Parents can do a number of things to ensure a healthy future for their child. One of the most important actions parents can take is to make sure their children are up to date on their vaccines. Vaccines are among the safest and Immunization graphicmost cost-effective ways to prevent disease. Following the recommended immunization schedule provides the best protection from serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases.

Babies receive vaccinations that help protect them from 14 diseases by age two. Child care facilities, preschool programs and schools are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs, and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments.          

Parents can send their preteens and teens to middle school and high school – and also off to college – protected from these vaccine-preventable diseases by ensuring their children are up to date on their vaccines. Along with helping protect preteens and teens from contracting certain diseases, being vaccinated also helps stop the spread of these diseases to others in vaccinetheir family, classroom, and community. Protecting your children from preventable diseases will help keep them healthy and in school. A sick child may also mean that a parent has to miss work or other important events.

Vaccines are thoroughly tested before licensing and carefully monitored even after they are licensed to ensure that they are very safe.

Side effects from vaccines are usually mild and temporary. Some people may have allergic reactions to certain vaccines, but serious and long-term side effects are rare. If you are unsure of your state’s school immunization requirements, check with your child’s doctor, school, or local health department. Parents with questions are encouraged to talk with their child’s healthcare professional to see if any catch-up doses are needed. The vaccine schedule is based on the best scientific information available and provides doctors with information on administration of each vaccine. Estimates from a CDC nationally representative childhood vaccine communications poll (July 2014 online poll) suggest that almost 9 out of 10 people are vaccinating according to schedule or are intending to do so.

Vaccines don’t just protect your child. Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community – especially babies who are too young to be vaccinated themselves.


PhotoVoice is a program in which participants take photos as a means of telling a story. PhotoVoice is used around the world to give people without a voice an opportunity to tell their story. Photo voice has been used in Nashua for several years by the Nashua Police Athletic League and its youth members. This year with the support of the City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services the program has expanded to include the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua. We hope to be able to expand the program within the Greater Nashua Region in the coming years. This summer 20 youth in Nashua are participating in the program. The theme of the project is Public Health Prevention in the Community. As part of the program, participants attended a Public Health Presentation where they were able to get more information about Public Health and how it’s part of every aspect of the community. The goals of this project are multiple, to increase the understanding of public health in the community within the participants and as a result of their art work, increase the understanding of public health within the community at large, to give the participants increased opportunities for positive community interactions and to increase positive peer relations within the participants.

The community will get an opportunity to see the final artwork at a Photo Gallery on August 26, 2016 at The City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services – 18 Mulberry Street, Nashua NH 03060 from 3pm to 5pm.  We hope you can join us as we view the Photo voice artwork. 


Submitted by Gail Brown, JD, MSW, Director of the NH Oral Health Coalition

OHC Photo OneThe NH Oral Health Coalition has completed its “NH Oral Health Network Statewide Road Trip: Setting the Plan” throughout the state.  Stopping at 7 locations the team met with oral health providers, policy makers, programs managers, consumer advocates and others to discuss the 2015 NH Oral Health Plan, the NH Oral Health Communication Plan, and an update on NH oral health data reports.  Almost 70 OHC Photo 2participants provided updates on their local oral health programs and services, data gathering, and infrastructure planning.  The information gathered will be used to inform and advance an integrated, statewide oral health plan including a presentation at the 2016 NH Oral Health Fall Forum on November 11th at the Holiday Inn in Concord, and annual oversight on stakeholder progress.  More information on the NH Oral Health Coalition and the NH Oral Health Stakeholder Network is available at:  or contact:

Save the Date for the 2016 NH Oral Health Fall Forum


Submitted by Jeanie Holt, NHPHA Public Policy Committee Co-Chair

The Public Policy Committee will host a discussion of our Sexual and Reproductive Health policy statement on August 26. We have asked Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) to open the discussion with information about current issues and challenges in reproductive health policy. We will discuss what needs to be included in NHPHA’s policy statement and will then ask a couple of people to take on drafting a new statement for the organization. PPNNE submitted the following article as background for our discussion.

Join us on August 26, 9:00-11:30 at NH Hospital Association, 125 Airport Road, Concord.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is the local affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. We conduct our public policy work in conjunction with the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund, the political, advocacy, and organizing arm of the organization.

