A Year at-a Glance: Reflections on 2018

Joan Ascheim webBODAs this is our last newsletter for the year, I wanted to reflect on our collective accomplishments in 2018. I say collective as our work is not only the result of our staff, but of our dedicated board and over 40 volunteers from our various committees and participation of members in our events. Our advocacy volunteers alone logged 1100 hours during the last legislative session!

This has been a period of growth for NHPHA, just as we had hoped and planned. We are of the mind that success breeds success and therefore anticipate expanding our work during the upcoming year while staying true to our mission, vision and strategic priorities.

Here are some of our major achievements of 2018.

  • Maintained a focused advocacy presence at the state house and communicated through our Health in all Policy newsletter
  • Co-hosted two successful conferences on health equity with the Vermont Public Health Association and Dartmouth-Hitchcock
  • Hired Emily Goulet as our workforce development coordinator to expand our professional development offerings, including a social determinants webinar and lobbying and advocacy training
  • Became a Community - Based Training partner of the Boston University New England Public Health Training Center
  • Offered stipends for two student interns
  • Launched a public health mentor program with 16 mentor/mentee pairs
  • Strengthened our academic partnerships and continued our student poster sessions and training offerings at our annual meeting
  • Expanded our funding base

We are most proud and honored that we were named the 2018 Affiliate of the Year by the American Public Health Association and recognized at their national meeting.

Thank you for your ongoing support of NHPHA. We so greatly value our partnerships which are the underpinnings of all public health work. We also thank our funders for their financial backing as well as continued faith in us.

From all of us at NHPHA we wish you and yours peace and happiness during this holiday season.

Best, Joan


We are sad to share that two of our valued colleagues are moving on to new endeavors. Beth D’Ovidio, our Program Assistant for nearly two years, is leaving to take a position that draws on her marketing skills and talents. Beth has been the glue to hold NHPHA together during her time with us. She kept track of our members, assisted in organizing our events, produced our newsletters, and supported our staff and committees. Beth was always willing to do what it took to get tasks done. We appreciate her dedication, flexibility, and graciousness. We wish you the best Beth in your career path and we will miss you!

Rachel Maxwell of Granite United Way stepped up last winter to chair our Public Policy Committee and produce our Health in All Policies newsletter. This committee is a busy one, particularly during the legislative session. Rachel jumped in and kept the committee focused and members informed on legislative developments. Rachel is moving back to her home state of New York to take a new public health position and be closer to family. Thank you Rachel and all the best!
Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and March.

Flu 1The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older by the end of October. Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months of age, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from the flu. The influenza virus changes (mutates) each year. Getting vaccinated each year is important to make sure you have immunity to the strains most likely to cause an outbreak.

You can also help reduce the spread of the flu by following these simple guidelines:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder not your bare hands.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth (germs are spread that way).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school - Especially when someone is ill.
Flu signs and symptoms include:

Body Aches

You may also experience
Stuffy Nose
Sore Throat
Rebecca TwoThis fall has been busy for NHPHA! We held our signature fall conference two weeks ago, we will host another training entitled Lobbying vs. Advocacy: A Primer for New Hampshire Non-profits in less than 10 days, we kicked off our new mentoring program, and are engaging in a board-led organizational membership campaign. Whew! Oh, and don’t forget to mark December 7th in your calendar for Midnight Merriment in Concord and NHPHA’s open house at 4 Park Street!

Here are some highlights from the Team Up, Take Action: A Conference on Partnering for Health Equity. NHPHA co-hosted this event with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Vermont Public Health Association. This is the second year we collaborated with these two organizations to create an opportunity for shared learning. And with over 170 people attending we had a packed house. The day kicked off with a keynote delivered by Kevin Barnett, DrPH, MCP Senior Investigator at the Public Health Institute in California. He spoke about the general movement of hospitals from “acute care body shops” towards organizations with a significant stake in community health improvement. He gave meaningful insight into how public health and other community organizations could build shared ownership with hospitals where inequities in health are concentrated. He talked about opportunities for alignment and the tools at the Center to Advance Community Health & Equity that can help facilitate this. His talk of hospitals’ capacity for financial investments into communities dovetailed wonderfully to the end of day speaker sponsored by the Dartmouth Schumann Lecture, Megan Sandel MD, MPH. Dr. Sandel spoke to stable, affordable housing as a prescription for health and the impact of Boston Medical Center’s investments into housing. Check out her article on the topic in the February 2018 Pediatrics Journal. Thank you, Neil Twitchell, Lyndsay Goss, other members for the NHPHA program planning committee, our partners at Dartmouth Hitchcock and Vermont including Sally Kraft, Greg Crowley, Sally Kerschner and Margaret Wilson for a wonderful event. And a special thank you to Beth D’Ovidio for doing so much of the detail work to make this event a reality!

Take care,
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 |  https://conta.cc/2LfG6N5

The conference was a tremendous success. Thank you to all who participated in the planning and execution of the program. We will be adding presentation slides to this post as they come in, so check back in frequently to see slides from sessions you were unable to attend.

Equity P4HPH Program, presented by Shawn LaFrance, MS, MPH and Tracy L. Clark

Getting Started with SBIRT, presented by Lea Ayers LaFave, PhD, RN and Amy Pepin, MSW

Medicated Assisted Treatment: Partnerships Critical to Success, presented by Kristi Cross, DNP, RN and Jennifer Fels, MS, RN

Support and Services at Home (SASH), presented by Becky Stockhouse Arbella and Stephanie Lane 

Transformation, Transparency, and the Imperative for Alignment, presented by Kevin Barnett, DrPH, MCP

Co sponsors only

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: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nh-play-in-for-our-future-tickets-48355429391?aff=MCAF

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 Ashley.Peters@unh.edu 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 egoulet@nhpha.org, go to our website or complete an application at http://bit.ly/2Kirjp8.

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: www.c3ph.org
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: 
https://healthymonadnock.org/, and the Monadnock Living Wage Work Group website: https://www.monadnocklivingwage.org/.

If you were unable to attend and are interested in watching the webinar, you will be able to access it via our website at https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/4722574355605928193. A PDF of the slides, (https://nhpha.org/images/PDFs/Trainings/Webinar-Slides-Exploring-Social-Determinants-of-Health.pdf), 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 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SDOHwebarchive

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!
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