Healing Through Art

Waterbury Woman Donates Vermont Paintings, Photos to Gifford in Daughter’s Memory

Gifford Medical Center

Elise Braun poses by just two of 25 pieces of framed Vermont art donated in her daughter’s memory to Gifford Medical Center.

RANDOLPH – Octogenarians Elise Braun of Waterbury and Gilbert Myers of Williston on Friday hand-delivered 25 pieces of artwork to 25-bed Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.

The framed art is by 13 different Vermont painters and photographers and is a gift from the Susan Sebastian Foundation to Gifford for its patient rooms.

The foundation is named for Braun’s daughter who passed away in 2009 and had a wish to brighten hospital rooms through local art.

The art given to Gifford holds a common look and feel. Each piece depicts Vermont’s warm weather months – spring, summer and fall – and is of the outdoors.

Braun and Myers used the book Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being by Dr. Esther Sternberg to help guide their purchases, which are meant to take the patient out of the room and into the outdoors to a favorite vista or recreational hobby.

“It gets you out of the room and gets you thinking about getting out,” says Braun. “It makes you feel like you want to get better.”

For Gifford, which helped pick out the pieces and invited many local artists to participate, the artwork is a welcome addition to patient care and the patient experience.

“This is truly an extension of Gifford’s commitment to support local – as this gift allows us to showcase our local talent while bringing warmth to our patients,” says Ashley Lincoln, Gifford director of development and public relations. “We are thankful to the Susan Sebastian Foundation for including Gifford in its outreach and appreciate the amount of work and effort that goes into a gift like this.”

For Braun, the foundation’s work is healing.

“It has been very therapeutic for me, extremely therapeutic. It makes me feel she (Sebastian) is at work in the world and that makes me happy.

“This is Susan. This is what she was about,” Braun says.

Sebastian’s good work continues.

In addition to Gifford, Fletcher Allen Health Care received 47 pieces from the foundation in 2009, Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans received 37 pieces, 12 pieces then went to Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend and 38 to Porter Medical Center in Middlebury.

Next will be Copley Hospital in Morrisville. Myers and Braun’s goal is to provide local art to all Vermont hospitals over the next several years.

New Healthier Living Workshop Focuses on Managing Chronic Pain in February

Gifford Medical CenterA new Chronic Pain Healthier Living Workshop series will be held Mondays, Feb. 11 through March 18 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.

Healthier Living Workshops are six-week classes offered through the Vermont Blueprint for Health for people with chronic conditions and their caregivers. They are offered for free throughout the year by Gifford Medical Center and led by trained facilitators.

This new class, being offered for only the second time at Gifford, has a special focus on chronic pain.

The workshop will cover coping with chronic illness and chronic pain; how to feel more in control of your pain and health; improving problem solving skills; how to work with health care providers to maximize your ability to manage your illness and pain; how to balance activity and rest; healthy eating; gentle movement exercises and more.

“Chronic pain … includes many types of conditions from a variety of causes. There is no one treatment or approach that is right for everybody. There are a number of things people with chronic pain can do to feel better … (to) better manage pain and help you become more active and more involved in life,” according to the literature from the Vermont Blueprint for Health.

Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing for the exercise portion and to sign up soon with Gifford Blueprint Patient Access Coordinator Zach Bean at 728-7100, ext. 6.

Gifford Medical Center is located at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) just south of Randolph village. The workshops are held in the Conference Center, which is marked with a green awning. For handicapped access, go in the main entrance and take the elevator to the first floor.

She’s Got ‘the World by the Tail’ and 30 New Fans

Miss Vermont USA wows Menig nursing home residents

Sarah Westbrook

RANDOLPH – If the residents of the Menig Extended Care Facility get their way, Miss Vermont USA 2013 Sarah Westbrook will easily be crowned Miss USA in Las Vegas in June.

Westbrook, 24, visited the Randolph nursing home Wednesday afternoon. With grace and plenty of humor, the Burlington beauty answered questions, posed for pictures and let residents try on her surprisingly heavy crown.

Her visit was organized by friend Jennifer Joseph, an East Montpelier resident and Vermont Technical College nursing student who did her clinical training at Menig.

Miss Vermont USA Sarah Westbrook

“I love it. The residents made such an impact on me,” says Joseph, who wanted to give back. “It was the only way I could think to give back some of what they gave me. I just wanted to see them smile, because they all made me smile.”

And smile they did. There was laughter, tears, accolades, and humor.

“I’m very proud to have you. It’s an honor,” 96-year-old resident Annie Gaiko told Westbrook. “You live here in this atmosphere with all of these old bucks, and it’s nice to see a young one. You’ve got the world by the tail.”

Miss Vermont 2013 Sarah Westbrook

Resident Edie Reynolds assured Westbrook that she would go all the way in the competition, calling her beautiful inside and out.

