Speare celebrates the positive impact of volunteer service

volunteer luncheon 2018 (7) tileNational Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate, thank and recognize the extraordinary volunteers that share their time, talents and voices to make a meaningful difference in our community. This year we celebrated Speare Memorial Hospital’s many volunteers who support patients and staff every day with a Volunteer Appreciation luncheon on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at the Common Man Inn & Spa in Plymouth, NH.

volunteer luncheon 2018 (41)Hospital CEO, Michelle McEwen thanked the volunteers for the role that each one plays in helping Speare Memorial Hospital provide excellent healthcare for our community every day. Student and Volunteer Services Coordinator, Chris Fenn highlighted some of the more recent volunteer efforts, sharing that in the first nine months of the Flower Program, over 400 flowers have been given to patients by volunteers. She also shared that the gift shop will be opening on May 9th. This is a new effort of the Volunteer Department and will rely completely on volunteer staffing.

Volunteers have dedicated many hours this past year as part of the Speare team. Being a patient and family-centered facility, the aim of Speare is to reach out to not only the patient but to those who are here to support that patient. Volunteers are eager to share their talents, time and compassion to help reach this goal.

During our appreciation event, the following volunteers were recognized for their hours of service:

100 Hours

volunteer luncheon 2018 Jeff Smith-M&S Elaine Shaunessy-Lobby Reception Desk Vinny Dimartino-front desk
Jeff Smith-M&S, Elaine Shaunessy-Lobby Reception Desk, Vinny Dimartino-front desk

500 Hours


volunteer luncheon 2018 - Judy Siegel- Lobby Reception Desk, Deb Kaplan-Accounting
Judy Siegel- Lobby Reception Desk, Deb Kaplan-Accounting

1500 Hours

volunteer luncheon 2018 - Lee Fortier- Lobby Reception Desk
Lee Fortier- Lobby Reception Desk

3000 Hours

volunteer luncheon 2018 - Irene Deutsch- Health Information Services, Carol Mabin- Lobby Reception Desk/gardens
Irene Deutsch- Health Information Services, Carol Mabin- Lobby Reception Desk/gardens


CURRENT VOLUNTEERS Joan Bergstrom, Ann Blair, Irene Blake, Ann Burghardt, Pat Corbin, Marcia Covell, Irene Deutsch, Vinny Dimartino, Richard Flanagan, Lee Fortier, John Gray, Dee Hopper, Joyce Jardin, Barbara Jenkinson, Deb Kaplan, Glory Kidger, Sally Kilfoyle, Nancy Kolb, Carol Mabin, Annie Martin, Carolyn Piantedosi, Judy Raybeck, Nancy Sawyer, Elaine Shaunessy, Judy Siegel, Jeff Smith, Stephanie Sywenkyj, Bill Taffe, Ann Thibodeau, Larry Tingley, Ryan Toomey, Kim and “Seven” Turgeon, Ed Weber

CLERGY Deacon Mike Guy, Rev. Leo LeBlanc, Rev. Eileen Torrey

FAMILY ADVISORY COUNCIL Dee Hopper, Sandra Lehner, Carol Mabin, Carolyn Piantedosi, Dolly Riess, Darlene Toomey

Become a Speare Volunteer

Click Here to Download the Application to Volunteer

Every layer within a hospital contributes to its success and we invite you to become part of our team. Use your time, passion and willingness to help make a difference at a hospital/organization that supports its community. You don’t need any special skills to talk to a patient or assist a department.

You can volunteer as much or as little as your schedule allows. We’ll find a volunteer position that fits your interests and your schedule. For more information contact Christine Fenn, Student and Volunteer Services Coordinator (603) 238-6460 or email  cfenn@spearehospital.com

Tickets Now On Sale for 8th Annual Wine, Women & Wisdom

Three Generations Women Speare Memorial Hospital will hold its eighth annual Wine, Women and Wisdom event on Thursday, May 3rd, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Common Man Inn and Spa in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Join 200 women and unleash the awesome in you!

This annual women’s health event includes two featured speakers, and a keynote speaker, a light supper buffet, a wine tasting, a vendor room full of local area – female-owned businesses, a raffle and a lot of fun tossed in. This event is by women, for women, and about women.



** For the first time we have reserved seating.**

Tickets are also available at Dresser Unlimited at 77 Main St, Plymouth and at Speare Memorial Hospital front reception area.

