New Healthier Living Workshop begins Oct. 24 in Berlin

Class focuses on chronic disease self-management and peer support

BERLIN – A new Healthier Living Workshop series begins Oct. 24 and continues Thursdays through Dec. 5 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin. (There is no class on Thanksgiving.)

Healthier Living Workshops are six-week classes for people with chronic conditions and their caregivers. They are offered for free – along with chronic pain workshops – throughout the year by Gifford as part of the Vermont Blueprint for Health.

The workshops are led by trained facilitators and are designed to help improve strength, flexibility and endurance. They also provide tips for managing medications, eating healthier and improving communications with family and friends.

The goal is to help people better manage their health conditions and deal with the frustration, fatigue and pain that can accompany a chronic disease.

Participants also benefit from meeting other people with chronic conditions, learning how they cope and enjoying the camaraderie of knowing that they are not alone in how they’re feeling, notes Gifford workshop coordinator Susan Delattre.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, past participants report increased energy, reduced stress, more self-confidence and fewer doctors’ visits as a result.

Gifford Healthier Living Workshop participants have called the series “very relaxed and you really felt free to express yourself” and said they most enjoyed “meeting people who understand what I am going through.”

To register or for more information, call Gifford’s Blueprint office at the Kingwood Health Center at (802) 728-7100, ext. 6.

The Gifford Health Center at Berlin is located at 82 East View Lane, just off the Airport Road in Berlin. For directions and more information, visit www.giffordmed.org.

Living Well with Bipolar Disorder

Gifford offering bipolar education and recovery group

bipolar disorderRANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center mental health practitioner Cory Gould will lead a bipolar psychoeducation and recovery group called “Living Well with Bipolar Disorder” Sept. 16 through Nov. 18.

The group will be held Mondays over 10 weeks from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Randolph hospital Conference Center. It will offer group support, education, coping skills, help developing a support system and self-understanding.

Bipolar disorder is a neurobiological brain illness characterized by extremes of mood, anxiety, thought and behavior. Manic-depression is an older term for bipolar disorder and refers to the classic episodes of manic highs and depressive lows.

The latest research on bipolar disorder emphasizes it as a cycling illness. Gould points to a Web site by author and bipolar patient John McManamy dedicated to the disorder. “What we call bipolar is an enormously complex illness … . Simply knowing that we have ups and downs is not sufficient. What we need to know is how these ups and downs relate, what is driving them and what else is interacting with the dynamic,” McManamy writes.

Bipolar disorder is thought to affect 2-3 percent of the American population, although some expert researchers think the figure is closer to 5 percent. Equal numbers of men and women are affected.

Typically, the first episode occurs in the teens or early 20s. But bipolar disorder can also begin in childhood. Fortunately, kids respond to treatment and can lead normal lives – just like adults with the illness – when it is managed optimally, Gould notes.

“Knowledge is power. Learning everything you can is essential to recovery,” Gould says. “We now have many more tools to help people with bipolar disorder.”

There is a fee to attend. Insurance is accepted. Sign-up by calling Gould at 728-7100, ext. 7. A brief screening interview is required for all participants.

The Gifford Conference Center is on the first floor of the medical center. From patient parking, take the stairs under the green awning. For handicapped accessibility, take the elevator from the main lobby to the first floor and follow signs to the Conference Center. The group meets in the Markle Room.

Gifford Offering a Variety of Trainings for Parents, Children

RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center is offering a handful of upcoming trainings aimed at children and families.

On Aug. 8, the Randolph hospital is host to both a “Family and Friends CPR” course and a “Nurturing Healthy Sexual Development” training. Both events are from 6-8 p.m. The non-certification CPR course is offered by Gifford’s Blueprint team in Conference Center. Register by calling 728-7100, ext. 6.

The sexual development course is in The Family Center (beside Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery) and offered by Prevent Child Abuse Vermont. The course, aimed at child care providers and parents of young children, focuses on normal sexual development and behaviors in young children, and what both children and adults need to know to keep children safer.

Among the topics to be discussed are how to response to sexual questions and behaviors, and preventing child sexual abuse.

Participants must register by calling Nancy Clark at Gifford at 728-2274.

Clark follows this training with two others – these aimed at children.

On Saturday, Aug. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. a Babysitter’s Training Course will be offered in The Family Center. The course teaches budding babysitters how to be safe, responsible and successful. 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 much more.

Communication skills are emphasized along with being a good role model, and participants receive a certification card upon completion of the course and reference notebook to take home. The course is offered by instructor Jude Powers.

Would-be babysitters should sign up with Clark by Aug. 17. There is a $20 fee to participant and participants should bring their lunch.

Finally on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Powers will offer a training for children ages 8-11 called “Home Alone and Safe.”

Designed by chapters of the American Red Cross, this course teaches children how to respond to home alone situations, including Internet safety, family communications, telephone safety, sibling care, personal and gun safety, and basic emergency care. Children will role play, brainstorm, watch a video, take home a workbooks and handouts, and earn a certification upon completion.

The cost to participate is $15. Participants should sign up with Clark, again at 728-2274.

For more information on other upcoming Gifford events, visit www.giffordmed.org.

Randolph Concert Series Begins Tuesday at Gifford

summer concert seriesGifford Medical Center’s summer concert series starts tomorrow (Tuesday, July 16) and continues primarily on Tuesdays throughout the summer. All shows are free and start at 6 p.m. in the Randolph hospital’s Route 12 park space.

Starting the series is the South Royalton Band, conducted by Dick Ellis and comprised of more than two dozen musicians from central Vermont. One of few surviving town bands in the region, the South Royalton Band is known for playing marches, songs from Broadway, novelties, Dixieland music, patriotic numbers and more. The South Royalton Band plays July 16. The concert is sponsored by The Frankenburg Agency.

The following week on July 23 folk funk band Phineas Gage of Waitsfield takes to the Gifford park. Sponsored by Gillespie Fuels and Propane and The Frankenburg Agency, Phineas Gage is an acoustic power band playing “music for happy brains,” including originals and covers from the last 50 years.

On July 30 will be The Lyra Summer Music Workshop, including students and faculty participating in an intensive summer workshop for piano and string musicians. Performed will be a broad array of classical solo and chamber music selections. The concert is sponsored by Gillespie Fuels and Propane and Catamount Kitchen and Design.

In a rescheduled concert (due to rain), the Friends of Gifford perform on Aug. 1. Performing will be Gifford employees Greg McConnell, Mike Berry and Claudette Goad, who make up Diamonds in the Rough, a blue grass and gospel group. The concert is sponsored by Gillespie Fuels and Propane.

Songs and standards from Chris Smith and Friends follows on Aug. 6, again sponsored by Gillespie Fuels and Propane. Smith is a local musician, educator and writer.

Panton Flats, a blues, soul, rock and R&B group from Vergennes, plays on Aug. 13. Born out of an impromptu jam session at 2009 benefit concert, Panton Flats has been playing its original and highly “danceable” music around Vermont since. Its Gifford concert is sponsored by Gillespie Fuels and Propane and Catamount Kitchen and Design.

Finally, on Aug. 20, fiddler Beth Telford and guitarist Jim Green visit the Gifford park with their Celtic museum. The concert is sponsored by The Frankenburg Agency.

Bring your lawn chair, picnic blanket, family and friends. Concerts are weather-dependent. Visit www.giffordmed.org or “like” Gifford on Facebook for updates. Gifford and the Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce partnered to organize the series.

Year in Review – Part 3

Our 2012 Annual Report included a month-by-month “Year in Review” section. Here is the third quarter excerpt.

JULY

Gifford summer concertsGifford’s first in a summer-long series of concerts in the park is led by Dick Ellis and the South Royalton Band.

Experienced certified nurse-midwife Ellen McAndrew returns to Gifford, expanding midwifery care to the Twin River Health Center in White River Junction.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Nazek Shabayek joins the surgery team. She previously practiced for more than 25 years in Tennessee and Connecticut.

