Member Spotlight - August 2015

An entry from the August issue of the NHPHA e-Newsletter

This month, the spotlight shines on and welcomes NH Children's Trust, a new organizational member and public health friend to NHPHA. 
NHCT PIc 3.pdf NH Children's Trust (NHCT), a chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, envisions a state where every child thrives in safe, stable, and nurturing families and communities.  Executive Director, Keryn Bernard-Kriegl explains, "Our mission is to lead NH's drive to eliminate child abuse and neglect.  We coordinate the implementation of universal and secondary prevention strategies.  We educate the public, 
funders and policy makers about the scope and impact of the problem and various solution strategies."  

Keryn has been serving as the Executive Director of the NHCT  since 2009.  She came to the position after working for Families First Health and Support Center for 7 years and prior to that, Odyssey House for 9 years.  She holds a MS in Family Studies and BS in Leisure Management and Tourism, and is a graduate of Leadership New Hampshire. 

Between 2012 and 2013, NH’s infant and toddler victims of child abuse and neglect decreased by 18% as reported by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System.  NHCT was the 2014 Champion in Action for strengthening communities; 2015 Townsquare Media Year of Service winners; and 2013 and 2015 Corporate Fund finalists.  We have an exceptional staff and board that have provided both internal leadership to fully implement our strategic plan and external leadership to strengthen NH programs and policies that impact the healthy development of NH’s children.”, Keryn said.  

Keryn first learned of NHPHA through NHPHA Board Member, Abby Shockley, when she and Abby met to discuss the role a staff member with an MPH might play in the NHCT organization.  Keryn explained, “Child maltreatment is a public health problem and needs a public health solution.”  She goes on to say, “In NH there are approximately two (2) cases of EEE or West Nile Virus and potentially more than 2000 (1000% more) cases of child maltreatment."
NHCT PIc 2.pdf

NHCT will be in the final year of their five-year strategic plan for 2015-2016 and will aim to work with UNH’s MPH program to evalu
ate their work and gather data for creating their next plan.  “We are particularly interested in a public health lens as part of the plan”, Keryn said.  NHCT has a few social marketing campaigns planned for the next year including, “My Voice Matters” a parent advocacy/leadership project; “CLICK for Babies” an annual abusive head trauma prevention campaign; and “Pinwheels for Prevention” an annual child abuse and neglect NHCT Pic 1.pdfprevention campaign.

When asked what she would tell a person in NH wanting to know more about how public health benefits them today, Keryn replied, “We’re all connected to each other, to the community and to the planet.  Public health initiatives help us all live healthier, longer, more satisfying lives and create a better world for following generations.   I am really excited to be part of this group [NHPHA] and look forward to meeting and working with all of you.”

Keryn lives with her partner in Dover, New Hampshire; has two-boys in college; and volunteers in a variety of settings.


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