Our current public policy priorities are centered around three core issues: 

1.  Health Access and Health Equity:  eliminating inequality in access to sexual and reproductive health care
2.  Safe and Legal Abortion:  ensuring affordable access to abortion; getting politicians out of personal, medical decisions
3;  Sex Education:  giving all young people access to quality sex education, inclusive of LGBT individuals and relationships.

A summary of the policy environment and key issues that we have faced in Congress and in New Hampshire in recent years is available here


But really, #BlackLivesMatter.

#BlackLivesMatter.  Yes, all lives matter, but really, #BlackLivesMatter.  Because white Americans have not been subject to the institutional racism that was mixed into the mortar that holds together the bricks of our country’s foundation.  Because being white means we have the luxury of avoiding long-term health effects of the toxic stress caused by institutional racism.

By saying #AllLivesMatter, we diminish our neighbors of colors’ lived experience. This experience makes it necessary for parents of color to teach their sons not to wear hooded sweatshirts at night. Parents of color worry that their child may not receive the same medical treatment as the fair-skinned girl next to them in a waiting room.  Concerns for their children are underpinned by their justified worries that their children they might not be able to get a job they are qualified for because of their skin color, natural hair texture, or accent.

I am consumed with sadness that we must again ask the question  asked in response to the Orlando shooting.  What venue, what shooter, what motive will finally shine the light on the root of all these devastating stories?  What will it take for our elected leaders to acknowledge and begin a meaningful narrative on the role privilege and oppression has played in this sadness and how we can fix our systems to impact change.

We can point fingers and pass judgment and blame. We can mourn the police officers killed in Dallas, but still be outraged at the larger narrative of the story.

Validated research shows that privilege and oppression manifests itself everywhere - in our hospitals, our schools, our social programs. How many more black men will worry about getting out of a traffic stop alive, compared to a white man worrying about how he will avoid getting a ticket?  How many children of color will be administered inadequate pain medication because of their doctors' implicit biases? How many more teens of color will end up in a stereotypical downward spiral because of the impact their families' skin color has had on their parents' ability to get an education, get a job, get safe housing? Enough is enough.

In the words of Minnesotan blogger Ryan Williams-Virden, "we need to… stand up and demand fundamental, radical, structural changes. To fail to do this is to betray humanity, it is to betray ourselves.”  The NH Public Health Association is working to achieve optimal health and equity for ALL NH residents, and urges strong leadership from our elected officials to guide peaceful action to begin to unravel the policies and systems that damage the health, lives, and souls of so many Americans.

Submitted by Katie Robert
NH Public Health Association
Board President

By Jeanie Holt, NHPHA Public Policy Committee Co-Chair

The Public Policy Committee has begun its work to update our policy position statements. We also have a couple of topics on which we plan to write new statements. Here is an opportunity for you to be involved in a time limited project. Below I list the statements to be revised and the topics for which we will draft new statements. You can participate in this process in one or more of several ways: participate on the sub-committee working on the statement; you can volunteer to review draft statements to see that they make sense, read smoothly, etc.; and/or you can be a subject matter expert reviewing the scientific basis cited in the statement. Please let me or JJ Smith know how you’d like to help.

Child Health and Safety: this statement needs a complete overhaul. Karen Welford, Children’s Trust Fund, is leading this sub-committee.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: We last reviewed this position in 2013. Given that opioid misuse has become a crisis, and we anticipate efforts to legalize marijuana, we need a current and robust position statement.

Sexual and Reproductive Health: As with other statements, new developments and new debates in this field require an up-dated statement that provides the evidence of public health benefits to such policies as requiring coverage for contraceptives. Our current statement also does not include a position on access to abortion services. We will hold a Public Policy meeting dedicated to this topic on August 26.

Tobacco: We wrote and approved our current statement before the introduction of e-cigarettes and vaping. We have some catching up to do!!

Disabilities and Public Health: Working with folks at the Disabilities and Public Health project (Institute on Disabilities, UNH), we will draft a new policy statement.

Food Security, Food Systems, Nutrition: We have a statement on food safety which we may update to cover these important issues; or we may end up drafting a new statement or more than one to establish a science-based position from which NHPHA can act on these important issues.

As you can see, Public Policy Committee has plenty to do—and this does not cover all the work we have outlined for ourselves. Our work is interesting, even fun! We hope more NHPHA members will get involved.

An article from the June issue of the NHPHA e-Newsletter

Meet Sophia Japhet.  Sophia is a grant writer at Families In Transition in Manchester as well as a student at UNH with one year left to finish her Master's in Public Health   More recently, she joined the NHPHA Board Sophia Japhetof Directors, taking on the role of Treasurer.

