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Top News from 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Friday, December 28, 2007                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Porter and Hannaford Career Center to Collaborate on new Health Careers Education Program

MIDDLEBURY--Career opportunities for young people in a variety of health care fields abound, both locally here in Addison County, and in other parts of our state and region- and it is anticipated that these opportunities will continue to increase in the years ahead.

Thus, a new and innovative partnership recently forged between Porter Medical Center and the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, represents a major step in providing Addison County students with exposure, experience and specific training to professional and technical careers in hospitals, nursing homes and other types of health care organizations.

"The need for professional and technical staff members in areas such as nursing, radiology, pharmacy, laboratory, physical therapy, surgical services and other areas of our hospital and nursing home is very real today-and we expect that over time, attracting these professionals to our community will only become more challenging", said Porter Medical Center President, James L. Daily.

"We have openings today for entry level clinical positions that pay $40,000 to $50,000 per year-but these positions are difficult to fill in today's labor market-and we feel that it is both important for Porter, and a real opportunity for local students, to partner with the Hannaford Career Center and take an active role in making something happen."

What will happen is the further development of a Health Career Program that will offer classroom training to area students at the Hannaford Career Center, with on-site clinical exposure provided at Porter Hospital and Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.  After gaining exposure to a variety of possible careers and some hands-on experience, students will be better prepared to continue their education in a field that is both personally and professionally rewarding. 

"The education and retention of a medical workforce from within the Addison County community is essential", said Lynn Coale, Director of the Hannaford Career Center. "The career opportunities that will be created for our students will be extremely valuable, and will provide them with career options that will allow them to live and work right here in our community, in a rewarding job that pays well with good benefits."

The partnership calls for the Hannaford Career Center to hire the instructor for the course and develop a curriculum that meets the criteria established by the Vermont State Department of Education. Further, the Center will recruit students into the program from the three sending high schools within the Center's catchment area. Porter will provide at least two staff members to serve on the advisory board for the program,provide equipment and supplies, make available at least two cooperative education placements per semester and make available guest speakers. The agreement also calls for a joint funding of the program between Porter and the Hannaford Career Center for the fist three years of the partnership.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Thursday, November 29, 2007                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744


PORTER HOSPITAL ACQUIRES NEW ADVANCED BONE DENSITOMETRY SYSTEM FOR DETECTING OSTEOPOROSIS

MIDDLEBURY-Porter Hospital has acquired a new, advanced bone densitometry system that provides the image quality, accuracy and precision required for the earlier detection of osteoporosis. The "Lunar iDXA" will enable Porter's physicians to more effectively diagnose and treat the disease by precisely measuring a patient's bone and allowing for the detection of even the most minor changes, according to Radiology Department Manager, Chris LaPointe.

"Our acquisition of the Lunar bone densitometry system raises the level of care in our facility to address the silent disease of osteoporosis," LaPointe said.  "We know today that osteoporosis is not a normal condition of aging, rather it is a disease that can be prevented. By investing in a leading bone densitometry system, our staff will have access to high resolution images for the precise detection of the smallest vertebral deformities to detect osteoporosis at its earliest stage, enabling immediate treatment to minimize deterioration of bone structure."

Once thought to be a normal part of aging, it is now known that osteoporosis can be slowed and fractures avoided with early detection and treatment. According to the 2004 U.S. Surgeon General's Report, 10 million Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis, while another 34 million have low bone mass and are at risk for developing the disease. The Surgeon General warns that if immediate action is not taken, half of all Americans over 50 will have weak bones from osteoporosis and low bone mass by 2020.

Weak bones can often lead to painful and debilitating fractures, with the most common being the wrist, spine and hip. According to the Surgeon General's report, 1.5 million American suffer a fracture because of osteoporosis and weak bones. The cost of a hip fracture for one individual can exceed $18,000 throughout their lifetime, while providing the care for bone fractures from osteoporosis costs the U.S. health system nearly $18 billion each year.

"The new equipment delivers a higher level of precision and accuracy for bone densitometry and body composition assessment, with unprecedented image detail and resolution, and the system's acquisition capabilities offer crisp, high resolution images of all skeletal sites, revealing vertebral deformities never seen before while providing doctors and patients with accurate measurements" LaPointe said. 

