A new Chronic Pain Healthier Living Workshop series will be held Mondays, Feb. 11 through March 18 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.
Healthier Living Workshops are six-week classes offered through the Vermont Blueprint for Health for people with chronic conditions and their caregivers. They are offered for free throughout the year by Gifford Medical Center and led by trained facilitators.
This new class, being offered for only the second time at Gifford, has a special focus on chronic pain.
The workshop will cover coping with chronic illness and chronic pain; how to feel more in control of your pain and health; improving problem solving skills; how to work with health care providers to maximize your ability to manage your illness and pain; how to balance activity and rest; healthy eating; gentle movement exercises and more.
“Chronic pain … includes many types of conditions from a variety of causes. There is no one treatment or approach that is right for everybody. There are a number of things people with chronic pain can do to feel better … (to) better manage pain and help you become more active and more involved in life,” according to the literature from the Vermont Blueprint for Health.
Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing for the exercise portion and to sign up soon with Gifford Blueprint Patient Access Coordinator Zach Bean at 728-7100, ext. 6.
Gifford Medical Center is located at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) just south of Randolph village. The workshops are held in the Conference Center, which is marked with a green awning. For handicapped access, go in the main entrance and take the elevator to the first floor.
Miss Vermont USA wows Menig nursing home residents
RANDOLPH – If the residents of the Menig Extended Care Facility get their way, Miss Vermont USA 2013 Sarah Westbrook will easily be crowned Miss USA in Las Vegas in June.
Westbrook, 24, visited the Randolph nursing home Wednesday afternoon. With grace and plenty of humor, the Burlington beauty answered questions, posed for pictures and let residents try on her surprisingly heavy crown.
Her visit was organized by friend Jennifer Joseph, an East Montpelier resident and Vermont Technical College nursing student who did her clinical training at Menig.
“I love it. The residents made such an impact on me,” says Joseph, who wanted to give back. “It was the only way I could think to give back some of what they gave me. I just wanted to see them smile, because they all made me smile.”
And smile they did. There was laughter, tears, accolades, and humor.
“I’m very proud to have you. It’s an honor,” 96-year-old resident Annie Gaiko told Westbrook. “You live here in this atmosphere with all of these old bucks, and it’s nice to see a young one. You’ve got the world by the tail.”
Resident Edie Reynolds assured Westbrook that she would go all the way in the competition, calling her beautiful inside and out.
Whether Westbrook, a fitness instructor and student studying health and wellness, becomes Miss USA won’t be known until June. One thing is certain, however. Thirty nursing home residents, some as old as 101, will be pulling for her come pageant night.
RANDOLPH – Nonprofit community organizations have an opportunity to apply for a $1,000 grant.
Gifford Medical Center is seeking applications for the annual Philip D. Levesque Memorial Community Award – a grant established in memory of the hospital’s late administrator.
Applications for the $1,000 grant are due to the hospital by Feb. 11.
The grant was established by Gifford’s Board of Trustees in 1994 in memory of Levesque, Gifford’s beloved president and chief executive officer from 1973-1994.
The award is given annually to an agency or organization involved in the arts, health, community development, education or the environment in Gifford’s service area in recognition of Levesque’s commitment to the White River Valley. Continue reading →
BERLIN – Tara Meyer has realized her grandmother’s dream, and then some.
Meyer’s grandmother wanted to be a nurse during World War II. Ironically, it was demand to act as her family’s caregiver at home that prevented her from realizing her dream.
Meyer wanted to be a furniture maker and traveled from her hometown of North Attleboro, Mass., to Goddard College in Vermont to learn the trade. But a job after college in a family-owned home for adults with developmental disabilities had her looking to nursing.
“I loved working with people. The woodshop was lovely. (But) All the old men got sick of me yacking in their ear,” jokes a warm, friendly and outgoing Meyer. Continue reading →
Free Jan. 31 community discussion focuses on how to live well while dying
RANDOLPH – Few would likely pick a “bad” death. But what is a “good” death and how do you choose one?
Those are the questions regional hospice and health care experts will address at a Thursday, Jan. 31 event at Gifford Medical Center titled “What is a ‘Good’ Death?” The talk, a free community discussion open to all, is from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center. Continue reading →
A bulldozer dangles in this 2007 photo of new bridge construction in Randolph. Provided by Harriet Chase
RANDOLPH – Randolph resident and historian Harriet Chase brings her love of the area to the Gifford Medical Center art gallery Jan. 30-March 27 with a show of local photographs.
She is calling the show “photo-art” after learning to apply graphics to her photographs.
“I first learned computer graphics and was pleased with the simple effects that a few enhancements could give to a really nice photograph,” Chase says. “None of these enhancements ever overpower the image itself, but subtle actions that perhaps highlight an area, a frame consistent with the picture or a computer ‘matting’ make a good photograph all the nicer.” Continue reading →
Proposed senior living community before Randolph Development Review Board next, final phase of Act 250 filing expected soon
RANDOLPH – In an exciting reversal, the District 3 Environmental Commission on Jan. 3 awarded Gifford Medical Center a long-sought partial approval for a planned senior living community in Randolph Center.
The commission granted Gifford approval on an Act 250 criterion regarding construction on primary agriculture soils, clearing the way for the Randolph-based medical center to move forward with filing for the final phases of Act 250 review next month.
“We’re very happy. This is great news. The favorable ruling by Act 250 will allow us to move forward with one of the most important aspects of the project,” said hospital Administrator Joseph Woodin. Continue reading →
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.”
Medical Assistant Noreen Fordham practices evacuating a patient, Surgical Associates Manager Sherry Refino, down a flight of stairs.
The following is an excerpt from our 2011 Annual Report.
