RANDOLPH – Wellness educator Jude Powers will offer a course for children ages 8-11 on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to noon titled “Home Alone and Safe.”
The course is designed to teach children how to safely respond to a variety of home alone situations, including Internet and telephone safety, family communications, sibling care, personal and gun safety, and basic emergency care.
The course was created by the Southeastern Michigan and Oregon Trail Chapters of the American Red Cross to meet the needs of children who spend time alone without adult supervision. It helps kids understand the rules and responsibilities in a home alone situation and prepares them to anticipate potential problems and how to resolve them.
Children will engage in role playing, discussion, brainstorming and critical thinking. A video reviews the salient information, participants retain a workbook and relevant handouts, and each child will earn a certificate upon completion.
The course cost is $20 and it is being held at Gifford Medical Center’s new Family Center space at the hospital in Randolph. The Family Center is beside Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery on Route 12 (South Main Street). Call Powers at (802) 649-1841 to register or Nancy Clark at Gifford at (802) 728-2274.
The course cost is reduced thanks to a gift from the Lamson-Howell Foundation of Randolph.
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center will hold a Babysitter’s Training Course on Saturday, July 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in The Family Center (beside Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery).
The course is for youth looking to learn how to be safe, responsible and successful babysitters.
Offered by instructor Jude Powers, it covers good business practices, basic care, diapering, safety, play, proper hand washing, handling infants, responding to injuries, decision making in emergencies, action plans and more.
Communication skills are emphasized along with being a good role model. Each participant will receive a certification card upon completion of the course and a reference notebook to take home.
Thanks to a grant from the Lamson-Howell Foundation of Randolph, the course cost is only $30. Participants should also bring their lunch.
Register by calling Powers at (802) 649-1841 or Nancy Clark at Gifford at (802) 728-2274. Space is limited.
The course cost is reduced thanks to a gift from the Lamson-Howell Foundation of Randolph.
Gifford Medical Center is offering a free talk on Medicare insurance on Friday, June 29 from 2-3:30 p.m. in the hospital Conference Center.
Titled “Everything you need to know about Medicare,” the talk is for anyone who is currently on Medicare, who soon will be, or who has a parent or spouse going on Medicare.
Topics include why understanding one’s insurance is important, why participating in Medicare Part B is beneficial, and what one’s choices are under Medicare Part D.
“When making health care decisions, understanding your health insurance is vital. Medicare, which many of us have as health insurance or soon will, can be complicated to understand,” said Gail Bourassa, director of patient access and financial services at Gifford. “We’re hoping to help our patients make informed decisions by sharing what Medicare, and its various parts, covers.”
Bourassa, along with Gifford Patient Financial Services staff members Deborah Kendall, Melinda Mercier, and Michele Packard, of Health Connections, will lead the free discussion.
No registration is required. Call Gifford Patient Financial Services at (802) 728-2200 to learn more.
The Gifford Conference Center is at the medical center in Randolph at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12). Use the stairway under the green awning marked “Conference Center” or take the elevator from the main lobby/registration to the first floor.
Event brings back Gifford yard sale, in part, plus much more
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center will open its new park space up to the public on Saturday, July 21 with a 1st Annual Randolph Antique and Artisan’s Fair.
To be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine, the fair is open to individuals or businesses selling antiques, architectural salvage, collectibles, crafts, unique items, vintage clothing and more.
Up to five food vendors will be welcomed. And Gifford will be selling some used office items, such as desks and printers. A consignment area will also be available for those with only a few items to sell.
“This is an opportunity to welcome the community to our new park space and to celebrate our unique artisan and historical cultures,” said organizer Amanda Wheeler of Gifford. “Even though health care is our focus, if you take a walk around Gifford, you’ll see history, art and community are all central to our local hospital.”
Organizers at the hospital hope to make the fair an annual event.
“We already have great interest from vendors and crafters and are expecting more over the coming weeks,” said Wheeler.
Lot sizes are 15-feet by 15-feet with up to three lots available per person/business. Lots are $20 each and space is limited. Call Wheeler at 728-2238 or e-mail email@example.com by July 13 to reserve a space while they last.
Not accepted are animals, cars, junk or merchandise from distributors such as Pampered Chef, Avon, Snap-on tools, etc.
Vendors must supply their own tents, should they want them. Some tables are available for a nominal fee.
Gifford Medical Center general surgeon Dr. Ovleto Ciccarelli
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center general surgeon Dr. Ovleto Ciccarelli and urologist Dr. Richard Graham will lead a free men’s health talk on June 6 on colorectal health, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
The talk will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center with free pizza and refreshments served at 5:30 p.m.
The talk aims to raise awareness of men’s health issues and preventable conditions, such as colon cancer, in a comfortable atmosphere, says Rebecca O’Berry, Gifford vice president of surgery.
“Both of our physicians are very approachable and personable and are able to find the humorous side of these topics,” O’Berry said. “I’m thrilled that we have two surgeons who are gifted, passionate, and so easy to talk to.”
Dr. Ciccarelli has been a general surgeon for more than 20 years, providing surgical care and colonoscopies at Gifford since 2007.
Colorectal cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer in both men and women in the United States and Vermont.
Colorectal cancer develops from polyps that grow – silently, unseen and unfelt – on the inside wall of the colon. Many polyps will never become cancer, but some will over the years.
A colonoscopy can both detect and prevent colorectal cancer. This is because during a colonoscopy, these polyps are removed in their precancerous state or before disease can be felt, preventing the onset or the spread of the disease. And when found early, colorectal cancer is highly curable.
Without colonoscopies, it is not until polyps become cancerous, grow large, and block the colon or break through the colon wall that colon cancer symptoms are evident.
“This is one area of medicine where we can actually prevent disease, extend lives, and improve quality of life,” says Dr. Ciccarelli, who will also discuss other common colorectal health issues, such as diverticulosis, anal fissures, and hemorrhoids.
Gifford’s new urologist, Dr. Richard Graham
A renowned urologist, Dr. Graham has been practicing urology for 28 years and has performed surgeries around the world. He joined Gifford’s urology practices in Randolph and at the Twin River Health Center in White River Junction last year, bringing new procedures to the hospital.
An urologist specializes in diseases of the male and female urinary tract as well as male reproductive organs. Dr. Graham will consequently talk about common male reproductive ailments, including prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
In Vermont, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death, according to the Vermont Department of Health. Nationally, about one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. The average age of diagnosis is 67.
Treatment for prostate cancer can sometimes cause erectile dysfunction, a condition that affects millions of men in the United States and can be a sign of more serious disease.
Dr. Graham will address how prostate cancer is diagnosed and treatment options, and what works for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. He’ll also discuss the controversy over PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood tests for men, when they should be performed, what they mean, and why doctors order the screening.
“It’s a serious subject,” Dr. Graham says of the talk that he has given around the world, “but it’s also interactive.”
The event is open to men of all ages and to couples. There is no cost to attend but registration is encouraged. Call 728-2104 by May 30 to sign-up.
Gifford is an American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer nationally accredited cancer program. The hospital is located at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12 south of the village) in Randolph. The Conference Center is on the first floor of the hospital and marked by a green awning. Learn more online at www.giffordmed.org.
CHELSEA – A new Healthier Living Workshop series begins May 15 and continues Tuesdays through June 19 at the Chelsea Health Center – this time in the evenings, from 6-8:30 p.m.
Healthier Living Workshops are six-week classes for people with chronic conditions and their caregivers. They are offered for free throughout the year by Gifford Medical Center 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 Delattre at Gifford at (802) 728-2118.
The Chelsea Health Center is just off Route 110, north of the village. Log onto www.giffordmed.org to learn more.
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center in Randolph will provide free assistance completing Advance Directives on Tuesday, April 17 from 2:30-5:30 p.m. in the hospital’s Conference Center.
A special talk by Gifford Director of Quality Management Sue Peterson will also take place from 4-4:30 p.m. on the importance of having an Advance Directive for making your end-of-life wishes known, new statewide initiatives and to answer any questions people may have.
An Advance Directive is a legal document in which you specify your health care wishes should you become unable to speak for yourself. These directives can then be shared with appropriate family members, your hospital or health care provider and with the Vermont Advance Directives Registry to help ensure your wishes are known and followed.
“You want to ensure that your decisions about life support are carried out if you’re unable to make health care decisions or can’t speak for yourself,” Peterson said. “We also want to encourage people to make sure their directives are part of the registry.”
Gifford’s annual event falls around National Healthcare Decisions Day, which aims to increase the number of people who understand the importance of end-of-life planning, talking with their loved ones about their wishes and completing Advance Directives.
Volunteers will be available at Gifford on April 17 to help people complete their Advance Directives. The hospital is also providing Advance Directive booklets for free. The cost of these booklets is being funded by Gifford’s Last Mile Ride, which raises money for end-of-life care – or, in this case, important end-of-life care planning. This year’s ride is Aug. 18.
Gifford will additionally scan participants’ Advance Directives into their patient records, provide participants copies of their directives to share with family members and mail completed directives to the Vermont registry for anyone who is interested.
No appointments are necessary. Filling out the Advance Directive form can take anywhere from minutes – say if all you want to do is designate a health care agent, or proxy, to make decisions for you – or up to an hour to thoroughly review the form and share your complete wishes. Topics on the form include appointing an agent, treatment wishes, organ and tissue donation, and funeral arrangements.
Advance Directives can be changed as your wishes change. Anyone with a changed or newly completed Advance Directive can bring those to one of the patient registration desks just inside the main entrance of the hospital to have your Advance Directive electronically scanned and saved in your Gifford patient record.
