Jill Rollins receives nurse leader award at Bridgton Hospital

BRIDGTON, Maine — Bridgton Hospital's Director of Nursing, Jill Rollins, RN, has been chosen as Central Maine Healthcare's 2017 DAISY Nurse Leader Award recipient.
Rollins was presented with the award at a surprise ceremony.

Since 1999, the DAISY Foundation has recognized the compassion and skills of more than 75,000 nurses worldwide through the DAISY Award for extraordinary nurses. The nomination stories share the many levels of kindness, patience and patient-centered care nurses provide every day. Yet the managers who oversee these extraordinary nurses, often don't consider themselves eligible for the award. The DAISY Foundation understands that great care at the bedside also stems from these leaders' efforts in managing staff. As a result, the foundation created the DAISY Nurse Leader Award to recognize these extraordinary leaders.

The nomination process is similar to the regular DAISY Award with a call for nominations going out to staff and also adding any patients' nominations of leaders to the "pool" of candidates. At Central Maine Healthcare, a committee of representatives from Central Maine Medical Center, Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital review the nominations and vote on the winner.

During the nomination process, there were multiple stories nominating Rollins for the award. Each story highlighted her willingness to go above and beyond when it comes to caring for staff and patients.

Fellow Director of Nursing for Rumford Hospital Becky Hall, RN, said, "Not only does Jill advocate for her nurses but for Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital, as well. She's inspired me to be a better leader."

Other staff described Rollins as always available, smiling, a great listener, a nurturer, and a natural leader in her position.

David Frum, president of Bridgton and Rumford hospitals, summed up Rollins' impact with, "Jill, we are who we are because of who you are."

Rollins' gratitude shined through when she thanked the gathered crowd by saying, "It's working with all of you that makes my day the best, every single day. You are all an amazing team, and we are an amazing team together."

  • Category: Health

Parents of teens with disabilities invited to May 25 Aspergers support group meeting

CONWAY — The Aspergers Parents Support Group will hold its monthly meeting on May 25 at Granite State College and invites all parents of high school students with disabilities to attend and hear presentations by representatives from the N.H. Department of Education.
Speakers will be Lisa Hatz, vocational rehabilitation state director, and Sherry Burbank, education consultant-secondary transition and equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Transition Planning is a process mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Act for all students who have an Individualized Education Plan. The planning process should begin when students are in their early teens and brings together the students, parents and the educational team to identify and plan for the life after high school. Hatz and Burbank will speak on the Transition Planning process, the projects and programs that the State of New Hampshire is undertaking to increase career and college readiness of New Hampshire students with a disability.
The Aspergers Parents Support Group is a group of parents of kids between the ages of 14 and 34 whose children are intending to go to college or post-secondary education, are in college or have recently graduated and worried about their young adult child's launch into the workforce and independence. The group meets the last Wednesday or Thursday of the month, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Granite State College. For more information about the group, email Ellie Gordon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
This month's meeting to which parents of any high school students with disabilities are invited to attend will be held Thursday, May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Room 211-212 at Granite State College, 53 Technology Lane, Conway.
  • Category: Health

Kick up your cowboy boots for Granite State Adaptive

TUFTONBORO — Looking for a fun evening that supports a great cause? Well, get out your cowboy and cowgirl boots and join Granite State Adaptivefor a farm-to-table BBQ, silent auction and live music with "Girls, Guns and Glory," the Boston-based band that Rolling Stone referred to as a "modern-day Buddy Holly plus Dwight Yoakam divided by the Mavericks."

Granite State Adaptive is hosting its "Cowboy Ball" fundraiser on Thursday, June 15, at 6 p.m. at Tumbledown Farm in Brookfield.
"We're very excited about our Cowboy Ball event," said Jen Fraser, founder and executive director of Granite State Adaptive. "Our annual fundraiser helps us to purchase specialized equipment, provide scholarships, and maintain our therapy horses. Plus, it's a great way to kick off the summer!"
Granite State Adaptive provides individuals who have a disability the opportunity to develop independence, confidence, life skills and fitness through participation in sports, therapy, training and recreation programs. The organization offers ongoing opportunities for children and adults in the community to experience the joy and freedom that comes with succeeding in sports and recreation.
"We provide year-round adaptive sports opportunities with cycling, snow sports and equine assisted activities and therapies," added Fraser. "Outreach to our veterans and their families is an ongoing priority. Last year, we hosted an equine facilitated mental health retreat for combat veterans with PTSD."

Tickets for the Cowboy Ball are $50 each. The event is BYOB, so pack up your cooler to bring along. To purchase tickets, visit the website at www.gsadaptivesports.org; call Jen Fraser, Granite State Adaptive at (603) 387-1167; or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline to purchase tickets is Friday, June 9.
Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information on event sponsorships, contact Jen Fraser at (603) 387-1167 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Joanne Walsh at at (203) 449-1165 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Category: Health

Home Care Matters: Recognize the signs of a stroke

By Sandy Ruka
When a stroke happens, every second counts. The best chance for a full recovery from stroke comes from recognizing stroke symptoms, calling 911, and getting treatment as quickly as possible.
May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Learn the symptoms of stroke and why calling 9-1-1 can help you or a loved one survive a stroke.
According to the American Heart Association, every year in the United States, nearly 800,000 people have a stroke. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a major cause of disability in adults.
Don't be caught off guard. Know the signs of stroke and make a commitment to yourself and your loved ones to call 911 right away if you notice any of the signs of stroke. If you think someone is having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. with this simple test: F=Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? A=Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? S=Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange? T=Time: Every second counts. If you see any of these signs, call 911 right away. You may think you can get to the hospital more quickly if you drive yourself, but lifesaving treatment begins in the ambulance.
Symptoms of a stroke include: Sudden numbness or weakness, especially if only on one side of the body; sudden painful headache; sudden dizziness, lack of balance, or trouble walking or speaking; sudden confusion, difficulty talking or understanding; and sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes. Knowing the signs of stroke and calling 911 saves precious time. The more time that passes without the right treatment, the greater the chance for disability. Most stroke patients must get clot-busting medicine within three hours of having a stroke.
If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, the Visiting Nurse Home Care and Hospice of Carroll County and Western Maine (VNHCH) is here to help. "It doesn't have to be the end of the world," said Sandy Ruka, MS, RN, executive director of VNHCH. "There is always the risk for a loss of independence after a stroke but there are things we can do to help mitigate that risk." Stroke survivors can often benefit from physical and occupational therapy, and many stroke patients need speech therapy. VNHCH brings these services to you at your home to help regain lost abilities and maintain current abilities. In addition, VNHCH offers nursing services to help stroke survivors keep their independence and remain in the comfort of their own home.
Sandy Ruka, MS, RN, is executive director of Visiting Nurse Home Care and Hospice. For more information about VNHCH services, visit the website at www.vnhch.org or call (603) 356-7006 or (800) 499-4171.
  • Category: Health