Press Release 

For Release:  January 16, 2013

Photo Available: Download a photo of Lew Feldstein (left) and Richard Ober (right), respectively the former and current presidents of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and honoree Jim Varnum, former president of Mary Hitchcock Hospital.

New Hampshire Charitable Foundation honors Jim Varnum with an award for strengthening community in the Upper Valley

CONCORD, N.H. – The Upper Valley Region Advisory Board of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation presented the Lilla McLane-Bradley Award for Improving Community Wellbeing in the Upper Valley to Jim Varnum of Etna, former long-time chief of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, on January 10 at a celebration held in Hanover.

Varnum was saluted for his leadership of the hospital, and for his role strengthening a regional culture of volunteering. He served as president of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital from 1978 until his retirement in 2006. He also founded and served as president of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance, now known as the New England Alliance for Health, a group of community hospitals, health centers and home healthcare agencies in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Speakers at the event cited the wide range of Varnum's volunteer contributions, including a term as chair of the board of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, where he also served as chair of the presidential search committee. The current NHCF president, Richard Ober, and former president Lew Feldstein spoke at the event, along with Bruce Schwaegler, an Orford resident who was the first recipient of the Lilla McLane-Bradley Award.

Varnum currently serves as chair of the corporate council within Vital Communities, a nonprofit working to address important issues facing the region, according to Schwaegler. He also is board president of the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council, and vice chair of the Crotched Mountain Foundation, which works to provide support to people with disabilities and which operates its own hospital, school as well as many community programs.

About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation manages a growing collection of charitable funds created by individuals, families and corporations. It serves communities throughout New Hampshire, southeastern Maine and eastern Vermont and makes grants and student aid awards annually totaling $30 million. Based in Concord, the foundation roots itself in communities through regional advisory boards. More information is available at or by calling 603-225-6641.

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