Project SEARCH 2014 Graduation at CMC/DHK

June 19, 2014
Keene, NH

2014 Graduation Photo Slideshow

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (CMC/DHK) recently hosted a celebration honoring six Monadnock-area graduates of Project SEARCH, a collaboration of CMC/DHK with the Keene School District, Monadnock Developmental Services, Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions and NH Vocational Rehabilitation. This year’s graduates are; Marlene Battista, Heather Geer, Harry Hammond, Ethan Moran, Amber Lynn O’Connor and Renee Washburn. Interns worked and assisted with various administrative support projects in: Nutrition, Farnum Inpatient and Outpatient Physical Therapy, Oncology, Mailroom, Orthopaedics, Medical Records, Environmental Services, Intensive Care Unit, Gastroenterology, Specialty Medicine, Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), Community Health, and Volunteer Services.

The celebration held on June 19, 2014 focused on the graduates and their significant accomplishments and celebrated the successful implementation of the program at CMC/DHK for a fourth year. Senator Molly Kelly, Mayor Kendall Lane, Wayne Woolridge, SAU 29 Superintendent, and Catherine Woods, SAU 29 Director of Special Education, were among the honored guests who attended the graduation, along with CMC/DHK leadership, employees, and intern’s families and friends. “We are pleased to provide job training opportunities for these enthusiastic and dedicated young people,” said Arthur Nichols, President and CEO of CMC/DHK. “The interns are helpful with the work they do and interact nicely with our staff, patients and visitors.”

Project SEARCH graduates

“Project SEARCH started at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and there are now over 200 sites worldwide,” said Sheila Mahon of Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions. “It is a collaborative approach to creating real-world employment training for individuals with developmental disabilities. It’s a chance (for them) to work in a hospital and learn marketable skills. Project SEARCH breaks down barriers and offers opportunity.” The foundation of Project SEARCH is workplace immersion: participants receive training through a series of internships structured to teach complex but systematic skills that are competitive, marketable and transferable. What is learned at Project SEARCH easily transfers to other industries.

“Our interns graduating today are not the same people who came to us at the start of the program,” said Ms. Mahon. “They discovered talents they never dreamed they had. They overcame fears. They surprised themselves, their families and their co-workers. Two of our graduates are leaving the program with employment and our remaining graduates are ready to work. All have great skills and would be an asset to any company.”

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene is a nonprofit community hospital and clinic with a mission to lead our community to become the nation’s healthiest through our clinical and service excellence, collaboration, and compassion for every patient, every time. Founded by CMC/DHK, Healthy Monadnock 2020 (formerly Vision 2020) is a community-wide health initiative designed to actively engage the citizens of Cheshire County in the process of becoming the nation's healthiest community by 2020. For information, please call (603) 354-5400 or visit

Back to News