2015 Members Participate in United Way Poverty Simulation

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, February 12, 2015- Local non-profit Leadership Seacoast, an organization committed to developing informed and active community leaders, recently completed its third interactive workshop of 2015: Health and Human Services Day. The program was held at the Community Campus in Portsmouth–a collaborative, multi-tenant nonprofit health initiative created and constructed by the Foundation for Seacoast Health–and explored the impact of healthcare delivery on the region’s communities as well as the cost and availability of social services throughout the state and the exploding substance abuse epidemic.

The day kicked off with a talk by Tym Rourke, Director of Substance Use Disorders, who covered efforts in NH for prevention and treatment. Jeanne Ryer, Director of Citizens Health Care Initiative followed with a deep dive into health care reform. Then, participants took part in the Walk a Mile (in their shoes) Poverty Simulation, sponsored by the United Way of the Greater Seacoast. The simulation was designed to help participants understand the challenges facing a low-income family trying to survive from month. The last speaker of the day was Nick Toumpas, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, who discussed the challenges facing state services, funding and changes associated with the Affordable Care Act.

Insights from the day’s speakers gave Leadership Seacoast participants a greater understanding of the broad and complicated social factors influencing health in our state. Tym Rourke discussed why he believes targeting substance abuse and addiction is fundamental to progress. “Many causes of death and the most expensive diseases in this state are correlated with substance use and addiction; addiction doesn’t happen in isolation, we need to start preventing or intervening earlier, which requires adequate foresight and funding, but will save money, resources and lives in the long run.”

Thanks to year-long sponsors Bottomline Technologies, Revision Energy, and Calypso Communications, Leadership Seacoast is able to provide meaningful experiences for every student, offer scholarships to participants, create further opportunities for alumni, and secure the best speakers and venues. For more information about Leadership Seacoast and becoming a corporate sponsor, visit https://www.leadershipseacoast.org/ or contact Jennifer Wheeler at 603-334—6063 or jwheeler@leadershipseacoast.org.


About Leadership Seacoast

Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Leadership Seacoast program provides existing and future community leaders the opportunity to engage with the people and organizations that shape the Seacoast’s economic structure and social fabric. Leadership Seacoast offers its participants unique insight into how business, community, and politics integrate to create successful societies and how small actions can have a significant impact on the greater global good. Leadership Seacoast alumni make a difference in their communities through networking, active involvement, and personal action. Since its inception in 1988, Leadership Seacoast has created a strong foundation that values diversity of opinion and consensus building to find solutions to challenges affecting the Seacoast’s community and its future. For more information about our programs please contact us at jwheeler@leadershipseacoast.org or check out our website at www.leadershipseacoast.org