Volunteers, including LaRae Francis and Carol Blodgett from Gifford’s lab, stand in front of a burn pile at the site of Ken Perry’s former Thayer Brook Road home in Braintree.
The following is an excerpt from our 2011 Annual Report.
Brenda Wright from Gifford’s Environmental Services Department was standing in boyfriend Ken Perry’s Thayer Brook Road home when it began to break apart. Irene’s torrential rain caused Thayer Brook to sweep over its banks, taking away much of Ken’s Braintree land, including that which supported the house.
They lost nearly everything, and on Oct. 28 – exactly two months after the flood – demolished the ruined home.
A group, including LaRae Francis, Carol Blodgett and Robin Palmer from Gifford, arrived the next morning to help pick up remaining debris to be trashed or burned. LaRae brought a group from her church. Carol hadn’t yet been to sleep after her night shift in the lab.
For a third year, Teresa Bradley of Braintree and Krista Warner of Randolph have organized a bowling tournament at Valley Bowl to support Gifford Medical Center’s Woman to Woman fund.
Held each year on the fourth Sunday in October, the Ruth Brown Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament raised $1,485 and attracted 32 bowlers. The winning bowler was Shawn Corbett of Rochester. The top fund-raiser was Barre’s Diana Flood. Also recognized were Bob’s M&M, Patrick’s Place and Valley Bowl, all of Randolph, for donating the top three prizes at each annual tournament.
The tournament, which started in 2010 as Warner’s high school senior project, is named in memory of Bradley’s mother and Warner’s grandmother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 following a mammogram. She beat the disease but later developed lung cancer, passing away in Gifford’s Garden Room last year. For Warner and Bradley, the tournament is a way to keep her memory alive and support a cause about which they feel strongly.
Gifford’s Woman to Woman fund helps provide mammograms to low-income women and funds soft pads placed on the mammography machine to make essential mammograms more comfortable for all.
Here Bradley, left, and Warner, middle, present the money they raised to Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Jewkes in the Randolph hospital’s stereotactic breast biopsy room.
Here Bradley and Warner stand with Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Jewkes by the Randolph hospital’s digital mammography machine.
Here Bradley, Warner and Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Jewkes, standing in the Randolph hospital’s digital mammography room, feign surprise at the thick stack of money raised.
Preparing Students for the Next Stages of Their Lives
RUHS Student Services is hosting a Focus on Careers week for all students November 13-16.
Throughout the week, professionals from a wide range of occupations and organizations will give “lunch talks” to students who are interested in learning more about particular careers. Students may sign-up to attend any workshops they are interested in.
For each presentation a student attends, he/she will receive a raffle ticket to win local prizes such as gift certificates, VTC clothing, RUHS athletic gear, etc.
Our Obstetrician/Gynecologist Dr. Dina Levin was responsible for getting so many Gifford people involved. She wants kids to know and understand the variety of health care careers available – some medical, many not.
Here is a list of this year’s speakers.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13
Lyndley Mittler: Preschool Teacher, Warren Elementary School Dina Levin: Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Gifford Medical Center
MaryKay Dreher: Academic Coordinator, Community College of Vermont Anne Bridges: Registered Nurse, Gifford Medical Center
Mark McDonough: Firefighter, Burlington City Fire Department
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Amy Harris: Psychologist, Private Practice, Montpelier, VT Nicolas Benoit: Podiatrist, Gifford Medical Center Ed Striebe: Chef, Gifford Medical Center
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15 Emma Shumann: Project Coordinator, Gifford Medical Center Samantha Medved: Social Worker, Gifford Medical Center Tammy Hooker: Graphic Design/Marketing, Gifford Medical Center
Geoffrey Schaubhut: Ph.D. Candidate in Neuroscience, UVM Kathy MacAskill: Medical Laboratory Technician, Gifford Medical Center
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16
Winthrop Smith Jr.: CEO Sugarbush Mountain Resort, Warren, VT LaRae Francis: Project Manager, Gifford Medical Center Tyson Moulton: Director of Facilities, Gifford Medical Center
TC Webb: Film/Media, RTCC
Ryan Dreimiller: Art Direction/Graphic Design, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Students from the Baptist Fellowship of Randolph work with Menig Extended Care Facility nursing home residents to create boxes of gifts for needy children around the world through Operation Christmas Child. Through donations from Menig residents and staff as well as businesses, the group was able to make 100 boxes.
The Baptist Fellowship continues to collect shoeboxes filled with small toys, school supplies and hygiene items through Monday. Drop-off hours are today from 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday and Friday from 3-7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. and Monday from 9 a.m. to noon. A packing party, where another 200 boxes are expected to be created, will also be held Saturday from 2-4 p.m. For more information on what to include in your box, stop by the church for a brochure or visit www.samaritanspurse.org.
Among the participants was Luke Sweet, who received an Operation Christmas Child box as an orphan in the Ukraine. Here Sweet, now the adopted son of Pastor George and Gina Sweet of Randolph Center, is pictured with 99-year-old resident Della Allen.
All ages invited to join local experts in talking about end-of-life care options,to improve quality of life now.
RANDOLPH – Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire, the Vermont Ethics Network and Gifford Medical Center’s Advanced Illness Care Team are joining to create a community discussion around end-of-life care planning.
