Strafford County Regional Public Health Network

Contact Information

Kevin Irwin
Public Health Advisory Council Lead
Phone: 603-516-2776

Strafford County Community Health Improvement Plan

About Our Region

The Strafford County Regional Public Health Network is a collaborative working to enhance and improve public health-related services within the region. The Strafford County Regional Public Health Network is hosted by Goodwin Community Health (GCH), which is a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves 8,000 patients.

GCH also offers its patients a medical home that includes integrated behavioral health, primary care, dental, and pre-natal. Additionally, GCH is home to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program for Strafford County and Carroll County.

The mission of the Strafford County Regional Public Health Network is to improve the health, wellness, and quality of life for all individuals in Strafford County. The PHAC Executive Committee will utilize the framework of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to prioritize public health related disparities in Strafford County. For more information on HIA, visit the Health Impact Project. Strafford County ranks 8 of 10 in Health Outcomes and Factors according to County Health Rankings. The PHAC Executive Committee is committed to improving health disparities over time by implementing population level strategies to improve health outcomes.

Public Health Region

The public health region of Strafford County Regional Public Health Network includes Barrington, Durham, Lee, Madbury, Dover, Rollinsford, Somersworth, Milton, Rochester, Strafford, Farmington, Middleton, and New Durham. Strafford County Regional Public Health Network serves the approximately 123,000 people living in these communities. Strafford County is also home to the State’s largest university, the University of NH, which has 14,700 undergraduate and graduate students.

Regional Public Health Advisory Council

The Strafford County Public Health Advisory Council Executive Committee is comprised of community leaders and representatives from a diverse group of community sectors. The Executive Committee has formed to set regional health priorities, provide guidance to regional public health activities, and ensure coordination of health improvement efforts. Currently, membership includes 15 stakeholders who meet monthly.

The Strafford County Public Health Advisory Council Network meetings are held twice yearly, in March and September. This is a larger network meeting and provides member updates, data sharing, and guest speakers. For more information on Network meetings, visit for agenda and minutes.

Priorities for Action

  • Substance misuse prevention – ONE Voice for Strafford County manages the oversight of substance misuse prevention. It provides infrastructure, leadership, and coordination to increase the number and reach of evidence-based substance misuse prevention programs, policies, and practices implemented in the region. Utilizing an asset-based public health approach, the network coordinator and partners engage and support the business, education, health, safety, government, and community and family supports sectors in the implementation of the region’s strategic plan. For more information about ONE Voice for Strafford County work regarding substance misuse prevention, visit or contact Melissa Silvey at 603-516-2562 for more information on strategies and activities for substance misuse prevention.
  • Continuum of care – The Strafford County Regional Public Health Network provides leadership, stakeholder education, coordination, and integration towards developing a comprehensive, effective, and well-coordinated array of substance misuse and behavioral health services across the Continuum of Care (CoC). This work includes convening, cultivating, and coordinating subject matter experts and stakeholders to identify assets and gaps and develop regional plans that initiate coordination, cooperation, and integration. This increases awareness of current services, removes barriers to accessing services, increases capacity of existing services, and develops new services to fill gaps. ONE Voice for Strafford County is the branded umbrella for prevention and CoC strategies and activities. SOS Recovery Community Organization, another program of Goodwin, has seen momentum within Strafford County in providing peer recovery supports at soon to be three locations and has trained over 100 recovery coaches. We have over 100 coaches trained, a model business plan that provides for sustainability under Goodwin’s umbrella. Our Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery roundtable boasts over 50 members and service agencies and the Opioid Taskforce of Strafford County meets monthly to address the region’s most pressing opioid issues. Together with partnerships with both hospitals and the IDN #6, we envision an event more robust, comprehensive, and collaborative continuum for all of Strafford County’s 125,000 residents. For more information on the Strafford County Regional Public Health Network’s work regarding CoC, please contact Melissa Silvey, Director of Public Health and Continuum of Care Manager, at 603-516-2562 or visit our website.
  • Public health emergency preparedness – Ready Strafford is charged with providing leadership and coordination to improve the readiness of partners to mount an effective response to public health emergencies and threats. This work includes the maintenance of a Regional Public Health Emergency Annex, which includes plans for response to and recovery from public health emergencies that impact communities in the region. In addition, Ready Strafford works closely with hospitals, municipal emergency management directors, and other governmental, public health, and health care entities to plan for public health emergencies and ensure the provision of public health, medical, and behavioral health services before, during, and after an incident. For more information about Ready Strafford, please visit our Facebook page to learn more about efforts underway to coordinate public health emergency preparedness or contact Dave Hutchinson at 603-516-2562.
  • Emergency volunteers – The Health and Safety Council of Strafford County coordinates efforts to recruit, train, and deploy a volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and Citizen Corps (CC) during public health emergencies. The MRC supports local emergency responders to provide emergency public health services throughout the region. MRC volunteers include medical, public health, and general professionals. For more information about the Strafford County MRC, visit or call 603-335-0168.
  • Flu clinics in schools – Goodwin Community Health, in partnership with the Strafford County Regional Public Health Network, collaborates with local schools to vaccinate students against seasonal influenza. This program prioritizes schools where children are less likely to be insured or have other barriers to being vaccinated. In this past vaccination season, we held 17 clinics in 16 schools throughout Strafford County. Over 700 children were immunized within an 8 week period. For more information about this initiative, in 2014 visit for updates and forms or call Donna Bernier at 603-516-2746.
  • Regional Prescription Drug Taskforce– ONE Voice for Strafford County collaborates with a number of drug prevention agencies and medical providers to address the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse, misuse, and overdoses. Through a monthly meeting, collaborators address prescription drug use by providing education to medical providers, utilizing a speakers bureau, developing PSAs, and facilitating an annual Rx Summit. The Summit will provide an expert panel and 7 breakout sessions, and is schedule for April 2014 at Wentworth Douglass Hospital. For more information, visit