Issue: Fall, 2021... into Winter, 2022
Presenting NCHC's leadership team
Lauren Pearson, Executive Director
North Country Health Consortium welcomed to the helm Lauren Pearson as Executive Director!

Lauren joined NCHC in October after relocating to Waterford, Vermont from Louisville, Kentucky. In her previous role, Lauren was the Vice President for Performance Improvement/Chief Quality Officer at Lifespring Health Systems, a non-profit Community Mental Health Center and Federally Qualified Health Center serving 11 counties in Southern Indiana.

Alice Claflin, Director of Finance

Joining North Country Health Consortium in February, Alice Claflin's recent arrival rounds out NCHC's leadership/director team!
Alice Claflin, Director of Finance
Kris van Bergen Buteau,
Director of Workforce Development/Public Health Programs
Annette Carbonneau, Director of Community Health Worker Programs
This is NCHC
Public Health Network offers COVID clinics, shares messages from local vaccine ambassadors
Through the Fall and Winter, NCHC's Public Health Network (PHN) team has continued efforts with COVID vaccine distribution offering opportunities for community members to get their shots, including primary doses, third doses for the immunocompromised, and boosters. These efforts have been made possible by the Northern NH Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). NCHC's local MRC volunteers have assisted the PHN with clinics throughout the region since the COVID vaccine became available.

Since October, the MRC has participated in 22 clinics including:

  • School-based
  • Community clinics
  • State of NH Booster Blitz I and II
  • Vaccinating homebound residents
  • Employee clinics at local businesses

The PHN anticipates winding down clinics at the end of March when support to Public Health Networks across the State to host clinics is expected to sunset.
All thanks to our volunteers

Throughout the pandemic response, MRC volunteers have assumed roles as:

vaccinators, logistical support, registration, post-vaccination observers, clinic coordinators, mobile food pantry support, traffic control, security, vaccine educators/counselors, community educators/outreach
Thank you, NCHC boomerang volunteer, Tom Kwiatkowski!
Tom Kwiatkowski joined the North Country PHN team as a COVID Community Care Corps volunteer in December, 2020, just before COVID vaccine distribution efforts began in the State. Tom has been instrumental in the coordination of vaccine clinics, including deployment of MRC volunteers. Tom's first stint with NCHC concluded in December 2021. In January, thanks to time-limited COVID response funding, Tom has returned as a temporary clinic coordinator, so the PHN team can begin to prepare for a transition to blue sky activities.
During his time at NCHC, Tom has worked behind the scenes to coordinate logistics around the pandemic response, including MRC deployment, as did he also have boots on the ground pitching in at clinics:
Check out the contributions of our the Northern NH MRC working alongside the PHN team from the start:
Up here, our choice is our voice
NCHC partnered with University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension to identify and work with local vaccine ambassadors to share their messages of why they chose to get the COVID vaccine. The tagline “Up here, our choice is our voice” invokes the value North Country residents place on freedom and choice.

Hear North Country community members Reverend Dr. Betsy Hess of Berlin, Bob Tortorice of Franconia, and Christopher St. Cyr of Lancaster talk about why they chose to get vaccinated:
North Country sleeves up
Local North Country community members who have proudly sleeved up for the COVID shot appear on print materials and social media ads to promote locally available clinics and credible vaccine information.
Community Health Workers step up to COVID assistance
NCHC's Community Health Workers (CHWs) have initiated a COVID Response Program to assist community members within Coos and Northern Grafton counties to overcome barriers caused or exacerbated by the pandemic.
Need help? Get in touch with a CHW
Need connections to COVID-19 Tests, Vaccine, or resources when COVID Positive?
Ask about our Community COVID Support Program:

NCHC Community Health Worker, Britini Cummings, has worked alongside the Public Health Network team to provide assistance and answer questions at community COVID vaccine clinics.
Get support to become a
Certified Recovery Support Worker!
Through the Recovery Support: Live, Learn, and Play in Northern NH Program, residents of Northern Grafton and Coos County, NH who are striving to become Certified Recovery Support Workers (CRSWs) can receive quality CRSW supervision, funding, and guided support to complete the process.

