APRIL 2012 :: State News Briefs

Gifford holds 106th Annual Meeting

Published Saturday Mar 31, 2012 by Healthcare Review

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Joe-and-Sharon-Dimmick-speak

Newly elected Gifford Medical Center Board of Trustees Chairwoman Sharon Dimmick smiles at hospital Administrator Joseph Woodin at Gifford's 106th Annual Corporators Meeting. Dimmick of Randolph Center thanked corporators "for putting your trust in me."

RANDOLPH, VT – Gifford Medical Center held its 106th Annual Corporators Meeting on Saturday evening at the Randolph hospital, electing three new members to the Board of Trustees, sharing the successes of 2011 and welcoming Steve Kimbell, Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration commissioner, as the guest speaker.

Newly elected to the board were Leo Connolly, Fred Newhall and Peter Nowlan following the retirements of long-time board members Barbara Harvey and Bruce MacDonald and the heavily-felt death of Dick Mallary. “We miss him terribly,” board member Bob Wright said.

MacDonald and Harvey offered a few parting words of thanks and encouragement.
MacDonald admitted to feeling reluctant when he was first asked to join the board in 2002. A decade later, his opinion had changed. “As a corporator I would encourage you to support the dedicated staff and management here,” he told the audience of about 90.

Barb-Harvey-laughs-with-Bob-Wright-and-Joe-

Outgoing Gifford Medical Center Board of Trustees Chairman Bob Wright, at the podium, and Administrator Joseph Woodin, left, thank Barbara Harvey of Rochester for her years of dedication to the Randolph hospital's board. Harvey stepped down after nine years on the board.

Harvey, a member of the board since 2004, thanked the hospital for its quick response to get medications into isolated communities in the days following Tropical Storm Irene, especially in her town of Rochester.

Also recognized was Wright, who ended his two years as board chairman. Elected to his role was Sharon Dimmick. Gus Meyer was named vice chairman, Paul Kendall was chosen as secretary and Lincoln Clark was named treasurer.

Before stepping down, Wright delivered his final chairman’s report, recognizing his fellow board members and the hospital as a strong community asset that meets quality standards, changing regulations and community members’ expectations.

Steve-Kimbell-speaks

Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISCHA) Commissioner Steve Kimbell leads a talk on health care reform at Gifford Medical Center's 106th Annual Corporators Meeting Saturday at the Randolph hospital.

The hospital also “made budget” for a 12th consecutive year and is moving forward positively due to the medical center’s strategic planning efforts and commitment to service excellence through a program the hospital calls BEST.

The hospital is in its fourth three-year strategic plan. The plan guides the medical center in its efforts to remain vital and meet patient needs. “We’ve tried very hard over the years to make sure we’re doing a good job and you’re choosing us,” Administrator Joseph Woodin said, touching on the medical center’s commitment to reviewing quality indicators at each board meeting, a slate of new providers who joined the hospital in 2011, technology improvements and some unexpected awards the hospital received.

Those awards include a recognition for Gifford as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the nation, a listing by U.S. News and World Report last month naming the hospital’s Menig Extended Care Facility as one of the nation’s top 39 nursing homes and a national “best practice” award for Gifford’s midwives.

Woodin also praised volunteers’ efforts and briefly reviewed plans for a senior living community on 25.6 “Hillside” acres Gifford owns in Randolph Center.

The immediate goal, said Woodin, is to reconstruct the 30-bed Menig Extended Care Facility on the property and create industry-standard private patient rooms in the vacated space once Menig has moved out. The next phase would include 40 independent living units. The long range plan includes assisted living units and opportunities to build more independent living. The hospital is currently going through the permitting process and hopes to break ground on the new nursing home before next winter.

Woodin called 2011 financially difficult. Employees went without wage increases and some cut back on hours. “Last year was a very tough year,” he said. But, “compared to other hospitals, we do quite well. We’re very stable and it does allow us to make these necessary investments.”

