BLOG

January NHPHA Board Member Spotlight: Ashley Ithal

Compiled and edited by Jess Barnett, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair

Each month, the NHPHA e-newsletter does a spotlight on an NHPHA member or board member. For this month’s feature, we asked NHPHA board member Ashley Ithal to answer some questions for us. If you have an idea for an upcoming spotlight, please email Jess at [email protected]

Read More

The Cost of Half-Measures During the Pandemic

by Jayme Simoes, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair, President of Louis Karno & Company Communications, LLC

When COVID-19 first hit, a European politician framed the issue in a clear-headed way. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would be a “tsunami” and added that “there are no buoys that can save us from a tsunami.” In the face of a massive wall of water, half-measures are meaningless.

Read More

The Surge in COVID-19 and Vaccine Mandates

by Lisabritt Solsky, NHPHA Membership Committee Co-Chair, Chief Growth Officer for Easter Seals

The latest COVID-19 variant of concern is Omicron. A month ago, I could not go that high in the Greek alphabet without the help of the internet. Omicron was first detected in South Africa, where it was responsible for a major surge in cases. This variant, the most contagious strain of COVID-19 yet, is now on the rise in the U.S. Omicron is spreading while we are still managing the Delta surge, which has been especially impactful in New Hampshire during the past month. 

Read More

January Is National Radon Action Month

by Lynne Clement, MBA, NH Radon Program, Division of Public Health Services, DHHS

In recognition of National Radon Action Month, the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) encourages residents to test their homes and private wells for radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. In the Granite State, 30 percent of homes have reported elevated levels of this naturally occurring gas in their indoor air. 

Read More

TUTA Fall Forum 2021: Wrap-up

TUTA Fall Forum 2021: Wrap-up


NHPHA and the Vermont Public Health Association co-hosted the 6th Annual Team Up, Take Action virtual fall forum on November 4, 2021. The speakers and opportunities for participant interaction were well-received and we are excited to share some of the takeaways. Our guest speakers on the topic of Public Health Infrastructure in New Hampshire and Vermont were Patricia M Tilley, MS Ed, Director, New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services, Department of Health and Human Services; and Mark Levine, MD Commissioner of Health, Vermont Department of Health. Key takeaways from the conference, video recordings of keynote speakers, and the Question & Answer session can be found on this webpage. Thanks to the TUTA planning committee for putting together a great event! If you have any questions about the conference,  please contact Melissa Bernardin at [email protected].

The Build Back Better Act

by Jayme Simoes, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair, President of Louis Karno & Company Communications, LLC

The Build Back Better Act that recently passed the House will be the most significant expansion of U.S. health care since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The legislation includes measures to lower the cost of prescription drugs and insurance premiums, extend affordable coverage to millions, expand Medicare benefits to cover hearing, and invest $150 billion in-home care for seniors and people with disabilities. 

Read More

The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 early information

by Jayme Simoes, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair, President of Louis Karno & Company Communications, LLC

The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 was first found in South Africa the week of Nov. 9, amid rising cases. The good news is that a PCR test can detect the Omicron variant based on a mutation in one of the three genes that the test examines. The Omicron variant has about 30 mutations in the genetic code of its spike protein; some of these mutations were found in earlier variants. Early stats are unclear if Omicron leads to a more severe illness, but South Africa has a younger population than many other nations. The hospitalization rate rose in South Africa after Omicron emerged as just 24% of its population is fully vaccinated. The major difference reported is that this variant makes those who contract it feel extremely tired.

Read More

Inside NHPHA December 2021

by Gail Tudor, NHPHA Board of Directors President

As the New Hampshire Public Health Association (NHPHA) wraps up 2021, there are many people we would like to thank: our membership for supporting NHPHA’s mission; our board members for stepping up and helping us meet our mission; our new staff for their dedication and hard work; and our Executive Director, April Mottram, who successfully applied for several grants making it possible to hire more staff and further our mission. NHPHA announced a few weeks ago that April will be stepping down on December 10th, but her contributions to the organization will have lasting impacts. We wish her the best in her future endeavors. We are in the process of hiring a new Executive Director, so if you or someone you know is interested in learning more, please check out the job description here. NHPHA would also like to thank the attendees of our 6th annual Team Up, Take Action Fall Forum on November 6th.  Attendees provided rich conversation and ideas for future meetings and workforce development opportunities.

Read More

Fatigue

by Lisabritt Solsky, NHPHA Membership Committee Co-Chair, Chief Growth Officer for Easter Seals

*Note: This is an article about naming our feelings and how to best process them under the circumstances.

Read More

NHPHA Member Spotlight: JJ Smith

Interview by Jess Barnett, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair
Each month we sit down with an NHPHA board member or a member of the association to chat. If you have an idea for someone we should spotlight, email Jess Barnett at [email protected].