Gifford holds the 1st Annual Randolph Antique and Artisans’ Fair in the park.

A Babysitter’s Training Course in The Family Center teaches youth how to be safe, responsible, and successful babysitters.

With the addition of Gifford nurse practitioner Sheri Brown, the Gifford Health Center at Berlin begins offering family care in addition to midwifery, orthopedics, podiatry, and soon neurology.

AUGUST

Family nurse practitioner Andrea LaRosa joins the Sharon Health Center sports medicine team.

A “Home Alone and Safe” course in The Family Center helps children ages 8-11 be better prepared for home-alone situations.

A one-night CPR class is offered to family and friends of infants and children, with subsequent classes in November and February.

Last Mile RideThe seventh annual Last Mile Ride, held on the third Saturday in August, raises $54,000 for end-of-life and advanced illness care. The ride, which this year also includes a 5K, attracts 225 motorcyclists, 60 runners/walkers, and 20 cyclists.

Free classes are offered and soon a support group starts for the state’s many home caregivers.

Healthier Living Workshops – free six-week classes for the chronically ill – are offered through the year at Gifford. A new workshop focuses on chronic pain.

Chiropractor Dr. Andrea Kannas joins the Sharon Health Center’s sports medicine team.

SEPTEMBER

Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian Jennifer Stratton strives to help those on a budget better grapple with eating healthy during a free talk titled “Eating Right When Money’s Tight”. The talk is followed up with visits to the grocery store and local food shelf, where Stratton offers hands-on shopping tips.

The medical center once again ends its fiscal year on budget and having met its state-approved operating margin. It is the 13th consecutive year of fiscal success. This feat is unique to Gifford and representative of its teamwork and commitment to care.

New Healthier Living Workshop begins May 15 in Chelsea

Class focuses on chronic disease self-management and peer support

RANDOLPH – A new Healthier Living Workshop series begins May 15 and continues Wednesdays through June 19 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Chelsea Health Center.

Healthier Living Workshops are six-week classes for people with chronic conditions and their caregivers. They are offered for free – along with chronic pain workshops – throughout the year by Gifford as part of the Vermont Blueprint for Health.

The workshops are led by trained facilitators and are designed to help improve strength, flexibility and endurance. They also provide tips for managing medications, eating healthier and improving communications with family and friends.

The goal is to help people better manage their health conditions and deal with the frustration, fatigue and pain that can accompany a chronic disease.

Participants also benefit from meeting other people with chronic conditions, learning how they cope and enjoying the camaraderie of knowing that they are not alone in how they’re feeling, notes Gifford workshop coordinator Susan Delattre.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, past participants report increased energy, reduced stress, more self-confidence and fewer doctors’ visits as a result.

Gifford Healthier Living Workshop participants have called the series “very relaxed and you really felt free to express yourself” and said they most enjoyed “meeting people who understand what I am going through.”

To register or for more information, call Zach Bean at Gifford’s Blueprint office at the Kingwood Health Center at (802) 728-7100, ext. 6.

The workshop will take place at the Chelsea Health Center at 356 Route 110 in Chelsea.

Living with Bipolar Disorder

people with bipolar disorder

Free event includes film, discussion

RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center, in collaboration with the Vermont chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Clara Martin Center, is hosting a May 1 free educational program called “Living with Bipolar Disorder.”

The 5:30-7:30 p.m. event in Gifford’s Conference Center features a film by the same title with a discussion to follow. The 43-minute film features an introduction by actor Joe Pantoliano, a review of the illness by clinical expert Dr. Joe Calabrese of Case Medical Center in Cleveland and stories of people who have bipolar disorder or have been affected by it. Continue reading

Gifford Gallery Featuring ‘X-pressions’ By Jan Rogers

Jan Rogers' art show at Gifford

A loon done in pastel, “Morning Solitude,” is part of Jan Rogers’ show at Gifford.

