Health

Scholarships opportunities available through Memorial Hospital of North Conway

NORTH CONWAY — Applications are now available for Memorial Hospital’s annual scholarship fund, including the Memorial Hospital Scholarship, the Memorial Hospital Volunteers Scholarship Program and the Visiting Nurse Home Care and Hospice of Carroll County Kathleen Sheehan Memorial Award.

The hospital’s scholarship awards are designed to support students in the community pursuing careers in health-related fields. The Memorial Hospital Foundation will once again offer a scholarship in honor of Miranda Leavitt for students with diabetes or who are studying health care, nutrition or exercise physiology.

The scholarship program specifically seeks to assist those students within the hospital’s service area, which includes towns served by SAU 9, SAU 13 and MSAD 72 that have already demonstrated the successful completion of part of a higher education degree. Adult learners returning to school, changing careers or seeking additional education are encouraged to apply. Students must be accepted into an accredited course of study in a health-related field on at least a half-time basis, and demonstrate successful completion of some earlier portion of their program of study. Each scholarship has its own criteria and interested students are encouraged to view the application online for specifics.

Candidates must submit an application form online no later than May 12. Only online applications will be considered. Awards are based on scholastic ability, applicable work experience, essay and demonstrated financial needs.

The online application and more information are available online at Memorial Hospital’s website, www.memorialhospitalnh.org/scholarships.

To learn more about the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund and the Memorial Hospital Foundation, visit the hospital website or call (603) 356-5461 ext. 2264.

LeavittMiranda Leavitt passed away from complications of Type 1 diabetes at the age of 22. Memorial Hospital now offers a scholarship in her memory. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Scholarships available through Weeks Medical Center for healthcare careers

Weeks Medical Center requests applications for health-care scholarships

LANCASTER — In a continued commitment to provide financial assistance to those seeking education and advancement within the health-care field, the Weeks Medical Center Scholarship Committee is seeking applicants for five annual scholarships.

The five scholarships include, the Christy St. Onge Memorial Scholarship, the Ferguson Health Career Scholarship, the Patricia M. Gregory Scholarship, the Robert M. Quay, MD Scholarship, and the Hunter/Chamberlin Scholarship. Each scholarship provides a one-time $500 award.

The scholarships are available to graduating seniors of White Mountains Regional High School and Groveton High School and to Weeks Medical Center employees who are pursuing or furthering their education in health care. Applications are available at both high school guidance offices or at the human resource department at Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster. The application deadline is May 19.

For more information about the scholarships or careers in health care, contact Linda Rexford, human resources director, at (603) 788-5018.

Weeks Medical Center provides high quality and efficient health-care and wellness services to nine towns in northern New Hampshire and Vermont. For more information, visit weeksmedical.org.

Weeks Medical Center awarded grants to develop Medication Assisted Therapy Program

LANCASTER — Weeks Medical Center has been awarded two grants to begin a therapy program for current patients who misuse opioid medications. The new program, called Medication Assisted Therapy, will provide customized treatment plans for patients seeking to end their opioid addiction. Currently, New Hampshire ranks second in the nation for opioid-related deaths.

The grants support a pilot project lead by the Weeks interdisciplinary team of behavioral therapist Shawna Delworth, LADC, medical director Lars Nielson, MD, primary care provider Christopher Laurent, APRN, and case manager Thomas Pickford. Medication Assisted Therapy will be launched with six patients from Weeks practices who have a strong desire to break their addiction, which originated from prescription pain medications. Patients will be carefully screened and selected to participate in the pilot project.

Each Medication Assisted Therapy patient will receive a customized care plan to meet his or her individual needs, which includes a contract for participation. Each plan will include mandatory intensive therapy sessions, attendance at Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and compliance screenings with support from the Weeks interdisciplinary team. The two medications that will be prescribed as part of the program include Suboxone and Vivitrol, which reduce the craving for opioids and help prevent relapse to opioid dependence, respectively. These medications will not be stored at the treatment site and will be prescribed to patients to be obtained from a pharmacy.

The Medication Assisted Therapy pilot program will be located in the outreach area of the Weeks Medical Center Lancaster Physicians Office. After the pilot program is complete, it will be expanded to assist more patients and moved to the Northwoods Home Health and Hospice building in Lancaster.

Opioid addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that affects people psychologically and physically. Effective treatment programs, such as Medication Assisted Therapy, focus on both aspects of addiction through counseling and medication. For the first quarter of 2017, the Weeks Emergency Department treated 10 individuals for opioid overdose, misuse, and other opioid-related events. Additionally, Weeks has 111 patients being treated for opioid misuse. According to statistics , 6.8 percent of New Hampshire high school students report that they have taken prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription and 14.7 percent indicate it is very easy to obtain prescription medications without a prescription.

