Mom Sara Bowen, big sister Cassidy Sedor and dad Shawn Sedor, all of South Royalton, cuddle their newest family member – Kaydence Sedor, born on Jan. 2 at Gifford Medical Center and the Randolph hospital’s first baby of the new year.
RANDOLPH – Sara Bowen and fiancé Shawn Sedor of South Royalton were the first to welcome a baby in the new year at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.
Bowen gave birth to daughter, Kaydence Sedor, on Jan. 2 at 10:29 p.m. A gorgeous and healthy Kaydence weighed in at 7 pounds 12 ounces and is 20 ½ inches long.
She is the couple’s second child. Two-year-old Cassidy Sedor was also born at Gifford.
The family was excited to have the first baby of the new year. “It’s really cool, actually,” said Bowen, but they were more excited with the newest member of their family, regardless of her birthdate.
“I’m lost for words. I love my kids. They’re amazing. (There’s) nothing better than to have kids,” said Bowen, who was originally due to give birth on Dec. 28.
“We’ve got another little one to add to the family. (Kaydence) has someone to look up to and (Cassidy) has someone to take care of,” added Shawn. “I’m just glad that she’s healthy. We are lucky to have this blessing in our life.”
This photo shows one of Kari Meyer’s paintings now on display in the Gifford Medical Center art gallery. Called “Morning Meadow,” it is acrylic on canvas and painted on Beaver Meadow Road in Marshfield.
Montpelier painter Kari Meyer’s unique landscapes are in the Gifford Medical Center art gallery through Jan. 30.
Born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom, Meyer’s love of nature started at an early age. She spent much of her childhood playing in the woods and rivers near her rural home.
She attended high school at St. Johnsbury Academy. The school offered in-depth classes in art and Meyer says she fell in love with acrylic painting. She went on to earn an associate degree in multimedia and graphic design from Champlain College and then her bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Vermont.
Her knowledge of graphic design, she says, continues to be integrated into her artwork. Her studies at UVM also sparked an interest in sculpture. On close inspection, viewers of Meyer’s work can see her love of texture and three dimensions.
“As an artist I see art as a form of communication that has a power beyond that of words. Through imagery I attempt to portray ideas that words cannot, like the archetypal beauty that connects all things,” Meyer says. “I attempt to create a positive experience for the viewer, while also hoping to make a positive commentary on the world.”
Meyer works from photographs. She estimates a third of her time creating a painting is spent in the woods and walking the back roads of Vermont in search of the places that portray the magic and beauty of the landscape.
She works in digital photography, using a computer to alter colors, lighting and even composition of some of her images. By incorporating different textures and materials into her paintings, she creates an even more dynamic image that changes with lighting, casting its own shadows and creating a depth and mystery within each image.
Meyer says her imagery demonstrates an abstraction of nature, with her inspiration coming in part from the ideals of wabi-sabi, a prominent philosophy of Japanese aesthetics.
“For me wabi-sabi changes the worldview of Western civilization. Things we normally view as negative become beautiful. Loneliness, old age and death become beautiful because they are inevitable and represent the constant flux of the universe,” Meyer says. “I attempt to address this idea of the movement of eternity, of everything either coming from or returning to nothingness. My work urges the viewer to contemplate the relationship between oneself, nature and the universe.”
See Meyer’s work for yourself at Gifford. The show is free and open to the public. The gallery is just inside the main entrance of the medical center, located south of Randolph village. For directions and more information, visit www.giffordmed.org. Learn more about Meyer’s work online at www.karimeyer.com.
Married couple Elvira Dana and Jason Kass live and work in Armenia, a developing country once part of the Soviet Union. When it came time to have children, however, Dana and Kass looked outside of Armenia for care.
Elvira Dana and Jason Kass hold 3-year-old Gideon and newborn Natalie at a family home in Northfield. The married couple has come home to Vermont from Armenia – traveling for 36 hours – to have both their children at Gifford Medical Center.
They looked to Dana’s native Vermont, specifically Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.
For each of their child’s births – first Gideon three years ago and then Natalie late last month – the family flew back to Vermont.
“When Gideon came along we decided very quickly we needed to be back in the U.S. for the birth,” says Dana, who grew up in Northfield and was one of Gifford’s early Birthing Center patients nearly 35 years ago.
She got her prenatal care – such that it was – in Armenia and e-mailed test results and information to Gifford’s team of certified nurse-midwives. “They were willing to be flexible about some pretty strange pre-natal care,” says Dana, noting some documents sent had been translated from Russian and Armenian.
At 36 weeks of pregnancy (the latest point in a pregnancy that women are recommended to fly and often the latest point an airline will allow a pregnant woman in the air) Dana, with Kass at her side, traveled the 36 hours home. Gifford childbirth education and lactation consultant Nancy Clark provided the couple a crash course in birthing.
Gideon was born the morning after that final birthing class. He arrived two weeks early and just two-and-a-half hours after Dana made it to the hospital.
Hurricane Sandy this year delayed the family’s flight and Dana ended up flying – a bit nervously – at 37 weeks. But Natalie was patient, arriving on Nov. 26, one day after her due date and about an hour and forty-five minutes after the family made it to the hospital.
In both instances, says the couple, the atmosphere, low-intervention birth experience, and friendliness of staff were exactly what the family was seeking.
“Nobody was stressed. It was so calm. It was just us, a midwife and a nurse with no beeping noises. Everyone we interacted with was so kind, including the cleaning and food services staff,” Dana says.
Pediatrician Dr. Lou DiNicola – Dana’s pediatrician growing up – checked on both babies following their births. The children have both gotten their pediatric care at Gifford while they’re in the state. And in fact, they even called Gifford, reaching Dr. DiNicola as the on-call pediatrician, when Gideon spiked a high fever in Armenia and the couple didn’t know what to do, says Kass, 37 and formerly of Randolph Center.
It is the consistency of the care provided at Gifford, says Dana, that gives the couple the confidence to fly in and give birth with a midwife they may never have met or entrust their child’s care with a pediatrician who may not be a familiar face.
“Mostly we just feel so incredibly lucky,” says Dana, cradling her newborn.
Service through the Peace Corps first took Dana to Armenia in 2005. Putting her master’s degree in teaching English as a second language to work, she taught English and trained teachers. She then was hired as Armenia country director of American Councils, a non-profit that administers U.S. State Department and international educational programs, including student exchanges.
Jason joined her in Armenia in 2008, working in the scant Armenia job market and for meager Armenian wages as a head gardener at a renovated public park.
Presently staying with family in Northfield, the couple and their now two children will fly back to Armenia on Feb. 4. Natalie will need a passport before they can go. Bilingual young Gideon is on his second passport, having already filled one in his three years of life.
The family hopes to make Vermont their permanent home one day again soon – at least by the time Gideon will start school.
The Kass family plays together. They are in Vermont from Armenia to have their latest child, newborn Natalie, at Gifford Medical Center’s Birthing Center.
For a third year, Teresa Bradley of Braintree and Krista Warner of Randolph have organized a bowling tournament at Valley Bowl to support Gifford Medical Center’s Woman to Woman fund.
Held each year on the fourth Sunday in October, the Ruth Brown Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament raised $1,485 and attracted 32 bowlers. The winning bowler was Shawn Corbett of Rochester. The top fund-raiser was Barre’s Diana Flood. Also recognized were Bob’s M&M, Patrick’s Place and Valley Bowl, all of Randolph, for donating the top three prizes at each annual tournament.
The tournament, which started in 2010 as Warner’s high school senior project, is named in memory of Bradley’s mother and Warner’s grandmother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 following a mammogram. She beat the disease but later developed lung cancer, passing away in Gifford’s Garden Room last year. For Warner and Bradley, the tournament is a way to keep her memory alive and support a cause about which they feel strongly.
Gifford’s Woman to Woman fund helps provide mammograms to low-income women and funds soft pads placed on the mammography machine to make essential mammograms more comfortable for all.
Here Bradley, left, and Warner, middle, present the money they raised to Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Jewkes in the Randolph hospital’s stereotactic breast biopsy room.
Here Bradley and Warner stand with Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Jewkes by the Randolph hospital’s digital mammography machine.
Here Bradley, Warner and Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Jewkes, standing in the Randolph hospital’s digital mammography room, feign surprise at the thick stack of money raised.
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
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.
RANDOLPH – The nation’s oldest collegiate band, the Norwich University Concert Band, will perform at the park at Gifford Medical Center on Sept. 25 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
The free concert, titled “Autumn in the Park,” will be led by conductor Lt. Col. Todd Edwards with a flute solo, “Concertino for Flute,” featuring Audrey Seaman.
Music at Norwich University in Northfield has been a significant part of the curriculum since its founding in 1819. With the arrival of William Baylay, the first professor of instrumental music, in 1823, the band became all-brass and an integral part of the daily life of cadets.
Today, the band is a full instrumentation band with woodwinds, brass and percussion, and it continues to perform in support of the Corps of Cadets at all formations, reviews and special parades. The band has performed for the inauguration of several U.S. presidents, including John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, as well as for parades and concerts throughout Vermont and New England.
Conductor Lt. Col. Edwards spent nearly 25 years in the U.S. Air Force Band program, serving as a trombonist and vocalist as well as an audio engineer and lighting designer, after enlisting at age 18.
He received the Air Force Public Affairs Awards for Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year in 2001 for designing and executing a seven-band deployment throughout Europe in 48 hours supporting Operation Allied Force, including a short concert aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt – a first for Air Force Bands while in an active combat zone.
Because of his vast deployment expertise, he was selected by the Pentagon to advance the first-ever band deployments in direct support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, during combat operations. Being the first bandsman on the ground in April of 2004, he led bands traveling to seven bases in Iraq, Qatar and Afghanistan and later led a second deployment group to perform additional shows in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Djibouti.
In addition to performing before U.S. presidents, he has played before several heads of state, including Queen Elizabeth II.
The concert is free and open to the public.
Valley Bowl of Randolph will be onsite with its food truck for anyone wanting to purchase dinner.
Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. The Gifford park is south of the hospital, before the Thrift Shop, at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) in Randolph. Ample parking is available.
The concert is weather dependent. If the weather is questionable, visit Gifford’s Web site, www.giffordmed.org, for updates.
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.
‘Great’ ride supports ‘special’ cause: the Garden Room and end-of-life care
Cyclists leave for a 38.4 mile loop to Northfield and back as part of Saturday’s Last Mile Ride at Gifford Medical Center.
RANDOLPH – With blue skis overhead and temperatures in the 70s, 225 motorcyclists, 60 runners and 20 cyclists rolled into Gifford Medical Center Saturday for the seventh annual Last Mile Ride, together raising an estimated $54,000 for end-of-life care at the non-profit Randolph hospital.
It was the hospital’s most successful ride to date, attracting more participants than ever before, offering a 5K for the first time and raising the most in the ride’s already impressive history.
The event supports end-of-life and advanced illness care for Gifford patients.
Runner and cyclist David Palmer of Randolph brought along a friend, the family dog, for Saturday’s Last Mile Ride.
Gifford provides special care in a garden-side suite, the Garden Room, for patients at the end of life and to their grieving families. The ride was created by Gifford motorcycle rider and nurse Lynda McDermott to support the Garden Room and comfort services, such as massages for pain management; family photos by a local professional; music therapy; one-time gifts for special needs, such as a handicapped ramp at home or special wish; care packages; food for families staying with their loved ones in the Garden Room; bereavement mailers; help with Advance Directives; staff training; and more.
To a mostly leather-clad crowd standing before the reflective chrome of 162 motorcycles, hospital administrator Joe Woodin offered his thanks to the participants.
Motorcyclists leave for the seventh annual Last Mile Ride on Saturday at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph. The ride supports end-of-life care.
“Thank you for coming today. This is a great event,” Woodin said. “It’s been really lovely to have so much support and people’s involvement. Over the years we’ve had a lot of people take up the cause in memory of a friend who perhaps passed away or a loved one and it’s really nice for people to say ‘The experience we went through we’d love to help those in the future.’”
Dr. Cristine Maloney, an internal medicine and palliative care physician who participated in both the 5K and cyclist portion of Saturday’s ride, shared stories of patients who have benefited from the ride funds over the last year. “None of this is possible without your time and your commitment and your fund-raising. These improvements in symptoms as well as the time and space to let families let go more comfortably are because of you.
Bunny Huntley of Bethel waves from the back of Gail Osha of Randolph Center’s bike as the duo takes off Saturday as part of Gifford Medical Center’s Last Mile Ride.
“We appreciate your commitment to providing comfort at the end of life whether at the hospital or at home or in the nursing home here.”
Many spurred by their experiences in the Garden Room, nine participants raised more than $1,000 each for the cause. The top fundraising honor and associated prize – a Porter Music Box – went to Todd Winslow and Lu Beaudry of Wilder who alone raised $5,325 in memory of Winslow’s mother Joyce, who passed away in November in the Garden Room at age 82.
“When my mom went into the Garden Room … I decided that day – and I didn’t tell anyone – that I would figure out a way to raise money for it,” said Winslow, who later used e-mail to reach out to friends, family and business contacts. He wrote about the Garden Room and asked for help raising money in his mother’s name. “And I got an unbelievable response from all of them.”
Howard Stockwell of Randolph Center waves on the back of Mike Anderson’s bike as 225 riders return from the Last Mile Ride on Saturday at Gifford Medical Center.
“The Garden Room,” said Winslow, “you don’t know what it is like until you experience it. It is the neatest thing there is. Gifford has something, or the town has something, that most towns and hospitals don’t have. It’s really special.”
Winslow set a goal to raise $2,000, met it, raised it to $3,000, met that and continued on to $4,000 and then $5,000 goals, exceeding each.
“I really think it was because of my mom,” said Winslow of how he was able to raise so much. “One guy said ‘How can you not say ‘yes?’
“It was kind of neat to do it in tribute to my mom because my mom was really a neat person. She never had an ego. She was one of those people who wanted to help everyone and listen to them. So I wanted her to be recognized at that ride.”
Thanks to her son’s efforts, she was.
Ken Perry drives and Brenda Wright waves as riders return from the Last Mile Ride on Saturday at Gifford Medical Center. Perry and Wright live in Bethel.
Linda Chugkowski and Robert Martin of Northfield earned the second place prize, raising a remarkable $3,134. Chugkowski and Martin are long-time friends who participate each year in memory of several loved ones, including Martin’s dad, Robert Martin II, and this year former Northfield Saving Bank president Les Seaver.
“It’s a great ride for a great organization. We participate to ride and remember the loved ones that we’ve lost,” said Chugkowski, who works at Northfield Savings Bank and also serves on Gifford’s Board of Trustees.
Chip and Marie Milnor, who launched their fund-raising efforts on the Tuesday before the ride, collected $2,879 in just days in honor of their friend and Braintree neighbor John Rose Sr., who was in Gifford’s Garden Room as the ride was taking place.
Volunteers Penny Maxfield and Jamie Floyd, both Gifford Medical Center employees, help man the grill at Saturday’s Last Mile Ride, which concluded with a barbecue, live music from Jeanne & the Hi-Tops, and prize awards.
“I wanted to do something for the family. What do you do? And it hit me: I’m going to do something for the Last Mile Ride,” said Chip Milnor, who set a goal of $3,000 and reached it on the Monday after the ride as money was still coming in.
“People thought the world of John,” said Milnor, who lost his friend late Sunday afternoon. “Our neighborhood is definitely not going to be the same without him.”
For Milnor, the ride was about recognizing his friend and others the Garden Room will help, and participating in a great ride.
“It’s a well put-on ride. We do a lot of rides and that one is really well organized. They do a really good job. I can’t think of anything on that ride that needs improvement. It’s getting bigger and bigger, and I hope it keeps getting bigger and bigger.
“It’s for a good cause,” said Milnor. “It’s not about the hospital. It’s about the Garden Room and what they do for the family and how they take care of people.”
Jeanne & the Hi-Tops play at Saturday’s Last Mile Ride at Gifford Medical Center.
Also supporting the event were numerous business sponsors, prize donors, volunteers and individuals lining the motorcycle route.
Led by Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak with road guard services from the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, this year’s motorcycle ride took participants on a 75-mile loop through central Vermont. Along the way, people held up signs reading “thank you” and naming loved ones lost. Some people were openly crying. Others cheered.
Riders waved and honked and later posted rave reviews on Facebook.
“Wonderful day, great ride with great people,” wrote Roxanne Benson. “Thank you to all of those who work so hard to pull this off every year. So glad $54,000 was earned for the Garden Room.”
“Thank you for a wonderful ride and a magnificent day! Already have the calendar marked for next year,” wrote Caryn Wallace from Connecticut.
“A great time this year! Next year cannot come soon enough! A big thank you for all involved with organizing and helping run LMR ’12 and for everyone who showed up to walk, run, pedal and ride,” wrote Brian Sargeant II.