Jennifer Desmond: A Lifetime of Helping Others

Looking to brighten someone’s day, Jennifer’s desire to help others goes above and beyond the help desk for Asquam.

Jennifer Desmond likes to fix other people’s problems. In her position at Asquam Community Health Collaborative in central New Hampshire, that’s her focus. With the official title of Infrastructure Analyst, she gets satisfaction in helping anyone having a problem with technology at Asquam, a joint collaboration between LRGHealthcare and Speare Memorial for which Huntzinger provides IT managed services.

Desmond’s willingness to help others extends beyond her hours in the help desk environment for Asquam. She demonstrates a lifestyle of filling roles that brighten the day of others. That recently included planting flowers in a neglected box intended for flowers outside her office on the campus of Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, N.H. “It usually just sits empty, and it was kind of depressing,” she said. “It’s more cheery to go in and see some flowers on your way in. Everyone feels better looking at it.”

Desmond started working for Lakes Region about a dozen years ago, initially starting off doing some over-night data entry on a per diem basis. One of her side duties was answering the phone to assist anyone having issues with computer systems. She filled that role for about 10 years before switching over full-time to the help desk.

Even though her background was in business, human resources, accounting, and her previous experience involved working for a medical office, she demonstrated a gift for helping users navigate technology problems. “I’m trainable, and pretty good (at calming people) on the phone when calls come in. I enjoy resolving whatever issue someone is having.”

For many years, Desmond volunteered at her children’s elementary school (and coincidentally, the one she attended as a child). She was working two part-time positions at the school – one ended at 11 a.m., and the other started at 2 p.m. It made sense for her to volunteer in a variety of roles during the three hours she had free between jobs, five days a week.

“During that time, I was involved in classrooms or the library or doing recess duty,” she said. “I also ran the after-school program which was a brand-new program at the time. I worked a lot on improving things at the school for the kids, to add to the school pride. One year, we took plants and planted them on the hillside outside the kindergarten room in the shape of a K; the kids really thought that was neat.”

Even though her children are grown and college age now, Desmond is still planning projects to initiate at the school. “I’m hoping this spring to put together a community garden that students and families could work on into the summer. Then, anyone who wanted could go by and pick a tomato or other vegetable if they needed one.”

In addition, Desmond spent a year volunteering at Belknap House, a not-for-profit homeless shelter in Laconia, which gives emergency housing to families in need. She worked on human resource issues, such as scheduling background checks for volunteers, as well as developing information resources that volunteers could receive before working at the shelter. “I was working there about four times a week, two to three hours a day, getting paperwork under control and helping them with organization to keep track of the volunteers.”

The willingness to provide a hand of help to organizations or people in need is something that Desmond hopes that she has passed on to her children. “I believe very strongly in making the world a better place, to make someone’s day better” she concluded. “When I notice something, I find a way to help. If it’s in my power, I’m on it.”

Thank you for your continued community support and kindness, Jenn.