Randolph Artist Erica Sears Brings Unique Talent to Hometown Hospital

Randolph artist Erica Sears

“Untitled in Blues” is among Randolph artist Erica Sears’ works now in the Gifford gallery.

Three panels stretch from floor to ceiling. A painted image of a woman on sandstone is just inches tall.

Renowned local artist Erica Sears’ works are in the Gifford Gallery in a month-long show that does not disappoint.

Sears is a Randolph native who graduated from Randolph Union High School in 1985. She went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, where she lived for 15 years before returning to Randolph in 2000.

She has previously shown her work in Los Angeles and throughout this region at Chandler, First Light Studios, Gifford years ago, in Bethel and currently at the White River Craft Center. Three panels also hang in the upper Ester Mesh Gallery at Chandler as part of its permanent collection.

Sears, who has had a varied career, including making, selling and teaching art for 25 years, has a studio in her home and works full-time at Gifford in the Food and Nutrition Services Department.

“My art is how I express, celebrate, explain or push through what happens in my life. Many different things inspire me, influence me, call to me. Each piece is a visual page in my journal. Each idea that needs to be expressed has its own medium that tells the story. Some in paint, some in clay, cloth, pastel, ink, metal or rock. “

Her Gifford show includes 10 pieces, including “garlic moon,” which is made of garlic skins, coated in gloss and set upon a painted block of wood. The three long panels took about two years to create. Wax, birch bark, oil pastel, pencil, ink and charcoal make up other works. “Untitled in Blues” and “Untitled in Reds” – acrylics on canvas – are more recent works.

“I am a very tactile artist,” Sears notes. “I love color and texture. I love all mediums. I love watching how the images take shape. I love watching people interact with the pieces. The conversations that happen between the viewer and the piece are amazing.”

Interact with Sears’ work at Gifford now through Sept. 24. The gallery is located just inside the main entrance of the South Main Street medical center.

Ob/gyn Dr. Sean Tubens Joins Gifford in Randolph

Dr. Sean Tubens

Dr. Sean Tubens

Dr. Sean Tubens’ path to becoming an ob/gyn physician was anything but direct.

The Baltimore native joined the U.S. Marines out of high school and spent four years as an aviation electrician working on F18s and serving during Operation Desert Storm.

He returned home to Baltimore unsure what he would do next. The idea of becoming a lawyer or psychologist appealed to him but the years of school seemed daunting. His father was a hairdresser and although his first instinct was “no way,” he took up his father’s trade.

“It ended up being a lot of fun, and I was actually really good at it,” he recalls, noting he worked as a hair stylist for 12 years and even owned his own salon.

And then the unthinkable happened. His parents died. Both of them.

His mother was diagnosed with cancer on Dec. 1, 1996. She died that same month on Dec. 31. His father had a lung transplant that same year. He had pulmonary fibrosis. Despite the transplant, he died on Aug. 31, 1997 – exactly eight months after his spouse.

An only child, Dr. Tubens found himself at a crossroads and asking the question “Am I happy with the direction of my life?”

“I just didn’t feel I was making a contribution to other people in a way I was capable of,” he said.

After years of avoiding school, “I decided maybe I wanted to be a surgeon.”

At age 31, he hired a tutor to get through his college entrance exams. “I had no college experience whatsoever.”

He attended Towson University in his native Baltimore, graduating magna cum laude in just three years while still working full-time at his salon. He was accepted to and attended Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica in the West Indies and New Jersey.

Obstetrics and gynecology wasn’t his first choice when it came to medicine – until he assisted with a birth from beginning to end. “It was from that moment that I realized what an honor and a privilege it is to be involved in this process, and that that was what I wanted to do.”

Dr. Tubens went on to complete his obstetrics and gynecology residency at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., working exclusively on high risk pregnancies and performing gynecologic surgeries. “I love gynecologic surgery, specifically laparoscopic procedures,” he says.

His work at Bayfront earned him recognitions for excellence in laparoscopic surgery, excellence in reproductive endocrinology and as outstanding resident teacher of the year.

When it came time to look for a job, Dr. Tubens looked for a warm and friendly community where he and his wife could settle with their two huskies.

He has found that in Vermont and at Gifford.

“People are so welcoming. They smile. That’s very attractive,” said Dr. Tubens. “We hope we can spend the rest of our lives here.”

He and his wife, physician assistant Susan Post-Tubens, have bought a home in Bethel.

They have three grown children and in their free-time enjoy golf, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, travel and reading.

