NH DHHS Announces WIC Appointments Available By Phone

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today announced that in light of recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention around social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Hampshire Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program has received authorization from the US Department of Agriculture to conduct all appointments by phone.

Individuals can apply for assistance by contacting their local WIC office, and can find the office closest to them at http://www.signupwic.com. All appointment types, including certifications and follow up appointments, can be completed by phone. Residents who have a scheduled WIC appointment should keep it and expect a phone call from their local WIC office.

The WIC program provides nutrition education and support to help keep pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and preschool children healthy and strong, and all New Hampshire WIC offices are working to ensure that clients continue to get the services they need with minimal disruption.

To learn more about the WIC program, please visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/wic/index.htm. Families having difficulty getting through to their local WIC office are encouraged to leave a detailed voice message or call the WIC State Agency 1-800-942-4321.

Community organizations collaborate to feed area children as schools close due to COVID19

MARCH 18, 2020 – Area nonprofit and community organizers are working together to ensure that children are fed as schools close across Strafford County and the rest of the country due to the coronavirus outbreak. For students that rely on the meals they receive throughout the school day to combat food-insecurity, school closure often means, those children do not eat.


A current list of who is providing food, a list of area food pantries, school district meal plans, churches and other organizations in the area who are modifying how they are feeding kids, seniors, homeless and others in need can be found at https://straffordcap.org/covid-19-meals/


Also at risk are seniors who are considered high-risk of developing severe complications if exposed to COVID-19 according to the CDC. For older people who are also low-income or homebound, ensuring they have access to food without putting them at greater risk is paramount.


Organizations including Community Action Partnership of Strafford County (CAPSC), Region 6 IDN, End 68 Hours of Hunger, Gather, City Welfare, area Food Pantries, School Districts and Churches, have come together to document who needs food, where they are and how they will be fed.


Local food providers need more resources and are to working together to keep people fed, but also safe and healthy. If people want to help, please make a monetary donation to your local food program so that they can purchase food in bulk from vendors and distributors or give gift cards to help clients buy milk, eggs, and other proteins.  Specific requests can be found on local program social media and websites.


This list will be updated every Tuesday. Please check back on the website for updates.

Strafford County Public Health Network

Letter to our patients: COVID-19

Letter to our patients: COVID-19

This message was sent by email and text message to our patients on March 18, 2020. For updated info, see FamiliesFirstSeacoast.org and GoodwinCH.org.

During this challenging time of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, we at Greater Seacoast Community Health are making some temporary changes to keep our patients, staff and community safer. Please read on to learn what to do if you are feeling ill and what to expect when you call or visit us.

Before you come to the health center

The coronavirus spreads very easily. So, please call us before you come in for an appointment or standby care if you have any of these symptoms or risk factors:

  • Cough AND a fever of 100.4 or higher
  • OR have shortness of breath
  • OR have been someplace where the coronavirus is widespread in the past two weeks
  • OR have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Calling ahead will allow us to plan for your arrival and evaluation in a safe and private way. When you call, we will ask you about your symptoms and exposure. If it seems unlikely that you have COVID-19, we will schedule your appointment as usual. If we think you may have COVID-19 we will work with you on a plan for your care and possible testing.

When you come for an appointment

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time so we can ask you a few questions about symptoms and travel and exposure risks. (At Families First and Goodwin, this screening will happen in tents outside our entrances.)
  • Please don’t bring others with you unless you really need to.
  • If you take the COAST Trolley to Families First, ask the driver to let you off at the new stop right outside Families First.

For patients over age 50 who have a chronic illness

If you are scheduled for a routine wellness check, you may be getting a call from one of our nurses or providers to check in on you and ensure that your medical needs are being met during this time when “social isolation” is recommended. We will talk with you about options for rescheduling your appointment time as well.

Reduced hours

Effective Thursday, March 19th, Goodwin Community Health and Families First will no longer have evening or weekend hours.  Our operating hours are now Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. As always, you can call us anytime, 24/7, to be connected with a nurse.

What’s happening with our other services?

Still being offered, but with changes:

  •  Dental Care: We are now offering emergency care only. If you have an appointment for non-urgent care, we will call you to reschedule it.
  • Mobile health care (vans): We are still holding these clinics (except at St. Vincent de Paul in Exeter on Wednesdays). This could change, so please call 603-766-9220 to check before coming to a clinic. Please call that same number before coming to the clinic if you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. (Note: There is no dental care offered at these clinics.)

 Being offered by phone, video or online.

  • Home visits: Call your home visitor to schedule a phone visit: 603-422-8209.
  • SOS Recovery Services: While the centers are closed, we’ll have phone coverage, telephone recovery support services, virtual on-on-one recovery coaching, and virtual meetings and supports. Call 603-841-2350 or visit https://sosrco.org/virtualmeetings/  You can also access daily online recovery-support meetings offered through Unity Recovery here.
  • WIC and CSFP: Call 603-332-4358 for information.

Not being offered right now:

  • Acupuncture
  • Parenting classes, playgroups and family group programs. Ask to join our new, private Facebook group to help parents connect: Facebook.com/groups/GSCHParents
  • Child care during appointments at Families First.

If you have questions about our services

Visit FamiliesFirstSeacoast.org or GoodwinCH.org or call us at:

  • Families First: 603-422-8208
  • Goodwin Community Health: 603-749-2346
  • Lilac City Pediatrics: 603-335-4522

Reliable sources of info about COVID-19

With best wishes for your good health,

Joann Buonomano, MD                      Janet Laatsch
Chief Medical Officer                         Chief Executive Officer

Unity Recovery, WEconnect Health, Alano Club of Portland, & SOS Recovery Offering Free Online Substance Use and Mental Health Support during COVID-19

Unity Recovery, WEconnect Health, Alano Club of Portland, & SOS Recovery Offering Free Online Substance Use and Mental Health Support during COVID-19

Virtual support groups, led by peer and family recovery specialists, occurring daily

Philadelphia—Individuals and family members dealing with substance use, mental health, disordered eating, and other behavioral health disorders will be able to participate in free online recovery support meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unity Recovery, a non-profit recovery community organization in Philadelphia, WEconnect Health, an evidence-based digital app based in Seattle, Alano Club of Portland and SOS Recovery, recovery support providers, are providing the daily service since public health officials have urged people to avoid gatherings or have shut down cities due to the pandemic. The daily online recovery support meetings are available immediately and are led by certified peer who are in recovery themselves.

To attend a meeting or learn more, individuals and family members can visit:

In just the last 72 hours, more than 2,000 individuals from 50 states and 10 countries have participated in the meetings which run at 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, 6PM, 8PM. and 9PM EST. “As recovery meetings have continued to close around the country and world, the need for connection and ongoing mutual aid is larger than ever”, said Robert Ashford, person in recovery and Unity Recovery Executive Director, “people are connecting in creative ways and maintaining their recovery in the most trying of times.” “The need for support doesn’t go away during this time. It only grows as people socially distance and there aren’t any options for those in or seeking recovery to get the support they need,” said WEconnect Health cofounder and CEO Daniela Tudor, who is in recovery herself. “Family members and loved ones need just as much support as individuals during this time, and being able to offer both types of recovery meetings is so important,” said Brent Canode, Executive Director of the Alano Club of Portland.

As of 2019, there are more than 66,000 12-step meetings in the U.S. alone and thousands of similar type of support groups. Particularly for those new in recovery and just leaving treatment, having no access to recovery meetings or therapy during this time exponentially increases the likelihood of recurrence of substance use, overdose and even death.

ABOUT Unity Recovery
Unity Recovery is a community-based, non-profit recovery community organization based in Philadelphia. At Unity Recovery, we partner with the entire community to bring comprehensive community-based recovery support to those that need them – from recovery meetings, peer recovery specialists, education and vocational training. As a hybrid recovery community organization, we support individuals in all types of recovery utilizing various pathways, all for no fees and no strings.

ABOUT WEconnect Health
WEconnect Health provides the most effective digital solution for substance use. Cofounded by Daniela Tudor and French Open Tennis champion Murphy Jensen, both in recovery, they have made it their mission to save lives, provide accurate outcomes data, and support healthcare ecosystems, communities and families.

ABOUT SOS Recovery Community Organization
SOS Recovery Community Organization is a recovery community organization based in
Somersworth, NH with recovery community centers in Dover, Rochester and Hampton, NH.
The mission of SOS Recovery Community Organization is to reduce stigma and harm associated with substance use and misuse by providing safe space and peer based supports for people in all stages of recovery. SOS is a program of Greater Seacoast Community Health is a 501c3 non-profit federally qualified health center.



Portsmouth homeless memorial vigil remembers those who died in 2019

Read the full article on Fosters.com

Hospital staff buy gifts for local families

Read the full article in Fosters.com


PORTSMOUTH – About two dozen families who have home visitors from Families Health & Support Center had their holiday-gift wish lists fulfilled this year by Portsmouth Regional Hospital employees.

Every department at the hospital participated, with different departments purchasing and wrapping gifts for different families. Donors did not know the recipients’ names but only the ages of family members and what they hoped to receive.

“We share a lot of families,” Gina Apgar, family support coordinator for families who have a child with a chronic health condition, told hospital employees who gathered recently to present the gifts to home visitors from Families First. “The families you are helping with these gifts are often the same families that you see here in the hospital.” She went on to say that one of the families who received gifts last year told her that the hospital’s generosity lifted the burden of her having to choose between giving her kids Christmas gifts or paying the rent, which “freed her to enjoy the holiday season with her kids.”

This is the fifth time that hospital employees have purchased gifts for Families First families.

Families First is part of Greater Seacoast Community Health, a network of community health centers providing primary care, pediatrics, dental care, prenatal care, behavioral health counseling, substance use disorder treatment, mobile health services, WIC, social work services, a pharmacy, parenting classes, playgroups and home visiting. More information is at (603) 422-8208 or www.FamiliesFirstSeacoast.org

Portsmouth Regional Hospital is a 220-bed acute care hospital. Portsmouth Regional Hospital serves the Seacoast region’s residents in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts and is one of the area’s largest employers. Portsmouth Regional Hospital is the only ACS Verified Level II Trauma Center on New Hampshire’s Seacoast. Portsmouth Regional Hospital is the Seacoast’s only comprehensive heart and vascular program, and its only 24/7 neurosurgical and stroke clot retrieval programs. For more information about Portsmouth’s services and physicians, visit: www.portsmouthhospital.com.

Gonzalo Cedeño

Gonzalo Cedeño, LICSW/Behavioral Health Specialist is a bilingual therapist with experience in substance abuse treatment and mental health services. He primarily focuses on cognitive behavioral and person centered therapy with  a passion for empowering individuals.