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Top News from 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  FOR MORE INFORMATION:
August 30, 2002                                            Ron Hallman, 388-4744

Dr. Eric Benz, a Board Certified orthopedic Surgeon and 1988 graduate of Middlebury College, will join Dr. Benjamin Rosenberg on October 1st at Champlain Valley Orthopedics on Exchange Street. Dr. Benz will be available to see patients in the office and will have surgical privileges at Porter Hospital.

Dr. Benz graduated Harvard Medical School in 1994 and completed his general surgery internship at the University of Rochester in 1995 and his orthopedic surgery residency in 1999. During the past three years, Dr. Benz has been a practicing physician with the United States Air Force at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

Dr. Benz is a native of Addison County and looks forward to returning to his community to practice medicine.  Appointments can be made by calling 388-3194.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  FOR MORE INFORMATION:
August 16, 2002                                            Ron Hallman, 388-4744

For the first time in its history, Porter Medical Center has received charitable donations from our community in excess of $1 million for a single year.  As of August 15th, Porter has received donations, grants and trust income totaling $1,085,118 during the first eleven months of the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30th.  This amount represents both unrestricted donations and donor restricted pledge payments toward the $4 million dollar 75th Anniversary Capital Campaign, including $215,891 from Middlebury College toward its $1 million capital campaign pledge.

"We are deeply gratified to have reached this level of community support of our important community mission and our plans to improve our facilities to better serve our patients", said PMC President James L. Daily.  Porter is in the process of developing final designs and financial models for the project, as well as preparing its "Certificate of Need" application to the State of Vermont to gain final regulatory approval for the "North Project".

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  FOR MORE INFORMATION:
July 22, 2002                                            Ron Hallman, 388-4744
 

"North Project" Planning Moving Forward

Planning on many levels continues on the "North Project" with ongoing meetings of "user groups" (physicians, nurses, therapists, managers and other key staff members who are sharing their ideas and concerns with our architect), as well as bi-weekly "team meetings" at Bread Loaf Construction and concurrent discussions/coordination with our consultants for the "Certificate of Need" application.

Staff and physicians are welcome to stop by the small conference room on the administrative hallway to review the most recent drawings. A second/similar display board will be placed in the link in July.

We are still working toward a late Fall target for completion of the CON application, at which time the Porter Hospital Board will determine when to file the application with the State of Vermont.

We will continue to communicate our progress with our hospital and medical staff via the Pipeline, periodic memorandums and the display boards previously mentioned.

Porter OB/GYN Update

The new modular office building for the Porter OB/GYN medical practice will arrive on campus in early July. It will be located adjacent to Middlebury Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Anne Galante and Dr. Elizabeth Call will begin accepting referrals and appointments on August 12th. It is anticipated that the practice will open in September.

Dr. Eric Benz to Join Dr. Rosenberg this Fall

Dr. Eric Benz, an orthopedic surgeon and graduate of Middlebury College, will be joining Dr. Ben Rosenberg in his practice this Fall. Dr. Benz has been serving as an orthopedic surgeon in the U.S. Air Force and will be discharged in September.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  FOR MORE INFORMATION:
May 22, 2002                                             Ron Hallman, 388-4744

Porter Hospital President James L. Daily announced last week that the hospital has recruited a second new OB/GYN physician to begin practicing in our community by next fall.

Dr. Elizabeth Call has signed a contract with Porter Hospital and will soon submit an application to the medical staff for active staff privileges in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Call will join Dr. Anne Galante at Porter OB/GYN with an office on the campus of Porter Hospital. According to Daily, these successful recruiting efforts are the culmination of nine months of work and meetings by a special OB/GYN Task Force which  was created in the spring of last year.

The special OB/GYN Task Force, comprised of Porter Hospital board members, physicians and staff was created to explore what role the hospital should play in addressing the medical needs of our community following the closing of the Porter Obstetrics and Gynecology in May of 2001. The task force met numerous times during the past several months and explored this issue with a variety of individuals including each of the physicians who currently practice Obstetrics and Gynecology at Porter, other physicians, Porter's maternity nurses, a nurse-midwife, community members and women enrolled in Porter's prenatal education classes, Daily said. "The purpose of these meetings was to take a comprehensive look at the role that Porter Hospital has played in recent years in recruiting additional providers to our area, what has been learned regarding the community response to different types of providers and what the most appropriate and effective interface can be with other local providers of women's health care services" he said.

