Memorial Hospital once again has ensured that every child in its community that wants a ski helmet, gets one, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. It’s all part of a helmet safety initiative to ensure that local school children have appropriate helmets for their participation in elementary ski programs including the Eastern Slope Ski Club’s (ESSC) Junior Ski Program in the Conway School District and, new this year, the Fryeburg Junior Ski Program.
Memorial Hospital Foundation created the Roger C. Clapp Memorial Ski Helmet Fund to help put “a lid on every kid.” Clapp, who passed away in 2013, was a hospital trustee for many years and a passionate lifelong skier. Family and friends make memorial donations to the fund and continue to encourage contributions to it. Special thanks this year go to former hospital trustee Phil Davies, who served alongside Roger Clapp for many years and this year made a generous gift to ensure that the program continue again this year. Additional contributors to the program include many employees who give through a special employee giving program.
The National Ski Areas Association reports on their website that while skiing or boarding responsibly is the first priority for safety, helmets are an important second line of defense. The group reports that wearing helmets can decrease the risk of head injury by 10 to 50 percent. It can also mean the difference between a major head injury and a minor head injury, or between a minor head injury and no injury at all.
“Memorial Hospital provides many healthcare services to help injured skiers and snowboarders, from fixing broken bones to physical therapy, athletic training and concussion care, but our preference is to help skiers and riders to prevent injuries in the first place,” said Jessica Stewart, Athletic Trainer at Orthopedics at Memorial Hospital. “We are lucky that we have the Roger C. Clapp Helmet program to help local children prevent head injuries.”
Many families face difficult financial situations at home which can make it hard for them to find the funds for equipment. As families may struggle to pay for basic necessities, things like skiing equipment may not be a part of their budget. That’s what makes this program so important for students who may not be able to afford it on their own.
This year, over 200 helmets were distributed to students in December, prior to the start of the youth ski program season. To qualify for a free helmet, students must be enrolled in the school’s free/reduced rate meals program while others have the opportunity to purchase helmets at a significant discount.
Three perspectives: a parent, a patient, a provider. Two distinct diseases: Type I and Type II diabetes. All come together for an educational and informative evening sponsored by the Miranda Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 5:30 pm, at the Red Jacket Resort & Conference Center. The program is free and open to the public. It will include a panel presentation, audience Q&A, light refreshments, and Meet-and-Greet time with the Diabetes Center staff and the Leavitt family. The Eli Lilly “Journey Awards” also will be presented, recognizing people who have successfully managed diabetes with insulin for 25 and 50 years.
The forum is recommended for anyone in the community who wants to learn more about diabetes and how it affects individuals, families and public health. The Miranda Board certified family nurse practitioner & diabetes educator Loretta Grimm, APRN, says the evening will be informative for everyone who cares about the health of the community. “This includes people with diabetes and their families, but also our local educators, health care professionals, emergency medical personnel, fire and police, daycare and preschool staff. Diabetes affects us all.”
Grimm is moderator of the panel discussion which includes three unique perspectives on diabetes. Moira McCarthy is the mother of 21-year-old Lauren Stanford who was diagnosed at age 6 with Type I Diabetes. Dick Smith has been living successfully with Type II Diabetes for 18 years and, at age 72, is still working as a motivational speaker and diabetes educator. Irwin Brodsky, MD, MPH, is the medical director at Maine Medical Partners Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, as well as a researcher and clinical professor.
“Today, nearly everyone has a friend, loved one, spouse, neighbor or co-worker with diabetes,” Grimm said. “We want to present different views of what it’s like to live with Type I and Type II diabetes, as well as hear from a recognized medical expert on current work being done in the field. The Miranda Center for Diabetes is here to help people and their families, and we want them to know who we are and what we can do for them and the community,” she added.
Panelist Moira McCarthy is a best-selling author and advocate with the New England Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for more than 15 years. She is a former national reporter and newspaper editor, and author of the recently released book, “Raising Teens With Diabetes: A Parent Survival Guide.” Her tireless support of Type I diabetes research has landed her a spot as guest speaker on CNN Live and many other media outlets. She is also the creator of a well known blog about the subject, http://www.despitediabetes.com.
