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Memorial Groups Provide Space for Support

December 12, 2022

Media Contacts
Carrie Burkett 603-356-5461, ext. 2264, Carrie.Burkett@MaineHealth.org
or Tim Kershner, 603-356-5461, ext. 2198, Timothy.Kershner@MaineHealth.org

North Conway, NH – With cold, winter days ahead driving folks indoors, isolation can be an added challenge for those who are experiencing a life change or crisis. Memorial Hospital’s support groups are back in person and on-site which may help people to feel less alone.

“We are pleased to welcome folks back into our facility for support groups again,” says Andrea Rathbone, Memorial Hospital’s Senior Director of Practice Operations. “Feelings of isolation can take a toll and this is an important way we can help our community. Sometimes our patients need more than medicine. Our providers are always thinking about the whole patient and what other resources their patients might benefit from. Offering patient-centered care is one of our core values.”

Memorial Hospital’s New Moms Group and Journey of Hope Cancer Support Group have both recently returned in person and on-site. The New Life Program, a prenatal substance use disorder treatment program, has been meeting in person since January.

Journey of Hope Cancer Support Group continued to meet in person off-site at the North Conway Community Center during the pandemic. The group recently returned to meet in the Sun Room of the Bigelow Building at the hospital where they met for many years prior to the pandemic.

“It’s nice for patients and their loved ones to be back at the hospital for meetings,” says Roxanne Major, recently retired group facilitator. Major and Ruthann Frabrizio, RN started the group 23 years ago.

“I have met so many people in my role over the past 23 years,” remembers Fabrizio, “I appreciated hearing their stories. It has meant so much to me to be there for folks with tears and laughter and space to talk through some of the most difficult moments of their lives.”

"The New Moms Group paused meetings during the pandemic and recently returned to meet in person at the hospital.” says Marla Casella, RN, IBCLC, the group’s facilitator. “It has been such a positive change to be together again. Moms group meets on Wednesdays and provides an opportunity for mothers and babies to gather, a place where mothers support mothers. Breastfeeding support is available during group as well.”

“The bonding and support moms bring to each other in the New Moms Support Group is wonderful,” says Kris Dascoulias, Chief Nursing Officer at Memorial Hospital. “It’s important for new moms to feel they’re not alone. Having a new baby is a dramatic life change and we want to facilitate a support network for moms.”

Memorial Hospital’s New Life Program addresses both the life change of having a new baby and the challenge of managing substance use disorder. The program coordinates obstetric care and substance use treatment for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder.

“Pregnancy can be a motivating opportunity for someone struggling with addiction to seek recovery and support, and we want to help in that process,” says Nicole Jackson, the New Life Program Coordinator. “Our program is always open to new participants. This program provides space for women with substance use disorder to build connections with their peers and their medical care team to create a strong network of support.”

To learn more about any of Memorial’s support groups or to sign up, call 603-356-5461 and ask the switchboard to connect you with the appropriate contact.

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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, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, diabetes care, behavioral health, women's health, podiatry, orthopedics and physical therapy. Memorial Hospital is also home to The Merriman House nursing home, which provides senior care services in a comfortable, home-like setting. For more information, www.memorialhospitalnh.org  or call 603-356-5461.

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