American Heart Association Recognizes New London for Workplace Health Achievement
At NLH, we strive to be better everyday!

When the results of the American Heart Association 2019 Workplace Health Achievement Index were announced this fall, New London achieved gold-level recognition for taking significant steps to build a culture of health in the workplace. This is the fourth year in a row New London has received this honor.

“We are so proud and honored to be recognized at the gold level for a fourth year,” says Catherine Bardier, New London's director of Wellness and Population. “Our Wellness Champions are passionate about the work they do and are dedicated to keeping the programs fresh and fun for our employees and their families.”

The American Heart Association created the index with its CEO Roundtable members, a leadership collaborative of more than 40 CEOs from some of America’s largest companies, who are committed to applying evidence-based approaches to improve their employees’ overall health. The index uses science-based best practices to evaluate the overall quality and comprehensiveness of their workplace health programs. Studies show that worksites with a culture of health, with comprehensive, evidence-based policies and programs, and senior leadership support, are more likely to have engaged employees and a healthier, more productive workforce.

A unique feature of the index is that it calculates an average heart-health score for employees of participating companies that securely submit aggregate health data. Companies receive benchmarking reports, which allow them to identify potential areas of improvement, so they can advance their annual performance and recognition.

New London's Pam Drewniak Recognized for Years of Service

Pam Drewniak receives her award.The New Hampshire Bureau of Emergency Medical Services presented Pam Drewniak, New London Hospital Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and Emergency Preparedness coordinator, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her 40 years of EMS. The honor was presented during the 28th Annual Fire Service and Emergency Medical Services Awards and Recognition event in Concord, NH.

Before joining New London Hospital in 2004, Drewniak spent 30 years with the Newbury Fire Department as an emergency medical technician.

"I'm honored to be recognized by my peers, who I respect and feel privileged to work alongside in EMS in New Hampshire. From my days with Newbury Fire Department to New London Hospital, I'm proud to be a part of the growth of service we are able to provide our community,” says Drewniak.

Congratulations to New London's President and CEO Bruce King, Andrew Torkelson, MD, and New London Trustee Chris Cundey
Bruce King, Chris Cundey, Andrew Torkelson, MD

All three were honored at this year’s New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA) Annual Meeting.

  • Bruce King was presented with the NHHA Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership in advocacy and dedication to his institution, patients and colleagues.
  • Andrew Torkelson, MD, was the recipient of the Medical Staff Award for outstanding service to his hospital and community.
  • Chris Cundey was recognized for excellence in hospital governance with the Outstanding Trustee of the Year Award.
New London Hospital Appoints New EMS Director

Shawn RileyThirty-year veteran in emergency services, Shawn Riley, started his new role as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) director at New London in early November. A New Hampshire native, Riley grew up in Derry and began his EMS career straight out of Pinkerton Academy in 1988, working for private EMS companies. Riley received his Bachelor of Science degree at Granite State College, a Paramedic Certification from New Hampshire Technical Institute and an MBA from New England College.

Prior to arriving at New London, he worked in EMS for Concord Fire Department for 10 ½ years and recently wrapped up his position as deputy chief of the Laconia Fire Department, where he served for 12 years.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to come to a community hospital with such a progressive ambulance service,” says Riley. “New London Hospital has some fantastic programs in place, such as Mobile Integrated Health, which is such a valuable service to the community. I look forward to the challenge of growing the current programs and incorporating new platforms, which will continue to demonstrate our ability to be a leader in New Hampshire’s emergency services.”

New London's EMS has 25 full- and part-time staff provides 911 transport for seven towns and recently received the 2019 American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

While Riley has witnessed his share of tragedies during his career, all of which are unfortunate parts of the job, it was the death of his wife, Stephanie, in late 2014 from lung cancer that gave him a new perspective on life. A non-smoker, she died only eight months after her diagnosis. Since her passing, Riley has been giving a “Journey with Cancer” lecture to others battling cancer as he describes simply as “fellow travelers on the same path.” He and Stephanie had two children together, Shane and Samantha.

