NEWPORT, NH—The Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network (GSNPHN), a collaborative of the county, municipalities and numerous health and human service agencies, schools, and community groups, is pleased to announce that Peter J. Wright, FACHE, President and CEO of Valley Regional Healthcare of Claremont, will serve as chair of its Public Health Advisory Council. The Advisory Council will help guide GSNPHN’s work to improve the Sullivan County region’s capacity to manage and promote community health through collaboration, joint planning, and improvement of community systems that support health.

Wright served as chief operating officer at Littleton Regional Hospital since 2007 and joined Valley Regional Health Care in 2013. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Lyndon State College, and Master of Science in administration from Saint Michael’s College, both in Vermont. He currently serves on the executive committee of the New Hampshire Hospital Association board, and on the district one regional policy board of the American Hospital Association.  Wright is board certified in healthcare management and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), receiving that organization’s New Hampshire Regents Award in 2008.

“We are delighted to have Peter chairing this effort,” says Aurora Drew, PhD, a public health faculty member at Dartmouth  and Colby-Sawyer colleges who is working with   Sullivan County  to develop the Advisory Council and guide its initial work, including the development of a community health improvement plan. “ Peter’s depth of experience and knowledge of community health and our region and his strong leadership skills are tremendous assets to our work.”

In accepting the appointment, Wright stated, “I am pleased and honored to be entrusted with this important role. It’s clear that Valley Regional – including our hospital, outpatient primary care and specialty clinics, and our home care and hospice program – must help lead the way toward sustainably improved population health in the region. I’m confident we are up to the challenge, especially with such a talented team of collaborators around Sullivan County.”

Valley Regional Hospital collaborated with four other area hospitals in a Community Health Needs Assessment process this year.  Results of these needs assessments and other regional health data will inform  GSNPHN’s community health improvement plan.  Membership of the public health advisory council is currently under development, and is expected to  evolve as the community health improvement plan takes final shape.


West Central Behavioral Health is offering Mental Health First Aid courses for adults in our community.

Mental Health First Aid is a day-long course that will help you learn:

  • The potential warning signs and risk factors for depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders and more
  • A 5-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect to the help they need
  • Resources available to help someone with a mental health problem

Classes are free and open to the public. Anyone with an interest in helping their community is welcome to attend.

The classes will be held on:

July 25 in Lebanon at DHMC Conference Room 1A, 18 Heater Road
8:00 am – 5:00 pm

August 29 in Newport at Newport Probate Court, 3rd Floor, 14 Main Street
8:15 am – 5:15 pm

September 16 in Claremont at Sullivan County Corrections Department, 103 County Farm Road
8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Class size is limited so please register early. Registrants must be 18 or older. To reserve your seat, call Sandra Orndorff at (603) 448-0126.

Apr 152010

A little over 7 years ago, a group of community members had an idea.  They wanted to start an afterschool activity club for youth in grades 6-12.  The primary purpose of this project was to deter youth from engaging in criminal activity, while helping them ready themselves for the workforce.

After offering a variety of activities at the local library with limited success, the program director began talking with the youth she wished to serve.  So many youth shared a desire for a safe place to hang out with their friends that was designed for and by kids that the program director and her advisory board began looking for a place for Newport’s middle and high school aged youth to call their own.  In the Fall of 2004, the NET Teen Center opened in the basement of the First Baptist Church.  Since then over 200 (approximately 1/3 of their target population) youth a year have participated in activities at and sponsored by the teen center.

People often ask board members and staff what the key focus of the NET Teen Center is.  Over the past 6 six years, we have learned that the key to success with Newport’s youth is relationships.  The power of one successful adult-youth relationship is incredible.  According to the Search Institute, both parents and other caring adults have a very significant impact on youth during their formative years. The relationships that young people establish with adults affect how they see the world and make choices when presented with difficult situations.  The Search Institute suggests that many of the common practices at the teen center are best practices when forming supportive relationships with youth. The NET Teen Center fosters relationships with youth everyday by:

  • asking about their day, their school work and showing an interest in them
  • providing them with a safe place and healthy food choices
  • sharing values and beliefs
  • acknowledging when youth make good choices or do something nice for others
  • celebrating important events in their lives, such as birthdays, holidays, their first day of school, a good report card, graduation, or new driver’s license

The success of the NET Teen Center can be tied to the relationships the adults form with the participants.  Youth often define their attachment to a program or organization in terms of their relationship with a caring adult. Youth have reported such relationships matter in their lives, and studies have found these relationships to result in positive outcomes for those youth (Gambone & Arbreton, 1997; Grossman & Johnson, 1999; Jekielek, Moore, Hair, & Scarupa, 2002; Hererra, Sipe, McClanahan, Arbreton, & Pepper, 2000; National 4-H Impact Study, 2001; Rhodes, Grossman, & Resch, 2000; Sipe, 2000; Tierney et al., 1995).  Over the past 6 years, the NET Teen Center staff have formed many positive relationships with its youth participants.  Many of these youth were considered at-risk by the school system, some were even involved in the juvenile court system.  Many of these same youth have graduated from high school in the last few years and have credited the teen center program with their successful completion of high school and their ability to make good choices in difficult life situations. 

Learn how you can make a difference!

Prescription Pain Medication and YOU! from CATV 8/10 with Dr. Gilbert Fanciullo from DHMC.

Teen Suicide Prevention

Mental illness and alcohol and other drug abuse can be linked together. We can help.

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