Speare has been named on the 2017 list of 62 Critical Access Hospitals to Know

beckers hospital review 62 critical access hospitals to know 2017

Speare Memorial Hospital has just been named on Becker’s Hospital Review 2017 list of “62 Critical Access Hospitals to Know”. This is the third year Becker’s has published a list recognizing outstanding critical access hospitals in the nation, and Speare has been honored all three years.

According to Becker’s, “The critical access hospitals featured on this list have a reputation for superior service and care. All hospitals featured on this list have 25 or fewer inpatient beds and an annual average length of stay no more than 96 hours for acute care. These institutions also offer emergency care and are located at least 35 miles away from any other hospital.”

To develop this list, the Becker’s Healthcare editorial team examined the rankings and awards from organizations such as iVantage Health Analytics, Healthgrades, the National Rural Health Association, Truven Health Analytics, Women’s Choice Award and Leapfrog Group. The team also considered the hospital’s community impact and reputation for innovation.

The full list features individual profiles of all hospitals on the list. The full list can be read here: http://bit.ly/2rRdhyl

staff and medical providers of Speare Memorial Hospital

Congratulations to the hardworking staff and medical providers of Speare Memorial Hospital for continuing to provide excellent healthcare for the communities of central New Hampshire every day.



Speare’s 7th Annual Wine, Women & Wisdom was Truly Exceptional

7th annual wine, women & wisdom plymouth nhOn May 11, 2017 we held our 7th annual Wine Women & Wisdom at the Common Man in Plymouth for 200 energetic women from all over central New Hampshire.

The event sold out several days in advance and included three featured speakers, a vendor room with fifteen women-owned businesses, a light dinner buffet, wine tasting, and raffle prizes included concert tickets, weekend getaways, and fashion items. Our keynote speaker – Nancy Witter a life coach, and comic had the audience roaring with laughter to cap off a truly exceptional evening.

Scroll down to see photos from the event

Thank you to the generous sponsors and local women-owned business vendors who helped to make this event possible. (Please click on their names below for more information about their products and services.


Lupus Foundation New England


Smartsource LLC

Please click on the thumbnail images below to see the full picture.

Thank you to the generous sponsors and local women-owned business vendors who helped to make this event possible. (Please click on their names below for more information about their products and services.


Helms & Company, Inc.


Brand & Sawicki DDS            Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative                 Venture Print Unlimited Inc

VENDORS (also donated raffle prizes)

Dressers Unlimited,    Lularoe Susan Dugas,    Norwex,    Kelly Libby – Meditation/Alternative Healing,    Newfound Grocery,    Mind Over Matter – Weight and Health Management Group,    Design of Mine,    Donna Von Gunten – Maxfield Real Estate,    Perfectly Posh with Lauren Lacasse,       BeautyCounter


Innisfree Bookshop,    Mill Falls at the Lake,    Simply Sunflowers,    Thai Smile,    NHDevenir Esthetics & Massage,    Common Cents Jewelry,    Northern Roots Massage,    Swiss Herbal Care,    Jack O’Lantern Resort & Golf


National Nurses Week 2017: The Balance of Mine, Body, and Spirit

Nurses week 2017Every year, National Nurses Week focuses attention on the diverse ways America’s 3.1 million nurses work to save lives and to improve the health of millions of individuals. The American Nursing Association has designated 2017 as the “Year of the Healthy Nurse.”

Join us during National Nurses Week, May 6–12, as we celebrate our nurses who lead the charge for health and wellness every day at Speare Memorial Hospital.


Speare Radiology Department Wins NHTI Award

(L-R) Sandra W. Beliveau, B.S., R.T.R., Professor/Clinical Coordinator, NHTI-Concord’s Community College, with Speare Radiology Department Student Clinical Supervisor Juanita Wade, and Director Linda Nestor with Student Clinical Supervisor Juanita Wade, and Director Linda Nestor, RT(R), (M), (CT), CRA, MBA
(L-R) Sandra W. Beliveau, B.S., R.T.R., Professor/Clinical Coordinator, NHTI-Concord’s Community College, with Speare Radiology Department Student Clinical Supervisor Juanita Wade, and Director Linda Nestor,  with Student Clinical Supervisor Juanita Wade, and Director Linda Nestor, RT(R), (M), (CT), CRA, MBA

On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, the radiology department at Speare Memorial Hospital, was honored with the NHTI-Concord’s Community College Radiology Program’s “Outstanding Radiology Department” Award.  It recognized Director Linda Nestor, Student Clinical Supervisor Juanita Wade and the staff for their dedication and commitment to clinical excellence in helping the students become competent Radiographers.

“This department continues to provide an outstanding atmosphere for clinical learning to our students.  They work closely with the students to provide mentoring and instruction in all aspects of the radiology profession.  Students and faculty have commended the staff for their “team approach” and strong work ethic.  They are always willing to accommodate the needs of the student.”

– Sandra W. Beliveau, B.S., R.T.R., Professor/Clinical Coordinator, NHTI-Concord’s Community College, Department of Diagnostic Medical Imaging.


