New Years Eve Recovery Bash at the Berlin Recovery Community Center

BERLIN — Ring in the New Year at the Hope for N.H. Recovery Center on Saturday, Dec. 31. Starting off the evening there will be an AA meeting from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by karaoke from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Then at 10:30 p.m. there will be an NA meeting and at 11:45 p.m. everyone will prepare to ring in 2017!

Light snacks and refreshments will be provided by Berlin Market Place and the Gorham Super Walmart. There is a suggested donation of $5.

The Berlin Recovery Community Center is located at 823 Main Street in Berlin. For more information call (603) 752-9900. Also find them on Facebook at

Shape Up for 2017 with Drums Alive at St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts

BERLIN — Drums Alive is one of the latest innovations in fitness and wellness. Drums Alive is a unique and different workout than you’ve ever tried before. It captures the essence of movement and rhythm combined with fun to deliver real fitness results! The choreographies are designed to burn fat, improve physical and mental fitness and above all, allow you to have some fun while doing it! If you’ve been meaning to do something for yourself and haven’t join them yet, feel free to jump in as certified instructor Denise Doucette continues to share this amazingly fun fitness program at St. Kieran Arts Center.

If work gets in your way for the morning session, 2017 brings the introduction of an evening class to be held on Wednesdays starting at 6:30 p.m. These Wednesday evening sessions will start on Jan. 4, and continue weekly on Jan. 11, 18 and 25 and Feb. 1 and 8. The Thursday sessions will continue to meet 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 5, 12, 19 and 26 and Feb. 9 and 16. Both sessions will meet in the community room, located in the basement of the arts center. For $60.00, Doucette will provide the drum sticks, the exercise balls, music and guided instruction. Save $10.00 when you pre-register with payment by Nov. 4! Participants are required to sign a release of liability prior to participation.

Space is limited to 20 participants. Can’t make all six classes? Feel free to join them on the days that you can: $10.00 per class. The goal of the program is to improve lives through a unique sensory-motor drumming program involving drum sticks, an exercise ball, and music. The primary goal of the Drums Alive program is creating a "whole mind, whole body" experience for all participating. Drums Alive will improve the quality of life for a wide variety of audiences; including mentally and physically challenged children; gifted and talented children; fit and healthy children and adults; children and adults with aggression issues; senior citizens; and patients with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and other life-altering conditions.

Improvements will come through the use of principles from movement therapy, music and sound therapy, physical education/fitness and rhythmic education. The program provides a platform for socialization and a sense of belonging to a group, which has shown to improve motivation and fitness adherence. It allows for individual and creative expression through both verbal and non-verbal communication, provides a healthy way to release aggression and decrease stress, focusing on acceptance, respect and understanding of different cultural movements, rhythms and music.

As with any exercise program, please check with your health care professional before making the commitment. For more information about Drums Alive, to purchase a membership or loyalty card or to make a donation to the annual or capital improvement funds in support of their Seven to Save project, please contact the Arts Center at (603) 752-1028.

20160623 ball sticks

Memorial Hospital partners with Conway Elementary and UNH Cooperative Extension to offer Slow Cooker Program

NORTH CONWAY — Twelve families had the chance to eat, cook and play together at the Slow Cooker program offered to Conway Elementary School families this fall. The six week lesson series was available through a collaboration between UNH Cooperative Extension, Memorial Hospital, and Conway Elementary School. All participants were given a slow cooker, a meal during class, and ingredients to a recipe to cook at home.

Each week dinner was made ahead of time in a slow cooker with the recipe they would be bringing home that day. This gave participants the chance to see and taste what they were making in class. During meal times they could talk about what they might do to modify the recipe, or change ingredients or cooking times to improve the meal for their individual tastes.

Once the meal was over parents helped their children chop vegetables and add ingredients together in a freezer bag to take home. During this time participants practiced knife skills, food safety, and ways to include their children in the cooking process. This gave families a chance to set aside an hour or more with their children to engage with them during meals and cooking. They focused on showing their young chefs how to use a knife, measure ingredients, and wash their hands and dishes correctly.

After all the food was eaten, prepped and cleaned up the parents and children split up for a quick lesson tailored to each age group. The children joined Memorial Hospital’s Justine Fierman, FHP-BC, BC-ADM, MSN, CDE and Brenda McKay, RD, LD, who had youth based nutrition lessons and games with a focus on diabetes prevention. The parents joined UNH Cooperative Extension Nutrition Connections’ Joy Gagnon to learn more about reading food labels, identifying whole grains, increasing family physical activity and shopping wisely.

This program was only made possible through a collaboration between UNH Cooperative Extension, Memorial Hospital and Conway Elementary School. Cooperative Extension’s Nutrition Connections Program provided the nutrition lessons and organized the lesson series. Conway Elementary recruited families and provided teacher volunteers to help setup, clean up and support the hospital staff with the youth each week. Memorial Hospital provided generous funds to purchase slow cookers, chefs knives and food for all the families as well as staff to facilitate the classes. The Mount Washington Valley Kiwanis Club had supported Memorial’s Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund which made the hospital’s support possible. This strong collaboration allowed for a smooth, well organized program that was fun for everyone involved.

UNH Cooperative Extension’s Nutrition Connections program offers free nutrition education to income eligible individuals and families interested in learning more about eating healthy on a budget. Participants learn about making healthy choices that they can live with. Many families or older adults are busy with work, school, sports or doctors’ appointments, and everyone knows that the busier people are the harder it is to eat right. The slow cooker program has been a fun way for participants to learn more about using a slow cooker to prepare healthy, homemade meals when life is busy.

