A New Home for All Rehabilitation, Billing

occupational therapist Ann Brunelle

This article was featured in our Spring 2014 Update Community Newsletter.

The Kingwood Health Center in Randolph underwent an expansion in the fall that both improved the Route 66 health center and freed up needed space at Gifford’s downtown campus.

The addition was completed in November and over the winter several Gifford departments made the move to the impressive, new space. Those departments included:

  • Occupational and speech therapies, which joined outpatient physical therapy on the ground floor of Kingwood
  • Billing
  • Accounting

The move of occupational and speech therapies creates a full-spectrum, multidisciplinary rehabilitation center at Kingwood. Added is some gym space, six new exam rooms and improved staff areas.

“Everyone loves the new building,” notes Megan Sault, the rehabilitation department’s operations coordinator.

Having all rehabilitation services in one, convenient location has reduced confusion among patients as to where they should go for their appointment and allows for a collaborative approach to care.

“It’s really great to be so close to team members and share this beautiful facility,” says speech therapist Kathy Carver, who on the day we visited was meeting with patient Terry White of Randolph Center. Terry, who had a stroke, had also seen physical therapy that day, allowing him to make just one trip to Kingwood, and allowing collaboration on Terry’s care.

For others the new location near Interstate 89 is just convenient.

Occupational therapy patient Michael Dempsey of Brookfield was recovering from a broken arm that had left him with shoulder pain. “It’s nice, got a lot of room and is closer to my house. It’s convenient,” Michael remarked.

On the top floor is new office space for accounting as well as billing, or what the medical center calls patient financial services. This is where patients can go to pay their bills or make billing inquiries.

To find the billing office, park in the upper drive and use the door on the left. There are signs inside.

Gifford first bought the Kingwood building in 2007 as an opportunity to expand services. Initially the flat-roofed, dark structure underwent renovations. The new addition seamlessly expanded the structure toward the wood-line.

Also located at the health center are Gifford’s Blueprint Community Health Team, mental health practitioner Cory Gould, the Diabetes Clinic and a private practice dentist, Dr. John Westbrook – all on the top floor.

Call the health center at 728-7100 and listen for options for reaching the various departments.

Health Connections caseworker Michele Packard remains at the main medical center. Michele provides patients help accessing insurance and free care options. (Go in the main entrance at Gifford’s main campus and look for signs to find Michele.)

Contributing to the Economy as an Employer

Kingwood Health Center

The renovated Kingwood Health Center on Route 66 in Randolph is now home to Gifford’s Diabetes Clinic and outpatient rehabilitation services.

The following is an excerpt from our 2011 Annual Report.

There are a variety of ways to define the health of a community. Gifford often defines it in  terms of physical wellness. But a hospital as a local employer also impacts a region’s economic health.

“The economic health of our community is tied to the stability and health of its institutions  as well as its individuals. Gifford provides both health services for area residents and a broad range of employment opportunities in our community,” notes Julie Iffland, executive director of the Randolph Area Community Development Corp.

The U.S. Department of Labor ranks Gifford 29th in the state among the 50 largest  employers. A second ranking by Vermont Business Magazine places Gifford at 42nd in Vermont for number of full-time employees. (The difference between the two rankings is that U.S. Department of Labor data does not tally businesses with multiple sites, like Shaw’s supermarkets. Instead locations are counted separately affecting overall employee
numbers.)

Of Gifford’s total 589 full and part-time employees, 98 percent live in Vermont, including 71 percent who live in what the hospital deems its primary service area, where they are likely paying taxes, using services and shopping.

Drive by Gifford at lunchtime and the economic impact is evident. Employees regularly trek into town to run errands and to shop.

Gifford's impact on Randolph

Many Gifford employees walk downtown on their lunch break to run errands and shop.

In fiscal year 2011, Gifford spent more than $5.5 million with vendors in 99 Vermont  towns, including more than $1.1 million spent in Randolph alone.

The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems estimates that its member hospitals directly provide more than 15,000 jobs in Vermont, injecting more than $309 million into state government programs (through tax payments and the like) and generating more than $1.79 billion in total economic impact in Vermont in 2009 dollars.

But Gifford’s impact goes beyond simple buying and spending, notes Ben Merrill, Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. “Gifford is not only a great employer, but a great neighbor,” says Ben. He points to hospital facilities and recent renovation projects, like the Kingwood Health Center on the Route 66 corridor and a house on Highland Avenue in the downtown.

“Everything Gifford touches is better,” Ben says, calling these projects, while fairly small in size, huge in impact. “Improvement projects like these transform entire neighborhoods.”

Gifford is also in many ways a community center. “Gifford has opened its doors to the community. It’s a very warm and welcoming place,” he says, pointing to the active Conference Center and catering service as an example.

Having a strong medical center further enhances the area overall, causing a multiplier effect in the community.

“When people look to relocate to an area, to have a medical center, an all-inclusive medical center, that’s a big draw,” Ben says. “Employers like Gifford attract people who will come and stay and make their own investment in the community.”

Gifford Medical Center

Gifford bought and renovated this apartment house on Highland Avenue, shown before and after improvements were made. The home is used as temporary housing for new Medical Staff moving to the area.