Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Inc.

ACHS Information for a Healthy Life

October 24 2012 - ACHS Bulletin Board

Downloadable Materials

Employment Opportunities

Employment OpportunitiesJanuary 04 2017 - ACHS Bulletin Board

We encourage health care professionals, clinical and non-clinical support staff, and others who enjoy working in a team-based environment, and who are committed to quality patient care to consider ACHS as your next employer. Individual applicants only, no recruiters please.

ACHS is a nationally recognized and financially secure Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) with a focus on outcomes and community focused care that integrates primary care, behavioral health, oral health, chronic disease management and pharmacy services and delivers to a diverse and underserved patient population. The organization serves over 10,000 of the 30,000 people in its service area encompassing 26 towns in southern Coos County and northern Grafton counties.  The Health Center has 6 sites: ACHS-Littleton (Clinic, Pharmacy, Administrative Offices), ACHS Dental & Oral Health Center (on ACHS-Littleton Campus), ACHS-Franconia, ACHS-Warren, ACHS-Whitefield, and ACHS-Woodsville.

Our location in the beautiful White Mountain National Forest area of New Hampshire offers incredible natural beauty throughout the seasons and is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream land. The slower pace of life in this rural area supports a healthy work-life balance, but its location is still only 2.5 hours from Boston, even closer to Montreal, Burlington, VT and the coast of Maine.

We currently have the following positions available:


 The Dental Hygienist works closely with both the Dentist and Dental Assistant and works as part of the larger project team. This is a full-time position.

• Provides preventive and pre-therapeutic dental services to a broad range of patients
• Delivers high-quality dental hygiene within the scope of service consistent with accepted standards of care
• Evaluates patients and implements treatment regimens under the supervision of the Dentist
• Reviews and interprets patient dental records and provides complete documentation of all findings, treatments, and outcomes
• Assesses dental conditions and risk, uses patient screening procedures, including medical history review, dental charting, and perio-charting; takes patient vital signs as required

• Must be a great team player who exhibits professionalism and good character
• Must be able to communicate directly and work well with our team to contribute their professionalism for the growth of the ACHS Dental and Oral Health Center
• Computer and electronic dental records experience required
• Current NH RDH License and CPR Certification: 2 year

If you are looking for rewarding work with competitive pay and benefits at an award-winning, active and caring organization, please send your resume and letter of interest telling us why you want to be a part of the community dental public health movement.
ACHS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



ACHS is a medical/dental integrated practice with exciting learning opportunities in a fast growing and state of the art dental and oral health center. The Dental Assistant supports a variety of activities related to traditional dental center operations .This is a full-time Monday - Friday position .

• Assists the Dentist and Dental Hygienist in day-to-day operations
• Provides dental patient follow-up, collaborating on care coordination services and working as part of the larger project team
• Assisst in the provision of high-quality care within the scope of service consistent with accepted standards of care for dental assistants using all skill sets.


• Must be a great team player who exhibits professionalism and good character
• Must be able to communicate directly and work well with our team to contribute their professionalism for the growth of the ACHS Dental and Oral Health Center
• Computer and electronic dental records experience required
• DANB Radiology Certified a plus

 If you are looking for rewarding work with competitive pay and benefits at an award-winning, active and caring organization, please send your resume and letter of interest telling us why you want to be a part of the community dental public health movement.
ACHS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


FAMILY PRACTICE PHYSICIANS - ACHS is searching for energetic, mission-minded Family Practice Physicians to join its dedicated team to accommodate growth and additional access to health care for its patients. ACHS currently has 8 Family Practice Physicians, 7 APRNs, 2 Physician Assistants, 1 Pediatrician, 1 Internal Medicine Physician, 3 Pharmacists, 1 Dentist (soon to be 2), 3 behavioral health specialists attended by a robust team of clinical and non-clinical support personnel.

ACHS Physicians will experience:
• A balanced focus on quality & volume allowing more time with patients: average 20+ min visits.
• IT support team with a strong, clinical knowledge with >20 years of EHR experience.
• Integrated clinical pharmacy, dental and oral health services, behavioral health and patient navigator support, nutrition and paralegal services.
• Emphasis on self-care for patients and staff: provider driven autonomy in practice.
• Varied patient mix – pre-natal through end of life.
• Compensation is between 75%-90% of MGMA, NACHC, and Medscape scale.
• Retention bonus and relocation assistance available and negotiable.
• Extensive growth opportunities in clinical areas of interest and leadership.
• Innovative leader in second round of CMS ACO Pilot Projects.

If you’re looking for rewarding work with competitive pay and benefits at an award-winning, active and caring organization, please send resume and cover letter to:
ACHS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

ACHS Earns National Recognition for Patient-Centered Care

February 27 2013 - Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced that Ammonoosuc Community Health Services’ (ACHS) Littleton care deliver site has once again received the highest level (III) of recognition from the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term participative relationships.

The patient-centered medical home is a model of care emphasizing care coordination and communication to transform primary care into “what patients want it to be.” Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and improve patients’ and providers’ reported experiences of care. The PCMH identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians, instead of treating patient care as the sum of several episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is tended to by clinician-led care teams who provide for all the patient’s health care needs and coordinate treatments across the health care system. Medical home clinicians demonstrate the benchmarks of patient-centered care, including open scheduling, expanded hours and appropriate use of proven health information systems.

“The patient-centered medical home raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and partnerships between clinicians and patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. PCMH Recognition shows that ACHS-Littleton has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.”

To receive recognition, which is valid for three years, ACHS demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements characteristic of the medical home which are also aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

ACHS met key program components such as responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventive care and use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions.

NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s performance measurement tool is the most widely used in health care.
In response to this recognition, Teresa Brooks, ACHS’ Director of Patient Services stated, “I am delighted that the efforts of our entire organization have resulted in National Recognition demonstrating that ACHS provides the highest level of patient-centered primary preventive healthcare. Over time, this model holds significant promise for reduced costs and better health care quality.”

Health Topic of the Month - April

Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug AbuseApril 01 2013 - Press Release


Although prescription drugs can help, when not used properly, they can seriously harm.

Prescription drug abuse is the use of a prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescribing provider, for example: taking a friend’s prescription to treat your backache or snorting pills to get high.

The non-medical use of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America. The majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends – and the home medicine cabinet.

The most common drugs being abused today include: painkillers (opioids), sedatives, anti-anxiety meds and stimulants. These medications can be potentially fatal and should not be used unless under the supervision of a medical provider. The latest research shows that taking opioid pain medications for chronic pain can change the brain, damaging its ability to feel pleasure and lead to a craving for more drugs. Some studies have found that long-term use can actually lead to increased back or neck pain, reports Health Digest.

What are some of the symptoms of drug abuse?

Opioids (Oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin):

  • constipation, depression, low blood pressure, confusion, decreased breathing rate, sweating, poor coordination

Sedatives and anti-anxiety medications (Xanax, Valium, Ambien):

  • drowsiness, confusion, unsteady walking, poor judgement, rapid eye movement, dizziness

Stimulants (Ritalin):

  • weight loss, agitation, irritability, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, restlessness, impulsive behavior

There are additional behaviors that may suggest medication abuse: continually “losing” prescriptions and asking for early refills, seeking prescriptions from more than one provider, and taking higher doses than prescribed.

Treatment for prescription drug abuse

If you think you, a friend or family member may have a problem with prescription drug use, please talk to your health care provider or suggest others do.  Health care providers are trained to help you, not judge you and may be able to help coordinate further care such as counseling, support groups (NA/AA), or medications to help with withdrawal symptoms and/or avoid future relapse. Not seeking help may result in other more serious health issues, or even death.

How can prescription drub aguse be prevented?