Read More

With the Holidays Comes Dangerous Depression

by Jayme Simoes, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair, President of Louis Karno & Company Communications, LLC

The holiday season is here, and while it can be a time of joy — in a pandemic, the expectations of the holidays can make depression and sadness significantly worse.

Read More

Vaccine Confidence – Moving the Needle

by Lisabritt Solsky, NHPHA Membership Committee Co-Chair, Chief Growth Officer for Easter Seals

As vaccination rates have slowed, Americans and Granite Staters are faced with COVID-19 being endemic rather than eradicated. The level of disruption from endemic COVID-19 comes down to the rates of vaccination. So, what is working to move people from No to Maybe to Yes? Some nudges work better than shoves, but it’s important to know your audience because the unvaccinated are not a monolith. Pushes work best when properly communicated and with conveniences offered, such as time off to manage side effects.

Read More

Board Member Spotlight: Jennifer Alford-Teaster

by Jess Barnett, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair

Each month we sit down with an NHPHA board member or a member of the association to chat. If you have an idea for someone we should spotlight, email Jess Barnett at [email protected].

Read More

2022 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Starts November 1 in New Hampshire

by Jayme Simoes, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair, President of Louis Karno & Company Communications, LLC

Due to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Granite Staters who in past years may not have been eligible for levels of subsidies –– are now among those eligible for premium tax credits. So, if you need health insurance, you might be surprised to see just how affordable your health coverage options can be.

Read More

Inside NHPHA November 2021

by April Mottram, NHPHA Executive Director

New Hampshire Public Health Association (NHPHA) is excited to introduce two new staff members, Melissa Bernardin and Ellen Smith Ahern.  Melissa will be working as the Advocacy and Program Coordinator, which includes advocacy, workforce development, and some coalition support. Melissa has nearly two decades' experience in public policy advocacy and voter engagement.  She has been involved with community outreach on environmental health and conservation issues, as well as grassroots organizing and lobbying on a wide variety of topics such as voting rights, minimum wage, retirement security, and reproductive health. Ellen will be working as the Immunization Program Coordinator, which includes coordination of the VaxWell NH program and collaborating with the University of New Hampshire to address vaccine hesitancy in the workplace.  Ellen has experience in coalition-building, grant research, program design and implementation, and multiple facets of organizing and policy work with organizations, including Middletown Works and the Healthy Hartford Hub.  

Read More

CDC Guidelines for Celebrating the Holidays

by Autumn Raschick-Goodwin, Program Assistant

Upholding family traditions may provide a sense of normalcy in these unprecedented times, however, it is vital to find ways of celebrating the holidays that protect you and your family’s health. If your family has large gatherings during the holidays, the best way to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 is by getting vaccinated and encouraging other members of your family to get vaccinated as well.

Read More

Halloween and COVID-19: Tips on how to safely celebrate

by Jayme Simoes, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair, President of Louis Karno & Company Communications, LLC

Candy, costumes, and the spooky experience; everyone loves Halloween! But in the face of the COVID-19 Delta variant, should you take a rain check if your kids are not vaccinated, or someone at home is vulnerable?

Read More

Food Insecurity: Legislation amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Tiffany Dodier, Food Access Coalition Coordinator

With both unemployment and nutrition waivers and flexibilities coming to an end, there is concern for food insecurity to rise once again. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on this issue and resulted in several changes and new legislation being introduced at both the federal and state levels. 

Read More

October NHPHA Member Spotlight: Laura Davie

by Jess Barnett, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair

Each month, the NHPHA e-newsletter will be doing a spotlight on an NHPHA member or board member. For this month’s feature, we asked NHPHA member Laura Davie to answer some questions for us.

Read More

Mask Requirements in New Hampshire Schools

by Jayme Simoes, NHPHA Communications Committee Co-Chair, President of Louis Karno & Company Communications, LLC

New Hampshire families are sending their kids back to school this fall with a lack of guidance from our state on masks in schools. That will have real consequences since, due to the Delta variant, simply passing in the hallway can lead to contagion. Already in states where kids are back at school, the numbers are alarming, and this public health crisis needs to be addressed and depoliticized. State policy needs to be driven by data—and we must look to protect kids to stop the spread. When it comes to keeping kids safe let us take our advice from the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics, and Infectious Diseases Society of America.

The current policy to make masks optional or, worse, to ban their use, is not supported by evidence and science. The only way to end COVID-19 is to stop the spread, and that means helping the most vulnerable children stay safe and stay healthy. Starting school without state leadership could lead to more remote learning due to outbreaks, which also hurts kids. Given all that is at stake, it just makes sense to have universal masking in schools and safeguard children who are at high risk for COVID-19 from asthma, obesity, and immune system issues, among other health risks. There is no other choice until we have vaccine approval for kids younger than age 12.

New Hampshire needs to stop the politics and implement at a state level the CDC’s recommendations to protect our kids.