Responding to Community Needs

Vermont Blueprint for Health

Gifford’s Blueprint for Health Team has expanded to include additional mental health and addiction counselors offering one-on-one care at all Gifford primary care locations. In this file photo, from left, care coordinator Keith Marino, Health Connections (financial assistance) case worker Michele Packard and certified diabetes educator Jennifer Stratton discuss a patient at the Bethel Health Center.

In 2012 as part of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Gifford Medical Center completed a Community Needs Assessment.

Less than two years later, the Randolph-based medical center has already made huge strides addressing many of the needs found in that study.

In a survey of Town Meeting attendees in nine communities in 2012 plus feedback from other groups, community members’ described their priorities for a healthy community, perceived health problems and risky behaviors in the community, and their health needs or lacking services.

Among factors for a healthy community were good jobs and a healthy economy, access to health care, good schools, and healthy behaviors and lifestyles. Top health problems listed by survey respondents included addiction, obesity, and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Top health needs, or services community members have tried unsuccessfully to access, within the community were assisted living and nursing home care, alcohol and drug counseling, and dental care.

Today, Gifford is preparing to break ground in the spring on a senior living community in Randolph Center that will, over time, provide a full spectrum of housing options including the relocation of its award-winning nursing home and newly created assisted and independent living. Gifford has earned the coveted Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) designation, making it one of only three hospitals in the country to be both a Critical Access Hospital and an FQHC. This means expanded access to care, including dental and mental health care. And the medical center’s Vermont Blueprint for Health Team has greatly expanded over the past year to include more mental health and addiction counselors, providing services at all Gifford primary care locations.

chronic illness support group

Among Gifford’s free community services is a chronic illness support group. Here Gifford pharmacist Jane McConnell provides medication advice to past participants.

“Each of these major initiatives, which have taken substantial work, targets an identified community health need. Meeting these needs and addressing the community’s feedback defines the future of Gifford and its expanding role,” says Ashley Lincoln, director of development and public relations at Gifford.

The Community Needs Assessment process is required every three years, but Gifford’s efforts are ongoing. The medical center continually provides community outreach initiatives to meet care needs, many of which are offered for free. These include classes, support groups, and health fairs. Additionally, many initiatives support local economic health, including a buy local approach.

The medical center also continues community outreach daily through a boots-on-the-ground approach that has Blueprint Community Health Team working directly with individuals and community organizations to address health and socioeconomic needs, particularly for the chronically ill.

“The Blueprint for Health is a statewide initiative. Gifford has placed extra focus on meeting community members’ needs so they can successfully manage their health,” says Blueprint Project Manager LaRae Francis. “This approach means not waiting months or years for needs to be determined, but matching resources and needs today to create an ongoing healthier community for all.”

A grant from through the Vermont Department of Health helped support the costs of the 2012 report. The full report is available on Gifford’s website in the “About Us” section under Community Reports.

Camaraderie, Improving Health Among Greatest Rewards – Drs. Terry Cantlin & Mark Seymour

Dr. Terry CantlinDr. Terry Cantlin joined the Bethel Health Center in 1987. He attended the University of Health Science in Kansas City, Missouri, and went on to an internship and residency at the Osteopathic Hospital of Maine in Portland. 

He worked for the Indian Health Service on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in Dulce, New Mexico for three years and then as emergency room director at the Downeast Community Hospital in Machias, Maine before joining the Bethel practice, which was then owned by Drs. Ronald Gadway and Edward Armstrong. 

Originally from Lebanon, New Hampshire, Dr. Cantlin lives in Randolph Center with his wife, Betsy. They have two children. Dr. Cantlin is well-known outside the health center for his role as a member of the band “Jeanne and the Hi-Tops”. He also enjoys woodworking, sports, and cooking.

Dr. Mark SeymourDr. Mark Seymour joined the Bethel Health Center in 1989. He attended medical school at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in his home town of Biddeford, Maine.

He went on to complete his internship at Flint Osteopathic Hospital in Michigan and his residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. He practiced at the Indian Health Service from 1985-1989, first in Chinle, Arizona on a Navajo reservation and then in Browning, Montana on a Blackfeet reservation. He joined the Bethel practice in 1989, which became part of Gifford a year later.

Dr. Seymour lives in Randolph Center with his wife, Becky. They have two children, Jane and Will. Dr. Seymour enjoys family, reading, hiking, and following Boston sports in his free time.

Below is their story as told in the words of Dr. Cantlin, as featured in our 2012 Annual Report.

Dr. Mark Seymour and I have practiced together for nearly 25 years at the Bethel Health Center. This has been an introspective and rewarding experience for each of us. We’ve enjoyed the comprehensive nature of family practice. The ability to care for patients of all ages with a wide range of problems and to be able to follow patients and families throughout their entire life span is a blessing. To be trusted with this care is an honor.

We’ve each had many interesting cases and challenging diagnoses, but the ones that are truly rewarding for us are those that have been transformational in improving someone’s life. Helping people to overcome substance abuse (tobacco, alcohol, and drugs), helping them to lose weight and exercise more, and assisting in coping with stressors and depression are extremely time and energy-consuming problems. They require persistent effort over many visits, but ultimately have the greatest impact on a patient’s overall well-being and happiness.

Even though these cases are rewarding, our most satisfying and memorable experiences have come from being long-time colleagues and friends, and working with everyone at the Bethel Health Center. All the employees at the health center are like a big family. We’ve spent many years together and all take pride in the care being delivered at our clinic.

Mark and I have a lot in common. We each have close ties to Maine, where we have both lived and trained. As osteopathic physicians, we share a similar education and philosophy toward patient care. We both served a number of years in the Indian Health Service and had many common experiences, or “war stories”. Finally, we have shared an office space, back to back, for 20 years. It has been extremely helpful and enjoyable having a colleague and friend to discuss difficult cases and other issues with all of these years. It is this comaraderie that will be our lasting impression.”

~ Terry Cantlin, D.O.
Bethel Health Center family medicine physician

Drs. Terry Cantlin and Mark Seymour

Above – Drs. Cantlin and Seymour have worked back-to-back for years as seen in this 2008 photograph of the providers in their office. Bottom – the long-time friends and co-workers enjoy an afternoon in the freshly fallen snow.

Year in Review – Part 2

Our 2012 Annual Report included a month-by-month “Year in Review” section. Here is the second quarter excerpt.

APRIL

Blueprint teamTo support patient needs, the Blueprint team grows to include a behavioral health specialist (social worker) and a second care coordinator.

Gynecologist Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara of the Bethel and Twin River health centers leads a free women’s health talk at the Montshire Museum on menopause and genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancers.

Gov. Peter Shumlin visits the Menig Extended Care Facility to offer thanks to the state’s top nursing home, calling it a “tribute to the community”. “We’re proud of you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” the governor said to residents, families, and staff members. The governor’s visit came in the wake of the U.S. News Report “2012 Honor Roll” listing.

Gov. Peter ShumlinJoining Gov. Shumlin are Vermont Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living Commissioner Dr. Susan Wehry, Vermont Health Care Association Executive Director Laura Pelosi, Division of Licensing and Protection Director Suzanne Leavitt, and Assistant Director Fran Keeler.

Gifford provides free assistance with advance directives in conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day.

Gifford’s more than 200 volunteers are honored with a luncheon served by hospital managers, prize awards, musical performances, and more.

Dr. Sandy Craig joins the hospitalist team, having previously practiced at The Health Center in Plainfield for many years.

March of DimesEmployees raise $455 for the March of Dimes by donning “Blue Jeans for Babies”. At the same time, the Vermont Chapter of the March of Dimes recognizes Gifford with a Leadership Legacy award for its commitment to prenatal, birth, and newborn care, and its support of the non-profit organization working to prevent birth defects, premature births, and infant mortality.

Long-time pediatrician Dr. Lou DiNicola receives a national award for his work around childhood immunizations.

Dr. DiNicola is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and the CDC Foundation as the first ever “CDC Childhood Immunization Champion” for the state of Vermont.

MAY

Ob/gyn Dr. Anne Galante joins the women’s health team full-time. She had worked as a Menig celebrationlocum tenens, or part-time contracted, provider at Gifford since 2009.

Menig residents celebrate a “Day of Play” with representatives of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living. The day celebrated Older American’s Month and included a scavenger hunt.

JUNE

The Robin’s Nest Child Enrichment Center holds its annual preschool graduation, complete with caps and gowns.

Gifford and Valley Rescue Squad Inc. move forward with the formation of a new non-profit aimed at stabilizing ambulance costs and maintaining or improving quality through a new non-profit to be called Supporting Ambulances for Vermont Emergencies (SAVE).

A free men’s health talk by general surgeon Dr. Ovleto Ciccarelli and urologist Dr. Richard Graham address colorectal health, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.

For an eighth consecutive year, the Menig Extended Care Facility receives a Nursing Home Quality Recognition from the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living.

A free talk on Medicare insurance, why it’s important, why participating in Medicare Part B is beneficial, and what one’s choices are under Medicare Part D is offered.

The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons grants accreditation with commendation to the cancer program at Gifford. Gifford’s cancer program, which includes outpatient chemotherapy, has been accredited since 1965.

Family nurse practitioner Emily LeVan joins the Bethel Health Center.

Gifford is awarded a Hospital of Choice Award from The American Alliance of Healthcare Providers for “courteous, compassionate, and caring services for patients, family, and the community.” The ranking places Gifford among “America’s most customer-friendly hospitals”.

Gifford Craft Fair Nov. 16 and 17

craft fairMark your calendars: Gifford Medical Center’s Annual Craft Fair in support of the hospital’s Adult Day Program is coming Nov. 16 and 17.