Vermont Blueprint for Health
A main focus for 2011, and consequently the focus of the hospital’s newly released 2011 Annual Report, was Gifford’s role as a medical home. All five of Gifford’s primary care practices were recognized as Patient-Centered Medical Homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

The designation is part of Vermont Blueprint for Health efforts to improve care for the chronically ill through advanced primary care. Gifford is working diligently on Blueprint goals, including bringing together a diverse Community Health Team and employing an outpatient care coordinator whose job is to help patients with socioeconomic needs and connect them to community resources.

“We’re offering them an opportunity for better health,” Vice President of Medicine Teresa Voci said of patients who are now receiving help navigating various systems and reducing barriers to care.

The results, said Voci, are healthier patients who are better able to manage their chronic conditions and reduced health care costs.

Commissioner Kimbell
Kimbell spoke on health care reform, explaining the various state boards and agencies involved in the ambitious effort to create a single-payer health care system in Vermont and a federally-required health benefits exchange.

According to Kimbell, some think the task the state has undertaken under Act 48 is “crazy,” but the law is necessary to try to rein in health care spending to better match annual inflation rate increases.

And the state has had past success on payment reform, Kimbell noted, holding up the Vermont Blueprint for Health and the Catamount health plan as examples of the state’s record of successful reform.

“A lot of groundwork has been done to set the stage for health care reform,” said Kimbell, calling Catamount “up and running,” “successful” and “a model of where we’re trying to go.”

But, he acknowledged, if citizens don’t change their health habits, reform efforts will fail.
Audience members asked questions about dental access and incentives for preventative care. MacDonald questioned how savings could be found. “It’s hard to visualize for us in this organization … how you can recover that much cost just knowing on a monthly and annual basis how hard it is to run this organization,” the former Gifford board member and accountant by trade said.

A lot of economy will be found in Vermont hospitals functioning as a system, but also still keeping their community identity, Kimball said.

He also spoke of provider retention. “What’s the impact on the provider community?” he asked. “How they get paid is going to be something we’ll be sticking our fingers in very deeply. I believe there is plenty of money in the system that everyone can settle somewhere.”

Hospitals will not close under the plan, Kimbell ensured, which broadly speaking will pay hospitals and providers to keep people healthy rather than per visit or procedure.

Awards
Two awards were also given out Saturday evening. The $1,000 Philip D. Levesque Memorial Community Award was awarded to the Quin-Town Center for Senior Citizens.

Formed in 1972, the Quin-Town Center provides meals, including Meals on Wheels; educational programming; and socialization opportunities for seniors in Rochester, Hancock, Granville, Pittsfield and Stockbridge. In 2011, the center provided 5,950 meals to 350 seniors in these communities. The grant will help pay for a commercial refrigerator, replacing smaller models from the 1980s.

Receiving the $1,000 Dr. Richard J. Barrett Health Professions Scholarship was Sarah Davis of Northfield. A member of Gifford’s inpatient team, Davis is a full-time licensed practical nurse, a mother of three and a full-time student at Norwich University, where she is seeking a bachelor’s degree to become a registered nurse.

Davis has been working in health care since the age of 12, when she when she became a junior volunteer at a nursing home. By age 14, she was a personal aide at Level III home for the elderly and at age 16, she completed her licensed nursing assistant course. She’s worked at Gifford as an LPN since 2007.

She is also the first member of her family to go to college.


FEBRUARY 2012 :: State News Briefs

FAULKNER HOSPITAL OFFERS NUTRITION TIPS FOR MINDFUL EATING

Published Wednesday Feb 8, 2012 by Healthcare Review

Brooke Staats

Brooke Staats

BOSTON, MA, JANUARY 16, 2012- This February Faulkner Hospital is offering Create Your Weight, a Registered Dietitian led 10-week weight management education program that focuses on boosting your overall health, relying on proven scientific methods to train you to improve your eating habits, lifestyle and activity choices-for good. Not only does this program give tools to make healthy food choices but will also explore behavior modification and how mindful eating can help you think about food differently.

