Issue: Winter 2021
Public Health Network leads COVID-19 vaccine efforts in region

December launched a nationwide vaccination program. The State then introduced a phased approach to distributing initial available doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Working in lockstep with the State of NH, the Regional Public Health Network (RPHN), lead by the North Country Health Consortium, is at the forefront of distribution efforts.

NCHC works with partners to respond to requests, and coordinate storage and distribution of vaccines between the State and North Country. Throughout the month of January, five different clinic sites have been established to provide COVID-19 vaccination to individuals in Phase 1A:
Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook is collaborating with 45th Parallel EMS to provide a clinic for Phase 1A to ensure that North Country first responders didn’t have to leave the area to receive the vaccine. Gorham EMS, Lancaster EMS, Littleton Fire Department, and Woodsville EMS teams are running the clinics in their respective areas.
So far, over 300 people have received a vaccine through these regional clinics. In addition to the regional clinics, other partners such as hospitals and the National Guard sites have also provided opportunities for hundreds more to receive the vaccine. The region is in Phase 1A now, Phase 1B is getting ready for vaccinaton starting January 26 through March.
Staffed at the clinic at the Littleton Fire Department on January 11th to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the Tier 1a group of first responders and at-risk healthcare workers, Intern, Emily Barton, provides vaccine information to a local first responder before he receives his vaccine.

Any questions regarding the regional response to COVID-19 can be directed to Check out the NCHC website for up to date information about COVID Response in the North Country at
Next chapter for SUD Treatment and IDCMP in the North Country
The North Country Health Consortium (NCHC) has concluded providing Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment, including residential services at the Friendship House, Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Counseling, and Impaired Driver Care Management Program (IDCMP) services. Affordable Housing, Education And Development (AHEAD) is the organization that owns the Friendship House building and is working with other organizations that may be interested in providing services at the Bethlehem location. As a public health organization, NCHC is deeply invested in addressing substance use disorder in the North Country. Please call (603-259-4803) or email us if you have any specific questions.

There are IDCMP services available throughout the State. An approved provider, the local option for Impaired Driver Care Management services is now Blue Heron Neurofeedback and Counseling, with offices located in Littleton, Berlin, and North Conway.

Specific record’s request for Friendship House SUD Treatment and IDCMP can be directed to:
WARM expands focus: mothers-to-be, childbearing women

The WARM program has expanded its focus to include, specifically, women of child-bearing age, expectant mothers, or with children, and living with a substance use disorder. The objective of WARM4Women is to enhance provider practice, care coordination, and knowledge to include best-practices for preventing and reducing the impact of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
Through trained Community Health Worker/Recovery Coaches (CHW/RC), the WARM program provides direct support to individuals with substance use disorder recovery needs. CHW/RC services are free of charge to the client. Since its inception in 2019, WARM has received nearly 100 referrals for direct client services from health and human service system partners in the North Country.

To learn more about Warm4Women and CHW/RC services, contact Recovery Support Manager, Jenn Goulet: or (603)991-0330
Meet AskPETRA! Virtual presentations available for organizations

The newest of NCHC programs, AskPETRA is now offering virtual presentations by request to any organization interested in understanding how AskPETRA can support and enhance their work.

A resource for all North Country health and human service systems is a hub accessing:

  • Local resources such as treatment, daily living needs, family supports, recovery support, and other help for meeting individual needs
  • Training and education opportunities
  • Substance use prevention tools and tips for parents
  • Toolkits for local employers
  • Direct support to individuals with SUD recovery needs through trained Community Health Worker/Recovery Coaches (CHW/RC) via phone, text, and web chat
  • Treatment information
  • And more!

To learn more about the benefits of AskPETRA to your clients and scheduling a virtual presentation for your organization, contact Senior Program Manager, Annette Carbonneau:
NCHC Oral Health Program makes rounds to childcare centers, dentists, encourages good oral health habits from start

Virtual presentations for parents, teachers and caregivers of pre-school and childcare sites are underway as part of NCHC’s Oral Health Education and Connection Project!

October through early December, NCHC Public Health Program Manager/Certified Public Health Dental Hygienist, Annette Cole, has provided Zoom conference-adapted Oral health education presentations to the following parent/childcare communities:

·        Easter Seals
·        Colebrook Head Start
·        Lancaster Play and Learn
·        NFI North
·        Groveton Head Start
·        Littleton Head Start

Presentations educate parents, caregivers, and teachers about the significance of early childhood caries and teach the risk factors as well as the stages of dental disease process and how to prevent it.

Deliveries of oral health toolkits, tailored to the oral health needs of each site’s parents, staff, and children, were provided along with the distanced education sessions. Toolkits include hygiene supplies, train-the-trainer educational materials and, to encourage parents to establish a dental home for themselves and for their children, a regional referral form with contact information of local dental providers who are accepting new patients. 
Public Health Program Manager/Certified Public Health Dental Hygenist, Annette Cole, on her way to make a special distanced delivery of oral health toolkits, including educational resources and oral hygiene products, to parents, caregivers, and teachers of North Country pre-schools and childcare centers.
As part of this initiative, the Oral Health Program also outreaches to dentists in support of infant/toddler dental exams “by age one or when the first tooth appears.”

Local dental practices have received education and materials from the program, including an informational video of the "knee-to-knee exam" and a toddler booster chair that fits a standard dental chair to the dimensions and comfort of young patients, while supporting sound ergonomics for the provider.
The Oral Health Education and Connection Project and presentations runs through July 2022. 
Grafton County DTC graduates four at first virtual graduation ceremony for program

On January 4th, the Drug Treatment Court of Grafton County graduated four program participants. The first virtual graduation for the Grafton County DTC, there were about 30 people present for the celebratory court session, including the graduates, family and friends, other program participants, and members of the DTC team. 
Words shared by DTC grads and their support networks during the virtual ceremony include:
“All of us who graduate are living examples of why this program should exist… All these kids have their parents back.”

“The program is the exact opposite of what I thought it was… you guys save lives.”
“I am truly happy today without any substances, which I didn’t think was possible.”
In closing, DTC Program Manager, Annie Crowley, left grads with advice to prioritize their long term recovery and face the future with confidence:
“The first thing you put before your sobriety is the second thing you lose.”

AskPETRA reaches out with resources

Throughout the month of November, AskPETRA distributed postcards, mailed directly to 55,832 Northern NH homes, to get the word out about the program in order to increase access to substance use treatment and recovery services.

The AskPETRA team also assembled "Protect Kits" filled with COVID-safe supplies, such as a facemask and handsanitzer. 1,000 kits were provided to North Country direct service organizations to distribute to their clients/members.
AskPETRA "Protect Kits" filled with COVID-safe supplies were provided for the clients/members of the following direct services organizations: Family Resource Center Doorway at LRH Doorway at AVH
Coos County Family Health Northern Human Services Harvest Christian Fellowship Good Shepard Salvation Army Food Pantry Bethlehem Food Pantry St Vincent DePaul Lancaster Food Shelf Friends & Neighbors Food Pantry Ammonoosuc Community Health Services Lisbon Town Office Haverhill Town Office Assembly of God.
NCHC shared highlights from a year of "Resilience"

For NCHC, "Resilence" sums up the year 2020. This is the theme that inspired the Annual Meeting on November 20th. During the event, which was adapted to virtual, NCHC staff shared with partners and friends in attendance: 

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