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.
Students from the Baptist Fellowship of Randolph work with Menig Extended Care Facility nursing home residents to create boxes of gifts for needy children around the world through Operation Christmas Child. Through donations from Menig residents and staff as well as businesses, the group was able to make 100 boxes.
The Baptist Fellowship continues to collect shoeboxes filled with small toys, school supplies and hygiene items through Monday. Drop-off hours are today from 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday and Friday from 3-7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. and Monday from 9 a.m. to noon. A packing party, where another 200 boxes are expected to be created, will also be held Saturday from 2-4 p.m. For more information on what to include in your box, stop by the church for a brochure or visit www.samaritanspurse.org.
Among the participants was Luke Sweet, who received an Operation Christmas Child box as an orphan in the Ukraine. Here Sweet, now the adopted son of Pastor George and Gina Sweet of Randolph Center, is pictured with 99-year-old resident Della Allen.
Gifford celebrated Halloween yesterday with staff dressing up, a pumpkin-decorating contest, The Robin’s Nest kids parading through the hospital, and Menig Extended Care Facility members welcoming trick or treaters at night.
Mark your calendars: Gifford Medical Center’s Annual Craft Fair in support of the hospital’s Adult Day Program is coming Nov. 16 and 17.
The Craft Fair – now in its 17th year – takes place in the hospital’s Conference Center, hallways, spacious visitors’ entrance and the adjoining Menig Extended Care Facility’s large living room from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17.
The fair is an opportunity to start your holiday shopping while also supporting a worthy cause: Gifford Adult Day Program activities.
Adult Day provides safe day care, personal hygiene help, medication administration, healthy meals, activities and socialization to the elderly and disabled below the Bethel Health Center on Route 107.
The fair also supports our local craftspeople.
Items for sale will include handcrafted jewelry, homemade baked goods and foods, woodcrafts, quilting, homemade pillows, hand painted Christmas ornaments, and more made by area crafters.
The fair is open to the public and all are welcome.
Vendor space is still available, although vendors signing up now must supply their own table. Call organizer Bonnie Pettit at 763-8828 to become a vendor or learn more.
Gifford is on Route 12 south of Randolph village at 44 S. Main St. The Conference Center entrance is just off from the patient parking area and is marked. The handicapped-accessible visitors’ entrance, where crafts are also expected to be on display, is on the southern end of the hospital. Signs will also help guide you.
Northfield fiber artist Pamela Druhen, far left, recently shared some of her unique “Threadscapes” with Menig Extended Care Facility residents.
The pieces meld quilting and thread work to create what look like paintings in fabric and thread.
Some of Druhen’s smaller pieces are on display in Gifford Medical Center’s gallery in Randolph. She brought larger pieces to adjoining Menig to provide the nursing home residents their own private art show. Staff and residents peppered her with questions on her technique and were astounded by her work.
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott arrives at Gifford on Tuesday (Photo provided by Robin Palmer)
In the final day of his “Cycling Vermont’s 14” 500-mile bicycle tour of the state’s 14 counties, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott stopped at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph early Tuesday afternoon.
Scott, who is seeking re-election next month, was met by a small group of Gifford employees and community supporters. Scott briefly talked fitness as vital to good health, and safety. On the first day of his journey he encountered railroad tracks and cracked his helmet, he said.
On the last day, with a new helmet securely in place, his visit to Gifford led to an impromptu tour of the medical center’s Menig Extended Care Facility nursing home, which Gifford is trying to rebuild in Randolph Center as part of a senior living community.
Scott, riding with John Connor, was scheduled to conclude his eight-day journey on the chilly Tuesday in Barre at 5:30 p.m. Continue reading →
Vermont Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living Commissioner Dr. Susan Wehry, far right, and Vermont Division and Licensing and Protection Director Suzanne Leavitt, far left, present Menig Extended Care Facility Administrator Linda Minsinger and Director of Nursing Cindy Richardson, center, a Nursing Home Quality Recognition on June 6 in a ceremony in Colchester.
RANDOLPH – For an eighth consecutive year, the Menig Extended Care Facility at Gifford Medical Center has received a quality recognition from the state of Vermont and Vermont Health Care Association (VHCA).
The Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living and VHCA awarded Menig the Nursing Home Quality Recognition on June 6 in a ceremony at the Hilton in Colchester.
Receiving the recognition on Menig’s behalf were nursing home Administrator Linda Minsinger and Director of Nursing Cindy Richardson.
“I’m very proud of my staff. I know the residents receive excellent physical care, but are also treated with respect and dignity,” said Richardson, noting staff members demonstrate their care and compassion for the residents daily through every conversation, hand held, or care administered.
The award, offered annually to nursing homes in Vermont meeting certain criteria, looks at resident and family satisfaction, state survey results, participation and data entry into the National Advancing Excellence Quality Program, and lack of family complaints.
Good care contributes greatly to achieving those markers, but Richardson noted that it takes a larger team to have such a high-quality home for residents.
“The core of the recognition is the aides who give them care and the nurses who guide the care,” Richardson said, “but the facility is also clean, it has good food and it’s well-maintained. That’s what also makes it a quality place to live and work.”
The nursing home’s dedicated group of volunteers and chaplaincy volunteers also contribute greatly to Menig’s warmth and offerings, Richardson said.
“I’m very proud that Gifford staff has done that great of a job for all these years to meet the state’s highest award for quality for a nursing home. It shows what a great team we have working together,” Minsinger added.
Named for the late Howard and Gladys Menig of Braintree, Menig was first built attached to Gifford Medical Center in 1998 to provide enhanced quality of care to residents of the state-closed Tranquility Nursing Home in Randolph.
Repeatedly recognized for its high-quality care both on a state and national level, 30-bed Menig is the only nursing home in Orange County and highly sought after as a place to live one’s final years.
Now the hospital is hoping to provide care and housing options to a greater number of seniors through the creation of a senior living community in Randolph Center, to include independent living and a reconstructed Menig as well as assisted living in the future.
“This quality recognition is further evidence that we’re doing the right thing for our residents and poised to make an even greater difference in Randolph Center,” Director of Development and Public Relations Ashley Lincoln said.
Other/past awards for Menig
2012 Honor Roll, U.S. News and World Report (a recognition given to only 39 nursing homes nationally receiving four straight quarters of five-star rankings in all categories evaluated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
2012 Best Nursing Homes, U.S. News and World Report (award also received in 2011)
Excellence in Action Award, from national resident/family surveying company My InnerView (2008-2011)
Nursing Home Quality Recognition, Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living and the Vermont Health Care Association (2011 and 2012)
Nursing Home Quality Award, Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living and the Vermont Health Care Association (2005-2010)
Gold Star Employer Award, Vermont Health Care Association (received during the seven consecutive years – 2005-2011 – the award was offered)
Registered Nurse of the Year, awarded to Menig nurse Judy Libby, Vermont Health Care Association (2006)
Nursing Director of the Year, awarded to staff member Brooks Chapin, Vermont Health Care Association (2005)
The Menig Extended Care Facility in Randolph celebrated a Day of Play on Thursday, May 17 in celebration of Older American’s Month.
The event was held at the urging of Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) Commissioner Dr. Susan Wehry, who sent two members of her staff, Will Rowe and Mary Woodruff, to join Menig nursing home residents, activities staff, volunteers and seventh-grade Community Connections class “buddies” from Randolph Union High School.
For their Day of Play, the Menig residents and visitors participated in a “scavenger hunt” that had them hugging trees, balancing things on their heads, wearing newspaper hats, forming a conga line by cars, posing by a flagpole and much more. The seventh graders then hung out with their Menig pals before heading back to class.
Gifford Medical Center’s volunteer Chaplaincy Program welcomed four new members on April 12. The program, which provides non-sectarian counseling to patients and the hospital’s nursing home residents, was founded more than a decade ago.
RANDOLPH – The volunteer Chaplaincy Program at Gifford Medical Center welcomed four new chaplains into its ranks in April.
Majita Miller of Randolph, Christopher Fuhrmeister of Randolph, Deborah Aldrich of Stockbridge and Lydia English of Williamstown joined the hospital’s 19 volunteer chaplains on April 12 after completing a seven-week training program.
The occasion was marked with special certifications presented by The Rev. Timothy Eberhardt, spiritual care coordinator at Gifford, and with music by Islene Runningdeer, a Brookfield music therapist.
