Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health Board Endorses Plan for Expansion of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Lebanon NH  – Trustees of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) announced on Friday that they have unanimously approved and endorsed a plan for a major new construction project, estimated to cost approximately $130 million, including a third inpatient tower on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) campus in Lebanon.

At their quarterly meeting on Dec. 7, the Board enthusiastically affirmed a plan presented by D-HH leadership that would implement the first major capital improvement to the Lebanon campus since the 2015 opening of the Williamson Translational Research Building. The project plan includes a 132,000 square-foot, 60-bed inpatient tower, along with renovation and expansion of DHMC’s Emergency Department, and the proposed construction of a new parking garage on site.

The proposed construction and renovation plans, which will be finalized in the coming few months, are intended to address a number of mission-critical needs facing New Hampshire’s only tertiary care facility and improve care quality and patient experience. Demand for services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) has risen dramatically over the last several years, resulting in consistently high occupancy of its 396 licensed beds.  With occupancy rates that regularly run at 90%, DHMC is forced to divert approximately 250 high-acuity patients seeking high-level or specialized care to other facilities in New England because of the lack of beds and supporting space to accommodate them. Driven by demand for care caused by a several factors – including the aging of DHMC’s service area population, Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s status as the safety net provider for New Hampshire’s rural health care network, and the growth of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System – the new tower is expected to provide access for the existing, unmet demand of approximately 3,000 inpatient admissions per year.

“This is a highly ambitious, but badly needed, step toward Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health’s future,” said D-HH CEO and President Joanne M. Conroy MD. “As the region’s only tertiary and quaternary care academic medical center, we simply must evolve to meet the urgent and changing needs of the growing numbers of people who seek our care. For some time now, we’ve seen demand for our care dramatically grow, and we’ve had success with our member hospitals in both states in making sure patients receive the right care, at the right time, close to home. But the increasing demands for Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s specialty and high-acuity care, in all disciplines, requires us to expand our capacity so that patients can access that care here in Lebanon. This plan moves us decisively in that direction.”

The proposed four-story patient tower calls for two floors of single-occupancy inpatient rooms, totaling 60 beds; a floor to accommodate another 30 beds that may be added at a later date; and a floor for service and mechanical space.

“Our case mix index (an indicator of the severity and complexity of the cases hospitals treat) is among the highest in the nation,” noted D-HH Chief Clinical Officer Edward J. Merrens, MD. “This project is mission critical: it is key to ensuring that patients get the proper care in the right setting, and that our resources are used efficiently while anticipating future capacity needs. This will impact the entire organization, and our teams have thought diligently about how we can best do this. Our region needs us, and we must respond.”

The existing inpatient towers at DHMC opened in 1991, when Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital moved to its current location from its original home in Hanover as part of the $218 million DHMC project. The facility opened with five floors of inpatient rooms in two towers on the north side of the complex.  The current design proposes to situate the new four-story tower between the existing inpatient towers. A financing plan is being developed but it is anticipated that funding for these projects will come from a mix of equity, philanthropy, and debt issuance. Pending regulatory approvals, ground-breaking for the project is anticipated later in the spring of 2019, with completion over three to four years.

Increasing demand for emergency services has quickly outstripped the facility’s ability to manage incoming cases, with DHMC’s Emergency Department averaging approximately 32,000 patient visits annually. The last major renovation to the Emergency Department was in 2004. The plan endorsed by D-HH Board of Trustees calls for renovations and the addition of 14 evaluation and treatment rooms in the Emergency Department.

The proposed parking garage would include 400 spaces to accommodate patients and visitors to the new patient rooms and relieve some of the increasing demand for parking by freeing space in the outdoor parking lots.

“One of the keys to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health’s strategic planning is establishing the necessary infrastructure to enable D-HH to operate efficiently and effectively as a system, and to support future initiatives,” said Don Caruso, MD, MPH, President and CEO, and Chief Medical Officer of Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, a member of D-HH. “It is crucial that the capacity at New Hampshire’s only academic medical center meets the clinical needs of the communities it serves, and we are working together across the D-HH system, to ensure that the capacity at all member sites is optimized for our patient needs.”

