June 19, 2024

From the Corner Office with CEO Maggie Pritchard

The “Go-Live” date of Lakes Region Mental Health’s new electronic health record (EHR), myAvatar, was June 1st. I find “Go-Live” a rather unusual phrase, given that we were not sleeping, nor did we just hatch! In fact, LRMHC has been around for nearly 60 years! I suppose it does denote a bit of excitement and a vitalization that is beyond the ordinary…

In January of 2023, LRMHC purchased this new software from NetSmart – the company that acquired our previous EHR “Essentia”. We were informed that Essentia had announced their “sunsetting” and would not be supported as of 2025. Again, I find word choices so interesting as most would agree that a sunset conjures up lovely and pretty images. Why not just say it like it is – permanently “put to bed” – or something a little more on the mark?

“Go-Live” happened, but not without nearly 18 months of incubation. We spent hundreds of hours learning, designing and examining workflows, processes, and reports. There was no more than a half dozen employees untouched directly by the project. The brunt of the work rested upon the shoulders of nearly 20 people, most of whom availed themselves to personal and professional growth with some pain. As another expression goes “no pain no gain”!

As the leader of our organization, I can only say how impressed I am with our team. There was a clear sense of the “all hands on deck” mentality and it seemed, at times, that some had three hands working. Ten of these dedicated professionals became Super Users and have now assumed the role of office superheroes for anyone in need of support. We created manuals for every category of user and staff had a minimum of four hours of direct training, as well as numerous opportunities for practice and to ask questions.

This “liveliness” was well planned. As an organization, we constantly challenge ourselves to increase efficiency wherever possible. When people are creative and solution-focused, the pieces come together like a beautiful piece of art. Many thanks to all the artists who truly breathed life into our EHR “Go-Live”. As we continue this journey, we know that our patients will be better served, and our staff will have more time for the joyful components of their work.



Choose Love:

Thank you to Moultonborough Central School students for donations!

Throughout the academic year, Moultonborough Central School students brainstorm various fundraising initiatives for the local community. These ideas are proposed by students and then approved by the Student Council. In the final trimester, 5th-grade student Scarlett L. suggested a homeless shelter drive called "Help the Homeless." A list of items was created with support from Scarlett's mother, who is employed at LRMHC. Throughout May, the Student Council sought donations. Thanks to the contributions of the local families and the greater community, MCS students gathered over 200 items to support those in need. The school's core message is always "Choose Love," and this initiative truly embodied that spirit!


Pictured: Tess O., Elena G., Lucas H., Arabella P., Collin W., Seamus K., Scarlett L.

Not Pictured: Avery W., William C.

VOTE: Favorite Fourth of July Activity
Backyard BBQ
Block Party

Bloomin' 4 Good at Hannaford Meredith

Lakes Region Mental Health Center has been selected by store leadership at Hannaford in Meredith to receive a $1 donation from every purchase of the specially marked Bloomin’ 4 Good bouquet for the entire month of June. This is a great way to broaden awareness and help our cause. Share the news with friends and family. The more bouquets sold, the larger the donation we will receive!

Let's Wrap Up Mental Health Awareness Month...

Whew! We did it! A heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported the Lakes Region Mental Health Center during Mental Health Awareness Month! We could not be more excited about the amount of participation far and wide for everything we had going on in May.

To start, let us celebrate a big win - we exceeded our original fundraising goal, and raised over $15,000!! This would not have been possible without the following contributions:

  • Art Auction Artists - We had nearly 20 new artists this year. Many were local and one sent artwork all the way from Virginia! We are so thankful for the creativity these individuals shared with our community; we are all better for having experienced it.

  • Art Hosts - Local businesses across the state offered to host art for the month of May to help raise awareness for the Art Auction. Businesses in downtown Laconia showed up for us in a big way, as did the Enterprise Center in Plymouth and the Oscar Foss Memorial Library in Barnstead! Raising awareness is half the battle. We deeply value your support.

  • Open House and Artist Walk - We combined two of our favorite things - art and food - into one fun-filled night in the LRMHC lobby and our Meredith Village Savings Bank Winnipesauke Conference Room. Thank you to our staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers for helping make this event happen, the Laconia Human Relations Committee for sponsoring the Open House and providing an interactive art element, Mayor Andrew Hosmer for his thoughtful speech connecting mental health and community, and, of course, LRMHC CEO Maggie Pritchard for her thoughts on art and family.

  • The Belknap Mill - We would be remiss if we did not make special mention of the support from the Belknap Mill. Thank you for featuring our Laconia artists' work in the lobby all month and for being a supporter of all our efforts to raise awareness.

  • Light Up Green - We had an outpouring of support for the Light Up Green Initiative. Businesses and homes all over our catchment area shone green lights to raise awareness around mental health. We had nearly 50 businesses and organizations agree to light up green, an increase of about 500% over last year. We can't wait to see what next year brings!

  • 28.2 Mile Walking Challenge - This virtual Facebook challenge was new to us this year and we are so grateful to the 10+ walking participants and the over 30 donors that helped to raise nearly $1500. Bravo!

  • Jeans and Greens - The wear Jeans and Green challenge happened to fall on the LRMHC Employee Appreciation Event Day. The majority of our staff showed up in green and looked great celebrating at the Common Man in Plymouth! Thank you to Northway Bank, Mid-State Health, and Lakes Region Community College for also joining in the fun. See below for Northway Bank's participation.

  • Sponsors - Last, but most certainly not least, thank you to our Art Auction Sponsors: Binnie Media, Lakes FM, The Hawk, CADY, Hector's, and the Granite State Credit Union.

A huge thank you to everyone at Northway Bank who participated in the Jeans and Greens challenge for Mental Health Awareness month. Together, you raised $650 towards mental health services in the greater Lakes Region. LRMHC is so grateful for the support of our community members like you!

Pictured: Maddie Cole, Marketing Coordinator at LRMHC, and Kyril Mitchell, LRMHC Board of Directors Treasurer and Assistant Vice President, Small Business Relationship Manager at Northway Bank

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June is Men's Mental Health Month

"There’s still a stigma around men’s mental health, making it more difficult for men and boys to reach out for help. Some men might still feel as if people expect them to hide their emotions and “man up,” or be strong for others. Having or acknowledging a mental health condition is still seen as a sign of weakness or lack of masculinity among some men. But mental health conditions aren’t signs of personal weakness ― they’re health conditions just like any other. You wouldn’t feel shame about getting a doctor’s help with a broken arm, and contacting a therapist isn’t any different."

Patricia Carty: Sununu can reaffirm LGBTQ rights in NH with his veto

"The passage of any one of the bills now on their way to Governor Sununu will be harmful to LGBTQ kids, families, and whole communities who deserve to be accepted, not marginalized." - Patricia Carty, CEO of the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester

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LGBTQ+ Mental Health Resources

A Statement from Mental Health America:

Anti-trans legislation, hate-based crimes, and discrimination shouldn't overshadow Pride, but they can't be ignored. We hope those struggling with their identity or living in unsupportive environments find these resources helpful to living a life of well-being and resilience.

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