Feb. 8 Talk Aims to Offer Support to Chronically Ill

Dr. Brian SargentRANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center is launching a new discussion group for the chronically ill and their caregivers.

To be held the second Wednesday of each month from 3-4 p.m. in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center, the first meeting is Feb. 8 and will feature a talk by Chelsea Health Center family physician Dr. Brian Sargent.

Dr. Sargent will discuss chronic illnesses, which can include anyone with diabetes, asthma, COPD, Crohn’s disease, chronic pain, heart conditions, arthritis and much more.

The group is meant to offer both educational information and peer support.

“We’re encouraging people to learn through education and heal through friendships,” says LaRae Francis, Gifford’s Blueprint project manager.

The group is part of Gifford’s efforts to locally implement the Vermont Blueprint for Health, which aims to enhance care and self-management for the chronically ill.

Through the Blueprint, Gifford already offers Healthier Living Workshops. For those who have taken the workshops, this new group may be a welcome next step of ongoing support.
Participation in the Healthier Living Workshops is by no means required, however. The group is open to all, including those who are caring for or offering support to someone with a chronic illness.

Long-time Gifford diabetes educator and dietitian Jennifer Stratton will serve as the group’s facilitator with help from Gifford Blueprint staff.

The meetings are free. No registration is required.

The Conference Center is on the first floor of the medical center. Use the entrance marked with a green awning, or, for handicapped accessibility, take the elevator from the lobby to the first floor. Gifford is at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12 south of the village) in Randolph. Learn more online at www.giffordmed.org.