CONCORD, NH, November 29, 2022 – Northeast Delta Dental President & CEO Tom Raffio received the 2022 Erik Cogswell Memorial Award from Seacoast Mental Health Center, Inc. (SMHC) on Thursday, November 10. Tom was recognized for his leadership and advocacy of high quality, accessible mental healthcare. The annual award was established in collaboration with Karin and Ed Cogswell in memory of their son Erik who died by suicide in November 1999. They have since worked with SMHC to educate, support, and provide resources to people living with and recovering from bipolar disorder.
Last spring, legislative leaders from both parties voted for legislation to provide first-ever dental benefits for as many as 88,000 adult Medicaid recipients and Governor Sununu signed the legislation on July 7, 2022. Tom Raffio, along with other advocates, have been lobbying for the benefits for over two decades.
“Tom, has devoted much of his professional career and personal life to investing in the greater community with a focus on the importance of mental health,” said Patty Driscoll, Vice President of Clinical Operations for Adult Services at Seacoast Mental Health Center. “Through his leadership and advocacy, positive changes have resulted across the state of NH to increase access to and the quality of mental health services. Most recently, he was instrumental in the passing of legislation, directly affecting the Medicaid population – a population that benefits greatly from the services provided by our Center.“
“Recognizing the significant impact access to routine dental care can have on individuals living with mental and behavioral health issues, I am so grateful that our 25 years of educating and advocating paid off,” explained Tom.
Since 2009, SMHC has presented this award annually to recognize an individual for their outstanding contributions to improving the lives of individuals living with and recovering from bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.
About Northeast Delta Dental
Northeast Delta Dental administers dental benefits in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, offering dental insurance programs for businesses and nonprofits of all sizes, and individuals and families with no access to employer-sponsored dental benefits. Since 1995, the philanthropic arm of Northeast Delta Dental, the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation has supported organizations and initiatives in the tri-state area that provide oral health education and dental care to uninsured and underserved people. The mission of the Foundation is to advance the importance of good oral health and its role in overall wellness, underscoring the belief that everyone deserves a healthy smile. For more information visit www.nedelta.com.
About Seacoast Mental Health Center:
Seacoast Mental Health Center, Inc. (SMHC) is one of the ten state-designated community mental health centers in the state of New Hampshire. Established in 1963, the mission of SMHC is to provide a broad comprehensive array of high quality, effective and accessible mental health services for residents of the eastern half of Rockingham County. With offices located in Portsmouth and Exeter, SMHC provided services to 6,425 individuals of all ages and levels of acuity in Fiscal Year 2022. For more information, visit www.smhc-nh.org