"As the one of the first hospitals in our area to offer this technology, Porter is committed to fighting osteoporosis in our community with leading-edge technology that will help our physicians provide excellent patient care," said PMC President James L. Daily.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Wednesday, September 25, 2007                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

State-of-the-art Electronic Medical Record System Introduced at HPHRC

MIDDLEBURY--A new state-of-the-art computerized medical record system has recently been introduced at Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center-a system which has already radically transformed how clinical and financial information is stored and made available for a variety of uses to improve resident care and increase efficiency.

The new "Electronic Chart System" (ECS) fundamentally changes the process of medical record keeping by allowing any appropriate staff member (regardless of their computer aptitude) to enter and retrieve data through an easy to use software program.

Information ranging from individualized Care Plans, Physician Orders for a specific resident, and Nursing Assessment forms, are now (or soon will be) integrated with Accounts Receivable, General Ledger and Accounts Payable information-allowing immediate access to all pertinent information without the "massive paperwork" previously required for each of these functions. "Long-term care, done well, involves many caring professionals spending time with residents and meeting their medical and social needs," said HPHRC Administrator, Neil Gruber.  "In recent years, we have found that we are spending more and more of our time filling out forms and capturing the same information in multiple systems-time that cannot be spent providing direct care to our residents."

Although the system is still new and not fully operational, Gruber has already recognized that the introduction of this new high tech health information system has the potential of enhancing resident care, reducing cost and improving staff productivity and satisfaction. "We have introduced this system already in key areas and the results and staff response have been extremely positive," Gruber said.  "Once fully operational, we will have an integrated and confidential medical record for each resident that can easily be maintained and retrieved by our doctors, nurses and business office staff."

According to Gruber, like the nurses notes, all other departments of the facility will have electric daily/weekly/monthly progress notes capability, and such notes will be interconnected and integrated so that all of the staff members will function as a "team" with a common goal of ensuring the highest level of resident care and satisfaction.

"We are extremely proud of our staff for embracing this significant change and the upfront work that has been required", Gruber said. "What has made this project run so smoothly, is our shared commitment to our residents and to improving our work environment for the people who provide the hands-on care each and every day."

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Wednesday, September 25, 2007                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Pellegrini Honored at Vermont Health Care Association Annual Meeting

MIDDLEBURY-Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center Chaplain, Lucy Pellegrini, was honored on September 19th by the Vermont Health Care Association as their "Chaplain of the Year" for 2007 during their annual meeting in Lake Morey.

Pellegrini served in this role at HPHRC since 2000, and was nominated for this award by Pam Puccia, Director of Clinical Services. "I have known Lucy personally since moving to Middlebury in 1999 and met her during Evensong at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church," Puccia said. "I was mesmerized by Lucy's intellect, ability to articulate scripture, and the incredible and tangible warmth of her spirituality."

Puccia therefore was very pleased when Pellegrini joined the HPHRC staff a year later.  "I then became aware of her presence on the team of caregivers..and so began the amazing journey of caring with Lucy often in the lead, but always at our side."

According to the nomination form submitted to the VHCA, "Lucy never waivers as she develops relationships with those in need, and she is never far from one's side or from their heart.  Staff seek her guidance and support for themselves whether the issue is personal or work-related."

Puccia states that the monthly memorial service which Lucy prepares and conducts is something many of our families say "set us apart" due to the sheer impact of it's sincerity and beauty. "She also has been a driving force relative to our palliative care protocols, heading up hours of research and ensuring our approaches are consistent with current literature."

Puccia adds, "In summary, I feel I could fill pages with our reflections on Lucy's incredible attributes, and I hope my words have conveyed the sense of how exceedingly special Lucy is to us and our residents and families.  We all feel stronger for ourselves and our residents and their families knowing of her presence.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Wednesday, September 25, 2007                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744


Porter Hospital Honored by the American Hospital Association

Jack Barry, Regional Executive of the American Hospital Association, presented an award to Porter Hospital board member, Bob Stetson, at the recent VAHHS annual meeting honoring Porter Hospital as a member of the AHA for 75 years.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      FOR MORE INFORMATION:
May 14, 2007                                               RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