Two Killed in Three Car Collision in Hartford

Hartford VT – On Thursday, Dec. 6th shortly after 5:30 PM,  Hartford Dispatch aired a BOL for a wrong way driver on Interstate 91 in the area of the Norwich exit. Moments later a three car crash was reported on Interstate 91 south bound at mile marker 73. The information received by 911 was that the crash was a head on collision. Upon arrival the operator of the vehicle that was struck head on 33-year-old Patrick Covey of Bradford VT was deceased. The wrong way driver, Herbert Kennedy 89 of White River Jct. VT was in critical condition upon arrival. He later succumbed to his injuries at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The operator of the third vehicle Cynthia Dale of White River Jct. VT had minor injuries and went to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center as a precaution. .

Canaan Man Arrested on Multiple Charges Following Pursuit

Canaan NH -On Wednesday December 5, 2018 Officers from the Canaan Police Department and New Hampshire State Police Troopers attempted to locate Wayne A. Shambo, age 47, of Beech Cobble Road in Canaan pursuant to an arrest warrant.

The warrant was related to an incident from the previous evening, in which Shambo threatened to shoot police officers as they attempted to serve him a protection order.

After an exhaustive search by the Canaan Police Department and the New Hampshire State Police, officers located Shambo’s vehicle in North Canaan. When Chief Frank attempted to stop the vehicle, Shambo refused to stop. Shambo led officers on a pursuit for approximately ten miles through Canaan, Hanover and Lyme, New Hampshire. Officers were able to disable Shambo’s vehicle using a controlled tire deflation device on NH Route 10, just south of Lyme Village.

Canaan Police Officers and New Hampshire State Troopers gave Shambo several commands to exit the vehicle but he refused, leading to a lengthy standoff situation. Eventually, Chief Frank was able to speak with Shambo and convince him to surrender peacefully.

Shambo was arrested for the following crimes:

Criminal Threatening of an On-Duty Law Enforcement Officer – Enhanced A Misdemeanor, Violation of a Protection Order – A Misdemeanor, Obstructing Government Administration – A Misdemeanor, Disobeying a Police Officer – A Misdemeanor, Driving Under the Influence – Subsequesnt Offense – A Misdemeanor, Open Container – Violation.

Shambo was processed and held at the Grafton County House of Corrections pending an arraignment in the Grafton Superior Court on December 6, 2018.

The Canaan Police Department was assisted by the New Hampshire State Police, Enfield Police Department, Hanover Police and Fire Department, Hanover Communications Center, Thetford, VT Police Department and New Hampshire Probation and Parole.

Lebanon Police Department Holds Swearing In and Awards Ceremony

Swearing in of Officer Ashley Mills

Lebanon NH – The Lebanon Police Department held a Swearing In and Awards Ceremony on Monday in the department’s training room.

Newly hired Police Officers Ashley Mills and Ryan Brewster were sworn in by Lebanon City Clerk Sandi Allard. Officer Mills is a Certified Officer from Hingham, MA Police Department, and is pursuing a Criminal Justice degree from the University of Massachusetts. Officer Brewster has a degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science from Hilbert College, and will attend the NH Police Academy in January.  
Officer Pete Begin was given a Commendation Award for Community Service, for his ongoing dedication to the Lebanon Police Department and the greater community. Officer Begin consistently volunteers to take part in a multitude of community events to ensure their success. 
Officer Brett Quillia was recognized for 10 years of service with the department, and our Facilities Custodian Tom LaPointe was recognized for 15 years with the department. 

White River JCT Man Arrested for Striking Woman with Vehicle

Lebanon NH – On November 19, 2018 at approximately 10:44AM, Lebanon Police and Fire units responded to the parking lot of the Circle K Convenience store on Main Street for a report of a motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian. Officers on scene learned that Daniel Guarino, age 31, of White River Junction, Vermont, had intentionally struck a female patron at the gas pumps with the front of his vehicle while both subjects were trying to use the same gas pump.

Guarino was arrested and is charged with a Class B Felony count of Reckless Conduct with a Deadly Weapon.

Guarino was released on personal recognizance bail and will be arraigned on December 10, 2018 at the Grafton County Superior Court.

The female victim refused medical treatment at the scene.

Vermont State Police Plan Extra Traffic Patrols for Thanksgiving Weekend

WILLISTON VT – Vermont has experienced 57 traffic fatalities so far in 2018.  The Vermont State Police has planned a seat-belt campaign for the Thanksgiving weekend to help ensure Vermont’s roads are safe during this highly traveled period, and throughout the year.