  • Have open lines of communication with your provider.
  • Make sure you’re getting the right medications for your health issue, keep appointments, follow dosing directions, and be aware of what your medications are for
  • Do not use medication prescribed for others. Much thought goes into appropriately prescribing medications for patients, like allergies or drug interactions. Bad outcomes often occur when drugs are taken by someone other than the person for whom it was prescribed.
  • Discuss the dangers of prescription medications with teens. Their meds are not to be shared and should be kept in a safe location where quantities can be monitored.

Dispose of prescription drugs properly

Dispose of all unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs in the proper manner. Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold.  Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment so please dispose of drugs appropriately:

  • Take-back programs – National Take-Back Day Saturday, April 27th, 2013; locations can be found on the DEA website at “Got Drugs?”
  • Take meds out of the bottle, mix them with used kitty litter or coffee grounds, seal them in a bag and throw them away.
  • The Littleton Police Department now has a drug drop box located at the police station for the disposal of expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications that is available to the public Monday through Friday from 8am-6pm.

Check out the websites listed below for more information...

This report was compiled by Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Inc. (ACHS) clinical staff for informational purposes, and does not replace any advice one might receive from a qualified health care provider.

Downloadable Materials

ACHS Health Care Provider Team Receives Outstanding Clinicians Award

ACHS Provider Team Receives AwardJune 04 2013 - Press Release


The board of directors of Bi-State Primary Care Association presented the Outstanding Clinicians Award, honoring primary care clinicians whose exemplary skills and service have made a significant impact on the health of underserved populations and the community in which they serve, to the provider team of Nicole Fischler, APRN, and Allison Knight, MA, from Ammonoosuc Community Health Services (ACHS) in Littleton, New Hampshire. The awards were presented at Bi-State’s 27th Primary Care Conference on May 14 in Fairlee, Vermont.

Edward Shanshala II, CEO of ACHS, introduced the team to a crowd of nearly 200 health center leaders and providers from New Hampshire and Vermont. “Nicole and Allison have consistently demonstrated excellence in patient care and organizational leadership as it relates to providing asthma care management, one patient at a time, concurrent with enhancing the organization’s capacity to realize optimal outcomes for the population of asthmatics,” said Shanshala. “Their efforts, and the results they achieved, contributed to Ammonoosuc Community Health Services receiving the highest level recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Patient-Centered Medical Home.”

Nicole Fischler started her nursing career as a registered nurse at Boston Medical Center. In 2003, she earned a master’s degree in nursing at Simmons College in Boston. Nicole’s particular contribution to the agency and community has been in developing a template for asthma data collection, and in particular setting a standard that all patients with asthma have a stratified diagnosis, if they have persistent asthma, are on a controller, have an asthma action plan, and an annual asthma visit.

Nicole’s assistant, Allison Knight, propagated this contribution even further by learning to administer spirometry testing (used to measure lung function) in the office. Allison is a medical assistant with more than 18 years of experience. She has an associate degree in medical assisting from Fisher College in Massachusetts. She has worked in family healthcare at Ammonoosuc Community Health Services for nearly 10 years.

Medicaid Patients - Medicaid Care Management

Its time to select your plan....

September 30 2013 - Alert


New Hampshire Medicaid Care Management has 3 care management plans to pick from and 3 ways to enroll.

Your Medicaid coverage will not change. Dental and long term care supports will continue to be covered under Medicaid. With the new Health Plans, you will have access to extras like care coordination and incentives to stay healthy!

3 Ways To Enroll:

  • By Phone - Call the Enrollment Center - 1-888-901-4999.
  • On-Line - Visit NH EASY at
  • By Mail - Send in the selection form you received in the mail.

3 Plans to Choice From:

  • Meridian Health Plan
  • New Hampshire Healthy Families
  • Well Sense Health Plan

For more information:

  • Visit the DHHS wbsite at

Downloadable Materials

Advance Care Planning

Have you done any Advance Care Planning, thought or talked about what you would want if…..?

