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Future Health Care Choices Is Topic of Chamber Lunchtime Program April 12 at Memorial Hospital

April 06, 2018

NORTH CONWAY, NH – Memorial Hospital will host the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Buzz lunch hour learning session titled "Future Health Care Choices - Impact on Businesses, Workers and Services" at 12 pm Thursday, April 12. The program will be presented by Memorial Hospital's Sue Ruka, RN, Ph.D in the hospital's Intervale Conference Room above its Outpatient Physical Therapy building, just north of the main entrance to the hospital on Route 16.

According to Sue Ruka, who is the hospital's Director of Population Health, Americans talk about most things at work but one topic that is avoided is death and end of life issues. People avoid talking about these issues because they are difficult conversations yet death is as much a part of life as birth, explains Ruka. Becoming a caregiver for a family member, trying to manage affairs for aging parents from a distance or the serious illness of a co-worker all impact the workplace. Caregiver stress and grieving can all lead to absenteeism, presenteeism, depression and substance abuse.

"Many employers are discovering programs and services to help employees manage end of life and serious illness for themselves or their loved ones," says Ruka. "Providing education, knowledge and access to reputable resources and tools is one way employers can help employees through difficult times, consequently improving retention and productivity of valuable employees."

Ruka's workshop will address strategies and tools to help in planning for future health choices and decisions, how to have these difficult often unwanted conversations, and ways to make sure these choices and values are communicated effectively.

Sue Ruka has over 25 years of healthcare experience in a variety of settings including acute care hospitals, home care, nursing homes, and hospice and community health. She has practiced in both staff and leadership positions. She is currently the Director of Population Health at Memorial Hospital and oversees the hospital’s community outreach programs including “Let’s Go”, Healthy Aging, Advanced Care Planning, Fall Prevention and Tobacco Cessation. She also coordinates the area’s Community Health Needs Assessments, including the implementation and evaluation plans.

Ruka received her RN from the New England Deaconess School of Nursing in Boston MA, her BSN from the University of NH and her Master’s degree in Community Health Nursing from Boston College. Sue also received her PhD in nursing from Boston College with a focus on geriatrics and quality of life in dementia; she has an expertise in aging and elderly services and has presented at national conferences.

Business Buzz workshops are presented by Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce and offer a wide variety of today’s important topics that impact your business or non-profit. These workshops are held monthly at 12 pm (bringing a lunch is encouraged) and are a great resource for your frontline employees and board directors to learn valuable tools and information.

Business Buzz is brought to you every month by Chalmers Insurance Group and Memorial Hospital. For more information about upcoming sessions, visit To register for these free workshops, call Michelle Gittleson at the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce
603-356-5701 Ext. 300.

About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, family birthing center, sleep center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services and the Miranda Center for Diabetes. Physician practices include primary care and family medicine, women's health, orthopedics and sports medicine. The Merriman House, a 45-bed nursing home specializing in Alzheimer's and other memory disorders, is also located on the hospital campus. Together, our staff and providers are committed to meeting the health needs of the Mt. Washington Valley and surrounding communities by collaborating with community partners in the delivery of accessible, comprehensive, compassionate, and quality health care.

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