“My message to other parents of children with Type I diabetes is that it’s really about finding a balance between keeping them safe and healthy, and letting them live a full and happy life,” McCarthy said. “It impacts the family as well as the child at every age.”
Brenda Leavitt, whose daughter Miranda died at age 22 from complications of Type I
diabetes, understands the challenge of parenting a child with diabetes. “One of our goals in establishing the Miranda Center at Memorial Hospital is to help educate the community,” she said. “Our daughter needed a great deal of support from her family, teachers, employers and friends in order to manage her disease on a daily basis. Type I is a totally different disease than Type II, and we want people to learn about both of them.”
Irwin Brodsky is the medical director for diabetes at Maine Medical Partners Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, as well as a research scientist associate clinical professor of medicine at Tufts University. He divides his professional time between clinical patient care and administration of inpatient, outpatient, and community diabetes activities for Maine Medical Partners.
Dr. Brodsky is a strong proponent of the need for education both to prevent Type II diabetes and to improve self-care for those with the disease. He is currently involved in the development of an statewide education campaign that could be used to motivate patients who have lapsed in their attention to the disease. He also serves as principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health research trial into the relationship between vitamin D and prevention of diabetes.
“There is a genetic component to the onset of Type II diabetes that involves defects in insulin production,” he said. “People who have one parent with it are at very high risk. For them, exercise and dietary intake are critically important.”
Dick Smith has spent more than 40 years in the health education field, but he was surprised to learn 18 years ago that he, too, had developed Type II diabetes. Since then, he has been a motivational speaker sharing seminars on diabetes self-management to groups all over New England. He also worked with the company that invented the very first portable blood sugar meter in 1969. At age 72, the Navy veteran is still working full-time and says he loves it.
The evening will include presentation of the Lilly Diabetes Journey Awards to individual patients of the Miranda Center who have successfully managed their diabetes over a long period of time. The program recognizes the constant effort necessary to manage the disease and serves as a means to inspire all people with diabetes to believe that they can do it, too.
The Diabetes Forum is free and open to the public with no reservations required. For more information, visit the event listing on the hospital’s website, http://www.memorialhospitalnh.org/diabetesevent, or call Kathy Bennett, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, (603) 356-5461, X2198.
ABOUT THE LILLY DIABETES JOURNEY AWARDS:
Lilly Diabetes Journey Awards
Living with diabetes is no easy task and it takes constant effort. That’s why the Lilly Diabetes Journey Awards™ program recognizes and honors individuals who have successfully managed their diabetes with the help of insulin for 25, 50 or 75 years. By honoring people who have long been successful, these awards not only help them to keep moving ahead, but also help to inspire others.
Those selected for the program serve as role models to all people with diabetes for learning how to manage their disease and adapting to the ever-changing technology of diabetes care. Since 1974, Lilly has presented more than 3,000 medals in support of people on their journey with diabetes.
Medals are presented to celebrate important milestones and include a bronze 25-year medal, silver 50-year medal, or gold 75-year medal. In addition to the medal, recipients also receive a signed letter from the CEO of Eli Lilly and Company for their continued success.
Local recipients include Henry Forrest and Mary Walker for 25 years, and Jacqueline Willey and Barbara Hartwell for 50 years.
The Miranda Center at Memorial Hospital provides comprehensive diabetes care and education that is patient focused and individualized to specific needs. The staff is a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to the evaluation, treatment, and education of individuals with any form of diabetes and endocrine disorders. The center offers education and support groups to help people with diabetes learn about and manage their condition, and is certified by the American Diabetes Association. For more information, call the Miranda Center at (603) 356-0796, X3353.
About Memorial Hospital Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, family birthing center, sleep center, wound care and hyperbaric medicine center, and the Miranda Center for Diabetes. Physician practices include primary care and family medicine, women’s health, orthopedics and sports medicine. The Merriman House, a 45-bed nursing home specializing in Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders, is also located on the hospital campus. Together, our staff and providers are committed to meeting the health needs of the Mt. Washington Valley and surrounding communities by collaborating with community partners in the delivery of accessible, comprehensive, compassionate, and quality health care.