Health care labor shortages
Health care workforce shortages in New Hampshire have resulted in an increased reliance on contract labor, according to a recent report released by the New Hampshire Hospital Association, which has driven expenses up and operating margins down at hospitals and health care facilities throughout the state. New Hampshire hospitals experienced a 133.1 percent increase in contract labor costs from 2021 to 2022 and are projected to spend $302.7 million on contract labor in 2022, up from $118.5 in 2019, pre-pandemic.
QOL score: -2
Comment: The New Hampshire Hospital Association is working to address the problem by calling on stakeholders to support workforce development initiatives that ensure sustainable recruitment and retention of health care workers, and is calling for state and federal resources to support hospitals at this time of high demand for hospital services.
Getting food to people who need it
Citizens Financial Group has contributed $56,000 to the New Hampshire Food Bank — funding that will support two new refrigerated food distribution trucks, ensuring reliable daily transportation to provide food to people throughout New Hampshire who are experiencing food insecurity. Approximately 7 percent of New Hampshire’s residents — and 9.5 percent of New Hampshire children — are in need of food assistance, according to a press release. There will be an unveiling of one of the new trucks on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 10 a.m., at the NH Food Bank headquarters (700 E. Industrial Park Drive, Manchester).
QOL score: +1
Comment: Citizens Financial Group is also hosting a virtual food drive throughout September to support Feeding America, which provides at least 10 meals through community food banks for every $1 donated. It has agreed to match each dollar donated up to $20,000, according to the release. Visit teamfeed.feedingamerica.org to learn how you can help.
Bike and park
Bike to the Manchester Citywide Arts Festival street fair (at the Opera Block of Hanover Street this Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18) and the Queen City Bike Collective will provide free valet bike parking (from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday), according to a press release from the Manchester mayor’s office. Also happening downtown Saturday is the CelebratED MHT event in Veterans Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. celebrating Manchester’s schools and offering food and entertainment. Attendees of either event — or just anyone who wants to ride their bike downtown this weekend— can leave their ride with the Queen City Bike Collective in City Hall Plaza.
QOL score: +1
Comments: Manchester’s mayor’s office, Queen City Bike Collective and Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission are also hosting a Park(ing) Day event on Friday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Bookery (844 Elm St. in downton Manchester) in the outdoor dining area, the press release said.
More art returns
The New Hampshire Furniture Masters return after a two-year hiatus with their Signature Fundraising Gala, known as the Main Event, on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St. in Concord). According to a press release, the event will feature an open house during the day, as well as a reception will be held in the evening with a silent auction, live entertainment, artisanal fare and craft beer. Tickets cost $20; admission is free for individuals age 21 and under. Visit furnituremasters.org/the-main-event.
QOL score: +1
Comment: The New Hampshire Furniture Masters Annual Exhibition, on display at Kimball Jenkins now through Oct. 25, is the result of a three-month artistic partnership between 14 Furniture Masters and 28 selected artists and faculty from Kimball Jenkins and features fine furniture, paintings, photography and poems.
QOL score: 82
Net change: +1
QOL this week: 83
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