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Families First in the News

2016 Media Coverage

Family Fun Night

NHPR profiled our Family Fun Night program. Read or listen here.

Building a strong community one performance at a time
Portsmouth Herald | 9/30/16

Portsmouth program makes Family Fun Night possible for struggling families
NHPR | 9/20/16

Addiction affects the entire family
Seacoast Sunday | 9/18/16

Race for a Cause at Pease will benefit Families First
Portsmouth Herald | 9/14/16

A founder of city’s prenatal clinic retires from obstetrics
Seacoast Sunday | 8/22/16

Senator visits Portsmouth health facility
Portsmouth Herald | 8/10/16

‘Silo’ mentality fails in treatment of addiction
Seacoast Sunday | 7/31/16

Tackling diabetes with positive attitude
Seacoast Sunday | 5/18/16

What we know about Suboxone (w/ video of Families First doctors)
NHPR.org | 5/4/16

Addiction treatment in primary care
NHPR.org | 5/4/16

Families First a great parenting resource
Portsmouth Herald | 4/29/16

HealthcareGIVES announces grants to battle addiction
Portsmouth Herald | 4/29/16

Integrating behavioral and primary health care
(see “Patient Self-Management” section)
Social Work Today / March-April 2016

Families First dental director received recognition
Seacoast Sunday | 2/28/16

New program to help parents
Seacoast Sunday | 1/3/16

Recent Press Releases

New primary care provider joins Families First

PORTSMOUTH  — Families First Health and Support Center recently welcomed a new primary care provider, family nurse practitioner Kimberly Chase OMahoney.

Prior to joining Families First, Ms. OMahoney worked as a family nurse practitioner at Portland Community Health Center in Maine. She has experience as a triage nurse, breast care coordinator, nurse manager and graduate teaching assistant. At Families First, she will be the lead provider in the Well Child program and will also see adult patients.

Ms. OMahoney earned her undergraduate degree at Mount Saint Marys College in Los Angeles and a Master of Science nursing degree from the University of Southern Maine. She is certified through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Ms. OMahoneys professional interests include working with children and young adults. I really like working with adolescents and college-age young adults, she says. They are going through a lot of stress in their lives and its often overlooked.

A community health center like Families First is a good fit, Ms. OMahoney says, because, I really believe in health care for everyone. Ive worked in private practice before and its not for me. Its important that everyone have access to health care.

She is accepting new patients, as are Families First physician Eric Samuel and nurse practitioner Elizabeth Harrison. The public is invited to meet these providers at an open house at Families First on Wednesday, August 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Families First is a community health center that provides primary care for people of all ages and income levels, as well as dental care, prenatal care, behavioral health care, parenting and family programs, and mobile health care. More information is available at 603-422-8208 and FamiliesFirstSeacoast.org.


Optometrists donate time for screenings at Families First

PORTSMOUTH – On Saturday, April 30, five optometrists and other volunteers donated their time to provide comprehensive eye examinations to diabetic patients at Families First Health and Support Center.

Dr. Amy Pruszenski, a member of both the Portsmouth Lions Club and the New Hampshire Optometric Association, coordinated volunteers from both organizations to make the eye exams run smoothly. “People with diabetes are at risk of blindness due to diabetic retinopathy,” Dr. Pruszenski says. “That’s why we feel it’s so important to make comprehensive dilated eye examinations available to them.”

Optometrists David Hartenstein, Shirlie Dowd, Jamie Belanger and Sarah Hudson joined Dr. Pruszenki in donating their time and expertise at Families First on Saturday morning. Lions Club volunteers Kim Hislop, Julie and Ken Moebus, Margot Shea, Clare Dowd and John Dowd helped to keep appointments on schedule and facilitate care throughout the event. Eastern Bank donated food for volunteers and staff.

During the day-long clinic, 15 patients were evaluated and offered glasses, if needed. Three patients were found to have retinal disease, and four others were found to have cataracts or glaucoma. In each of these cases, appropriate follow-up care was offered.


Families First hires Cindi Shanley to work with seniors

PORTSMOUTH  – After 22 years working with seniors in the Seacoast community, Cindi Shanley has joined Families First Health & Support Center as Senior Programs Coordinator. Her main focus will be doing home visits with seniors who are patients at Families First Health Center in order to identify ways to improve their health and well-being.

Our primary-care providers are concerned that some of their senior patients need help with things like setting up systems to ensure that meds are taken properly, home safety, or social isolation, says Families First Executive Director Helen Taft, who hired Ms. Shanley using a grant received from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. We are excited to have someone of Cindis experience and knowledge joining our team to make sure we can meet the growing needs of seniors in the Seacoast.