The speakers and topics this year are;

speakers and topics

“Top 10 Things You Can Do Now To Improve Your Health”

Lisa Baker, PA-C, from  Speare Primary Care. Lisa has over twenty-five years of family practice experience as a certified physician assistant. Lisa earned her bachelor’s at Colby College in Waterville, ME and received an MHP from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.  Ms. Baker is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

“Tips & Tricks for Increasing Self-Empowerment”

 Rebecca Sayre, RN, MBA is a nurse by trade and currently the Program Director of the Wound Care Center at Speare.   Her passion for helping others has led her to learn more about how our brains work and how our thoughts influence our choices which in turn influence everything else we do and everything we realize in our lives. She has successfully completed Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner training and is working towards also becoming a certified hypnotist.  Understanding how each person makes decisions is a crucial and pivotal step towards truly affecting both the health and life that we want.

 “5 Superpowers to be Extraordinary”

 Jean Briese – Keynote Speaker, has a passion to help people become who they were meant to be. Jean’s gift is to see the best in others, often when they can’t yet see it in themselves and to help them unleash their potential. Jean is an accomplished business leader, empowering coach, and gifted communicator bringing enormous expertise, insight, and energy to her presentations. Her powerful messages inspire, encourage, and motivate.

Thank you to the generous sponsors who help make this event possible. 


Lupus Foundation New England


Minuteman Press

Medical Reimbursement Specialist


Brand& Sawicki, DDS

Biederman’s Deli & Pub

Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative


  1. Brand & Sawicki, DDS
  2. Cindy Libby – Soy Candles
  3. The Circle Program
  4. Donna von Gunten – Maxfield Real Estate
  5. Dressers Unlimited
  6. Grace Wellness Center
  7. Kelly Libby – Meditation/Alternative Healing
  8. LuLaRoe
  9. Lupus Foundation of New England
  10. SMH Mammography
  11. Mommies Eating Bonbons, LLC – Man in Training
  12. Michelle Dunn – Artist
  13. Norwex
  14. Pampered Chef
  15. Plymouth OB/GYN
  16. Mind Over Matter – Zija
  17. Simply Sunflowers
  18. Vintage Market on Squam

Medicare Cards with New Design Being Mailed this Month

Removing Social Security numbers strengthens fraud protections for about 58 million Americans

If you are a Medicare beneficiary, please watch your mail closely over the next few months for your newly designed Medicare card. The new Medicare card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.

Starting in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mailing the new cards to people with Medicare. This will meet the statutory deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019. In addition, people with Medicare will also be able to see the design of the new Medicare card in the 2018 Medicare & You Handbook which were mailed in September 2017.

“The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identify theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We’re very excited to share the new design.”

CMS has assigned all people with Medicare benefits a new, unique Medicare number, which contains a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. People with Medicare will receive a new Medicare card in the mail and will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare card and keep their new Medicare number confidential. Issuance of the new number will not change benefits that people with Medicare receive.

medicare cards

Medicare beneficiaries should begin bringing their new card with them to healthcare visits as soon as they receive it. Here is the way this will work:

  • NEWLY ELIGIBLE Medicare beneficiaries will get a card with a unique number, regardless of their geographic location.
  • Distribution of cards for current beneficiaries will be randomized by geographic location.
  • Starting in APRIL, people with Medicare will be able to go to Medicare.gov/newcard to sign up for emails about the card mailing, and to check the card mailing status in their state.
  • People with Medicare should use the new card once they receive it, but either the Social Security Number-based (old) card or the new random alphanumeric-based numbers can be used through December 2019.
  • Beginning January 1, 2020, only the new card will be usable.

Healthcare providers at Speare Memorial Hospital and individuals with Medicare will be able to use secure look-up tools that will allow quick access to the new Medicare numbers when needed. There will also be a 21-month transition period where doctors, healthcare providers, and suppliers will be able to use either their current SSN-based Medicare Number or their new, unique Medicare number, to ease the transition.

This initiative takes important steps towards protecting the identities of people with Medicare. For more information, please visit: www.cms.gov/newcard

RehabFit April’s Member of the Month – Tara Stark

april 2018 rehabfit member of the month tara starkTara has been a member of RehabFit since January 2018! Tara has been very motivated to stick to her weekly routine. She has referred many friends and co-workers to RehabFit and now has company to exercise with! 

Why did you decide to join RehabFit?

I joined RehabFit when my doctor highly recommended I begin exercising regularly due to my high cholesterol and type two diabetes.

What changes have you seen in your body or made in your lifestyle since you have joined?

I have changed the way I eat by staying away from processed food and carbohydrates. I also incorporate exercise into my daily routine. I have lost weight, I sleep better at night, and my stress levels have decreased! 

