Medical Assistant Noreen Fordham practices evacuating a patient, Surgical Associates Manager Sherry Refino, down a flight of stairs.
The following is an excerpt from our 2011 Annual Report.
In a disaster, the local medical center is a needed resource. With rooms filled with bed-ridden patients spanning multiple floors, a medical center must also be prepared for an emergency within.
Last year, Gifford held one of its largest emergency preparedness training events in recent years. In intense trainings held over two days, a total of 80 employees learned firsthand how put out a fire, communicate via emergency radios, and evacuate patients. They studied the locations of exits, emergency phones and medical gas shut-off valves. They learned about decontaminating patients and personal protection, and dealing with aggressive people.
Environmental Services Manager Ruthie Adams learns to use a fire extinguisher.
Ruthie Adams, Environmental Services manager, was among those who went through the training.
“I think it benefits the entire organization to have folks who understand key and critical points, especially non-clinical staff, such as how to evacuate a patient using an Evacusled, how to communicate on a radio properly, and just being a key go-to person in the event of an emergency,” says Ruthie, who used a fire extinguisher for the first time and now uses radio communication in her job.
The training was just one way Gifford prepares for an emergency. Employees take annual courses and exams electronically on workplace safety, such as fire, electrical, disaster preparedness, and violent situations.
Staff practice securing a patient, played by Environmental Services Team Leader Ralph Herrick, in the new Evacusled, used to evacuate bed-ridden patients.
A 2010 grant supported a study, changes, and significant educational outreach on Gifford’s emergency codes. These codes are what employees hear called out as overhead pages during emergencies and include codes from fire to cardiac arrest to a violent situation.
Monthly fire drills are held regularly throughout all shifts and in varying areas of the hospital.
Physical therapist Patrice Conard and materials clerk Alice Whittington participate in a scavenger hunt utilizing their newly learned radio communication skills.
Director of Quality Management Sue Peterson defines an emergency as “anything that stretches the limits of our normal operations.”
Prior to October’s larger training, smaller emergency trainings were held with managers and facilities staff on radio use and responding to a “code amber,” which is a missing patient or person. Future drills on other codes are planned.
When mass casualty situations like a bus accident with multiple victims arise, which they occasionally do, follow-up meetings are held to discuss what went well and where staff needs to make improvements. An essential Emergency Operations Plan has been
painstakingly updated over the last year, detailing Gifford’s response to a variety of emergency circumstances. The plan continues to be updated so hospital staff can remain ready to address changing threats and adverse events.
“As a medical center committed to our community and as Vermonters with a can-do attitude, we do well,” says Sue. “But preparing for the diverse threats in today’s world is a huge task. Emergency preparedness planning is essential to ensuring that we as a caregiver keep our patients safe in a crisis.”
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.
RANDOLPH – Wellness educator Jude Powers will offer a course for children ages 8-11 on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to noon titled “Home Alone and Safe.”
The course is designed to teach children how to safely respond to a variety of home alone situations, including Internet and telephone safety, family communications, sibling care, personal and gun safety, and basic emergency care.
The course was created by the Southeastern Michigan and Oregon Trail Chapters of the American Red Cross to meet the needs of children who spend time alone without adult supervision. It helps kids understand the rules and responsibilities in a home alone situation and prepares them to anticipate potential problems and how to resolve them.
Children will engage in role playing, discussion, brainstorming and critical thinking. A video reviews the salient information, participants retain a workbook and relevant handouts, and each child will earn a certificate upon completion.
The course cost is $20 and it is being held at Gifford Medical Center’s new Family Center space at the hospital in Randolph. The Family Center is beside Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery on Route 12 (South Main Street). Call Powers at (802) 649-1841 to register or Nancy Clark at Gifford at (802) 728-2274.
The course cost is reduced thanks to a gift from the Lamson-Howell Foundation of Randolph.
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center will hold a Babysitter’s Training Course on Saturday, July 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in The Family Center (beside Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery).
The course is for youth looking to learn how to be safe, responsible and successful babysitters.