Jan Rogers brings her “X-pressions” graphite, pastel and colored pencil works to the Gifford Medical Center art gallery March 27-May 29.

Rogers of Williamstown uses various sizes of compressed paper stumps to apply graphite, pastel, and colored pencil to Bristol board, mat board, and pastel and vellum papers. Values, tones, and textures are constructed by drawing and blending to create depth and shading, resulting in a combination of lights and darks making the works almost “photo-realistic.”

“Most of my work is done in the fine line drawing method using a soft touch, subtle elimination of lines, and acute attention to detail,” says Rogers. “These skills can turn a drawing into a painting.”

“Graphite is my choice of medium because of the detail that can be achieved,” Rogers adds, noting that she uses pastel and colored pencil with some of her graphite works to enhance a single area.

Jan Rogers' art show at Gifford

Jan Rogers’ “Careen” is done in graphite on vellum with a colored pencil accent.

Rogers has been drawing and painting most of her life. She attended workshops at the Ashton Art Institute in Connecticut on fine line drawing, and works out of a home studio on commissions and inspirations for upcoming shows.

Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries and shows in Connecticut, Arizona, California, and now Vermont, where she is a member of the Paletteers art group. She has won awards for her unique method and also designs one-of-a-kind notecards that are sold in Gifford’s Garden Gate Gift Shop.

Her show at Gifford is free and open to the public. Works can be purchased in the Gift Shop.

The Gifford Gallery is located just inside the hospital’s main entrance at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) in Randolph. The Gift Shop is on the south end of the hospital near the entrance to the nursing home and Birthing Center.

To learn more about this show or displaying your work in the gallery, call Volunteer Coordinator Julie Fischer at (802) 728-2324.

Gifford Offering Free Medicare Talk

stethoscope

© Jonoman1 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

RANDOLPH – For more than 40 million Americans, Medicare provides their health insurance. Across the nation and here in Vermont, more Americans become eligible each day, leaving big questions about the federal insurance program and just what it covers.

Gifford Medical Center is aiming to help answer some of those questions for its employees and the public in a free talk this April.

MedicareReady or Not … ” is being held on April 11 from 6-7 p.m. in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center. The talk will feature a presentation from Acadia Benefits Inc. health insurance specialist Scott McKee on Medicare parts A through D, eligibility and resources. Continue reading

‘Aging Together’

Free Gifford evening out focuses on couples’ sexual health

Health experts from Gifford Medical Center are joining forces to offer couples an educational evening out.

Gifford in Randolph is hosting “Aging Together: A special presentation for couples on changing sexual health” on March 27 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center.

“Our goal,” says organizer Rebecca O’Berry, Gifford’s vice president of surgery, “is to have people come in to a comfortable environment to talk about how normal physical changes can affect couples’ lives together.”

Dr. Richard Graham

Dr. Richard Graham

Speaking will be experienced urologist Dr. Richard Graham and veteran gynecologist and menopause expert Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara.

Urologists treat male reproductive health conditions, as well as urinary health in men and women, and gynecologists care for female reproductive health. Common conditions like erectile dysfunction, which millions of men in the United States experience, and menopause, typically beginning around age 51 for women, can affect a couple’s relationship – often when those couples are finally able to spend time together.

“This is an important time in your life,” says O’Berry. “Your kids are getting older. You get to be back to being a couple and you don’t want normal signs of aging or medical problems to hinder that time together.

“There are ways that we as medical professionals can help you. There are answers.”

Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara

Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara

Drs. Graham and Russo-DeMara will review common problems and solutions and take questions from participants. Light refreshments will be served as the medical center strives to make the talk a fun “date night” out.

All are welcome to this free event. Those wanting to participate should register by calling Robin Palmer at (802) 728-2284 by March 21.

The Gifford Conference Center is on the first floor of the hospital. Take the elevator from the main lobby and follow signs to the conference center or take the stairs under the green awning from the patient parking lot. The conference rooms are just inside. For directions and more information, visit www.giffordmed.org. Like Gifford on Facebook to receive notices of other upcoming free community talks.