Message to the Community

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August 7, 2020

Dear Community Members:

When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March, describing the ever-evolving situation as “uncertain” and “challenging” became commonplace. Even as case numbers declined and the country began reopening, the social and economic impact continued to keep those phrases prominent and relevant. Now as positive COVID-19 cases begin to rise again across the country, schools announce their fall plans and the economic impact becomes clearer, New London Hospital (NLH) is preparing for the uncertainty ahead while focusing on transforming challenges into opportunities.

One unwavering certainty is our commitment to provide safe and quality care. We continue to screen everyone who enters our facilities, and require the use of masks while inside. It is encouraging to see the increased use of masks in our community, as this measure has proven effective. We observed this first-hand at NLH, as this past flu season ended months earlier than usual as a result of social distancing and mask-wearing.

We are pleased to see our patients returning for care here and at our Newport Health Center. As we address the challenges of the near-future, we are also taking the opportunity to look beyond COVID-19 to assess where we were before the pandemic: what was working well and what areas require improvement. We understand simply returning to our previous practices isn’t the goal. We need to strive to be better every day.

I am working closely with all of our providers and staff to identify and implement action plans to improve our services for the community. We review patient feedback regularly and encourage all who visit NLH to share their experiences, both positive and negative. Your voice matters most to us. Following a visit, all patients receive a questionnaire regarding their appointment. We hope they take a few minutes to share their thoughts.

Thank you, and be well.

Tom Manion, MPA, FACHE, CMPE
President and CEO
New London Hospital

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Browse Previous Messages to the Community from NLH and CEO Tom Manion

July 24, 2020

Dear Community Members:

Educators, families, medical experts and government officials are currently wrestling with the various factors involved in safely returning students to in-person learning. Our goal at New London Hospital (NLH) is to ensure we are doing our part to prepare the community for a healthy start to the fall. For the school year to be successful, students, teachers and staff must be healthy. We encourage all families to get flu shots, and make sure children are up-to-date with their annual physicals.

While we talk about the upcoming fall season, I don’t want to rush away the summer. For many families, being outside in New England during these summer days creates joyful, lifelong memories. Usually around this time of year, our staff would be preparing for Hospital Days. It’s tough on all of us at NLH, knowing this year won’t feature the parade, midway, triathlon, crafts and food associated with this special event. Watching the community come together annually always makes us proud to live here. We know canceling this year’s festivities was the right thing to do, but it doesn’t make it any easier as we approach August.

In an effort to keep the spirit of Hospital Days alive, we are providing a couple unique ways to keep the community engaged. The first is our “No Parade, Parade,” which will take place from Monday, August 3 through Saturday, August 8. Using a “Game Night” theme, participants will create outdoor displays in front of their homes or businesses. For more information, please click here.

The second way to engage the community is through the popular Dunk Stool. We have several community members scheduled to be “victims,” including myself.  Participants can purchase balls to be tossed, in hopes of soaking their peers in cold water. We will air this event live on our Facebook page on Thursday, August 6 and Friday, August 7. Click here for more details on how to get involved.

I know there is still quite of bit of anxiety as a result of COVID-19, and the measures to take to ensure we don’t experience the fate of other regions around the country. If we keep doing our part to social distance and wear masks when appropriate, I am confident in our ability to get through this safely.

Thank you, and be well.

Tom Manion, MPA, FACHE, CMPE
President and CEO
New London Hospital

In this week’s video Message to the Community, New London Hospital President and CEO Tom Manion answers some questions about the impact of COVID-19 at NLH, the recovery process and looking ahead to the fall. He also discusses the hospital’s planned transition to the Epic electronic health record software system.

Click here to view a transcript of this video.

June 26, 2020

Dear Community Members:

During the past couple weeks, I’ve had the pleasure to meet with community members in a limited capacity here at New London Hospital (NLH). The goal of the meetings was to share our commitment to patient safety, and address concerns as we resume most of our services. A few trends developed during these sessions, including many COVID-19-related questions centered on mask-wearing and testing. We have added pages to our website that address both of these topics, and encourage those with questions to visit these links:

The other frequently asked questions were focused on the status of our orthopaedics and ophthalmology services. We are excited to share recent developments in both areas.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Orthopaedics at NLH is open and offering specialized care for joint pain including hips, shoulders, hands and sports medicine. Our board-certified team of physicians and surgeons are providing comprehensive care– including surgical procedures–right here at the hospital. We are also pleased to welcome the services of Kevin McGuire, MD, from the D-H Center of Pain and Spine. Dr. McGuire works in partnership with his patients to address their spine issues, incorporating comprehensive plans to help achieve their goals.

As we extend our well wishes to Dr. Barban in his retirement, we are pleased to announce that NLH Ophthalmology is currently open under reduced clinic hours. The office will resume normal Monday through Friday clinic hours (8 am – 5pm) in mid-July as we welcome Ophthalmologist David Lawlor, MD. For the past 15 years, Dr. Lawlor has been treating patients at North Country Hospital in Newport, Vermont. He joins our cataract surgeon, Patrick Morhun, MD. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this transition.