“Eating mindfully means learning not to focus on the ‘what’ of eating but the ‘why’ of eating,” says Brooke Staats, Registered Dietitian at Faulkner Hospital.  “By becoming more aware of the emotional aspects of eating, you can learn to make better food choices and become more in-tune with your body.”

Below are some tips on eating mindfully to get you started.

* Learn to start eating when you are moderately hungry and stop eating when you are moderately full. Try to listen to your body so that you stop eating right when you feel full, this will help you avoid overeating calories.

* Set a timer for 20 minutes and try to take that long to finish your meal. Learning to really taste and enjoy your food is a big part of Mindful Eating. By eating more slowly and savoring your food, you may find that you need less to fill yourself up.

* Don’t consistently deprive yourself of your favorite foods. If you always stop eating when you are moderately full, or when you just begin to feel your stomach is distended, you are not likely to overeat. By completely avoiding some of your favorite foods, you may begin to feel resentful and end up overeating later on.

* Keep in mind that alcohol dulls your hunger signals so you are less likely to be able to tell when you are moderately full. If you plan to have an alcoholic drink, try to limit it to just one and always have a hydrating beverage on hand.

* Learn to predict when you are likely to overeat – maybe a stressful day at work tends to lead to increased snacking, or a get-together with friends always includes a lot of food and drink. Plan alternatives to overeating for these situations; maybe taking a bath after a stressful day or eating a snack before going out with friends will help you make better decisions.

JANUARY 2012 :: State News Briefs

First Tomosynthesis Mammograms In Region Preformed

Published Sunday Jan 1, 2012 by Healthcare Review

Providence, RI – There is still a one in eight lifetime risk that a woman will develop breast cancer, and the best tool against the disease remains early detection. Now, Women & infants Hospital of Rhode Island has taken the breast cancer battle to the next level with the installation of the most advanced imaging technology available, called digital breast tomosynthesis.

Women & Infants is the first and only facility in southeastern New England to offer this new technology, which was approved in February 2011 by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The first woman to receive a digital tomosynthesis test in the region was processed at the hospital December 6th.

Digital breast tomosynthesis captures three-dimensional images of the breast versus the two-dimensional ones available through standard full-field digital mammography. This gives a more comprehensive and clear image for the radiologist to interpret, increases the early detection rate for breast cancer by up to 15%, and decreases the number of false positive findings by about 25%.

“Tomosynthesis gives doctors a clearer view of a woman’s breast tissue and significantly helps us screen for and find potential breast cancers,” explained Patricia Spencer, MD, chief of the Department of Diagnostic Imaging at Women & Infants.

The new technology is used at the same time the technologist conducts a routine digital mammography, which is still considered the “gold standard” in breast imaging. However, the two-dimensional digital mammography takes an image of the entire breast in one exposure, which means features of the breast can be hidden by overlapping tissue.

Tomosynthesis takes images from multiple angles and uses computer processing to compile them into a three-dimensional picture a radiologist can examine and manipulate. The added detail helps the radiologist pinpoint the size, location and shape of any breast abnormality, and can help distinguish real tumors from harmless abnormalities. Because digital breast tomosynthesis removes the layers of breast structure and tissue, it is particularly beneficial for women with dense breasts.

“The result is fewer calls to patients for further testing and less overall anxiety for women,” Dr. Spencer said.

DECEMBER2011 :: State News Briefs

Atrius Health and VNA Care Network & Hospice sign Strategic Agreement

Published Friday Dec 2, 2011 by Healthcare Review

NEWTON, MA. – Atrius Health and the VNA Care Network & Hospice (VNA Care) have signed a strategic agreement through which VNA Care will be the preferred provider of visiting nurses, home care and hospice care for patients of Atrius Health sites, beginning with those served by Dedham Medical Associates, Reliant Medical Group (formerly Fallon Clinic), Southboro Medical Group and six of the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates’ sites.

