North Country substance misuse prevention professionals 'primed' to serve

Student Assistance Professionals from schools around northern New Hampshire and North Country Health Consortium staff attended a three-day substance misuse prevention training at the end of October to adopt the “Prime for Life” model into their respective programming for at-risk students and clientele.

“We are dedicated to reducing the misuse of alcohol and other drugs within our region,” said Nancy Frank, chief executive officer of North Country Health Consortium, “and are fortunate to be able to integrate this program with our work with North Country youth.”

“Prime for Life” is an evidence-based practice that has demonstrated success in changing high-risk attitudes, drinking and drug use, and increasing abstinence with teens and adults. The program emphasizes inclusion and non-judgement.

Attendees are trained to create a safe environment for people to consider how their choices affect their lives and make educated decisions about substance use based on what they learn about their personal risk factors.

North Country Health Consortium sent staff members, Kristy Letendre, continuum of care coordinator for the North Country Regional Prevention Network, Chris St. Cyr, town of Berlin’s restorative justice program coordinator, and Annette Carbonneau, program manager/SAP supervisor, to the three-day training in Augusta Maine along with SAPs from the following seven schools: Gorham Middle-High School, Groveton High School, Woodsville High School, Lisbon High School, White Mountains Regional High School, North Country Charter Academy and White Mountains Community College.

Attendance to this training was funded by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services through a grant to the North Country Health Consortium.

The North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers serving northern New Hampshire. For more information about NCHC and the North Country Regional Prevention Network, go to or call (603)259-3700.

Student Assistance ProfessionalsStudent Assistance Professionals (from left): Kattie McKinnon from White Mountains Regional High School, Jane King from Lisbon High School, Charlie Mae Johnson from Woodsville High School, Erik Becker from Groveton High School, Joy Burrill from Gorham High School and Georgia Caron from North Country Charter Academy, were part of the group that the North Country Health Consortium sent to “Prime for Life,” a three-day evidence-based substance misuse prevention training in Augusta, Maine, last month. (COURTESY PHOTO)



Omni Mount Washington and WMCC launch three-year apprenticeship degree program

WMCC culinary arts students receive in-demand tourism industry training and real-world experience

A new partnership and apprenticeship program between Omni Mount Washington Resort’s in-house Bretton Woods Culinary Academy and White Mountains Community College is offering an answer to hospitality workforce challenges and an opportunity for students to learn from a premiere tourism destination.

Designed to address a shortage of highly-trained culinary professionals in New Hampshire and the rest of the region, the new three-year apprenticeship program will provide comprehensive real-world training and full-time employment for students pursuing an associate degree in culinary arts from the N.H. Culinary Institute at White Mountains Community College.

“Apprenticeships are a proven approach for providing high quality culinary arts training that benefit both students and industry partner hosts,” said Kurt Hohmeister, associate professor at WMCC, a former executive chef, and culinary instructor at WMCC for over 30 years. “We’re joining forces to give students the best possible educational experience while Omni Mount Washington Resort fills an immediate staffing need and helps shape the next generation of culinary leaders.”

New Hampshire’s hospitality industry has been identified as one of three major areas of focus for the state’s workforce development efforts, and represents a combined GDP of $2.52 billion. With that expected to grow in both short and long-term projections, and considering New Hampshire’s consistently low unemployment rate, WMCC and Omni Mount Washington Resort’s apprenticeship program hopes to help offset projected gaps between the available workers and those needed to continue positive trends in the state’s tourism industry.

Student apprentices spend three years as full-time employees at the resort and in turn, earn money while they learn, with pay increases at certain milestones. Optional housing is provided at the hotel while students complete coursework and earn credits toward their degree. After three years, including one as an apprentice at Omni Mount Washington Resort, students graduate with an associate of science degree in culinary arts, experience at a top-tier resort complete with training from renowned culinary professionals, and a network of connections to help them as they embark on new careers in tourism, hospitality, and culinary arts.

“The Bretton Woods Culinary Academy is happy to be partnered with White Mountains Community College to educate and guide students in their career growth. We believe the skills and experience the apprentices are learning will help strengthen the community with a highly skilled workforce,” said Joseph Madzia IV, executive sous chef at Omni Mount Washington Resort.”





cutline: Waterville High School nurse named Maine School nurse of the year

Main Nurse of the Year

The Maine Association of School Nurses has named Ann Bouchard (center) as Maine's 2017-2018 School Nurse of the Year. A registered nurse for 40 years, the last 17 of them as a school nurse at Waterville Senior HIgh School. Bouchard is the daughter of Hubert and Pauline Bouchard of Berlin and a 1972 graduate of Notre Dame High School. From left: Deborah Kostan Braxton, chairperson Maine School nurse of the year committee and Pat Endsley, 2016 Maine School of the year. (COURTESY PHOTO) 


BHS holds successful blood drive

Berlin High student 1Berlin High School’s health science technology program held a successful blood drive on Oct. 24. Jordyn Prouty, health science technology member, donated blood for the first time. In all, 37 pints of blood were collected by the American Red Cross. (COURTESY PHOTO)