Please remain focused on your health and don’t hesitate to seek care. NLH is open and has incorporated significant safety measures to ensure you receive quality healthcare. If you have any questions about our services, please reach out to us.

Thank you,

Tom Manion, MPA, FACHE, CMPE
President and CEO
New London Hospital

June 19, 2020

Dear Community Members:

A couple weeks ago I addressed the shift in direction as the country reopens, and the importance of remaining diligent in our preventative measures to avoid a surge in COVID-19 cases. I am proud of our staff and community members for their continued efforts to adhere to social distancing measures and mask-wearing. While it’s not perfect, it makes a difference. We are seeing other states suffering serious setbacks in the number of cases as a result of irresponsible behavior, but if we stay on track, we will save lives.

We are pleased to see our patients return to New London Hospital (NLH) to address their healthcare needs as we maintain strict safety and cleaning measures. We are open for care, but are still limiting access to the hospital. This continues to prevent our wonderful community volunteers from visiting, who have been suspended from service since March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every day since the Volunteer Program was temporarily halted, we’ve missed this vibrant group, who are dedicated to the patients, visitors and staff. They impact so many areas of the hospital, from the gift shop and recycling program, to the mail room and flower arrangements. In 2019, we had 95 volunteers provide an impressive 8,632 hours of service! But it’s the smiles and conversations they bring to our NLH staff that we miss most right now.

I want to take the opportunity to recognize and thank our volunteers for all they do for NLH, and extend our deep regrets as we move forward during this time without their on-site support. Our priority is their safety and well-being. We will happily welcome our volunteers back to NLH when the time is right.

Thank you for your continued support.

Tom Manion, MPA, FACHE, CMPE
President and CEO
New London Hospital

June 12, 2020

Community Members:

As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, the reality of what will bring this pandemic to an end lies in the hopes of a vaccine. Many experts predict a vaccine will be developed by the end of 2020, but until this occurs, our best defense to avoid another surge in cases is social distancing of at least 6 feet and wearing a mask. New London Hospital urges members of our community to Mask Up, as wearing a mask protects and respects others.

Below please click the button for more information:

Learn More About Mask Use

June 5, 2020

Community Members:

During the beginning stages of COVID-19 testing in New Hampshire, the criteria for testing was quite limited as supplies and laboratories dictated the amount of tests which could be completed. Testing remains a critical piece for providing care and limiting the spread of COVID-19. Currently, New London Hospital (NLH) is providing testing by appointment only for symptomatic individuals. An order from your primary care provider is required. Results are usually returned within 12-24 hours.

The State of NH recently opened up testing for everyone, regardless if individuals are symptomatic or not. Here is some more information which can be found on the State of NH Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 webpage:

Testing Information & FAQs

May 29, 2020

Dear Community Members:

After days and months that seemed to overlap into the next, we are now seeing a change in direction to what is being promoted as our “new normal.” As the country reopens, the school year comes to an end and we assess the impact of the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, we are still faced with challenging months to come. Until a vaccine is available, the reality of what lies ahead and the steps we need to take to save lives must be taken seriously.

At New London Hospital (NLH), we are open to serve your healthcare needs and we take our responsibility to ensure your safety very seriously. We continue to screen everyone who enters our facilities, including our employees. As part of the screening process, we are taking everyone’s temperatures and requiring masks to be worn at all times. We realize this may come as a nuisance, but now is not the time to ease such measures.

The concept of wearing masks–and when and where to wear masks–is a much-discussed topic lately. I admit, I don’t like wearing a mask and I haven’t had anyone tell me they enjoy it. I certainly miss seeing the smiles of my colleagues during conversations. We need smiles now, more than ever, but we need to remain diligent in our approach to avoid a potential resurgence in cases. I urge everyone in the community to put a mask on when entering local businesses. It’s the right thing to do to protect the lives of others.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the challenges children and parents are enduring. As remote learning comes to an end and summer days approach, the reality of a very different summer is going to strain the emotions  of many families. With graduation ceremonies altered and some summer camps closed, the pain of this pandemic continues to swell beyond the symptoms. I have seen from the beginning the tremendous support of this community, and I am confident we can all help navigate our families through the demanding days ahead.

Thank you, and be safe,

Tom Manion, MPA, FACHE, CMPE
President and CEO
New London Hospital

In this week’s video Message to the Community, we celebrate Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. Our experienced EMS team takes pride in the service they provide to the region especially during this challenging time. Please join us as we thank New London Hospital EMS for the hard work they do.

May 15, 2020

Dear Community Members:

Many of our decisions since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as closures, have been made on the basis of data and risk–while others have been based on necessity, including the acquisition of personal protective equipment. This week, we made the difficult decision to cancel the 96th Annual Hospital Days and 37th Annual Triathlon due to all these factors. Hospital Days takes many months of planning, and the risks associated with staging an event of this magnitude, at this particular time, are simply too great. We share in everyone’s collective disappointment that this amazing community tradition will skip a year. Unfortunately, this is the only decision that will ensure the health and safety of our community, vendors, staff members and the many volunteers who make Hospital Days happen.