Under this agreement, the two non-profit organizations will also work together to find new and better ways to better coordinate home health services with ambulatory care to improve care for patients and their caregivers. This agreement will allow Atrius Health, a nonprofit alliance of six medical groups (Dedham Medical Associates, Granite Medical Group, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Reliant Medical Group, South Shore Medical Center, and Southboro Medical Group) serving almost 1 million patients in Eastern and Central Massachusetts, to further its leadership in providing patient-centered care that is coordinated and led by the primary care physician and a team of clinicians working with specialists across multiple settings of care, including the physicians’ offices, hospital, home, and hospice.

“Our patients have been receiving outstanding care from the VNA Care Network for many years. The VNA Care Network has a long history of innovation and we could not have found a better partner as together we look for new ways to make it easy for our patients to be healthy,” said Atrius Health CEO Dr. Gene Lindsey.

“Atrius Health shares our mission and philosophy of providing coordinated care for our patients and doing what we can to keep patients in their homes with the services and care they need,” said Karen Green, president and CEO of VNA Care Network. “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with these leaders in quality of care.”

Over time, according to both organizations, the affiliation will enable the Atrius Health groups’ primary care physicians to better coordinate care beyond the doctor’s office with things like telephone visits, telehealth monitoring, physical and occupational therapy in the home, as well as culturally-competent care and a process for collaborative care planning and hospice care.  The two organizations will work together to develop and implement such innovative programs as Medical Home Models and programs for specific health concerns and populations. This alliance also strengthens both organizations as the federal and state governments develop and implement regulations guiding the formation of Accountable Care Organizations that are responsible for the quality and efficiency of care across multiple settings.

NOVEMBER 2011 :: State News Briefs

Never Say Never… Life Coach Reveals How to Get Over The Worst When It Happens To You!

Published Sunday Nov 13, 2011 by Healthcare Review

We never imagine ourselves as the victims, but sometimes, the things we think could never happen to us find a way of happening.

Too many of us replay in our minds the events that led to those circumstances, but life coach Teri Johnson believes that reviewing the past isn’t the answer. What we do next is what matters the most.

“All the things you never thought you’d experience, but did, leave behind lingering after effects that can stop us in our tracks,” said Johnson, author of Overcoming the Nevers ,www.overcomingthenevers.com). “Shame, guilt, anger and resentment start to sink in. We start to believe lies about ourselves, such as ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m undeserving.’ We escape our pain and these toxic feelings by retreating into unhealthy behaviors and addictions. But there is freedom from the struggle. There is hope in discovering the truth. There is a way to fall in love with who we are to experience a joy-filled life.”

Johnson shares a solution to overcome those feelings in a series of 12 simple steps that she feels can be practically applied to our lives – if we are ready to do the work.  Here are five of the these steps…

  • Willingness – Freedom starts with willingness. You have to want this for yourself. There is no one who can decide for you, or do the work on your on your behalf. Willingness is readiness.
  • Acceptance – Do you have the strength to make the changes necessary to turn a situation around through an attitude of acceptance? Or will you remain powerless, remain in the state of non-acceptance and let everything around you dictate how you feel? I can’t change somebody else. Period.
  • Surrender – All of us are surrendered to something.  What we surrender ourselves to ultimately becomes our god, what we worship, turn to, or rely upon.  The question is, what are we surrendered to? Is it something firm, solid and long-lasting, or something that can slip away, burn to ashes or be swallowed?
  • Courage – We cannot overcome an issue we do not know exists, we need to search. We cannot become who we were created to be, without embracing our strengths and uncovering our God-given gifts and talents. So we need to look through our lives carefully to find the answers. How do we do this? Without fear with courage, boldness and bravery.
  • Responsibility – We have a responsibility for ourselves in all areas of our lives in all of our roles. No one can attempt to change us or to control us, unless we give them the power. We need to be the change. Admitting opens this door. Will you walk through it?

“Many people just want a quick fix and aren’t willing to put in the work required,” she added. “I believe that, in this economy, everyone is experiencing ‘nevers’ they didn’t believe they’d ever encounter. Some are affected by the loss of job, foreclosure or even bankruptcy. People who hold down two or more jobs may find their health diminishing, or even joining the ranks of the millions of Americans who suffer from obesity. Divorce, drugs, addictions, workplace issues – they can all creep up on us if we aren’t diligent. The key thing is to understand how to handle those ‘nevers’ when they occur, and not be daunted. It’s never easy, but always worth it.”

SEPTEMBER 2011 :: State News Briefs

Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice Recognized as a WE HONOR VETERANS Partner

Published Thursday Sep 8, 2011 by Healthcare Review

New London, NH:  It may surprise many people to learn that 25 percent of those who die every year in the U.S. are Veterans. As part of its “Living Hope Umbrella”, and to help provide care and support that reflect the important contributions made by these men and women, Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice has become a national partner of We Honor Veterans.  Serving the Upper Valley as well as Sullivan and Merrimack counties, Lake Sunapee Regional VNA & Hospice (LSRVNA) joins this pioneering campaign that has been developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice has met stringent requirements that will help to enhance the care that professionals and volunteers provide to the Veterans they proudly serve.  The nation is seeing many of the Veterans who served in World War II and Korean pass away -and the number of deaths of Vietnam Veterans is beginning to rise.

The We Honor Veterans campaign provides tiered recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improving care for Veterans. “Partners” can assess their ability to serve Veterans and, using resources provided as part of the campaign, integrate best practices for providing end-of-life care to Veterans into their organization. “By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, we are able to accompany and guide Veterans and their families toward a more peaceful end of life,” says Betsy Wotton, RN, CHPN, BSIS, LSRVNA Hospice Program Director.  In cases where there might be specific needs related to the veteran’s military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice will find tools to help support those they are caring for.

“All hospices are serving Veterans but often aren’t aware of that person’s service in the armed forces,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “Through We Honor Veterans we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care providers understand and serve Veterans at the end of life and work more effectively with VA medical facilities in their communities. The VA shares a common goal with our nation’s hospices, and that is to provide the best possible care specifically tailored for Veterans, meeting their goals of care in their preferred setting.  As we unite our services and skills, We Honor Veterans will channel our combined strengths directly to Veterans, wherever they are receiving care.”

The resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment, coupled with Veteran-centric education of staff caring for Veterans. To learn more about We Honor Veterans or to support this important work via a secure, online donation, please visit www.wehonorveterans.org.


New Legal Nurse Consultant Certificate Program

New Class of Consultant Serves Both Legal and Medical Professions

CONCORD, NH – The growing complexity of the health care system, and its increasing entanglement with the legal system, has given rise in recent years to a new class of professional:  the Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC).  LNCs are professional nurses with both clinical expertise and training in the law. They provide an invaluable service to both the medical and legal professions.

This fall, NHTI, Concord’s Community College, will become the first school in New Hampshire to offer an on-site certificate program in this new and growing field.  Approved by the American Bar Association, the program is designed for experienced Registered Nurses who are interested in becoming Legal Nurse Consultants.  With the combined resources of the Paralegal program and the Center for Nursing Professional Development, NHTI is uniquely equipped to provide the legal knowledge and practical field experience LNCs require to evaluate, analyze and offer informed opinions on the delivery of healthcare and resulting outcomes.

LNCs can serve in a variety of settings including hospitals and other health care facilities, insurance companies, law firms, medical malpractice and workers’ compensation organizations, and private LNC practices.

