At the Hospitals: – Valley News

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Names Thoracic Surgery Chair

Lebanon — David Finley, chief of thoracic surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, has been named the Louise R. and Borden E. Avery Clinical Chair. Finley also directs the Comprehensive Thoracic Oncology Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

“Through his research and clinical expertise, David is positioning Dartmouth-Hitchcock to be at the forefront of patient-centered thoracic surgical care,” Sandra Wong, chair of surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, said in a news release.

Finley came to Dartmouth-Hitchcock in 2015, when he was recruited to lead thoracic surgery as its own clinical division. Since then he has focused on providing thoracic surgery to treat advanced lung and esophageal cancer or difficult-to-reach tumors in the chest. He previously worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he helped develop the robotic esophagectomy program.

The Louise R. and Borden E. Avery Clinical Chair was established in 2002 by Louise Avery and her son, Allen Avery, in honor of DHMC cardiothoracic surgeon Stephen K. Plume. Their gift recognizes the care that Plume gave the late Borden E. Avery and the contributions he made to the medical practice of cardiothoracic surgery prior to his retirement in 2002.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Names Inaugural Visual Sciences Scholar

Lebanon — Michael E. Zegans, section chief of ophthalmology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, has been named the inaugural Francis A. L’Esperance, Jr., MD, Visual Sciences Scholar at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

L’Esperance was a renowned ophthalmologist who graduated from Dartmouth College and the Geisel School of Medicine. He established the Visual Sciences Scholar endowment to support research in ophthalmology and diseases of the eye.

Zegans, who came to Dartmouth-Hitchcock in 1998, is a professor of surgery and of microbiology and immunology at the Geisel School of Medicine, and faculty director of the Health Professions Program at Dartmouth College. He will use the endowment to further research ocular surface infection, an area that he has studied in the past.

New London Hospital Names New Chief Financial Officer, Vice President

​​New London — New London Hospital has named Lisa Cohen the hospital’s new chief financial officer and Barbara Mahar has been named permanent vice president of the New London Hospital Medical Group.

Cohen a certified public accountant, has been with New London Hospital since 2014, when she was hired as controller and vice president of finance. Prior to that she worked as controller for Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire, and at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital as a senior accountant.

She is thrilled to now be CFO, replacing Don Griffin, who is retiring.

“I fell in love with working for nonprofits very early on in my career, and I am excited to continue in a position where I can affect positive change for our patients and their families,” Cohen said in a news release.

As vice president, Mahar will oversee NLH’s outpatient practices, as well as those at Newport Health Center and the New London Pediatric Care Center. She is experienced in hospital management, having led teams at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Mt. Ascutney Hospital Receives $25,000 Grant

Windsor — Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center has received a $25,000 grant from the hospital’s Auxiliary, the final payment of a $100,000 commitment from the Auxiliary to support the Positively Vital campaign, which aims to raise $7 million to modernize the hospital in Windsor and Ottauquechee Health Center in Woodstock.

“With the financial pressures faced by small hospitals today, our work to help ensure that the hospital’s technology and facilities are up-to-date has never been more important— and our dedication has never been stronger,” Auxiliary Board President Karen Hill said in a news release.

The Positively Vital campaign is raising funds to improve facilities in Windsor and Woodstock, including repurposing the former nursing home into acute inpatient rehabilitation space. The project will rely on the support of community members like those who make up the hospital’s Auxiliary.

“We literally could not do our work without the strong support of our Auxiliary,” said Dr. Joseph Perras, the CEO of Mount Ascutney Hospital. “Their pledge represents the Auxiliary’s largest-ever commitment to our work, and we’re proud to recognize their contributions of time, funding and effort by naming the new Outpatient Physical Therapy Gym in their honor.”

For more information on the Positively Vital campaign, visit

Lake Sunapee VNA Honors Newport Veteran

Newport — Members of the Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice gathered on July 6 to honor Kenneth Currier, a World War II veteran, the day before he died. During a ceremony in his Newport home, Currier was presented with a plaque and pin commemorating his military service, as well as a commemorative memory book. He was 92 years old when he died the following day. The ceremony was part of the “We Honor Veterans” program, developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs to celebrate veterans in their final days.

“The program means so much to veterans,” said Maureen Healey, a social worker and hospice team member with Lake Sunapee Region VNA. “Families have reported how proud they were and showed the tribute plaque and newspaper articles to anyone that came into the house. Many veterans haven’t talked about their experiences much and this starts a dialogue with their family. The family, often more than the client, think it’s important that the community knows of their loved ones military service.” Currier’s widow, Barbara, said the family was happy to have been able to honor his service in such a meaningful way.

Currier served in the Army from 1941 to 1946 as an artillery gunner in Battery A of the 739th Artillery Battalion. He stormed Normandy Beach, helped to release prisoners from concentration camps and transported officials involved in the Nuremberg trials. He recalled that during his time stationed in England the locals didn’t like American soldiers because “we drank too much of their beer.”

John-Monroe-Cassel, a spiritual care provider and hospice team member, said many veterans want to share stories of their service at the end of their lives.

“Often in hospice care, veterans take the opportunity to talk about their service to people who are compassionate and do not judge them,” he said.

After being discharged from the military, Currier worked for 30 years as a service manager and mechanic at Chase & Avery Garage in Newport. He also drove for the Newport’s ambulance service during the early 1960s.

— Compiled by Kelly Burch


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