What motivates you to keep coming to RehabFit?

What motivates me to keep exercising is my health. I know that I do not want to go back to the hospital, I do not want to rely on medication, therefore I am motivated to continue coming to RehabFit. The clean gym and friendly and knowledgeable staff make me want to keep coming back.

What kind of advice would you give to other RehabFit members?

Get the most out of your exercise – Don’t be afraid to ask for help or change up your program, or try new classes!

Our RehabFit team includes registered physical and occupational therapists with advanced degrees and certificates with expertise in orthopedics, industrial medicine, occupational rehabilitation, hand therapy, health and safety and other specialty areas. Our therapists have clinical education in Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) – a manual therapy designed to treat overused muscles. Click here for more information or call (603) 238-2225.

Great turnout for the 5th annual Speare Shamrock Shuffle

Speare's Shamrock Shuffle 5K 2018 starting line (1)

Once again the community of central New Hampshire proves what hardy New Englanders we really are. Snow lined streets, bitterly cold temps, (19° degrees at the start), and gusty winds didn’t stop over 300 runners and walkers from joining the fun at Speare’s 5th annual Shamrock Shuffle.

A very special thanks to all our volunteers including the CERT/MRC team, many local area students and several Speare employees and their family members for their hard work and boundless energy helping to bring it all together.

This event was made possible with support from our sponsors:

Shamrock Shuffle shirts front and back with sponsorsPot ‘O Gold sponsor:

Choice Physical Therapy

Four Leaf Clover Sponsors:

R.P Williams & Sons
Rhino Bike Works
Workout 24/7
Speare Primary Care
Plymouth Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Speare's Shamrock Shuffle 5K 2018 finish line (17) unofficial time keepersThe Speare Shamrock Shuffle was developed in response to an identified community health need to live a more active lifestyle. Speare’s Shamrock Shuffle 5K encourages participants of all ages and abilities. The event is not officially timed, as our focus is to encourage families and all community members to take steps toward a more active lifestyle.

This year, for the first time, a team of volunteers recorded unofficial times for those whose bib numbers were visible. Click here to see your Unofficial Times.

Shamrock Shuffle Photo Booth/Selfie Station Photos

Photos from the Starting Line

Photos from the Finish Line

Supporting the Shamrock Shuffle at the Hospital


Yoga as therapy for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and families

Jen Morris yoga photo

Plymouth resident and certified yoga instructor, Jen Morris, is bringing together cancer survivors, cancer patients, their families and their caregivers each week for a yoga class that Jen describes as adapted to meet the needs of the participants in class whether they are experienced or new to yoga. “For cancer survivors, it is a class that is safe, comforting, and a way to embrace your new normal,” states Jen.

Jen understands what it means to create a “new” normal. In 2013, she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  “Before my diagnosis, I was an avid exercise enthusiast,” she says. “I ran. I taught boot camp classes. I skied.  I have always been active.”  But after receiving her diagnosis, Jen’s focus was on treating cancer and exercise became more difficult because of the side effects from her treatment.

It was in the middle of her treatment plan that Jen was invited to a yoga class by a friend.  Jen had taught yoga in the past but wasn’t sure she had enough energy to make it through the class. “I was so self-conscious,” she remembers.  “I had no hair, and, of course, my hat fell off in the middle of my first downward dog pose.”  When the class ended, Jen realized that she had received a good workout, felt relaxed and was much more centered.

Jen, now cancer-free, wants to share the positive health benefits of yoga with others who are experiencing cancer. On March 5th, Jen offered her first yoga class. There is no fee – participants are asked to make a donation, which will be given to Speare Memorial Hospital’s Oncology clinic.

“Part of my treatment included an injection of the drug Neulasta, which needed to happen within 24 hours of each chemotherapy infusion,” says Jen. “It was awesome that I could get the injection at Speare’s Oncology clinic. I came in, received my shot, and I was back home in no time.”

Jen also shares her gratitude for the support of her family and of the community. “Now it’s my turn to help others going through cancer,” Jen says.

For more information, contact Jen Morris, Wild Heart Yoga, 4petalpower@gmail.com or Speare Memorial Hospital’s Oncology program at 603-238-6470.

Classes are Monday’s from 5:30pm – 6:30pm at Yoga Studio 8, 612 Tenney Mountain Highway, Plymouth New Hampshire.




March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Wear Blue Day 2018 (36)National Dress in Blue Day is celebrated each year on the first Friday of March. The Colon Cancer Alliance first launched the National Dress in Blue Day program in 2009 to bring national attention to colon cancer and to celebrate the courage of those affected by this disease.