In order to continue to make informed decisions, increased testing for COVID-19 will provide the data necessary for businesses and institutions to operate at safe levels. Currently, New London Hospital (NLH) is providing testing for symptomatic individuals at our drive-up testing site. An order from your primary care provider is required -for appointment scheduling. Some of the key symptoms that determine this decision include fever, cough, chest congestion, significant fatigue, loss of taste or smell and shortness of breath. This week, the NH Department of Health and Human Services opened several testing sites throughout the state, with the closest one in Claremont. Registration for these testing sites is available on this state webpage. Testing is also accessible at ConvenientMD locations.

If the past couple months have taught us anything, it is the value of virtual connection, which is why our providers are incorporating telemedicine services. While a virtual session doesn’t replace all in-office visits, it is a valuable tool to help you connect with one of our providers to assess your healthcare needs. Telemedicine is simple to use and can be launched from your computer or mobile device. Please contact one of our providers to learn more, and to determine if telemedicine is an option for you.

Thank you and be safe,

Tom Manion, MPA, FACHE, CMPE
President and CEO
New London Hospital

May 8, 2020

Dear Community Members:

For the past two months, New London Hospital (NLH) and its employees have focused on the safest ways to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in our community. As part of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, we have done our best as a system to prepare for a surge of COVID-19 patients while implementing strict measures to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Like others in our community, we are not immune to the impact this crisis has had on our organization. Even so, our physicians, associate providers, nurses and all other employees at NLH are fully prepared and ready to safely care for you.

As our state begins to reopen in phases, we are resuming many of our essential services including time-sensitive, elective surgeries. Our goal is to make sure you have access to the quality care you’ve come to expect–in a safe environment. Our providers and staff have implemented several initiatives which will be noticeable as soon as you enter the hospital and our Newport Health Center. We continue to screen everyone who enters our facilities, including our employees. Everyone is required to wear a mask and if you do not have one, we will provide one for you. We have removed several chairs in each waiting area to allow for safe distancing, and we have a dedicated staff providing thorough cleaning in all areas throughout the day. We are still limiting access to our facilities to our patients only, unless assistance from another individual is required.

To put it simply, we are prepared to safely care for you in a controlled and organized setting.

As more patients returned this week, I heard so many wonderful comments from our employees expressing gratitude for the trust you have placed in our ability to safely care for you. We will remain diligent in our efforts as we continue to phase in additional services. If you have questions or concerns about your appointment or pending procedure, I encourage you to reach out to us so we can address your needs.

This next phase will present a new series of challenges for all of us, but if this past couple months has taught me anything, it’s that this community is resilient. Your flexibility and understanding with what, at times, seems like an insurmountable change has exceeded my expectations. I am grateful to be part of this community and thank you for your ongoing support.

Sincerely,

Tom Manion, MPA, FACHE, CMPE
President and CEO
New London Hospital

In this week’s video Message to the Community, our pediatric care providers discuss some of the safety measures in place to make sure they are providing safe and quality care.  For more information about clinic hours, please visit our website or call the NLH Pediatric Care Center at 603-526-5363 and for Newport Health Center call 603-863-411

In this week’s Message the Community, we want you to know our providers and staff are here for you. As we begin the planning phase to reactivate our specialty and surgical services, our primary care teams are here for you now and they want to make sure they are addressing your needs. As COVID-19 has changed they way we all engage in our daily lives, we are taking extra measures to ensure our safety precautions reflect these changes to provide your care.

April 10, 2020

Dear Community Members:

It has now been 30 days since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Like many of you, I ask myself, “Is this really happening?”, “When will this end?” and “Will life go back to normal?” As we look for those answers, our resolve must remain unwavering to do what is necessary today in order to have many better tomorrows.

The reality–and serious nature–of COVID-19 is spreading throughout our country. Yes, some of the statistics are difficult to comprehend, but the stories of recovery, support and compassion bring us hope we are moving in the right direction together. Our state is now beginning to see the predicted upswing of cases, but thanks to the support of our Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) system members, and our community, New London Hospital (NLH) is prepared for the challenges ahead.

This week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and D-HH made the shift to encourage mask use for everyone. All patients entering NLH and our Newport Health Center will be required to wear them. Patients can wear their own cloth masks, but we will provide them if needed, thanks to a generous supply of cloth masks donated by several community members.

Our staff at NLH and our Newport Health Center is grateful for your support and well wishes. We are all in this together and we want to hear from you. You can reach out to us at community.relations@newlondonhospital.org with your stories of encouragement and hope, and we will share these messages with you and our staff.

In addition, please continue to check our website for updates and information about our COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Sincerely,

Tom Manion, MPA, FACHE, CMPE
President and CEO
New London Hospital