Health news and notes

AIDS Project invites public to Walk for Life May 14

BRATTLEBORO >> The AIDS Project of Southern Vermont is inviting the public to help raise money and awareness May 14 at its 29th annual Walk for Life.

The event, set for 10 a.m. to noon at the River Garden on Main Street, will spotlight community efforts not only to support local people living with HIV/AIDS but also to reduce the risk of transmission to others.

The Walk for Life will feature speakers, songs by the student cast of the recent Brattleboro Union High School musical "Rent," a brief period of remembrance and a light lunch.

The AIDS Project, established in 1988, is encouraging individuals, businesses, churches, schools and community groups to form teams to seek contributions for its work with clients in Windham, Bennington and southern Windsor counties.

For more information, contact Karen Peterson at 802-254-4444 or or log onto the webpage

Weekend coffee house at Turning Point

BRATTLEBORO >> Thanks to an award from the Crosby-Gannett Fund, Turning Point is launching a Weekend Coffee House or Game Night to supplement its recovery-support programs.

This recreational activity will give people in recovery access to a fun, social pursuit with others in recovery in a family-friendly, alcohol- and drug-free environment. People in recovery, particularly those who are new to the recovery process, are often told they need to change their "playgrounds and playmates," which may leave a considerable void in their social lives at just the time when they need support to flourish in their new lifestyles.

Turning Point is asking people from the recovery community — and the community as a whole — to help support this effort, to share their musical, poetic, and comedic talents with the recovery community. And, remember, recovery includes family members who are also recovering from the effects of living with addiction in their lives. This event could be a game night, a music night, or both.

If you'd like Turning Point help decide what this activity will be, stop by 39 Elm Street, call 802-257-5600, or contact find Turning Point of Windham County on Facebook.

Tai Chi class

HALIFAX >> The Halifax Community Club and the Whitingham Free Public Library are again co-sponsoring a Tai Chi class that will be held on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Halifax Community Hall.

The spring session will begin on May 4 and end on June 22. The instructor, Halifax resident Seth Geeslin, has been practicing Tai Chi for more than 20 years and teaching for about 15 years. The class will be Yang style, with an emphasis on teaching beginners. However, people at all levels of Tai Chi are encouraged to participate. Those who are more advanced can follow along with the class, adapt the session to their personal level, or use the spacious hall to do their own practice.

Tai Chi does not require special equipment or clothing. Students should wear comfortable clothing for ease of movement. Participants can go barefoot or wear shoes or slippers that will allow for good, firm placement of their feet on the floor.

Tai Chi is a low-impact, slow, and deliberate form of movement. The benefits include calming, better focus, sounder sleep, and overall improvement of well-being. In recent years, numerous studies published in the medical literature document the benefits of Tai Chi. Participants in the fall and winter sessions cited personal benefits including improved balance, help with managing chronic pain, and easing of some arthritis symptoms. The class also provides an opportunity for community members of varied backgrounds to gather in a shared activity.

The Halifax Community Hall, located at 20 Brook Road in West Halifax, is wheelchair accessible and has an accessible bathroom. The class is open to the public, and no registration is required. There is a suggested voluntary donation of $5 per class. All donations will be applied toward a winter heat fund to enable the Club to host Tai Chi classes and other programs year-round in the historic Hall. For more information, contact Linda Lyon at or 802-368-2211.

Grace Cottage 'Spring into Health' 5K set for May 7

TOWNSHEND >> Enjoy a morning of good, healthy fun in the great outdoors at the 7th Annual Grace Cottage Hospital "Spring into Health" 5K on Saturday, May 7.

The family-friendly 5K starts at 8:30 a.m. on the Townshend Common. The race will be timed for competitors, but is open to all, whether you run, jog, walk, roll, or stroll. The course is 3.1 miles of mainly flat, paved road along Grafton Road (Route 35).

After the race, there will be awards, raffles, and general merriment. There is also a free Fun Run for kids 8 and under on the Common at 9:15. The event, held rain or shine, wraps up around 10:30.

Register online for an early bird rate of $15/13 and up (free for those 12 and under) at or by calling 802-365-9109. On-line registration closes at noon on Wednesday, May 4. The first 100 to register will receive a free performance T-shirt designed by Leland & Gray student Joel Emmons. You can register at the race for $20, ages 13 and up (still free for 12 and under), but no guarantees on getting a T-shirt.

This event, sponsored by People's United Bank, raises funds for patient care at Grace Cottage Hospital. For more information, visit or call 802-365-9109.

Relay for Life of Windham County enlisting teams

BRATTLEBORO >> American Cancer Society's Relay For Life has been spreading across the state bringing communities together to stand up against cancer.

The next stop on the map is the Relay For Life of Windham County, which is proud to host this year's Relay on June 11 from noon to 11 p.m. at the Brattleboro Union High School. With the 2016 theme of "The Olympics," participants from all over Windham County will be joining together to start the festivities off with this life changing event. All participants and teams can register online for free at

Relay For Life celebrates cancer survivors, remembers those we have lost, and gives everyone the chance to fight back against cancer. Relay is a community event where teams of friends, families, schools, businesses, and organizations take turns walking at a local track.

Special activities, ceremonies, and entertainment make it a fun and moving experience. All teams raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight every cancer, in every community, every day. For more information about this event, contact the Community Manager, Svea Miller Howard at or at 802.287.9680.

United Way hosts adult dental care day

BRATTLEBORO >> United Way of Windham County's sixth annual Adult Dental Care Day takes place on Saturday, May 7, at 7:30 a.m. Registration is at the Elks Lodge on Putney Road. Windham County residents in need of dental care they could not otherwise afford will receive dental care from local participating dental offices and their staff who donate their time and expertise. There is a suggested donation of $20 per person.

Dental procedures provided include saving damaged teeth, extractions, fillings as well as x-rays. Individuals will also learn how to improve their eating habits, the effects of sugar on their dental health and about smoking cessation.

"Dental Care Day happens thanks to the collaboration of the local dental community working closely with United Way of Windham County to provide this vital service," said Carmen Derby, Executive Director of United Way of Windham County. "This is an excellent example of meeting our community goals of improving access to healthcare."

The 2016 Adult Dental Care Day partners include the Brattleboro Elks Lodge, Vermont 2-1-1 and Rescue, Inc. Other financial and in-kind supporters include Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Deerfield Valley Rotary Club, C & S Wholesale Grocers, Patterson Dental, Northeast Delta Dental, Gouger's Market and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

For more information, contact Vermont 2-1-1, a program of United Ways of Vermont, contact the United Way at 802-257-4011 or visit

Child care in Vermont

BRATTLEBORO >> When it comes to supporting the health and prosperity of Vermont's communities and economy now and in the future, high-quality child care is the linchpin.

More than 70 percent of Vermont's infants and toddlers have all of their parents in the labor force. That equates to thousands of children, working parents and employers who depend on child care. And yet a shocking number of Vermont's infants and toddlers who need child care don't have access to high-quality programs.

On May 25, there will be an exclusive event during which Let's Grow Kids and other partners will present brand new data about the current supply of child care in Vermont — county-by-county and statewide. This information was developed in partnership with Vermont Birth to Five, the Permanent Fund for Vermont's Children, Building Bright Futures, the Vermont Department for Children and Families Child Development Division, and the Vermont Department of Health's Maternal and Child Health Division.

Registration and breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m. and the program runs from 9 to 11 a.m.

The Marlboro College Graduate Center is located at 28 Vernon St.

BAH offers grief support group

BRATTLEBORO >> A new Seven Week Bereavement Support Group for adults begins on May 3 and will meet each Tuesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m., ending June 14.

The group is free of charge and open to anyone in the community grieving the death loss of a loved one, no matter when or where the loss occurred. Bereavement Support Groups offer a safe, mutually supportive environment for sharing experiences through discussion, readings, simple activities, and suggestions for moving through grief.

This group is sponsored by Brattleboro Area Hospice and will meet at the hospice office at 191 Canal St. No prior connection with hospice is necessary in order to participate. Connie Baxter will be the facilitator. The group size is limited to eight people. Call 802-257-0775, ext. 104 by April 29 for a pre-group appointment if you're interested in joining.

Help available for those who have lost their spouse

TOWNSHEND >> The loss of a loved one can bring on a wide variety of uncomfortable and confusing emotions. Grace Cottage's new Bereavement Group offers help for those coping with the loss of a spouse or life partner.

The group will begin May 16, meeting from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Grace Cottage Community Wellness Center (Heins Building) conference room. This is a six-week program. There is no charge to participate. Registration is requested by May 6.

The ever-changing emotions associated with grief can catch us off guard, causing us to act out of character. It can help to have a support system as we move through the grief journey. Grief support groups offer companionship and understanding from others who have experienced a similar loss and are dealing with similar challenges brought on by living with grief.

This group is specific to adults dealing with the loss of their spouse or life partner. Feel free to call to inquire about similar groups for those dealing with the loss of a child or companion. The group will be led by Caroline Chase, M.S., Behavioral Health Specialist with the Grace Cottage Community Health Team. Contact her at 802-365-3715, ext. 6, with any questions and to register.

HCRS to host screening of 'Healing Voices'

BRATTLEBORO >> Health Care and Rehabilitation Services will join more than 125 community organizations around the world on Friday, April 29, to host a premier screening of "Healing Voices."

The new documentary places a spotlight on mental health — or what society refers to as "mental illness." The HCRS-sponsored screening will take place in Brattleboro at the Hooker-Dunham Theater, 139 Main Street, No. 407. A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the screening starting promptly at 7. A panel discussion will follow the conclusion of the film.

"Healing Voices," written and directed by P.J. Moynihan of Digital Eyes Film, explores the experience commonly labeled as "psychosis" through the stories of real-life individuals and asks the question, "What are we talking about when we talk about mental illness?"

The documentary is ideal for individuals with lived experience in the mental-health system, educators, peer counselors, advocates, researchers, psychiatrists, psychologists, healthcare workers, first responders, family members, and anyone who has been touched by mental-health issues in their lives.

For more information about the film, visit


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