Patricia Rooney, PHR, SHRM-CP, Joins VNH as Director of Human Resources

Patricia RooneyPatricia Rooney, PHR, SHRM-CP, has been named director of Human Resources for VNH) Rooney holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Southern New Hampshire University and certification as a Human Resources Professional. Prior to joining VNH, she served as the human resource partner for the Office of Business Affairs at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, where she provided support for 1,400 employees and managers across several diverse operating units.

“I am delighted and honored to be joining VNH as their new director of Human Resources,” says Rooney. “It is clear that their passion for the work, commitment to the communities in which they serve and appreciation of the talents and contributions of the team are genuine and expressed in their actions and interactions every day. I am impressed by the level of care and compassion extended by VNH to everyone in their service area, and I hope that I can support the team in continually fulfilling their mission of providing exemplary home health care.”

Rooney will be responsible for the development of VNH’s human capital to support the long-term growth and success of the organization. She will develop and implement strategies that build a talented and exceptional workforce, supporting organizational alignment and a positive work climate.

“Patty brings extensive experience in human resources management, with expertise in employee engagement and retention, workforce development and recruitment, leadership development, performance management and succession planning,” says VNH President and CEO Johanna Beliveau. “We are so pleased to have her on board.”

Danielle Pierotti, RN, PhD, CENP, Joins VNH as Vice President of Patient Care Services

Danielle PierottiDanielle Pierotti, RN, PhD, CENP, has been named vice president of Patient Care Services at VNH. Pierotti holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Utah and is certified in executive nursing practice (CENP). Prior to joining VNH, she served as the vice president of Quality and Research and most recently as acting president and chief executive officer at Elevating HOME/Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) in Arlington, VA. In her roles with VNAA, Pierotti managed a comprehensive national quality program for populations served by home health and hospice providers and was responsible for fulfilling the organizational mission to become a leader in research focused on care provided in homes.

“I am honored to join such a passionate team at VNH,” said Pierotti. “I am looking forward to serving the communities of Vermont and New Hampshire by helping patients receive the highest quality care in the comfort of their homes, at all stages of life.”

Pierotti will be responsible for program growth, quality performance, service excellence and regulatory compliance of post-acute skilled care, telehealth, maternal-child health, pediatrics, long-term care, ACO care coordination, and palliative care and hospice services.

“Danielle brings a wealth of experience in clinical practice, quality and care delivery in rural settings,” said VNH President and CEO, Johanna Beliveau. “Her recent experience at Elevating HOME/Visiting Nurse Associations of America will help VNH navigate health-care delivery and policy changes in the coming years.”

Megan Hawthorne, MSW, LICSW, Named VNH Director of Long-Term Care Services

Megan HawthorneMegan Hawthorne, MSW, LICSW, has been named director of Long-Term Care Services for VNH. Hawthorne holds a Master’s of Social Work degree from Rutgers University School of Social Work in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She has held various positions at VNH since January 2013, including medical social worker and psychosocial supervisor prior to being promoted to director of Long-Term Care Services.

“I'm so excited to be working with and supporting such dedicated and competent case managers, home health aides, and personal care attendants in our Long-Term Care programs in Vermont and New Hampshire,” says Hawthorne. “As our population ages, these programs are more essential than ever. I am also thrilled to be collaborating with our talented community partners to ensure our health care dollars are spent wisely, to provide the best care possible to our OneCare Vermont patients."

Hawthorne will be responsible for program growth, quality performance, service excellence, and regulatory compliance of VNH Long-Term Care Services, including the Choices for Care, Moderate Needs and OneCare Vermont Accountable Care programs in Vermont, and Choices for Independence in New Hampshire.

“Megan has served admirably in her role as medical social worker and psychosocial supervisor for VNH over the last nearly seven years, advocating for the needs of frail elders, collaborating across programs, and improving care for Hospice patients and families through direct-care and support provided to the psychosocial team,” says VNH President and CEO Johanna Beliveau. “I look forward to all that she will bring to the position of director of Long-Term Care Services.”

