This information appeared in our Spring 2013 Update publication.
From the Birthing Center to the Menig Extended Care Facility, we rely on donors to help us to continue improving upon the care we are so privileged to provide.
Together, we are working toward a strong future for Gifford and our community. When you extend your support through your estate or long-term financial plans, your dedication to Gifford will continue as a part of your legacy for years to come. You are truly making a difference when you include Gifford in your will.
For more information about including Gifford in your planned giving, please contact: Ashley Lincoln in the Development Department at 728-2380 or visit www.giffordmed.org.
Now she encourages others to have their annual exams
This article appeared in our Spring 2013 Update publication.
Radiologist Dr. Scott Smith performed Hilda’s biopsy and shared her diagnosis with her extended family.
Hilda Gray is a strong proponent of mammograms. The South Royalton resident has had one every year at her community hospital, Gifford Medical Center.
Last year was the first time this active grandmother got some unsettling news, however.
A small lesion in her left breast was found and merited further study. Gifford Patient Care Navigator Brittany Kelton scheduled all of Hilda’s follow-up care and was at her side during each appointment.
A diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound were performed and then an ultrasound-guided biopsy was done right in the Radiology Department.
At first, Hilda didn’t want the biopsy. “I wasn’t too thrilled about that,” she says. Her family, however, was insistent. “‘Momma, you’re going to have the biopsy and that is all there is to it,’” Hilda recalls one of her daughters saying.
On the day radiologist Dr. Scott Smith delivered the news that the small mass was indeed breast cancer, three of Hilda’s children and her husband, Robert Gray Sr., were at her side.
General surgeon Dr. Maury Smith removed Hilda’s cancer.
Dr. Smith “took the whole family in the office and explained to everybody. He didn’t try to hurry you out. He wanted to make sure all of our questions were answered,” Robert recalls.
A lumpectomy, surgery to remove the mass, was the next step. This time, Hilda was fearless. “If its something that’s got to be done, it’s got to be done,” she recalls saying at the time.
She also had every confidence in the general surgeon who would operate – Dr. Maury Smith. “To Dr. Smith, you are a person, not just a patient,” says Robert.
This time with Robert, all four of her children and their spouses with her, Hilda returned to Gifford last fall for surgery to remove the cancer. A follow-up mammogram earlier this year found no additional lesions, says a happy, cancer-free Hilda.
“I feel like the hospital did wonderful by me,” she says, encouraging others to have their annual mammograms.
“Just do it,” she says. “If I hadn’t gone, I would never have known it was there. I really think it’s something women should do every year.”
Lois Flint and Dennis Boardman of Chelsea share a laugh with Gifford respiratory therapist Stephannie Welch.
This article appeared in our Spring 2013 Update publication.
When Lois Flint of Chelsea showed up for pulmonary rehabilitation at Gifford, who did she find one treadmill over? None other than her neighbor, Dennis Boardman. With Lois’ husband behind the wheel, the duo started commuting together for their thrice-weekly appointments, spending the winter working out and laughing hard at Gifford.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is medical therapy for chronic respiratory diseases, typically chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While not curative, the 10-week program combines exercise and education to decrease symptoms and hospitalizations, increase exercise tolerance, and improve quality of life.
Dennis has COPD and had a cancerous kidney removed in October at Gifford. When he left the hospital, he was on oxygen. His primary care provider, Dr. Mark Seymour at the Bethel Health Center, suggested he try pulmonary rehabilitation.
He recently completed the program, off of oxygen.
The 62-year-old retired log truck driver credits the program with improving his stamina for walking, getting him off the oxygen and giving him “a lot of freedom to be able to do what I want to do.”
Lois had part of her right lung removed, also from cancer, three years ago. Since, the 74-year-old retired cook has struggled with her diminished lung capacity. Her primary care provider, physician assistant Starr Strong of the Chelsea Health Center, suggested the program.
Overseen by Gifford pulmonologist Dr. Marda Donner and a team of respiratory therapists and nurses who carefully monitor participants as they workout, the now four-year-old program can’t cure lung disease, but aims to help people feel better just the same.
Lois, for example, still has limited lung capacity, but she’s no longer letting it slow her down.
“It motivated me,” says Lois, who is now walking on the treadmill at home. “I think it’s great.”
