This summer’s Alton Centennial Rotary Paint a Butterfly Contest/ Fundraiser is in full swing! All proceeds from this Contest/Fundraiser will benefit Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice. Purchase your butterfly by Monday, August 7th at the Profile Bank on Main Street in Alton, NH (a personal entry is $25 and an entry with a sponsor is $75). Butterflies should be treated with a coat or two of latex paint or Gesso for the best results. Once treated paint or adorn your butterfly in your own unique way (gluing, and/or attaching items such as plastic flowers, beads, sparkles, metals, glass ceramics, cloth and more is acceptable and you may do so beyond the outside dimensions of the butterfly). All entries must be returned to the Alton Profile Bank by Monday, August 14th. The culmination of this contest/fundraiser will be on August 19th at the Butterflies in the Park Bash from 12 -3 pm at B&M Railroad Park in Alton. All of the butterflies will be judged and awards will be given. Cake & Ice cream will be served as well. You can pick up your butterfly after the event at 3:30 pm, or let them know when you arrive for the event that they can auction it off to benefit the Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice.
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is proud to announce Hospice Director and Chief Clinical Nurse, Jennifer Legassie (formerly Laramie) has been appointed to sit on the Board of Director’s for the New Hampshire Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. The NHHPCO is a charitable, non-profit organization with a mission to help the people in New Hampshire have access to excellent care that is valuable and meaningful to them when facing life-threatening conditions. This is accomplished through: education of healthcare professionals and caregivers; raising public awareness and expectations for quality hospice and palliative care; providing meaningful networking opportunities for the members; as well as, engaging other organizations around the state to participate in their vision and mission.
Legassie has been with Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice for 12 years and sits on the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. Legassie has made Hospice and Palliative Care her passion and when asked about this new role, Legassie stated she is “looking forward to expanding her role on a state level in order to further the mission of quality end-of-life care for all who so greatly need Hospice”. Legassie’s new position on the board will be further testament to the commitment she has for a hospice patients’ quality of life, dignity and respect.
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is a proud member of the We Honor Veterans (WHV) Program. In collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, our hospice team is working hard to improve care available to dying Veterans and their family caregivers.
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice has achieved its level four recognition as a WHV partner. This is the highest recognition possible. Countless hours of education to the community, as well as staff, on the various needs and concerns of veterans at the end of their lives has been done and is an ongoing mission.
Attendance by our Veteran Volunteers and staff at veteran events throughout the communities we serve is pivotal in continuing this mission of recognizing those veterans in need of specialized care and their caregivers in need of special support.
Our veteran hospice patients receive a personalized certificate and pin along with a unique red, white and blue handcrafted blanket to recognize their service to our country. Each presentation is done by a veteran volunteer within the same military branch the patient belongs to. Another important goal of the We Honor Veterans Program is to assist veterans in understanding and gaining access to valuable resources through the VA system.
Over the past year, we have been able to erect a flag pole at the Laconia branch location to truly celebrate and recognize our country and those who have and are serving in our armed forces.
Starting in November each year, a celebration in Wolfeboro and Laconia occurs that is titled the Tree of Heroes. The WHV team decorates trees in red, white and blue and leave ornaments for loved ones to write the names of their military heroes on to be hung on the tree. It has become a much loved event at both locations.
At Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice, quality end of life care for our veterans is not only a mission but a passion and we will continue to strive to serve this patient population with honor, respect, dignity and quality. They deserve nothing less.
Jennifer Legassie, RN, Hospice Director, Chief Clinical Nurse
Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice
The We Honor Veteran’s team at Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice recently joined with the Taylor Community to honor those residents that served our country. Veterans from all branches of the United States military were represented. The Hospice Acapella Group, Tides of Harmony sang three wonderful military style songs while Chaplain, John Davies led the group in a prayer. Hospice Director and Chief Clinical Nurse, Jennifer Legassie announced the names of those selfless residents while they were presented with certificates honoring them for their service. A salute from one veteran to another solidified the respect and importance of this special event. Many of the residents also shared stories from their times of service which filled the room with powerful emotions of pride and gratefulness. To learn more about our We Honor Veteran’s Program tune in to our blog on July 3rd or the Meredith Bay Colony Club sponsored weekly radio show ‘Aging well’ on WEZS 1350AM.
Since the Hospice movement was started by volunteers, it is only fitting that Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice celebrate and thank our amazing volunteers who help serve our patients, families and community. On Tuesday, May 23rd, the annual Volunteer Appreciation dinner was held at the Taylor Community, Woodside. Over 50 volunteers along with Volunteer Coordinator, Randy Macdonald; Interim CEO, Christine Long; Chaplain, John Davies and Hospice Director and Chief Clinical Nurse, Jennifer Legassie enjoyed a wonderful dinner along with entertainment and education by bear enthusiast, Ben Kilham.
This event helps the agency honor those amazing people who continue to give of themselves to help those in need. Awards were given for 5, 10 and 15 years of service as well as the “Essential Piece of the Puzzle” award that recognizes the one volunteer who has gone above and beyond by taking on several volunteer roles to help complete the puzzle of patient and family needs. This year the award was presented to Ginny Caple who is on the Bereavement team, the Spiritual Care team as well as the We Honor Veteran’s team.
Every year come springtime, Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice has its Service of Remembrance to honor those who have passed under the care of hospice in the preceding year. It is also a pivotal time for friends and family to come and re-connect with hospice staff they know while sharing memories of their loved ones.
This year, the service was held at The Congregational Church in Wolfeboro. The Tides of Harmony Choral Group of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice sang lovely and comforting melodies while the names of those who have passed were read aloud and a candle was lit in their honor.
Staff members took time to talk with families and offer support and comfort while inviting them to enjoy some of the many baked goods provided by generous Hospice Volunteers.
In Laconia, the Service of Remembrance is held every November and also honors those who have passed in the preceding year.
Hospice Director and Chief Clinical Nurse Jennifer Laramie speaks of the service as “A truly moving experience as names are read and loved ones come to light their candles. It is a form of healing while also still mourning. It is one of the many ways we connect with loved ones within our Hospice program”.
Do you ever wonder why all of us in Hospice do what we do every day? Let me share a few stories and you will wonder no more.
A hospice nurse visited a frail middle aged woman this week who has severe lung disease. She is very independent and very much in charge. Well, in charge of everything except this disease that has rendered her essentially helpless. They talked for over an hour and a half about her fears, quality and goals. Through tears, that she reports she has not shed since her husband died in the late 1990’s, she was able to tell the nurse that she just wanted to be able to breath well enough to go out and finish her banking and funeral plans before she died. With much teaching and some medication adjustment, she went out today, the first time in months and finished that banking and those funeral plans. She shared this with the nurse as she shed more tears, this time they were happy tears.
Ever visit a patient who is certain they do not need help from anyone, especially someone who thinks they are going to help bathe them? We do all the time.
One of our very talented nursing assistants met a pretty cantankerous gentleman who gave her a run for her money. He refused to have her help him with anything until about the fourth visit where they started talking about race cars. Before they both knew it, she was giving him a nice back rub and trimming his toenails, which were in dire need of care. He now allows help with showering and the ulcers he had on his skin are healed due to her good care and resilience. We never know what will be that one small thing that opens a person up, but we sure keep trying to find it.
These are just two of so many stories I could share with you. I am so proud of all we do in hospice and as an agency and am so thankful for all you do to give exceptional care, compassion and companionship to our patients and families.
Jenn Laramie, RN, Hospice Director, Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice