Janet O’Brien, Partners in Health Coordinator for the Monadnock region, is one of fourteen dedicated family coordinators who were recently honored as a group with the New Hampshire Pediatric Society Public Citizen Award. This award recognizes an individual or group who has performed extraordinary work in the effort to promote the health and welfare of New Hampshire's children and families and to advocate for children and children’s healthcare.

Janet, who lives in Keene, has served as PIH Family Support Coordinator for more than six years and brings tremendous energy and experience to her efforts on behalf of families in the Monadnock region. From her office at Monadnock Developmental Services, she assists families to access appropriate services and resources, arranges for special needs during hospitalization and, after discharge, helps with school planning. PIH coordinators also provide recreational and respite opportunities, serve as advocates, listening and responding quickly and meaningfully. Problem solving around financial concerns or just finding the information needed is an important aspect of the day-to-day work of local PIH coordinators. Janet is shown in the photo at right with Greg Prazar, M.D., Preisdent of theNH Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“These folks should be proud,” says Diana Dorsey, MD, a pediatrician with NH Health and Human Services, who nominated the group for this award. “Their local pediatricians know them and voted for them because of all the hard work they do in their communities. They beat out some tough competition for this well-deserved award.”

The fourteen statewide Partners in Health coordinators who were honored at the NHPS annual conference in May are Joyce Bernier (Lancaster), Janice Boudreau (Concord), Georgie Clark (Portsmouth), Adam Dalpra (Upper Valley), Judy Day (Littleton), Katy Gautsch (Laconia), Sandra Katsikas (Manchester), Kristen McTigue (Nashua), Janet O'Brien (Keene), Maura Pennisi (Derry), Carmen Polo (Manchester), Judy Saddler (Dover), Bethany Smith (Laconia) and Leslie Stanicki (Conway).

Partners in Health (PIH) is a statewide community-based program that provides support to hundreds of families of children with chronic health conditions that significantly impact daily life. The program also provides community events, education, and resource access. The role of PIH coordinators is to advocate, access resources, navigate systems and build capacity to manage the chronic health condition of a child. Coordinators work directly with families and assist in finding resources to meet needs as families define and prioritize their concerns and issues.

The New Hampshire Pediatric Society is committed to promoting the health and welfare of the infants, children and adolescents in NH, and supports the work of the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics.