Tips from former smokers for the "Great American Smoke Out" campaign

In celebration of the 38th Great American Smoke Out, the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services is launching Tips From Former Smokers, a national education campaign created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage
smokers to quit. DHHS is launching the ads in November to recognize the importance of GASO. This event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, encourages tobacco users to quit for at least one day in the hope that this might challenge them to stop permanently. The multi-media Tips campaign will run statewide through March of 2016.

“This is a very powerful campaign; the people in the ads are real and they have suffered from using tobacco,” said Marcella Bobinsky, acting director of the Division of Public Health Services. “Quitting is very difficult and the individuals in the Tipsads know that firsthand, but they were able to quit and they want to help others quit too. The Great American Smoke Out is an opportunity to begin a journey towards a healthier, tobacco-free life.”

New Hampshire will be featuring Tipsparticipants Amanda, who’s baby was born two months early and weighed only 3 pounds; Jessica, a mother with a young son who suffers from asthma attacks due to secondhand smoke exposure; and Bill, who had diabetes at 15 and started smoking cigarettes at 39 but quit after his leg was amputated due to poor circulation. Their stories,
the stories of other former smoker, and tips for quitting can be found at:

Currently, 17.5% of New Hampshire adults report smoking but almost 65% report wanting to quit. DHHS helps residents quit tobacco and provides them with cessation resources, including free counseling to all residents who call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or self-refer via the web ( The Helpline provides no-cost counseling and encouragement for quitting tobacco
use to all New Hampshire residents. Nicotine patches are available for those who qualify, while supplies last.

For more information about the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services visit For information about the Great American Smoke Out visit

AVH receives national recognition for performance leadership in Quality and Patient Perspectives

BERLIN — Androscoggin Valley Hospital announced that it has been recognized by iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health for overall excellence in Quality and Patient Perspectives, reflecting top quartile performance among all acute care hospitals in the nation.

“This award is a testament to our staff and providers who are dedicated to providing a high level of quality care to all of our patients,” commented Russ Keene, AVH CEO. “They are the personification of our commitment to ‘Lead the Way’.

The rankings have been designated by the Hospital Strength INDEX™, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics has developed a data-driven program designed to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care. The Hospital Strength INDEX™ captures performance metrics for more than 4,000 acute care hospitals, including over 1,300 rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from 66 individual metrics into three major categories and nine pillars to derive a single strength overall rating for each facility.

“These top quartile performers should take great pride in this recognition. It showcases their commitment to continuous performance analysis and improvement. On this occasion of National Rural Health Day, it’s an honor to celebrate their achievement as they continue to serve their communities despite the many market, regulatory and financial pressures they face,.” said Michael Topchik, senior vice president of iVantage Health Analytics.

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders, creating and facilitating state, regional and national, partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities

About iVantage Health Analytics
iVantage is a leading business analytic and advisory services company with a unique combination of technology, content, and expert advisory services accelerates decision making for the new healthcare landscape. For more information please visit

Healing power at the Weeks Wound Healing Center

LANCASTER — Patricia McPherson didn’t have two good feet to stand on. Ulcers on the bottom of her feet made walking painful and increasingly difficult for the nursing home worker from Lunenburg, Vt. She was frustrated and worried about her future. Today her life is back on track due to the care she received from Weeks Medical Center and its Wound Healing Center.
McPherson was desperate for advice. She sought out assistance from a Weeks-affiliated doctor who worked with her at the nursing home. After looking at the poor condition of her feet, the doctor made an appointment for her at the Weeks Wound Healing Center.
“From my first visit to Weeks I felt like I was being taken care of,” McPherson says. “The providers at the Wound Healing Center couldn’t believe I was walking, my feet were so bad. Dr. Hal Goolman took the time to examine me and began a series of treatments, including an outpatient surgical procedure, to help me heal. Overall, the wound team members at Weeks were amazing. They were friendly and caring and took my condition seriously. My healing process was wonderful. I went to the center two to three times a week for care and you could see (and I could feel) the difference after each visit. Within three months, my feet were healed.”
The Wound Healing Center at Weeks Medical Center offers comprehensive care and treatment for all types of non-healing chronic wounds. The center is committed to advancing wound healing through prevention and expert care. It is the only wound center in the North Country.
“I swear by the place,” McPherson says of the Wound Healing Center at Weeks Medical Center. “The people at Weeks changed my life. If you have something wrong and require care, they will help you.”
For more information about the Wound Healing Center at Weeks Medical Center, or to schedule an appointment, call (603) 788-5625 or visit

Cutline: Coos County Family Health Services celebrates employees

CCFHS Employee CelebrationCoos County Family Health recently held their annual Employee Appreciation Event at the White Mountain Chalet in Berlin. Awards were given for outstanding performance and “milestone” work anniversaries were celebrated. Pictured are CCFHS Staff person of the year, Patty Couture, (left) and award presenter Bridget Laflamme, (right).

Morrison welcomes new rehab coordinator

WHITEFIELD — The Morrison welcomes Scott Pontti, PT, as its new Rehabilitation Coordinator, responsible for coordinating all of the physical and occupational therapy services for the facility, staff, residents, and community members.