History of GNMH

Greater Nashua Mental Health was founded in 1920 as the “Community Welfare Council”. The agency’s initial focus was quite broad and included monitoring streetcars for sanitation and proper language, chaperoning at dance and teaching citizenship to the community’s non-English speaking population. In 1924 officially incorporated as Community Council of Nashua, NH, Inc. and began addressing mental health and mental retardation issues with a mental hygiene clinic. Over the next several decades, CCN addressed issues such as decreasing the infant mortality rate, fresh air camps for children, a clinic for the blind, and a polio clinic.

In 1963 President John F. Kennedy’s issued call to action for a “new type of health facility, one which will return mental health care to the main stream of American medicine, and at the same time upgrade mental health services.” In 1967 the CCN Board of Directors decided the agency’s focus would be to provide comprehensive mental health services to the greater Nashua community. In 1974 the agency received the funding and approval necessary to become a “community mental health center” and was able to begin bringing area residents home from New Hampshire Hospital.

In 2005 Dr. Zlatko Kuftinec retired after 38 years of service as Executive Director & Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Hisham Hafez, MD became the new Executive Director & Chief Medical Officer. In 2008, with input from staff, consumers and service partners, the Board selected a name that clearly described the agency’s function and role while recognizing its long history: Greater Nashua Mental Health Center at Community Council.

GNMHC 90th Anniversary Slide Show – 2010