November 16, 2017

Senator Hassan Announces Substance Misuse Advocate Linda Saunders Paquette as “Granite Stater of the Month” for November

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan announced today that Linda Saunders Paquette, of Contoocook, is the “Granite Stater of the Month” for November. Senator Hassan launched the “Granite Stater of the Month” initiative earlier this year to recognize exemplary New Hampshire citizens who stand out for their contributions to their community.

 

Linda is a leader and advocate in the fight against the fentanyl, heroin, and opioid crisis in New Hampshire. Her decades of service span the public and non-profit sectors, including at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and at New Futures, an organization dedicated to fighting against substance misuse. Linda’s tireless advocacy has helped lead to the passage of increased funding for prevention, treatment, and recovery services, Medicaid coverage for substance use disorder, and Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire.

 

To nominate a New Hampshire citizen to be a “Granite Stater of the Month,” constituents can complete the nomination form here.

 

 CongressionalRecord_Linda

 Click here and see below for a statement that Senator Hassan submitted into the Congressional Record recognizing Linda Saunders Paquette:

Mr. President, this month, I am proud to recognize Linda Saunders Paquette, of Contoocook, as our “Granite Stater of the Month” in recognition of her years of leadership and steadfast commitment to combating the fentanyl, heroin, and opioid crisis in New Hampshire, which remains our most pressing public health challenge and threatens the health and safety of our fellow Granite Staters.

Through her decades of service to the people of New Hampshire, including at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and starting in 2010 as Executive Director of New Futures – a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating, educating, and collaborating in the fight against substance misuse – Linda has made an enormous difference in the lives of countless people and families affected by this crisis.

During my time as Governor and now as Senator, Linda has been a tremendous partner and relentless advocate. Thanks in part to Linda’s advocacy, we were able to increase funding for critical prevention, treatment, and recovery services in New Hampshire, extend substance use disorder coverage to the Medicaid program, and pass and reauthorize Medicaid expansion – providing quality, affordable health coverage to more than 50,000 Granite Staters. As the state legislature debated whether to reauthorize Medicaid expansion, Linda fought for the program at every step along the way, calling it “the most important tool New Hampshire has in its fight against the opioid epidemic and more broadly the substance misuse crisis we are facing in our state.”

Linda has also strongly spoken out in defense of the Essential Health Benefits that require insurers to cover substance misuse and mental health treatment, she has stood up against cuts to Medicaid and other programs that Granite Staters struggling with substance use disorder rely on, and she has worked effectively to help reduce the stigma that has hurt our efforts to combat this crisis for far too long.

People like Linda perfectly exemplify New Hampshire’s all-hands-on-deck spirit, where we roll up our sleeves and work together to strengthen our communities. Linda’s dedication to supporting those struggling with substance use disorder, first responders, and treatment providers has strengthened our state’s response to the substance misuse crisis, and her advocacy will continue to help us stem – and ultimately reverse – the tide of this epidemic. I join all Granite Staters in thanking Linda for her service and congratulating her on a well-deserved retirement.

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