CASA of NH celebrates 26 years of dedicated child advocacy

MANCHESTER — CASA of N.H. capped off its 26th year with its annual celebration honoring CASA advocates and community partners for their dedication to improving the lives of the state's abused and neglected children.
In addition to honoring 41 advocates for milestone years of service – 26 five-year advocates, nine 10-year advocates and six 15-year advocates – CASA also awarded its honorees for its second annual Judge of the Year Award – the Hon. Susan Ashley, out of Rochester Family Court – and third annual John McDermott Champion of Children Award – Kristy Lamont, Permanency Planning Coordinator for the Court Improvement project.
CASA also recognized three board members, stepping down after numerous years on the Board of Directors – Gerri Moriarty of Hollis, Patty Tollner of Nashua and Lynn Photiades of Bedford, while welcoming five new members who've joined the board – Judy Bergeron of Portsmouth, Arthur Bruinooge of Hollis, Kathy Christensen of Amherst, Benjamin Gaetjens-Oleson of Lancaster, and Linda Lovering of Meredith.
"Tonight, we celebrate another year of hard work. A year of brilliant successes and challenges beyond measure," CASA CEO and President Marty Sink said in her opening remarks to the more than 200 volunteers, family, friends and colleagues present at the celebration. "We celebrate the commitment of hundreds of people, past and present, and their tireless advocacy."
Two former CASA youth who spoke to the gathered guests earned standing ovations as they shared their successes that have been marked by the guidance of the CASAs in their lives. Dakota, 19, proudly shared that despite believing at 16 that she had little hope for a successful future, she is entering her sophomore year of college, due in large part to the encouragement she earned from her CASA and foster family.
Madison, 17, was adopted just hours before the evening event at the Manchester Country Club, and he also shared that he is bound for New York City next year to attend college, a dream he didn't know he had until he found stability with his adoptive family. Both teens expressed their sincere gratitude not only to their CASAs, but to the judges on their cases who they said took great care and consideration when listening to what they wanted for their futures.
In his remarks before swearing in CASA's newest advocates, the Hon. Edwin Kelly spoke to the importance of his and the state's other judges' duties to examine the facts of the case and make decisions based on the best information that can be gathered in a case.
"The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind world that it leaves to its children," Kelley said, quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer. "Every person in this room is meeting that challenge day, after day, after day."
CASA of N.H. is a statewide, nonprofit organization that strives to protect every abused child's right to live, learn and grow in the embrace of a loving family. CASA's trained volunteers advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children who've come to the attention of New Hampshire's family court system through no fault of their own. Learn more about CASA at or call 800-626-0622.

Coos County Family Health Services now serving Veterans Choice Program

BERLIN — Coos County Family Health Services is now serving local residents participating in the Veterans Choice Program. Congress authorized the program in response to the delays that veterans experienced in obtaining care through the VA health system.

"We are pleased that Family Health has been approved to provide health care services to North Country veterans, and look forward to partnering with the Veterans Administration on this program and on other initiatives," said Patricia Couture, chief operating officer at Coos County Family Health Services.

The Veterans Choice Program allows eligible veterans to seek care from community-based providers when access to care may be delayed due to excessive travel or provider availability. Those interested in participating in the Veterans Choice Program should contact the VA Choice Hotline (1-866-606-8191) to confirm their eligibility for the program, and to obtain prior authorization to receive medical care via a family health provider.

"We are honored to serve veterans and their families," said Ken Gordon, CCFHS CEO. "The Veterans Choice Program will ease the burden of travel for many local veterans, and will also allow for care to be delivered in a more coordinated fashion at the community level."

"Special thanks to Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte who advocated tirelessly on behalf of North Country veterans and their families for this program," Gordon said.

Additional information about the program is available on line at or by calling the VA Choice Hotline at 1-866-606-8198. The hotline is used exclusively for ensuring eligibility for the VA Choice Program and to schedule non-VA care appointments. More information about how the program works can also be obtained by calling Karen Daley or Helen Roy at Family Health at (603) 752-2040.


Cutline: Brosnan retires from Family Health board

Asa-Brosnan---Bob-Pelchat---CCFHS---6-18-15The board of Directors of Coos County Family Health Services marked the retirement of Asa Brosnan of Shelburne from the board at their June meeting. Brosnan served as a board member of the organization for more than 12 years, and helped to grow and strengthen CCFHS during her tenure. Brosnan is picture here with CCFHS Board President, Bob Pelchat. For more information about Family Health, contact the organization by calling 752-2040 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

White River Junction VA Medical Center invites all to be a part of a 'Summer of Service'

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A new nationwide initiative called a 'Summer of Service' seeks the help of local communities to create and build partnerships to grow the number of individuals and organizations serving Veterans.

In Vermont and Western New Hampshire the White River Junction VA Medical Center is renewing its commitment to Veterans by inviting the community to visit and explore opportunities to serve Veterans during an open house at the medical center on July 2, from 1 to 4 p.m. The open house will be held in the Research Building (building 44) at 163 Veterans Drive White River Junction, Vt.

Veteran Services:

Veterans, Veteran Service Organizations, Community Partners and friends, are invited to learn about services available to Veterans like: the Women Veterans Health Care Clinic, Veterans Integrated Health Care for Primary and Mental Health, OEF/OIF/OND specialized care and services, Veterans Choice Program, Eligibility, Veterans Benefits, Vet Centers and more.

Career and Volunteer Opportunities:
• Career Opportunities: Speak with VA Human Resource Specialist to learn what exciting career opportunities are available and you might become part of the VA team providing compassionate care to Veterans.
• Volunteer Opportunities: Learn about the multiple ways you can lend a helping hand. This summer thank a Veteran and pledge the gift of time.

For Veterans Not Currently Enrolled in VA Care:
If you served in the Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge, you may qualify for health care benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA staff will be available to answer questions and assist Veterans with completing their VA health care application. Veterans and their family members can also visit information tables to learn more about VA compensation benefits and available health care services.
If you know a Veteran who is not receiving VA health care services, is experiencing a financial hardship or is returning from military service, then Tell-A-Vet about this important VA open house and information fair.

All are welcome to stop by to ask questions, register for care, or learn how you can help Veterans in your community.

If you have questions about the open house contact Naaman Horn, Public Affairs Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about the White River Junction VAMC and its services go to


Great North Woods NFB NH Chapter participated in 3k Walk-A-Thon fundraiser

On June 6 a few members of the newly developed Great Northwoods NFB NH Chapter traveled to Concord. They joined forces with the NHAB (New Hampshire Association for the Blind) at the McGreal Sight Ctr. And participated in their 3K Walk A Thon fundraiser.

The day offered walkers beautiful weather and an upbeat crowd. After a 3k walk around the capitol city walkers were treated to a light barbecue lunch and had a chance to meet with several other participating organizations with the same mission, to assist people with vision loss or blindness achieve their goals in life while continuing to live independently throughout their communities with the same opportunities as sighted individuals.
Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Great Northwoods NFB Chapter or for more information regarding the chapter, its mission and opportunities please feel free to contact Linda Vaillancourt/President via e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (603)752-2347.