With support from North Country Health Consortium, approved participants will choose a supervision site and receive a CRSW support packet, technical assistance, and an education support payment of up to $1000 to cover the costs incurred in completing the certification process. Find out more and apply:
HASMPC supports building resilience in Haverhill area

The Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC) together with the University of NH Cooperative Extension is supporting the Haverhill Area Community Resilience Project. The Resilience Project has launched the #hopeinhaverhill photo challenge. #Hopeinhaverhill aims to raise awareness amongst the Haverhill area of assets around the community and invites its members to show through their lens what and who inspires hope.
Participate in #hopeinhaverhill photo challenge!

  • Take a picture of someone or something in the Haverhill area that gives you hope

  • On either platform, #hopeinhaverhill: tag @haverhillresilience on Instagram or Haverhill Area Community Resilience Project on Facebook

  • Don't forget: Describe why the photo represents hope before you post!

Photos will be displayed around the community!
Certified Recovery Support Worker Training Series
now in session

The Wellness And Recovery Model (WARM) program launched another round of the Certified Recovery Support Worker (CRSW) Training Series at the end of February. The Series includes the requisite classes for earning the CRSW credential. Completed on March 18, first up was Recovery Coach Academy (RCA), which will be followed by Ethical Considerations, Suicide Prevention, and HIV/AIDS & Other Infectious Diseases.

In the past two years since the Pandemic shuttered the possibility of in-person learning, the WARM team quickly transitioned all trainings to a live virtual format and didn't miss a beat providing a high-quality educational experience.

Check out how many people WARM has trained in the following courses since COVID:
Student Assistance Program (SAP) Counselors make connections that count, funding expands program
School is in full swing—and so is Student Assistance Programs!

Thanks to funding from the NH Department of Health and Human Services, NCHC expanded Students Assistance Programming (SAP). Kicking off the school year, SAP services were established in the Berlin and Groveton Middle Schools. At Gorham and Berlin Middle High Schools, part-time SAP Counselors transitioned their role to full-time.
In their own words...
Hear what SAP Counselors, Phil from Gorham Middle High School, and Mariah, from Berlin Middle High School have to say about their important roles:
Learn how SAPs are an integral part of providing a healthy, drug- and alcohol-free learning environment where students can reach their full potential:
Click here to access a digital copy:
Support your local Student Assistance Programs!
Prevention happening in Haverhill area

Since school has been in session, the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition (HASMPC) has hit the ground running with prevention activities in the school and community.

Local SAP and coalition member attends National leadership forum

Student Assistance Program (SAP) Counselor at the Woodsville High School, Joe Mitchell, is also a member of the HASMPC. On January 30 - February 3, Joe ventured to Washington DC to attend the 2022 Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Leadership Forum. Joe said:
"I appreciate the opportunity to be able to attend the CADCA National Leadership Forum where I learned invaluable information about coalitions and the prevention field as a whole. I will take this knowledge and the opportunities I had to collaborate with individuals from our state and around the world to improve the future of our region in my job and in the coalition."
Flush campaign at Woodsville High,
Haverhill PD remodels lobby
Student Assistance Program (SAP) Counselor, Joe Mitchell, worked with the Coalition's Drug-Free Community (DFC) Program Coordinator, Mariah Coulstring, to initiate a Flush Campaign at Woodsville High School; flyers boasting positive youth statistics from regional Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS) data were hung up in bathroom stalls to engage a captive audience!
With the help of the HASMPC, the Haverhill Police Department remodeled their station's lobby in the Fall. The Coalition chipped in to provide display racks and filled them with resources for the community, including literature on Substance Use Disorder services and supports available and HASMPC brochures.
Drug Treatment Court graduates six
On September 27, the Drug Treatment Court (DTC ) of Grafton Country celebrated the graduation of four participants from the program. The ceremony convened at the Grafton Superior Court in Haverhill, a return to in-person since the pandemic began.
Six months later, the next DTC of Grafton County graduation gathered on March 21 and graduated two participants. Our March 2022 graduates had this to share about their experience in the program:

"If I can do it, anyone can. You just have to want it."
- Justin B.

