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.

Physician assistant Jayne Collins joins Berlin orthopedics practice

Gifford Medical Center

Jayne Collins

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.

Family nurse practitioner Tara Meyer finds ‘dream job’ at Gifford

Tara Meyer

Tara Meyer

‘Nana would be so proud’

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