Advance Care PlanningDecember 20 2013 - Press Release


We are all fearful of what might happen in the latter stages of our lives. Most of us would rather not think about it. If we do not plan for this, it can often lead to unnecessary suffering, expense and cause the things we fear most to actually come true.

But you can prevent this from happening!

Most people do not die suddenly, instead we usually get sicker slowly. As we age, medical care becomes less able to keep us well and more likely to cause us harm. Unless we tell them otherwise, doctors and nurses feel obligated to do things we might not want that may cause great suffering, often with little or no benefit.
You can remain in control of decisions by writing down things that are important to you, that you might want if you were to lose the ability to communicate. This is Advance Care Planning.

Advance Care Planning includes:

A) Assigning a “Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOAH)”:  A DPOAH is the person or persons you choose to make decisions for you if you are not able to. In the State of New Hampshire there is no law that says who that person will be unless you assign someone.  Without a DPOAH, any disagreements between family members and/or caregivers can only be legally resolved in court – a process that takes time, causes suffering and is expensive. The Terry Schiavo case is a very good example of what happens without a DPOAH.

B) Telling your DPOAH what your end of life wishes might be: for example, writing down whether you would want your life extended through extraordinary measures in a near death situation without hope of recovery or were permanently unconscious.

C) Considering creating a living will: this is a statement that documents your wishes for end of life care.
These things are hard to think about. Without guidance, loved ones  are forced to make heart-wrenching, difficult decisions that can leave guilt and sometimes be contrary to your wishes.

If you have filled out an Advance Directive, your loved ones can trust they are doing what you would want.


Advance Care Planning: maintain control of your decisions and give the gift of an Advance Directive to yourself and your family. Contact an ACHS Patient Navigator or anyone on your health care team to assist in completing your Advance Directive now!


Want more information? Check out the websites listed below...

Advance Care Planning Guide:

This report was compiled by Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Inc. (ACHS) clinical staff for informational purposes, and does not replace any advice one might receive from a qualified health care provider.

Downloadable Materials

ACHS Patient Portal - Sign-up Today for our On-line Services

Topic of the Month - JanuaryJanuary 15 2014 - Press Release


These online services will help us communicate securely, keep your information up to date and give you access to a summary of your medical record 24 hours a day. Once you register as a member of our secure Patient Portal, you will be able to:

• View a summary of your medical record
• Complete pre-appointment forms
• Update your personal information
• Request medication refills
• Ask our front office support staff non-medical questions
• Request non-urgent appointments
• Ask our billing department questions
• Send credit/debit card payments to our billing department
• E-mail your provider

Registering to use the Patient Portal is easy!

You need to request a PIN number in order to register. You can make that request by visiting or calling one of our five convenient locations. An e-mail will be sent to your home e-mail address which will include your PIN number and the steps for registration. This PIN number will expire in 30 days. If your PIN expires, you can request a new PIN by visiting or calling us and a new PIN number will be e-mailed to you. To ensure your privacy and the security of your medical record, we do not give your PIN number over the phone.

Please register for this free service and contact us with any questions you may have at We look forward to connecting with you online.

Downloadable Materials

ACHS-Woodsville Offers Extended Hours

Additional hours on Thursday and Friday evenings until 8 pm.

June 04 2014 - Press Release


Ammonoosuc Community Health Services (ACHS) is pleased to announce it has extended hours at its Woodsville site providing additional access to patients on Thursday and Friday evenings until 8 pm.

These extended hours are covered by a nurse practitioner and are not meant to replace your primary care doctor. If a patient has a condition that needs to be looked at right away but isn't a true emergency - and it's after 5 pm, they can most likely be seen right away.

ACHS-Woodsville is providing convenient medical evaluation and treatment of simple health problems during these extended hours. The attending family nurse practitioner can diagnose and treat common illnesses and infections; treat minor wounds, cuts, abrasions, sprains and skin conditions; provide wellness services including sports and DOT physicals; and offer some routine lab tests for chronic conditions.