The responsibilities of an LNC are broad, and include:

  • analysis of medical records,
  • determining if standards of care have been breached,
  • investigation of risk management issues,
  • evaluation of medical malpractice claims and workers’ compensation matters.

Although a Legal Nurse Consultant can perform many tasks performed by an attorney, legal work performed by an LNC must be under the supervision and direction of an attorney.

For more information about NHTI’s new Legal Nurse Consultant certificate program, contact Paralegal Studies Department Head Stacey Peters at (603) 271-7104 or speters@ccsnh.edu, or Sandra McBournie, Coordinator of the Center for Nursing Professional Development, at (603) 271-7104 or smcbournie@ccsnh.edu.


August 2011 :: State News Briefs

Stroke Removes Manager from Job Market

Published Sunday Jul 31, 2011 by Healthcare Review

Obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a time-consuming and stressful experience. Two out of every three applicants initially are denied. After a stroke incapacitated Jeff Barrows, his application for SSDI was denied-twice. Read how Allsup helped him to successful resolve his claim.

A stroke stopped his career dead in its track, forcing the former facilities manager to seek disability benefits.

‘I Gave Up … Never Thought I’d Hear Anything Back’

Malden, Massachusetts-More than 20 years had passed since Jeff Barrows started work as an information technology manager, eventually making his way up to facilities manager for a company in Boston. As the economy slacked off, he would occasionally be laid off for several weeks.

During one such layoff in 2008, Mr. Barrows, then 58, was in his back yard reading a book when his wife noticed his speech had changed along with his mood. He didn’t detect the difference himself, but at his wife’s urging he went to his doctor for a checkup. To the patient’s surprise, the doctor told him he had suffered a stroke.

Already taking medication for Type 2 diabetes, Mr. Barrows still thought he could go back to work. However, his current and other potential employers thought otherwise. No one called him back. When a specialist evaluated him as incapacitated, Mr. Barrows decided to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

From the outset of the application process, other people told him to expect disappointments. This included the representative at the Social Security office.

“He was a nice young man and did the best he could as he worked within the system,” Mr. Barrows said. “But he said my disability application would probably be turned down at least twice before it would go through, and he was right.”

That was a well-founded assessment. Nationwide, 65 percent of initial SSDI applications are denied. At the next level, 87 percent of appeals are denied.

While his appeal was still in process, Mr. Barrows’ sister, a former nurse, had a suggestion. She had been disabled by a back injury and turned to Allsup, a company that helped her win her SSDI benefits.

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis.

In September 2010, Mr. Barrows called Allsup, which took charge of his case. “They sent detailed forms for me to fill out,” he said. “Then Allsup gathered all my records from my doctors. I never had to testify or anything like that. I never had to do anything once Allsup took over.”

His experience was typical. Nearly 85 percent of Allsup claimants are awarded without ever having to attend a hearing or see an administrative law judge. Through the years, more than 150,000 people have gotten their disability benefits with Allsup’s help.

With the professionals at the controls, Mr. Barrows could have been confident, but the previous setbacks with his application made him err on the side of caution.

“To be frank,” he said, “I gave up on it. I never thought I’d hear anything back.”

So, he was “very surprised” in March 2011 when he received a letter from Social Security telling him that his claim was awarded.

Now receiving monthly benefit income, Mr. Barrows is not receiving what he earned on his previous job, “but I’m better than where I was before my claim went through.”

Looking back on his experience, he said, “I’m OK with Allsup. They worked hard, and the end result came out so well.”

Who is Allsup? Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis.

For more information, visit www.allsup.com.

July 2011 :: State News Briefs

Hospital Supports All Day Power Play Hockey Tournament to Benefit Nashua Children’s Home

Published Sunday Jul 3, 2011 by Healthcare Review

PowerPlay

(l to r) Mark McKenna, Director of Hospitality and Hockey Player, David Ross, St. Joseph Hospital President and CEO, David Villiotti, Nashua Children's Home Executive Director, Hockey Players Eric Ouellette, Dave Walsh and Paul Clark.

