Health briefs

VA open house

BRATTLEBORO >> On Nov. 6, the Brattleboro Community Based Outpatient Clinic at 71 GSP Drive will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

The nurse is in

CHESTERFIELD, N.H. >> A Wellness nurse from Home Healthcare, Hospice & Community Services will be available at the Chesterfield Town Hall on Nov. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and at the Hinsdale Millstream Community Center on Nov. 18, also from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for blood pressure checks. No appointment is necessary, and the service is provided free of charge to residents of all ages. For more information, call 603-352-2253 or 1-800-541-4145, or visit A nurse will also be available in Walpole at Applpewood Senior Housing on Nov. 20 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Driver safety

BRATTLEBORO >> Elliot Greenblott will present the AARP Driver Safety Program, a classroom driver refresher course, at multiple locations.

The course explains changes that occur in vision, hearing, and reaction time as we age and incorporates recent brain study. Useful driving safety tips are presented with focus on changes in vehicles and roadways that impact driving safety. Content was completely revised in 2014 to address recent changes in Vermont law.

The next classes offered in the Brattleboro area will be Nov. 6 at the Brattleboro Senior Center and Nov. 7 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, both starting at 9:30 a.m.

The course will also be offered in Townshend at Grace Cottage Hospital on Nov. 14, starting at 9 a.m.

The fee for the class is $20 ($15 for AARP members). Meal service is only available at the Brattleboro Senior Center. Participants at all sessions are free to bring their own lunch. For more information, contact Greenblott at 802-254-4489 or

Writing to the light

NEWFANE >> Writer Deborah Lee Luskin and yoga instructor Jenny Frey will team up to lead Writing to the Light, a workshop designed to nurture our internal light as the earth tilts toward the dark.

Participants will use yoga and breath to ground themselves, and writing to illuminate a path through the coming dark. The gentle yoga practice will prepare all for timed writing to inspiring prompts. Using their deepest breath, participants will then make words audible and find strength in collective ideas.

No prior experience necessary, just comfortable clothes, pen, paper, and a willingness to be still and discover.

Luskin, who will lead the writing portion of the workshop, is an author, blogger, and writing consultant with more than 30 years experience teaching writing and literature to a wide variety of learners throughout Vermont. She practices yoga to find her breath, balance and words. Frey, a yoga teacher who has brought Village Yoga to Newfane, will guide a gentle yoga practice before each writing prompt.

The workshop will take place on Friday, Nov. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Newfane Village Yoga, 599 Route 30. The cost is $30.

VTC hosts open house

BRATTLEBORO >> Vermont Technical College's Nursing Campus, Southease Region, is holding an open house on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the campus on the second floor of the Brooks House. There will be blood pressure readings and hand-washing demonstrations.

VTC admissions counselors, nursing instructors, nurses and student nurses will be on hand to talk about nursing and the VTC program. Community College of Vermont academic advisors will also be available to talk about pre-requisite nursing courses and a program for high school students allowing them to take college-level classes for free.

VTC's nursing program in Brattleboro, one of the nation's first-ever practical schools of nursing, was started shortly after the Civil War and has been in continuous existence since 1907 when funds from Thomas Thompson's estate made it possible. It has been part of Vermont Technical College since 1994. Former VTC Brattleboro graduates are now employed at all of the health facilities in the area — including Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, the Brattleboro Retreat, Grace Cottage Hospital, Pine Heights Health Care and Rehabilitation, as well as health care facilities, agencies and doctors' offices in neighboring New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York.

VTC's Southeast Region Nursing Campus is one of five regional campuses with nine different locations across the entire state of Vermont with a central campus in Randolph. In August, the Practical Nursing and Associate Degree in Nursing programs were notified of their continuing official accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, an online program started a year and a half ago, also achieved accreditation.

For more information about the Southeast Region (Brattleboro/Springfield) Campus of VTC Nursing, call 802-254-5516. For general information about the nursing program or other VTC areas of study, call 800-442-8821

Bereavement group offered at Grace Cottage

TOWNSHEND >> Grace Cottage's Behavioral Health Specialist, Caroline Chase, will facilitate a seven-session bereavement group for those who have experienced the loss of a partner. The free series runs through Dec. 17, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the Grace Cottage Community Wellness Center.

The Grace Cottage Wellness Center is located in the Heins Building, 133 Grafton Road. For more information or to register for the group, call 802-365-3715, ext. 6.

Grace Cottage Family Health welcomes new patients

TOWNSHEND >> Grace Cottage Family Health, a provider-based healthcare center, has expanded its staff and extended its hours to accommodate a growing number of new patients.

On Nov. 12, from 4 to 6 p.m., Grace Cottage is hosting an open house, where five new providers will be on hand to introduce themselves and their services. All are welcome and encouraged to attend the event. Refreshments will be provided. Literature will be available.

The new providers are Dr. Jesper Brickley, Nurse Practitioners Jorda Daigneault and Devan Lucier, Physician Assistant Natalie Harding, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Benjamin Wright. Brickley joins Grace Cottage after completing his residency at Rose Family Medicine in Denver. He is a licensed Doctor of Osteopathy, a type of medical doctor who is disciplined in looking at each patient in an intrinsically holistic manner.

Daigneault and Lucier are both natives of Windham County. In fact, both women were delivered by Grace Cottage hospital doctors. With a family nurse practitioner degree from the University of Vermont, Daigneault had been at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center since 1988. Lucier, a relatively young practitioner, also with a nursing degree from UVM, considers herself an "old soul" and particularly enjoys working with seniors. Harding received her master's degree from Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire and came to Grace Cottage from the Valley Medical Group in Greenfield, Mass.

Wright has worked with veterans and their families at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and has worked on adolescent treatment plans at the Van Der Kolk Center in Marlborough, Mass. As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, Wright has the ability to manage prescriptions for his patients' mental health conditions.

"We are so pleased to have these latest additions to our team," said Elaine Swift, the Family Health Practice Director. "Jesper brings a forward-thinking approach to integrative medicine. Ben provides a much needed service in caring for patients with psychiatric issues. The three new female practitioners, while happy to serve a variety of patients' needs, have room in their schedules for women who prefer to have a female Women's Health practitioner.

The Family Health Center's extended hours make scheduling appointments easier for those with long work days. With the expanded staff and hours, same-day appointments are usually available. Most insurances are accepted for all services.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 802-365-4331 or visit

Osher offers lecture on water resources in Africa

DUMMERSTON >> The Brattleboro Chapter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will hold the final program in its series of fall lectures on Nov. 9. In the morning program, Tom Toleno will discuss education in Africa today, with special attention to his work at Mzuzu University, Malawi. In the afternoon lectures, Joe DeFelice filmmaker and founder of Riverbank Media, in Dorset, will discuss water on film. All lectures are held at the Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 US Route 5. For more information, call 802-257-8600 or toll-free 866-889-0042; or visit

Perspectives on addiction

MARLBORO >> What if the pain that leads a person to addiction is seen as the defining quality of being human? Religion professor Amer Latif will give a talk on "An Incurable Pain: Islamic Perspectives on Addiction" at Marlboro College at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13. He will present ways in which Muslim sages, like Rumi, embody a vision of the human being as the bearer of an incurable pain. Within the Islamic tradition, this acute pain is shared through poetry, sound, and dance in vibrant and healing gatherings. Join us for this last lecture in the series titled "Reframing the National Debate on Addiction," presented in association with the Speech Matters semester intensive.


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