Several members of Speare’s staff participated in National Dress in Blue Day (scroll down to see the photos) by wearing blue to help raise public awareness and educate people on the facts about colon cancer and how they can reduce their risk of the disease.

The Number One way you can reduce your risk of colon cancer: SCREENING

Despite its high incidence, colon cancer is unique in that it is one of the most preventable and, if found early, most treatable forms of cancer. And the best part is, screening is easy! Talk to your doctor about getting checked. Make your appointment for a colonoscopy at Plymouth General Surgery today. Call 603-536-5670 and take advantage of the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have received the most advanced colon cancer and colon polyp screening available in the state of New Hampshire with FUSE, a groundbreaking technology that allows our surgeons to see twice as much of the colon as they could before.


Research has shown people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop colorectal cancer. Although no one knows the exact cause of colorectal cancer, we do know this disease is not contagious.

Pay particular attention to these factors that may increase your risk:

Age over 50:

Colorectal cancer becomes more common as people get older. In fact, more than 90% of people with this disease are diagnosed after age 50. The average age at diagnosis is 72.

Family history of polyps:

If you or a family member has a history of polyps, you should be screened more frequently as this puts you at a higher risk for colorectal cancer.


Family history of colorectal cancer:

First degree relatives (parents, brothers, sisters or children) of a person with a history of colorectal cancer are more likely to develop this disease, especially if the relative was diagnosed at a young age. If many close relatives have a history of colorectal cancer, the risk is even greater.

Genetic alterations:

Changes in certain genes increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC):

also called Lynch Syndrome, this is the most common type of inherited colon cancer. It accounts for about two percent of all colon cancer cases. It is caused by changes in an HNPCC gene. Most people with an altered HNPCC gene will develop colon cancer, and the average age at diagnosis is 44.

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP):

Is a rare, inherited condition in which hundreds of polyps form in the colon and rectum. It is caused by a change in a specific gene called APC. Unless FAP is treated, it usually leads to colon cancer by age 40. FAP accounts for less than one percent of all colon cancer cases.

Family members of people who have HNPCC or FAP can have genetic testing to check for specific genetic changes. For those who have changes in their genes, health care providers may suggest ways to try to reduce the risk of colon cancer or to improve the detection of this disease. For adults with FAP, your doctor may recommend an operation to remove all or part of the colon and rectum.

Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease:

If you have a condition that causes inflammation of the colon (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), you may be at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Personal history of cancer:

If you have already had colorectal cancer, you may be at increased risk for developing the disease a second time. Also, women with a history of ovarian, breast or uterine cancer are at a somewhat higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Diet and Lifestyle:

Studies suggest that diets high in red meat and fat (especially animal fat) and low in calcium, folate, and fiber may increase risk of colorectal cancer. Also, some studies suggest people who eat a diet very low in fruits and vegetables may have a higher risk of colon cancer. However, results from diet studies do not always agree, and more research is needed to better understand how diet affects the risk of colorectal cancer.

Inactivity and obesity have also been linked to higher risk of colorectal cancer. Studies have shown that daily physical activity can decrease colorectal cancer risk by as much as 50 percent.

Cigarette smoking:

A person who smokes cigarettes may be at increased risk of developing polyps and colorectal cancer.

Because people who have colorectal cancer are at an increased risk of developing the disease again, it is important to have regular checkups. It is also important to talk to your family about their increased risk and screening.


RehabFit’s Member of the Month for February – Linda Allen

February rehabfit Member of the month Linda AllenLinda has been a member of RehabFit since October 2017! Linda has worked hard in the balance improvement class and is dedicated to exercising at RehabFit three days per week. She has made great strides in overall strength and balance!

  • Why did you decide to join RehabFit?
    • I joined RehabFit when it was recommended to me after finishing Physical Therapy. I had 2 knee operations on the same knee and needed to get back in shape.
  • What changes have you seen in your body or made in your lifestyle since you have joined?
    • I can do more things, like shopping and housework without help. I love to cook and now I can stand at the stove and oven and make great meals.
  • What motivates you to keep coming to RehabFit?
    • I made a commitment to myself to do the best I can to improve my knee and get stronger. By coming to RehabFit, I feel so much better about myself and my health.
  • Have you had any setbacks that affected your health and fitness progress while attending RehabFit? What were the setbacks and how did you proceed?
    • Over the holidays, I missed going to the gym but I started back up at the start of January. Now I come in for physical therapy, workout for an hour in the gym, and attend the Balance Improvement Class three times a week. It feels great to get back to my routine.
  • What kind of advice would you give to other RehabFit members?
    • Don’t give up. Do it for yourself, you’re worth it. Once you get into a routine it will come naturally and you won’t skip a workout or class. Good luck on your new get fit adventure!