Speare Spotlights The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Movement

My Life Check® was designed by the American Heart Association with the goal of improved health by educating the public on how best to live. These measures have one unique thing in common: any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. Start with one or two. This simple, seven-step list has been developed to deliver on the hope we all have–to live a long, productive healthy life.


On February 3, 2017, many employees at Speare Memorial Hospital took part in National Wear Red Day®  to help raise awareness among local women that heart disease is their #1 health threat.

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement focuses on women’s heart health awareness in February because far too many women are still unaware of the facts that heart disease is their number one killer, or that the symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, causing women to delay seeking treatment; or that ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. This lack of awareness means that more women than men are dying from heart disease and stroke. Go Red For Women’s goal is to save women’s lives.

Speare Receives Teddy Bear Donation from PRHS Sophomore Class

teddy bear donation 2017 PRHS Freshman Class officers
PRHS Sophomore Class Officers (L-R) Jasmine Sanders (president), Arianna Mortenson, (vice president), Alex Boursican (treasurer) and Elsa Lauriat (secretary),

The Plymouth Regional High School sophomore class participated once again in the school’s annual ‘Operation Teddy Bear’ fundraiser. As a community service project, sophomore class officers sold colorful teddy bear cut-outs for one dollar each during school and special events. Students, teachers and staff wrote names on the bears and they were all displayed on a bulletin board to recognize everyone’s contributions.

The proceeds from the sale went to purchase stuffed bears the officers then donated to Speare Memorial Hospital to be given to young patients throughout the year. On Thursday, January 19, 2017, PRHS sophomore class officers, Jasmine Sanders (president), Arianna Mortenson, (vice president), Elsa Lauriat (secretary), Alex Boursican (treasurer) along with their class adviser, Ms. Denise McGlone, delivered the teddy bears to Speare.

Don’t Take the Flu on Vacation With You

Flu Season AheadDon’t give or get the “gift that keeps on giving” this holiday season. If you’re traveling to celebrate with friends and relatives festively wrapped gifts aren’t the only thing you can bring back from your travels. A  nasty cold or even the flu could be “hitching a ride” with you back home. Wondering why?

Coming into contact with more people than usual, deviating from your normal exercise and sleep routines, can leave you susceptible to germs because you’re coming into contact with more people than usual.




Mary Rupert,RN, BSN, CIC, Infection Prevention Coordinator at Speare Memorial Hospital, offers the tips listed below to help fend off the flu and colds as you travel.

Before you leave:

  • Get a Flu Shot at least two weeks before your trip –  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly encourages everyone,  especially young kids, pregnant women, those over 65, and anyone with a chronic illness, to have annual immunizations. It takes two weeks for antibodies to develop to provide the protection your body needs to fight the flu.
    • Speare is hosting a series of flu clinics at the hospital and out in the community. Click here to visit our event calendar for dates, times and locations.
  • Give your immune system a boost with dietary supplements like Emergen-C or Airborne

While traveling:

  • Pack in your carry-on – antibacterial hand sanitizer, tissues, eye drops, nasal spray, and lip balm. It’s tempting to rub dry lips and eyes. Saline spray can help dried out noses. And share tissues if needed. The flu is transmitted by tiny droplets that can travel up to three feet during a sneeze.
  • Practice common-sense habits – Don’t touch your face—especially your eyes, nose and mouth. And, avoid people who are visibly sick. If you’re next to someone on the airplane who’s coughing and could be contagious, ask for a different seat. It may not be possible if you’re on a crowded flight, but it’s worth a try.
  • HandwashingWash your hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice). If warm water and soap aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Use disinfecting wipes to clean the airplane’s seatback tray and armrests before using.
  • Hydrate yourself with plenty of water. Dehydration leads to headaches, drowsiness and an immune system that can quickly become overloaded.
  • Bring your own pillow. Bring your own pillowcase too!

If you get the flu while traveling:

 Get medical attention quickly if you’re at high risk: Be vigilant about symptoms and seek medical attention. High-risk individuals are those with compromised immune systems and/or chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, organ transplants, asthma and neurological conditions, those 65+, pregnant women, and young children

•  Take antiviral flu medications: Antiviral medications, available by prescription, can be used to treat influenza. They may lessen symptoms and shorten the time you’re sick. Also, they can help prevent serious complications, like pneumonia. For those at high risk, antiviral treatment may mean the difference between a milder illness instead of very serious ‘bout that could result in a hospital stay.

Reason Enough To Get VACCINATED!
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine.

Speare named one of the top “50 Critical Access Hospitals to Know”

CAH Logo 2016

Speare Memorial Hospital has just been named one of the top 2016 “50 Critical Access Hospitals
to Know” by Becker’s Hospital Review. This is the second year Becker’s has published a list recognizing outstanding critical access hospitals in the nation, and Speare has been honored both years.

“The hospitals included on this list serve a variety of regions across the United States. Due to their predominantly rural locations, these organizations play a crucial role in the health and well-being of their respective communities,” reads a statement from Becker’s.

There are 1,332 certified Critical Access Hospitals in the country, and Speare
stands out in the top 4 percent.

