Welcome New Board Members Alisa Druzba and Mel Gosselin

AlisaAlisa Druzba of Concord currently serves as the Section Administrator, NH DHHS Rural Health & Primary Care. She has over ten years of experience in managing US DHHS, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded projects and coordinating the State Primary Care Office and State Office of Rural Health projects.

Alisa collaborates and consults with local, state, regional, and national stakeholders and partners to develop strategies to improve quality of care in areas that include oral health, health care workforce development, and access to rural health clinics and community health centers.

Mel 19Mel Gosselin of Manchester is the former Executive Director of the NH Food Bank. In her 13 years at the Food Bank, she oversaw a period of expansion that grew from distributing about 1.5 million pounds of food a year to more than 12 million pounds.

She served as national committee chair for Hunger Action Month, launching a national advocacy and fundraising campaign. She is the recipient of New Hampshire Business Review's 2015 Business Excellence Winner, and has been recognized for her efforts to not only feed the hungry, but to identify and eliminate the root causes of hunger.



HNH Foundation Grant Awards - 2016

The HNH Foundation awarded $580,561 in grants during its Fall 2016 program cycle, bringing the total awarded in 2016 to over $1.1 million. The awards benefited 6 health-related initiatives and projects at non-profit and community organizations across the state.  The HNH Foundation makes grants to address change to affect the health of New Hampshire’s youngest and most vulnerable children and their families. Grants awarded in Fall 2016 included  support for Families First (Seacoast area) to expand trauma support services for parents, the NH Public Health Association (statewide) on behalf of the NH Oral Health Coalition, , The Granite YMCA (Manchester) for staff training in early learning centers, and Vital Communities (Grafton and Sullivan counties) to promote access to locally-grown food at farmers markets for low income families.

According to HNH Foundation President Gail Garceau, these grants address the Foundation’s core mission: “We seek to support innovative ways to advance our funding priorities and we recognize that broad, strategic collaboration is critical to making a long-term impact in communities throughout New Hampshire. One example is a statewide grant awarded to New Futures in Fall 2016 to provide support for the NH Advocacy Hub, a new and innovation centralized organization made up of early childhood experts and advocates who can collaborate on public policy and social change.” 

Click here to download a list of all the grants made by the HNH Foundation in 2016.

Bill Brown, MA, ACEs Slide Presentation

Recently, the HNH Foundation initiated funding to prevent childhood trauma.  We introduced this new funding priority by inviting Bill Brown, MA of Confluence Behavioral Health (VT) to our annual event to speak about the issue.   Bill used a combination of data and the personal story of one of his clients to demonstrate the profound physical and emotional impact of childhood trauma. View Bill Brown's slide presentation here.  

HNH Foundation Addresses Childhood Trauma at its Annual Event

Bill Brown at HNH Foundation 2016 Annual EventPhoto (left to right): HNH Foundation President Gail Garceau welcomed keynote speaker Bill Brown to the Foundation’s Annual Event on September 20, 2016. They are joined by Board Chair Martha McLeod and Vice Chair Kathleen Crompton.

The HNH Foundation highlighted its new focus on the prevention of childhood trauma at its Annual Event on September 20th in Concord. In the keynote address, Bill Brown, co-owner of Confluence Behavioral Health pringfield, Vermont), examined current research that links exposure to childhood trauma and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with changes in the body that can impact both physical and mental health.

Brown cited experts in the field who believe that “Adverse Childhood Experiences are the single greatest unaddressed health care challenge facing our nation today.” The stress of childhood abuse, neglect and exposure to violence – called “toxic load” -- has a measurable impact on our bodies and brain development. He cited data that show that childhood trauma affects an individual’s overall life expectancy, often cut short by some 20 years.

Furthermore, Mr. Brown reported that research has established a correlation between exposure to violence, abuse, neglect, addictions and alcoholism to the current opioid crisis. Childhood trauma is also an economic issue, given the high cost of lost job productivity.

Mr. Brown spoke about the importance of improving our ability to be hopeful – to create a healthy and hopeful transition from childhood to adulthood that reduces toxic stress and builds resiliency, and he applauded the HNH Foundation for its leadership in funding programs with this goal.

According to HNH Foundation Board Chair Martha McLeod, “the Board has identified childhood trauma as a critical issue that affects the health and well-being of our most vulnerable children, often with lifelong consequences. The Foundation seeks to fund innovative approaches that strengthen protective factors and early intervention practices that help prevent childhood trauma and other Adverse Childhood Experiences.
View the Bill Brown's presentation here

HNH Foundation Announces Winner of the 2016 Sandi Van Scoyoc Legacy Award at Annual Event

Krystal Alpers 2016 Legacy Award

Photo caption (left to right): HNH Foundation President Gail Garceau and Former President Sandi Van Scoyoc recently presented the $2500 Sandi Van Scoyoc Legacy Award to Krystal Alpers (Franklin) for her work in improving the health of children.  Joining her at the event were Melissa Lee, Greater Franklin HEAL Coordinator, and Ken Merrifield, Mayor of Franklin.

The HNH Foundation has announced that Krystal Alpers, Parks and Recreation Director in Franklin, NH, is the winner of the 2016 Sandi Van Scoyoc Legacy Award.

The Legacy Award’s annual prize of $2500 is presented to a New Hampshire organization or an individual who exemplifies the Foundation’s founding President’s commitment to improving the health and wellness of New Hampshire’s children and families.

Krystal Alpers was nominated for the award by Melissa Lee, Greater Franklin HEAL Co-Coordinator, who cited Krystal’s “tireless work to enhance the health and well-being of the families of Franklin, whether it’s organizing community projects to improve the beauty and safety of our playgrounds and parks, or advocating for healthy meal options for our kids.”  

According to Lee’s  nomination, Krystal has been instrumental in launching and implementing many projects in the Franklin area:  leading the Odell Park Centennial Project to beautify and increase safety and appeal of the park; implementing the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Childcare; initiating a Harvest Box at the Bessie Rowell Community Center to provide families a place to leave and take free produce donated from area community and home gardens; co-leading the Franklin Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Coalition; and establishing gardens that are used by the childcare center and Head Start. 

In presenting the award, HNH Foundation President Gail Garceau stated, “We are honored to recognize Krystal Alpers, who exemplifies the spirit and intent of the Legacy Award. We are recognizing someone who is doing the hard work on the ground, and supporting neighbors and her community in new and innovative ways.”

According to Krystal, “Franklin has many initiatives underway to increase access to healthy foods and to get families physically active.  I want to thank the HNH Foundation as well as Franklin’s elected officials and city administration. Together, we can be true champions for our children.”