Great Northwoods NFB NH Chapter hosts member picnic

On Aug. 29, the Great Northwoods NFB N.H. Chapter serving all northern New Hampshire communities hosted its first members picnic.

The National Federation of the Blind has affiliate chapters throughout the 50 states, in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It is the oldest, largest and most influential nationwide membership organization of blind people in the United States. Founded in 1940, the Federations’ purpose is to help blind people achieve self-confidence, self-respect, and self-determination. They advocate for the civil rights and equality of blind Americans, and develop innovative education, technology and training programs to provide tools they may need to become independent and successful.

Guests from throughout New England attending included members of the Lakes Region Chapter, family and friends of Great North Woods chapter members, Fred Platt Director of the Lions Club Sight and Hearing Division located in Goffstown, guest speaker Calvin Vaillancourt of Portland, Maine, Michael Lang of N.H. Association for the Blind, and facilitator of Beep Kickball from Durham.

Lang led an educational fun and engaging Beep Kickball program where sighted, visually impaired participants learned about sensory skills through a game of kickball. Beep Kickball is an adapted sport that opens your eyes to blindness and vision loss. This grant-funded program is currently being offered to schools and organizations throughout the state.

After the fun filled activity all were treated to a barbecue that consisted of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, smoked sausage with peppers and onions, potato salad, macaroni salad, shrimps with cocktail sauce,and a mouthwatering array of pastries. Chef Gary Vaillancourt who assured no one went away hungry, and was all served hot and cooked to perfection! Members of the GNW chapter and Lakes Region assured side dishes and desserts were plentiful.

Beep kickball paper Michael Lang led an educational fun and engaging Beep Kickball program where sighted, visually impaired participants learned about sensory skills through a game of kickball.

Sylvia Saladino: Be Inspired. Get Connected. Walk MS.

GORHAM — The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is kicking off the annual "Walk MS: Gorham," scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m. Since 1989, Gorham walkers have joined the movement to help create a world free of MS. We have endured rain and even snow, but nothing will deter us from continuing our fight to see this disease erased.

When my sister, Sandra, was diagnosed with MS more than 40 years ago, it opened my eyes to a complete unknown.

I began to learn everything I could about MS. I researched the medical, the natural, the personal fields of this affliction. I learned that every hour someone will learn they have MS. This disease of the nervous system interrupts the flow of information between body and brain and stops people from moving. Over the years, I’ve seen what research can do. More and more people with MS can lead normal lives. New medications, new studies, new ways of coping with MS, have brought hope to so many.

That is why I, along with so many others, walk. I will never be deterred from fighting the battle to defeat multiple sclerosis.

I began the MS Walks in Gorham to walk for Sandra, who couldn’t. I continue to walk in her memory, her honor, her legacy. She inspired me in so many ways in my own life: Never lose hope, always look for the good, find the beauty in all that is around me. When her body wouldn’t work in the way she wanted it to, her smile never faded. She was an inspiration to many and she is missed.

I hope to see you on the Gorham Common, Saturday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m., to walk with a team (“Strides for Sandra” is always a good one), to cheer on the walkers, to volunteer, or to simply make a donation. Go online to or call 1 (800) 344-4867 for information on how to join our walk or to donate.

The National MS Society is moving research forward by relentlessly pursuing prevention, treatment and cure. It is moving to reach out and respond to individuals, families and communities living with multiple sclerosis. It is moving politicians and legislation to champion the needs of people with MS through activism, advocacy and influence. It is moving to mobilize the millions of people who want to do something about MS now.

Last year, the Greater New England Chapter spent over $8 million on multiple sclerosis education, support, advocacy, services and research to benefit more than 19,000 individuals and families who are effected by the disease in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont.

Someday those with MS may be walking beside us because of our involvement. For more information contact Sylvia (603) 466-2520. Join The Movement and see you on the Common.

Sylvia Saladino lives in Gorham

Volunteer Training available for Family Support Team

Weeks Medical Center invites community members to join volunteer program

LANCASTER — Weeks Medical Center will hold its annual training for community members interested in becoming Family Support Team volunteers. Family Support Team members assist individuals who have had a person close to them admitted to the hospital for emergency care.

Training for Family Support Team volunteers will be held on Monday, Sept. 28, and Monday, Oct. 5, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Training will take place in the 2nd Floor Board Room of Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster. Dinner is included for both evenings of training. Attendance at both evenings is required for all new members. Training is only offered once a year.

Family Support Team volunteers offer a unique service to the Weeks community. Team members act as greeters, provide accurate information about patients, help provide comfort, and act as escorts to a patient’s bedside.

