Gifford Shares Achievements, Plans

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Annual Corporators Meeting postponed

RANDOLPH – Each March Gifford Medical Center’s corporators gather to review the year past. This year, the 107th Annual Meeting of the Gifford Corporators has been postponed, but the hospital did not want to delay in sharing a few of 2012’s many successes and some plans for the future.

The meeting will be rescheduled, allowing for corporators to hold their annual business meeting, elect new board members and discuss health care reform.

Year in review

The end of the 2012 fiscal year marked another year “in the black” for Gifford. This is the 13thconsecutive year the medical center has achieved both its budget and operating margin – a feat unheard of at other Vermont hospitals.

The year also brought numerous awards and recognitions for the medical center. The Vermont House of Representatives honored Gifford with a legislative resolution of support and thanks. The Robin’s Nest Child Enrichment Center, Gifford’s day care, once again earned five STARS from the Vermont STep Ahead Recognition System.

The Menig Extended Care Facility nursing home was named a 2012 Best Nursing Home and an Honor Roll nursing home by U.S. News and World Report – the latter naming it one of the best 39 nursing homes in the country. (Menig just last month earned a 2013 Best Nursing Home recognition once again). Menig also received the state’s Nursing Home Quality Recognition.

The March of Dimes recognized Gifford with a Leadership Legacy award for its commitment to prenatal, birth and newborn care. Long-time pediatrician Dr. Lou DiNicola was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the first-ever “CDC Childhood Immunization Champion” for the state of Vermont. Gifford was awarded a Hospital of Choice Award from The American Alliance of Healthcare Providers for courtesy and compassion.

“We are appreciative and humbled to have received these awards and recognition. Staff members’ work hard to put their best forward in all aspects of care and these recognitions really speak to those across-the-board efforts,” Gifford Board of Trustees Chairwoman Sharon Dimmick said.

The hospital also continued to give back to the community in 2012 through local purchasing and its holiday “Gifford Gift Certificate” program, which contributed more than $40,000 into the regional economy.

The 2012 Last Mile Ride was Gifford’s most successful to date, raising $54,000 for end-of-life. Gifford’s park opened to the public in 2012 with its first summer concert series. This series continues this summer. The hospital also continues to honor Gifford employees’ and volunteers’ loved ones by flying their memorial flags on the pole in the park, which was created thanks to donations.

The year also brought new services, including the return of pacemaker surgeries to Gifford after a quarter century hiatus. The Blueprint Community Health Team expanded to include a second care coordinator and a behavioral health specialist. Part of a statewide initiative, this team works with outpatients with chronic illnesses to reduce barriers to care.

The year brought new providers, including family physician Dr. Barbara Lazar and family nurse practitioner Emily LeVan; ob/gyn Dr. Anne Galante and certified nurse-midwife Ellen McAndrew; sports medicine chiropractor Dr. Andrea Kannas and sports medicine nurse practitioner Andrea LaRosa; hospitalist Dr. Sandy Craig; and anesthesiologist Dr. Nazek Shabayek.

Gifford’s 2012 Annual Report recognized its long-time providers who contributed short “memoirs” on their experiences in medicine and in the community. Visit www.giffordmed.org to see these personal reflections of commitment from some of the region’s longest serving doctors.

Looking ahead

The medical center continues to enact its strategic plan. One main initiative revolves around its main campus facilities constraints and how Gifford can best move forward to meet the community’s health care needs.

The planned senior living community in Randolph Center provides the dual benefit of providing senior housing and care options while also freeing up space at Gifford for the creation of now industry-standard private patient rooms. The medical center is working through permitting, including state Certificate of Need and Act 250 approval for this project.

The medical center is also looking at other off-site locations for expansion opportunities, including an expansion to the Kingwood Health Center on Route 66. Gifford purchased the Kingwood building in 2007 and renovated the 1978 structure. The building currently provides a mixture of clinic and office space, including Dr. John Westbrook’s private dental practice, outpatient physical therapy, the Diabetes Clinic, mental health and the Vermont Blueprint for Health team. The proposed addition would help alleviate space constraints at Gifford’s downtown facilities.

Also proposed for expansion is the Sharon Health Center. This is the third phase of the planned construction and expansion of the center, which is home to Gifford’s robust sports medicine practice. Since its start in 2005, the health center’s patient numbers, and consequently staff, have grown substantially. The center’s already expanded once and, with two new providers added in 2012 to reduce wait times for care, must expand again.

Finally Gifford has purchased a home at adjacent to the hospital on Maple Street and applied to the Development Review Board to change its use from residential to commercial. Gifford is the owner of several similar homes that serve as office and clinic space as well as temporary housing for new providers coming to the area. It is anticipated that this home would serve as office space, although plans have not yet been finalized.

“The medical center’s careful financial planning and record of success make these facility improvements possible,” says Dimmick.

Awards

Each year the hospital also announces two $1,000 awards at this time: a scholarship in memory of Dr. Richard Barrett and a grant in honor of the late Philip Levesque, Gifford’s president and chief executive officer from 1973-1994.

The Dr. Barrett scholarship has been awarded to Desiree Frappier, an operating room nurse seeking her registered nurse degree at Vermont Technical College. Frappier of Waterbury is striving to become a perioperative nurse.

The Philip D. Levesque Memorial Community Award is given annually to a non-profit community agency or organization involved in the arts, health, community development, education or the environment. The Arts Bus Project, providing arts education to seven communities’ schools, libraries, day cares and more, was the winner of this year’s Levesque award.

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