The hospital’s Conference Center is located just off from the patient parking area and marked with a green awning. For handicap access, use the main entrance, take the elevator down to the first floor and follow signs to the Conference Center. For more information, including directions, call the hospital at (802) 728-7000 or log on to www.giffordmed.org.
RANDOLPH – Gynecologist and certified menopause practitioner Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara is leading a free women’s health talk on April 10 from 6-7 p.m. in the Porter Community Room at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich.
Dr. Russo-DeMara, who provides women’s health care in White River Junction at the Twin River Health Center and at the Bethel Health Center, will address menopause, genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and more.
The talk is free. Participants, however, are encouraged to register by calling the Twin River Health Center at 296-7370 by April 3.
The Twin River and Bethel health centers are part of Gifford Medical Center in Randolph. Dr. Russo-DeMara has been providing women’s care for more than two decades. Learn more online at www.giffordmed.org.
We are excited to share that we will be holding an event next Friday, April 6 from 3-4 p.m. to celebrate our nursing home’s recognition as one of the best 39 in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Expected to attend are:
Gov. Peter Shumlin
DAIL Commissioner Dr. Susan Wehry
Division of Licensing and Protection Director Suzanne Leavitt
Licensing and Protection Assistant Director and State Survey Agency Director Fran Keeler
Vermont Health Care Association Executive Director Laura Pelosi
Hospital and nursing home leaders
Nursing home staff
Nursing home residents and families
The media has been invited to watch the brief speeches from state and Gifford/nursing home officials at the start of the event, and will then have an opportunity to speak to families and residents.
The event will be held at Gifford’s nursing home, the Menig Extended Care Facility, which is located on the southern end of the medical center in Randolph on Route 12. From Interstate 89, go west on Route 66 into Randolph. Go straight through the four-way stop, left over the bridge by Cumberland Farms into the downtown, through the downtown, over the railroad tracks and up the hill. Gifford is on the left. Drive past the hospital and take the entrance at the end of the building, before the Thrift Shop.
Menig was the only nursing home in Vermont to receive this distinction this year. U.S. News and World Report released a list of its “2012 Honor Roll” nursing homes in February. The 39 listed were the only out of more than 15,500 reviewed nationally to receive four straight quarters of perfect five-star ratings from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in all three areas that CMS evaluates – health inspections, nurse staffing and quality of care.
Gifford Medical Center chefs Pauline Barrett and Steve Morgan lead a cooking demonstration at a past Diabetes Education Expo.
RANDOLPH – For most, feet and teeth are essential to daily living and must be kept healthy, but a diabetes diagnosis can mean added foot and dental problems and thus a need for extra vigilance.
Gifford Medical Center’s seventh annual free Diabetes Education Expo on March 23 focuses on foot and teeth health for diabetes, with special presentations from Randolph dentist Dr. John Lansky and Gifford podiatrist Dr. Kevin McNamara.
“So many people don’t realize the importance of particularly dental health when it comes to diabetes care. High blood glucose can lead to more bacteria on your teeth, increasing one’s chance of developing tooth and gum disease,” says Gifford certified diabetes educator Jennifer Stratton. “We’re hoping to bring dental care to the forefront in this year’s expo and talk about another important topic: feet.”
Long-time high blood glucose damages one’s feet in three ways: it can damage nerves (causing a lack of feeling or neuropathy), can affect blood flow, and can depress the immune system.
“The diabetic triad is what makes feet particularly at risk in diabetes,” says Dr. McNamara, who has decades of experience in foot care and also holds a special board certification in the treatment of wounds. “Peripheral neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease and a suppressed immune system: diabetes makes one more prone to these three things.”
“Diabetes is the number one underlying reason for amputations of the foot, many of which are probably preventable,” he adds.
Good blood sugar control, particularly early in one’s disease; wound prevention; and wound care are keys to helping prevent neuropathy and serious foot problems, like infection.
Nationally, 25.8 million children and adults, or nearly 8.3 percent of the population, have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.
In Vermont, the disease affects more than 55,000 people, according to the Department of Health.
Diabetes is marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from the body not producing or improperly using insulin – the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy for daily living.
To remain healthy, diabetics must take an active role in managing their diabetes. The free expo is one way Gifford helps people with diabetes find the right tools to manage their disease and stay healthy.
The expo is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Randolph medical center and organized by the hospital’s Diabetes Clinic.
Seating is limited and registration is required. Call the Diabetes Clinic at (802) 728-7100 by March 16 to register, including for the free lunch.
Learn more about Gifford Medical Center and its services for diabetics online at www.giffordmed.org.
9-10 a.m. Vendor booths open 10-11 a.m. Gifford’s professional chefs lead a cooking demonstration 11 a.m. Randolph dentist Dr. John Lansky discusses teeth and diabetes Noon Lunch (vendor booths open) 1 p.m. Gifford podiatrist Dr. Kevin McNamara talks about foot health 2 p.m. Raffle drawings