Speare is unique from a majority of hospitals. To qualify as a Critical Access Hospital, we cannot
have more than 25 inpatient beds, patients can stay for an average of four days for acute care, and we must provide 24/7 emergency care.

“Speare met all of those requirements while going above and beyond to care for their patients,” Becker’s states.

To develop its top 50 list, the publication examines several reputable hospital ranking sources in
addition to conducting research about the awards Speare has earned from several respected

The efforts of our hardworking staff and medical providers have not gone unnoticed. We have
earned a bevy of awards and recognitions for excellence. We have been named a Top 100 Critical
Access Hospital by iVantage Health Analytics for five consecutive years and a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital by the National Rural Health Association.

Speare president and CEO, Michelle McEwen, has also been recognized by Becker’s for being
one of 50 Critical Access Hospital CEOs to Know in the country.

Those who work at Speare are dedicated to providing critical healthcare services to the people
of central New Hampshire. It is an honor to be recognized for doing it exceptionally well.

Update on Consumer Antiseptic (antibacterial) Soaps

by Mary E. Ruppert, RN, BSN, CIC
Infection Prevention Coordinator, Speare Memorial Hospital
One infection is one too many.

HandwashingWhen you buy soaps and body washes for use at home, do you reach for products labeled “antibacterial” hoping they’ll keep your family safer? Do you think those products will lower your risk of getting sick, spreading germs or being infected?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there isn’t enough science to show that antibacterial soaps are better at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. In addition, some of the ingredients in these products may have negative long-term effects on both people and our environment.

The recent (FDA) ruling on the elimination of antibacterial products applies to antibacterial products – liquid, gel, foam and bar soaps and body washes. The ruling is banning the marketing of consumer products with antibacterial ingredients, primarily and triclocarban. Some manufacturers had already started removing these ingredients before the FDA ruling.

Triclosan and/or triclocarban are also used in many other consumer products: toothpastes and cosmetics (which are regulated by the FDA) and clothing, kitchenware, furniture and even toys (which are not regulated by the FDA). In animal studies triclosan has altered the way that some hormones work, we don’t know if there are similar effects on humans. Studies also indicate that the antibacterial ingredients may contribute to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics.

What does this mean to you and your family?

Washing your hands is the most effective way to prevent the spread of disease and infection. Washing your hands is simple, and it works.

Plain soap works to clean your hands and the action of washing your hands removes germs.

Read the labels of products you have at home. If your soaps contain antibacterial ingredients replace these with soaps that do not have this claim or these ingredients.

Click Here for more information about this consumer update from the FDA.

What does this mean for healthcare workers?

The antibacterial additives in soaps can also increase hand irritation. Speare Memorial Hospital has been using a plain hand soap (no antibacterial ingredients) in the soap dispensers in staff and public bathrooms and at sink locations since I started working here as the Infection Preventionist in December 2011.

This FDA rule is for soaps sold to consumers only and does not apply to hand sanitizers or hand wipes, which generally do not contain triclosan or triclocarban.

What about hand sanitizers and wipes?

The FDA is not recommending any changes to the products that are currently on the market for either consumers or healthcare use. The FDA is reviewing antiseptic hand sanitizers and wipes for both consumer and healthcare use.

Click Here for more information on sanitizers and wipes is available at this link (opens as a pdf document)

Click Here for more information on healthcare antiseptics (hand washes and rubs, surgical hand scrubs and rubs and patient preoperative skin preparations and pre-injection preparations).

See Yourself in Stylish Frames   

Tom And Chrissy Ipad PhotosEyeglass frames can be like shoes or bags to some women. They are a fun way to add some flare to your most visible feature—your face. When Crissy Williams learned at a recent eye exam that she needed glasses, she knew there was only one place for her to go, White Mountain Eyecare & Optical. A fashionable woman like Crissy wasn’t going to mishandle this important task.

“The first time I went was with friends,” says Crissy. Everyone had an opinion and they all toppled over each other. It was overwhelming for Crissy. “I just wanted to take time and decide on my own, without the voices of others debating over which pair was me.”

But there was a challenge. Crissy learned what many eyeglass wearers have long known, you can’t wear your glasses to try on glasses, so you don’t really know what you look like in different frames.

“That’s where we can really make things easy,” says Thomas LaPointe, optician at White Mountain Eyecare & Optical, holding an iPad. Several months ago Tom began working with a new software platform that allows people to really see what they look like in frames of various shapes and colors.

“People choose different frames that they like,” he says, “and when they try each pair on, I take a photo with the iPad. The result is that they can put their glasses on and really see what they look like in each frame in a side by side comparison on the screen.”

Optical Shop IpadCrissy loved the experience. “It was just what I needed,” she says.

She tried on her favorite frames and then studied the screen images.

“Tom was awesome,” she says. “He really helped me choose styles that suited me.”

Tom explains that he is there to make things as easy as possible.

“I don’t strong arm people,” he says, “I just help them find their best look.”

White Mountain Eyecare & Optical is located at 103 Boulder Point in Plymouth. They have a wide selection of men’s and women’s frames as well as children’s and sunglasses. For eye exams call (603) 536-1284 and for the Optical Shop call (603) 238-2143.