For the region, Dr. Tubens, a physician with a calming demeanor who collaborates with patients to improve quality of life, is a new resource for more complicated pregnancies and surgery. His clinical interests include high-risk pregnancies, office gynecologic procedures as well as gynecologic surgery, especially laparoscopic surgery.

His greatest priority is patient safety and care, notes the physician who is a member of both the American College of Physicians and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. “The most important thing is the patient. That is the number one priority.”

Dr. Tubens is working full-time at Gifford Ob/Gyn & Midwifery in Randolph. Call him at (802) 728-2401.

Orthopedist Dr. Kenyatta Norman Makes Gifford Position Permanent

Dr. Kenyatta Norman

Dr. Kenyatta Norman

Skilled surgeon to stay on in Randolph

When orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kenyatta Norman first came to Gifford Medical Center in January it was meant to be temporary. She was what the industry calls a locum tenens physician. In simple terms, a locum tenens doctor fills in when a hospital has an opening, hasn’t filled it but doesn’t want patients to have to go without care.

Dr. Norman has spent her career working across the country as a locum. That is, until now.

In Gifford and the region, Dr. Norman has found a place where she wants to continue to work and a community where she wants to live and raise a family.

“I am excited to be here. The people are so warm, friendly and nice. That was part of the reason I decided to stay. This area seems perfect as I will be able to be involved with my future children and continue to give excellent care to my patients,” said Dr. Norman.

A native of Indiana, Dr. Norman pursued medicine in part because someone told her she couldn’t.

“I think somebody told me I couldn’t be a doctor (an older gentleman), and I thought ‘Really? Wow.’ I think that cemented it there,” she said, demonstrating the competitive spirit required to become a great surgeon.

She was a child at the time but becoming a physician became her goal.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Indiana University in Bloomington with a minor in sociology. She went on to medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine.

“I was initially interested in primary care, but after a rotation in general surgery I realized I liked the OR and working with my hands,” she recalled.

And then she did a rotation in orthopedics. “I was enamored after my first orthopedic surgery as a medical student.”

Dr. Norman went on to an orthopedic residency was at Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and then continued onto an orthopedic oncology fellowship at Mount Clemens Medical Regional Center in Michigan.

Since, she has worked at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Hampton, Va., and Martinsburg, W. Va., and at hospitals and health centers in Kentucky, New Mexico, Illinois and Virginia. The New Mexico post was at Indian Health Services.

“I have worked in many different settings,” Dr. Norman said of her career, “and Gifford is definitely at the top!”

At Gifford, Dr. Norman provides general orthopedics care, help for fractures, arthroscopic surgery and more. Her subspecialty is orthopedic oncology.

A good-natured caregiver who is quick to laugh, Dr. Norman says, “I try to make everyone feel at home and I try to make sure everyone understands his or her health problem, and I really try to treat every patient like a member of my family.”

Dr. Norman is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

She is practicing full-time at Gifford in Randolph with physician assistant Brad Salzmann. Previously from St. Louis, she and her husband have made the community their home.

“I am ready to be part of the Gifford team and become a Vermonter. I may even learn to snowboard,” Dr. Norman said.

Call her at Gifford at (802) 728-2455. Appointments can be made by calling central scheduled at (802) 728-2777.

A Bowl Full of Teamwork: Message from the Medical Staff President

The following is an excerpt from our 2013 Annual Report: A Recipe for Success.

Ellamarie Russo-DeMara, DO

Ellamarie Russo-DeMara, DO

As health care providers, doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are often who patients think of and look to when they need care.

In medicine, we’ve long known, however, that it is not an individual providing your care, but a team. From those working hard to keep our facilities clean and well-maintained, to those ordering the supplies needed for an office procedure or surgery, to those scheduling your appointments and answering your calls, it takes everyone doing their job well to ensure that you get the care you expect.

At Gifford, we are fortunate to have an outstanding team that takes its role of providing your care one step further. Here, we’re not just caring for your illness, but for you as a person. As someone who is privileged enough to work at Gifford, I am afforded opportunities to see this special brand of care first-hand. And yet, it often goes unrecognized because it happens so quietly, so seamlessly and with so little fanfare

In this year’s Annual Report, you get a special glimpse at just a bit of what quietly makes Gifford so special. It’s countless acts of kindness by selfless individuals all committed to you. Separately, these efforts are remarkable. Together, they tell a story – a story of a medical center and medical team that takes caring far outside of the exam room to the community, home, and family.

~ Ellamarie Russo-DeMara, DO, Medical Staff President and Gynecologist

_______________________

“Gifford is in the final phase of the Sharon Health Center addition. Sharon has become renowned throughout Vermont and beyond for excellence in sports medicine. This addition is driven by patient demand for care as more and more athletes and weekend warriors seek help from our outstanding team of podiatrists, chiropractors and sports medicine providers.”

~ Dr. Ovleto Ciccarelli, Surgery Division Medical Director

___________________

2013 MEDICAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

President - Ellamarie Russo-DeMara, DO
Vice President - Joseph Pelletier, MD
Secretary - Nicolas Benoit, DPM
Past President - Marcus Coxon, MD
Surgical Division Medical Director - Ovleto Ciccarelli, MD
Hospital Division Medical Director - Martin Johns, MD
Medicine Division Medical Director, Peer Review Committee Chair - Joshua Plavin, MD, MPH
Credentials Committee Chair - Mark Seymour, DO
Administrator - Joseph Woodin

Podiatrist Dr. Samantha Harris Joins Berlin Practice

Gifford podiatrist Samantha Harris

Dr. Samantha Harris

Drawn to the region because of the maple industry, podiatrist Dr. Samantha Harris has joined Gifford Medical Center, specifically the Gifford Health Center at Berlin.

A native of Nashville, Tenn., Dr. Harris started her medical career as a physical therapist, attending Tennessee State University in Nashville and working for seven years in the field before deciding to advance her career. “I wanted to be able to do more for patients and looked into medical school,” she said.

She considered a career in orthopedics but after two podiatric surgeries of her own – one on each foot a year apart – her eyes were opened to the field of foot and ankle surgery.

She attended the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence, Ohio, and then completed her residency in podiatric medicine and surgery at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.

She returned to Tennessee to work in private practice before love and maple syrup had her looking to Vermont.

Dr. Harris’ significant other, Devin Randall, lives in Upstate New York and has a passion for maple production and farming. For the couple, that meant casting their eyes to Vermont. For Dr. Harris, Gifford, which is home to bustling podiatry practices, was the perfect fit.

“I felt like I had known everyone for years on the interview. It was like, ‘Wow, this place is perfect for me,’” says the personable caregiver. “I loved it.”

Gifford has multiple podiatrists, Dr. Rob Rinaldi, Dr. Nick Benoit and Dr. Paul Smith, practicing in Randolph, Sharon and Berlin. Dr. Harris joins the Berlin practice.

Podiatrists diagnose and treat disorders of the foot and ankle, from ingrown toenails and diabetic foot care to reconstructive surgery. Dr. Harris provides all types of podiatry care. Her physical therapy experience also brings extensive knowledge of the body and she is known for spending time with patients, listening and partnering with patients in their recovery.

“I understand the patient point of view as well as the physician point of view,” she says, recalling her own podiatric surgery experiences. “I can look from the inside out.”

Dr. Harris is accepting new patients. Call her at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin at (802) 229-2325 or schedule an appointment with any member of the podiatry team by calling Gifford’s central scheduling line at (802) 728-2777.

Employee Anniversaries

The following is an excerpt from our 2013 Annual Report: A Recipe for Success.

employee awards banquetAt this year’s annual Employee Awards Banquet, the following employees were honored for their years of dedication and service to Gifford and its patients.

(Employees are honored on their 5-, 10-, 15-, etc., year anniversaries.)

5 years
Jenell Archer
Angela Bailey
Christie Blodgett
Elizabeth Britch
Sheri Brown
Kristine Day
Peggy Eaccarino
Kate Fellows
Angela Fletcher
Ginny Giles
Jan Giles
Cindy Gurdak
Vera Jones
Brittany Kelton
Sarah Larmie
Laura Larrabee
Peter Loescher
Heidi McClellan
Melinda Mercier
Jamie Miller
Kim Nelson
Shane Parks
Kathleen Riley
Fern Rogers
Brian Sargent
Megan Sault
Joel Schumacher
Jackie Sprague
Melissa Thayer
Scott Warren
Lisa Woods

10 years
Julie Arms
Gail Bourassa
Patrice Conard
Cindy Duval
James Kirkpatrick
Judy Libby
Terry MacDougal
Joe Pelletier
Dan Pritchard
Rob Rinaldi
Sandi Standish

15 years
Kim Connolly
Donna Ferris
Tara Fitzpatrick
Ronda Flaherty
Tina Grant
Beryl McPhetres
Michele Packard
Kim Summers

20 years
Tom Carter
Darlene Doyle
Marc Fournier
Rosalie Knowles
Kevin McNamara
Deanna Mitchell
Sue Molinario
Melanie Munyon
Bonnie Pettit
Karen Sargent
Starr Strong

25 years
Bonnie Hervieux-Woodbury
Kathy MacAskill
Pam Overstrom
Gail Proctor
Laudell Slack

35 years
Marcia Eaton
Karen Lagro

40 years
Maureen Heyder

A Spoonful of Listening: Physical Therapy

The following is an excerpt from our 2013 Annual Report: A Recipe for Success.

