Health news and notes


SPRINGFIELD >> Health Care and Rehabilitation Services, Vermont's second-largest community mental-health agency, recently announced the appointment of seven new professionals whose talents will augment HCRS' services in the Springfield, Brattleboro, and Hartford communities.

Founded in 1967, HCRS is a non-profit, community mental health agency serving Vermonters in Windham and Windsor counties. HCRS serves over 4,000 individuals every year through its mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities programs. The Agency provides holistic care for clients, supporting them with employment, housing, transportation, and other social service needs. Visit for more information.

HCRS welcomes the following new employees: Leanne Souksanh — Care Coordinator in Springfield; Heather LaFountain — Residential Specialist in Springfield; Marissa Martin — Registered Nurse in Springfield; Charlie Tripp — Community Outreach Specialist in Springfield; Adam Geddis — Residential Specialist in Brattleboro; Lori Tustin — Care Coordinator in Brattleboro; and Claudia Armstrong — Respite Provider in Hartford.

Grace Cottage Fair Day is Saturday

TOWNSHEND >> The Grace Cottage Hospital Auxiliary Fair Day is continuing a wonderful tradition. The Aug. 6 event will again include an art show. Area artists and craftspeople will display their works in this show, which will be held in the Townshend Church on the Townshend Common throughout Fair Day. The artwork and crafts pieces in the show will be for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Grace Cottage Hospital. The Grace Cottage Hospital Auxiliary Fair Day is a major fundraiser that helps the hospital purchase needed equipment. This year's Fair Day begins at 9 a.m. and goes until 6 p.m. on August 6. For more information about Fair Day, call 802-365-9992 or 802-365-9109.

Red Cross hosts blood drive at NewBrook FD

NEWFANE >> The annual West River Valley Community American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the NewBrook Fire Department on Route 30.

Blood donors are encouraged to pre-schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins are welcome but priority is given to donors with appointments. Donor ID is required on Blood Drive Day.

Diabetes educator available at Grace Cottage

TOWNSHEND >> Grace Cottage Family Health's Community Health Team now includes the full-time services of a Diabetes Educator, thanks to a grant from the Fannie Holt Ames & Edna Louise Holt Fund.

Deborah Brown joined the Community Health Team in January as RN Outreach Coordinator and became the Diabetes Educator in May.

Brown earned her LPN degree at the Thompson School of Nursing and her RN degree at Vermont Technical College. She first worked as a nurse at Grace Cottage, and then took a position as Clinical Coordinator at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, where she later worked on the surgical floor and most recently in ambulatory care.

As a member of the Grace Cottage CHT, Brown's diabetes education services are offered to the community free of charge. She provides coaching for clients with pre-diabetes or a diabetes diagnosis, supporting them through lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, appropriate exercise, blood sugar monitoring, and regular health check-ups.

The CHT also includes two RN Care Coordinators, two Health Coaches, and a Behavioral Health Specialist offering short-term counseling. The CHT is funded in part through a program established by the Vermont Department of Health. The recent grant from the Holt Fund has allowed Grace Cottage to expand its CHT services.

The Fanny Holt Ames & Edna Louise Holt Fund makes grants to not-for-profit organizations that provide health and medical services to individuals living in and around Grafton, where the Holt sisters were long-time residents. They were both long-time advocates of Grace Cottage.

The Grace Cottage CHT works with individuals to assess their health situations, develop plans, and establish attainable goals. This service is especially helpful for managing chronic conditions. A referral from a medical provider is not necessary. Any resident of Southern Vermont can contact the CHT directly for an appointment at 802-365-3715. No insurance is needed, and there are no co-pays or deductibles.

For more information about the Grace Cottage CHT, visit

Grace Cottage hosts free weight loss group

TOWNSHEND >> Grace Cottage is offering a free support group for the community called "Overcoming Addictive Food Behavior," starting Wednesday, Aug. 24, and meeting for 12 weeks.

This course will follow the program offered in the best-selling "Love Hunger Weight-Loss Workbook," by Drs. Frank Minirth, Paul Meier, Robert Hemfelt, and Sharon Sneed. The multi-faceted approach has helped countless people develop lifelong lifestyle changes for lasting weight loss and better health.

The group will be facilitated by Grace Cottage Behavioral Health Specialist Caroline Chase and Grace Cottage Health Coach Liz Harrison. It will meet weekly from Aug. 24 to Nov. 9, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., in the Grace Cottage Community Wellness Center (Heins Building), 133 Grafton Road.

Class size is limited, so register early. A $5.50 workbook fee is due prior to the first class. Call 802-365-3715, ext. 5 to sign up.

Open house at BMH's Center for Wound Healing

BRATTLEBORO >> On Tuesday, Aug. 9, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Center for Wound Healing will host a community open house from 5 to 7 p.m.

The open house will give attendees the opportunity to tour the Center and learn about some of its state-of-the-art equipment, such as the hyperbaric oxygen chambers, and specialized treatment capabilities.

The public is invited to the open house which will feature food, giveaways and tours. Staff members and physicians will welcome guests and answer questions. The Center is located in the Main Hospital Building at 17 Belmont Ave.

Local students receive Cheshire Health Foundation nursing scholarships

KEENE, N.H. >> Peyton Eisler, a 2016 graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, was one of 10 local students to receive a nursing scholarship from the Cheshire Health Foundation. Eisler will attend Endicott College in the fall.

Other students who received a scholarship included, from Keene High School: Noah Clay, 2016, Therese Crisman, 2016, Sydney Mitchell, 2016, and Megan Yeaw, 2016; from Monadnock Regional High School, Faith Gamache, 2016; from Conant High School, Laura C. Howard, 2016, and Christina Newell, 2016; and from Fall Mountain Regional High School, Shannon McLean, 2016, and Lindsay Wyman, 2016.

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene hosted a reception on July 29 for the 2016 recipients of the Cheshire Health Foundation nursing scholarship, all of whom will enter a four-year baccalaureate nursing program this fall. The scholarships are made possible by gifts from Leslie S. Hubbard in memory of his wife, Iola M. Hubbard, and by Alice Gilbert in memory of her husband, Frederick Gilbert.

The scholarship encourages graduating high school students from Sullivan and Cheshire Counties in New Hampshire and Windham County in Vermont to enroll in a baccalaureate nursing program. CMC/DHK offers the scholarships for area students in recognition of the critical role of nursing in healthcare.

To learn more, call 603-354-5400 or visit


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