In a disaster, the local medical center is a needed resource. With rooms filled with bed-ridden patients spanning multiple floors, a medical center must also be prepared for an emergency within.
Last year, Gifford held one of its largest emergency preparedness training events in recent years. In intense trainings held over two days, a total of 80 employees learned firsthand how put out a fire, communicate via emergency radios, and evacuate patients. They studied the locations of exits, emergency phones and medical gas shut-off valves. They learned about decontaminating patients and personal protection, and dealing with aggressive people.
Environmental Services Manager Ruthie Adams learns to use a fire extinguisher.
Ruthie Adams, Environmental Services manager, was among those who went through the training.
“I think it benefits the entire organization to have folks who understand key and critical points, especially non-clinical staff, such as how to evacuate a patient using an Evacusled, how to communicate on a radio properly, and just being a key go-to person in the event of an emergency,” says Ruthie, who used a fire extinguisher for the first time and now uses radio communication in her job.
The training was just one way Gifford prepares for an emergency. Employees take annual courses and exams electronically on workplace safety, such as fire, electrical, disaster preparedness, and violent situations.
Staff practice securing a patient, played by Environmental Services Team Leader Ralph Herrick, in the new Evacusled, used to evacuate bed-ridden patients.
A 2010 grant supported a study, changes, and significant educational outreach on Gifford’s emergency codes. These codes are what employees hear called out as overhead pages during emergencies and include codes from fire to cardiac arrest to a violent situation.
Monthly fire drills are held regularly throughout all shifts and in varying areas of the hospital.
Physical therapist Patrice Conard and materials clerk Alice Whittington participate in a scavenger hunt utilizing their newly learned radio communication skills.
Director of Quality Management Sue Peterson defines an emergency as “anything that stretches the limits of our normal operations.”
Prior to October’s larger training, smaller emergency trainings were held with managers and facilities staff on radio use and responding to a “code amber,” which is a missing patient or person. Future drills on other codes are planned.
When mass casualty situations like a bus accident with multiple victims arise, which they occasionally do, follow-up meetings are held to discuss what went well and where staff needs to make improvements. An essential Emergency Operations Plan has been
painstakingly updated over the last year, detailing Gifford’s response to a variety of emergency circumstances. The plan continues to be updated so hospital staff can remain ready to address changing threats and adverse events.
“As a medical center committed to our community and as Vermonters with a can-do attitude, we do well,” says Sue. “But preparing for the diverse threats in today’s world is a huge task. Emergency preparedness planning is essential to ensuring that we as a caregiver keep our patients safe in a crisis.”
Say “Gifford” and locals no doubt think of Randolph’s long-standing hospital. Say “Dr. Gifford” and the hospital’s founder and namesake comes to mind for most. Except Priscilla Carpenter, that is. To Carpenter, “Dr. Gifford” was better known as “Uncle Pearl.”
John Pearl Gifford was the son of an East Randolph farmer who went on to Dartmouth College and then Dartmouth Medical School, graduating as valedictorian in 1897. A respected local physician, he purchased a South Main Street house in 1903 and with two nurses established the hospital there.
Thirty years later in 1933, he nicked a finger on his right hand while performing surgery on a patient with a then-deadly streptococcus infection and died several weeks later.
Nearly 80 years after this death, Gifford – the hospital – still remains at that South Main Street address, and Dr. Gifford remains entrenched in its name and history. In fact, an oversized photo and a biography adorn a wall at the hospital. And now beside it is a newly created Gifford family tree.
The genealogy was created thanks to the efforts of Gifford graphic designer Tammy Hooker; long-time hospital employee Marilyn Sargeant, a great niece of Dr. Gifford; and Sargeant’s sister, Carpenter.
Carpenter, 90, of Randolph, scoured records, relying chiefly on a genealogy created by a cousin and calling relatives to fill in the blanks of the family history that spans six generations. Carpenter relayed the details to Sargeant, who relayed them to Hooker, who created the family tree.
Sargeant, 76, of Randolph Center is too young to remember Uncle Pearl. She was born after his death. Carpenter was 10 when he died and remembers it well for she was suffering from chicken pox at the time. “I was bed-ridden when he died,” says Carpenter.
Uncle Pearl had visited a sick Carpenter at her home before he died. As the local doctor, “he took care of us,” Carpenter says. But in those days there was no such thing as annual exams and well-child visits. “You didn’t go to the doctor’s unless you were sick.”
Dr. Gifford sought treatment for his own hand infection at Deaconess Hospital in Boston. The recommendation, recalls Carpenter, was to amputate but Gifford’s wife, Eliza, refused to allow it because of what it would mean to Dr. Gifford’s surgical career.
Eliza and Dr. Gifford, as the family tree shows, never had children of their own. Eliza Gifford died in 1964.
Sargeant and Carpenter are the last surviving children of Dr. Gifford’s nephew Edson Gifford Sr.
Sargeant has worked at Gifford for more than 40 years. She is Medical Staff Services manager. Sargeant and Carpenter’s mother, Loeata, was also employed by Gifford as a nurse. She graduated from the hospital’s then-nursing school in 1917.
Carpenter remembers her parents visiting Uncle Pearl at the hospital and sitting on an oversized wooden lounge in Dr. Gifford’s office while she waited. That lounge is now in the hospital’s main lobby for use by patients and visitors.
Seeing these pieces of their past, the new family tree and their surname still so prominently displayed on the hospital is a remarkable tribute, the sisters say. “It’s a great honor.”
From left, sisters Priscilla Carpenter of Randolph and Marilyn Sargeant of Randolph Center pose with Gifford Medical Center graphic designer Tammy Hooker of Barre in front of a new family tree at the hospital. The graphic features hospital founder Dr. John Gifford’s genealogy. Dr. Gifford was Carpenter and Sargeant’s great uncle.