Our RehabFit team includes registered physical and occupational therapists with advanced degrees and certificates with expertise in orthopedics, industrial medicine, occupational rehabilitation, hand therapy, health and safety and other specialty areas. Our therapists have clinical education in Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) – a manual therapy designed to treat overused muscles. Click here for more information or call (603) 238-2225

It’s Time to Sign Up for the 5th Annual Shamrock Shuffle

Speare Shamrock Shuffle 5K 2017 Finish Line (15) horz

Online Registration

Sign up to be a Sponsor

Printable Registration Form

2018 Route Map 

To celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and start the spring season off on a healthy foot, the fifth annual Shamrock Shuffle is being held on Saturday, March 17, 2018.  The days are getting longer, the flowers will be poking their heads out of the ground soon and there’s no time like the present to get up, get out and get moving at Speare Memorial Hospital’s family-friendly, 5K health walk/fun run.

Put on your green and join us at the starting line at the Plymouth Regional High School. Registration/Check-In begins at 9:00 a.m. and the starting gun will go off at 10:00 a.m. The race will wind its way through the streets of Plymouth, NH.

The first 150 registered walkers and runners are guaranteed their requested shirt size and the first 300 finishers will receive a Speare Shamrock Shuffle medal. The event will take place no matter rain, sleet, snow or shine.

**Please Note** If you register in advance, you can check in and pick up your packets from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Speare front lobby, on Friday, March 16th.

The event is not officially timed, as our focus is to encourage community members to take steps toward a more active lifestyle. Be sure to cheer on the participants as they pass by your home or business.

The registration fee is $10 per person. Children age 5 and under are free but everyone must be registered. Proceeds from the event will support Speare’s community outreach and health education programs.

Whether you are participating or cheering from the sidelines, it’s sure to be a fun morning full of Irish cheer in downtown Plymouth.

Click Here to Register Online through Eventbrite: 

(Please note, there is an additional small processing fee)

Click Here to Print a Registration Form

Printed forms may be returned in person to the hospital or mailed to:

Speare Memorial Hospital
Attn:  Kate Tarbox
16 Hospital Road
Plymouth, NH 03264


2018 route map shamrock shuffle

Sponsorship Opportunities

Click Here to view the Sponsorship Benefit Levels

Click Here for a Sponsorship Form


Like our pages and join the conversation during the event.  Take and share photos and/or video of this super fun day!


Contact: Amy Lyn Kench (603) 238-2329 Email: akench@spearehospital.com

Mary Durgin… From Charitable Support to Patient


“We are so fortunate to have Speare here,” says Mary Durgin. Her brother, George Durgin, felt the same. That’s why he included Speare among the charities he made provisions for in a charitable trust he established. Since his passing 16 years ago, Mary has distributed a check to Speare every year, which has helped the hospital purchase new technology and support many other endeavors.

After carrying out her brother’s wishes all these years, Mary recently became a patient — and that made a great impression on her.

Mary knew she had a hip problem for a few years. But she dealt with it, telling people she would have it looked at when she felt she should. That day came when she was renovating her lake house and tripped, falling hard. It hurt, but she had dinner to make. It still hurt when she lay down that night, but she was sure the pain would pass. When it still hurt the next day, she called her niece, Meredith, who is a nurse at Speare. Meredith wasted no time and brought Mary to the hospital where they discovered she had fractured her pelvis.

A fractured pelvis requires sitting and resting. By the time Mary healed, six weeks later, she was eager to regain her active lifestyle. She decided it was time she should get her hip fixed. She went to Plymouth Orthopedics & Sports Medicine and arranged for the surgery at Speare.

“I didn’t have a bit of fear when I walked into Speare for my surgery that morning,” says Mary.

Before the surgery, she asked Dr. Gennaro if he could make her legs the same length. After favoring one for so many years, one leg was over an inch shorter than the other.

“He said that he would try his best,” says Mary. “After the surgery, he said it took a bit longer, but he did it.

“Everything went so smoothly and I haven’t had a bit of pain,” says Mary. “Everybody was wonderful.”

She says her experience as a patient changed her.

“I want to yell from the rooftops about how incredibly wonderful my experience at Speare has been,” says Mary, as she returns from an afternoon cruise on Squam Lake in her pontoon boat.