Ann Hamilton: Home canning and botulism

One of the biggest risks in home canning is botulism*. Not following directions precisely can be fatal, as was the case in Ohio this past April. The case involved 29 people who ate potato salad made with home-canned potatoes at a church potluck. Of the 29, one died of respiratory failure shortly after arriving at the emergency department.

Local businesses rally for the cure

2015 Rally group pictureThe Rally for the Cure golf tournament committee at Androscoggin Valley Country Club would like to thank the following businesses for their out pouring of support and donations to help make our tournament a success. Auto North, Steve and Cindy Griffin, Bryant Funeral, AVCC/DBG Gary Riff, Mary’s Pizza, Tri County Cap/Kathy McKenna, Mr. Pizza, Labonville, Kim Maddalena, Hair Improvement, Floral Design, Taurus Financial, Great Looks, Eastern Depot, Maureen’s Boutique, White Mtn. Distributors, Yokohama, All Terrain Motor Sports, Valley Creek Eatery, Rudy’s Market, Mt.Valley Pools, Boutique at 101, Konvenie, Guildies, John Beaudoin Auto Body, Gold House Pizza, Jen’s Hair Care, AVH Auxiliary, Jericho Motor Sports, Sanels Auto, Fleury Funeral Home, Paul’s Auto body, Welsh’s Restaurant, VIP Tires, Coca Cola, Frito Lay, Rivers Edge, Northland Restaurant and Dairy Bar, Flatbreads, Steve’s Market Place, Guys Auto, Bob and Marj Jodrie, Airgas, Gorham House Florist, Caron Bldg. Center, Greetings Jewelers, Northern Gourmet, Seventh St. Graphics, Berlin Bowling Center, Millyard/Sinibaldi and committee members Louise Labbe, Lou Couture, Pat Farrington, Brenda Damour, Barb Anderson, Camille Caron, Janet Halvorson, Rachel Caron, Lucy Letarte, Lise King.

2015 Hospice Volunteer Training

BERLIN — Northwoods Home Health & Hospice, which serves all of Coos County and Bethlehem, is excited to announce their upcoming annual Hospice Volunteer Training. This training is free and open to community members from all over the North Country who are interested in being involved with their Hospice Program or who would like to learn more about the philosophy of Hospice care and issues of death and dying for personal or professional reasons.

"Hospice care is provided to terminally ill patients who have elected to pursue comfort care and to focus on quality of life. Our trained Hospice team addresses the medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of our patients and those who care for them. Our Hospice Volunteers are an essential component of our hospice program, providing companionship, support and assistance," shares Karen Coy, RN, Hospice Director.

Their Hospice Volunteer Training will be held on six consecutive Wednesdays, September 23rd – October 28th from 6:00pm – 8:30pm in Berlin at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in the Mt. Adams Conference Room (1st floor). Several of the topics covered during this six-week course include the History and Philosophy of Hospice, Hospice Ethics, Grieving Well, Caring for Ourselves, Spirituality in Hospice, Communication and Listening Skills, Family Dynamics, Emotional Aspects of Death and Dying, Funerals and Rituals. A wide range of topics is offered in order to prepare prospective volunteers to be able to appropriately support Hospice patients and their families. The informal style of presenting also encourages participants to ask questions and share their own experiences.

"Hospice is about the patient, their families and maintaining a dignity-filled, quality end of life. The vital role that the Hospice Volunteers play include bringing the much needed companionship, respite, and care into the home while patients and loved ones go through this challenging time in their lives," Marissa Rexford, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, explains.

Participating in the training does not commit individuals to become volunteers. Participants can decide after completing the training, if they wish to continue on and join the Northwoods Hospice Volunteer Program.

To register for the training or for further information, please contact Marissa Rexford, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator for Northwoods Home Health & Hospice, at 1-800-750-2366 or 603-788-5020 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required for this training.


Send children back to school protected from serious diseases

BERLIN — National Immunization Awareness Month is a reminder that we all need vaccines throughout our lives.

Back-to-school season is here. It's time for parents to gather school supplies and back packs. It's also the perfect time to make sure your children are up to date on their vaccines.

To celebrate the importance of immunizations for people of all ages – and make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need – Coos County Family Health Services is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.

"Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC's immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to ensure a healthy future for their child," said Brian Beals, MD. "If you haven't done so already, now is the time to check with your medical provider to find out what vaccines your child needs."

Vaccines protect against a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for diseases and can also spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.

Talk to your child's medical provider to find out which vaccines are recommended for them before going back to school. Parents can find out more by calling Coos County Family Health Services at (603) 752-2040.


WMCC offering training for LNA and MNA

LITTLETON — White Mountains Community College has partnered with the North Country Health Education Consortium to provide Licensed Nursing Assistant and Medication Nurse Assistant courses over the next three years to help meet the demand for competent LNAs and MNAs in Grafton, Coos and Carroll Counties.

As part of that initiative, WMCC is offering a 'Train the Trainer Course' to prepare registered nurses to teach the LNA and MNA course curriculum. This is a wonderful opportunity for nurses to expand their career horizons and use their experience and expertise to teach aspiring LNAs and MNAs.

The 'Train the Trainer' course is scheduled to take place on Aug. 25 through Aug. 27, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the WMCC Littleton Academic Center, 646 Union Street. The cost of the three day training program is $300.

For further information, or to register for the Train the Trainer course, contact Tamara Roberge, Project Manager, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone (603) 342-3062.