Sophia's journey in public health began at Arcadia University, where she majored in Healthcare Administration and was exposed to numerous public health electives (epidemiology, global public health, etc.).  "I became hooked", she said, even picking up a Global Public Health minor and taking an opportunity to study abroad at Stellenbosch University in South Africa as well as visit the Mothers2Mothers HIV clinic.  After graduating, she joined the Americorps program in New Hampshire at Families in Transition (FIT) where she assisted in multiple resource development, fund raising and grant writing initiatives in addressing homelessness.  Shortly after transitioning into her new role, she was accepted into the Masters of Public Health Program at UNH.

Working at a local non-profit organization is what Sophia likes most about the work that she does.  "I have the opportunity to directly make a difference in the community I also call my home."   She feels it is extremely rewarding to be part of an organization on the front lines of addressing homelessness in our state. " I think the same is true with the Public Health field in general – our initiatives and our interventions directly engage and impact community members."

New projects are always developing at FIT.  As a grant writer, Sophia helps to raise money for many of the different new initiatives FIT takes on.  "One of the projects I am most excited about is our Hollows Community Garden and Learning Center."  The Hollows Community Garden and Learning Center is a half acre community garden, park and learning center being developed in the Hollows neighborhood of Manchester to help engage local vulnerable families in the growing, cooking, and eating of healthy foods.  "To develop this project, we are working with numerous partners including the UNH Cooperative Extension, the Manchester Health Department, and the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success."

Sophia first got involved with NHPHA as a student in UNH's Masters of Public Health program.  "I wanted to extend my understanding of public health beyond the borders of the classroom and learn about real time issues and initiatives in our State."  The student annual membership at NHPHA gave her the opportunity to join the association at a discounted rate, but still provide all the benefits of being a member.  "In particular, I enjoyed (and still do) getting the frequent HIAP emails and policy newsletters to stay on top of all the great work that is being done in our state."

When Sophia is not hard at work with FIT, or studying for her Masters, she enjoys kayaking and hiking with her dog.

NHPHA is thankful and most fortunate to have such talent and dedication from its volunteers and we look forward to having Sophia join us on the Board of Directors.

By Gail Brown, Director, NHOHC
OHC Roadtrip 2
There is still time to join the NHOHC on our statewide Road Trip.  The Coalition is presenting “Charting the Course: Developing the Roadmap to Advance Oral Health in New Hampshire.”  Funded by the Concord-based Endowment for Health, this program is to disseminate and plan for implementation of the NH Oral Health Plan 2015 Update.  The Road Trip offers opportunities for local community programs and providers to learn about the updated plan and to share how their programs link into the State-wide plan.

Presentations include information on the 2015 NH Oral Health Plan Update, the 2015 NH Oral Health Communication Plan, links for NH-specific oral health data reports and introductory techniques on effective message framing. 

To-date, presentations have been held in 3 locally-hosted locations; the Manchester Health Department, the North Country Health Consortium, and Cheshire Medical Center.  You can still register to join us at the following.

The Foundation for Seacoast Health/Community Campus in Portsmouth on June 20 at 10:00 a.m.; Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon on July 11 at 9:00 a.m.; and at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth on July 21 at 9:00 a.m.  Register at   

For more information email or call 603-415-5550.  If you are interested in including a presentation at your locale or meeting, please let us know.

The 2015 NH Oral Health Plan was a joint-funding effort between the Endowment for Health, the Healthy New Hampshire Foundation, and Northeast Delta Dental to update our statewide oral health plan through stakeholder collaborative convenings.

By Jeanie Holt, NHPHA Public Policy Committee Co-Chair

Now that the legislative session is concluding, the Public Policy Committee begins to focus on its other important job: keeping NHPHA’s position statements updated with the most current evidence and drafting statements for new/emerging public health issues. This work involves more research and proceeds at a slower pace than our work during the legislative session. If research is your forte we’d love to get your help. A number of work groups are forming—take your pick. One group will look at public health through the lens of disabilities communities and either draft a new statement or add something to many of our current statements. Another group will rewrite our Child Health and Safety statement while yet another is needed to update our Smoking and Tobacco statement or write a new one. If there is enough interest, we’d like to draft a statement on food systems and food security. And our August 26 Committee meeting will be a discussion of public health perspectives on abortion and how to include this in our Reproductive Health position statement. Please join us in this work. Advocacy is a core function of NHPHA, which is, after all, a membership organization so your ideas and energies are the heart of NHPHA.

