About Pequawket Valley Health Initiatives

Substance Use Prevention

Promoting a Substance Free Healthy Life

Chris Whitaker PVHI

Pequawket Valley Health Initiatives aims to find ways to promote healthy living and curb teen substance abuse in western Maine and New Hampshire towns.

The organization was founded by Chris Whitaker, a resident of Fryeburg. He is also the President of the health initiative.

Chris is supported by Mary Whitaker, his wife, and a Director on the Board of Directors of the organization.

The other members of our board can be found here.

Our founder Chris Whitaker has lived in Fryeburg almost his whole life. He became involved with the issue of addiction after attending a drug abuse forum with his friend, the late Tom Shaffner.

During the event, they learned that the schools were offering primary health education, but both the friends saw a need for more parent and teen resources for drug addiction and abuse, and that is how Pequawket Valley Health Initiatives was established.

We cover the following towns:

Maine – Fryeburg, Denmark, Lovell, Stoneham, Brownfield, Bridgton, Stow

New Hampshire – North Conway, Conway, Chatham,

We have Tom Shaffner to THANK!

There would be no Pequawket Valley Health Initiatives without Tom Shaffner.

About Mr. Shaffner

Tom Shaffner grew up in a farming family in Freeland, Michigan during the great depression.  Tom graduated from Midland High School in Midland, MI, where he was elected class president. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1958. Tom attended Georgetown University Law School, graduating in 1963.

In 1975, Tom joined one of his patent clients, Howard Dearborn, in Fryeburg, Maine to help manage and grow Dearborn Tubular Products. Over the next three decades, Dearborn went on to become one of the area’s largest employers.

One of Tom’s greatest passions was helping people.  He put a great deal of time and effort into the alcohol and drug recovery community in Maine and New Hampshire, including founding the Plymouth House, a twelve-step recovery facility in New Hampshire and several half-way houses in the Portland, Maine area.

Tom passed away in October of 2016. His legacy lives on through his investments in the drug and alcohol recovery community and the Thomas D. Shaffner Charitable Foundation.

Tom Shaffner

The Man in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
and the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
and see what that man has to say

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
who judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts the most in your life
is the one staring back from the glass

Some people may think you a straight-shooting chum
and call you a wonderful guy
But the guy in the glass says you’re only a bum
if you can’t look him straight in the eye

He’s the fellow to please never mind all the rest
for he’s with you clear up to the end
And you’ve passed your most dangerous difficult test
if the man in the glass is your friend

You may fool the whole world down the pathway
of life and get pats on the back as pass
But your final reward will be heartaches and
tears if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.