“Family Support Team members are an important, quiet presence at Weeks,” says Margo Cliche, volunteer services manager. “These volunteers make a difference in the lives of people coming to the hospital concerned about a loved one. They provide needed information and guidance, but also provide comfort and make a stressful time easier. We’re looking for more volunteers who wish to join our team and be part of that 'quiet presence.’”

For more information about becoming a Family Support Team volunteer, please contact Margo Cliche at (603) 788-5221 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Northwoods Hospice to hold their ninth annual Hospice Charity Gala at the Mountain View Grand Resort

LANCASTER — Tickets are now available for the ninth annual Northwoods Hospice Charity Gala, to be held in the Crystal Ballroom of the Mountain View Grand Resort on Saturday, Nov. 21. All proceeds from the evening will benefit Northwoods Hospice, a division of Northern N.H. Healthcare Collaborative, which currently provides hospice services throughout Coos County.

The evening will begin with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Dinner follows with choices of roasted Angus sirloin or grilled Atlantic salmon with chive beurre blanc; both entrees served with Boursin whipped potatoes, roasted asparagus and glazed carrots. The vegetarian dish will be baked eggplant with heirloom tomatoes, house-made mozzarella, basil and balsamic.

Throughout the evening there will be both silent and live auctions to support Northwoods Hospice; including trips to extravagant locations like Hawaii, the Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe, photography from local artists, professional sports memorabilia and more. Northwoods is pleased to have Mike Kopp of North Country Ford and Schurman Motor Company as their returning guest auctioneer.

Brandy, a high-energy band with recognition throughout New England as a premier band, will be providing the entertainment for the audience's listening and dancing pleasure. Performances include a wide variety of instrumentation and with great male and female vocals, much of the band’s popularity has been determined by their ability to sound like the original artist. Brandy has been a mainstay in the New England music scene and has performed for numerous celebrities, charities and dignitaries.

Northwoods Hospice provides medical, social, spiritual and emotional support for patients and their families, who are facing terminal illnesses.

“Our Northwoods Hospice team is committed to supporting terminally ill patients and their families; enabling them to have the best quality of life possible. The generous support of our sponsors and donors contributes to the success of this event. All proceeds from the evening stay right here in the communities that they serve which in turn, make it possible for us to fulfill our mission. We hope you’ll join us for this special evening out,” invites Karen Coy, RN Hospice Director of Northwoods Home Health and Hospice.

The Mountain View Grand is offering a special room rate again this year for those who attend the Hospice Gala. Reservations can be made by contacting the hotel (855) 837-2100; be sure to mention that you are attending the Hospice Gala.

The event is being sponsored by: Beattie Enterprises, Inc., Platinum Level Sponsor; Bank of New Hampshire, Diamond Level Sponsor; Mascoma Savings Bank and Lancaster Rotary Club Charities, Inc. as Emerald Sponsors; Bailey Funeral Home, Lancaster Eye Care, Nathan Drum, OD, Marshall Insurance Agency, Tall Timber Lodge, Happy Star Chinese Restaurant and North Country Special Education Consulting, LLC as Sapphire Sponsors.

Additional sponsors and auction items are still being sought out for the event. Tickets are available for purchase online via and through Hospice Charity Gala Committee Members: John Eddy, Pat Eddy, Rita Cloutier, Darren Discenzo, Dawn Fountain, Alex Karl-Hand, Cindy Winget and Marissa Rexford. They are also available at Northwoods Home Health & Hospice Office at 278 Main St., Lancaster, or by calling (603) 788-5020 (ask for Marissa Rexford). The cost of the tickets are $60 per person. People are encouraged to call soon for tickets as this event has sold out in the past.

Northwoods offices re-locate due to technology improvements

LANCASTER — In the ongoing quest to best serve their patients with high quality service and healthcare, Northwoods Home Health and Hospice announces that 100% of its staff will be utilizing secure electronic devices to best ensure real-time delivery and reception of data as well as any necessary changes in care plans, etc.This commitment to universal technology is being made to not only serve the community's patients, but also the entire Northwoods team.

As a result of this change, Northwoods Home Health and Hospice, which recently earned a Medicare 4-star quality rating, will be able to continue efforts to improve efficiency via streamlining. Such technology will no longer necessitate the need for three offices, one each in Colebrook, Berlin and Lancaster. Following implementation and training on the electronic devices, the Berlin and Colebrook offices will be closed and the employees of those two offices re-located to a central location in Lancaster. No decrease in staffing level is anticipated, nor is the quality of patient care. Rather, this ongoing effort of coming together to best utilize resources and the significant personnel talent is anticipated to yield better communication and coordination of patient care.
This change is anticipated to take effect by the end of September.
Any questions related to this change can be directed to Gail Tattan-Giampaolo, Executive Director, at 1-800-750-2366