ACHS patients can be seen for the following types of issues during these extended hours: coughs, sore throats, minor fevers and colds, minor burns and cuts, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, eye irritations and ear aches, minor allergic reactions, headaches, animal bites, vaccines, rashes and stitches.

Patients who present themselves during these hours with more severe medical issues may be referred to another care setting. If you have a medical emergency or require immediate assistance due to an accident or injury, please call 911.

Call ACHS-Woodsville at 603-747-3740 to be seen during these extended hours: Thursday and Friday until 8 pm.

Exercise as a Lifestyle

Regular exercise is essential for your overall health and well being!

Exercise as a LifestyleNovember 06 2014 - Press Release

In 2013, the British Medical Journal did a study comparing taking drugs versus exercising to treat diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke. When 12 different drugs were compared to exercise, exercise did as well as taking a medication with the exception of those that treat congestive heart failure!

Other studies have shown that changes in diet and exercise habits can have the same results as having heart surgery for the treatment of coronary heart disease.

Medications and surgeries are very costly. It is much cheaper to exercise to prevent or control a condition.  And the only side effects are feeling better and having more energy!

Beginning and then committing to getting regular exercise is often hard.  Many feel they don’t have time for exercise. Making time for your general well-being is a great investment and you will have the added benefit of taking control of your life.

Evidence suggests that regular lifelong exercise extends lives, but the best reasons to make exercise a part of your lifestyle are:
• You FEEL better
• You perform better mentally & physically
• Better memory
• Better sleep
• Less stress
• Increased stamina
• Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight

How do I get started with exercise?
If you are not used to aerobic activity, you should begin SLOWLY with 5 or 10 minutes a session. Your goal should be getting at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity every day. You can get that amount all at once, or reach your goal by adding shorter periods of activity throughout the day.  It is important that the exercise be aerobic, which means that you increase your heart rate and have to breathe a little harder than normal.

The key to making your exercise routine successful is to make it fun, interesting and varied. It doesn’t have to be the same activity, same time of day or same location. Exercise can be done almost anywhere and doesn’t have to cost anything - aerobic walking is a great way to exercise. Find an exercise buddy and you can help each other keep focused and have fun.

A recent study of nearly 20,000 adults over a 24 year period found that exercise lowers the risk of the brain disease dementia.* Exercise improves memory and studies have also shown new brain cell growth in response to exercise. There are no pills that can match this! *Cooper Institute in Dallas, Annals of Internal Medicine 2023:158:162-168.

Many people are reluctant to exercise on a regular basis. Often, they don’t understand how it can improve their lives. Many don’t have the energy or stamina to get started because they don’t exercise, truly, a vicious cycle. Exercise is often what is needed most to give a person more energy, and feel healthier mentally and physically.

Your success with regular exercise as a lifestyle will depend on finding an exercise that you enjoy, doing it regularly and having fun!

Want more information? Check out the websites listed below…

Check out the videos listed below…
Search for the following video titles:
• 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?
• Dormfitness (shows examples of exercises you can do in a small space such as dorm room or apartment)

Other Helpful Hints…
Find an exercise App for your smart phone that suits you.
Buy a pedometer - set and increase your daily goals along with a long-term goal, say 10,000 steps?

This report was compiled by Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Inc. (ACHS) clinical staff for informational purposes, and does not replace any advice one might receive from a qualified health care provider.


Downloadable Materials

November 11th honors our veterans...

Community Health Centers & VeteransNovember 11 2014 - Alert

For 50 years, Community Health Centers have proudly served anyone who needs care, including the brave men and women who served in our armed forces. Indeed, health centers care for nearly 300,000 veterans and their numbers are growing. We believe by mission and statute that no one should wait for needed care, most especially those who put their lives at risk for our country. And, thankfully, a law is now in place that will assure veterans can more readily access care with a provider of their choice, whether it is a private doctor or a health center. 

