Health news and notes

PTSD discussion during Brown Bag today

BRATTLEBORO >> There will be a panel discussion on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Vermont veterans on June 24 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden during the Brown Bag Lunch session at noon. For more information, call John Hagen at 802-251-0777.

Death and dying for beginners

BRATTLEBORO >> Brattleboro Area Hospice offers its popular "Death and Dying for Beginners Class," on four consecutive Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m., July 12 through Aug. 2, at its offices on Canal Street.

In a relaxed, comfortable environment, the class will provide opportunities to reflect on personal attitudes and feelings about death and dying, as well as learning how to offer assistance to a friend or neighbor during a time of loss. This four-week course, facilitated by Bettina Berg, is for those interested in exploring end of life issues through readings, discussions and introspective exercises.

This course is free, but registration and a pre-course telephone conversation with Berg are required.

BAH is located at 191 Canal St. in Brattleboro. Visit for more information. To register for the class, call 802-2570775 or email

BMH earns 'A' grade in patient safety

BRATTLEBORO >> New Hospital Safety Scores, which assign A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide and provide the most complete picture of patient safety in the U.S. health care system, were announced today by The Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety watchdog.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital was one of 798 hospitals to receive an A, ranking among the safest hospitals in the United States.

"Patient safety and delivering high quality health care are our top priorities at BMH," said hospital president and CEO Steven R. Gordon. "This recognition reflects the commitment made by every member of our staff to hold ourselves to the highest standards of safety and continuous quality improvement."

"Avoidable deaths in hospitals should be the number one concern of our health care leaders. Hospitals that earn an 'A' from Leapfrog are leaders in saving lives, and we commend them and urge their continued vigilance," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.

Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog's Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent, and free to the public. For the first time, the Hospital Safety Score includes five measures of patient-reported experience with the hospital as well as two of the most common infections, C.diff and MRSA. To see BMH's full score, and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients and loved ones visiting the hospital, visit or follow The Hospital Safety Score on Twitter or Facebook. Consumers can also download the free Hospital Safety Score mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. Hospital Safety Score, Leapfrog's other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

New website helps patients make choices about dialysis treatment

BRATTLEBORO >> Patients diagnosed with kidney failure face many difficult decisions about their care. A new online decision tool helps patients and their families learn more about the factors that matter most to them. The decision tool is available at

The decision tool was developed as part of the Empowering Patients on Choices for Renal Replacement Therapy study, which was funded by an award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Led by Dr. Francesca Tentori, researchers worked closely with a stakeholder advisory panel that included patients, caregivers, doctors, advocates, and social workers. The diverse perspectives and personal experiences of the participants in this study ensure that the decision tool speaks to the factors that matter most to patients.

"The stakeholder advisory panel has taught me so much about the patient experience of dialysis," said Tentori. "I'm pleased that their insights will help inform so many people who are facing the same difficult choices about dialysis treatment."

The decision tool covers essential information about the most commonly-used types of dialysis, how treatments are performed, and the effect that treatment has on daily life. Perspectives from patients in the study and tips for talking with your doctor are also included. An interactive assessment tool allows users to weigh different factors that may determine the treatment they choose.

Two blood draw days in July

BRATTLEBORO >> The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to donate blood now to help maintain the blood supply around the Independence Day holiday.

In Brattleboro, donors can donate blood on July 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at VSECU at 499 Canal St., and on July 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Carl M Dessaint VFW Post 1034, 40 Black Mountain Road.

For more information, visit or find Red Cross Blood on Facebook.

Siano, Grafton Rescue Squad recognized with emergency medical award

MONTPELIER >> During this year's Vermont Emergency Medical Service Awards program, Cathy Siano Goodwin and the Grafton Rescue Squad received special recognition for introducing the Fallscape program to their area.

Siano received recognition from Harry Chen, the secretary of the Vermont Department of Health, for bringing the program to Grafton and surrounding towns and to the rescue squad in their role in the prevention of falls as well as responding to them.

Siano has been promoting participation by senior citizens in the Fallscape falls prevention program for the past year. The program reaches out to seniors in their homes on a one-on-one basis to evaluate and explore the risks of falling and ways to reduce the possibility of falling. Fallscape is sponsored by the Vermont Department of Aging and the local Senior Solutions organization.

Siano, a retired educator, is an advanced emergency medical technician and a long-time member of the Grafton Rescue Squad, which is one of a handful of EMS groups around the state working with the Fallscape program. The program is free of charge to residents of Rockingham, Saxtons River, Bellows Falls, Cambridgeport, Athens and Grafton who are 65 years old or older.

For more information or to arrange a visit, call 802-843-2401 and leave a message with your name, a call-back number and your location.

Shear Designs hosts annual Locks of Love

BRATTLEBORO >> On June 25, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Shear Designs Hair Studio will host the 16th Annual Locks of Love Cut-a-Thon.

Shear Designs will be offering $10 haircuts when you donate at least 10 inches of hair and will also be accepting financial donations. Don't have enough to donate? Be brave and shave for $10.

Enjoy a great cut from one of Shear Designs talented stylists and help them give back. The studio will be offering a day full of fun, prizes, refreshments and raffle baskets. All proceeds will go directly to Locks of Love and your donation will help disadvantaged children in need, ages 21 and under, by supplying them with a high quality, vacuum fitted hair prosthetic.

Locks of Love helps to restore self esteem, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Shear Designs Hair Studio has been known as the "Best Little Hair House In Town" for more than 20 years. Support a great cause and go see Joy Boyd and her staff at Shear Designs Hair Studio. To make an appointment, stop by 735 Putney Rd. or call 802-257-5030; walkins are always welcome.

For more information, or to sign up for Shear Designs' newsletter, find Shear Designs Hair Studio on Facebook or visit

Rec and Parks offers fitness classes

BRATTLEBORO >> Beginning June 27, the Recreation and Parks Department is hosting an eight-week fitness class at the Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St. for people16 years of age and older. The cost of the program is $50 for once a week, $60 for two times a week and $75 for three times a week. Non-residents add $25. Drop ins are $10 a class, which runs from 12:10 to 1:10 p.m. with yoga on Mondays, yoga and strength on Wednesdays and yoga and pilates on Fridays. The instructor, Cyndy Gray, has a B.S. in Physical Education and is a certified to teach both Yoga and Pilates. Also available are kickboxing and conditioning classes on Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 802-254-5808.


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