Center for Sleep Medicine employee earns certification

BERLIN — Roxanne Bonney, LPN, has earned the credential of Registered Polysomnographic Technologist.

Bonney works at the Center for Sleep Medicine at Androscoggin Valley Hospital.

According to the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists, this achievement recognizes an international credential, which represents "the highest certification in the field for health care professionals who clinically assess patients with sleep disorders."
Requirements to earn the RPSGT designation include:
• Necessary clinical experience.
• Basic Life Support certification or its equivalent.
• Adherence to the BRPT Standards of Conduct.
• Passing the RPSGT credentialing exam.
As indicated on, credentialed technologists like Bonney "Have made a commitment to professionalism, competence and ethics by meeting the BRPT standards for certification."
Bonney was employed as an LPN in AVH's Surgical Services Department from November 1992 until June 2014, at which time she began serving as a Sleep Technologist in the Center for Sleep Medicine.
"We congratulate Roxanne on this noteworthy achievement," commented Dr. Joe DellaValla, Medical Director, Center for Sleep Medicine at AVH. "She is an integral part of our team which strives to provide the highest level of quality sleep care."
For more information or an appointment at the Center for Sleep Medicine at AVH, please call (603) 752-2300.

Cutline: Coos County Family Health celebrates service to the community

CCFHS-health-center-weekCommunity Health Center Week was celebrated in Berlin. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Community Health Center Movement. Celebrating the occasion were representatives from New Hampshire’s Congressional Offices and Coos County Family Health Services. Pictured left to right - Brian Bresnahan, representing Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster; Ken Gordon, Chief Executive Officer at Coos County Family Health Services (CCFHS); Bob Pelchat, CCFHS Board President, and Chuck Henderson representing Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Bresnahan and Henderson read letters from Congresswoman Kuster and Senator Shaheen. Senator Kelly Ayotte also prepared a letter of recognition in commemoration of the event. 2015 marks Coos County Family Health Services’ 41st year of service to residents of the greater Berlin-Gorham region.

New VA program seeks caregivers and Veterans 'Where Heroes Meet Angels'

When Ed (not his real name) returned from Vietnam, he was a broken man, literally. He had broken almost every bone in his body with a traumatic brain injury as well. He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. After a few years, he was no longer able to live on his own. He was moved into a care center in his state.

"When he was in the care center, he would very rarely eat, speak, socialize, get out of bed, and bathe. He used a wheelchair and appeared very lonely, lost and sad," his current recreational therapist stated.

Then Ed was introduced to a new program at his local VA center. The program, called the Medical Foster Home Program, helps veterans who no longer can live safely on their own into community caregiver's homes. The program has been in existence since 2000 and has grown to serve most states in the United States.

The Medical Foster Home Program is made up of four components: the program coordinator and the program support assistant; the Home Based Primary Care team; the caregivers, their families and back-up caregivers; and the veterans.

The Medical Foster Home Program coordinator and the program support assistant search for caregivers (who have safe homes that have passed many assessments), and caregiver back-up workers (who must pass rigorous assessments, interviews and record reviews). The coordinator and support assistant also search for veterans who meet the specified criteria and are good fit for the caregivers.

Another component of the MFHP program is the Home Based Primary Care team. The team includes a primary care provider which may include a doctor, nurse practitioners, physician assistant, psychologist, registered nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, licensed clinical social worker and a registered dietician. The MFHP also provides a recreation therapist. The HBPC team provides all primary care for the veteran whom is living in a Medical Foster Home. Specialty medical care continues to take place in the medical center. The HBPC team educates the caregiver and provides care and support for the veteran and the caregiver. There are also several other organizations that also provide support for the caregiver.

The caregivers supervise the veterans 24 hours every day. They supply meals, make sure the veteran is safe and takes his/her medications, take the veteran to specialty medical appointments and other various activities. Caregivers are carefully and thoroughly assessed and trained. "The qualities we look for in caregivers are compassion, kindness, caring and responsibility," explained White River Junction VA program coordinator Jim Pierce. The main concern is safety for the veterans and the caregivers and their families. Caregivers can provide services for one to three veterans at one time depending on which state they reside. In New Hampshire and Massachusetts the number is three. In Vermont there can be two persons whom receive care and in New York one needs to be licensed to provide care services.