In addition to Daily, members of the task force include Porter board members Louise Sandberg, Steve Terry and Scott Cooper, President of the Medical Staff, Dr. George Fjeld, Vice President for Patient Care Services, Patricia Jannene, and Vice President for Practice Management, Joanne Stetson.

"We have gone through a period of major change, challenge and learning regarding the role that Porter Hospital can and should play in addressing both the clinical needs and consumer expectations of the women of our community," Daily said.  "It was clear from our conversations with clinicians and community members that there is absolute consensus on the immediate need for additional providers of OB/GYN services in our region, thus we are thrilled to have recruited Dr. Galante and Dr. Call and look forward to them both joining our staff later this year."

Dr. Call is currently working in a private practice in Essex Junction and Dr. Galante is completing her Residency Program at Albany Medical Center.  Both physicians look forward to moving to our area over the summer and be available to see patients by early summer or late fall.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  FOR MORE INFORMATION:
May 9, 2002                                              Ron Hallman, 388-4744

A diverse group of local teachers, parents, health care providers, human service professionals and others are preparing to pilot a school based comprehensive school health program within the Addison Central Supervisory Union district.   The link between health and learning and the recent trends in child and adolescent health has prompted the desire and need to create a more healthful environment both in school and within the community.

The movement toward a comprehensive and coordinated approach is an expansion of the Middlebury-Addison School Health  (M*A*S*H) group which is made up of local physicians, school nurses, health department personnel, and other service organizations. This group has been meeting since 1995 with the purpose of improving access and coordination of quality health care children and adolescents in our county.   Thanks to the combined efforts of this group, the Middlebury-Addison County area has received recognition around the state and nationally for "creating a partnership that works."  Dr. Brakeley and Mary Gill, RN, from Mary Hogan School were invited to share the work of our community at the Center for Disease Control's "National Leadership Conference to Strengthen Education and Coordinated School Health Programs in Washington, D,C.

In addition to M*A*S*H, the Addison Central Supervisory Union Health Advisory Council, which is comprised of school personnel, parents, health and human service and professionals from a number of disciplines, has been actively collaborating on a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing student health and social well-being. The work of the council includes: strengthening parental and community involvement in school, expanding student health and guidance services, and the adoption and implementation of a K-12 health curriculum. Both MASH and the ACSU Health Advisory Groups endorse the Vermont Comprehensive Coordinated School Health Program Model as a means to provide more structure to the work of the two groups.  The coordinated school health model combines eight essential components: Family /Community Involvement, Health Services, Health Curriculum, Physical education, Nutrition/Food Service, Guidance and School Counseling, School Climate/Environment, Staff Wellness, Co-curricular programs.  

According to Dr. Brakeley, the objectives of the new program will be to address the health of area students in a broader, more (holistic) approach than simply the traditional "physical health" that most people associate with this term. "Being healthy and ready to learn certainly does include a student's physical health and well-being, but it also includes their emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual health," she said. "This includes all kinds of behaviors and risk factors such as character development, violence prevention, creating healthy relationships and promoting a love of life long learning."

The new proposal for the establishment of a district-wide "Coordinated School Health Program" has gained the support of ACSU Superintendent James Lombardo and other school leaders as an important element toward improving educational outcomes for students. The American Cancer Society (ACS), strongly endorses the concept of coordinated school health as an critical step in cancer prevention. ACS sponsored The National School Health Leadership Institute for the past three years, of which Mary Gill was invited to participate.   "The leadership, knowledge and support I have received within the district and through the work of the ACS Leadership Institute has help tremendously in preparing our district to implement this program in our area."  

The next steps necessary to transform this vision into reality include presenting  this proposal to all area school principals to solicit their support, communicating with the parent community about the advantages of this program to their children, and securing a coordinator for the program. "We are excited at the prospect of launching this new initiative. The entire ACSU Health Advisory counsel believes this coordinated and comprehensive approach will allow us to build the structures, both in the schools and the community which promote and support optimal student health and well being."  Gill said.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  FOR MORE INFORMATION:
February 4, 2002                                           Ron Hallman, 388-4744

Porter Medical Center has received a grant of $1,000 from the Kelsey Trust in support of the Hospital's "Reach Out and Read" program based at Middlebury Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. The program was started in 1999 through an earlier grant from the Kelsey Trust and other local funding sources.