Weeks long-range plan is to develop a comprehensive pain program as part of the Medication Assisted Therapy program to provide alternatives to patients in chronic pain.

For more information, contact Irene Nadeau at (603) 788-5050.

New senior living center to be named Summit by Morrison

WHITEFIELD — The Morrison, an assisted living and skilled nursing home in Whitefield, has unveiled the name of its new, under-construction senior living community: Summit by Morrison. It also released the Summit by Morrison logo and an artist’s rendering of the main building.

"The Morrison has earned a sterling reputation for providing outstanding, compassionate care to generations of Greater Whitefield residents," said Director of Development Mell Brooks. "Summit by Morrison will embrace the same commitment to excellence, while expanding housing options for seniors who wish to continue living in our beautiful North Country and their families who wish to keep them close by."

A first-of-its kind facility in this part of New Hampshire, Summit by Morrison will feature 14 independent living cottages and a main building with 33 independent living apartments, 24 assisted living apartments, and 12 apartments for residents who need memory support.  It will also help stimulate the local economy, creating 30-33 good, new jobs. According to the most recent state Employment Security labor statistics, Coos County has the highest rate of unemployment in New Hampshire.

Summit by Morrison will meet the increasing needs of seniors who are looking to stay in the North Country but need something more than living home alone or with family.  Census data shows there is a higher percentage of people over 65 years of age in Coos, Grafton and Carroll Counties than anywhere in New Hampshire. Summit by Morrison residents will enjoy the peace-of-mind in knowing that they have the flexibility to live active, independent lives, but may also shift to assisted living arrangements, if needed. 

Located on a sloping hillside off Route 116 (Littleton Road) in Whitefield, Summit by Morrison offers sweeping, majestic views of Dalton Mountain and others north and west. Construction began in early December 2016, and is expected to be fully complete by Spring 2018, with some residences available in late 2017.

"If we continue to proceed on pace, independent living cottages may be ready for occupancy this fall," said Brooks.  "To date, more than 25 people have expressed interest in the cottages and apartments. There has been such a tremendous, positive response from the community and those who are specifically interested in living at Summit by Morrison, we have created a wait list." 

As the Summit by Morrison website is under construction, seniors and their adult children who are interested in learning about the community’s residential options are encouraged to contact Mr. Brooks at (603) 754-4004 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Littleton resident Anna Rioux recently attended a Summit by Morrison project presentation. "I want to live independently, but I am excited that we will have a community where there are friends nearby, and where we will have options to remain in the community, but receive assistance when the time comes," said Rioux.  "The North Country is a wonderful place to live, and Summit by Morrison offers a great location for people who wish to live here."

Dr. Traci Wagner joins Coos County Family Health

Dr. Traci Wagner, MD joins Coos County Family Health as a pediatrician at the Pleasant St., office in Berlin. Wagner joins Dr. Brian Beals, MD, and Nurse Practitioner Jeanne Charest, APRN, as part of the pediatrics team.

Wagner is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine, and is board certified in pediatrics. Previously, she served at Littleton Regional Healthcare. She is the parent of three adult children and resides in Dalton.

Wagner has a strong interest in working with parents and kids to promote healthy lifestyles including an emphasis on nutrition, exercise and emotional development, and is committed to helping families make choices for themselves that promote wellness. Wagner is accepting new patients, and is available on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Pleasant Street Clinic.

In addition, Jeanne Charest, pediatric nurse practitioner, has turned her focus towards addressing the behavioral health needs of area children and adolescents. In this new role, Charest will work with kids, families, school personnel and others to ensure that appropriate care and support is offered to everyone involved in a child’s life. Charest will also continue her work with children with special health needs, and remains available for any patient who wishes to continue their care with her.

Wagner and Charest join long-time pediatrician Dr. Brian Beals, who continues to serve the community from the Gorham clinic. With three pediatric providers, access to timely and comprehensive medical care for children and adolescents is more readily available than ever before in the Berlin–Gorham area.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Coos County Family Health at (603) 752-2040 in Berlin or (603) 466-2741 in Gorham.

Pediatrics Team PhotoPictured from left, Nurse Practitioner Jeanne Charest, APRN; Dr. Brian Beals, MD; and Dr. Traci Wagner, MD. (COURTESY PHOTO)