Volunteer “Elves” Spread Holiday Joy!

Three very special volunteers have taken on the cheerful task of serving as this year’s “Volunteer Elves” for the Kearsarge Kids Christmas Program. Sheila Wallace, Debbie Seyfried and Betsy Kloeppel—all who volunteer in other capacities for LSRVNA, including in the office and at the Good Day Respite Program—have stepped up to help bring joy to area families in need during the holiday season.

The priority is on the children, ensuring that they receive some “necessity items” such as clothing, as well as a few “wish list” items such as toys. Generous donations from caring individuals, organizations and businesses sustain this program. Some "adopt" families, buying and wrapping gifts that have been requested. Others donate gift cards or make financial contributions. Sheila, Debbie and Betsy make sure ads and mailings go out, communicate with area school nurses and welfare officers, match families with sponsors, field calls on our “Elf Line” and coordinate the drop-off and pick-up of gifts. Sometimes they even go shopping. And the families who benefit are enormously grateful…and tell us so every year!

 “This is truly a blessing to my life this year. It amazes me how this community comes together to help one another!”  

 “I am very grateful. My son was so very excited for Christmas day to come!”

 “Words cannot express how wonderful this whole experience has been.”

For more information or to get involved, call the "Elf Line" at 603-526-4077 x356 by October 30.

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Successful Partnerships Lead to School-Based Flu Clinics

The Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Valley Regional Healthcare, New London Hospital, Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice, Fall Mountain Regional School District, and the Medical Reserve Corps. met on October 2 at the Fall Mountain Regional High school to kick off the first school-based flu clinic of the season providing 101 students with their annual flu immunization. The agencies collaborate to offer school-based flu immunizations to potentially thousands of local students during the fall months.

“This is a fantastic program and Valley Regional is proud to be a part of it,” said Peter Wright, President and CEO of Valley Regional Healthcare. “We have a long tradition of partnering with the schools in our community to keep our children healthy so they can maximize their learning opportunities. Good health and a top education go hand-in-hand!”

The school-based clinics offer free flu immunizations to students in the hopes of reducing influenza outbreaks and increasing access to care. “Flu vaccinations are an extremely important component of community health,” said Jim Culhane, President and CEO at Lake Sunapee Region VNA and Hospice. “Each partner brings such value to the communities, and together, that value is exponentially greater.”

The school-based flu clinics began in 2013 thanks to a grant from the NH Department of Health and Human Services to the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network. The first year the program vaccinated 200 students in 9 schools. Over the last five years the program has grown as a result of increased partnerships with Valley Regional Healthcare, New London Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and local schools including school nurses, and administration. As a result of these partnerships, over 700 students annually receive vaccinations in upwards of 21 schools across the region.

The Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network appreciates the time and efforts of all agencies involved in the school-based clinics. “NLH is proud to join our partners for this preventative initiative. A flu outbreak can place a tremendous amount of strain on a community and a hospital,” said Bruce King, President and CEO at New London Hospital. “We view our participation in the school based flu clinics as a responsibility to the families in our region.”

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Lake Sunapee VNA Selected as Hannaford Helps Beneficiary

Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice (LSRVNA) has been selected as a beneficiary of the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program for the month of October. Launched in 2015, the program is designed to support local non-profits through the sale of the reusable bags. For every bag purchased at the New London Hannaford during October, LSRVNA will receive a $1 donation.

“We are pleased to have been chosen for this special support by our local Hannaford supermarket,” says Cathy Raymond, development officer. “Look for the Hannaford Helps reusable bag rack next time you’re at the New London Hannaford!”

For more information about the services provided by LSRVNA, call 603-526-4077.

