BANFF Mountain Film Festival rolls into Portsmouth March 14th & 15th

PORTSMOUTH, March 7, 2018 — The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is making a stop in the seacoast as a fundraiser for Goodwin Community Health and Families First. The annual event, now in its 23rd year, will run for back-to-back nights on March 14th and 15th. Each night will feature its own unique line up of the world’s best mountain culture films. Attendees can come for one night or both.

The 2018 World Tour features a collection of adrenaline-charged and thought-provoking films that explore life in the mountains. They highlight remote cultures, intense expeditions into exotic landscapes and bring adrenaline-packed action sports into sharp focus. This world renowned Film Festival invites attendees to get off the beaten path and explore the edge of the believable. The event takes place at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Doors open at 6 p.m. and films begin at 7 p.m.

Event proceeds assist local families in accessing quality, affordable primary and preventive health care services, free from cultural and economic barriers through Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth or Families First Health & Support Center in Portsmouth and Seabrook.

“These films are collections of wild, inspiring, and exhilarating places and people,” said Lara Willard Community Relations Director for Goodwin Community Health. “The stories are as diverse and dynamic as the corners of the globe they come from. They are short movies about outdoor adventurers, explorers and daredevils who paddle, peddle, climb, ski, swim and even fly about in some of the most breath-taking scenic sites on Earth.”

The festival will screen eight films per evening — including short, four-to-five minute films interspersed with longer, 35-plus minute features — with a unique set of films showing each night.

Be moved. Be inspired. Don’t miss out. Tickets usually sell out so get them early. Tickets are $24.50 at The Music Hall Box Office and are also available by phone or online for an additional $5 charge. For tickets and details contact The Music Hall Box Office at 603-436-2400 or visit

The Portsmouth stop of the 2018 World Tour will feature the following films:


Wednesday, March 14


Where the Wild Things Play

2017, USA, 4 minutes

Filmmaker: Krystle Wright

There’s an ongoing discussion of why there aren’t more females in the adventure industry; whether it’s in big mountain skiing, climbing, or whitewater kayaking. Well, it’s about time we found out Where the Wild Things Play!



2016, Canada, 14 minutes

Filmmaker: Anthony Bonello, Switchback Entertainment Inc

Kilian Jornet is considered the greatest mountain runner ever. But he doesn’t consider himself a runner. Join Kilian in his new backyard in Norway as he attempts to ski and run the Seven Summits of Romsdalen in a single day, a 77 kilometre route with 9,000 metres of elevation gain.



2016, USA, 9 minutes

Filmmaker: Katie Stjernholm, Balcony Nine Media

At the ripe old age of 90, Yvonne Dowlen has been ice skating for as long as she can remember. Edges is a celebration of a life well lived.


DugOut (Tour Edit)

2017, UK, 41 minutes

Filmmaker: Benjamin Sadd

PG – Coarse Language and Nudity

Ben and James decide to travel to the Ecuadorian Amazon, live with an indigenous community, learn from them how to build a canoe from scratch, then take that canoe on a journey… What could go wrong?


Ice Call – Backyards Project – Sam Favret

2016, France, 3 minutes

Filmmaker: PVS Company

Try to keep up to freerider Sam Favret as he gives us a new perspective of the mythical Mer de Glace, at the heart of Mont-Blanc.


Dreamwalkers – The Faroes Project (Tour Edit)

2017, Australia, 17 minutes

Filmmaker: Chris Eyre-Walker, Chris Eyre-Walker Photography

Four friends set out on an adventure to be the first to highline in one of the most unlikely of places: the Faroe Islands.


The Last Honey Hunter

2017, Canada, 35 minutes

Filmmaker: Ben Knight, Felt Soul Media

PG – Coarse Language

Maule Dhan Rai is the last man in the remote Nepal village of Saadi who’s been visited in a dream by a wrathful forest spirit called Rongkemi. If no one else in the village has the dream, a generations-old tradition may die.


Intersection: Micayla Gatto

2017, USA, 5 minutes

Filmmaker: Lacy Kemp, Juicy Studios


Best Film: Mountain Sports

Mountain biker Micayla Gatto takes the viewer into her world as a painter and as an athlete, riding through beautifully created masterpieces where colours come to life and reality blends with art.



Thursday, March 15


Imagination: Tom Wallisch

2017, Canada, 5 minutes

Filmmaker: Sherpas Cinema


Best Film: Snow Sports

Have you ever been that little kid sitting in the back seat of your parents’ car, wishing you were somewhere else? So you imagine a skier on the side of the road, your fingers commanding back flips and roof drops, improbable rail slides and huge airs. Well, what if your imagination came to life?