Caregivers' homes must be located within an hour's drive of a Home Based Primary Care team. Currently, there are HBPC teams in Brattleboro, Bennington, Burlington, White River Junction and Rutland, Vt., and Littleton. Some of the qualifications for the caregivers are that the caregivers are 21 years of age or older, own or rent their own home, they must complete trainings in caregiving, and complete the application process. The home must pass federal, state and local standards.

The veteran also must complete an in-home admission screen with the HBPC team and the program coordinator. When a veteran is admitted to the program, the caregivers, their families and the veteran meet for at least several hours and determine if they feel they can live well together. The veterans pay the caregiver(s) each month for their care. The fees can be between $1,800 and $4,000 a month, depending on the level of care the Veteran needs. "Most veterans pay between $2,500 and $3,000 a month," stated the program coordinator. Veterans use their VA pensions, benefits, Social Security income, family resources and other monetary sources in order to afford the MFH program.

Ed has lived in a Medical Foster Home for over a year now. Since that time, "He has greatly improved physically and mentally. He gained weight, no longer uses a wheelchair, socializes daily, and says his quality of life is great. He states that he looks forward to every visit from the recreational therapist who takes him to museums, the movies, swimming and to his favorite activity — woodworking. Ed is not the only veteran that has improved life in many areas. According to the National Medical Foster Home organization, many vets improve in the areas of physical, mental and/or emotional health.

As one caregiver said, "These veterans have risked their lives and health for our country, they deserve the best care that everyone can provide. I didn't know how rewarding this could be for me and (the vet). I've found my passion and my purpose. I will be doing this for the rest of my life." This sentiment has been expressed several times by many of the caregivers.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, whether you're a veteran, possible caregiver, family member or community member, contact Jim Pierce at the White River Junction V.A. at (802) 295-9363 ext. 5337 or Jessica Hopwood at (802) 295-9363 ext. 6133. The toll free number is (866) OUR-VETS (687-8387). The extensions are the same if one uses the toll free number.


Cooking for Groups: A Volunteer’s Guide to Food Safety

COLEBROOK — UNH Cooperative Extension will be presenting a free, three-hour program on Cooking for Groups: A Volunteer's Guide to Food Safety. This training opportunity is for groups or churches that offer meals to the public, whether the meal is free or as part of a fundraiser.

The workshop is being held on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at Monadnock Congregational Church, 147 Main Street, Colebrook. The workshop will be presented by Field Specialist, Ann Hamilton. Ann is a certified ServSafe® instructor.

Topics covered include review of safe food handling techniques; reminders of personal hygiene practices; prevention of cross-contamination; safe time and temperature controls; and food donations. Certificates of attendance will be issued.

For more information call the Carroll County office of UNH Cooperative Extension at (603) 447-3834 or 1-800-322-4166. Pre-registration is requested by September 16, by calling Betty Lou Canty at 447-3834, 1-800-322-4166 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


AVH Relay For Life Team Scrapbooking Crop benefit Sept. 26

BERLIN — Do you have an interest in scrapbooking but haven't tried it yet? Do you need a little motivation or guidance with your scrapbooking project? Or would you just like to scrapbook with other scrapbookers, have a little fun, and share ideas?

The AVH Relay For Life Team welcomes you to join them on Saturday, September 26, 2015, anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the AVH Lecture Room to help you accomplish your scrapbooking goal. All ages are welcome, as well as all skill levels, whether beginner or advanced. A $10 donation will benefit the American Cancer Society.

Come with your photos and scrapbooking tools and supplies. The Team will be happy to meet you and assist you with your project.

For more information, please call Scrapbooking Crop Benefit Event Chairperson Debbie Alonzo at (603) 326-5885. Visit AVH online at or on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. AVH: Leading the Way to a Healthier Future.