Called “Start The Conversation,” the talk will be held on Nov. 29 from 5-6:30 p.m. in Gifford’s Conference Center at the main medical center in Randolph.
“Start The Conversation” is a public education initiative of Vermont’s Visiting Nurse and home health and hospice agencies in partnership with the Vermont Ethics Network. Collaborating with medical providers like Gifford, the talk is offered around the state. A Web site, starttheconversationvt.org, also focuses on the issue of end-of-life planning.
“In life we prepare for everything: college, marriage, children and retirement. Despite the conversations we have for these important milestones, rarely do we have conversations about how we want to be cared for at the end of our lives,” explains the site.
“Talking is the single most important thing that you can do to prepare for the death of someone you love. While difficult, the end of life can be amazingly rich. Talking about this time makes a rich ending more likely. Often such conversations are avoided out of an understandable desire to spare each other’s feelings. They need not be.”
An Advance Directive is one way to get the conversation started and experts leading this Nov. 29 talk in Randolph will talk about end-of-life options, medical decision making and how to put ones wishes in writing through an Advance Directive.
“Planning for end-of-life care before it becomes a worry is as important as all the other life plans you make. Having a plan in place makes it easier for you, your doctor and your loved ones if you are unable to tell them your health care choices because of an injury or serious illness,” explains Jared King, business development manager for Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire.
“Every moment is precious – especially at the end-of-life. Starting the conversation early can ensure that your choices are heard. It also means that when time becomes short, it can be spent doing what you most enjoy and not making last-minute decisions.”
As a psychologist and member of Gifford’s inpatient care management team, Cory Gould spends much of her day talking to patients about Advance Directives. “We spend a lot of the day holding discussions with family members about how to talk about death,” Gould says. “The beauty of bringing this discussion to the forefront is to improve the quality of all of our lives.”
If end-of-life wishes are known there is more opportunity to enjoy the present and erase the worry, Gould explains. Discussing how one wants to celebrate the end can also increase understanding about what matters most to that individual in life. “Thinking about death is a way of celebrating life,” Gould says.
For Gifford and its Advanced Illness Care Team, the talk will be the first in a series on death and dying. Titled “A ‘Good’ Death,” the series will look at what is a “good” death, family dynamics when death approaches, what happens when someone dies, grief and more. The series begins with “Start The Conversation.”
“Start The Conversation” is free and open to people of all ages. Registration is not required. The Gifford Conference Center is on the first floor of the medical center and marked by a green awning from the patient parking area. For handicap access, take the elevator from the main lobby to the first floor and follow signs to the Conference Center.
To learn more about this talk or the upcoming series, call Gould at (802) 728-2608 .
‘Dietary wayseer’ reveals what’s in the foods we love
Chef Wendell Fowler
RANDOLPH – The Western world is caught in a nutritional minefield where Tony the Tiger acts as a nutritionist and pink slime is an accepted food additive, says chef Wendell Fowler, a speaker, author and television personality.
A “dietary wayseer” or “living-food evangelist,” if you will, Chef Wendell – as he is known – educates Americans on what’s in their favorite foods that “might be sabotaging your birthright to health, joy and happiness.”
“Are you obese, diabetic, in GI distress or experiencing chronic pain? Rejoice! It’s not necessarily your fault,” says Chef Wendell, who brings his humorous message of a good diet for good health to Gifford Medical Center in Randolph on Dec. 6.
The free talk on nutritional literacy is titled “Eat it, Beat it and Prevent it: Food as Medicine,” runs from 6-8 p.m., and is free and open to the public.
The Western diet is the foundation of heart disease, cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, gastric disorders, ADD and ADHD, aggressive social behavior and a host of inflammatory conditions, he says. “Mankind is innocently digging their own graves and blunting careers with what’s on their forks.”
He points to foods filled with chemicals, bacteria, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup as the reasons why. It’s something he knows from personal experience.
Once 300 pounds and facing death, Chef Wendell lost more than 100 pounds by dropping the Krispie Kremes, cheeseburgers and cocktails for a mostly vegan diet.
He now tries to educate others on what’s in popular foods, why they should be avoided and how to be a label reader.
“We need to eat food that was designed for us that our cells will understand,” he says, pointing to fresh, local, “living” foods as better choices than processed “machine cuisine.”
He delivers this message in an award-winning, syndicated food column; books and cookbooks; a bi-weekly television segment in his home state of Indiana; and in talks.
A regular visitor to Randolph where his brother, Milt Fowler, is a popular local physician, his Gifford talk will include a presentation, questions and answers, and a book signing for his fourth and latest book, “Earth Suit Maintenance Manual: Transcending the American Diet.” The book features 60 of his popular columns and 60 recipes using fresh foods.
To hear his free talk at Gifford, sign-up by calling (802) 728-7100, ext. 6. Space is limited to the first 80 registrants.
Gifford Medical Center is south of Randolph’s downtown on Route 12 (44 S. Main St.). The talk is in the Conference Center located on the first floor of the hospital and marked with a green awning from the patient parking lot. For handicap access, take the elevator from the main lobby to the first floor and follow signs to the Conference Center.
Gifford celebrated Halloween yesterday with staff dressing up, a pumpkin-decorating contest, The Robin’s Nest kids parading through the hospital, and Menig Extended Care Facility members welcoming trick or treaters at night.