January 28, 2020

The New Hampshire Medical Society is committed to supporting physician leaders at all levels. A couple of years ago, under the guidance of Deb Harrigan, past NHMS president, the Medical Society was instrumental in helping to develop the New Hampshire Physician Leadership Development Program in collaboration with the UNH Paul College of Business and Economics.

There is another leadership opportunity that is open to all current and aspiring leaders in New Hampshire that you may not have heard of, but is definitely worth your consideration.

Established in 1991, Leadership New Hampshire (LNH) is a state-wide program to “increase civic engagement and strengthen communities through connecting and educating a diverse pool of engaged or emerging leaders about the state of New Hampshire.”

Each year, LNH has selected between 30-40 “emerging and established leaders from across the state and engaged them in a comprehensive study of the communities, issues, challenges of the state, introduced them to and had them interact with policy makers, NPO’s, business leaders, and citizens from homeowners to prison inmates: all for the purpose of ‘building a community of informed and engaged leaders.’"

LNH asks each participant three simple questions at the outset of the program and throughout the year: What kind of a state do we have? What kind of a state do we want?  How do we get there? With those questions in mind, the group explores various sectors of the state, from health care to education to the criminal justice system, from government to the environment, to the arts, culture, and media.

In my class (LNH Class of ’19, best class ever!), our sessions took us from the lakes region to the seacoast, from the Monadnock region to Manchester, from the capital to the North Country. We also met the governor in a private session for nearly an hour, and spent most of a morning in a private session with all five of our state Supreme Court justices. 

As we travelled New Hampshire and learned about our history, our current state, and current and future challenges, we also tried to look at these various aspects of the state through an equity lens, and thought a lot about the difference between equality – everyone has the same, and equity – everyone has what they need. In fact, much of what I learned last year in LNH helped to inform and crystalize many of my thoughts about the social determinants and their contribution to the health of Granite Staters, which is our focus this year through the Medical Society.

Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about our state over the course of the 10 months of the program, but I also made lifelong friends among this group of brilliant, motivated colleagues with whom I shared the experience.

Nominations for the LNH Class of 2021 are currently being solicited; and applications are due by March 15th. I would strongly encourage physicians who currently are or aspire to be a leader in New Hampshire, whether in health care or in your own community, to consider applying for the LNH Class of 2021 – check out the LNH website for more information on the program and the application process at https://www.leadershipnh.org/.

In health,

John Klunk, MD
NHMS President

Please send questions or comments to john.klunk@nhms.org.