At the Hospitals: Medical Director Named for Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care

  • Thomson

  • Bean

  • Hood

Published: 8/13/2017 12:13:06 AM
Medical Director Named |For New Jack Byrne Center

Lebanon — Ruth M. Thomson has been named medical director for the soon-to-be-opened Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care, and director of hospice services in the palliative medicine section at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

Thomson will work with recently appointed nurse manager Melissa Garland to lead a team of clinicians at the Jack Byrne Center and will oversee the development and implementation of educational and community programs at the center, the medical center said in a news release.

Thomson has practiced full-time hospice and palliative medicine for 16 years. She most recently served as chief medical officer for Ohio’s Hospice and president of Innovative Care Solutions. SHe serves as the co-chair for the Public Policy Committee of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and also recently was elected to a three-year director-at-large position on the academy’s board of directors. She has served as clinical assistant professor of internal medicine at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She is a 1996 graduate of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine and has achieved internal medicine, hospice and palliative medicine, and hospice medical director board certification. She completed her MBA in 2016 at Wright State University RajSoin College of Business.

Thomson will begin her new role in September. The 12-bed Jack Byrne Center is scheduled to open later this year.

Peer Support Group for People With Mental Illness Comes to DHMC

Lebanon — A peer support group for adults with mental illness will meet at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on the second Monday of each month, beginning tomorrow.

The group, organized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is run by volunteers who live with mental illness. The group aims to support individuals in their recovery.

“Peer support can be an integral part of treatment for many illnesses, but I think it is especially beneficial for psychiatric patients because it is validating to know that they are not alone in the journey to recovery,” said Katie Stamper, one of the group facilitators. Stamper, 36, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 19. However, it has now been more than 10 years since the Grantham resident has had an episode.

“I want others to know that they can achieve balance and happiness in their lives if they just keep trying,” she said. “Because the symptoms themselves can often be alienating, unfortunately there is still a lot of misplaced stigma associated with this sort of diagnosis.”

Marilyn Marinelli, 74, the other group facilitator, credits peer support groups with helping her keep her bipolar disorder under control because she was able to speak with people who understood her condition.

“I learned valuable information about managing my illness and the importance of staying diligent, to be well,” she said.

The group meets at DHMC, auditorium A, from 5:45-7:45 p.m. For more information, call 603-304-9223 or 603-865- 5797.

VA Hospital Hosts Softball Game to Honor Soldiers, Vets

White River Junction — The White River Junction VA Medical Center will host a softball tournament and barbecue to honor local service members, veterans and their families on Aug. 19. The event will take place at the Maxfield Sports Complex, 120 Leslie Drive, White River Junction. The opening ceremony will start at 9 a.m. and the barbecue will kick off at 11 a.m. The closing ceremony will be at 6 p.m.

The event will have live music and family activities, and the public is encouraged to attend.

There will be information available on VA benefits, veteran service organizations, and how the community can support soldiers returning home.

Green Mountain Motorcycle Ride Raises Money for Cancer Center

Lebanon — About 40 motorcycles will be riding through the Upper Valley next Sunday raising money for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center as part of the Green Mountain Motorcycle Ride.

The ride is expected to raise up to $30,000 for research at the cancer center. The ride has raised $300,000 for the cancer center over 15 years.

The event began in 2002 when brothers John and Matt Brasseur organized a small ride with friends to honor their aunt, Diane Yunggebauer, of Hartland, who was battling cancer at the time. Since then, Yunggebauer has beat cancer and the ride has become an important fundraiser, the cancer center said in a news release.

“It really appeals to a completely different group of people than we usually reach,” said Jean Brown, executive director of Friends of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

The ride leaves from DHMC at 10 a.m. Riders can register at Each rider is asked to raise $125, and $25 per passenger. People who would like to support the ride can also purchase raffle tickets at to be entered for prizes including a grill, a television and a $500 gift card. Raffle tickets are three for $10 or 7 for $20.

Mt. Ascutney Hospital Welcomes New Physician’s Assistant

Windsor — Kimberly Bean, a physician’s assistant, has joined the primary care staff at Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center.

Bean graduated from the Physician Assistant Studies program at Franklin Pierce University. She worked for nine years as a medical assistant at Concord Hospital, where she focused on family medicine and helped lead quality improvement initiatives. Bean is interested in community and family medicine, particularly women’s and adolescent health, and has volunteered at the Concord winter homeless shelter and in Honduras, the hospital said in a news release.

Hanover Terrace Maintenance Director Honored

Hanover — Randy Hood, the maintenance director at Hanover Terrace Health and Rehabilitation Center, has been named manager of the quarter at the skilled nursing facility.

Hood, 47, of Woodsville, has been working at Hanover Terrace for nearly three years, during which time he has supervised renovations of the 100-bed facility. “I’m proud of the entire renovation,” Hood said. “Everything we’ve done I’ve had my hands in.”

Martha Chesley, an administrator at the center, said that Hood is responsible making sure the facility meets state and federal safety requirements, noting that he helped Hanover Terrace achieve a deficiency free life safety survey in 2016. In addition Hood strives to make the facility feel as home-like as possible, she said.

“Randy is highly respected by his co-workers, and is appreciated for all that he does, we feel very fortunate to have Randy as a part of our team.”

Hood said that he particularly enjoys helping to care for residents.

“The ability to hang out with residents is great,” he said. “They appreciate everything we do for them.”

— Compiled by Kelly Burch

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