APHA Strategic Plan
On May 12th, I listened to a presentation of APHA’s Strategic Plan. They are updating their Plan to align with their Healthiest Nation in One Generation Campaign. APHA’s Strategic Plan focuses on initiatives that are meant to improve overall health in order to become the healthiest nation in one generation. If you are interested in listening to the 30-minute Strategic Plan presentation, you can find the webinar recording here

Community Pevention and Multi-Sector Stakeholder Web Forum Series
Please join APHA on Wednesday, June 1st from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM for their Web Forum where lessons learned are discussed from communities taking action to leverage community development efforts through diverse partnerships to improve population health and equity. The conversation will highlight the role of partnerships in financing, evaluating, and sustaining population health improvements. Presenters will also provide recommendations for success and take participant questions. To RSVP, click here

2016 GIS and Health Symposium
The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA), is pleased to share the details of the 2016 GIS and Health Symposium. The theme for this year's Symposium is “Mapping the Way to Healthy Communities”. The event will take place June 1-3, 2016 in Washington, DC. To register, click here

An article by the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, NH Division of Public Health Services, DHHS

Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases are considered reportable diseases in New Hampshire.  The NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control (BIDC) investigates suspect cases of Lyme and other tickborne black legged tickdiseases and closely monitors tickborne disease rates. Lyme disease maps and reports by county can be found on the Department of Health and Human Service webpage,

Lyme and other tickborne diseases are spread to humans and animals by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, formerly known as the deer tick. In NH, and across the United States, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tickborne disease; in 2015 there were an estimated 1,371 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease in NH.

Family CampingBlacklegged ticks have four life stages: eggs, larvae, nymphs and adults. The blacklegged tick nymphs are most active in the late spring through summer months (usually May through August) and are the most likely to infect humans with tickborne diseases.

Tickborne diseases can be serious illnesses and can affect people of any age. The best way to prevent being infected with a tickborne disease is to take precautions to avoid being bitten by a tick, including using insect repellents containing 20-30% DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus, doing daily tick checks on you and your pets, staying on cleared paths or trails, wearing light colored clothing, showering soon after returning indoors to wash off any unattached ticks, and placing clothes in the dryer on high heat for up to an hour to effectively kill ticks. If you are bitten by a tick, it is important to remove the tick as soon as possible using tweezers or another tick removal device.

For more information on diagnosis, treatment and prevention, click here 

FPU LogoThis month, NHPHA shines the spotlight on and welcomes the Franklin Pierce University (FPU) Public Health Program and Dr. Angela Ekwonye, Visiting Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences.

The Franklin Pierce University Public Health Program began in September 2015.  Their mission is to impart in their students a broad understanding of the factors that shape the health of the population and equip students with evaluative tools for improving the health of the FPU AEkwonyecommunity.  The curriculum is analytically focused and conceptually grounded and, as such, prepares their students for careers in Public Health, Health Service Administration, Health Education, or entry into graduate and professional programs  in public health, healthcare management, international policy, communication, medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. FPU Team Photo

When asked about her involvement with FPU, Dr. Ekwonye stated, "As a faculty in the program, I teach different public health courses and have been actively involved in developing courses and activities for the program."  More recently, Dr. Ekwonye has moderated and helped develop the FPU Public Health Club and describes her work at FPU as very satisfying.  "I enjoy working with my students in the classroom and outside the classroom.  We hold weekly club meetings in which we discuss various health issues in our community and ways we can contribute to solving the problems.

In the coming fall, the FPU Public Health Club will be conducting a panel discussion on "Living a Healthy Lifestyle Away From Home" with the hope of creating awareness of different activities that individuals can do to improve their personal health and wellness and the overall health of the college community.  In the spring, they will organize and host a health fair to FPU Campus Photocreate greater awareness of healthy living among members of our community.  "Throughout the school year we will be taking photos of public health efforts, issues or events and will share the photos on our Twitter and Instagram accounts ", said Dr. Ekwonye.  Find the FPU Public Health Club on Twitter at @FPU_PubHClub or on Instagram at @FPU_PUBHCLUB.

To learn more about the Franklin Pierce University Public Health Program, visit their website.


