Carrying on the Tradition of Accessible Care

The following article was published in our 2012 Annual Report.

carrying on the tradition

Above left – One of Gifford’s newer providers, internal medicine physician Dr. Cristine Maloney, lives in Randolph and brings special training in palliative care to Gifford’s already robust advanced illness care program. Here she is pictured with patient David Wark of West Topsham. Above right – Emergency Department physician and clinical director Dr. Saul Nurok joined Gifford in 2010. Here he is shown with patient George Carr of Bethel.

Gifford is fortunate to have many long-serving health care providers, but the medical center would not be successful without the providers who have joined Gifford in more recent years.

Lured in part by the stability and quality provided by the very individuals highlighted in this year’s report, Gifford has welcomed new providers in almost every area of medicine.

For example, joining long-time pediatricians Dr. Lou DiNicola and Dr. Elizabeth Jewett, who have both been at Gifford for 36 years, are Dr. Joe Pelletier, now with Gifford for 10 years, and Dr. Pam Udomprasert, who joined more recently in 2011.

“Joe is now the cornerstone of pediatrics here,” says Dr. DiNicola.

At the Chelsea Health Center, long-time U.S. Navy family physician Dr. Brian Sargent joined physician assistant Starr Strong in practice in 2008. “I am especially appreciative of Brian,” Starr states, “and his commitment to the folks of this valley and the joy he takes in developing relationships in this unique place.”

In Bethel, family nurse practitioner and former emergency department nurse Emily LeVan joined long-time family physicians Dr. Mark Seymour and Dr. Terry Cantlin just this year. “Emily brings her wealth of emergency room experience and a firm commitment to primary care. She also has a strong tie to the area, working with her husband and family running a local farm,” Medicine Division Medical Director Dr. Josh Plavin says.

In the Emergency Department, Drs. Steven Fisher, Josh White, and Saul Nurok have filled the shoes of long-term physicians like Dr. Lucy Wollaeger, who retired from full-time work in 2012 after 21 years at Gifford.

“Often people’s first opinion of the hospital is through the emergency room, and Steve, Saul, and Josh are amazing,” Dr. Ken Borie, a family physician at Gifford for 32 years, says.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Dennis Henzig, a 20-year veteran of Gifford, has been joined by Drs. Jon-Richard Knoff in 2007 and Nazek Shabayek in 2012. Both of Gifford’s orthopedists, Dr. Stephanie Landvater and Dr. Bess Brackett, have come to Gifford within the last decade as Dr. Bill Minsinger prepared to retire.

Hospitalist medicine is a newer specialty. Consequently, it melds newer doctors and mid-level providers with experienced ones who have transitioned from another area of medicine, such as family care. Gifford’s certified nurse-midwifery team additionally melds newer and more experienced members. Ob/gyn physicians Dr. Anne Galante and Dr. Dina Levin have both joined Dr. Brent Burgee, a 27-year veteran of Gifford, and experienced gynecologist Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara.

The most recent addition in the Randolph primary care office is family physician Dr. Barbara Lazar. “Barb brings a wealth of experience, particularly in geriatrics, and is an extremely competent and kind provider. She is an excellent long-term fit for our community-focused practice,” adds Dr. Plavin, who is also among those providers who have committed themselves to the community.

Most of Gifford’s newer providers – of which there are many more – are from the immediate area or have made it their home, raising children here and engrossing themselves in the community in a variety of ways.

Together – even as health care changes and recruitment, particularly of primary care physicians, becomes more and more challenging – they are carrying on the tradition of neighbors helping neighbors and of high-quality, accessible care in our communities.

carrying on the tradition of accessible care

Above left: Family physician Barbara Lazar joined Gifford in 2012, bringing a background in geriatric care. Above right – Certified nurse midwife Donna Butler, pictured here with a patient and her baby, only joined Gifford in 2010, but this Vermont native has more than 25 years of experience.

New Providers

This information appeared in our Spring 2013 Update publication.

Dr. Barbara Lazar

Dr. Barbara Lazar

Dr. Barbara Lazar

Family physician Dr. Barbara Lazar has joined Gifford in Randolph, providing care to all  ages, especially older Vermonters.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr. Lazar did her internship and residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice.