Learn more about pulmonary rehabilitation by calling Gifford Cardiopulmonary Services at 728-2222 or asking your health care provider for a referral.
Photo provided. Gifford laboratory technician Jennifer Celley plays with a young earthquake survivor at an orphanage in Haiti. Celley visited Haiti as part of a medical mission last year and is now sharing images in the Gifford gallery of her remarkable experience there. The show is a fund-raiser for a return trip to the impoverished country.
Braintree’s Jennifer Celley shares compelling images from medical mission
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center laboratory technician Jennifer Celley traveled to Haiti in June 2012 for a medical mission through the Community Health Initiative, a non-profit co-founded by Gifford Emergency Department physician Dr. Josh White.
The trip was Celley’s first ever to Haiti and she didn’t know what to expect. Would Caribbean island or post-earthquake rubble await? What Celley found was poverty, desperation, warmth and love.
“Before going to Haiti, I was excited yet nervous about what I was going to see,” says Celley of Braintree. “I had an image in my mind of a beautiful Caribbean island covered with rubble from the earthquake two years earlier. I was unsure and as the plane took off. I felt butterflies in my stomach. ‘Have I made a mistake?’ ‘Maybe I should go home’ ran through my head.
“As the plane descended I looked out the window and saw a lush, beautiful Caribbean island and felt relief. But as the plane continued descending, I saw an island so barren you could see tires burning on the ground, and thousands and thousands of rusty tin roofs staring up at you. It was at this moment that my heart sank. It sank for these people, and I knew then that I was supposed to be on this plane. I was destined to love Haiti.”
At first blush, Haiti assaults the senses. “The heat slaps you across the face,” Celley recalls. “It takes your lungs a minute to breathe in the hot, humid air. It takes your nose by surprise when you smell the rotting garbage and the raw sewage.”
But then there are the people – the thousands and thousands of desolate, smiling, joyful people.
“The amount of suffering that these loving, caring, happy people have to live with every day is heartbreaking, but the surprising part is how they cope with it and move forward. I did not hear anyone complain. I did not see anyone frown. I did not see one tear,” Celley says.
It is these people and these experiences that Celley documented through photographs, and it is these experiences that she is now sharing with the community in hopes of making an even greater difference.
Celley’s photos of her time in Haiti are in her employer, Gifford Medical Center’s, art gallery from the afternoon of May 29-July 31.
Created with the help of Dr. Lou DiNicola and Shari Voghell at the Corner Frame Shop in Randolph, the pieces are for sale. All profits from the sale support Celley’s effort to return to Haiti for another mission with the Community Health Initiative and directly support the organization.
To learn more about this organization with Randolph roots, visit www.chihaiti.org. To see Celley’s show, visit Gifford’s art gallery, located just inside the main lobby (marked “Registration”) and to the left.
Gifford is fortunate to have many long-time Medical Staff members. Some have worked in our community for 30 years or more. Most got their start as private practice physicians recruited to the area by the hospital and then became medical center employees.
Many came from outside the area. They could have chosen to work anywhere, but they chose to dedicate their careers and lives to the people of central Vermont and to bettering health care on a statewide level.
For patients, that means remarkable continuity of care, relationships embedded throughout generations, and access to some of the best and most experienced health care providers – anywhere.
With so much history and know-how behind them, we asked them to share some of their experiences with us. Our 2012 Annual Report is the result of their efforts to share what we’re calling brief “memoirs” or essays. Some talk about the amazing privilege of being entrusted with patients’ care and health. Others share stories of unique times with a patient.
We’ll begin featuring some of these memoirs as future blog posts. We hope you enjoy these reminiscences and are reminded, as we were, how very fortunate we are that these incredibly gifted individuals have given so much of themselves professionally, and personally, to our friends and neighbors.
As you’ll read, these long-time providers have also set the stage for our next generation of caregivers, who – like those who came before – are dedicating themselves to their communities and high-quality care for our region.
Final talk in series focuses on funerals, estates and what to do with all that stuff.
RANDOLPH – Over the past several months at Gifford Medical Center, community members have gathered for an educational series on death and dying, loss and love. First, they started the conversation, talked about “a good death” and then found the beauty of love in loss with “Grief: The Price We Pay for Love.”
Now, the series concludes with a practical discussion about funerals, settling estates and what to do with all that stuff an individual accumulates over a lifetime.