Offered by instructor Jude Powers, it covers good business practices, basic care, diapering, safety, play, proper hand washing, handling infants, responding to injuries, decision making in emergencies, action plans and more.
Communication skills are emphasized along with being a good role model. Each participant will receive a certification card upon completion of the course and a reference notebook to take home.
Thanks to a grant from the Lamson-Howell Foundation of Randolph, the course cost is only $30. Participants should also bring their lunch.
Register by calling Powers at (802) 649-1841 or Nancy Clark at Gifford at (802) 728-2274. Space is limited.
The course cost is reduced thanks to a gift from the Lamson-Howell Foundation of Randolph.
Gifford’s Tom Maylin, Joe Woodin and Penny Maxfield load up Father Sixmund Nyabenda’s van with 36 boxes of outdated medical supplies to be shipped to Tanzania.
The following is an excerpt from our 2011 Annual Report.
Each year Gifford is fortunate enough to be the recipient of grants, such as Avon Breast Health Outreach Program funds, as well as donations as a nonprofit organization.
As a major local employer and business, however, Gifford is also the donor of tens of thousands of dollars each year in scholarships, grants, awards, sponsorships, volunteer hours, reduced cost conference room space, medical supplies and local spending through the Gifford Gift Certificate program.
The Gifford Gift Certificate Program alone invests more than $40,000 each year into the local economy in the month of December, giving local retailers a needed boost at year-end.
The gift certificates are Gifford’s alternative to holiday bonuses. Instead of cash, employees get gift certificates good only at a variety of locally owned businesses. In the past nine years, the program has invested about $325,000 in the local economy. It’s an investment
“During many Christmas seasons I thought, ‘Thank goodness for that program,’” says Jeanne Ward, who owned Cover to Cover bookstore in Randolph for 16 years. “It made a huge impact and often people would come and spend more than their gift certificate, which I think was Gifford’s intention. What’s also nice is how well the money is spread throughout the communities.”
Now one of Jeanne’s daughters, Hillary Leicher, is running the second-generation
bookstore as Bud and Bella’s Bookshop. Hillary says the gift certificates help keep local stores like hers going, especially in the slow months following the holidays.
“When you go into these lean months, it’s like a gift from Gifford. It’s like you got medicine from the doctors.”
Other medicine the hospital provides includes almost $25,000 in annual grants to community organizations through what is now called the William and Mary Markle Community Foundation. The grants go to food shelves, children’s recreation programs, schools and libraries.
Previously known as community health grants, Gifford has been offering the annual grants to community nonprofits for 10 years, amounting to about $250,000 invested back into the community.
The grants are announced at the hospital’s annual meeting in March along with an additional $1,000 Philip D. Levesque Memorial Community Award to a White River Valley organization involved in arts, health, community development, education or the
environment. The 2011 award went the Granville Volunteer Fire Department.
A $1,000 Dr. Richard J. Barrett Health Professions Scholarship is additionally awarded each year at Gifford’s Annual Meeting by the Medical Staff to an employee or an employee’s child pursuing a career in health care. The Medical Staff also awards a $1,500
scholarship to an area high school senior pursuing a health care career at graduation.
Free health talks, fairs, educational classes and support groups are regularly held at the medical center. Gifford sponsors Chandler events and the work of the March of Dimes, which shares the hospital’s mission to bring healthy, full-term babies into the world. Gifford once again supported the Vermont 100 Endurance Race with medical support
and supplies, and outdated medical supplies were sent to countries in need, like Tanzania, Honduras, Peru and Guatemala.
“ … we have received the box and all the items. I have … handed the box and all items to Rulenge Hospital ready for use,” wrote Tanzania priest Father John-Bosco Ndakimbuza upon receiving Gifford’s shipment. “They are high quality items I have been told. We are by this note expressing our sincere thanks for making this possible. I am sure many
people will be served by these items … .”
Tanzania, in Africa, is among the world’s poorest countries.
The collective efforts lead to a healthier community, and a healthier world.
And Jeanne, who still fills in occasionally behind the counter at Bud and Bella’s, suspects that is the point behind efforts like the gift certificates.
“The hospital supports the local business community because the people who work in the local business community are patients at the hospital, so it’s this mutually beneficial
relationship,” she says, adding, “A healthy downtown is a well community.”
Bud and Bella’s Bookshop owner Hillary Leicher has her arm around her son as she rings up a sale. Bud and Bella’s is one area business that has benefited from the Gifford Gift Certificate holiday shopping program.
Randolph hospital is state’s only BHOP grant recipient for 11 years running
Cheryl Manns travels the state talking to women about the importance of early detection of breast cancer through clinical breast exams and mammograms. Her work is funded by the Avon Foundation Breast Health Outreach Program.
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center has been awarded a $35,000 grant from the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer.
The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) supports community-based, non-profit breast health programs across the country and is part of the Avon Foundation for Women, the largest corporate philanthropy dedicated to women’s causes globally.
This is the 11th consecutive year that Gifford’s Breast Health Program has received funding from the Foundation, resulting in a more than $415,000 investment regionally to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of mammograms and clinical breast exams.
The only Vermont recipient, Gifford was selected as one of 120 grantees nationwide. Organizations like Gifford are chosen based on their ability to effectively reach women, particularly minority, low-income, and older women, who are often medically underserved.
Through the grant, Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Manns travels the state speaking to women where they live, work, and socialize about the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer and sharing information on resources like Ladies First.
Since Gifford received its first grant in 2002, it has provided more than 4,500 mammograms and nearly 3,500 clinical breast exams through the program, and referred countless others to hospitals in their region of the state for care. In 2011 alone, Gifford breast care personnel spoke to more than 5,000 Vermonters in communities near and far about having annual mammograms after age 40, annual clinical breast exams, and doing self-breast exams so women know what is normal for them.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States and in Vermont. It’s also the nation’s leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55.
According to the Vermont Department of Health, about 473 breast cancer cases are diagnosed among Vermont women each year. About 92 people each year die from the disease. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes.
While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. According to the Avon Foundation, programs such as Gifford’s help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, even poor and medically underserved women.
Pam Caron serves as director of ancillary services at Gifford and oversees the grant.
“I am so pleased and humbled that we have been given the Avon Foundation grant again this year. The importance of spreading the information about early detection of breast cancer to our communities is a passion our entire team of breast care personnel shares. I am very proud of the work they do, and the care and compassion they show to our patients is phenomenal. The Avon grant supports our efforts, and I look forward to continuing the mission in 2012,” Caron said.
Since 1993, the Avon Foundation has awarded more than 1,550 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States. These programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services.
The Avon Foundation for Women and Breast Cancer Crusade
The Avon Foundation for Women, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and today is the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which observes its 20th anniversary in 2012, has placed Avon at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer; today, Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the cause globally. In the 20 years since the Crusade’s launch, Avon breast cancer programs in 58 countries have donated more than $740 million for research and advancing access to care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Avon raises funds for the Crusade through the sale of Avon “Pink Ribbon” products, and through events and walks, such as the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, which is the Foundation’s largest fund-raising source.
The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program
The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program is administered by Cicatelli Associates Inc. to support community-based, non-profit breast health programs across the country. The Fund’s National Advisory Board selected the Breast Health Program at Gifford Medical Center as one of 120 new grant recipients nationwide in the 2012 cycle of Avon Breast Health Outreach Program grants. These organizations were chosen based on their ability to effectively reach women, particularly minority, low-income, and older women, who are often medically underserved.
For More Information
For more information on breast care at Gifford or to have Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Manns visit your organization, call her at (802) 728-2317. For more information about breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org, or the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER or www.cancer.gov.
To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women, call 1-866-505-AVON or visit www.avonfoundation.org, where you can access free printable Breast Health Resource Guides in English and Spanish. For information or to register or support Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 1-888-540-WALK.
Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Manns poses with Gifford Medical Center’s stereotactic breast biopsy equipment, including special comfort padding. Stereotactic breast biopsies are relatively new to Gifford and use image guidance to exactly pinpoint and remove a sample of suspicious tissue to be tested for cancer.