Suicide PreventionSeptember was Suicide Prevention Month and was observed with events such as the National Alliance on Mental Health NH (NAMINH) walk which exceeded its fundraising goal of $120,000 to address mental health and suicide in New Hampshire. High profile suicides such as those of Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams put a face to the sobering suicide statistics that are rising in the country and New Hampshire. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that suicide in New Hampshire rose nearly 50% during the period of 1999-2016. It is likely that all of us know someone, or a family member or friend of someone, who tragically died as a result of suicide. We are all touched by suicide in some way and we can all help prevent this growing public health problem in some way as well.

Why is suicide prevention a public health issue?

  1. Public health uses a population approach to improve the health of groups of people utilizing prevention measures that address groups versus the treatment of individuals.

    In New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Suicide Council developed the New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Plan which takes a population approach to prevent suicide for all people in communities in our state.

  2. A public health approach to suicide prevention utilizes a primary prevention approach, focusing on suicidal behavior before it occurs and attends to an array of risk and protective factors.

    The National Alliance on Mental Health: New Hampshire (NAMINH) hosts a broad range of education offerings to help individuals, groups and communities learn about the risk and protective factors and warning signs of suicide.

  3. Public health seeks to increase our understanding of suicide through data collection and science so that new solutions can be found and evaluated.

    The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services is working to improve and expand suicide surveillance systems to better describe and fully understand suicide in the state
  4. The field of public health has long recognized that complex public health problems such as suicide call for multi-disciplinary partnerships and collaborations that bring together diverse perspectives and expertise both at the state and local levels to identify and implement effective solutions.

    The New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Council is illustrative of this approach at the state level. NAMINH has been recognized nationally for its Connect Program which works to educate and foster relationships among members of New Hampshire communities to prevent suicide through a comprehensive community approach.

While suicide rates rise in the state, New Hampshire public health professionals and communities need to continue to work together to address the growing problem. Attending the upcoming NH Suicide Prevention Conference on November 1, 2108 presents an opportunity to learn more about what we can do as professionals. As individuals we can reach out to our friends, co-workers, and family members if we are concerned that they are experiencing depression, despair or may be contemplating suicide. Don’t wait, reach out today.
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October 24, 2018 | The Hanover Inn |  Hanover, NH |

Join colleagues from New Hampshire and Vermont for the third year of Team Up Take Action, a conference aimed at cultivating shared learning among public health, health care, and social service sector professionals in order to advance health equity. Health equity is about removing obstacles to health such as discrimination and inadequate access to employment, fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments and health care. The conference was developed in response to a growing recognition that to truly build health equity an interdisciplinary, coordinated, cross-sector approach is necessary. Team Up Take Action convenes public health, healthcare, and human and social service professionals to build bridges, understand each other's perspectives and learn best practices in cross-sector partnership and teamwork.

Keynote Speaker: Kevin Barnett, DrPH -  "Transformation, Transparency, and the Imperative for Alignment"

For more information and to register, click here.

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NHPHA is excited to partner with Moms Clean Air Force, MomsRising, NH Sierra Club, and Kids Count for the first ever NH Play In for Our Future - all about what kids need for a healthy start in life.

The Play in is happening on Saturday, September 15th from 10am-12pm at the State House in Concord. There will be kids yoga with Lisa Garside of Ohana Yoga, face painting, speakers and music by Mr. Aaron! It is free and open to the public but we really appreciate RSVPs so we can make sure we have enough crafts and snacks for everyone. You can register here:

We also have an event on Facebook for our Play In and we would appreciate it if you would RSVP yes and invite your friends to help spread the word.
NHPHA Policy Committee Chair, Rachel Maxwell, recently submitted an abstract for the upcoming APHA 2018 Annual Conference. Conference organizers were seeking examples of “Affiliate Action to Advance Health Equity” and Rachel detailed how the NHPH Public Policy Committee engaged in a new process this year when selecting priority bills.

She explained how the group first chose to narrow their focus and set three broad categories: Equity & Health Outcomes; Healthy Environments – Natural, Built and Social; Substance Misuse -Improving Prevention, Treatment & Recovery. Within those three categories the group used a process to narrow down legislation to 10 bills that they then followed closely. Bills were added as time went on, but this was how the group constructed their focus and Health in All Policies Newsletter. The Abstract was accepted by APHA and we are excited that Rachel will attend and present this information on a panel with three other States at the APHA Annual Conference this fall.
We would like to introduce you to new NHPHA Board Director and Secretary, Tyler Brandow, MPH, LSSBBTyler Brandow
Tyler, originally from Massachusetts, grew up in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. He received his Bachelors of Health Science from Northeastern University, and returned to study Public Health at the University of New Hampshire and to start a family. He is currently working at NH DHHS Division of Public Health Services.

“The public health community in New Hampshire is a small, yet vibrant group of dedicated professionals,” said Tyler. “I am excited to work with this Board to achieve NHPHA’s vision and mission, and spread the powerful moral and ethical values that public health brings to our society.”

Tyler is passionate about strengthening our national public health infrastructure, particularly through institutionalizing national Public Health Accreditation Board standards in governmental public health. “I’m also passionate about being a continuous improvement practitioner, bringing together diverse teams, data, and our customers to define and deliver high quality public health programs, services, and initiatives,” he said.

Tyler currently lives in Hillsborough, NH with his wife Meghan, 4 year-old daughter Madison, and black lab Stanley. They love the seasons in New Hampshire and spend their free time snowboarding, hiking, swimming, and traveling.

Please join us in welcoming Tyler aboard the NHPHA leadership board.
Rebecca TwoAs we face these last ever so hot and humid days of summer, my mind keeps replaying what I learned at last year’s APHA conference - that extreme heat is one the leading causes of weather-related death in the United States. Public health plays a key role in encouraging people who cannot keep their homes cool to use damp wash cloths to cool down or go to public places with air-conditioning. A survey in New York City found only 12 percent of those surveyed reported going to a public place with air conditioning if they could not keep cool at home. As public health professionals, we also have an important role in communicating the connection between climate change and heat health.

That said, summer is coming to an end and NHPHA, like the rest of New Hampshire, is ramping up for an action-packed fall. Here is a list of what’s happening with a few links for you to get involved:

  • Come network and team build with fellow NHPHA members volunteering the morning of Wednesday, September 5th at the Granite United Way’s Day of Caring in Merrimack County. We will be assisting a local non-profit painting the walls of a day care center. E-mail Ashley at to get signed up or sign up directly here.
  • Get your “Rear in Gear” at the NH Colon Cancer Trail 5K and Kids' Fun Run and Memory Walk on Saturday, September 8th, at Gould Hill Farm in Contoocook. Register or sign up to be a NHPHA volunteer helping to make this event happen.
  • New this year, the NHPHA Public Health Mentoring Program, is set to kick off October 4th! Contact Emily Goulet if you are interested in being a mentor or mentee ASAP!
  • Wednesday, October 24th join colleagues from New Hampshire and Vermont for the third year of Team Up Take Action, our conference aimed at cultivating shared learning among public health, health care, and social service sector professionals in order to advance health equity. Register early! Keynote speaker is Kevin Barnett, DrPH from the Public Health Institute. Among many other things, Kevin is the Co-Director of PHI’s Center to Advance Community Health and Equity (CACHE), which supports evidence-informed generative dialogue among hospitals and diverse stakeholders in the health and community development sectors to make community investments more strategic, aligned and effective.
  • Don’t forget the annual APHA Conference, November 10th – 14th! If you plan on going, please contact NHPHA Office so we can include you in a NHPHA social gathering at the conference.
  • In addition, our board is beginning an organizational membership drive to grow our partnerships and our impact. As a profession we are stronger and better together! If you wish to help, let me know!
Stay well, and we look forward to seeing (and hearing from) you this fall. Enjoy these last days of summer vacation, and on behalf of the NHPHA Board of Directors, THANK YOU for your continued interest and support.

Rebecca Sky
President, NHPHA
NHPHA’s mentoring program for 2018-2019 is a pilot program set to begin in September/October and finish in April/May. The program is focused on current public health undergraduate students, public health graduate students, and mentor 4early career public health professionals. This program is an opportunity for experienced public health professionals to make a positive impact on the career and professional development of aspiring public health professionals. These early career professionals will have the opportunity to network and explore a variety of public health careers to learn more about the industry.

Program Goals

  • Increase the professional success and productivity of public health students and early career professionals
  • Help strengthen the field of public health through recruitment, retention and growth of strong and committed professionals
  • Provide learning and networking opportunities for mentors to enrich their contributions to public health and further develop as leaders
  • Enhance the professional development of the public health protégé by assisting them to:
    • Better understand public health as practiced in the community
    • Gain valuable information about agencies and companies
    • Begin to build a professional network
    • Explore public health careers
    • Develop a realistic career plan
    • Receive suggestions on how to better prepare for professional life

Mentor Qualifications and Expectations and Application Process for Mentors

mentor 5In order to serve as an effective mentor,  mentors should have a minimum of five years of experience in the field of public health. Mentors must be NHPHA members in good standing. Applying for NHPHA membership at the same time as completing the Mentor Application is acceptible. 

It is also expected that mentors have an education background in public health, health promotion, nursing, health administration, etc
Once mentors and mentees are matched, each mentor pair should meet at least once per month for a successful relationship. It is also expected that mentor pairs will attend three events throughout the program, which may take place during a portion of the workday. 

Interested public health professionals may complete the application describing their career experiences, educational background, and geographic location that is available at this link. Public health students and early career professionals will complete the application describing their educational background, professional goals, and geographic location. Applications are to be submitted to the New Hampshire Public Health Association by the designated due date for the matching process. You can access the application here.

We Reached Our Goal Thanks to You

Support NHPHAFor the very first time, NHPPHA participated in NH Gives, an annual giving initiative of the NH Center for Nonprofits; and the results exceeded our expectations, thanks to all who supported us by donating over the 24 hour period earlier this month.

We are pleased to report that we reached our goal of raising $2000 in 24 hours. We collected a total of $2,020 and 80% of our donors paid the bank fee assessed for the transaction.

Public health is all about you, and your family. It’s about protecting you from disease and hazards. It’s about helping you make healthy decisions. It’s about your community, your schools and your medical facilities. And it is about all of the 1.3 million people who live in our state.Thank you to everyone who donated to NHPHA through NHGives.

If you missed the event, you can donate to NHPHA here to support our work force development and advocacy initiatives.
Lisa Vasquez joined the NHPHA Board of Directors earlier this year. She currently serves as the Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator (SMPC) for the Greater Nashua Public Health Region. Lisa has a MS in mental health Lisa Vasquezcounseling from Southern New Hampshire University, and is a certified prevention specialist. Previously, she has worked with many local organizations including the Youth Council, the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center, and Lamprey Health Care.

“As a SMPC my passion is creating resilient youth. I want everyone to be an involved participant in Prevention efforts,” Lisa told us. “I believe that Prevention is everyone’s responsibility and that it takes a village to make sustainable change.”

Lisa brings that same passion to the NHPHA Board. “I want to be on the Board because Public Health is important to me. Prior to my current position I didn’t understand all that Public Health encompasses and how it touches all the people in the community,” she said. “I am really proud to work in a Public Health setting and hope to continue to learn and grow within the public health sector.”

In addition to her formal public health interests, Lisa is a mother, which is a role that is very important to her. She currently resides in Manchester and loves exploring our beautiful state. She likes to read mystery and suspense novels; She loves to dance and spend time with her family. She is exploring different cultures by trying new foods and listening to music from different parts of the world. And, as if she isn’t busy enough already, Lisa is “into knitting” and hopes to learn to crochet soon.

Welcome to the NHPHA Board of Directors, Lisa!

A Note from NHPHA Leadership

Written by Joan Ascheim, Interim Executive Director

It’s that time of year! The kids are out of school, the days are warm and long and New Hampshire is in its glory. But while the kids and teachers are taking a break from books and learning, NHPHA is ramping up its public health workforce development activities and we want to be sure you are in the know. We are so pleased to be funded for the second year as a Community Based Training Partnership from the Boston University New England Public Health Training Center. Here’s a preview of upcoming events!

New Hampshire Public Health Association Public Health Mentor Program

mentor 4NHPHA is launching an exciting new public health mentoring program for 2018-2019. The New Hampshire Public Health Association Public Health Mentor Program is being initiated in response to requests from our members, based on their desire to be better prepared as mentors for emerging public health professionals.

NHPHA’s mentoring program for 2018-2019 is a pilot program. It will begin in September/October and finish in April/May. The program is focused on current public health undergraduate students, public health graduate students, and emerging public health professionals. This program is an opportunity for experienced public health professionals to make a positive impact on the career and professional development of emerging public health professionals. These emerging professionals will have the opportunity to network and explore a variety of public health careers to learn more about the industry.

We are looking for a few enthusiastic mentors to join the program and share their talents and expertise. More details on the program have been sent through our listserve to all members. Should you want more information, please contact our Workforce Development Coordinator, Emily Goulet at, go to our website or complete an application at

Talking About Public Heath to Diverse Audiences

It’s always a challenge to communicate about the great work we do as public health professionals and to present public health messages to different audiences in ways that make sense. Watch for our announcement for a training on this topic. It will be an interactive session from which participants will take away messaging they can use to better communicate key public health topics important in their communities.

Enhanced Student Internship Stipends

Starting July 1, 2018, we will be able to offer stipends to student interns in the amount of $3,500. Students must be graduate or doctoral students or undergraduate juniors or seniors pursuing degrees in a health professional including: public health, psychology, sociology and social work. Students must be US citizens; non-citizen US nationals or foreign nationals who hold a visa permitting permanent residence in the US. If you know a student who might be interested or have an internship that you want us to share with our academic partners, please let us know. Priority will be given to organizations that are NHPHA members.