“There was a day when I would look in the mirror and hated what I saw. I did not feel good about who I saw at all. Now when I look in the mirror, I really like who I see. I feel proud of who’s looking back.”
- Justin H.
DID YOU KNOW? Of all DTC of Grafton County participants, 2/3 graduate from the program. The DTC oversees individuals charged with crimes that are generally non-violent in nature, facilitating supervision and treatment for substance use disorder, rather than a lengthy prison term. This voluntary program gives participants the opportunity to live a productive substance-free life. Learn more about the Drug Treatment Court of Grafton County.
Health Service Scholars shadow North Country providers to immerse in rural medicine
On October 29 and 30 the Northern NH Area Health Education Center (NNHAHEC) hosted 12 students from the Geisel School of Medicine and the University of New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner program who are part of the NH AHEC Health Service Scholars program.

During their weekend in the North Country, medical and nurse practitioner students shadowed health care and human service professionals to gain inter-professional experiences and a firsthand understanding of rural medicine, including barriers to health equity.

Many thanks to those providers and organizations able to share their time with students including:
Thank you!
Cottage Hospital
Ammonoosuc Community Health Services Weeks Medical Center
Tri-County CAP Coos County Family Health Services
Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital Littleton Regional Healthcare Northern Human Services University of New Hampshire
The next morning, students met as a group at the Sugar Hill Meeting House to debrief on the Friday shadows. Students also learned about the Community Health Worker Program at NCHC and participated in an interactive discussion with providers over lunch about what it's like to practice health care in the North Country.
NCHC hosts 2021 Annual Meeting, shares Annual Report
North Country Health Consortium gathered virtually with staff, partners, and friends on November 19th to convene its Annual Meeting. Unveiling the 2021 Annual Report, staff highlighted how in the past year NCHC has addressed some of the most pressing health needs in the North Country.
Check out NCHC's 2021 Annual Report:
NCHC gathers together with Jack o' Lanterns
On October 30, members of the NCHC team gathered together outdoors to enjoy a crisp Fall afternoon and pumpkin carving party before Winter temperatures would set in. It was Executive Director, Lauren Pearson's first weeks at the Consortium-- and she dug right in to her new role!
NCHC staff was eager for the opportunity to spend some time together in person, introduce Lauren to a community tradition, and deliver their masterpiece Jack o' Lanterns for display on Halloween the next evening at Littleton's Gathering of the Jack o' Lanterns.
Look out for Dopesick, book discussion and screening

AskPETRA is excited to collaborate with partners at North Country Pride and Ammonoosuc Community Health Services (ACHS) to introduce Dopesick to the community.

Published in 2018, the book by bestselling author and journalist, Beth Macy, charts the opioid crisis in America portraying the individuals, families, and first responders on the front lines affected, as well as the legal case against Purdue Pharma for development and promotion of the drug OxyContin. The Hulu mini-series of the same name came out in 2021.
Join in on a book discussion and screening of Dopesick! More details to follow on both events:
Book Discussion

WHEN: May 18, 6 pm
WHERE: The Loading Dock, Littleton (join in person or virtually!)

WHEN: June 16, 6 pm
WHERE: Colonial Theater, Bethlehem
See the person. Stop the stigma.
Coming soon... AskPETRA's anti-stigma campaign! Here's a teaser of what's in store:

Upcoming Events...
Click on image to view full-size flyer:
Check out all NCHC events!

Text to join our mailing list!

Get NCHC's newsetter directly to your inbox when you subscribe!

Follow NCHC
(and programs of NCHC):