2017, USA, 8 minutes

Filmmaker: Scott Hardesty, Ultralite Films

Forty-three countries down, Hera van Willick rides her bicycle across continents, fully self-supported, sharing her journey and what she has learned along the way.


Into Twin Galaxies – A Greenland Epic

2016, Germany, 52 minutes

Filmmaker: Jochen Small, Drehxtrem, Red Bull Media House

PG – Coarse Language

Special Jury Mention

3 National Geographic “Adventurers of the Year” embark on an insane kayaking mission in Greenland. With kite skis, they tow their white water kayaks over 1000 km of the Greenland Ice Cap to reach the most northern river ever paddled.


Surf The Line

2016, France, 3 minutes

Filmmaker: Hello Emotion

For The Flying Frenchies, thinking out of the box isn’t a choice – it’s a way of life.


My Irnik

2017, Canada, 16 minutes

Filmmaker: Matthew Hood

Originally from Montreal, Conor falls in love with the northern way of life, and a woman, in the Canadian Arctic. Now the young father helps to pass on the native traditions and ancestral culture to his son, as he learns them himself.



2016, UK, 4 minutes

Filmmaker: Ian Derry, Archer’s Mark

Best Short Film

For freediver Johanna Nordblad, diving under the ice provides a surreal, calming environment that helps heal her injuries.


Loved By All: The Story of Apa Sherpa

2017, Canada, 14 minutes

Filmmaker: Sherpas Cinema

Apa Sherpa has climbed Mount Everest 21 times, but he wouldn’t wish this upon anybody. Having grown up in the remote Khumbu region of Nepal, Apa was forced to leave school and work as a porter at the age of 12. For Nepal’s rural people, the income earned as a high altitude porter conflicts with the dreams made possible only through education and knowledge.



2017, USA, 25 minutes

Filmmaker: Cedar Wright and Taylor Keating


Classification: 14A – Coarse Language & Violence

Maureen Beck has never let the fact that she is missing her lower left arm hold her back from climbing. She doesn’t want to be considered a good one-armed climber, or a good female climber…she just wants to be a plain good climber.


About the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival:
Immediately following the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, held annually in November in Banff, Alberta, Canada, a selection of the top films submitted to the Festival go on a tour around the world. Host organizations in each tour location help to choose a program that reflects the interests of their community, creating a unique celebration of adventure and adventurers at each stop. The World Tour spans the globe, reaching over 400,000 audience members.

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity:
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential.

For details about the Banff Mountain Film Festival, the World Tour and Banff Centre, please contact:
Megan Smith
Ph: 403.762.6401

Screenings of The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in Canada and the USA are presented by The North Face; sponsored by Deuter, Clif Bar & Company, Mountain House, Oboz Footwear, Yeti Coolers, Buff® and Rab; with support from Petzl, Kicking Horse Coffee, World Expeditions, The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola, Mammut and Banff and Lake Louise.


Media contact
Lara Willard, Goodwin Community Health, 603-516-2558,,


Goodwin Recognized with 2017 Quality Improvement Award

The Department of Health and Human Services has recognized Goodwin Community Health as a leading provider in Health Center care. Goodwin achieved the best overall clinical performance among all health centers, placing in the top 30 percent of the rankings for Clinical Quality Measures.

We are very proud to receive this recognition and we plan on pushing even further to provide the best care we can to our community. As one of nearly 1,400 health centers operating across the United States, we strive each day to improve the lives of as many people as possible.

We would like to thank all of our determined and selfless staff who have worked hard to help achieve this award, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services for the recognition. Thank you to the members of this community who help us reach our goals and the citizens and patients who visit us each day.

Active Parenting Class Pic

‘Active Parenting’ classes coming to Somersworth

Winning cooperation from kids, teaching values and responsibility, and reducing power struggles are some of the things parents can learn at the Active Parenting series coming to Goodwin Community Health beginning March 7.

Bob Pavlik, M.Ed., a longtime parent educator with Families First Health & Support Center in Portsmouth, will lead the program. Families First and Goodwin merged on Jan. 1. Part of the goal of the merger was to allow the two community health centers better serve their communities by tapping into each other’s different areas of expertise – including Families First’s 25 years of offering parenting classes and other parent and family programs.