NASHUA, NH – St. Joseph Hospital is pleased to partner this year with the 4th Annual All Day Power Play Hockey Tournament to benefit Nashua Children’s Home. The event begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, July 23rd at Cyclones Arena in Hudson and will feature sixty dedicated men and women playing 24 hours of hockey. The event is the Nashua Children’s Home’s largest fundraiser and has raised over $75,000 over the past three years. In addition to a $2,000 donation, St. Joseph Hospital employees will be skating in the event this year.

Nashua Children’s Home serves the children and young men and women with its Residential and Educational Programs and Transitional Living Program. Nashua Children’s Home provides care and stability to boys and girls unable to remain with their families, special education services for students who have not been successful in public school settings, and supportive housing for youth that have “aged-out” of care.

The community is encouraged to stop by the event between noon and 3:00 pm to cheer on the participants, enjoy free children activities and help support Nashua Children’s Home. Children can bring their stuffed animals to get a free “check-up” courtesy of the staff at SJ Family Medial Center Hudson. In addition, donations will be accepted for the following items for Nashua Children’s Home; Haircut gift cards, socks and underwear, large backpacks, shampoo, hair gel and spray, hair brushes and adult sized sweatshirts. Anyone that brings in a donation between noon and 3:00 pm will have a chance to win a giant teddy bear.

For more information on how to get involved with this event or how to help Nashua Children’s Home please visit www.alldaypowerplay.net or www.nashuachildrenshome.org

JUNE 2011 :: State News Briefs

Providers of Nursing Home Care Denounce Medicaid Funding Cuts

Published Sunday Jun 5, 2011 by Healthcare Review

Greatest Generation Deserves Adequate Resources for Quality Care

Warwick, RI. -  As the General Assembly grapples with ways to cut spending in the FY 2012 budget, nursing home providers across the state are warning legislators of the danger of cuts that could imperil the quality and accessibility of skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. Governor Chafee’s proposed budget includes a cut of $12.8 million for the care of Rhode Island’s Medicaid recipients in nursing homes. This is a five percent funding cut, which would come on top of previous similar cuts that have cost nursing homes some thirty million dollars in funding over the past five years. The Rhode Island Health Care Association (RIHCA), which is comprised of 59 of the state’s 85 nursing homes, argues that these losses have left providers with no room to compensate for more cuts without compromising staffing and services.

“Funding for nursing home care has been an ongoing target in legislative debates, without any legitimate reason.  Our Medicaid budget is expanding by 7.6% per year, but nursing home spending is growing far more slowly – 2.1% per year.  And this is true despite the fact that nursing home patients need more care than in the past, in the days before assisted living was available for more independent individuals.  What are our legislators telling our elders if they fail to provide adequate resources for the services they need?” asked Virginia Burke, RIHCA President/CEO.

According to data compiled for RIHCA and the American Health Care Associations, Rhode Island’s Medicaid system under funds the cost of nursing home care by $12-15 per patient per day. In past years, the shortfall could be balanced by Medicare and private pay payments, but ongoing cuts to Medicaid have made this balancing act increasingly difficult.

“We simply can’t continue to provide the quality care that our patients deserve without adequate resources, “said Burke. “Balancing the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable elderly is not acceptable.”

MAY 2011 :: State News Briefs

$5,000 Donation from Northeast Delta Dental Foundation

Published Thursday May 5, 2011 by Healthcare Review

CONCORD, N.H.- The Northeast Delta Dental Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 grant to Concord Hospital as part of its ongoing commitment to help address oral health access issues.

The gift helps Concord Hospital Family Health Center Dental Clinic purchase dental and denture supplies. The Dental Clinic provides a full range of dental care for teens and adults that are low-income, uninsured or Medicaid insured and cannot receive dental care in a private practice. The Dental Clinic cares for nearly 1,200 patients annually.