We also believe that health centers can play an integral role in improving the health of veterans by providing a healthcare home with a range of ambulatory care services that include primary and preventive care, as well as dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and enabling services.  In providing care that equals or exceeds the quality of care experienced in private physician practices, health centers also lower healthcare costs and reduce patient visits to hospital emergency rooms. The value health centers deliver to the nation would not happen without the dedication of the over 153,000 thousand people who make the mission possible. Many of the clinicians, nurses, dentists, administrators, and chief executive officers who work at health centers are veterans themselves. Do we need more veterans to staff our health centers? The answer is yes. And we are doing all we can to spread the word.

NACHC and health centers have set a goal to hire at least one veteran for every health center site, at least 8,000 veterans. We believe that veterans have the skills and training to serve their communities as a valued member of the health center team. There are positions available in clinical operations, administrative support, executive management, health information technology (HIT) and much more.   In the coming weeks, we at NACHC will launch online resources that will not only help veterans get back to work at a health center, but also enable them to access essential health center services. 

With the demand for primary care continuing to climb at health centers, recruiting staff to help meet the demand is critical now more than ever. We look forward to working with organizations and partners at the local, state and national level to employ more men and women who have served their country as part of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Statement of Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO,
National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
On Veterans Day
November 11, 2014

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Learn more about what it is and how it is treated.

December 04 2015 - Press Release


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is believed to be a neurobiological disorder impacting areas of executive brain functioning that often becomes noticeable in early childhood and can continue into adulthood. The problems associated with ADHD fall under three headings:


  • Easily distracted, forgetful and bored
  • Difficulty following directions, excessive daydreaming, poor organization
  • Problems focusing on one thing, finishing tasks, losing things


  • Nonstop motion
  • Trouble sitting for meals, classroom work or quiet play
  • Touching everything, talking constantly


  • Difficulty taking turns, waiting, delaying gratification
  • Interrupting people, blurting out whatever they’re thinking
  • Problems regulating emotions, taking risks

It’s normal for children to be inattentive, very active, and impulsive at times, but in children with ADHD these behaviors occur more often and to a greater degree.  ADHD can be primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive-impulsive, or combined type. Symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe.

  • ADHD researcher and author Daniel G. Amen, MD, identifies 7 types of ADD; for more information (as well as interesting SPECT brain imaging photos) go to


Studies suggest that the disorder may develop due to genetic and/or environmental influences. There is evidence that cigarette smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy may contribute to the development of the disorder, as well as significant childhood exposure to lead. The precise cause is undetermined.

  • Canadian author and childhood development expert Gabor Mate, MD, believes that “ADD is not an inherited condition, contrary to the commonly held opinion, but originates in early childhood stresses during the first years of crucial brain and personality development.“ Visit his website at, or listen to him on


Parents and teachers are usually the first to notice that a child is struggling behaviorally, academically or socially. Since there isn’t a standardized ADHD test, diagnosis is usually a cooperative effort involving the child’s caretakers, health care providers and teachers. The child’s doctor can rule out any medical conditions that might present as ADHD symptoms and make a referral to a behavioral health specialist. Two-thirds of children diagnosed with ADHD have at least one other co-occurring condition, such as anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, mood disorders, and learning disabilities. Girls with ADHD often present differently than boys. They may be withdrawn, academic underachievers with low self esteem. The average age of diagnosis is 7.

  • Read The Atlantic’s online article by Rebecca Ruiz (July 7, 2014) titled: How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD at

Treatment options need to be tailored to the individual and may include medication for the child and counseling for the child and/or family. The school should be involved along with a responsive teacher.  A robust treatment approach includes parent education, behavioral intervention strategies, an appropriate educational program and medication when necessary. Parents play a key role in supporting the child through school years that can be challenging.