According to PMC President, James L. Daily, "Reach Out and Read" is modeled after a project first introduced at Boston City Hospital in 1989 with a goal of using pediatric office staff to demonstrate to parents the value of sharing books with young children. During well-child visits, the doctors and nurses provide each patient (6 months to 5 years) with a developmentally appropriate book, and provide the parent information about the importance of reading.  The physician may also use the book as a tool in the assessment of the child relative to the development of motor skills, language socialization and autonomy.  As a result of the 1999 Kelsey Trust grant and other outside grant funding, more than 3,800 books have been distributed to area children through this program.

In the January, 2001, edition of the medical journal "Pediatrics" an article appeared regarding the effectiveness of clinic-based literacy programs such as "Reach Out and Read".  "Over the last 2 decades, educators and psychologist have viewed the enhancement of parent-child reading activities as a means toimprove language development and school performance, and have designed interventions to increase both the quantity and the quality of parent-child reading activities.  Most recently, pediatric visits have been viewed as a unique opportunity to increase parent-child reading activities because of the regularity of medical visits and the importance that parents place on advice given by their physician. Based on recent research, such reading programs have been proven to be an important intervention, promoting parental literacy support and enhancing language development in preschool children."

A separate study on this topic conducted at Brown University School of Medicine concluded: "Success as an adult depends in part on the learning and development that occur in infancy and early childhood. Because many children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds lack environments that promote language and literacy growth, they are at risk for failing to develop essential literacy skills. Several studies have evaluated the efficacy of literacy promoting programs delivered by pediatric primary care providers which indicate that family literacy orientation can be increased by a simple intervention in which pediatricians distribute books to children at health maintenance visits. These findings suggest that pediatricians can play a role in enriching children's early literacy environments, especially for children at high risk of school failure."

The Middlebury Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine office serves more than 150 children per week. The purpose of the program is to increase both the pleasure and the skill of reading and being read to, and to help the children enter school with an affinity for books, ready to read, and able to keep up with theirpeers.

During the past three years, this program has been well received by families and perceived to be highly valuable as a clinical tool by the providers of the practice according to Daily. 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  FOR MORE INFORMATION:
January 31, 2002                                           Ron Hallman, 388-4744

Porter Recruits New OB/GYN Specialist to Area

MIDDLEBURY-Porter Hospital President James L. Daily announced last week that the hospital has recruited a new OB/GYN physician to begin practicing in our community by next fall.

Dr. Anne Galante has signed a contract with Porter Hospital and will soon submit an application to the medical staff for active staff privileges in obstetrics and gynecology.  According to Daily, this successful recruiting effort is the culmination of nine months of work and meetings by a special OB/GYN Task Force which was created in the spring of last year.

The special OB/GYN Task Force, comprised of Porter Hospital board members, physicians and staff was created to explore what role the hospital should play in addressing the medical needs of our community following the closing of the Porter Obstetrics and Gynecology in May of 2001. The task force met numerous times during the past several months and explored this issue with a variety of individuals including each of the physicians who currently practice Obstetrics and Gynecology at Porter, other physicians, Porter's maternity nurses, a nurse-midwife, community members and women enrolled in Porter's prenatal education classes, Daily said.

"The purpose of these meetings was to take a comprehensive look at the role that Porter Hospital has played in recent years in recruiting additional providers to our area, what has been learned regarding the community response to different types of providers and what the most appropriate and effective interface can be with other local providers of women's health care services" he said.

In addition to Daily, members of the task force include Porter board members Louise Sandberg, Steve Terry and Scott Cooper, President of the Medical Staff, Dr. George Fjeld, Vice President for Patient Care Services, Patricia Jannene, and Vice President for Practice Management, Joanne Stetson.

"We have gone through a period of major change, challenge and learning regarding the role that Porter Hospital can and should play in addressing both the clinical needs and consumer expectations of the women of our community," Daily said.  "It was clear from our conversations with clinicians and community members that we needed to find a highly skilled physician who would work collaboratively within our existing provider community and attract new patients to Porter Hospital. We feel as if Anne Galante meets each of these criteria and we are looking forward to having her join our staff later this year."

The hospital is continuing its recruiting efforts in hopes of securing a partner for Dr. Galante in the near future.  Dr. Galante is currently completing her Residency Program at Albany Medical Center and hopes to be settled in to Middlebury and available to see patients by late fall.  New patient registration and appointments will be taken beginning in September.

 

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