This article was published in our Spring 2016 Update.
Gifford specialists are supported by the most current advanced diagnostic technology and offer a range of specialty services—all conveniently located right in your community, with easy access and parking. Specialty services include:
• general surgery
• sports medicine
• rehabilitative services that include physical, occupational, and speech therapies
New Providers on the Specialty Services Team
General Surgeon Dr. Mario Potvin Born and raised in Quebec City, Dr. Potvin brings nineteen years of experience in general surgery, advanced laparoscopy surgery skills, and extensive knowledge of endoscopy and GERD investigation. He practiced in Canada for six years before accepting a position with the Mayo Health Systems in 1997. He has lived and practiced in Minnesota since then, but wanted to move closer to family in Quebec.
Oncologist Dr. Eswar Tipirneni Board certified in both internal medicine and hematology/oncology, Dr. Tipirneni is now seeing oncology patients one day a week in Randolph. He is also a provider in the UVM Health Network, and so brings the resources of an academic cancer research center to his patients at Gifford, including participation in multidisciplinary tumor boards and current clinical trials.
Anesthesiologist Dr. Anthony Fazzone has worked in several area hospitals, including the University of Vermont Health Care System, Springfield Hospital, and the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH. He has a special interest in regional anesthesia, which uses nerve blocks, spinal taps, or epidurals to help patients avoid high doses of medication and provide pain relief for patients after surgery.
The following article appeared in our 2014 Annual Report.
The White River Valley Chamber of Commerce and Gifford once again partner to offer concerts and now a farmer’s market on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer in the Gifford Park. Two community barbecues — one by Stagecoach and one by the Randolph Center Fire Department — also draw a crowd.
Podiatrist Dr. Samantha Harris joins the Gifford Health Center at Berlin, providing full spectrum surgical and non-surgical podiatric care.
Gifford’s midwives hold an open house to introduce their new team to the community.
After working at Gifford since January as a locum tenens physician, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kenyatta Norman makes her position permanent.
A “Heartsaver CPR” certification course is offered to the community.
JP’s Flea Market, formerly the Randolph Antique and Artisans Fair, is held in the Gifford park on Aug. 9. Cars line the street looking for deals and meals.
The ninth annual Last Mile Ride raises a record $60,000 for end-of-life care. This year’s event is spread over two days and attracts a record 386 participants.
Sue Schoolcraft of Randolph gains media recognition statewide for her work to make personalized quilts for Menig residents. Her work is supported by the Last Mile Ride.
Ob/Gyn Dr. Sean Tubens joins the Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery team from his hometown of Baltimore, bringing total laparoscopic hysterectomies to Gifford for the first time.
Dr. Melissa Scalera, an Ob/Gyn, joins Gifford’s women’s health team, providing complete gynecologic and obstetrics care in Randolph.
Colorado couple, sports medicine physician Dr. Nat Harlow and family nurse practitioner Christina Harlow, join Gifford’s Sharon sports medicine and Randolph primary care practices respectively. Dr. Harlow is fellowship trained. Christina holds a doctor of nursing practice degree.
Family nurse practitioner Jeff Lourie joins the Gifford Health Center at Berlin.
Project Independence of Barre officially merges with Gifford.
Dr. Nathaniel “Nat” Harlow grew up in Vermont, in Underhill, so when it came time to put his newly earned sports medicine fellowship to work, he looked to the Green Mountains of his childhood.
Dr. Harlow has joined Gifford Medical Center’s renowned sports medicine practice in Sharon.
A graduate of Brown University in Providence, R.I., he went on to medical school at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine.
Interested in rural medicine, he completed a family medicine residency at St. Mary’s Family Medicine Residency in Grand Junction, Colo., and went on to work at a Critical Access Hospital in Del Norte, Colo., as an emergency department physician and director of emergency medicine for three years.
An avid climber, skier and mountain biker, Dr. Harlow had considered a sports medicine fellowship out of residency, but the program wasn’t yet developed.
Through his emergency physician role and through work with ski area clinics, he saw many skiing traumas and acute orthopedic injuries. The interest was sparked once more, and by now the fellowship program was developed.
He completed a primary care sports medicine fellowship at Rocky Mountain Orthopedics through St. Mary’s Family Medicine Residency in Grand Junction, Colo.
Already board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, he went on to earn an additional Certificate of Added Qualification in sports medicine from the same board.
“I believe strongly in providing health care in rural, underserved areas,” says Dr. Harlow, and “I really wanted to come back to Vermont.”
He found just what he was looking for – rural medicine with a sports medicine focus at the Sharon Health Center.
“I’m very excited to be part of the practice. It’s such a strong team environment. It’s a unique practice setting for sports medicine,” he says.
In Sharon, Dr. Harlow is working alongside podiatrists, chiropractors, another sports medicine doctor, an athletic trainer and physical therapists.
Dr. Harlow practices full-spectrum primary care sports medicine including non-operative orthopedics care, as well as the medical aspects of sports medicine, such as care of concussions, sports pre-screenings for heart health, people with asthma and diabetics. He has strong interests in combining sports and wilderness medicine to care for the mountain athlete, using exercise as medicine for non-athletes to help treat and prevent chronic conditions, and osteopathic manipulation.
Friendly and approachable, Dr. Harlow listens to his patients and works with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them reach or return to fitness goals.
Dr. Harlow is a member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Academy of Family Physicians and the Wilderness Medical Society.
Now living in Brookfield with his wife and fellow Gifford health care provider, family nurse practitioner Christina Harlow, and their 1-year-old daughter, Juliana, Dr. Harlow enjoys fly fishing and playing guitar in addition to mountain sports. He is also an avid volunteer, both at home and internationally. In fact, he hopes to reach out to area high schools and colleges to provide expertise in concussion management, for example.
To schedule an appointment or learn more, call him at the Sharon Health Center at 763-8000.
When orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kenyatta Norman first came to Gifford Medical Center in January it was meant to be temporary. She was what the industry calls a locum tenens physician. In simple terms, a locum tenens doctor fills in when a hospital has an opening, hasn’t filled it but doesn’t want patients to have to go without care.
Dr. Norman has spent her career working across the country as a locum. That is, until now.
In Gifford and the region, Dr. Norman has found a place where she wants to continue to work and a community where she wants to live and raise a family.
“I am excited to be here. The people are so warm, friendly and nice. That was part of the reason I decided to stay. This area seems perfect as I will be able to be involved with my future children and continue to give excellent care to my patients,” said Dr. Norman.
A native of Indiana, Dr. Norman pursued medicine in part because someone told her she couldn’t.
“I think somebody told me I couldn’t be a doctor (an older gentleman), and I thought ‘Really? Wow.’ I think that cemented it there,” she said, demonstrating the competitive spirit required to become a great surgeon.
She was a child at the time but becoming a physician became her goal.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Indiana University in Bloomington with a minor in sociology. She went on to medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine.
“I was initially interested in primary care, but after a rotation in general surgery I realized I liked the OR and working with my hands,” she recalled.
And then she did a rotation in orthopedics. “I was enamored after my first orthopedic surgery as a medical student.”
Dr. Norman went on to an orthopedic residency was at Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and then continued onto an orthopedic oncology fellowship at Mount Clemens Medical Regional Center in Michigan.
Since, she has worked at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Hampton, Va., and Martinsburg, W. Va., and at hospitals and health centers in Kentucky, New Mexico, Illinois and Virginia. The New Mexico post was at Indian Health Services.
“I have worked in many different settings,” Dr. Norman said of her career, “and Gifford is definitely at the top!”
At Gifford, Dr. Norman provides general orthopedics care, help for fractures, arthroscopic surgery and more. Her subspecialty is orthopedic oncology.
A good-natured caregiver who is quick to laugh, Dr. Norman says, “I try to make everyone feel at home and I try to make sure everyone understands his or her health problem, and I really try to treat every patient like a member of my family.”
Dr. Norman is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
She is practicing full-time at Gifford in Randolph with physician assistant Brad Salzmann. Previously from St. Louis, she and her husband have made the community their home.
“I am ready to be part of the Gifford team and become a Vermonter. I may even learn to snowboard,” Dr. Norman said.
Call her at Gifford at (802) 728-2455. Appointments can be made by calling central scheduled at (802) 728-2777.
Dawn Blodgett is happily back to riding horses, dairy farming, and more following a Tenex prodedure at Gifford.
This story appeared in our Fall 2013 Update Community Newsletter.
Dairy farmer Dawn Blodgett has struggled with foot pain her whole life. But when a lump formed on the bottom of her left foot last summer, what was a daily ache turned into sharper pain.
“I felt like I was stepping on a marble,” says 33-year-old Dawn of Brookfield.
Gifford podiatrist Dr. Robert Rinaldi diagnosed the nodule as plantar fibromatosis. Dawn tried orthotic shoe inserts and wearing sneakers instead of barn boots, but still the pain persisted. Dr. Rinaldi offered another possible solution. On the day before Thanksgiving, he performed a new procedure – a Tenex Health TX.
The procedure is aimed at relieving tendon pain – a problem for millions of Americans. Tendon pain is often the result of damage or overuse injuries. The body attempts to heal itself, causing scar tissue. Scar tissue can be painful because it doesn’t stretch and function as a tendon should, explains Dr. Rinaldi.
The Tenex procedure removes and breaks up the scar tissue, or in Dawn’s case the nodule. It is a procedure that doesn’t require general anesthesia or even a single stitch. Patients are given local anesthesia, or an injection. The doctor then makes a very small incision and inserts a device the size of a needle. The device is used to make holes in the scar tissue and delivers ultrasound energy designed to break down and remove damaged tissue. Saline solution helps keep tissues cool during the procedure.
The procedure takes about 20 minutes.
For Dawn, the relief was immediate.
“As soon as the procedure was done, there was an immediate difference,” she says. “I cooked Thanksgiving dinner the next day.”
Today, Dawn is back to milking cows, mucking stalls, doing fieldwork and putting up fencing with much less pain. She’s spending more time with her horses, chasing her kids, and running for exercise.
In fact, she’s 20 pounds lighter than she was before the procedure, which she recommends to others suffering from tendon pain.
The Tenex procedure is new and available for use in orthopedics, sports medicine and podiatry. Gifford is the first hospital in Vermont to offer the technology.
BERLIN – Physician assistant Jayne Collins of Greensboro has joined orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stephanie Landvater in practice at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin.
A Montpelier native and graduate of Franklin Pierce University, Collins brings her extensive knowledge of anatomy and body mechanics to outpatients, including through injury evaluation, during pre- and post-operative appointments and more.
Orthopedists provide non-surgical and surgical care for people with injuries, diseases and abnormalities of the bones, joints and tendons, or musculoskeletal system. Collins has 25 years of experience as an athletic trainer and physical therapist.
In addition to her physician assistant master’s degree from Franklin Pierce, Collins has a master’s in sports medicine from Springfield College in Massachusetts and bachelor’s degrees in physical therapy from SUNY (The State University of New York) at Stony Brook and physical education/athletic training from Springfield College.
She spent several years as an athletic trainer in New York before returning to Vermont and launching a decades’ long career in physical therapy. She worked at Central Vermont Medical Center as a physical therapist and managed Green Mountain Sports Physical Therapy II in Montpelier before opening her own practice in Waterbury in 1990. She was the owner, director and a senior therapist at Family Physical Therapy Inc. in Waterbury for 20 years prior to realizing her dream of becoming a physician assistant.
“It was the next step in my medical education and career goals. In addition to still helping people heal, I would be able to help manage their orthopedic health care,” Collins says.
And she wanted to work with Dr. Landvater.
“From my years of experience as a physical therapist working with Dr. Landvater’s patients, one of my loftiest goals was to work as Dr. Landvater’s physician assistant because of her practice ethics, how much her patients mean to her and the quality of health care she gives her patients,” says Collins.
Working with Dr. Landvater at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin also means giving back to the area.
“I’m native to central Vermont and it’s nice to be able to continue to work in the community that I was raised in, raised my family in and worked in for years.”
Collins goals came to fruition in September when she became a member of the Berlin team. In addition to her work at Gifford, she is a family medicine physician assistant at a small practice in Swanton.
Collins is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Physician Assistant Academy of Vermont, Vermont and national physical therapy and athletic training organizations, the American Diabetes Association and the Vermont Association of Diabetes Educators.
Her clinical interests include general orthopedics, sports medicine and injury prevention.
Collins is married with two adult sons, who serve in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her horse, photography and scrapbooking.
Call Collins and Dr. Stephanie Landvater at the Gifford Health Center at 229-2325. The health center is located at 82 East View Lane, just off the Airport Road.
Gifford also provides orthopedics care in Randolph.
Vermont native Dr. Jesse Hahn has joined the orthopedic surgery team at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, providing surgical and non-surgical care for injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
A native of Essex, Dr. Hahn is a graduate of Essex High School and the University of Richmond in Virginia. He went on to earn his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, where he also completed his residency and served on the faculty as a clinical instructor.