The Vermont State Police will be participating in the national “Buckle Up – Every Trip. Every Time” campaign and Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort) over the holiday period from November 21st to 25th. Operation C.A.R.E. is a national campaign in which police agencies across the United States join in the effort of reducing fatalities on our highways, particularly during national holidays when there’s an increase in the number of motorists on the roadways.

“The Vermont State Police’s priority remains focused on occupant protection, preventing impaired driving, and speed enforcement,” said Vermont State Police Commander of Safety Programs Lt. John Flannigan. “Although Vermont’s safety belt compliance rate is estimated at 89.8 percent, about 69 percent of those killed in traffic collisions so far this year were not properly restrained.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.

The Vermont State Police also will have zero tolerance on those who make the reckless decision to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. More than 53 percent of all highway fatalities this year involved substance impairment. “Driving under the influence is entirely preventable,” Lt. Flannigan added. “Think smart and plan a designated driver or alternate transportation beforehand. Let’s make this a safe holiday for everyone.”

The Great American Smokeout

Concord, NH – The NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) encourages New Hampshire residents to join people across the country in quitting tobacco on November 15, 2018, during the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. As part of its goal to improve public health and protect future generations from the risks of tobacco use, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended its authority to cover all tobacco products. The FDA currently covers: cigarettes, cigars, dissolvables, hookah tobacco, nicotine gels, pipe tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, smokeless tobacco products (dip, snuff, snus, and chewing tobacco), vapes, e-cigs, hookah pens, and other electronic nicotine delivery systems.

“In New Hampshire, approximately 15.6% of adults smoke cigarettes. The most important thing smokers can do to improve their health is to quit smoking cigarettes and any type of tobacco use,” said Lisa Morris, Director of the DHHS Division of Public Health Services. “The Great American Smokeout is a perfect time to make a quit plan with a specially trained and confidential Quit Coach at QuitNow-NH.”

Evidence shows that quitting tobacco is a process that starts with a reason to quit followed by a plan to get support.  To increase your chances of successfully quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or log into www.QuitNowNH.org to enroll in the free Quit Coach Program that provides free nicotine replacement patches, lozenges and gum.

Lebanon Police Request Public Assistance in Identifying Theft Suspect

Lebanon NH –  On October 15, 2018, it was reported to the Lebanon Police Department that a cell phone was stolen from a vehicle in the Walgreens parking lot. A suspect was identified during the investigation, shown on the surveillance photos below.

The Police Department is asking anyone who may have information about the identity of this subject to call Lebanon Police Officer Zachary Lawrence at 603-448-1212. Information can also be submitted anonymously to our Tip Line, 603-448-CLUE, or online at LebanonNH.gov/CLUE.

White River Jct. Woman Killed in Sharon VT Crash

Sharon VT – On 11/13/18 at approximately 0657 hrs, Troopers from the Vermont State Police -Royalton Barracks responded to a reported two car collision involving a  2005 Toyota and an International box truck on Vermont Route 14 in the Town of Sharon. The passenger the Toyota , 25 year old Alisha Boice of White River Junction had to be extricated from the vehicle and transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Boice was later pronounced deceased at the hospital. Troopers are currently investigating the crash. Poor weather and road conditions were contributing factors in the crash.

WUVR and WNTK Take Awards at NHAB 2018 Granite Mike Banquet

CONCORD – This year, New Hampshire broadcasters gave us award-winning coverage of the opioid epidemic, state championship sports, breaking news from severe weather and fun features focused on everyone from ice fishing enthusiasts to janitors. Local leaders from television and radio gathered to celebrate the best of the best at the 2018 Granite Mikes, presented by the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters. Dozens of stations were recognized, capped off by the award for Broadcaster of the Year, which went to WKBK radio broadcaster Dan Mitchell, for his work on and off the air.

Mitchell, who has worked at WKBK for more than 30 years, has become a central figure in raising funds and awareness around many of the Monadnock Region’s most important causes, such as children’s health care, help for the poor and local amateur sports.

Individuals and stations submitted 261 entries in 20 categories. The work was judged by the Idaho Association of Broadcasters. WMUR TV was the big winner, taking several First-Place prizes and Merit Certificates. WGIR, WZID and WBNH radio also received numerous First Place awards.
WMUR TV and WLKZ-FM were named the television and radio Stations of the Year respectively.