Whether Westbrook, a fitness instructor and student studying health and wellness, becomes Miss USA won’t be known until June. One thing is certain, however. Thirty nursing home residents, some as old as 101, will be pulling for her come pageant night.

Gifford Seeking Applicants 
for Philip Levesque Grant

grants and awardsCommunity organizations must apply by Feb. 11

 

RANDOLPH – Nonprofit community organizations have an opportunity to apply for a $1,000 grant.

Gifford Medical Center is seeking applications for the annual Philip D. Levesque Memorial Community Award – a grant established in memory of the hospital’s late administrator.

Applications for the $1,000 grant are due to the hospital by Feb. 11.

The grant was established by Gifford’s Board of Trustees in 1994 in memory of Levesque, Gifford’s beloved president and chief executive officer from 1973-1994.

The award is given annually to an agency or organization involved in the arts, health, community development, education or the environment in Gifford’s service area in recognition of Levesque’s commitment to the White River Valley. Continue reading

Family nurse practitioner Tara Meyer finds ‘dream job’ at Gifford

Tara Meyer

Tara Meyer

‘Nana would be so proud’

BERLIN – Tara Meyer has realized her grandmother’s dream, and then some.

Meyer’s grandmother wanted to be a nurse during World War II. Ironically, it was demand to act as her family’s caregiver at home that prevented her from realizing her dream.

Meyer wanted to be a furniture maker and traveled from her hometown of North Attleboro, Mass., to Goddard College in Vermont to learn the trade. But a job after college in a family-owned home for adults with developmental disabilities had her looking to nursing.

“I loved working with people. The woodshop was lovely. (But) All the old men got sick of me yacking in their ear,” jokes a warm, friendly and outgoing Meyer. Continue reading

A ‘Good’ Death

Free Jan. 31 community discussion
focuses on how to live well while dying

RANDOLPH – Few would likely pick a “bad” death. But what is a “good” death and how do you choose one?

Those are the questions regional hospice and health care experts will address at a Thursday, Jan. 31 event at Gifford Medical Center titled “What is a ‘Good’ Death?” The talk, a free community discussion open to all, is from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center. Continue reading

Harriet Chase Brings ‘Photo-Art’ to Gifford Gallery

Harriet Chase, Bulldozer

A bulldozer dangles in this 2007 photo of new bridge construction in Randolph. Provided by Harriet Chase

RANDOLPH – Randolph resident and historian Harriet Chase brings her love of the area to the Gifford Medical Center art gallery Jan. 30-March 27 with a show of local photographs.

She is calling the show “photo-art” after learning to apply graphics to her photographs.

“I first learned computer graphics and was pleased with the simple effects that a few enhancements could give to a really nice photograph,” Chase says. “None of these enhancements ever overpower the image itself, but subtle actions that perhaps highlight an area, a frame consistent with the picture or a computer ‘matting’ make a good photograph all the nicer.” Continue reading

Gifford Gets Nod from District 3 Environmental Commission on Soils Issue

Proposed senior living community before Randolph Development
Review Board next, final phase of Act 250 filing expected soonsenior citizens

RANDOLPH – In an exciting reversal, the District 3 Environmental Commission on Jan. 3 awarded Gifford Medical Center a long-sought partial approval for a planned senior living community in Randolph Center.
The commission granted Gifford approval on an Act 250 criterion regarding construction on primary agriculture soils, clearing the way for the Randolph-based medical center to move forward with filing for the final phases of Act 250 review next month.

“We’re very happy. This is great news. The favorable ruling by Act 250 will allow us to move forward with one of the most important aspects of the project,” said hospital Administrator Joseph Woodin. Continue reading

South Royalton Family Welcomes First Baby of New Year at Gifford

Gifford Medical Center

Mom Sara Bowen, big sister Cassidy Sedor and dad Shawn Sedor, all of South Royalton, cuddle their newest family member – Kaydence Sedor, born on Jan. 2 at Gifford Medical Center and the Randolph hospital’s first baby of the new year.

RANDOLPH – Sara Bowen and fiancé Shawn Sedor of South Royalton were the first to welcome a baby in the new year at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.

Bowen gave birth to daughter, Kaydence Sedor, on Jan. 2 at 10:29 p.m. A gorgeous and healthy Kaydence weighed in at 7 pounds 12 ounces and is 20 ½ inches long.

She is the couple’s second child. Two-year-old Cassidy Sedor was also born at Gifford.

The family was excited to have the first baby of the new year. “It’s really cool, actually,” said Bowen, but they were more excited with the newest member of their family, regardless of her birthdate.

“I’m lost for words. I love my kids. They’re amazing. (There’s) nothing better than to have kids,” said Bowen, who was originally due to give birth on Dec. 28.

Gifford Medica Center“We’ve got another little one to add to the family. (Kaydence) has someone to look up to and (Cassidy) has someone to take care of,” added Shawn. “I’m just glad that she’s healthy. We are lucky to have this blessing in our life.”