While the volunteer chaplains are from numerous congregations in the greater Gifford area, they are carefully trained to present “a non-sectarian caring presence,” responding to the spiritual needs and concerns of all patients, The Rev. Eberhardt noted.
Chaplains visit hospitalized patients daily through all stages of life – from the Birthing Center to the Garden Room for end-of-life patients – and spend considerable time at Gifford’s nursing home, the Menig Extended Care Facility.
Another seven-week training course will be held in the evenings this fall. Anyone who is interested in the program or would like to learn more is encouraged to call Eberhardt at (802) 728-2107.
Gov. Peter Shumlin cuts a celebratory cake with Menig Extended Care Facility resident Edith Reynolds as nursing home leaders Linda Minsinger, Brooks Chapin and Cindy Richardson and Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living Commissioner Dr. Susan Wehry look on.
RANDOLPH – Wearing a broad smiling and expressing his sincerest of thanks, Gov. Peter Shumlin and the state’s top nursing home officials made a stop at the state’s top nursing home Friday afternoon.
Gov. Shumlin; Vermont Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living Commissioner Dr. Susan Wehry; Vermont Health Care Association Executive Director Laura Pelosi; Division of Licensing and Protection Director Suzanne Leavitt; and Assistant Director Fran Keeler all visited Randolph’s Menig Extended Care Facility to meet with residents, their families, and staff and to offer words of praise.
Menig has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s best 39 nursing homes. The findings are from a review of more than 15,500 nursing homes nationally. Chosen as winners were those that received four straight quarters of perfect five-star ratings from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in all three areas that CMS evaluates – health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality of care.
Menig, part of Gifford Medical Center, was the only Vermont nursing home recognized. It was also the only in the two-state region of Vermont and New Hampshire, where, according to Medicare, there are 118 nursing homes.
Praising both Gifford and Menig, the governor noted “It’s widely known … that this is the best little hospital around.” He called Menig a “professional, clean, quality, compassionate place to grow older” and a “tribute to the community.”
On a statewide level, “It makes us proud. We’re proud of you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Dr. Wehry said it wasn’t her first trip to Menig to hand out quality awards and it surely wouldn’t be her last.
“I have the best job,” she said. “My job is to make Vermont the best state in the nation to grow old with dignity, and I can’t think of a better partner.”
Leavitt thanked residents for inviting her into their home and thanked staff, especially those who come in at “Oh-dark-30,” for the job they do. “You are the folks who are the foundation of success of a facility like this and it doesn’t go unnoticed,” Leavitt said.
Gov. Peter Shumlin, center, poses with Menig Extended Care Facility staff at a Friday ceremony where the Randolph nursing home was recognized as the best in a two-state region.
Hospital and Menig leaders too thanked the staff, describing the nursing home’s past and its future.
Menig got its start in 1998 to help meet the community’s need for nursing home care following the closure of larger, 53-bed Tranquility Nursing Home in Randolph. Part of non-profit Gifford, the nursing home initially had 20 beds but grew to 30 beds with an addition that opened in 2006.
The only nursing home in Orange County, it has repeatedly been recognized for its quality, including receiving seven consecutive Nursing Home Quality recognitions and Gold Star Employer awards from the state. It has also earned national awards and has a substantial waiting list for care.
The hospital is now striving to meet more of the community’s needs for senior living opportunities by constructing a new nursing home to replace the existing Menig, a 40-unit independent living facility, and possibly one-day assisted living in a picturesque rural setting near Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center. The existing nursing home would then become private, inpatient rooms.
Gov. Shumlin offered his support for the senior living community project, noting he’d stand behind the project “all the way.”
The governor and other state officials all spent considerable time with the nursing home residents, introducing themselves, chatting, and posing for pictures.
Many residents were delighted to meet the governor and other state officials. “He’s gone over big,” said resident Leland Flint.
Many were also delighted to hear kind words about their home.
Dr. Wehry and Menig resident Stu Reynolds
“You can’t find anything better,” was a common theme. Glen Eldredge said it. His wife Shirley lives in Menig. Stu Reynolds said it. He lives in Menig with this wife and his mother-in-law.
Flint said it too. “Everything here is great. Nothing could be better.”
U.S. News and World Report, Medicare data, and the state’s leaders seem to agree.