Last Mile Ride Raises $60,000

Last Mile Ride

Runners take off for the Last Mile Ride 5K and walk on Friday at Gifford in Randolph. (Provided/Janet Miller)

Fueled by compassion, 154 runners and walkers, 201 motorcyclists and 38 cyclists gathered at Gifford Medical Center on Friday and Saturday for the Last Mile Ride, raising $60,000 for area residents in life’s last mile.

Now in its ninth year, the Last Mile Ride has grown to a two-day event that includes a timed 5K, one-mile walk, 38-mile cycle ride and 80-mile motorcycle ride. The annual event raises money for Gifford patients in and out of the hospital who are in advanced illness or at the end of life. Money raised at the ride goes directly to help patients with comfort measures, provides financial support to patients and families, and grants special wishes.

Last Mile Ride

Cyclists leave for the Last Mile Ride on Saturday. (Provided/Janet Miller)

This year marked both a record number of participants – 386 in total – and a record amount of money raised. It was also an event fraught with emotional highs and lows.

The event included a Harley-Davidson raffle. Cody Flanagan, 19, from Barre won the bike from Wilkins Harley-Davidson, but wasn’t there to receive it. He is in Afghanistan.

His father, Tim Flanagan, a respiratory therapist at Gifford, who bought two tickets in Cody’s name accepted on his behalf. The older Flanagan got out that his son was in Afghanistan before breaking down. He received a standing ovation.

Last Mile Ride

Motorcyclists wind their way through central Vermont as part of the Last Mile Ride on Saturday. (Provided/Alison White)

“I was just ecstatic and overwhelmed for Cody,” Tim Flanagan said Monday. “I just felt it was a storybook kind of finish. It was meant to be.”

Cody, a medic airborne ranger, who graduated from Spaulding High School a year early, joined the U.S. Army two years ago at age 17. He has been in Afghanistan a month. His battalion just lost a member on Aug. 12 and has been on an emotional low.

Tim Flanagan called his son in Afghanistan from the ride to tell him he had won. It was around midnight there and he was exhausted, but excited. “He’s quite ecstatic. He’s thrilled,” said his father, noting it has been a morale booster for the unit.

The moment was reminiscent of the cause, which uplifts families in difficult situations.

Last Mile Ride

Margaret Gish of Sharon races back toward Gifford in the fastest among a female at 20:49.7. (Provided/Janet Miller)

Robin Morgan spoke at the 5K and walk on Friday evening. She lost her step-father Michael Durkee to an aggressive cancer in May 2013. He spent his last days in the Garden Room – Gifford’s garden-side end-of-life care suite.

“Being in the Garden Room, we all got to be together. They were so supportive of us,” Morgan said. “They gave us food, (and) everything you can possibly imagine.”

Morgan and her family walked in the Last Mile last year and again this year. Morgan pushed her two young children in a double-stroller. “It (the Last Mile Ride) is a big part of my life now,” she said, before rushing to embrace her mom and Michael Durkee’s widow, Joan Durkee.

Last Mile Ride

Last Mile walkers return to Gifford Friday evening. (Provided/Janet Miller)

Palliative care nurse John Young on Saturday at the motorcycle and cycle ride spoke of the privilege of working at a hospital that supports palliative care and how lucky the hospital is to have the community’s support.

Physician assistant Starr Strong remembered her friend Judy Alexander who was “an incredible nurse, wonderful friend and mother.” A “Harley chick” and past participant of the Last Mile Ride, Alexander died in April of cancer.

Her family received assistance from the Last Mile Ride fund.

Last Mile Ride

Philip Tenney of Northfield walks over the finish line of the Last Mile Ride 5K. He came in last (1:00:14.0) but was first in many participants’ eyes. Three weeks earlier he had a lifesaving kidney transplant. (Provided/Alison White)

“It made her passing much richer because of the support from the Last Mile Ride,” Strong said, encouraging those present to recognize both the importance of their contribution “because you never know when it’s your turn” and to “celebrate life.”

