Please Be Mindful this Year

A few years ago, I joined a teleconference on my Bluetooth and I drove the entire 12 minutes home.  When I pulled in to my driveway, I didn’t even remember driving home.  This realization shook me, and from that moment on, I decided that I would no longer engage in important phone calls (on my Bluetooth) while driving.  I learned that “uni-tasking” is much more effective than “multitasking.”

Think about it, can you really give 100% of your attention to everything at the same time?  The answer is no, although much of corporate America prides itself on “multitasking.”  I don’t think multitasking is effective or anything to brag about.  I think this is how mistakes are made.  Human beings are binary — many people (including me) are guilty of multitasking, but actually when we are emailing or texting, at that moment we are not paying attention to the person on the phone, in our office, or whatever else we may be doing.  This includes catching up on emails while on a conference call, texting or catching up on emails during in-person meetings, etc.

Unitasking instead of multitasking can be carefully guided by the concepts of mindfulness, a special kind of attention that requires devoting of our conscious attention, to one task at a time.  My favorite recreational activity is downhill skiing because to ski fast, and safely, down the mountain, I must be completely focused and present.  If I am not paying attention, I run the risk of hurting myself or others.  This conscious focus certainly takes discipline; however, organizations who have embraced this concept, like Northeast Delta Dental, have noticed a real change.  We all have a lot of work to do; however, instead of giving less of our attention to multiple things, it is far better to give all of our attention to one thing.

Following this mindfulness mantra, I recently co-authored a book with organizational leadership expert, Annabel Beerel, PhD.  The book titled, Mindfulness. A Better Me. A Better You. A Better World, will be available on Amazon in the coming weeks.

I challenge all of you to try to be a little bit more mindful this year.  Again, mindfulness is a discipline that must be practiced; however, this book will provide readers with a framework and a history of successful mindfulness practices that we hope will be a helpful resource on you mindfulness journey.

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WZID Christmas is for Kids Radiothon

I recently joined WZID, during their annual Christmas is for Kids Radiothon, of which Northeast Delta Dental was a proud sponsor.  The event raised more than $195,000 over two days (December 7th and 8th) to support Child & Family Services of New Hampshire.  You may listen to my interview here.

We are proud to be in the company of many generous organizations supporting this important cause including: Fairpoint Communications, Cross Insurance, Bellwether Community Credit Union, SNHU, Halle Oil, Autofair, Catholic Medical Center, OptumInsight, Granite State Credit Union, NH Blacktop Sealers, Manchester Harley Davidson, Eastern Bank, Ira Toyota, Anagnost Companies, TD Bank, Eversource, Macy Industries, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and Merchants Automotive.

The WZID Christmas is for Kids Radiothon helps Child & Family Services of New Hampshire further their mission to advance the well-being of children through providing an array of social services to strengthen family life and promote community commitment to the needs of children.

Happy Holidays!

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Granite State Baseball Dinner is a big win for local charities

One of my favorite annual events is the Granite State Baseball Dinner, presented by Northeast Delta Dental, recently held at the Radisson Hotel Expo Center, Manchester, New Hampshire.  The attendees are baseball fans and representatives of businesses who help to make this fundraiser successful, with the spotlight on honored baseball personalities.

This year’s lineup included 17 celebrity guests, five of which were spotlighted as honored guests:  Luis Tiant, who pitched for six major league teams and is recognized as one of the most durable pitchers of his generation; Claudia Williams, author of Ted Williams, My Father: A Memoir, recounting her relationships with one of baseball’s brightest stars; pitcher Chris Carpenter, perhaps one of the most widely recognized players from the Granite State; Tony Perez, one of the most popular Cincinnati Reds of all time; and Rico Petrocelli, who spent his entire 13-year career with the Boston Red Sox. We were proud to honor Johnathan Davis (in absentia) with the Gold Crown Award from Northeast Delta Dental as the Fisher Cats’ 2017 Player of the Year.

The Granite State Baseball Dinner is always positive and fun for everyone who attends.  It benefits three terrific organizations: the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD), New Hampshire’s only comprehensive full-service children’s hospital (www.ChaDkids.org); the Ted Williams Museum, devoted to preserving and building on the rich traditions of our national pastime, baseball (www.tedwilliamsmuseum.com); and the Fisher Cats Foundation, a statewide charitable organization providing scholarships to college-bound New Hampshire and Massachusetts high school student athletes and supporting youth organizations and charities throughout the state (www.nhfishercats.com).

Through sponsorship donations, ticket sales, silent and live auctions, and raffle ticket sales, more than $100,000 was raised in 2017; and, since 2007, the dinner has generated more than $1.7 million for these three worthy charities.

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Tom speaking to the crowd at the Northeast Delta Dental Granite State Baseball Dinner

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Easterseals New Hampshire, Northeast Delta Dental team-up to help veterans smile

On Friday, November 10, Northeast Delta Dental and Easterseals New Hampshire worked together to provide free dental treatment to more than 50 Veterans at the Oral Health Center’s Veterans’ Appreciation Day.

