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  • Health care providers partner to make holidays happier for families

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    December 17, 2018
    Caption: Portsmouth Regional Hospital employees recently donated holiday gifts 23 families who receive home visiting and other services from Families First Health & Support Center. Representing the two organizations at the gift exchange were, from left to right, Gina Apgar and Beth Searle-Spratt, who work with families at Families First; Janet Laatsch, CEO of Greater Seacoast Community Health, parent organization of Families First; and Nina Fortin, Brooke Dube and Krystal Atkinson of Portsmouth Regional Hospital.


    PORTSMOUTH – Families who receive services from Families Health & Support Center made their lists and Portsmouth Regional Hospital staff checked them twice, making sure they had collected the right gifts to fulfill children’s wishes and parents’ requests for practical items like clothing. 
    About 300 employees, representing every department at the hospital, purchased and wrapped holiday gifts for families. The donors did not know the recipients’ names but only their ages and what they hoped to receive. This is the fourth year of the partnership.
    On Friday, hospital employees gathered to hand off hundreds of wrapped gifts to home visitors and other staff from Families First. Gina Apgar, who coordinates Families First’s Partners in Health program for families with a chronically ill child, told the group, “Some of the families who will receive these are grandparents raising their grandchildren with special health care needs. Others are single parents balancing work, college and the management of their child’s health. Because of your generosity, these children and their families will smile brighter and breathe easier this holiday season.”
    The gift drive is just part of the hospital’s longstanding support of the community health center. Since Families First opened its doors as the Portsmouth Prenatal Clinic in 1984, the hospital has been its largest supporter among local businesses. This year’s contribution of $95,000 is going to support Families First’s general operations and mobile health care vans, as well as lead sponsorship of the Artists of the Seacoast calendar.
    Families First provides primary, prenatal, oral and behavioral health care, as well as parenting and family programs, to about 6,500 Seacoast residents each year. More information is at 603-422-8208 and FamiliesFirstSeacoast.org.
    Portsmouth Regional Hospital is a 209-bed acute care hospital that serves the Seacoast region’s residents in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts and also is one of the area’s largest employers. Portsmouth Regional Hospital is the only ACS Verified Level II Trauma Center in the State of New Hampshire, the Seacoast’s only comprehensive heart and vascular program, and its only 24/7 neurosurgical and stroke clot retrieval program. For more information about Portsmouth’s services and physicians, visit: www.portsmouthhospital.com.
    Margie Wachtel, Communications Director
    (603) 422-8208