Health and Wellness

Did you know that very few people remember their New Year's resolutions

Here we are, near the end of the year. In just a few short days, the very last page will be written and the book of 2016 will be completed. While the official transition from one year to another is greatly symbolic, in crossing the threshold into a new year we separate what was from what will be. The past is over and done with, and now we have this new day, new promise and new opportunity. Many of us are truly looking forward to ending one chapter and beginning a new one.
In the spirit of the season, we reflect, celebrate, and – make resolutions. New Year, New You! We hope to change the things we can, and the New Year is a perfect time to make that proclamation. This year, I will ... (fill in the blank) ... lose weight, quit smoking, get out of debt, find a new job, leave a toxic relationship, etc. etc. Great relief and excitement accompany this practice of making New Year's resolutions as we give ourselves the permission and rejoice in the possibility and promise of a fresh start. What will I do more of? What will I do less of? What will I do differently this year?
Unfortunately, statistics show that only 10 percent of resolution-makers stay committed to their resolutions. The majority of people abandon their New Year's resolutions within a couple of weeks, despite the early intentions. The most common reasons are (1) a lack of motivation; (2) the resolution is too vague; and (3) don't have the knowledge, skill, or resources to see it through.
What would it take to increase the likelihood of a success? It turns out that if we ask ourselves some follow-up questions, such as "What will the change look like?" and "What do I need to make it happen?", then we are very likely to bring about a real change. As we move away from the abstract and toward the specific, the chance of success increases exponentially, because we take an idea and turn it into a method, a course of action, and a resulting state. This is a deliberate approach to resolution-making. These resolutions are concrete and supported by a plan. Instead of calling out an abstract idea, like "I will drink less coffee," we define what that actually looks like and what steps or actions need to take place to ensure the desired outcome is achieved.
If we are serious about our New Year's resolutions, this simple framework will help us get the results. By answering the questions bellow, we develop a plan. We create resolutions that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART):
Identify a specific area for improvement and in simple terms describe it as your goal. What is the goal? What will the goal accomplish? How and why will it be accomplished? Why is it important?
Come up with at least two measures or indicators of success. What is the tangible evidence that shows I have achieved my goal? How will I measure whether or not the goal has been reached?
In order to feel motivated, we need goals that are both challenging and achievable. We must have the knowledge, skill, and ability to reach the goal. Is it possible? Have others done it successfully? Do I have the necessary resources to accomplish the goal? Will meeting the goal challenge me without defeating me? How will I remove any barriers and work through setbacks?
Determine what results you can realistically achieve. What is the reason, purpose, or benefit of accomplishing the goal? What is the result of the goal?
Create a time frame for achieving the goal. Specify when the results can be achieved. What is the established completion date and does that completion date create a practical sense of urgency?
This year, set yourself up for success. Make resolutions that mean something. Be intentional in your purpose and make a difference. If not now, then when?
Be well!

LRGHealthcare launching workshops for diabetics and 'prediabetics'

LACONIA – With the start of another year, many are focusing on what can be done to improve health. Whether you have diabetes or have been told that you may have "prediabetes" or borderline diabetes, LRGHealthcare has options to help manage these conditions.

Many people are at risk for or have prediabetes and don't even know it. Prediabetes means blood sugar is higher than normal, but not yet considered diabetic. Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause heart attack, stroke, and numerous other complications. Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented in people with prediabetes through effective lifestyle change. How do you know if you are at risk for or have prediabetes? Visit and take a short quiz to determine your risk. Talking with your health care team is also a great way to find out if you are at risk or have prediabetes.

LRGHealthcare is starting a new program called "Prevent T2 Diabetes" in early 2017. For those at risk or who have prediabetes, this lifestyle change program provides education and support to help on a journey to better health. The program was designed by the Centers for Disease Control and aims to help participants increase physical activity and healthy eating strategies to achieve a five to seven percent weight loss over the course of a year. The program meets for 16 weekly sessions and then transitions to a monthly meeting for the remainder of the 12 months. A trained lifestyle coach guides participants through the program. This program will be offered in both Laconia and Franklin. Free info sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 3 to 4 p.m. at Franklin Regional Hospital and on Thursday, Jan. 26 from 9 to 10 a.m. at Lakes Region General Hospital. Call 527-7120 to sign up or find out more information.

Perhaps you already have been diagnosed with diabetes. You are not alone. According to the American Diabetes Association, "In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the population, had diabetes." LRGHealthcare is pleased to bring a new workshop to its offerings called "Living Well with Diabetes." This six-week group program was designed by Stanford University and aims to bring tools to those who attend to help them better manage diabetes and live a healthy life. Topics include blood sugar monitoring, medication use, healthy eating, physical activity, reducing stress, goal setting and more. Those with diabetes and their support members are welcome to attend this free workshop. The next session is starting on Thursday, Jan. 12 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Bessie Rowell Community Center in Franklin. For more information or to register, call 603-527-7120.