VNH Employee and Volunteer Recognition

At the VNH annual Employee and Volunteer Recognition Event on November 12, the following members of the VNH team received awards:

  • Carole Lechthaler Award for Exemplary Professional Practice - Megan Hawthorne, director of Long-Term Care Services
    Megan Hawthorne receives her award.
  • Administrative Team Member of the Year Award - Delce Porter, Quality Assurance assistant
    Delce Porter receives her award.
  • Paraprofessional of the Year Award - Stacey Hodge, home health aide
    Stacey Hodge
  • Excellence in Leadership Award - Hilary Davis, director of External Relations & Service Excellence
    Hilary Davis receives her award.
Cheshire’s Maggie Bard, RN, Awarded Champion of Nursing
Maggie Bard

The Champion of Nursing Award honors an individual who has had a positive impact on the profession of nursing. This individual will have contributed by demonstrating characteristics and/or practices that support individual nurses or the nursing profession.

Cheshire's Cherie A. Holmes, MD, MSc, Won the 2019 New Hampshire Service Award from NH Athletic Trainers’ Association
Cherie Holmes center with other NHATA 2019 athletic trainers.

Cherie Holmes, MD, MSc, is the chief medical officer of Cheshire. The New Hampshire Service Award recognizes non-athletic trainers from various backgrounds who have made outstanding contributions to the profession of athletic training in the state of New Hampshire. All certified athletic trainers in New Hampshire are invited to submit nominations.

Cheshire Second Quarter Employee Recognitions

President’s Service Excellence Award

Sara Sargent, RN, Clinical Informatics
Sara Sargent, Val Collins, Deb Chamberlain, Kris Earle, Hillary Stickney and Dana Carley
Front row, from left: Sara Sargent, Val Collins, Deb Chamberlain; back row, from left: Kris Earle, Hillary Stickney and Dana Carley
Kimberly Whittaker, RN, Breast Care coordinator
Tisha Howe, Amanda Le Blanc, Kimberly Whittaker and Melody Hayward
From left: Tisha Howe, Amanda Le Blanc, Kimberly Whittaker and Melody Hayward

Leadership Recognition Award

Abe Howe, associate director of Radiology
Paul Pezone, Abe Howe, David Quibley and Chris Tkal
From left: Paul Pezone, Abe Howe, David Quigley and Chris Tkal
Angela Lefebvre, Accreditation and Regulatory Compliance leader
Robin Walden, Christy Whitney, Beth Castagna, Andree Smith, Angie Lefebvre, Michelle Langholff, Kaitlyn Wade and Suzanna Strempfer
From left: Robin Walden, Christy Whitney, Beth Castagna, Andree Smith, Angie Lefebvre, Michelle Langholff, Kaitlyn Wade and Suzanna Strempfer
Michelle Beatrice, RN, administrative clinical supervisor
Pam Merritt, Michelle Beatrice and Kim Farris
From left: Pam Merritt, Michelle Beatrice and Kim Farris
APD’s Manager of Care Management Katie-Marie Pawlowski, RN-BC, Helped Evaluate the Current Nursing Board Examination for the ANCC

Katie-Marie PawlowskiAPD’s Manager of Care Management Katie-Marie Pawlowski, RN-BC, recently participated in a test development meeting at the American Nurses Credentialing Centers (ANCC)/American Nurses Association headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. She and a panel of other select nurse experts from across the country were tasked with evaluating the current board examination for the ANCC and determining the new cut score for the minimally qualified testing candidate.

This standard-setting panel study enables the ANCC to offer quality certification examinations to nurses across the U.S. and internationally. Pawlowski will hold a seat on this panel for the next three years.

“It’s pretty special that we have a nurse expert here at APD who is helping to set national standards for the Nursing Case Management specialty,” says Jean Ten Haken, MSN, RN, CENP, chief operating officer, vice president of Nursing, and chief nursing officer at APD. “I’m proud of Kate for her contribution to the panel.”

Pawlowski joined APD in 2014. She earned her associate degree at Community College of Rhode Island and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Chamberlain University. She holds national board certification through the ANCC and is currently working toward her doctorate of nursing practice.