Conway Elementary School recruited families from the school through flyers and personal outreach. Each week a different Health and Wellness Committee Member from the school volunteered to help in whatever capacity possible. These volunteers are an invaluable part of this team and their support helped the class run smoothly.

The next slow cooker class will be offered to John Fuller families in the beginning of January. If your child attends the John Fuller School and would like to sign up for the slow cooker classes, please contact David Olson at John Fuller at (603) 356-5381. If you would like to learn more about this program contact Joy Gagnon, Extension Teacher, with UNH Cooperative Extension at (603) 447-3834 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund or the Miranda Center for Diabetes at Memorial Hospital, go to

Joy Gagnon is the Extension Teacher for UNH Cooperative Extension’s Nutrition Connections Program in Carroll County. All Nutrition Connections programing is free to families or individuals who receive SNAP (food Stamps), WIC, fuel assistance, public housing, free/reduced school meals, food pantry or commodity foods or any other public assistance. Joy can be reached at (603) 447-3834 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

BL16 Cooking10.17 4027Memorial Hospital diabetes nurse practitioner Justine Fierman teaches a Conway Elementary School student some tips on good nutrition at a recent cooking program co-sponsored by the hospital and the UNH Cooperative Extension. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Chester O. Annis receives lifetime achievement award

Chester O. Annis receives Thomas McTague Lifetime Achievement Award From the NH Alcohol and Drug Counselors Association

Annis also recognized for 40 years of employment with Northern Human Services

Chester Annis was awarded the prestigious Thomas McTague Lifetime Achievement Award from the N.H. Alcohol and Drug Counselors Association at their 30th anniversary annual meeting on Oct. 27. In presenting the award, board member and local professional Melony Lyons noted his “sustained and exceptional contributions to the substance abuse counseling field.”

Annis is not just an exceptional and skilled substance abuse counselor. He is also a skilled, licensed mental health counselor. He received his masters degree in clinical psychology in 1976 from Wichita State University in Kansas, before coming to work for Northern Human Services as an associate staff psychologist in the same year. He was rapidly promoted to director of clinical services in 1978, director of psychological services (Androscoggin Valley Hospital — Riverside II) in 1986, and then continued his career at Northern Human Services as a dually licensed clinician (substance abuse and mental health) following the closure of the psychiatric inpatient unit.

Annis is also being recognized by Northern Human Services this year for his 40 years of dedicated service to the North Country as an employee of Northern Human Services. Charlie Cotton, area director Northern Human Services, is quoted as saying, “Chet has been a leader at NHS for decades. ... He trained me and so many of the Northern Human Services clinical team over the last 40 years. ... He is a key part of our foundation as an agency, and someone that our entire staff relies on every day in so many different ways.”

Annis is also a dedicated husband and father, in addition to being an exceptional nature and wildlife photographer.

Annis AwardChester Annis was awarded the prestigious Thomas McTague Lifetime Achievement Award from the N.H. Alcohol and Drug Counselors Association. (COURTESY PHOTO)

NCHC provided Naloxone Administration Training in Berlin and distributes kits

BERLIN — North Country Health Consortium partnered with Hope for New Hampshire Recovery in Berlin and White Mountains Community College to host an educational community event centered on substance misuse and addiction, including training of the group in the administration of the overdose-reversal drug, Naloxone, and viewing of The Anonymous People, a documentary featuring stories from people amongst the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The event at WMCC in Berlin brought together a diverse group, including Berlin Hope’s own Recovery Coach Volunteers, staff of Northern Human Services, WMCC students, and members of the greater community.

“The increasing rise in narcotic misuse makes offering these trainings really important,” said Doris Enman, manager of the Hope for New Hampshire Recovery Center in Berlin. “Addiction does not discriminate, but recovery is a reality,” said Enman. “We require our employees to be trained [in the administration of Naloxone] and most of our dedicated volunteers already are.”

Enman’s wishes to expand training and access to Naloxone echo those recently expressed by Dr. Vivek Murthy in the new Surgeon General’s report on alcohol, drugs, and health, “Facing Addiction in America,” issued last month. Marking the first time in which a Surgeon General defines substance use disorders as a disease, the report calls on the nation to help address the current opioid crisis, including changing our attitudes about addiction and supporting harm reduction strategies like Naloxone to give drug users a chance to get help when they are ready.

Acting in cooperation with the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, NCHC provides trainings to organizations and communities for administering Naloxone. Training participants are provided with a free Naloxone kit - also known as Narcan - upon completion. In the past year, NCHC has trained school groups and hospital staff, in addition to broader community members at public events, such as the annual North Country Moose Festival in August 2016. Last spring, NCHC partnered with the Black Crow Project and the Lancaster Rialto Theater to host the public awareness forum, “Heroin in the North Country.” With 145 life-saving kits issued to attendees, this forum was the largest Naloxone distribution event in the state to date.

“Everyone deserves to have access to this life-saving medicine,” said Enman. “There has been an increase in inquiries to have more training—I believe that the community is learning more about the value of having individuals trained.”

North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit rural health agency based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers in northern New Hampshire. For more information about scheduling Naloxone administration training for your group, community, or at your next event, contact Amy Jeroy, NCHC Public Health Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (603) 259-3700 x228. To learn more about NCHC, visit: