Carrying on the Tradition of Accessible Care

The following article was published in our 2012 Annual Report.

carrying on the tradition

Above left – One of Gifford’s newer providers, internal medicine physician Dr. Cristine Maloney, lives in Randolph and brings special training in palliative care to Gifford’s already robust advanced illness care program. Here she is pictured with patient David Wark of West Topsham. Above right – Emergency Department physician and clinical director Dr. Saul Nurok joined Gifford in 2010. Here he is shown with patient George Carr of Bethel.

Gifford is fortunate to have many long-serving health care providers, but the medical center would not be successful without the providers who have joined Gifford in more recent years.

Lured in part by the stability and quality provided by the very individuals highlighted in this year’s report, Gifford has welcomed new providers in almost every area of medicine.

For example, joining long-time pediatricians Dr. Lou DiNicola and Dr. Elizabeth Jewett, who have both been at Gifford for 36 years, are Dr. Joe Pelletier, now with Gifford for 10 years, and Dr. Pam Udomprasert, who joined more recently in 2011.

“Joe is now the cornerstone of pediatrics here,” says Dr. DiNicola.

At the Chelsea Health Center, long-time U.S. Navy family physician Dr. Brian Sargent joined physician assistant Starr Strong in practice in 2008. “I am especially appreciative of Brian,” Starr states, “and his commitment to the folks of this valley and the joy he takes in developing relationships in this unique place.”

In Bethel, family nurse practitioner and former emergency department nurse Emily LeVan joined long-time family physicians Dr. Mark Seymour and Dr. Terry Cantlin just this year. “Emily brings her wealth of emergency room experience and a firm commitment to primary care. She also has a strong tie to the area, working with her husband and family running a local farm,” Medicine Division Medical Director Dr. Josh Plavin says.

In the Emergency Department, Drs. Steven Fisher, Josh White, and Saul Nurok have filled the shoes of long-term physicians like Dr. Lucy Wollaeger, who retired from full-time work in 2012 after 21 years at Gifford.

“Often people’s first opinion of the hospital is through the emergency room, and Steve, Saul, and Josh are amazing,” Dr. Ken Borie, a family physician at Gifford for 32 years, says.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Dennis Henzig, a 20-year veteran of Gifford, has been joined by Drs. Jon-Richard Knoff in 2007 and Nazek Shabayek in 2012. Both of Gifford’s orthopedists, Dr. Stephanie Landvater and Dr. Bess Brackett, have come to Gifford within the last decade as Dr. Bill Minsinger prepared to retire.

Hospitalist medicine is a newer specialty. Consequently, it melds newer doctors and mid-level providers with experienced ones who have transitioned from another area of medicine, such as family care. Gifford’s certified nurse-midwifery team additionally melds newer and more experienced members. Ob/gyn physicians Dr. Anne Galante and Dr. Dina Levin have both joined Dr. Brent Burgee, a 27-year veteran of Gifford, and experienced gynecologist Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara.

The most recent addition in the Randolph primary care office is family physician Dr. Barbara Lazar. “Barb brings a wealth of experience, particularly in geriatrics, and is an extremely competent and kind provider. She is an excellent long-term fit for our community-focused practice,” adds Dr. Plavin, who is also among those providers who have committed themselves to the community.

Most of Gifford’s newer providers – of which there are many more – are from the immediate area or have made it their home, raising children here and engrossing themselves in the community in a variety of ways.

Together – even as health care changes and recruitment, particularly of primary care physicians, becomes more and more challenging – they are carrying on the tradition of neighbors helping neighbors and of high-quality, accessible care in our communities.

carrying on the tradition of accessible care

Above left: Family physician Barbara Lazar joined Gifford in 2012, bringing a background in geriatric care. Above right – Certified nurse midwife Donna Butler, pictured here with a patient and her baby, only joined Gifford in 2010, but this Vermont native has more than 25 years of experience.

Employee Anniversaries

The following was published in our 2012 Annual Report.

At the annual Employee Awards Banquet last year on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at the Vermont Technical College, 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.)

employee anniversaries

5 YEARS
Ruthie Adams
Cindy Angelillo
Carri Baker
Charlene Baker
Nick Benoit
Tera Benson
Nancy Blessing
Karen Bonoyer
Vicki Borland
Marilyn Bradshaw
Sue Chaloux
Ben Cronan
Michael Curtis
Theresa Dezan
Genny Dodge
Jane Ertel
Anne Finegan
Tim Flanagan
Ellen Fox
Carla Hall
Tammy Hooker
Michelle Hoyt
Dorothy Jamieson
Stephanie Jobson
Jon-Richard Knoff
Melissa Lafayette
Dave Mathies
Dennis McLaughlin
Eric Medved
Melinda Mercier
Becky Millington
Stacy Pelletier
Katrina Rice
Jill Roger
Deidre Shepard
Jessica Spencer
Debra St. Germain
Stu Standish
Fred Staples
Troy Stratton
Gail Tidd
Joe Voci
Bob Wagner
Rachel Westbrook
Amanda Wheeler
Alice Whittington

10 YEARS
Pam Caron
Tracy Collette
Joanne Colson
Deb Kendall
Melissa LaPerle
Mona Parker
Deanna Perreault
Marie Poulin
Carol Raymond
Phyllis Reynolds
Nicole Rhoades
Maury Smith
Joyce Stevens
Cathy Traegler
Teresa Voci
Tiffany Weatherell
Stephannie Welch

15 YEARS
Brent Burgee
Pam Hinkle
Lynda McDermott
Bruce Mitchell
Terri Parezo
Karen Scoppe
Bonnie Stride
Donna Wells

20 YEARS
Sanie Bly
Dennis Henzig
Kathy Manning

25 YEARS
Sue Burgos
Penny Maxfield
Edie Palmer
Sue St. Peter
Carol Stephenson

30 YEARS
Nancy Harrington

45 YEARS
Effie Farnham

Donor Profile: The Winslows

The following was published in our 2012 Annual Report.

donor profile

Above left – Peter and Joyce Winslow. Above right – Pictured at Magee is Peter and sons Todd and Dale. Not present is son Scott. Together they support community organizations, including Gifford.

Joyce Winslow instilled in her sons the value of giving.

“My mom told me there were two places in town that you need to take care of, because they can’t be replaced, and those are the hospital and Chandler,” Todd Winslow recalls.

For Joyce’s husband, Peter, the value of giving also came early on in life. During his childhood, his own mother went out of her way to give to the less fortunate. During their marriage, Peter and Joyce, in spirit and action, carried on that tradition.

The family nurturer and steadfast promoter of harmony, Joyce gave smiles and kindness to her children, their friends, and the customers she met at family-owned Belmains where she worked for more than 30 years. She was so thoughtful, says Peter, that if someone needed clothing, she’d take clothes right out of her own closet to give.

Together Joyce, Peter, their sons, and their first business – Magee Office Products, also in Randolph – have for years supported a variety of Vermont organizations, including annual gifts to Gifford. “We were a family of giving,” says Peter, who moved his family to Randolph in 1959.

When Joyce passed away in Gifford’s Garden Room 52 years later in November of 2011, it stands to reason that this family of giving once again considered how they could support their community. They designated both Gifford and Chandler for memorial donations in Joyce’s name. Memorial gifts soon came in great numbers.

The following summer Todd took up his mother’s memory once again as a participant in Gifford’s annual Last Mile Ride, a charity motorcycle ride for end-of-life care. Todd collected donations in Joyce’s name totaling more than $5,000 – the most money raised by a rider that year, or any year.

donor profileTodd credits the quality of the Garden Room and Gifford as two reasons behind the giving. “Most towns don’t have a hospital like Gifford,” he says.

But the real motivator was surely his mother.

“I really think it was because of my mom,” Todd said after the charity motorcycle ride in August. “One guy (I asked for a donation) said, ‘How can you not say yes?’”

In Joyce’s memory and for the good of their community, the Winslow family has made a tradition of saying yes.

Alleviating Pain at Life’s Most Trying Times – Dr. Dennis Henzig

Dr. Dennis HenzigOriginally from Milwaukee, anesthesiologist Dr. Dennis Henzig came to Randolph 20 years ago for a position at Gifford. He has worked at the hospital since. His work, he says, is to help people get through some of the most anxious moments of their lives, including surgery.

Married with three children and one grandchild, Dr. Henzig lives in Randolph.

Below is his story as told in his own words, as featured in our 2012 Annual Report.

“Practicing anesthesia for 20 years in a small town provides unique opportunities to help people at what can be among the most stressful, painful, and joyous times of their lives, including during surgery and labor. It also affords the opportunity to form bonds and improve patient care over the years. In a community the size of ours, there’s no doubt you are going to care for the same patient more than once.

Dr. Dennis Henzig

A portrait of Dr. Henzig in surgery in 1992

As I write this, fresh in my mind is a patient who required a caesarean section (C-section). I was her anesthetist. I also had the privilege of caring for her a few years prior when she also had a child by C-section. That first delivery was a complicated and long labor with a lot of back swelling. Giving her spinal anesthetic was consequently a challenge, but together we were successful and she had a healthy baby. As this mother reached the recovery room, however, she became violently ill.

As we readied for her C-section this second time, I knew her challenges from the past and was able to tweak her spinal ingredients a bit, skipping the morphine that I suspected made her sick. This time the spinal slipped right in without a hitch (no labor swelling helped a lot) and she was able to experience excellent pain relief without getting sick to her stomach. This also allowed her to bond with her baby right in the operating room. In her own words, she was “ecstatically happy” in the recovery room.

We both enjoyed the experience. She was happy because she had a healthy new baby. I was happy because she made my day.

Helping to give her the gift of healthy labor and birth that she envisioned is why I do what I do.”

~ Dennis Henzig, M.D.
Anesthesiologist

Dr. Dennis Henzig

Dr. Henzig with members of Gifford’s surgical team

 

Camaraderie, Improving Health Among Greatest Rewards – Drs. Terry Cantlin & Mark Seymour

Dr. Terry CantlinDr. Terry Cantlin joined the Bethel Health Center in 1987. He attended the University of Health Science in Kansas City, Missouri, and went on to an internship and residency at the Osteopathic Hospital of Maine in Portland. 

He worked for the Indian Health Service on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in Dulce, New Mexico for three years and then as emergency room director at the Downeast Community Hospital in Machias, Maine before joining the Bethel practice, which was then owned by Drs. Ronald Gadway and Edward Armstrong. 

Originally from Lebanon, New Hampshire, Dr. Cantlin lives in Randolph Center with his wife, Betsy. They have two children. Dr. Cantlin is well-known outside the health center for his role as a member of the band “Jeanne and the Hi-Tops”. He also enjoys woodworking, sports, and cooking.

Dr. Mark SeymourDr. Mark Seymour joined the Bethel Health Center in 1989. He attended medical school at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in his home town of Biddeford, Maine.

He went on to complete his internship at Flint Osteopathic Hospital in Michigan and his residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. He practiced at the Indian Health Service from 1985-1989, first in Chinle, Arizona on a Navajo reservation and then in Browning, Montana on a Blackfeet reservation. He joined the Bethel practice in 1989, which became part of Gifford a year later.

Dr. Seymour lives in Randolph Center with his wife, Becky. They have two children, Jane and Will. Dr. Seymour enjoys family, reading, hiking, and following Boston sports in his free time.

Below is their story as told in the words of Dr. Cantlin, as featured in our 2012 Annual Report.

Dr. Mark Seymour and I have practiced together for nearly 25 years at the Bethel Health Center. This has been an introspective and rewarding experience for each of us. We’ve enjoyed the comprehensive nature of family practice. The ability to care for patients of all ages with a wide range of problems and to be able to follow patients and families throughout their entire life span is a blessing. To be trusted with this care is an honor.

We’ve each had many interesting cases and challenging diagnoses, but the ones that are truly rewarding for us are those that have been transformational in improving someone’s life. Helping people to overcome substance abuse (tobacco, alcohol, and drugs), helping them to lose weight and exercise more, and assisting in coping with stressors and depression are extremely time and energy-consuming problems. They require persistent effort over many visits, but ultimately have the greatest impact on a patient’s overall well-being and happiness.

Even though these cases are rewarding, our most satisfying and memorable experiences have come from being long-time colleagues and friends, and working with everyone at the Bethel Health Center. All the employees at the health center are like a big family. We’ve spent many years together and all take pride in the care being delivered at our clinic.

Mark and I have a lot in common. We each have close ties to Maine, where we have both lived and trained. As osteopathic physicians, we share a similar education and philosophy toward patient care. We both served a number of years in the Indian Health Service and had many common experiences, or “war stories”. Finally, we have shared an office space, back to back, for 20 years. It has been extremely helpful and enjoyable having a colleague and friend to discuss difficult cases and other issues with all of these years. It is this comaraderie that will be our lasting impression.”

~ Terry Cantlin, D.O.
Bethel Health Center family medicine physician

Drs. Terry Cantlin and Mark Seymour

Above – Drs. Cantlin and Seymour have worked back-to-back for years as seen in this 2008 photograph of the providers in their office. Bottom – the long-time friends and co-workers enjoy an afternoon in the freshly fallen snow.

For the Love of Patients, Families, and the Community – Dr. Lou DiNicola

Dr. Lou DiNicolaBorn in New Jersey, Dr. Lou DiNicola moved to Randolph in June of 1976 to become a local pediatrician. Passing up job offers in much larger areas then and since, he chose to stay in Randolph because he’s been able to able to practice medicine as he always envisioned. He has been able to affect change on a state level; create unique, trend-setting models of health care; and demonstrate his love of the community through his work.

Married to his wife Joann for 43 years, the couple has two grown children, two grandchildren, and a third on the way. Dr. DiNicola is an outdoor enthusiast, enjoying hiking, snowshoeing, walking, and gardening. He’s also a photographer and works with his artist wife, framing her paintings. 

Dr. DiNicola has spent his entire career in Randolph while also working in Rochester from 1977-1992 with internal medicine physicians Drs. Mark Jewett and Milt Fowler. 

Below is his story as told in his own words, as featured in our 2012 Annual Report.

Thirty-six years ago I was fresh out of residency and looking for job opportunities when I saw an ad in a magazine for a pediatrician in rural Vermont. Vermont was where I wanted to work, so I sent in my curriculum vitae, the medical equivalent of a resume, but never heard a word back. I called but the response was less than enthusiastic. I was basically told “thanks, but no thanks.”

I had three job offers in Pittsburgh and was literally sitting down to take a job at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh where I’d just completed my internship and residency when my pager went off. It was Gifford President Phil Levesque’s secretary, wondering if I could come up in a couple of weeks for an interview. “I’ll come this weekend, or I’m not coming at all” was my response. The secretary covered the phone, relaying my message to Phil. “Hell, let him come” was his reply.

Needless to say, I came, and stayed.

More than three decades later I hope I have made a positive impact on the community and my patients, and know they have made a remarkable impact on me – teaching me how to communicate care, respect, and love.

It’s amazing how much you can love your patients. Also amazing is the window being a pediatrician gives you to see the love between a parent and a child. No more clearly is that demonstrated than in the unconditional love between a parent and a special needs child. More than once, parents of special needs children have amazed me and inspired me, as have the children themselves. I’ve seen parents of special needs children go on to adopt more children with special needs. Those are the moments that touch you most; those, and loss.

Dr. Lou DiNicola

Dr. DiNicola thumb wrestles with patient Troy Daniels.

There is no greater loss than the loss of a child. Throughout my career, there have been car accidents, disease, malignancies, and newborn deaths. I think of two patients I lost to cancer, both of whom I visited at their bedsides at home as they were dying. As I reflect on my career, I think of them not with tears but fondness because of the relationships I have had with their families.

At Gifford, we are small enough to have that closeness with our patients and courageous enough to get up the next day and reflect on what we did or didn’t do, what we could have done differently, and how we can improve care. This ability to affect change is one of the things that has kept me practicing – happily – in this community and state for so many years.

One of the biggest changes Gifford has been able to enact in health care is around childbirth. When I first came to Gifford, I kept hearing about this guy Thurmond Knight, a local physician who was delivering babies in people’s homes. I met Thurmond at a Medical Staff meeting. He was knitting. I asked him what it would take for him to deliver babies at the hospital. He answered “a Birthing Center”. We opened the Birthing Center (the first in the state of Vermont) 35 years ago in 1977.

I’ve also been fortunate to be part of and help form organizations that were decades ahead of their time, in many ways laying the foundation for today’s medical home and Vermont Blueprint for Health models as well as utilizing computers for communication at the advent of the computer revolution. Additionally, Vermont has provided me with the opportunity to work on important legislation, such as child abuse laws, outlawing corporal punishment in schools, mandatory kindergarten, and the recent immunization law. These opportunities along with the privilege of making a difference in kids’ and families’ lives keep me going.

One of the things I find incredibly rewarding is living and working in the same town. I don’t mind if I run into someone downtown and they ask me a question. And I feel it’s so important that we recognize and talk to kids. One way I have been able to successfully converse and care for kids for so long is through humor. I try to infuse that in my appointments with children and often am treated – sometimes at unexpected moments – to humor in return.

One such humorous moment came from a 5-year-old. I try to end all my appointments by asking if patients have any questions for me. This 5-year-old’s question: “Why do frogs jump so high?” Should I ever write a book, I think this will be the title.

~ Lou DiNicola, M.D.
Gifford pediatrician

Dr. Lou DiNicola

Above left – Dr. DiNicola in 1979. Above right – Dr. DiNicola with Kim Daniels of Berlin and her adopted son Troy. Troy along with his siblings, Maggie, Ben, and Alex, were patients of Dr. DiNicola’s for years. Dr. DiNicola credits Kim, who had a special needs child and then adopted two more, with showing him the true meaning of love and parenting. Troy credits Dr. DiNicola with seeing him as a person.

Clocks and Pecan Pie – Dr. Milt Fowler

Dr. Milt FowlerA Randolph resident, Dr. Milt Fowler had been an internal medicine physician in the region for 36 years. Originally from Indianapolis, Dr. Fowler helped create the Rochester Health Center. He practiced there and in Randolph for 29 years. In 2005, he transitioned to practicing only at Gifford internal medicine in Randolph.

Married with two sons and two grandchildren, Dr. Fowler enjoys traveling and woodworking. It is his relationships with patients that have kept him serving the community where he lives and works for more than three decades.

Below is his story as told in his own words, as featured in our 2012 Annual Report.

“Nearing the end of my medical training and beginning the search for practice opportunities brought my attention to a medical journal ad placed by Phil Levesque, then CEO of Gifford. During the recruitment process, Phil and his wife Sandy’s hospitality and vision for Gifford were all the convincing I needed. That was more than 36 years ago, and we (my family along with the Jewetts and DiNicolas, who all came at the same time) are still here. None of us could have anticipated being here this long, or enjoying the richness of the Gifford family, or the beauty and talent of the people of central Vermont as much as we have.

Dr. Milt Fowler

At top – a 1979 portrait of Dr. Fowler. Bottom – Dr. Fowler with a young patient, also from 1979.

During those years, we have had the rare privilege of being part of the joy and sometimes tragedy of so many lives. All of our lives are connected in some way in this community, and the honor of caring for your neighbors and friends is difficult to fully articulate. It is a privilege. An office visit isn’t just caring for an illness in a stranger. In a small town, you are caring for someone whose family you know and about whose life history you are familiar.

Donald Dustin of Braintree is just one example. A furniture maker, he had donated a beautiful Shaker clock to a local church auction. The craftsmanship was notable and at the end of his next office appointment, I asked him if he would mentor me on woodworking. “Of course I would. When do we start?” was his reply. Then followed months of his tutoring, nudging, and pushing. It was during this time that he developed terminal cancer. We kept working together in his shop, and he often called asking, “Where the heck are you? We’ve got work to do.” We continued our clock project with Donald sitting in his wheelchair, barking orders, cigar smoke swirling around his head. The clock’s face was painted by Bill Olivet, another talented patient. “Our clock” is at my home in my study.

Unforgettable was also Rochester summer resident and professional violist 90-year-old Marguerite Schenkman who fell and sustained a large laceration to her scalp just before a concert at the Park House. At the Rochester clinic, she refused to be sutured before the concert. We wrapped her head in a gauze turban to control the bleeding, attended her concert, then repaired the wound after the Beethoven pieces were complete.

Or how could one forget 90-year-old Priscilla Carpenter walking to her appointment the afternoon of the famous Valentine’s Day snowstorm? She climbed over snow banks to get to her visit with a warm pecan pie in hand, which she slyly placed on my office desk.

It is experiences like these that make the daily stress of practicing so rich. It is what drew us and has kept us here. What a privilege.”

~ Milt Fowler, M.D.
Gifford Internal Medicine Physician

Dr. Mitt Fowler

Above left – Dr. Fowler works in his shop crafting clocks, a skill he learned from patient Donald Dustin. Above right – Patient Priscilla Carpenter greets Dr. Fowler with a pecan pie, which they then share, toasting with a glass of milk.

 

Fighting Disease Through “Compassion” – Dr. Ken Borie

Dr. Ken BorieOriginally from Pennsylvania, Dr. Ken Borie has been a family physician in Randolph since 1980. Married with two grown sons and a teenage daughter, Dr. Borie lives a few doors down the street from Gifford, walking to work – even on his day off. His wife, Mary, is a registered nurse in Gifford’s Birthing Center.

In his free time, Dr. Borie is an oil and watercolor portrait painter and enjoys gardening, reading, jogging, whale and bird watching, and golfing. He studies history and medical history, teaches Civil War medicine to schoolchildren, and often has Dartmouth Medical School students with him as he shares his passion for family medicine and his compassion for patients.

Below is his story as told in his own words, as featured in our 2012 Annual Report.

“My journey to Randolph began when I was just 8 years old. I grew up in a neighborhood surrounded by doctors. I saw them as mentors and role models, and knew – even then – that is what I wanted to do with my life.

After acceptance to medical school, I spent my first year in awe of the anatomy of the human body. The summer after my freshman year, I hiked the Long Trail end to end and then went to Waterville, Maine for a six-week medical externship. That summer showed me the beauty of Vermont and where I wanted to practice. It also showed me my future specialty: family medicine, as I worked with an amazing family doctor who “did it all”.

Dr. Ken Borie

The two sides of Dr. Borie – top, an early ’90s portrait shows the dedicated physician hard at work and bottom, Dr. Borie in 1989 sharing a smile.

I came to Randolph in July of 1980, right out of my family medicine residency. Peter  Frankenburg was my real estate broker and sold me the house I live in today. One of his selling pitches included “…and the Fourth of July parade goes right past the house.” Dr. Ron Gadway and Dr. Ed Armstrong initially hired me at Medical Associates, but very soon I was able to open my own practice as Phil Levesque, the CEO at Gifford at the time, was looking for a family doctor in Randolph. I worked as an independent and solo practitioner in Randolph until Gifford officially hired me in 1994.

Thirty-two years of practice later, I can tell you first-hand that being a physician is a blessing. I feel honored to have patients put their trust and faith in me. There is no greater honor than to have a young woman ask me to take care of her newborn baby or after caring for an elderly woman for 25 years, sitting with her and her family as she dies in Gifford’s Garden Room.

I’m not alone in this work. Exceptional physicians, like Drs. Milt Fowler, Mark and Elizabeth Jewett, Lou DiNicola, Terry Cantlin, Mark Seymour, Bill Minsinger, and Dennis Henzig, along with many others on Gifford’s staff, have worked at my side for decades. Together we have helped keep the people of central Vermont healthy.

We’ve incorporated many strategies to achieve that goal, but there is a saying on a statue at Gifford that says it best. The statue is of two birds and is crafted by the talented Jim Sardonis. It reads: “Science has provided many tools for fighting disease, but the oldest tool, compassion, is still the most important.” These words help guide me through each day.”

~ Ken Borie, D.O.
Gifford family physician

Dr. Ken Borie

Above left: an undated portrait of Dr. Borie. Above right: Dr. Borie chats with Joe and Lois Mulderig of Randolph. Joe and Lois, ages 88 and 85 respectively, have been married for 65 years and have been patients of Dr. Borie’s since moving to Vermont about 20 years ago.