The event also included the raffle of a bicycle from Green Mountain Bikes in Rochester. Richard Polarek, 88, from Brookfield won the bicycle. And a queen-size quilt made by Gifford nursing staff was won by motorcyclist Cherry Lloyd of Randolph.

Prizes were also given out for the events top fund-raisers and the top 5K finishers.

The fastest male finishers were Christopher Gish of Sharon (16:37.9), David Mattern of Tunbridge (18:47.6) and Zachery McDermott of Randolph (20:26.0). The fastest female finishers were Margaret Gish of Sharon (20:49.7), Becky Olmstead of Bethel (23:58:4) and Stacy Pelletier of Braintree (24:11.7). See a full list of race results online at www.begoodsports.com/race-results/.

Last Mile Ride

Smiling motorcyclist

The top 5K fund-raiser was Kyla Grace of Randolph and the top walk fund-raiser was Penny Maxfield of East Roxbury. The top cyclist fund-raiser was Cory Gould of Worcester. And the top motorcycle fund-raisers were Linda Chugkowski and Robert Martin of Northfield who collectively raised $4,000 for the cause and Reg Mongeur of Randolph who raised more than $3,500.

Mongeur spent many evenings at Shaw’s in Randolph collecting for the cause.

“I have the time and the desire,” said Mongeur of why he made the effort. “I’ve lost quite a few family members in the Garden Room and quite a few vets went through there.

“It’s just my way of giving back to the community,” said Mongeur, who also coordinated road guard efforts for the ride as a member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 26-2.

Last Mile Ride

Runners, from front, Richard Kozlowski, Stacy Pelletier and Becky Olmstead race along Route 12 toward Beanville Road. (Provided/Alison White)

This year’s ride, he said, was “beautiful, absolutely gorgeous.” Riders returning it called it “the best.”

As top fund-raisers, Chugkowski and Martin won four Red Sox tickets and VIP tour of Fenway thanks to the generosity of the Red Sox and Froggy 100.9. Mongeur won four tickets to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway to see the Sylvania 300 thanks to the generosity of the Loudon, N.H., organization.

Many other prizes were given out, thanks to the generosity of local and regional businesses. The event also received record sponsorship support, including from major sponsors The Frankenburg Agency, Froggy 100.9, Lucky’s Trailer Sales, Northfield Savings Bank and Wilkins Harley-Davidson.

The 10th annual Last Mile Ride will be Aug. 14 and 15, 2015.

Another Labor of Love

Betsy Dawn quilt

Betsy Hannah, left, and Dawn DeCoff and her daughter, Hayley DeCoff, 10, right, pose with the beautiful quilt they made as an annual raffle item for the Last Mile Ride.

Each year the Last Mile Ride also features a quilt made by Gifford’s nursing staff and raffled off as part of the ride.

This year’s gorgeous queen-size scrappy star quilt is made by licensed practical nurse Betsy Hannah and licensed nursing assistant Dawn DeCoff as well as DeCoff’s young daughter, Hayley.

The elaborate quilt took the trio about two months to complete, and the machine quilting was donated by Piece of Mind Quilting in Canaan, N.H.

DeCoff has helped make a quilt for the ride since its inception and Hannah has helped the last several years. Both also donate quilts to other community causes.

“I love sewing. It relaxes me. It’s one of my many past-times,” says Hannah. “It’s great to be able to give things (to the community).”

This year’s quilt took on extra special meaning after her husband, Jim, died in November and Hannah received Last Mile Ride funds.

For DeCoff, it is also the cause that motivates her. As a part of Gifford’s inpatient care team, she sees the funds help families firsthand.

Tickets for the quilt – along with a new bicycle from Green Mountain Bikes in Rochester and a new Harley from Wilkins Harley-Davidson in Barre – are on sale at the hospital Gift Shop and in the Marketing Department and will be for sale at the ride.