Dr. Hahn has now joined Gifford full-time, is staying in Randolph and is relishing the opportunity to provide local care.
“I am now a neighbor,” Dr. Hahn says. “That’s what I enjoy, taking care of neighbors.”
The ability to help people is what drew Dr. Hahn to medicine.
He offers a friendly, comforting, patient-focused approach.
Seeing a doctor shouldn’t be nerve-wracking, he notes, likening his job to that of a mechanic. He is providing a service. But the service he provides goes beyond that of technician. He is also caring for an individual, and partnering with that individual to meet his or her unique goals.
Sometimes meeting those goals takes surgery. Sometimes more conservative approaches, such as physical therapy and time, work best.
“I am eager to help in any way I can,” says this modest caregiver with up-to-date training.
Dr. Hahn provides care for all types of bone, joint and tendon injuries. Early in his medical education, he contemplated a career in pediatrics. Orthopedic care for children and adolescents consequently remains a special interest of Dr. Hahn’s along with trauma, fractures and upper extremity ailments.
Dr. Hahn is a member of the Orthopedic Trauma Association and AOTrauma, an international community of trauma and orthopedic surgeons, researchers and operating room personnel. In the spring, he begins a trauma fellowship, first in Germany and then in California.
Dr. Hahn is accepting new patients at Gifford’s orthopedics practice in Randolph. Call Gifford’s central scheduling office at (802) 728-2777.
Dr. Hahn works with orthopedics physician assistant Brad Salzmann in Randolph.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stephanie Landvater works out of Gifford’s Berlin practice, the Gifford Health Center at Berlin, and provides surgery in Randolph.
In his free time, Dr. Hahn enjoys the outdoors, including hiking and skiing, as well as auto repair.
This information appeared in our Spring 2013 Update publication.
Dr. Barbara Lazar
Dr. Barbara Lazar
Family physician Dr. Barbara Lazar has joined Gifford in Randolph, providing care to all ages, especially older Vermonters.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr. Lazar did her internship and residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice.
She began her career in 1996 at the Indian Health Service at Northern Navajo Medical Center in New Mexico. Moving to Vermont in 2003, she worked as medical director at Genesis Elder Care in Lebanon, N.H., and as part of the family medicine department at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She has also worked at Brookside Nursing Home in
White River Junction and most recently at the Program for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) in Rutland.
A Sharon resident, wife and mother, Dr. Lazar joined Gifford for the opportunity to work close to home and at a small medical center committed to family care.
Call her at Gifford Family Medicine at 728-2445.
Tara Meyer, APRN
Tara Meyer, APRN
Family nurse practitioner Tara Meyer is the newest member of the family medicine team at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin.
Board-certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and a graduate of the University of Vermont, Tara has both nursing and family nurse practitioner experience. She worked as an inpatient nurse at Fletcher Allen Health Care, as a nurse practitioner to children and adults with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and most recently as a primary care nurse practitioner for the Program
for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) in Colchester.
A Montpelier resident and wife, she calls her position at Gifford her “dream job.” “I’m very happy. I just love Gifford. A lot of my friends come to Gifford. A lot of my friends have had babies at Gifford,” Tara says. “It feels really great to work in a place where I’m proud of, that’s really invested in the community and has a great reputation.”
Tara provides care to all ages and also works in area nursing homes on Gifford’s
behalf. Call her at the Berlin Health Center at 229-2325.
Brad Salzmann, PA-C
Brad Salzmann, PA-C
Experienced orthopedics physician assistant Bradford “Brad” Salzmann has
joined Gifford’s orthopedics team in Randolph, providing office care and assisting
A graduate of Springfield College in Massachusetts, Brad is certified by the National
Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. He’s worked since 1996 in
orthopedics at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Mass., and Wing Memorial
Hospital in Palmer, Mass. He also worked in hospitalist medicine at IPC Hospitalist
of New England.
In addition, he has a master’s degree in disaster medicine and management and serves as part of a disaster medical assistance team that responds to national crises.
Now a Royalton resident, this outdoor enthusiast has joined Gifford for the opportunity to work in Vermont and in a small hospital setting. “I’m really excited to be at Gifford. It’s personable. You get to know people and make more of a difference,” he says.
Call Brad in Gifford’s Randolph orthopedics practice at 728-2455. Orthopedics is also offered at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin.