Affiliates in Action: New London Hospital Employee Recognized
Catherine Bardier, the director of Wellness and Community Health at New London Hospital, was honored by Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s (D-H’s) Partners for Community Wellness (PCW) with the PCW Alfred L. Griggs’ Ambassador Award on November 8 at the PCW annual meeting. Recipients of the Griggs’ Ambassador Award “have made a commitment to be a part of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s global health solution by promoting wellness at every level of their community,” according to the PCW website.
“I was incredibly honored and really excited to receive this award,” said Bardier. “I have the greatest job in the world. I have the opportunity to wake up every day and help people around me who are making changes in their lives, whether it is healthy eating or active living. I love the positive changes I see in the community [New London] and with the employees here at the hospital. It’s a really rewarding position, so to be recognized for that is just great.”
In 2013, the inaugural award was presented to Alfred L. Griggs and then named in his honor in recognition of his outstanding contributions to D-H and the community. Griggs’ commitment to Dartmouth-Hitchcock began in 1994 when he joined the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees. He chaired the board for six years and was co-chair of the Transforming Medicine Campaign, which concluded in 2009, and raised more than $250 million.
Nicole LaBombard, the PCW program coordinator, noted that Bardier was nominated for the award by multiple people. “She was nominated for her work with Honoring Care Decisions [Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s advanced care planning program] and then received another nomination for her work with the employer roundtable. So that goes to show the quality of work she’s doing with different programs.”
Bardier oversees New London Hospital’s Wellness Connection Coalition as well as its subgroup, The Employer Network, and is also responsible for the New London Hospital Employee Wellness Program. She previously worked at New London Hospital as the vice president of human resources from 2009 to 2013. During that time, she was instrumental in establishing The Wellness Connection and promoting its mission of providing Lake Sunapee Region communities with a sustainable and collaborative long-term plan for measurably improving health and wellness. Prior to rejoining New London Hospital in 2016, Bardier served as vice president of human resources at Elliot Health System in Manchester, NH. She currently serves on the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Advisory Board and is chair of its Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) sub-group. She also serves on the New Hampshire Governor’s Council for Physical Activity and Health and the D-H Partners for Community Wellness Executive Committee.
“I joined the PCW executive board last year, and they are doing some great things to help improve health in our communities,” Bardier said. “We’ve implemented some of their programs here in the Lake Sunapee region, like the advance care planning initiative and the community education programs. We’re also creating some innovative programs like our Fruit and Vegetable RX program. It’s been exciting to watch these programs take hold in the community.”
Since joining the PCW executive committee, LaBombard said Bardier has brought many different partners to the table, as well as a unique perspective gained from nearly 30 years of working in human resources (HR). “It’s interesting how she’s able to use her HR experience to advance community health,” LaBombard said. “There’s a lot of interest now around how we can work with employers and support them in the work that they’re doing, and she has good insight into how we can make the health proposition more attractive to employers.”