Community Health & Outreach

Sometimes Too Much of a Good Thing - Is a Good Thing

Dr. Brian Lisse and his wife Cindy DeRuyter know a good thing when they see it. They know when food needs to be distributed to those in need and their ever-expanding network helps get the job done. Feeding families and refuges is always important.

Cindy works with the soup kitchen and food pantry in Hudson and knows it often gets overwhelmed with food. “That’s just the charitable nature of Hudson,” said Dr. Lisse. So, when a perfect storm of donations caused food supplies to multiply far beyond normal, he and Cindy were instrumental in ensuring it went to good use.

The husband and wife team received a call saying a large donation of food was to arrive in two days and the food pantry freezers needed to be emptied to accommodate it. Then two of the pantry’s commercial freezers broke down and distributing the food took on a new sense of urgency. Dr. Lisse and Cindy jumped into action to find a solution.

First, they asked Nashoba Valley Medical Center’s director of environmental services, Houston Stevens, if he knew of anyone in need of food assistance. Houston then worked to have Nashoba Valley Medical Center contact Loaves and Fishes food pantry in Ayer. Sure enough, the pantry was in need and the food was directed to them. It was a beautiful food journey from food pantry to food pantry that helped serve the more than 900 families that Loaves and Fishes supports in Ayer, Devens, Groton, Harvard, Littleton and Shirley.

That’s not an unusual course of events for Dr. Lisse and his wife. They have connections with a wide array of organizations and individuals, from the nuns at St. Ann’s House in Harvard, MA and area churches who support refugees, to the Stow Senior Center and individual families in nearby towns. It’s the work they love to do, and we are very proud they are part of the Nashoba Valley Medical Center team.

Houston Stevens delivers food donations to the Loaves and Fishes food pantry.

Houston Stevens delivers food donations to the Loaves and Fishes food pantry. 


Making a difference in our communities, neighborhood by neighborhood.

At Nashoba Valley Medical Center, we reach beyond hospital walls, into the surrounding Ayer communities, to address the most prevalent health- and wellness-related needs of our community members. Guided by a careful analysis of community needs, Nashoba Valley Medical Center's Community Health Program aims to help those most vulnerable to make life-changing improvements in health and address social and economic factors that impact overall well-being.

Along with improving the status of our community, our mission is to also provide access to comprehensive, high quality, compassionate and efficient health care services in the community setting. Nashoba Valley Medical Center's Community Health Program accomplishes this by:

  • Assessing the unmet health needs of our community
  • Participating on local action committees
  • Funding community-based health care initiatives
  • Encouraging the community to engage in healthy lifestyles, be active participants in their health care, and educate themselves of the risks associated with unhealthy behaviors and poor lifestyle choices

In addition, Nashoba Valley Medical Center aims to provide culturally-sensitive, linguistically-appropriate, accessible health care services to address the cultural needs of the communities we serve.

Read the latest Community Benefit Report

The hospital fosters an internal environment that encourages involvement in community benefit activities and includes in its mission and goals the development of organization-wide cultural diversity programming addressing the cultural needs of our community.


Read the latest Community Benefits Report.

Read the latest Community Benefit Plan

Learn more about Nashoba Valley Medical Center's Community Benefits Plan, which includes the target populations it wishes to support, specific programs or activities that attend to the needs identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment, and measurable short- and long-term goals for each program or activity.


Read the latest Community Benefits Plan.

Read the latest Population Health Improvement Report

In accordance with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Community Benefits Guidelines, Nashoba Valley Medical Center completed a community health needs assessment . The resulting report, the Nashoba Valley Medical Center Population Health Improvement Report, details the health conditions and social determinant factors affecting the people living in the cities surrounding Nashoba Valley Medical Center, as well as the key issues the hospital needs to address in order to develop service quality, improve population health, and address cost.


Read the latest Community Health Needs Assessment.