‘A Labor of Love’

Sue Schoolcraft

Sue Schoolcraft poses outside of her Randolph Center home with her latest Menig quilt and her sewing machine, which she even packs on vacations so Menig Extended Care Facility residents get their quilts as soon as possible. It takes her between two days to a month to create each quilt.

The Last Mile Ride this Friday and Saturday at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph is a lot of things to a lot of people.

For the residents of the Menig Extended Care Facility, it is a splash of color and warmth during the last years of life.

Sue Schoolcraft’s mother always sewed. She made Schoolcraft and her twin brothers’ clothes and winter wear on a tiny, portable General Electric machine. “Until I was married, she made clothes for me,” says Schoolcraft, who was born at the start of World War II and amid the Great Depression.

Sue Schoolcraft

Sue Schoolcraft, who makes quilts for Menig residents thanks to funds raised each year at the Last Mile Ride, demonstrates a stitch.

Schoolcraft’s interest in quilting was born in high school in her native New York.

“I started probably right after high school. We had a history teacher and he would take us to museums and living history museums, and I saw all these quilts,” she says, recalling watching women quilting and then seeing a striking image of a Baltimore Album quilt in a magazine.

“It was beautiful. It just appealed to me,” says Schoolcraft.

Sue Schoolcraft

A quilting book tops a small stack of reading materials in Sue Schoolcraft’s living room.

Her mom helped her get started and she worked on that quilt, her first, for years – through marriage, children and moves to Swanton, Vt., Sheldon Springs, Randolph, Fairfax and Braintree Hill before finally moving to Randolph Center more than 40 years ago.

In Vermont, Schoolcraft found a quilting community. She joined an East Bethel hand crafters group, made a second quilt for her daughter and eventually sold at craft fairs.

Sue Schoolcraft

Menig resident Barb Reynolds’ quilt features bright greens. “I like the color of it and all the hard work that’s in it.” It is Barb’s first ever quilt, she says.

She was teaching a quilting class at her church in Randolph Center, the First Congregational Church of Randolph, when she saw an ad in the paper from the Menig Extended Care Facility in Randolph looking for quilts for its 30 nursing home residents.

Schoolcraft, a stay-at-home mom and avid sewer, responded and put her four students to work.

“They had just opened up the new Menig center,” Schoolcraft recalls. “We suddenly needed 30 quilts. I was teaching a quilt class at the time and we started making quilts.

“And I just loved it and kept on.”

Sue Schoolcraft

Menig resident Jean “Terry” Wilson loves her quilt’s colors, particularly the pink.

Today when a new resident moves in to Menig, 75-year-old Schoolcraft talks to the resident about his or her interests and likes, or receives this information from Menig staff, and gets to work herself making a personalized quilt.

One such quilt stands out in Schoolcraft’s memory. Her mother – that mother who taught her to sew – Dorothy Morack, lived at Menig during her final years.

“She wanted butterflies. So I found material,” Schoolcraft says. “It just made me happy to know that I was able to do something special for her after all the things she had done for me.”

A more recent quilt featured tractors, trees and a gambrel roof barn for a male resident.

Sue Schoolcraft

Mertie Seymour likes flowers, so that is what her quilt at Menig features.

While each is different – be it butterflies or barns – there is one constant to the quilts that neatly adorn each resident’s bed. “I try to do quilts in bright and cheerful colors, especially with our long winters,” says Schoolcraft, who hopes to uplift the residents during what for most are their final years.

The work is supported by the Last Mile Ride, Gifford’s annual charity motorcycle ride, cycle ride, 5K and 1-mile walk, which raises money for free services for people in advanced illness or at the end-of-life.

For Schoolcraft, the work is “a labor of love.” Occasionally, she gets thank you notes and relishes in residents’ reactions. “’Look what I got! Look what I got!’” said one. “’This is for me?’ Did you make this for me?’” inquired another.

“It just brings me happiness and joy to do this. It has many different aspects. It’s giving back to the community that has been so good to us,” she says of herself and husband Ron. “It connects us to people.”

The Last Mile Ride 5K run and one-mile walk is Friday. A 38-mile cycle ride and 79-mile motorcycle ride is being held on Saturday. The events raise money for special services for those in life’s last mile. Those services include alternative therapies such as massage and music therapy; food for families staying in Gifford’s Garden Room for end-of-life patients; professional family photos; family grants; gas cards to doctors’ appointments; and special family requests, such as a family trip to a Red Sox game, a flight to be at a loved one’s side, a handicapped ramp, or other small home improvements.

Log on to www.giffordmed.org or call 728-2284 to learn more. Participants can register on the day of the event.

A Spoonful of Thanks: Message from the Development Director

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

spoonful of thanksGifford’s is a story steeped in tradition, and one that has only grown more positive in recent years. As director of fund-raising efforts, telling that story of a small hospital making it and improving year after year despite the odds is such a privilege.

In 2013, that is even more true. We’re celebrating another year of major achievements, including “making” budget, earning Federally Qualified Health Center status allowing us to soon provide enhanced primary care to the community and receiving all approvals needed to move forward with the construction of a Senior Living Community in Randolph Center and private inpatient rooms at Gifford.

In 2014, moving forward on our Senior Living Community and private patient rooms will become a major focus for the Development Office, Development Committee and our new Campaign Steering Committee.

These committees are comprised of hardworking volunteers. The project has already generated much excitement from both donors and from community members hoping to one day make this community home.

Over time, the Senior Living Community will include the Menig Extended Care Facility nursing home, independent living units and assisted living units. This vision allows our friends and neighbors to age in place rather than leaving their community for similar housing.

Constructing the nursing home, building infrastructure for the entire community and creating private inpatient rooms, however, will take community support. This support is already being demonstrated among the Gifford community, including our Auxiliary, Board and Medical Staff, and soon will be an exciting public campaign where community members can help make this project a reality through financial investments.

Ours is a community that supports its hospital and patients. We continue to have remarkable success each year with our annual fund and once again we have raised a record amount in support of end-of-life care through the Last Mile Ride – our charity motorcycle ride held each year on the third Saturday in August. Participants, volunteers and local business sponsors make this event possible and so positive for our hospital and community. We look forward to continuing and growing this (now) Randolph tradition in 2014.

As always, there are many ways to support Gifford – as a donor, as a patient, as an employee and as a volunteer both at the medical center and through the Auxiliary. I welcome your inquiries on how you can become involved in our story of success and in bettering patients’ lives.

~ Ashley Lincoln, Director of Development

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

Patient and Giving Statistics

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

Categories of giving by type

Each year Gifford is fortunate to receive generous gifts from our friends. Gifts are made to benefit specific purposes, such as technology or services, or to the general fund. The Last Mile Ride, which raises money for end-of-life care, continues to grow in popularity and benefits patients and their families. The pie chart shows the donations – all of which are greatly appreciated.

Gifford financial giving

Sprinkle with Experience: 2013 Medical Staff

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

Gifford medical staff in 2013

“Creating private inpatient rooms at Gifford will further enhance patient satisfaction and overall experience in the hospital. We strive very hard to deliver great nursing care, high level hospitalist and ancillary services to the community. Very soon we will have expanded facilities to offer private rooms to our patients, which will allow for less disruption and a greater opportunity to heal. I am extraordinarily impressed and proud of the care we deliver at Gifford, and fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of this great place.”
~ Dr. Martin Johns, Hospital Division Medical Director

Here is a complete list of all those who worked at Gifford in 2013:

Anesthesiology
Bernd Dotzauer, MD
Anthony Fazzone, MD
Dennis Henzig, MD
Jon-Richard Knoff, MD
Nazek Shabayek, MDMadeline
Waid, MD
Andrea Williams, MD

