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Entries in NH DHHS (662)



CONCORD –State Department of Health and Human Services cautions residents to dress in layers and watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite as blizzard-like conditions bring extreme cold and wind chills this weekend.


“Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures has the potential to cause serious or life-threatening health problems,” DHHS Emergency Services Unit Director Rick Cricenti said. “The most common cold weather problems are hypothermia and frostbite. The elderly and infants are most at risk, but extreme cold can affect anyone.”


Warming stations and shelters will be opened on an as-needed basis by local communities, he said.


DHHS offers the following tips to help prevent serious illness or injury from the cold:

  • ·             Avoid staying outside unprotected for extended periods of time during extreme cold. 
  • ·             If possible avoid going out during the coldest part of the day.
  • ·             Dress in layers so you can adjust for various conditions.
  • ·             Wear warm clothing, including hats, mittens, jackets and insulated boots.
  • ·             Stay hydrated.
  • ·             Get out of wet clothes immediately.
  • ·             Watch for signs of hypothermia:  confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.
  • ·             Recognize warning signs of frostbite: gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, and waxy feeling skin.


If you recognize any symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite in you or someone else seek medical attention immediately.


NH DHHS - New Blood Pressure Control Guidance for Clinicians and Community Partners

Concord, NH – In recognition of American Heart Month, the New Hampshire

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is pleased to announce the

release of Ten Steps for Improving Blood Pressure Control in New Hampshire:

A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Community Partners, primarily authored

by Rudy Fedrizzi, MD, of Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock–Keene,

and Kimberly Persson, MSW, of the Institute for Health Policy and Practice

at the University of New Hampshire. This guide details how clinicians and

communities can work together to improve hypertension throughout the State.

The New Hampshire Million Hearts Learning Collaborative developed the Ten

Steps, a step-by-step manual to guide practitioners, quality improvement

personnel, and practice administrators in improving blood pressure control

in clinical practice and through community outreach. The manual distills

the lessons learned from the New Hampshire’s Million Hearts Learning

Collaborative. When combined, these ten steps provide a comprehensive

approach to improving hypertension control rates within communities.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common and dangerous

condition. It increases a patient’s risk for heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in New Hampshire. Almost

2,000 people died in New Hampshire due to coronary heart disease or heart

attacks in 2012. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the State

causing an additional 438 deaths in 2012.

“Hypertension is not controlled in too many people throughout New

Hampshire,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health Services at

DHHS. “This manual is an important step toward encouraging health care

providers and community agencies, such as YMCAs, local health departments,

and others, to work together to meet the challenge of providing effective

care and promoting a healthy lifestyle among those they serve.”

In October 2013, DHHS, along with nine other states and the District of

Columbia, was awarded a Million Hearts funding grant by the Association of

State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), with seed money from the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Million Hearts is a

national initiative working to prevent one million heart attacks and

strokes by 2017.

New Hampshire’s work is modeled after the successful strategies implemented

at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock–Keene over the past few

years. The grant’s framework is based on learning collaboratively through

community partnerships. New Hampshire’s Million Hearts Learning

Collaborative partners include:

· DHHS Division of Public Health Services

· Institute for Health Policy and Practice at the University of New


· Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock–Keene (CMC/DHK)

· City of Manchester Health Department

· Manchester Community Health Center (MCHC)

· Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services, and

· Lamprey Health Care – Nashua (LHC-N)

Utilizing evidence-based public health interventions, MCHC improved the

blood pressure control rate among its patients from 66% to 75% over the

course of 2014, and LHC-N improved its rate from 69.5% to 72%.

With additional support from ASTHO and CDC, Goodwin Community Health,

partnering with Wentworth Douglass Hospital, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, and

Community Partners, will now participate in the New Hampshire Million

Hearts Learning Collaborative.

The guide can be found at An

interactive, half-day workshop to support practitioners and practice

administrators in implementing the guide’s strategies is scheduled for

Thursday, March 26, 9:00 am–12:00 pm at the New Hampshire Department of

Transportation, Granite State Conference Room, 7 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH,

03302. To register, go to Space is

limited. Please register by Friday, March 20.

For more information about heart disease and stroke prevention, visit the

DHHS website To learn

more about American Heart Month, go to


NH House Majority Leader Comments on EBT Reform Bill 

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) released the following comments relative to HB 219, a bill that adds restrictions to where EBT cards can be used, including tattoo parlors and cigar shops. HB 219 had a public hearing Wednesday before the House Health & Human Services committee.


House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan


“The majority of government assistance recipients use their EBT benefits for necessary living expenses. But as with any government program, we need to ensure that taxpayer dollars are going toward their intended purpose.”


“We already have restrictions in place that prohibit EBT use in liquor stores, gaming facilities and adult-themes stores. Most people would agree that these are acceptable and reasonable prohibitions on where you can use your EBT card. HB 219 seeks to add some additional reasonable restrictions including tattoo parlors and cigar shops. None of the restrictions currently in law or those proposed in HB219 are necessary living expenses.”


“It may be impossible to track how every single dollar of assistance is spent, but it’s fair for the legislature to explore ways to ensure state funds are being used in a responsible manner.”


NH DHHS - Count of Homeless in State to Take Place on January 28th 

On Wednesday, January 28, 2015, a count will be conducted to identify

homeless people in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Department of Health

and Human Services’ Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services (BBHS),

together with service providers who serve homeless individuals and

families, will identify the number of sheltered and unsheltered persons

within a 24-hour period. This is a combined effort between the three local

homeless Continuums of Care (Nashua, Manchester and the “Balance of State”)

that BHHS coordinates with the NH Coalition to End Homelessness.

This count is a snapshot of how many people are experiencing homelessness

on any given day in New Hampshire. It is based on information reported

from city/town welfare offices, homeless shelters, hospitals, hotels,

police departments, faith based organizations, outreach workers, 2-1-1 Call

Center, and other organizations serving people experiencing homelessness in

the State.

In January of 2014, New Hampshire reported 2,210 homeless individuals

across the State. Of that number, 1,241 were sheltered, 394 were

unsheltered, and 575 individuals were doubled up (temporarily residing with

family or friends). The total of 2,210 includes 358 families.

An accurate unduplicated count is required by the US Department of Housing

and Urban Development and is data essential in obtaining funds that

directly benefit individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at

risk of becoming homeless in the State.


NH DHHS - Reminder that Food Stamp Recipients May Request Replacement Benefits Due to Power Outages

Concord, NH –With the approach of a major winter storm, the New Hampshire

Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Division of Family

Assistance is reminding Food Stamp recipients that the USDA Food and

Nutrition Service will replace Food Stamp benefits to recipients affected

by any widespread power outages caused by a winter storm.

A refrigerator, if not opened, will keep food safely cold for about four

hours. After four hours without power, perishable food such as meat,

poultry, fish, soft cheese, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items should be

discarded. Federal food stamp policy also establishes four hours as the

minimum time for a power outage in order to replace food stamp benefits.

“It is important for their health and safety that individuals follow the

four hour power outage standard,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas.

“The federal food stamp replacement policy makes the decision to do so

easier because individuals know that they will remain food secure in their

ability to feed themselves and their families after such a household


Food stamp benefits are 100% federally funded. Food Stamp eligibility

policy is also 100% federal, including the policy requirement to replace

benefits lost in these kinds of circumstances. To receive replacement food

stamp benefits, recipients must report the loss within 10 days of the loss

and provide a signed statement indicating the food loss was due to a power

outage related to the storm. The statement must include the total value of

the lost food. An example statement is provided at

Recipients may also contact either their local district office or call

1-800-852-3345 x 9700.