“Afterwards: The Business Side of Death” will be held in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center on May 16 from 5-6:30 p.m. The event includes presentations by funeral director Randy Garner and attorney Steve Webster, both of Randolph.
Garner will share what happens after someone dies and the choices available to families. “There a lot of options possible in Vermont that are not available in other places,” notes Cory Gould, a Gifford mental health provider and the organizer of this end-of-life series.
Webster will discuss settling a person’s estate, and Gould will pose questions for discussion on dealing with checking and other accounts, post office boxes, rental agreements, heating oil contracts and more. The talk, says Gould, will attempt to answer the question “Now what do I do?” “It’s really focusing on the practical, the pragmatic matters, after someone dies,” she says.
Attendance at previous discussions is not required to attend this latest talk. No registration is required, and it is free. Gould can be reached at (802) 728-7100, ext. 7, to answer any questions.
The talk will be held in the Gifford Conference Center. The Conference Center is on the first floor of the hospital and marked with a green awning from the patient parking area. For handicapped access, take the elevator from the main lobby to the first floor. For directions to the medical center and more, visit www.giffordmed.org.
Gifford also offers a Grief Support Group on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 4-5 p.m. in The Family Center beside Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery.
Class focuses on chronic disease self-management and peer support
RANDOLPH – A new Healthier Living Workshop series begins May 15 and continues Wednesdays through June 19 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Chelsea Health Center.
Healthier Living Workshops are six-week classes for people with chronic conditions and their caregivers. They are offered for free – along with chronic pain workshops – throughout the year by Gifford as part of the Vermont Blueprint for Health.
The workshops are led by trained facilitators and are designed to help improve strength, flexibility and endurance. They also provide tips for managing medications, eating healthier and improving communications with family and friends.
The goal is to help people better manage their health conditions and deal with the frustration, fatigue and pain that can accompany a chronic disease.
Participants also benefit from meeting other people with chronic conditions, learning how they cope and enjoying the camaraderie of knowing that they are not alone in how they’re feeling, notes Gifford workshop coordinator Susan Delattre.
According to the Vermont Department of Health, past participants report increased energy, reduced stress, more self-confidence and fewer doctors’ visits as a result.
Gifford Healthier Living Workshop participants have called the series “very relaxed and you really felt free to express yourself” and said they most enjoyed “meeting people who understand what I am going through.”
To register or for more information, call Zach Bean at Gifford’s Blueprint office at the Kingwood Health Center at (802) 728-7100, ext. 6.
The workshop will take place at the Chelsea Health Center at 356 Route 110 in Chelsea.
Hospital VP receives ‘Patriot Award’ for support of citizen soldiers
David Wheel, executive director of the Vermont Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve presents Gifford Medical Center Vice President of Surgery Rebecca O’Berry with a Patriot Award. Joining in receiving the award are, from left, Gifford Surgery Nurse Manager Jamie Floyd, Gifford Surgical Services Office Manager Bethany Osha, Wheel, O’Berry, Guard specialist and Gifford health care assistant Marc Truedson, and former Guard member and Gifford registered nurse Caitlyn Bushey. Truedson nominated O’Berry for the award. (Provided: Robin Palmer)
Marc Truedson’s commitment to serve the country as a specialist in the Vermont National Guard means time away from work as a health care assistant at Gifford Medical Center. Truedson’s employer supports his time away, filling shifts so that he can serve.
Recently Truedson discovered a way to thank Gifford and his senior manager, Vice President of Surgery Rebecca O’Berry, for that support. He nominated O’Berry for a Patriot Award through the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
The ESGR is a Department of Defense operational committee that, with the help of volunteers, promotes and enhances civilian employer support of citizen soldiers.
On Monday afternoon, Vermont ESGR Executive Director David Wheel delivered the award and many kind words to O’Berry and her team. Continue reading →
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center, in collaboration with the Vermont chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Clara Martin Center, is hosting a May 1 free educational program called “Living with Bipolar Disorder.”
The 5:30-7:30 p.m. event in Gifford’s Conference Center features a film by the same title with a discussion to follow. The 43-minute film features an introduction by actor Joe Pantoliano, a review of the illness by clinical expert Dr. Joe Calabrese of Case Medical Center in Cleveland and stories of people who have bipolar disorder or have been affected by it. Continue reading →