  Annual Spring Concert Benefits Porter Hospital Courtyard Project

MIDDLEBURY-A magnificent performance by the Middlebury College Community Chorus on Sunday afternoon, May 6, filled Mead Chapel with beautiful music and produced more than $1,000 in contributions to benefit a special project at Porter Hospital. The funds will be used to create the "BJ Calhoun Memorial Garden and Courtyard," which is now under construction and to be dedicated formally later this summer. The Courtyard is adjacent to the hospital's new North Wing. According to hospital spokesperson, Ron Hallman, it will be a lovely place filled with flowers, plants and trees, created for patients, visitors and staff to retreat for reflection outside of the traditional hospital waiting areas.  It is being created and dedicated in memory of BJ Calhoun, a long-time and devoted volunteer of Porter.

The theme of the annual spring concert program was "care, hope, and remembrance" and included Handel's "Foundling Hospital Anthem" composed in 1749 as a benefit for a London hospital that cared for homeless children. The texts of the work reflect the desire to comfort the hospitalized children, and it ends with the spirited "Hallelujah Chorus" from the Messiah. Also on the program was Franz Joseph Haydn's "Missa Solemnis," commonly known as the Heilig ("Holy") Mass, with wonderful, tuneful melodies and uplifting harmonies, dedicated by Haydn to Saint Bernard of Offida (1604-1694), a member of the Capuchins, a Franciscan order known for its care of the poor and sick.

In addition, the Chorus performed the Vermont premier of a recently composed work by Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus. "A Place of Hope" was written for the dedication of a new building at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in 2001. This contemporary work draws its texts from the writings of clinic patients who reflect on hope for their lives, as well as the role of music and art in their treatment and healing. Finally, the program included British composer John Rutter's "Gaelic Blessing" with a text expressing hope for deep peace, and Minnesota composer/conductor René Clausen's "Kyrie," part of his larger work "Memorial" that commemorates victims of 9/11.

The Middlebury College Community Chorus is conducted by Jeff Rehbach, now in his seventh season leading the group, and accompanied by George Matthew, Jr., who also serves as carillonneur of Middlebury College. The Chorus is open to all singers, without audition, including members of the local community and students, faculty, and staff of the College. See http://go.middlebury.edu/chorus for more information.
(photos by Ernie Longey - click on either photo to download the high resolution version of the photo)

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      FOR MORE INFORMATION:
April 9, 2007                                                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Porter to Establish Nurse-Midwifery Practice in Vergennes

MIDDLEBURY--Porter Hospital will soon add a new service and introduce a new provider of health care services for area women. As of June 1, Certified Nurse-Midwife Martha Redpath will begin seeing patients in Vergennes at the former Vergennes Family Health office on Armory Lane, and she will have deliveryprivileges in the new Porter Hospital Birthing Center. The name of the practice will be "Tapestry Midwifery".

According to the American College of Nurse-Midwifery, Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM's) are "licensed registered nurses who have completed additional/specialized training in the management of pregnancy and delivery, as well as postpartum services. CNM's must graduate from a nationally accredited education program, pass a rigorous national certification exam, and be licensed to practice. Certified nurse-midwives provide their clients with a safe mechanism for consultation, collaboration, and referral if needed to an OB/GYN physician specialist."

Pat Jannene, Vice President for Patient Care Services at Porter Hospital, believes that the introduction of a nurse-midwifery service at Porter Hospital will provide area women with an additional option of provider when deciding whom to see for their prenatal care and will position Porter Hospital to attract additional clients for our new Birthing Center based on this consumer choice.  "Every woman and every couple view their birth experience as a very special and important event--and most couples want to play a very active role in selecting the type of provider and type of environment they prefer-our goal is to provide here at Porter as many of the best options possible for both" she added.

"Additionally, our new Birthing Center, which was designed with an LDRP model of care in mind, is ideally suited for the nature of nurse-midwifery practice, while maintaining appropriate and convenient access to both specialized medical care and facilities if unanticipated intervention is required" she said.

According to PMC President, James L. Daily, the OB/GYN specialists who have privileges at Porter Hospital are supportive of the introduction of this service and of the specific provider who has been identified.  "We are very excited to be introducing this new service and I would anticipate that once this practice is established and begins to grow, we may need to recruit additional CNM providers in the future."

