May 17, 2023 Breakfast Meeting Notes

May 17, 2023 Breakfast Meeting Notes



50/50, Lora won and gave the money towards Tom’s tip

Card game: once again Mike won the opportunity to try for the ace of spades but drew the jack of hearts instead. The game continues.


Tony was absent so no trivia.


Our speaker today was our own Danielle Paquette-Horne. Danielle is the executive director of Pemi Baker Hospice and Home Health. It is the oldest visiting nurse association in Grafton County and serves the entire county as well as other surrounding towns. The nonprofit organization employs 50 people, including nurses, nurse assistants, physical therapists, speech therapists, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers. They also offer private duty services to self-paying patients in addition to those relying on insurance. Note that insurance does not fully cover the costs of the services that they provide, so they are always fundraising. Patients are given an option of which VNA they want to use, so even people outside of Grafton County can elect to use Pemi Baker Hospice and Home Health. They will work with people of any age from newborn to the elderly.


Services provided include:


  1. In home for acute care services such as for people recovering from surgery. 


  1. Palliative services for people who are seriously ill (such as those receiving chemotherapy, dialysis, radiation) where there is a hope for cure. They can help alleviate symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, anxiety, pain, and other problems that people might be having.


  1. Hospice care for people with serious illness that are no longer seeking curative treatment, either because patient’s condition  has declined or because the doctor says there is nothing more to be done. Aa team of all of their workers can help people and their families prepare for upcoming death. Some people even do well enough to “graduate” from hospice for a while. People must qualify for hospice based on their illness but even people who qualify might not choose to be in the program. Another qualifier is if person is expected to pass away within 6 months. Note that old age alone is NOT a qualifier. 


In addition, Pemi Baker Hospice and Home Health provides community support services, such as support groups for caregiver and grief support groups (for people grieving for any reason, not just the death of a person).


Danielle also runs the Ask a Pemi Baker nurse program. She goes to local community centers and answers medical questions and takes their vital signs. She has examined skin lesions, demonstrated use of insulin pen, helped patients interpret their lab work, and performs other tasks as needed. She is in Plymouth Monday, Lincoln Wednesday, Littleton 3rd Tuesday of the every month, and will be starting Orford and Haverhill once a month.


The hospice also runs a Hospice Volunteer Program. Training takes 5 weeks, one session a week, 2 hours at a time, for training sessions. Volunteers can cook meals, walk the dog, perform light housekeeping or sometimes just talk to the person or be there for comfort. They can always use more volunteers.


 The final service that the hospice provides is Red Cross training for CPR and life support. This is done once a month in Plymouth for a nominal fee. 


They have an active fundraising program. Their spring online auction is going on now through the end of May. Alex donated Common Man gift certificates and Steve donate a red wagon. They also do a fall appeal letter asking for money from community members. 


Mike asked Danielle about their biggest challenge right now. She replied that staffing is a huge problem, especially since COVID. Baby boomers were the strongest cohort of work force, but they tended to retire when COVID struck. People do want to work remotely, and some of their work can be done this way, but so much of what they do is out in the field in people’s homes. The other challenge is insurance…trying to get paid for what they do. Medicare pays reasonably well but the documentation process is awful. Medicaid offers very low rates of reimbursement…some agencies no longer see Medicaid patients because it costs them more to do the job than they would be paid. Universal health care would cover a lot of this, if it existed. 


Steve and Alex are back from Poland. They are doing a lot of good in Ukraine, both in the area of basic support and also in mental health support. They are running 2 facilities, one in person in southern Poland, and one virtual. The Polish one is in the mountains. Kids come for 3 week sessions and the organizers can see the improvement in the children between arrival and departure. Eligible children are those who have lost at least 1 parent. The experience gives them a chance to  bond to the other children who have had similar losses and the idea is to give them the tools they need to cope once they are returned to Ukraine. We have committed to 12 camps a year and each will cost $30,000.  We have raised $400,000 since we left the Granite United Way and we are still delivering food purchased previously. 


Next fundraiser is Fisher Cats game on June 1. We need at least 10 people for the opening of the game. Volunteers need to arrive at 4:45 for the 5:05 gate opening. The first 1000 people who come in with a Common Man restaurant receipt will get a free cap and we will also try to sell them 50/50 tickets.


Steve mentioned that he has mentored a young man who had been abused at the Sununu Center. He is trying to get beyond that and wants to start his own business, but he needs someone to help him figure out how to use a computer and do household finances. If you or someone you know can help, talk to Steve.


Mike: Styrofoam collection continues. They will need help processing the Styrofoam in Gilford. If you can help, see Mike. As for our District Grant application:  They funded us at 40%, or $3200, based on the fact that 40% of our members donated to the Rotary Foundation in the last year. Remember that your donation to the Foundation comes right back to help our district. 


We will have 4 students going to RYLA this year.


Circle Program Cleanup at camp is this Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 2 each day. Bring bug repellant. 


Board meeting will be this Friday on Zoom.


Respectfully submitted,


Lora Miller secretary