She began her career in 1996 at the Indian Health Service at Northern Navajo Medical Center in New Mexico. Moving to Vermont in 2003, she worked as medical director at Genesis Elder Care in Lebanon, N.H., and as part of the family medicine department at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She has also worked at Brookside Nursing Home in
White River Junction and most recently at the Program for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) in Rutland.

A Sharon resident, wife and mother, Dr. Lazar joined Gifford for the opportunity to work close to home and at a small medical center committed to family care.

Call her at Gifford Family Medicine at 728-2445.

Tara Meyer, APRN

Tara Meyer, APRN

Tara Meyer, APRN

Family nurse practitioner Tara Meyer is the newest member of the family medicine team at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin.

Board-certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and a graduate of the  University of Vermont, Tara has both nursing and family nurse practitioner experience. She worked as an inpatient nurse at Fletcher Allen Health Care, as a nurse practitioner to children and adults with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and most recently as a primary care nurse practitioner for the Program
for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) in Colchester.

A Montpelier resident and wife, she calls her position at Gifford her “dream job.” “I’m very happy. I just love Gifford. A lot of my friends come to Gifford. A lot of my friends have had babies at Gifford,” Tara says. “It feels really great to work in a place where I’m proud of, that’s really invested in the community and has a great reputation.”

Tara provides care to all ages and also works in area nursing homes on Gifford’s
behalf. Call her at the Berlin Health Center at 229-2325.

Brad Salzmann, PA-C

Brad Salzmann, PA-C

Brad Salzmann, PA-C

Experienced orthopedics physician assistant Bradford “Brad” Salzmann has
joined Gifford’s orthopedics team in Randolph, providing office care and assisting
in surgery.

A graduate of Springfield College in Massachusetts, Brad is certified by the National
Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. He’s worked since 1996 in
orthopedics at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Mass., and Wing Memorial
Hospital in Palmer, Mass. He also worked in hospitalist medicine at IPC Hospitalist
of New England.

In addition, he has a master’s degree in disaster medicine and management and serves as part of a disaster medical assistance team that responds to national crises.

Now a Royalton resident, this outdoor enthusiast has joined Gifford for the opportunity to work in Vermont and in a small hospital setting. “I’m really excited to be at Gifford. It’s personable. You get to know people and make more of a difference,” he says.

Call Brad in Gifford’s Randolph orthopedics practice at 728-2455. Orthopedics is also offered at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin.

Experienced Family Physician Brings Focus on Geriatrics to Gifford

Experienced family physician brings focus on geriatrics to Gifford

Dr. Barbara Lazar

As a student at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, Barbara Lazar worked in a nursing home as a nurse’s aide.  She decided then that she wanted to spend her career caring for the elderly.

You could describe it as a calling, but what Lazar really discovered was that when it comes to older people, a little caring goes a long way, and that felt good.

After a stint doing Alzheimer’s research in a lab in Philadelphia, Lazar went on to earn her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  Following her internship and residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Dr. Lazar launched a family medicine career that has focused on geriatrics.

She began her career in 1996 working for the Indian Health Service at Northern Navajo Medical Center in New Mexico. Moving to Vermont in 2003, she served as a medical director at Genesis Elder Care in Lebanon while a member of the department of family medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.  She also worked at Brookside Nursing Home in White River Junction and most recently at PACE (the Program for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly) in Rutland.

She loved her work at PACE to help support older people’s ability to remain in their homes, she says, but was looking for a shorter commute to work.  A Sharon resident, she looked north to Gifford and found a remarkable fit.

“As a provider it’s very attractive to come to a place that has its heart in the right place and that is committed to serving the community.  It feels like a gift to have found a place like this,” says Dr. Lazar, who has started seeing patients at Gifford’s family medicine practice in Randolph.

A warm, caring and thoughtful doctor, it is Dr. Lazar’s goal to provide whole person and whole family care, considering a patient’s psycho-social needs as well as their medical needs.  She’s also hoping to serve the area’s elderly and families struggling to meet an elderly loved one’s needs.

Board certified by the American Board of Family Practice, Dr. Lazar is a native of upstate New York.  She makes her home in Vermont with her husband, Dr. Joel Lazar, a family physician at Dartmouth, and their two sons, ages 13 and 15.  In her free time, Dr. Lazar enjoys hiking and music.

For complete family care, call Dr. Lazar at Gifford Family Medicine at (802) 728-2445 or learn more at www.giffordmed.org.