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2018 Kearsarge Community Kids' Christmas Project

Be a Sponsor of the Kids’ Christmas Project

Once again, Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice (LSRVNA) is coordinating the Kearsarge Community Kids’ Christmas Project, and there are two ways you can help bring joy during the holidays by supporting local families in need:

  • Make a cash donation to help fulfill the wish lists of area children and families by mailing a check payable to LSRVNA Elf Fund to: LSRVNA, PO Box 2209, New London, NH 03257.
  • Adopt a family and fulfill their wish list. Please call the "Elf Line" at 603-526-4077 ext. 356 to let us know your desire to help.

If you are interested in participating in either way, please contact LSRVNA no later than October 30th.

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Clinicians and Their Laptops…Perfect Together

The Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice annual summer party held on August 22nd at the New London Historical Society was a grand success because of the generosity of so many guests, donors and sponsors. A relaxing evening of perfect matches featured food and drink, family and friends, and a special video presentation starring LSRVNA staff and their laptops! The three-minute video (read on to find the link) was a light-hearted, fun way to present the need for laptop technology, an essential tool for caregivers and clinicians.

  • Clinical field staff including Nurses, Therapists and Social Workers are equipped with laptops to collect patient data, track outcomes, coordinate care with other providers, ensure compliance with regulations and conduct billing. Accurately capturing, tracking and sharing data is essential.
  • Laptops are used in the care plans of more than 2/3 of the 600+ patients on service on any given day.
  • The total number of laptops in use is currently 65-70, each with a lifespan of 3-4 years. 20 units are replaced annually in order to remain compatible with required system updates and ensure that reliable equipment is in service. The cost per laptop is $2,100 plus the licensing fee for each.
  • Our Dell Latitude Rugged laptops feature “touchscreen” technology making data entry more efficient, a longer battery life, a heavy-duty casing to stand up to rugged use over time, and sufficient memory to handle the substantial data demands of health care practitioners today.

To view the video, go to https://youtu.be/8HnmZmdw9ms.

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New Diabetic Support Group to Begin September 4

Lake Sunapee VNA will offer a new Diabetic Support Group in two locations beginning on September 4. It will be held on the first Tuesday of every month in Valley Regional Hospital’s Library Conference Room from 10:00-11:00am and in Newport Health Center’s Community Room from 12:00-1:00pm.

Lake Sunapee VNA nurse and certified diabetic educator, Lauri Smerald, will facilitate the group.

“I will be there to address questions about things like diet, medications and foot care, but I hope participants will learn from each others’ experiences as well,” says Smerald.

Family members and caregivers of those with diabetes are also welcome to attend. RSVPs are appreciated by calling Lake Sunapee VNA at 603-526-4077.

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Jim Culhane Elected to Lead NH Board

Jim Culhane, President & CEO of Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice and resident of Contoocook, has been elected Board President of the newly formed Home Care, Hospice & Palliative Care Alliance of NH.

A merger of the former Home Care Association of NH and the NH Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, the Alliance is a non-profit membership organization that enhances the ability of member agencies to deliver quality services to NH residents. The Alliance carries out this mission through education, networking, leadership and public policy advocacy.

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We Welcome Diane Brace

Lake Sunapee VNA Welcomes New Hospice & Palliative Care Director

Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice is pleased to welcome Diane Brace, MSN, RN, as its new Hospice & Palliative Care Director. A native of New Hampshire, Diane has more than 25 years of nursing experience with hospitals in the southern part of the state. She has worked in varied specialties from acute care (including med surg, cardiac telemetry, intensive care and the post anesthesia care unit) to an outpatient interventional pain center and other outpatient procedural clinics, such as endoscopy and urology.

diane brace

Diane obtained her Associates Degree in Nursing from Manchester Community College, attended Rivier University and then received her Masters of Science in Nursing from Walden University in 2011. Her career then transitioned to nursing management, where she worked as nursing director of assisted living and long term care facilities and then as director of clinical services for a hospice company. She says, "I am passionate about patient care in general, but especially end-of-life care, where we have the unique opportunity to treat, not only our patients, but their families as well. I look forward to working with such a great team of competent and caring staff at Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice."