Ken Lee, RN, Joins APD as Operations Support Manager

Ken LeeKen Lee, RN, has joined APD as operations support manager. In this role, he will partner with departments to ensure that the environment of care meets regulatory and accreditation requirements. He will coordinate the implementation of new technologies and equipment that support patient care, and will oversee the hospital’s D-H biomedical contract. Lee will also oversee APD’s Emergency Preparedness and Campus Safety and Security.

Ken Lee brings years of experience and connections both at D-H and the greater community. Prior to joining APD, he spent three years as a clinical engineer supporting D-H at APD, five years as a risk manager, serving as operations chief for Emergency Management and backup Emergency Management coordinator at D-H. He also spent ten years as the clinical manager for Biomedical Engineering at D-H, and sixteen years as an electronics technician and engineer.

D-H's Albert Lambert Wins The DAISY Award
Albert Lambert hugs Jessica Ash.
Albert Lambert hugs Jessica Ash, who nominated him for The DAISY Award.

Albert Lambert, RN, was just sitting down at a computer to start his shift when Joanne Conroy, MD, CEO and president of D-HH and D-H, and Karen Clements, RN, FACHE, chief nursing officer at D-H, and a parade of well-wishers gathered in the 3D Medical Infusion Clinic at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. “Good morning, Albert! You’ve won The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses,” announced Clements.

The DAISY Award is an international program that celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. Every DAISY Award winner is recognized with a celebration in their department and receives a beautiful certificate, a DAISY Award pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture titled, “A Healer’s Touch,” (learn more about the award below). They also receive cinnamon rolls, which Conroy presented to Lambert.

“Albert showed exemplary compassion and care for a patient and her family, while she was a patient with us twice a week for several months,” wrote Lambert’s colleague, Jessica Ash, BSN, RN, CNML, who nominated him for the award. “This patient required frequent blood transfusions and close cardiac and fluid status monitoring. Socially, she was trying to maintain a good quality of life so she could spend it with her sons and grandchildren. Her sons struggled to understand the complexity and urgency of her care. Albert made sure to call them throughout her treatments to explain changes and lab results. He supported them when questions came up regarding end-of-life care. His professionalism and gentle, but humorous, nature allowed both the patient and her family to adjust to her disease process in their own time.”

Lambert’s manager, Odalie Bernash, BSN, RN, OCN, explained, “Albert treats everyone who enters Medical Infusion as if they were visiting a luxury suite. He wants everyone to feel welcome and comfortable, whether they are receiving treatment or providing comfort to a loved one.”

Lambert has worked for D-H for more than 25 years. Reflecting on his fondest memories, he wrote, “I have had 25 years full of triumphs, trials and learning. You can’t help but make friends and family here, including patients. I’ve done many tasks over the years, but what I do now in Medical Infusion has been my favorite. I love helping people, spending time with them and being their advocate in a confusing health care system. My favorite thing about my department is the incredible staff and leadership and, of course, our patients, who are dear to us all.”

DHMC Becomes Northern New England’s First Accredited Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center
From left: Deborah Cantlin, MSN, RN, Dawn Paquin, BSN, Bruce Andrus, MD, Susan D’Anna, APRN, and Carolyn DeMark, BSN
From left: Deborah Cantlin, MSN, RN, Dawn Paquin, BSN, Bruce Andrus, MD, Susan D’Anna, APRN, and Carolyn DeMark, BSN

The DHMC Pulmonary Hypertension program in Lebanon, NH, has been designated a Regional Clinical Program, a designation of the Pulmonary Hypertension Care Centers' accreditation program launched in 2014 by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. DHMC earned the distinction by assuring that individuals with pulmonary hypertension, a life-threatening lung disease, receive care following expert consensus guidelines from clinicians who specialize in this often-misdiagnosed condition.

“This designation signals to patients and their families that our program has met the rigorous standards of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association,” says Bruce Andrus, MD, director of Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic at DHMC. “We are proud that our work as a team of clinicians, nurses, care managers, pharmacists and rehab staff has been recognized by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.”