LRGHealthcare pharmacists receive their national board certifications

LACONIA — LRGHealthcare congratulates two of its own pharmacists, Linda Horton and Michael Smith, who recently achieved national board certifications.

Linda Horton, Pharm D, received her recertification by the National Certification Board for Anticoagulation Providers. The designation is CACP (certified anticoagulation provider). It is awarded to providers who meet education and patient care requirements and take an exam every five years for certification and recertification. By having this designation, it also enables LRGHealthcare to maintain its Center of Excellence designation for its Anticoagulation Clinic through the National Anticoagulation Forum.

Michael Smith, Pharm D, has been awarded his Board Certification in Critical Care; designation is BCCCP (Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist). He joins just six other NH pharmacists with the credential and is one of only 1,104 within the United States. Board certification through BPS (Board of Pharmacy Specialties) is recognized as the gold standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels and meet the expanding expectations of patients, physicians, insurance companies, and employers who recognize the increasing need for a team approach to healthcare.

LRGHealthcare congratulates and thanks Linda and Michael for expanding their knowledge to provide the best care possible to LRGHealthcare's patients.

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Michael Smith and Linda Horton received certificates as pharmacists from a national board. (Courtesy photo)

Study finds increase in tobacco sales to minors

CONCORD — New Hampshire tobacco retail sales to youth were higher in 2015 compared with the previous year, according to a new report from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. A survey of 338 randomly selected licensed tobacco outlets across the State found that 16.6 percent of tobacco retail sales in 2015 were to children under that age of 18, an uptick from 2014, when 14.4 percent of sales were to youth.

"We've seen a slight but troubling increase in tobacco sales to young adults in recent years," said Joe Harding, Director of the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services at DHHS. "Using tobacco is unsafe at any age, but poses a greater risk to the developing brains of New Hampshire youth. As a result, DHHS is working with the Division of Liquor Enforcement to develop a more diverse array of products and tools to educate merchants and youth."

The number of sales to youth is not the same as actual tobacco use among youth. According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the rates of youth smoking in New Hampshire have declined 10.5 percent more than the past five years, from 27.9 percent in 2011 to 17.4 percent in 2015.

However, while use of tobacco products among youth is on the decline, some young smokers purchase products directly from a licensed tobacco retailer. Data from the 2015 YRBS shows that 13.6 percent of the 14,837 students who answered this question report they get their cigarettes from a store or gas station, indicating a need to improve merchant education and enforcement in New Hampshire.

"Obviously we strive for 100 percent compliance with New Hampshire's tobacco laws, but these data show we have work to do," Harding said. "We understand that some retailers struggle with turnover and we are developing tools to help them train staff and educate the public about the State's tobacco laws and related penalties."

The data were captured by the Synar compliance check program, a federally mandated effort from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, and includes reports from 338 merchants randomly selected out of 1,488 tobacco-licensed outlets across the State. In accordance with federal tobacco regulations, states are required to provide detailed information on progress made in enforcing youth tobacco access laws. The Annual Synar Report format provides the means for states to comply with the reporting provisions of the Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C. 300x-26) and Tobacco Regulation for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) (45 C.F.R. 96.130 (e)). The results of the report, 16.6 percent of sales to minors, is below the federal Synar requirement of less than 20 percent.

To read the full version of the 2017 NH Synar Results, visit the DHHS BDAS data page at

LRCS employee named Direct Support Professional of the Year

LACONIA — Scott Fox of Plymouth, a Lakes Region Community Services employee who has spent almost a quarter of a century supporting people with disabilities, was named the Direct Support Professional of the Year by the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities at its October 21-22 Annual DSP Statewide Conference held at the Grand Summit Hotel in Bartlett.

"Scott has been employed at LRCS since December of 1993," said Acting Executive Director Rebecca Bryant. "He has always demonstrated a high level of commitment to the agency and to the individuals he supports. Being chosen as DSP of the Year is a significant honor. As an organization, LRCS is proud to have him on our team."

Fox's dedication was evident late last year when an individual he supports was hospitalized for a month. Fox traveled an hour to the hospital to be there for that person to help him communicate and to be comfortable during a very stressful time. Because of the trust Fox has built, this individual's changing needs continue to be addressed. Fox has worked extra hours whenever needed, telling his management team, "I'll do whatever is needed."

Mark Dickinson, Fox's direct supervisor, describes him as very compassionate and "awesome" with the individuals he supports. "Scott is very deserving of the award," he said.

Vicki Cram, one of LRCS' Shared Family Living providers, was nominated by the agency for NH Home Provider of the Year. Cram's naturally compassionate and selfless nature has enabled her to develop a solid rapport with the person she supports in her home. With Cram's guidance and caring support, this individual's health has improved and they have developed stronger relationships.




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Lakes Region Community Services employee Scott Fox (pictured second from left) was named Direct Service Professional of the Year by the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities at the statewide DSP conference. (Courtesy photo)