An article by the NH Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services
Boy 1
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, will be running four public service advertisements (PSA) previously run in other states that educate the viewer of the dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and promote cessation:  “It’s Like They’re Smoking”, “Nowhere To Hide”, “Trapped” and “Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive”.  All the ads highlight the dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure to children in various environments:  the home, in vehicles, during pregnancy and anywhere. Secondhand smoke is tobacco Boy 2smoke that is exhaled by a smoker or is given off by burning tobacco (as of a cigarette); thirdhand smoke is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on a variety of indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. The PSAs will provide an educational/information resource for viewers to learn about protecting children from SHS exposure and ( and promote the New Hampshire Tobacco Helpline for cessation (1-800-QUIT-NOW).

On average, children are exposed to more secondhand smoke than nonsmoking adults. The primary source of secondhand smoke exposure for children is the home, but children are also exposed to secondhand smoke in other places as well, such as vehicles and some childcare centers. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the chances children will suffer from smoke-caused coughs and wheezing, bronchitis, pneumonia, potentially fatal lower respiratory tract infections, eye and ear problems and other problems including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other conduct disorders. To protect children, never allow smoking around your children, in your home or where they are cared for, in a vehicle they travel in, or where they sleep.Girl 2

The PSAs are scheduled to air May 16th and to potentially run for 12 months pending available funding after March 2017. The PSAs will be on television, statewide radio and web/mobile. NH DHHS encourages people who smoke to quit and offers free help quitting via the NH Tobacco Helpline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

What Happens When the Funding Ends?  In Nashua, the Work Continues!

The Plan4Health Nashua coalition was recently recognized for its Complete Streets work by Mayor Jim Donchess, among others, at the Greater Nashua Public Health Annual Meeting.  The meeting was held during National Public Health Week in April and attracted nearly 100 attendees representing health providers, municipal departments, nonprofit organizations, faith communities, state agencies and schools.  Plan4Health Nashua has also been chosen to receive a NADO 2016 Excellence in Regional Transportation Award.

In early 2015, a partnership formed in Nashua between public health and planning to advance street design that supports health by providing safer and easier ways to get around for pedestrians and bicyclists. The Plan4Health Nashua coalition was formed after receiving a $125,000 grant from the American Planning Association (APA) to help fund a 15-month program to support Complete Streets planning in Nashua. Founding partners included the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC), the City of Nashua, New Hampshire Public Health Association (NHPHA), and Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL NH).  The project immediately gained support by the Greater Nashua Public Health Advisory Council and was selected as a priority project for implementation in Nashua's 2015 Community Health Improvement Plan.

During the 15-month grant period, the Plan4Health Nashua coalition conducted a street study to assess the bikability and walkability of Nashua streets, developed a Complete Streets guidebook and policy recommendations, and providing training to city staff, planners, elected officials and other community members.  The project has gained momentum and the coalition has grown to include community partners beyond public health and planning, including NeighborWorks of Southern New Hampshire, Great American Downtown, YMCA, Police Athletic League, and Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua.  And while the APA funding period is about to end, the efforts to support a healthy, economically vibrant community in Nashua continue!

With one project, Plan4Health Nashua is working with city departments, local artists, and the Silver Knights baseball team to install a "creative crosswalk" at Holman Stadium in downtown Nashua. This installation puts a fun, new spin on standard crosswalk design, while maintaining crosswalk safety standards and supporting safe, active transportation activities such as walking to the ballgame.

Another project will be led by NRPC which recently received funding from the HNH Foundation for a "Planning for Parks and Playgrounds" project in Nashua and throughout the region.  The project works to improve walking and biking access to safe places to play through a combination of planning and education. In yet another project, a charrette is being planned in June to discuss opportunities for community revitalization - including walkability - in the Lock Street area in Nashua's French Hill neighborhood. And on the healthy eating front, Nashua was selected as a New Hampshire Farm to School Beacon Community.  One of only three communities included in this new program, Nashua will help pilot how to move innovative farm to school practices forward and serve as a model for other communities across the state. Healthy eating and active living work continues to expand in Nashua, bringing in more partners and more funding opportunities.

Plan4Health Nashua illustrates how community planning and public health have common ground when promoting policies that ensure safe and equitable access to physical activity and healthy eating.  The project has also demonstrated that community members from all sectors will come together - from elected officials to a baseball team - because they care about public health, economic growth, and livability.  Furthermore, in Nashua and in many other HEAL communities, the great work has continued well after the original funding period.

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