Mike Haze, radio host for WFNQ, and WMUR TV’s Sean McDonald, received the radio and television Air Personality awards. WTPL’s Good Morning NH was First Place winner in the Morning Show Team category.

The list of winners is as follows:

Public Affairs/Talk
MERIT – WMUR-TV – Close-Up
FIRST – WENH/NH Public Radio – Roads to Recovery

Spot News
FIRST – NHPR-FM – Gun Policy Debate
MERIT – WMUR-TV – October Floods
FIRST – WMUR-TV – July Flooding

Documentary News
MERIT- NH Public Radio – The State of the Free State
FIRST – NH Public Radio – Rural Doctor Surrenders License
MERIT – WMUR-TV – Bullying in Schools
FIRST – WMUR-TV – Babies Born Addicted

Feature Story
MERIT – WVMJ/WMWV – The Perfect Spot for Ice Fishing
FIRST – NH Public Radio – Synchronized Swimming
MERIT – WMUR-TV – NH Chronicle – Victoria Arlen
FIRST – WMUR-TV – NH Chronicle – Janitor Kevin Freeman

MERIT – WTSN – Noon News
FIRST – WZID – Peggy James
MERIT -WMUR-TV – News 9 Tonight
FIRST – WMUR-TV – News 9 at Six

MERIT -WTSV – NH Boys Basketball
FIRST – WBNH-LP – NH Girls Basketball State Championship
FIRST – WYCU – NHIAA Division III Boys Basketball Championship

Sports Feature
MERIT – WBNH-LP Foxx on Sports
FIRST – WGIR-AM – Jack Heath Interviews Local Coaches
MERIT – WMUR-TV – NH Chronicle – Mountain Mud Run
FIRST – WMUR-TV – NH Chronicle – Behind the Manchester Marathon

Air Personality
MERIT – WZID-FM – Heather Bishop
FIRST – WFNQ – Mike Haze
WMUR-TV – Chronicle – Erin Fehlau
FIRST – WMUR-TV – Chronicle – Sean McDonald

Morning Show Team – radio category only
MERIT – WTPL – Good Morning NH
FIRST – WZID – Neal and Marga, NH in the Morning

Station Promotional Announcement
MERIT – WVMJ/WMWV – 4th Annual Summer Solstace Sizzle
FIRST – WGIR/WHEB-FM – Morning Buzz, Kelly Brown Parody Songs
FIRST – WMUR-TV – Year Ender 2017

Individual Commercial
MERIT – WZID – Haunted Acres
FIRST – WBYY – Zachs Lobster Tail
MERIT – WPTZ/WNNE – Brown Furniture
FIRST – WMUR-TV – Al Terry Plumbing

Commercial Campaign
MERIT – WLKZ – Say it in stitches
FIRST – WUVR-AM Marsh Brothers Deli
MERIT – WMUR-TV Al Terry Plumbing
FIRST – WPTZ- WNNE – Math + Science = Success

Public Service Announcement
MERIT – WBNH-LP – Bedford Hockey Fundraising Dinner
FIRST – WFNQ – Awareness for Adalyn
MERIT – WMUR-TV – Keep your hydrants clear
FIRST – WMUR-TV – Drug Take Back

Best Use of Digital Media
MERIT – NH Public Radio – Digital news and podcasts
FIRST – WMUR-TV- Digital Storytelling

Best Station Promotion
MERIT – WGXL – Get a room
FIRST – WHDQ – Buzz Word of the Day

Local Special Program/Event
MERIT- WLKZ – 36th Annual Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction
FIRST – WHEB/WGIR – 2018 Blacksmith Ride for Life
MERIT -WENH – NHPTV – Our Hometown Milford
FIRST – WMUR-TV – Drug Take Back Day

MERIT – WNHN – Jazz Blues and Progressive Talk
FIRST – WBNH – Public Safety Radio and More

Public Service Campaign of the Year
MERIT – WZID – Art Fest
FIRST – WLKZ / WZEI – Lakes Region Children’s Auction
FIRST – WMUR-TV – Home at Last

Radio – WNHN, Fred Portnoy,

Station of the Year
The Radio Station of the Year is WLKZ
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