Active Parenting is designed for parents of children ages pre-school through teens. The group will explore some of the most effective parenting techniques and find the ones that will work for their families. Active Parenting, a curriculum used all over the world, has been updated to include new videos, as well as:

  • how brain development affects children’s behavior and decision-making
  • improved discipline and communication
  • how to prevent future use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs
  • 7 Smart Things you can do immediately for school success

Active Parenting will meet Wednesday evenings, 6-7:30 p.m., from March 7 through April 11 at Goodwin Community Health (311 Route 108 in Somersworth).

The program is free and includes free child care.  Advance signup required.
More information is at 603-422-8208, option 2, or

WHAT: Active Parenting
WHERE: 311 Route 108, Somersworth
WHEN: Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., March 7 through April 11
CONTACT: 603-422-8208,option 2, or

Goodwin and Families First Complete Merger

Goodwin  and Families First Complete Merger – PORTSMOUTH and SOMERSWORTH, January 2, 2018 – Goodwin Community Health of Somersworth and Families First Health & Support Center of Portsmouth today announced the completion of their merger, originally announced in May. Both Families First and Goodwin will continue providing services at all current locations,  under their current names, while the organization’s overarching legal name becomes Greater Seacoast Community Health.

Janet Laatsch will lead the merged organization as CEO. Laatsch, who has expertise in finance and nursing, has served as CEO of Goodwin since 2005. Helen Taft, Families First Executive Director since 1989, retired on December 31. The merged organization’s board of directors is comprised of former board members from Families First and Goodwin. The proposed board chair is Valerie Goodwin, formerly of the Goodwin board; the proposed vice chair is Barbara Henry, formerly of the Families First board.

The merged entity will be one of New Hampshire’s largest community health centers, serving almost 18,000 local adults and children, many of them uninsured, underinsured or lacking access to affordable, quality health care. The combined organization will improve patient care and health outcomes throughout the Greater Seacoast region through clinical integration and increased access to care and services.  Patients may gain flexibility by eventually having the option of being seen at Families First facilities in Portsmouth and Seabrook, Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth, or mobile health clinics in five Seacoast towns.

“This merger expands our collective ability to help shape the future of health care delivery in our region and to create more access to much-needed care for patients,” said CEO Janet Laatsch. “It also provides opportunities to expand relationships with new and existing health partners, improve staff recruitment and retention and, most importantly, better address gaps in access to quality health care and family support.”

For more information, visit and


After the Merger
Here’s a look at the combined organization resulting from the merger of Families First Health and Support Center and Goodwin Community Health.

CEO: Janet Laatsch, RN, MBA

Employees: 260 FTE

Health Center patients: 16,500

Health Center visits: 70,000

Family Program clients: 1,825

Budget: $18.9 million

Locations: Somersworth, Portsmouth, Seabrook and mobile clinics in Portsmouth, Exeter, Hampton, Dover and Rochester.

Services at Families First and Goodwin: Primary care, prenatal care, dental care, counseling, medicationassisted treatment for substance abuse, intensive outpatient treatment for substance abuse, breast and cervical cancer screenings, child development screenings, insurance and benefits enrollment, care coordination.

Other services at Families First: Home visiting for families facing challenges, parenting classes, family programs, drug discount program, mobile health and dental clinics.

Other services at Goodwin: Pharmacy, WIC nutrition services; partners with SOS Recovery Community Centers in Durham, Dover and Rochester.


Dr. Buonomano Honored By Hope on Haven Hill

Goodwin’s oJoann-Buonomanown Dr. Joann Buonomano was recently honored as “One of Those Who Light the Way” at Hope on Haven Hill’s First Anniversary Gala.  The Gala theme was “Honoring those who Light the Way. Dr. Buonomano is Goodwin Community Health’s Medical Director and an on staff primary care physician.  She has led the way for her dedicated primary care team to become well networked with regional addiction specialists to ensure best practice guidelines for the centers MAT program. She was also recognized for her lifelong values of delivering  patient integrity, clinical and administrative quality, and universal access to care.  Congratulations Dr. Buonomano on this well-deserved recognition and on all your hard work in advancing substance misuse and primary care.

Opinion: Fix the health center ‘funding cliff’ (from New Hampshire Business Review)

TessStackKuenning2015-WEB72-420372f8Community health centers in New Hampshire and across the nation are at tremendous risk. Without Congress’s action by Sept. 30, health center funding will immediately be cut by 70 percent.

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) funding, which goes hand-in-hand with the health center funding by supporting providers dedicated to working in underserved areas, will be eliminated. Nationally, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that this “funding cliff” could lead to about 3,000 health center sites closing their doors, 50,000 Americans losing their jobs, and 9 million losing their health care.

In New Hampshire, 12 federally funded health centers provide primary care, substance use disorder treatment, oral health services, and behavioral health services to over 89,000 citizens in underserved areas. Granite Staters will lose access to health care services when we need them the most, in the midst of an opioid epidemic, if the funding cliff isn’t fixed.

Community health centers save the American health care system billions of dollars every year ($1,263 per patient per year) by keeping people healthy and out of hospital emergency departments. Research has found that a substantial proportion of ER visits are either non-urgent or could have been avoided through timely primary care. Health centers play a vital role in reducing these avoidable ER visits by providing accessible, continuous and comprehensive primary care, especially to those at risk of using the ER for avoidable or preventable care.

Health center funding is specifically designed to provide access to care for patients in communities where doctors and services are scarce or non-existent. A 70 percent reduction in the funding of New Hampshire’s health centers means an estimated loss of nearly $16 million, with almost half of health center patients in New Hampshire losing access to health care.

Health center leadership in New Hampshire described a loss this big as “devastating,” as they would have to close sites, change their sliding fee discount programs, and eliminate services including dental and substance use disorder treatment.

For example, one CEO whose health center is located in an urban section of New Hampshire devastated by the opioid crisis, would have to terminate all services outside of primary care – leaving 2,200 patients who receive their dental, pharmacy, behavioral health, and substance use disorder care at this center with no place to turn.

The “funding cliff” also encompasses elimination of the NHSC funding, which allows primary care medical, dental and behavioral health clinicians to repay their health student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment to work at an approved NHSC site in a high-need, under-served area.

Over 55 percent of NHSC loan repayment awards are made to providers working in community health centers. NHSC funding is a critical resource for health centers in recruiting competent clinicians and attracting them to New Hampshire because it is more difficult to recruit clinicians in the rural and underserved areas of our state.

Our state is already experiencing a primary care workforce shortage with 132 reported health center and safety net provider vacancies. Any lapse in NHSC funding will be catastrophic for clinical field strength in New Hampshire.

I urge you to support the continuation of health center and NHSC funding so that health centers can continue to serve New Hampshire communities and patients. Please call your members of Congress (dial 1-866-456-3949) to ask them to fix the “funding cliff.” The health of the Granite State depends on it.

Tess Stack Kuenning is president and CEO of Bi-State Primary Care Association.

See original article here. 

Goodwin, Families First merger called an evolution in health care (from Fosters)

Merger Forum

SOMERSWORTH — Although the merger between Goodwin Community Health and Families First Health and Support Center has been in the works for three years, the collaboration between the two organizations goes back a lot further.

The two public health centers plan to merge by year’s end and held two public forums recently. At the Dover forum, David Staples, chairman of the board of Goodwin Community Health, talked about how the merger idea came up three years ago.

“One thing led to another,” he said. “We started having monthly meetings and said let’s do this.”

Once the merger is complete, Goodwin CEO Janet Laatsch will lead the merged organization as CEO. Laatsch, who has expertise in finance and nursing, has served as CEO since 2005. Helen Taft, Families First’s executive director since 1989, will retire once the transition is complete.

Taft said there’s already been a lot of cooperation and collaboration between the organizations.

According to a statement, Goodwin and Families First share similar heritages and values and nearly identical missions. They also share a 30-year history of collaborating on best practices, staffing solutions and population health programs, like mobile health care, to meet the needs of their adjoining service areas in southeastern New Hampshire and southern Maine.

Taft said Families First has two mobile medical vans that have traveled to Strafford County for many years.

“We really started to look at this five years ago,” Taft said. “We share a lot of the same patients who often move back and forth because of the cost of housing.”

Taft said there’s been a lot of talk on regionalization and mergers in health care.

“We are two of the most integrated health care centers in the state,” she said. “We can share experiences. We’ve both done a lot with the substance misuse and medically assisted treatment and the intensive outpatient program.”

Taft said there is a lot of synergy. Families First offers parenting programs that are needed in Strafford County.

“The economies of scale and consolidating administration will help,” she said. “Bigger can be better when it comes to access to capital and grants.”

Taft said the merged organizations will help with staff retention and give both units more bench depth.

Laatsch said both organizations have resources the other doesn’t. She called the merger a tremendous evolution for both organizations that will ultimately benefit patients by broadening community health care and sharing best practices.

“Throughout the process of becoming a single organization, our focus will be on continued patient-centered care to every single Families First and Goodwin Community Health patient,” she said.

State Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, attended the Dover forum and said the merger is terrific for these two organizations.

“They’re so well-known there’s a real synergy here to create a regional organization to improve health care outcomes while still respecting the missions of the two organizations,” Watters said. “We’re at a very exciting moment in health care.”

Jeffrey Hughes, vice president and chief strategy officer at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, said they support the merger.

“In my 30 years in health care, I believe this to be one of the most challenging periods we have ever seen,” Hughes said. “This merger will help prepare and also allow for sharing of the best ideas.”

Staples said they are doing the right thing, at the right time, for all the right reasons.

“We have done the due diligence and a lot of work over the past three years and there’s a lot of work ahead for all of us,” Staples said.

The merged organization will include Families First facilities in Portsmouth and Seabrook, Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth, and mobile health clinics in five Seacoast towns. For more information, visit and

See the original article here. 

Q&A with Goodwin Community Health CEO Janet Laatsch (from New Hampshire Business Review)

WEB_Janet-Laatsch-78_pp-0ee0e533In an uncertain health care environment, Janet Laatsch, CEO of Goodwin Community Health – the Somersworth-based community health center that provides primary health care and more for thousands of patient and clients in Strafford and Carroll counties and parts of southern Maine – tries to assess how the repealing, replacing or dramatically scaling back the Affordable Care Act will affect organizations like hers.

Goodwin has community roots stretching back to 1969, when founder Avis Goodwin started the first prenatal clinic in the country. Earlier this year, Goodwin announced a merger with Families First Health & Support Center of Portsmouth to combine the strengths of each organization and to position the organizations for stronger negotiating and price bargaining positions.

The merger is expected to be completed in the fall and will serve an estimated 17,000 clients at Families First facilities in Portsmouth and Seabrook, Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth and mobile health clinics in five Seacoast towns.

Laatsch, who has a background in nursing and finance (she has an MBA from the University of New Hampshire), joined Goodwin in 2001 and will lead the merged entity, which will retain locations and names.

Q. Why the merger with Families First?

A. It makes good sense, and with all that’s happening in the health care industry, the timing could not be more perfect to regionalize health care delivery services.

What makes community health centers unique is that our staff and board members live in and know the communities they serve. We’ve already had a long history of collaborating on best practices. We are both strong organizations in excellent financial shape with legacies of patient-centered care and cutting-edge work.

They do a lot more than we do on the development side, and they have used mobile vans for health and dental care, which we plan to use in our area. We have a pharmacy and they don’t, so we will be able to extend those privileges to their patients. We want some of our model and we want some of theirs.

Helen Taft (Families First CEO) and I knew this was a great merging of synergies that would benefit the region and allows to negotiate better deals as a larger organization.

Q. How did the merger process unfold?

A. Beginning in 2013, the boards of Goodwin and Families First began having proactive discussions about a merger that would leverage the strengths of both organizations. It was a very long process.

We did internal and financial and contractual due diligence, and then even more financial due diligence with projections for a combined budget. I was humbled because Families First raises about $1.2 million in development funds and we were only raising around $200,000. It was a good, honest process and when it was over we could see how this will benefit everyone. We will be able to leverage our combined budgets and unique programs for more substantial grants for family programs, dental and medical care and substance abuse programs.

Q. What is one of the misunderstood aspects of the substance abuse crisis?

A. We identified a major need and have put a strong focus on behavioral health since 2008 to deal not just with the recovery aspect of addiction. While there is so much focus on the opioid crisis, alcoholism gets diagnosed more, and more people are dying from it. It’s been around a lot longer and it’s hidden more easily than illicit drugs.

Q. How are your concerns about the various proposal to replace the ACA?

A. We hope not to go backwards. Clearly Medicaid expansion has helped us serve patients who didn’t have any insurance coverage. We have cut our uninsured rate from 35 percent to 19 percent, about 1,000 patients (the merged organization will have an estimated 3,200 uninsured patients).

The proposals to cut Medicaid would give states autonomy without the money and that will mean a shrinking of our financial resources. This is unfortunate if we do go back to where we were because studies have shown that Medicaid coverage saves money and costs 24 percent less than other forms of coverage. We will still have a sliding fee and because community health centers have faced tough times before, we know how to stretch our dollars. And we have strong community support from major organizations like the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, which understand the value we bring.

Q. What has feedback about the merger been?

A. We haven’t heard from one person who thinks it’s a bad idea. The donors and staff at Families First get it, and both organizations are seeing what each other can offer the other. We don’t plan any layoffs among our combined 240 employees, and in fact still have open positions for physicians, and we would love to hire a psychiatrist.

See the original article here.