Join Us in Honoring Stephanie and Roger

Please join us at the 5th annual Caring, Candlelight and Community: Celebrating Our Healthcare Legacy on Saturday, December 2, 2017, to honor Stephanie Baute and H. Roger Hansen, MD.

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For 13 years, Stephanie Baute and her standard poodles have been volunteers at Cheshire Medical Center, brightening the days of patients and allowing them to have a bit of “home” during challenging times.

Stephanie’s service to others began early in her life as a teacher, studying elementary education at Keene Teachers College. She was a preschool teacher for many years, and continued her education by getting her master’s degree as a reading specialist. When her son died at age 15 after undergoing open heart surgery, Stephanie’s path altered, and she went back to school to receive a master’s degree in counseling psychology.

Stephanie is a founding member of The Samaritans, Inc. of the Monandock Region and has served many local non-profits over the years. She was a member of the Monadnock United Way’s board of directors and a member of their Allocations Committee. She has also served as a board member of Home Healthcare Hospice & Community Services.

Her time as a volunteer at Cheshire Medical Center has spanned more than a dozen years, with her three standard poodles, Maggie, Lucy and Charlie. Each dog went through training at the Monadnock Humane Society, including therapy dog classes.

Between Stephanie’s professional background and her dogs’ training, volunteering at Cheshire Medical Center and visiting patients has been a natural fit.

Stephanie remembers the first day she and Maggie, her first dog to volunteer at Cheshire, came for a visit. One of the staff members on the Farnum Rehabilitation floor had suddenly passed away the night before. It was a very emotional time for the co-workers and most were shell-shocked from their loss. Maggie and Stephanie spent their first day with staff members, allowing them to pet Maggie and being calmed by her presence.

Over the years, Stephanie and her dogs have started on the 5th floors of the Medical Center and worked their way down. When they arrive, Stephanie will ask if anyone wants to visit with them, and if they do, it often evolves into an opportunity for Stephanie to talk and connect with patients, too. The lobby is an important place for them to visit, too, where they often connect with children who are visiting the Medical Center for various reasons.

Once, when Lucy, her second dog to become a CMC/DH volunteer, was visiting with a patient, the man was having a difficult time sitting up to pet her. He made a motion that Lucy took as an invitation to jump up on the bed. She hopped right up and snuggled next to the man, giving him a few minutes to visit with Stephanie.

At times, Stephanie’s visit can also be an extension of therapy for those who are on the Farnum Rehab floor.  Often times, Physical Therapists will have stroke patients visit with Stephanie and her dogs; petting them with their weaker hand and other exercises that can help their rehabilitation process.

These days, Stephanie and Charlie, her third therapy dog, continue to visit and comfort patients. Charlie leads Stephanie directly to the volunteer office, where they first check in. He truly loves his job, too! Many patients have their own dogs, and visiting with Charlie normalizes being in the hospital. For a few minutes it can feel like they’re at home.

Stephanie and her husband of 45 years, Joe, live in Keene and continue to serve their community in many ways, through many local non-profits. All of us at Cheshire Medical Center are grateful for her service and for brightening the lives of our patients whenever she and Charlie come to visit.

Coming from a long line of Norwegian carpenters, and having an orthopaedist as a father, H. Roger Hansen always knew he, too, would be an orthopaedist. With an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Roger completed his studies with a surgical internship and orthopaedic residency back in Hanover at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

In 1978, Roger and his wife, Nancy, and three children were living in NJ and Roger was working at South Mountain Orthopaedic  Associates. They purchased a vacation home in New Hampshire and loved the area so much, they began talking about moving their family to the area permanently if a job became available.

As luck would have it, in the Spring of 1980, while Roger was attending his 15th reunion at Dartmouth, Nancy ran into Art Simington, who told her that the Keene Clinic had an immediate opening for an orthopaedist. Within eight weeks, the Hansen family had sold their house and Roger’s practice, and moved their family to the Keene area. Roger began his tenure at the Clinic in late September that year.

A few years later Roger saw a need for a rehabilitation program that emphasized active strengthening of injured workers and athletes.  At the same time, Clinic and Hospital leadership were looking for an opportunity to work together on a project.  Monadnock Sports Medicine became that first joint venture. It required significant legal and administrative work, including registering with the state’s attorney general as a corporation. The newly-formed Monadnock Sports Medicine, with one dedicated physical therapist, opened adjacent to the former Fitness Factory in downtown Keene in 1984. Both the hospital and the clinic contributed $1,000 in start-up funds. The space was donated. Patients in the program were able to use the Fitness Factory’s equipment. The program was very successful and in 2000 it was absorbed into the hospital’s physical therapy program.

During his time at the Keene Clinic, Dr. Hansen has also served as the chair of the Medical Staff Quality Improvement Committee (1981-1983), Medical Staff Vice President (1985), Medical Staff President (1986), Keene Clinic President (1991), Orthopedic Department Chair (1992-2004), and Surgery Department Chair (2000-2004).

After 25 years at the Keene Clinic, which transitioned to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene, Roger retired in 2005. However, his service to Cheshire Medical Center has not ended. For the last five years he has served on the Medical Center’s Board of Directors, being involved on both the Development and Professional Affairs committees.  He was a founding member of the Cheshire Health Foundation’s Board of Directors and has been active in fundraising initiatives for the Medical Center over the years.

In addition to his work with Cheshire Medical Center, Roger also has served on the boards of Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities, New Hampshire Public Radio, Home Healthcare and Community Services, Monadnock United Way, and the Christian Camp Meeting Association in Craigville, Massachusetts.

We thank Dr. Hansen for his many years of caring for the health and wellness of our community.