improved and they have developed stronger relationships.




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Lakes Region Community Services employee Scott Fox (pictured second from left) was named Direct Service Professional of the Year by the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities at the statewide DSP conference. (Courtesy photo)

Franklin Regional Hospital Auxiliary hosts annual Lights of Memory

FRANKLIN — Members of the Franklin Regional Hospital Auxiliary held the 32nd Lights of Memory celebration at FRH on Sunday, December 4, bringing together community members and hospital employees for a very heartfelt evening.

The event, which is also an annual fundraiser for the group (for a $3 donation the name of a loved one is read), included a short ceremony, the reading of names, holiday music and refreshments.

Auxiliary members also took the opportunity to reflect on the group's many accomplishments in 2016.
The inaugural Mom Prom was held in April at Mojalaki Golf Club in Franklin. 120 women from several surrounding towns attended the prom, all dressed up in an array of formal wear and gowns. The evening featured dinner, dancing, raffles, and contests (including Prom Queen!). A fabulous time was had by all and the event raised $2,400 for the Franklin Regional Hospital Emergency Department Crisis Closet. Members are already making plans for the April 22, 2017 Mom Prom, to be held at Steele Hill Resort.

The Gift Shop at Franklin Regional Hospital continues to thrive as volunteers stock its shelves every month with new and unique gifts. The shop offers everything from flowers and cards to beautiful jewelry and gifts for every occasion. Each purchase supports important initiatives at Franklin Regional Hospital, ultimately benefitting patients and staff.

Each year the Auxiliary supports community initiatives through events such as the Red Dress Gala, the Tanger Fit for a Cure 5K, the LRGHealthcare Golf Classic and Senior Safety Day. The group holds a Christmas in July sale to supplement support of these important events and programs.

In addition, in 2016 members of the Franklin Regional Hospital Auxiliary donated nearly 200 hand-made pillowcases and lap blankets to children and adults alike that come to Franklin Regional Hospital for medical care. These volunteers held bake sales throughout the year to raise funds to supplement the purchase of fabric.

The Auxiliary is always looking for enthusiastic new members. If you're interested in learning more, call 603-934-2060, ext. 8780, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Franklin Regional Hospital Auxiliary members and community members recently celebrated the 32nd Lights of Memory. From left are FRH Auxiliary Director/Scholarship Chairman Pam Hannan; Director/Lights of Memory Co-chairman Carolyn Morrill; Director/Gift Shop Committee member Leanne Hamilton; Director/LOM Co-chairman and Pillow Case Chairman Cynthia Langevin; FRH Auxiliary President/Gift Shop Manager Christine Dzujna; and LRGHealthcare President and CEO Kevin Donovan. (Courtesy photo)