As a student at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, Barbara Lazar worked in a nursing home as a nurse’s aide. She decided then that she wanted to spend her career caring for the elderly.
You could describe it as a calling, but what Lazar really discovered was that when it comes to older people, a little caring goes a long way, and that felt good.
After a stint doing Alzheimer’s research in a lab in Philadelphia, Lazar went on to earn her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Following her internship and residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Dr. Lazar launched a family medicine career that has focused on geriatrics.
She began her career in 1996 working for the Indian Health Service at Northern Navajo Medical Center in New Mexico. Moving to Vermont in 2003, she served as a medical director at Genesis Elder Care in Lebanon while a member of the department of family medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She also worked at Brookside Nursing Home in White River Junction and most recently at PACE (the Program for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly) in Rutland.
She loved her work at PACE to help support older people’s ability to remain in their homes, she says, but was looking for a shorter commute to work. A Sharon resident, she looked north to Gifford and found a remarkable fit.
“As a provider it’s very attractive to come to a place that has its heart in the right place and that is committed to serving the community. It feels like a gift to have found a place like this,” says Dr. Lazar, who has started seeing patients at Gifford’s family medicine practice in Randolph.
A warm, caring and thoughtful doctor, it is Dr. Lazar’s goal to provide whole person and whole family care, considering a patient’s psycho-social needs as well as their medical needs. She’s also hoping to serve the area’s elderly and families struggling to meet an elderly loved one’s needs.
Board certified by the American Board of Family Practice, Dr. Lazar is a native of upstate New York. She makes her home in Vermont with her husband, Dr. Joel Lazar, a family physician at Dartmouth, and their two sons, ages 13 and 15. In her free time, Dr. Lazar enjoys hiking and music.
For complete family care, call Dr. Lazar at Gifford Family Medicine at (802) 728-2445 or learn more at www.giffordmed.org.
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.
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
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.
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott arrives at Gifford on Tuesday (Photo provided by Robin Palmer)
In the final day of his “Cycling Vermont’s 14” 500-mile bicycle tour of the state’s 14 counties, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott stopped at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph early Tuesday afternoon.
Scott, who is seeking re-election next month, was met by a small group of Gifford employees and community supporters. Scott briefly talked fitness as vital to good health, and safety. On the first day of his journey he encountered railroad tracks and cracked his helmet, he said.
On the last day, with a new helmet securely in place, his visit to Gifford led to an impromptu tour of the medical center’s Menig Extended Care Facility nursing home, which Gifford is trying to rebuild in Randolph Center as part of a senior living community.
Scott, riding with John Connor, was scheduled to conclude his eight-day journey on the chilly Tuesday in Barre at 5:30 p.m. Continue reading →
The National Health Service Corps’ Corps Community Day is this Thursday, October 11th. Click hereto find out more.
RANDOLPH – When Dr. Josh Plavin was in medical school, a federal program supporting primary care providers, the National Health Service Corps, helped pay for some of his education costs.
“I was a National Health Service Corps scholar,” Dr. Plavin notes.
Upon graduation, the program required that he work two years at a National Health Service Corps approved site in a designated primary care shortage area. Dr. Plavin looked to rural Vermont.
“At the time there were no designated sites in Vermont with job openings,” says Dr. Plavin, who worked with his employer of choice – Gifford Medical Center – to have the Chelsea Health Center designated as an approved site. The site was approved in part because neighboring Tunbridge was, and still is, defined as a primary care shortage area.
That was in 2001 and Dr. Plavin served the Chelsea area as both a pediatrician and internal medicine provider for the next seven years.
Today, Dr. Plavin serves as medical director of all of Gifford’s primary care practice locations – in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, Randolph and Rochester. As such, he sees the benefit of the federal program from new eyes – that of a hospital administrator trying to staff primary care practices in rural areas.
“Medical school is so expensive that there are fewer and fewer doctors going into primary care because the simple math is it is not viable without loan repayment. It’s certainly not viable in a rural area,” says Dr. Plavin on what nationally is Corps Community Day, held today during National Primary Care Week.
We held our Autumn Harvest Festival earlier this week. Gifford employees enjoyed apple crisp and competed in a pumpkin recipe contest. The first place winner was Ralph Herrick (well, OK, Ralph’s wife).
RANDOLPH – Chiropractor Dr. Andrea Kannas has joined the Sharon Health Center’s sports medicine team part-time.
Dr. Kannas, who is also in private practice in Woodstock, is a Rutland native and Middlebury College graduate who went on to Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minn., for her doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) degree.
She completed her internship at Bloom Chiropractic, Bloomington Natural Care Center and University Health Services, part of Northwestern Health Sciences University, all in Minnesota.
She previously worked at Lakes Region Chiropractic in Bristol, N.H., before opening her own practice, The Chiropractic & Wellness Studio, last year.
It was through volunteer work with the Woodstock Union High School track team that Dr. Kannas connected with Sharon Health Center chiropractor Dr. Hank Glass. The health center, renowned for its sports medicine practice, was in need of more chiropractic help.
Dr. Kannas excitedly joined the team, which includes Dr. Glass, two podiatrists, a sports medicine physician, a nurse practitioner, an athletic trainer and physical therapists, this month. “I’m really excited to work with the other doctors and staff and, most importantly, the patients. I really love what I do.”
Chiropractic adjustments, said Dr. Kannas, are part of a healthy lifestyle, helping people perform at an optimal level. They support wellness and balance, and can benefit both acute and chronic injuries.
Dr. Kannas is board certified by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
Her clinical interests include sports medicine and women’s health and wellness. “I also love working with kids,” says Dr. Kannas, who lives in Quechee with her husband, John, and their 1-year-old daughter, Addison.
In her free time, Dr. Kannas enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors and athletics, including skiing and cycling. In high school and college, she participated in soccer, track and ski racing.
Like Sharon’s other health care providers, who are also athletes, Dr. Kannas’ experience with sports has left her committed to working to achieve athletes’ goals and to being compassionate to their needs, she says.
Dr. Kannas is at the Sharon Health Center on Mondays and Wednesdays. Call her in Sharon at (802) 763-8000. The Sharon Health Center is part of Gifford Medical Center.
Free concert featuring country, blues, gospel, folk
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center employees and volunteer Karen Warner showcase their talents on Thursday, Aug. 30 for a multi-act, multi-style concert.
Warner will sing to new and classic country tracks. Sanie Bly, who performed earlier in the month, will join Gifford employees Thom Goodwin and Joe Pelletier in a group called the “Mood Stabilizers,” singing and playing folk and ’70s rock.
And Gifford’s Greg McConnell, Claudette Goad and Mike Berry as well as Berry’s brother, Jim, make up “Diamonds in the Rough,” a blue grass and gospel group.
“Diamonds in the Rough” often sing together at church and have performed for Gifford events. Bly is part of experienced group “Two for the Show.” Goodwin and Pelletier both sing and play guitar.
And Warner has performed for several community events, including at the Randolph gazebo and following the Randolph Fourth of July parade.
“We hope to offer something for everyone and bring together the community for an enjoyable, relaxing evening with good friends and good music,” said Mike Berry, who is organizing the collaboration.
Hear this eclectic group of performers in the Gifford park from 6:30-8 p.m.
The concert is free and open to the public.
The Gifford park is located between the hospital and the Thrift Shop on South Main Street (Route 12), south of Randolph village. Ample parking is available onsite.
The concert is weather-dependent. If the weather is questionable, check Gifford’s new and improved Website, www.giffordmed.org, for an update.