Redpath has 20 years of experience, in various capacities, supporting and caring for women-including providing the full scope of nurse-midwifery services such as the management of pregnancy, birth, postpartum care, well-women exams and contraceptive care. She worked in the Gifford Hospital birthing center from 1987 to 2006, and is a resident of Vergennes. 

She earned her nurse-midwifery certificate from the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Hyden, Kentucky, (the first and oldest school of nurse- midwifery in the United States) and holds a Masters Degree and Bachelor's of Science Degree of Nursing from Case Western Reserve University and Duke University.

"I am thrilled to be providing midwifery services, well woman exams and other health care services to the women in our community. The warm welcome from so many people at Porter is setting the stage for a lovely practice to grow", she said.
Additional information and appointments will be available beginning in mid-May.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      FOR MORE INFORMATION:
April 2, 2007                                                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

MIDDLEBURY--The annual spring concert by the Middlebury College Community Chorus will be held at Mead Chapel on Sunday, May 6, 2:00 p.m. The 2007 concert will benefit a special project at Porter Hospital in Middlebury, the "BJ Calhoun Memorial Garden and Courtyard" to be dedicated this summer adjacent to the hospital's new North Wing. According to hospital spokesperson, Ron Hallman, the Courtyard will be a lovely place filled with flowers, plants and trees, created for patients, visitors and staff to retreat for reflection outside of the traditional hospital waiting areas.  It is being created and dedicated in memory of BJ Calhoun, a long-time and devoted volunteer of Porter.

Appropriately, the spring concert program theme is "care, hope, and remembrance." The program includes Handel's "Foundling Hospital Anthem" composed in 1749 as a benefit for a London hospital that cared for homeless children. The texts of the work reflect the desire to comfort the hospitalized children, and it ends with the spirited "Hallelujah Chorus" from the Messiah. Also on the program is Franz Joseph Haydn's "Missa Solemnis," commonly known as the Heilig ("Holy") Mass, with wonderful, tuneful melodies and uplifting harmonies.

In addition, the Chorus will perform the Vermont premier of a recently composed work by Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus. "A Place of Hope" was written for the dedication of  a new building at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in 2001. This contemporary work draws its texts from the writings of clinic patients who reflect on hope for their lives, as well as the role of music and art in their treatment and healing.

The program will include Minnesota composer-conductor René Clausen's "Kyrie", part of his larger work "Memorial" that commemorates victims of 9/11. Clausen combines the traditional texts of "Kyrie" (Lord have mercy) and "Dona nobis pacem" (Grant us peace) in a way that is hauntingly beautiful. The program will conclude with the Gaelic Blessing, set by noted British musician John Rutter.

.The Middlebury College Community Chorus is conducted by Jeff Rehbach, now in his seventh season leading the group, and accompanied by George Matthew, Jr., who also serves as carillonneur of Middlebury College.

The origins of the Community Chorus date back more than 150 years when the Middlebury Musical Institute, a choral group, was established. Today the Chorus is open to all singers, without audition, including members of the local community and students, faculty, and staff of the College.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      FOR MORE INFORMATION:
March 8, 2007                                                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744


MIDDLEBURY--On April 12th, Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center will host the second in a series of community education programs designed to provide important and up-to-date information for people dealing with Alzheimer's disease.  The program, entitled "An Update on the Role of Behavioral Problems in Alzheimer's Disease", is intended for family members and support persons of people suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, as well as area social workers, physicians, nurses and other professionals who have an interest in this topic.

The program will be presented by Dr. Paul Newhouse, Director of Clinical Neuroscience Research Center and a Professor of Psychiatry at the UVM College of Medicine, and will be hosted by the staff of the Helen Porter Dementia Special Care Unit in the HPHRC cafeteria at 2:00 p.m. The program is free and open to the public."We anticipate and hope for another large crowd similar to the turn out for our last program featuring Dr. William Singer who also spoke about issues of importance to family members and care givers" said Nancy Schaedel, Admission and Program Coordinator of the HPHRC Dementia Care Unit.  "There is clearly a tremendous amount of community interest in this topic, and we are pleased to be able to organize these community education programs for people in our area who truly need and desire this type of useful and clinically appropriate information," she added.

For more information call 388-4001.
 

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