Pulmonary hypertension, also known as high blood pressure of the lungs, affects children and adults of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. It can result from the arteries in the lungs becoming damaged, narrowed or stiffened, forcing the right side of the heart to pump extra hard and leading to right heart failure and death. Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension are non-specific—they include shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain. People with pulmonary hypertension can go months, even years, believing they have less life-threatening illnesses, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“Our success with this designation is based on work started in 2003, when the program was founded by Ed Catherwood, MD, MS, Susan D’Anna, APRN, and Sherry Duveneck RN,” Andrus said. “Thanks to their foundational work, we now have a very experienced team and provide a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of patients with suspected pulmonary hypertension. We’re supported by top-notch echocardiography and cardiac catheterization laboratories and radiology services. Our strong partnership with the pulmonary hypertension program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston allows for collaborative care for patients in our region with advanced disease.”

To be accredited, a Regional Clinical Program must demonstrate a commitment to providing expert-level care, proficiently evaluating pulmonary hypertension patients based on published evidence-based guidelines and providing expert treatment of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association rolled out the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with pulmonary hypertension. A full list of accredited pulmonary hypertension programs is available on the Pulmonary Hypertension Association website.

D-HH and Matthew Houde Honored by the American Hospital Association
AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack presented the award to D-HH and D-H CEO and President Joanne Conroy, MD.
From left: Courtney Tanner, Wendy Fielding, Sally Kraft, Maria Padin, Rick Pollack, Joanne Conroy, Dan Jantzen, Sue Reeves, Matthew Houde, Steve LeBlanc and Steve Ahnen

The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently honored D-HH for the hospital’s 100 years of participation and leadership in the AHA, and recognized D-H Vice President of Government Relations Matthew Houde with its 2019 Grassroots Champion Award.

AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack presented the award to D-HH and D-H CEO and President Joanne Conroy, MD, at the New Hampshire Hospital Association Annual Meeting on October 30 at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH. D-HH is one of the AHA’s original 55 charter members. The AHA first admitted institutional members in 1919 (although it was founded in 1898), and Conroy was recently appointed to the AHA Board of Trustees. She begins her three-year term in January 2020.

“Over the past 100 years, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health has been a leader in advancing health for its patients and communities in New Hampshire, Vermont and across northern New England. In addition, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health has contributed to advancements in health care nationally over the decades by its leaders serving in a variety of important roles at the state and national levels,” said Pollack. “We thank Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health for its valuable contributions to our field, including spotlighting the importance of shared decision making between patients and caregivers, training the next generation of clinicians and serving as a model for building effective partnerships that expand health care beyond the hospital and into communities.”

In addition to D-HH’s recognition, Houde was honored for his dedication to the hospital's mission, on both the local and national level. Each year, the AHA recognizes the achievements of grassroots leaders across the country in conjunction with state hospital association partners. A hospital or health system leader from each state is honored for their work to deliver the hospital message to elected officials, to broaden the base of community support for hospitals and to advocate on behalf of patients, hospitals and communities.

“This special recognition acknowledges the compassion and hard work our champions have demonstrated as advocates for better health and better health care throughout their state and across the country,” said Pollack. “Matthew’s leadership on behalf of hospitals and patients to deliver the message of hospitals and health systems being cornerstones of their community is absolutely invaluable in today’s health care environment.”

New Hampshire Hospital Association President Steve Ahnen said, “Matthew has been a tireless advocate for hospitals and health systems in New Hampshire, and has dedicated himself to educating elected officials on key issues and public policy efforts that affect a hospital’s ability to deliver care to patients within its community. We couldn’t be more proud to honor him as our 2019 Grassroots Champion.”

"Ascutney Amigos" Run to Raise Funds for Kids at CHaD HERO Event

Mt. Ascutney's determined local team raised over $900 for CHaD at the CHaD HERO walk/run/bike/hike on October 20, 2019.

Our Amigos gave it their all, contributing to CHaD’s goal of $830,000. Thanks to everyone who supported the team and the cause with donations and good vibes. Participating were staff from our Surgical, Rehabilitation, Quality, Nursing and Finance Departments, along with friends and family. Josh Fontaine, our VISTA and Community Health Team member placed 3rd in the half marathon!