  • Dr. Mate’s says, “Many children with poor attention skills can function quite well in the presence of a caring adult. Emotionally nurturing interactions produce positive changes in the child’s brain chemistry. Dopamine, the brain chemical deficient in ADD–important for attention and motivation–can be supplied not only by a Ritalin pill, but also by a nurturing interaction with an attentive adult.”

Are there benefits to having ADHD?

Creativity, intuition, leadership skills, athleticism, and the performing arts are just some of the areas where people with ADHD brains can thrive. ADHD is not a reflection of intelligence or potential.
People with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own business. Some accomplished business people with ADHD include: Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines; Ingvar Kamprad, Swedish founder of IKEA stores; Paul Orfalea, the founder and chairperson of Kinko’s; and Charles Schwab, the founder, chairperson, and CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation, the largest brokerage firm in the U.S.


Ask your health care provider for more information and visit these informative ADHD websites:


Downloadable Materials

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana continues to be a topic of conversation and controversy.

Medical MarijuanaAugust 06 2016 - Press Release



ACHS is a federally qualified health center and, as such, receives federal funding to assist with patient care. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Therefore, ACHS cannot participate in the prescription of medical marijuana even though it has been approved by the State of New Hampshire. To do so would put federal funding that assists so many patients receiving healthcare at risk.


  • Carcinogenic materials in marijuana (tar levels are higher than tobacco)
  • Lung disease
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Decreased reaction time (higher rates of car accidents)
  • Impaired decision-making
  • Increased rates of depression, anxiety, psychosis (disordered thinking) and an amotivational syndrome (with chronic use) associated with use
  • Dependency/withdrawal symptoms if stopped
  • Heart effects (low blood pressure when standing, heart attacks/stroke have been reported)
  • Bad effects on babies when pregnant women use (decreased growth, effect on school performance)
  • Interactions with medications
  • Fatal to pets with accidental overdose


Benefits associated with long term use of marijuana for chronic pain are not well documented. Beneficial effects on other diseases such as glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and seizures are possible. Use of  medical marijuana as an appetite stimulant and improvement in nausea in some patients shows some promise. Generally, other less risky, more studied medications are available.


Because ACHS receives federal grant funding and marijuana is still illegal under federal law, your ACHS provider is not able to certify you for medical marijuana even in the cases where the benefits may possibly outweigh the risks.

Downloadable Materials

ACHS Welcomes Dr. David Ferris

Provider Team Grows at ACHS

David V. Ferris, DO Joins ACHSOctober 18 2016 - Press Release

Ammonoosuc Community Health Services is pleased to welcome Dr. David Ferris, DO to its team of Family Practice physicians. He will have clinic hours at the ACHS-Littleton care delivery site.

Dr. Ferris is originally from New Jersey having graduated from Villanova University, Summa Cum Laude, in 1995. He completed his medical training and residency at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - School of Osteopathic Medicine, and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Ferris is board certified in Family Medicine. Other medical interests include chronic disease management, including diabetes, depression and musculoskeletal disorders, as well as preventive care.

Dr. Ferris is active in the Wilderness Medical Society and enjoys biking, skiing and hiking. His love for the outdoors is what originally drew him to the North Country over a decade ago. Prior to practicing at ACHS, Dr. Ferris provided primary care at Littleton Regional Health Care, and before that at Madison Area Health Center, a community health center in Madison, Maine.

“As a family physician involved in the health care of this community for nearly ten years, I understand more fully the prevalent medical and social needs of the community and am enthusiastic to return to the community health center setting and work with the team at ACHS and their patient-centered approach to care.” ACHS Medical Director, Dr. Sarah Young Xu, said recently, “Dr. Ferris is an experienced provider. His knowledge and expertise will truly be an asset to both the ACHS team and our patients. We are thrilled to have him join us.”

If you are interested in becoming a patient of Dr. Ferris, please call the ACHS New Patient coordinator at 1.866.201.5076.