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Lake Sunapee VNA Honors Three Army Veterans

Three area Veterans of the United States Army were honored recently by Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice (LSRVNA) as part of the national “We Honor Veterans” program. LSRVNA has been a We Honor Veterans Partner since 2011, which involves meeting specific requirements to enhance care for patients who served in the military. For those Veterans who are interested, that includes a special in-home recognition ceremony conducted by LSRVNA staff.

Ralph Rouillard of Claremont was honored posthumously on May 22 for his service as a PFC in the Army, peacetime, from November 1956 – November 1958. Though he passed away shortly before the scheduled ceremony, he was pleased to be acknowledged for his service and had shared the following details about his military experience with LSRVNA. After basic training at Fort Dix in NJ, he was transferred to Fort Monmouth in NJ for three months. He was then sent to a Nike missile base in Shelton, CT for a month and then to Fort Belvoir in VA for two months to be trained to prepare missiles and elevators in missile silos, specializing in hydraulics and electrical. He finished up at the Fairfield, CT base which was the headquarters for the east coast anti-aircraft missiles.

Harold Whiting Sr., a World War II Veteran and resident of Lempster, was honored on May 24 for his service as a PFC in the 7th U.S. Army, 157th Engineers Combat Battalion, Company B from December 2, 1943 – June 6, 1946. He enlisted at the age of 18 and recounts from his time in the European Theater, “We arrived at the Rhine River at about 5am. Our job was to build a landing for ducks (water-propelled cargo trucks). There was a tank already burning from the early morning that tried to cross but didn't make it to the water.” After discharge, Mr. Whiting returned to Lempster where he lives with his wife of 67 years, Beverly. On Memorial Day this year, a plaque was dedicated in Lempster honoring residents of the town who served in World War II. Harold Whiting’s name has now been added to this military “Honor Roll,” a well-deserved recognition after so many years.

Shirley Dodge of Claremont was honored on May 29 for her service in the Women’s Army Corps from 1962 – 1964. She entered the Army at the age of 18 and was stationed at Fort Benning GA at the airport with majors, captains and colonels, where she was trained to do clerical work. She loved being in the military and says, “The army made me grow up, learn discipline.”

The We Honor Veterans program was developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information, contact LSRVNA at 603-526-4077.

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Lake Sunapee VNA Honors Area Women

19th annual Women Who Make A Difference Luncheon

Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice (LSRVNA) held its 19th annual Women Who Make A Difference Luncheon on May 16 at Colby-Sawyer College in New London. Net funds in excess of $13,000 were raised for the LSRVNA Pediatric Program.

Among the highlights of the luncheon was the guest speaker, Kasey Mathews, and her inspiring message about shifting your perspective to see the opportunities that often come with challenges we face. Of course, the other highlight was the much-anticipated recognition of area women who do extraordinary service to make a difference within the 29-town region served by LSRVNA. This year’s "Woman Who Makes A Difference Award" was presented to Deborah Mozden, a resident of Unity and executive director at Turning Points Network in Claremont. In the words of those who nominated her, "Deb has restored faith and hope in thousands of area women by being their advocate; she has helped the most vulnerable members of society in her decades of work and volunteerism." Lexie Grenier, a senior at Stevens High School in Claremont, received this year’s "High School Student Who Makes A Difference Award." In the words of leadership from Stevens High School, "Lexie is the epitome of what I consider to be ‘extraordinary’ and one of the most talented, driven, dedicated and empathetic young women I have ever met."

LSVNA honor women

"We are truly grateful to the 220 people who attended the sold-out luncheon, and for so many in-kind donors and generous sponsors," says Cathy Raymond, development officer at LSRVNA. Special thanks go out to the 2018 STAR sponsors Ellie Snyder and Ledyard National Bank, and the 2018 ANGEL sponsor Mascoma Savings Bank.

For more information about pediatric care or any of the services offered by Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice, call 603-526-4077 or visit www.lakesunapeevna.org.

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