The genesis of this commemorative day is Dr. Shannon Farrell, who leads the Oral Health Center and recently lost her father, a veteran and recipient of two Purple Hearts.  To reduce transportation barriers for veterans attending this special event, the Manchester Transit Authority generously offered free, round-trip, transportation on their fixed routes to any veteran.

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Dr. Shannon Farrell examines a patient before administering care during Veterans’ Appreciation Day at Easterseals NH’s Oral Health Center.

Occasions like this truly demonstrate that if there is a health need in New Hampshire, businesses, private citizens, and nonprofits can work together to improve outcomes.  We are proud to support our military heroes and play a small role in helping them improve their oral health.

As a business, another way we help veterans with their oral health is through the availability of the Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), a national dental insurance program for veterans enrolled in VA health care.  This program is designed to offer veterans the best value and service available very affordably.  Learn more about VADIP here.

I am grateful to our military heroes for their service to our country.  Northeast Delta Dental is proud to have many veterans on our team.  We honored our veteran employee colleagues at a special luncheon on Friday, November 10, during which we presented these employees with a National Defense Service Medal.  Thank you for your service!

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Northeast Delta Dental and Tufts Health Freedom Plan Support Action Against Opioids

Search “Opioids” on your web browser, and you will find over 14,000,000 results consisting of articles, facts, news releases and helplines. The Opioid crisis is real and it’s all around us. Northeast Delta Dental and Tufts Health Freedom Plan continue a strong partnership to do our part of increasing awareness and preventing temptation of what too often becomes a serious addiction.

A recent grant awarded to Granite Health supporting initiatives initially started by Jim and Jeanne Moser’s Zero Left Campaign battles New Hampshire’s opioid crisis by reducing excess prescription opioids. The campaign embarked on a journey to stop addiction before it starts beginning with three important components. Placing Takeback Boxes at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, LRGHealthcare in Laconia, and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, distributing Deterra Deactivation Pouches to discharged surgical patients, and offering specialized Provider Education; the campaign’s initiatives will bring significant change in New Hampshire’s Opioid Crisis.

Opioid addiction affects everyone in our state, and does not discriminate. With the effects that addiction has on Oral Health, we make it our community responsibility to continue business relationships and create strong partnerships that will support campaigns like Zero Left, and honor Adam Moser’s memory.

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Wentworth-Douglass unveiled their drug takeback box on Tuesday, July 19.  In attendance was (from left to right):  Richard Meinking, PharmD, Pharmacy Director, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital; P. Travis Harker, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Granite Health; Gregory J. Walker, FACHE, President and CEO, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital; New Hampshire Governor, Chris Sununu; President, Tufts Health Freedom Plan, Brian Wells, and President & CEO of Northeast Delta Dental, Tom Raffio

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Oral health doesn’t have to be an uphill battle

With a summit reaching 4,393 feet, the view at the top of Mt. Mansfield reveals Vermont’s spectacular landscape; a good reason not to miss the Northeast Delta Dental Race to the Top of Vermont on Sunday, August 27, in Stowe.

In addition to the beautiful view, the “cherry on top” of the Northeast Delta Dental Race to the Top of Vermont is that this important annual event raises funds to support the Catamount Trail Association and the Vermont Head Start Tooth Tutor Program.

The Tooth Tutor Program improves oral health outcomes for children from low income families served by Head Start. The Catamount Trail Association works to maintain and develop public-access trails across the state of Vermont providing people with the opportunities of outdoor recreation year round. This race represents the marriage of what most people would think are two organizations providing completely different outcomes. However, we all share the same goal; improve access to overall health and wellness.

You cannot have good oral health without good overall health.  I make many presentations every year during which I remind folks of this important connection – the mouth is part of the body. Performing activities that are physically challenging, like road races and walks, are also important pieces of the wellness puzzle.

See you on August 27!

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2016 Annual Report

It’s hard to believe that we are coming to a close on the second quarter of 2017! Every year, we work hard to make our Annual Report special and different from the previous year, this is an easy task because of the many exciting initiatives we undertook in 2016 and oral health grants we distributed. It is essential that we share with you our greatest accomplishments and steadfast commitment to continue our relentless efforts of expanding access to and the quality of oral health care and education.

Partnering with Tufts Health Freedom Plan in New Hampshire, rolling out our Health through Oral Wellness® (HOW®) program, investing in continuing education, community clinics and local hospital trauma centers, and supporting employees who volunteer by giving back to our communities, are some of the highlights in 2016.

Listening to the needs of our members, providers and colleagues creates positive community involvement throughout our organization to change the future of oral health and wellness. I invite you to read our 2016 Annual Report (located on our website here) and see the exciting things we have completed; we continue to move forward with new innovations…wait until you see 2017!

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