Michael Blood

Michael Blood and physical therapist Amy Chiriatti

After undergoing double knee replacement surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Michael Blood, 66, of White River Junction had rehabilitation with physical therapist Amy Chiriatti at Advance Physical Therapy in Wilder. Amy provided the “exceptional” care to not just Michael’s knees but to him as a whole person.

“I’ve never had anyone in the medical field I can talk to one-on-one. She’s an excellent listener. She’s just a special person; she really is.”         ~ Michael Blood

Gifford physical therapy

Gifford Midwifery Team Holding Open House

Gifford midwifery team

Gifford’s 24-hour midwifery team includes, from left, certified nurse-midwives Meghan Sperry, Maggie Gardner, April Vanderveer and Kathryn Saunders. (Photo provided)

Gifford’s renowned midwifery team is holding an open house to introduce its recently expanded team to the community and offer some free health advice.

Gifford’s certified nurse-midwives, Kathryn Saunders, Meghan Sperry, Maggie Gardner and April Vanderveer, will hold an open house on Thursday, July 24 from 4-7 p.m. in The Family Center beside Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery off South Main Street in Randolph.

All are welcome, especially those expecting a baby, thinking of planning a family or interested in women’s health.

The open house will be an opportunity to meet the midwives, tour the Birthing Center (if it is not too full with new babies and families) and receive expert advice. In addition to the midwives, lactation consultant and childbirth educator Nancy Clark will be on hand to talk breastfeeding, child development and more. And, for those who are expecting, Gifford Vice President of Patient Care Services (and photographer) Alison White will be offering belly photos.

There will also be balloons for the kids, giveaways, refreshments and door prizes, including a belly casting kit, baby product basket, a yoga gift certificate generously donated by Fusion Studio of Montpelier and a one-hour massage generously donated Massages Professionals of Randolph.

“We’re enthusiastic for this support from Fusion Studio and Massage Professionals of Randolph, and we’re excited to introduce our team to the community. We are like-minded caregivers committed to offering women and families an experience that meets their desires and goals, while also resulting in safe and healthy pregnancies and babies,” said Sperry.

Stop by to meet the midwives and to learn more about women’s health. Call Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery at 728-2401 to learn more.

A Generous Sprinkling of Knowledge: New Parents Support Group

The following is an excerpt from our 2013 Annual Report: A Recipe for Success.

Nancy Clark

Childbirth educator Nancy Clark and babies

Nancy Clark has a diverse role. She is a care manager, nurse, lactation consultant and certified childbirth educator. She helps new moms with breast feeding, organizes trainings for new families, occasionally does home visits for families with special needs and leads a free New Parents Support Group for two hours each Wednesday. Since its inception, the New Parents Group, with Nancy at its helm, has been a cherished resource for new moms and dads.

“Nancy is awesome. She’s very supportive and very knowledgeable. She makes it easier to navigate all of the perils of being a new mom. Nancy calmly validates your thoughts as a mother.”
~ Julia O’Brien

generous sprinkling of knowledge

An Extra Push: Housekeeping

The following is an excerpt from our 2013 Annual Report: A Recipe for Success.

Kelly Bouchard

Barb Reynolds, housekeeping associate Kelly Bouchard and Della Allen

Barb Reynolds sometimes likes an extra push – in her wheelchair that is. As a member of the Environmental Services team, Kelly Bouchard’s job is to clean the nursing home and residents’ rooms. But in this culture of caring, Kelly doesn’t stop there. Walk down the halls or visit at a meal time and Kelly is often found sitting with residents, including Barb and her mom Della Allen, asking about their day and reminiscing about the good old days. Kelly is so involved, she was asked to join the nursing home’s “Falls Committee” to help prevent resident falls. And, of course, she gives Barb a push now and then.

“She’s very good. She takes me up and down the hall, when she doesn’t need to; it’s not her job… She’s very broad-minded. She’s willing to do things for other people.”
~ Barb Reynolds

an extra push