The Craft Fair – now in its 17th year – takes place in the hospital’s Conference Center, hallways, spacious visitors’ entrance and the adjoining Menig Extended Care Facility’s large living room from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The fair is an opportunity to start your holiday shopping while also supporting a worthy cause: Gifford Adult Day Program activities.

Adult Day provides safe day care, personal hygiene help, medication administration, healthy meals, activities and socialization to the elderly and disabled below the Bethel Health Center on Route 107.

The fair also supports our local craftspeople.

Items for sale will include handcrafted jewelry, homemade baked goods and foods, woodcrafts, quilting, homemade pillows, hand painted Christmas ornaments, and more made by area crafters.

The fair is open to the public and all are welcome.

Vendor space is still available, although vendors signing up now must supply their own table. Call organizer Bonnie Pettit at 763-8828 to become a vendor or learn more.

Gifford is on Route 12 south of Randolph village at 44 S. Main St. The Conference Center entrance is just off from the patient parking area and is marked. The handicapped-accessible visitors’ entrance, where crafts are also expected to be on display, is on the southern end of the hospital. Signs will also help guide you.

2011 Gifford Admissions and Visits by Top 20 Towns

The following is an excerpt from our 2011 Annual Report.

For those of you interested in statistics, here are Gifford’s admissions and visits from 2011. (We’re reporting only the top 20 towns.)

                                                          Inpatient              Outpatient                  Total
Randolph/Braintree                           562                       21,620                   22,182
Bethel                                                   150                         6,373                      6,523
Royalton                                               119                         5,296                     5,415
Northfield                                             138                         3,661                     3,799
Chelsea                                               111                         3,052                     3,163
Rochester                                              82                         2,461                     2,543
Barre                                                       73                         3,175                     3,248
Tunbridge                                              29                         2,354                      2,383
Brookfi eld                                             55                         2,256                      2,331
Berlin                                                      62                         1,505                      1,567
Sharon                                                   28                         1,495                      1,523
Williamstown                                        60                         1,312                      1,372
Stockbridge                                           23                         1,048                      1,071
Granville                                                25                             754                         779
Hancock                                                19                             657                         676
Pittsfield                                                12                             481                         493
Barnard                                                   6                             483                         489
Washington                                         15                              430                         445
Montpelier                                              9                              333                         342
Woodstock                                             4                             314                          318
Other Vermont towns                       207                          8,973                      9,180
Other states                                         21                          1,673                      1,694
Other countries                                     1                                  1                              2
Grand total                                     1,811                        69,707                   71,518

Gifford admissions

Nurse practitioner Emily LeVan Joins Bethel Health Center

Emily LeVan

Nurse practitioner Emily LeVan joins Bethel Health Center

RANDOLPH – Family nurse practitioner Emily LeVan of Randolph Center has joined the Bethel Health Center. The Bethel clinic is part of Gifford Medical Center.

LeVan earned her family nurse practitioner master’s degree from University of Cincinnati and her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Maine in Portland. She is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

She previously worked as an emergency department registered nurse at Central Vermont Medical Center, Gifford Medical Center, and Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, Maine, for seven years. She has also worked as a health care consultant with The Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, Maine, and teaches licensed nursing assistant and medical terminology courses at the Randolph Technical Career Center.

She previously taught Spanish and was a field hockey and track coach in Maine and Massachusetts for six years after earning her a bachelor’s in environmental studies and Spanish from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and studying Spanish at Middlebury College.

An Oklahoma City native, LeVan moved to New England for school.

She enjoyed teaching and coaching, but was drawn to health care. “I wanted to do something different. I had always been interested in health care,” says LeVan, whose father is a dentist.

As she sought to advance her nursing degree, she chose family practice.

“I wanted to work directly with patients and help them achieve their maximum state of health and wellness,” she says.

She joined Gifford for the opportunity to work in her community and for the culture at Gifford. “I love that when you walk down the hall, people say ‘hi,’” she says, adding, “I feel that it’s an organization that supports the so-called ‘midlevel’ providers very nicely.”
LeVan sees whole families across the lifespan, offering accessible care with a focus on openness and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.

With a background in emergency medicine, LeVan is a trained sexual assault nurse examiner. Her other interests include women’s health and sports medicine, especially for young people.

LeVan is a former marathoner, who twice finished as the top U.S. female in the Boston Marathon, finished high in other major races (including a seventh-place finish in the Women’s U.S. Marathon Championships in St. Paul, Minn., in 2006) and even participated in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

She has also traveled extensively through Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Bolivia, serving as an athletic services coordinator for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the 2011 Pam American Games in Guadalajara and as a volunteer nurse and translator on a medical mission to Nicaragua.

She is married with a daughter and co-owns her family’s farm, the ALL Together Farm in Randolph Center, selling sustainably produced meats and eggs.

LeVan can be reached Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at the Bethel Health Center at 234-9913. She joins long-time family physicians Dr. Terry Cantlin and Dr. Mark Seymour and physician assistant Tammy Gerdes.