Cardiology
Bruce Andrus, MD
Tim Beaver, MD

Chiropractic Sports Medicine
Hank Glass, DC
Andrea Kannas, DC

Emergency Medicine
Gretchen Andrews, MD
Jared Blum, MD
Steven Fisher, MD
Sarah Johansen, MD
Martin Johns, MD
Marc Keller, MD
Thomas Leeson, DO
Wayne Misselbeck, MD
Todd Morrell, MD
Duane Natvig, MD
Paul Newton, MD
Saul Nurok, MD
Kevin Rodgers, MD
Scott Rodi, MD
Brian Sargent, DO
A. Nicole Thran, MD
Joshua White, MD

Family Medicine
Kenneth Borie, DO
Terry Cantlin, DO
Marcus Coxon, MD
Jonna Goulding, MD
Barbara Lazar, MD
Brian Sargent, DO
Mark Seymour, DO
Sheri Brown, APRN
Tammy Gerdes, PA-C
Emily LeVan, APRN
Tara Meyer, APRN
Megan O’Brien, APRN
Rebecca Savidge, PA-C
Starr Strong, PA-C

General Surgery
Ovleto Ciccarelli, MD
Maury Smith, MD
Laurie Spaulding, MD
Nikki Gewirz, PA-C

Hospitalist Medicine
William “Sandy” Craig, MD
Martin Johns, MD
Joshua Plavin, MD, MPH
Kevin Rodgers, MD
Wendell Smith, MD
Sheri Brown, APRN
Sue Burgos, PA-C
Amanda Flyckt, APRN
Megan O’Brien, APRN
Fred Staples, PA-C

Internal Medicine
Milton Fowler, MD
Mark Jewett, MD
Cristine Maloney, MD
Mary LaBrecque, APRN

Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease
James Currie, MD

Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
David Pattison, MD, MPH
Joshua Plavin, MD, MPH

Mental Health
Cory Gould, LPMA
Robert Vaillancourt, LPMA

Midwifery
Donna Butler, CNM
Ellen McAndrew, CNM
Laureli Morrow, CNM
Kathryn Saunders, CNM
Meghan Sperry, CNM
Tanya Waters, CNM

Naturopathic Medicine
Christopher Hollis, ND
Erica Koch, ND

Neurology
Robin Schwartz, MD

Obstetrics/Gynecology
G. Brent Burgee, MD
Anne Galante, MD
Dina Levin, MD
Ellamarie Russo-DeMara, DO

Oncology
John Valentine, MD

Ophthalmology
Christopher Soares, MD

Orthopedics
Jesse Hahn, MD
Stephanie Landvater, MD
Jayne Collins, PA-C
Bradford Salzmann, PA-C

Pathology
Cathy Palmer, MD
Brian Travis, MD

Pediatrics
Louis DiNicola, MD
Elizabeth Jewett, MD
Joseph Pelletier, MD
Robert Smith, DO
Pamela Udomprasert, MD

Podiatry and Sports Medicine
Nicolas Benoit, DPM
Kevin McNamara, DPM
Robert Rinaldi, DPM
Paul Smith, DPM

Pulmonary Medicine
Marda Donner, MD

Radiology
Yvette Bailey, MD
John McIntyre, MD
Scott Smith, MD

Sports Medicine
Peter Loescher, MD
Andrea LaRosa, APRN

Urology
Michael Curtis, MD
Richard Graham, MD
Nancy Blessing, PA-C

Vascular Studies
Andrew Stanley, MD
Georg Steinthorsson, MD

Corporators

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

Gifford corporatorsCorporators have been part of Gifford’s history and oversight for more than 100 years.

Corporators meet annually to elect or re-elect members of the Board of Trustees, serve on committees, and are ambassadors in the communities Gifford serves.

Here is our list of current corporators:

Grace Adams
David & Peggy Ainsworth
George & Beatrice Allen
David & Karen Anderson
Barbara Angell
Joan Angell
Bill & Betsy Arnold
Ellen Baker
Dr. Jerry & Nancy Barcelow
David & Sandra Barnard
Brooks & Susan Barron
Bill & Shirley Baumann
Harvey Blackmer
Robert Borden
Marianne Brigham
William & Diane Brigham
Richard Burstein
Carol Bushey
Paul Calter
Robert & Marguerite Caron
Priscilla Carpenter
Norm Case
Lorraine Chase
Linda Chugkowski
Lincoln & Louise Clark
Mona Colton
Leo & Sheila Connolly
John Connor
Dr. Phil Conroy
Jack Cowdrey
Betsy Davis
Beverley Davis
Lyndell Davis
Lorraine Day
Bob & Roberta Dean
Barbara De Hart
Steven & Nancy Dimick
Russ & Sharon Dimmick
Marlene Dolan
Louis & Becky Donnet
Carolyn Donnet
Dick & Marjorie Drysdale
Lang & Lorraine Durfee
Anna Dustin
Kathy & Bob Eddy
Betty Edson
Richard Ellis
G. William & Carol Ellis
Ted & Ruth Elzey
Richard & Phyllis Forbes
Dr. Becky Foulk & Tavian
Mayer
Polly Frankenburg
Benjamin Fratkin
Ron & Judy Gadway
Randy & Pauline Garner
David & Gay Gaston
Rick & Robin Goodall
Julie Goodrich
Joan Granter
George & Kelly Gray
Ray & Nancy Gray
Helen Greenlee
Freeman & Jean Grout
Josephine Haikara
Azel & Myrtle Hall
Marvin & Barbara Harvey
Skip & Sybil Hazen
Cathy Hazlett
Steve & Joyce Hill
Don & Allison Hooper
Frank Howlett
Richard & Bunny Huntley
Judith Irving & Steven Reid
Sheila Jacobs
Donald Jones
Paul Kendall & Sharon Rives
Jim & Jean Kennedy
Carroll & Marguerite
Ketchum
Joe & Beth Kittel
Karen & Reed Korrow
Bennett Law
Sandy Levesque & Stephen
Morris
Fred & Holly Locke
John & Ruth Lutz
Bruce & Karen MacDonald
Jean Mallary
Lyndon Mann
Mary Markle
Steven & Ellen Martin
John & Joyce Mazzucco
Bob & Phyllis McAdoo
Major Melvin McLaughlin
Charlie & Becky McMeekin
Ken & Carol Merrill
Gus & Pat Meyer
Linda Morse & Tim Caulfield
Dr. Bob & Dorsey Naylor
Fred Newhall
Gib & Barbara Noble
Peter & Kathy Nowlan
John & Gail Osha
Stuart & Margaret Osha
Donna Osha-Mowatt
Michael & Sally Penrod
Andy & Jil Pomerantz
Peggy Potter
Scott & Nelda Putney
Ellen Reid
Edith Reynolds
Joyce Richardson
Caleb & Trish Rick
David & Barbara Rochat
John & Kathrine Roe
Marvin & Carol Rogers
Thomas & Janice Rogers
Michael Ross
Wendy Ross
Sam & Jinny Sammis
Franklin & Jane Sanders
Jim & Diane Sardonis
Dan & Joan Sax
Irene Schaefer
Sue Sherman
David Silloway & Lynne
Gately
Anne Silloway
Louise Sjobeck
Michael & Huibertha Sorgi
Arnold & Priscilla Spahn
Jeff Steinkamp
Ellie Streeter
Larry & Ellie Strode
Florence Symonds
Peter & Andrea Symonds
Sue Sytsma & Ken Stevens
Rod & Marilen Tilt
Steve Webster
Charlie & Kathy Welch
John & Susan Westbrook
Lewis Whitaker
Gordon & Grace Wiggett
Al Wilker & Vance Smith
Wink & Bonny Willett
Dr. Chris Wilson
Peter Winslow
Todd Winslow
Barbara Wood
Joe Woodin
Bob & Rose Wright

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.