Ms. Shanleys experience includes being a social worker and admissions/outreach coordinator at Clipper Home and Wentworth Senior Living, director of Senior Friends at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, and director of the Portsmouth Senior Center. She currently coordinates a supper club for seniors at Living Innovations. She says her new role at Families First is a good fit because seniors are very willing to talk to me about what is going on in their lives because Ive earned their trust. Ive known some of them for 20 years. And I have learned so much from their experiences and wisdom that I now know how to age gracefully.

Ms. Shanley has served on many non-profit boards and currently volunteers for End 68 Hours of Hunger and the Portsmouth Senior Center Sub-Committee, as well as belonging to the Portsmouth Rotary Club. She greatly enjoyed working with her late husband, Joe, on many Seacoast non-profit auctions. Joe raised the money and provided the laughs, she says, while I worked behind the scenes.

In addition to visiting seniors at home, Ms. Shanley will also support Families Firsts monthly Caregivers Support Group and will staff the Seacoast regions station of Senior Companions. The Caregivers Group, facilitated by volunteer Dick Chamberlin, meets the third Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. at Families First. Senior Companions is a statewide program that matches income-eligible volunteers age 55 and up with seniors who need companionship or practical assistance. Senior Companions is currently seeking new volunteers; for more information, call 603-225-3295.

Families First Health and Support Center provides primary, prenatal and oral health care; parenting and family programs; one-on-one family support; and mobile health care. Learn more at 603-422-8208 or www.FamiliesFirstSeacoast.org.

Media Coverage Archives


Interview on ‘Don’t Dis My Ability’

In Portsmouth, ACA primer fails to draw much interest

Health Care Signup Help: Families First Gives Assistance

Misconceptions abound about Medicaid eligibility (letter to the editor)

Families First raising funds for new mobile health care van

New Families First calendar a vibrant tribute to Seacoast

Set limits, outline expectations for the holiday season

Help campaign to buy new van (editorial)

Families First profile

Medical van for homeless on life support

Big Blue needs a hand helping homeless

Medicaid debate heats up after snag in NH Senate

Families First needs new van for health-care help

Thumbs up to supportive Seacoast community

Families First looks ahead during ‘challenging time’

Affordable care act starts with mixed reactions

Area health officials voice support for more Medicaid

Alzheimer’s Café an ‘exciting’ new option for support

Affordable health care marketplace opens

When to use the ER — and when not to

Anthem decision on affordable health care hits home

When your child doesn’t rise and shine (communicating with schools)

Families First integrates physical, behavioral health care

Rep. tours Families First to see impact of federal sequestration cuts

Shea-Porter visits Families First Health Center

Sequestration Worries Families First Health Center

New Hampshire Health Centers Awarded Grants

Families First wins contest funds at NHCF meeting

Nonprofits ‘Make the Pitch’ for funding

Families First to compete for Foundation grant

Portsmouth Rotary recognizes ‘unsung heroes’

Support Medicaid expansion (op–ed by our Board chair)

Oral health and public health are one and the same

Nutritional Guidelines for Your Toddler

Your child’s first dental exam (pp. 14-15)


Community health care programs on the chopping block

Dental care demand rises

Giving back: Calendar cover artist has ties to Families First

Resist temptation to cut health care

Hospital CEO speaks at Families First annual meeting

FQHCs offer 2nd home for retired dentists (featuring Dr. Homicz)

Families First’s home visiting program

Growth of poverty spreads across Seacoast

Getting the family organized key to successful school year

Center offers resources for parents and children (news video)

Families First’s Health Care for the Homeless Program (news video)

NH state budget strains web of social services

Families First honored, receives $25,000 grant

Students serve Common Table meal, learn about homelessness

Guinta tours Families First community health center

Resources the issue with providing care for needy (letter to the editor)

Cuts to community health centers are not prudent (letter to the editor)

Community health cuts won’t save state money (letter to the editor)

NH advantage dying in state legislature (letter to the editor)

Community health center cuts will not save money (letter to editor)

Health center cuts would cost more in long run (letter to editor)

Fight to keep community health center funding (letter to editor)

Health Centers Air Concerns Over Proposed Budget Cuts

Tooth fairy tale: Local homeless man gets new lease on life thanks to new teeth

The art of keeping time: Local artists participate in Families First art calendar fundraiser

16 Minutes: Open Doors to Health in New Hampshire (video)

Families First blogs about winning grant from Tom’s of Maine

Tobey and Merrill Insurance donates $7K to Families First

Families First set sights on helping with eye exams

Families First gets $345K grant from Foundation for Seacoast Health

Keep cool: Families First offers anger help for everyday parenting

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