We look forward to sharing these and other forthcoming public health workforce development activities.
NHPHA's inaugural webinar, which took place on May 1st, was a huge success! “Exploring Social Determinants of Health: from Data to Action to Advance Equity (New Hampshire and National Approaches) was co-sponsored by UNH’salex knight 192782 unsplash Department of Health Management and Policy, and it drew 190 participants from around the country. The webinar provided an excellent opportunity to learn how data can be used to assess needs based on social determinants, as well as how social determinants are addressed in some areas of NH. This webinar was a follow-up to our Fall Forum, during which many people requested more information about social determinants.

The first panelist was Kitty Jerome, an Action Center Team Director at County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Community Coaches work with local communities around the U.S. who are addressing change through evidence-informed policies and programs. We learned how to explore the data provided by the County Health Rankings to examine how it affects individual communities. Kitty also discussed how to connect social determinants to health outcomes and how to take action to address social determinants. Key resources from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps include:
The second panelist was Emily Benson, the Public Health Advisory Council Coordinator for Carroll County Coalition for Public Health, an initiative of Granite Way. We learned how the Coalition mobilized community-wide approaches to address housing and transportation challenges in Carroll County. For more information, please visit the Carroll County Coalition for Public Health website:
Three Presenters
The third and final panelist was Dr. Rudy Fedrizzi, the Director of Clinical Integration for the Center for Population Health at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, New Hampshire. One of his principle efforts is promoting community partnerships and provider engagement for the Healthy Monadnock Initiative, with the goal of being the healthiest community in the nation. He explained how the Prescribe for Health Program uses provider referrals to connect patients to community-based supports. He also described how the Monadnock Living Wage Work Group is working with area businesses to pledge to pay an entry wage equivalent of $15 by 2020. For information on these programs, please visit the Healthy Monadnock website:, and the Monadnock Living Wage Work Group website:

If you were unable to attend and are interested in watching the webinar, you will be able to access it via our website at A PDF of the slides, (, is also accessible there as well. CEU’s and CME’s are available by watching the recorded webinar and completing the evaluation and the post test. You may access these at

We are already discussing possibilities for our next webinar(s), as well as projects for workforce development. Please stay tuned for new opportunities to come!

NHPHA's Webinars are made possible through a grant from the New England Public Health Training Center

mentor 5NHPHA Public Health Mentoring Program 2018-2019 Tutorial

Save the date for the New Hampshire Public Health Association Public Health Mentoring Program webinars in August! Tuesday, August 21 OR Wednesday, August 29. Tune in to learn the background and details of the new program and what it means to be a mentor. Hear from experienced mentor, Maria Bitanga, from the University of Minnesota who will share her firsthand mentoring experience. The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session. For specifics, email Click here for the flyer with more information

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Social Determinants: Exploring Social Determinants of Health: from Data into Action to Advance Equity

Originally Aired Tuesday, May 1, 2018 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

We know good health goes beyond medical care and is influenced by economic opportunity, affordable housing, and quality education - all factors that communities can transform.These "social determinants" of health are the focus of this talk, using data and evidence from the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps to learn how to strengthen community efforts to improve health outcomes. Hear the webinar by clicking here.

If you would like to receive CME's or CEU's for this webinar, please complete the post test, using the following link:

The NHPHA Board has approved a new organizational membership structure which now includes event sponsorship benefits. These updates are reflected on our website.

In addition to increasing the value of existing benefits, the new structure also gives organizational members, depending on their membership level, complimentary registration to NHPHA events, recognition at events, opportunities to speak at events, and even access to a student intern database and student intern stipends. These are just some examples of the added benefits to our organizational members. 

This new structure has been created in an effort to streamline the membership and sponsorship processes for our organizational members. 

Ashley Peters, Chair of the Membership Committee, will be reaching out to current organizational members to discuss these changes. Please feel free to reach out to Ashley Peters ( or Neil Twitchell, Chair of Programming Planning, ( with any questions about these changes
The New Hampshire Public Health Association was pleased to announce new members to its Board of Trustees for 2018-2019.  Newly elected officers include:
  • Tyler Brandow, Performance Improvement Manager NH Division of Public Health Services
  • Shannon Bresaw, Vice President of Public Health for Granite United Way,
  • Alysia Kennett, student at Southern New Hampshire University,
  • Jonathan Stewart, Director of the Community Health Institute/JSI, and
  • Lisa Vasquez, Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator of the City of Nashua Division of Public Health & Community Services. 
Rebecca Sky of the Foundation for Healthy Communities was announced as the new President of the Board; Marcella Bobinsky as the President-Elect; Terry Johnson also of the Foundation for Healthy Communities as the Vice President; and Tyler Brandow as the new Secretary.  Sophia Japhet of the Manchester Health Department will continue to serve in her role as the Treasurer of the organization.

Click here for a complete list of NHPHA Board of Directors and their contact information.
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