Letter Box

Wednesday July 24, 2013

The Retreat is a valuable asset

Editor of the Reformer:

As a board member of the Brattleboro Retreat I have had the opportunity to attend medical staff meetings several times a year. What has always impressed me at these meetings is the dedication of the psychiatrists as physicians, their commitment to providing excellent clinical care for their patients, and their willingness to share ideas in the service of improving patient care. Equally impressive is how much they appreciate working in a collegial, professional environment, where not only they, but the social workers, the nurses and the mental health workers see patient care as a team effort.

At a recent joint board and medical staff meeting, board members asked the psychiatrists to share their experiences with the psychiatric care they deliver at the Retreat. While protecting individual patient confidentiality, they spoke so compassionately about the courage of their patients struggling with profound mental illness seeking a path back to health. As I listened I was struck by the sensitivity of these caregivers to the needs of their patients.

At the end of the meeting I left with the vision of Dr. Knorr, president of the medical staff, recounting the story of a young patient telling him that she was no longer living with profound depression due to his care. She stated that his providing a Salsa dance lesson to the patients on the adolescent inpatient unit was the moment in which she knew she would begin to heal. Dr. Knorr, who is quadruple boarded in Pediatrics, Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Addiction Psychiatry, provides an inspiration for patients in so many ways not only as a doctor but also as an individual.

Vermont is indeed fortunate to have a first-rate psychiatric hospital with highly qualified, caring professionals where what matters most is the mental health of the patients.

Tonia Wheeler,

Dummerston, July 9

Counting blessings

Editor of the Reformer:

I want to thank the staff at Pine Heights , the staff at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and the Staff of Mary Hitchcock Hospital for taking care of my 85-year-old friend during her final days.

Having been in intensive care myself 9 years ago, I am profoundly grateful for the wonderful people who devote themselves to the often thankless hard work of caring for people when they are helpless and in greatest need of compassion.

I want to thank Pine Heights Administrator, Michael Rivers, for taking a special interest in my friend's well-being.

Steven K-Brooks,

Brattleboro, July 22

Thank you?

Editor of the Reformer:

Thanks to Jim Mitchell's petition, we may be voting for a third time in the Village of Bellows Falls on our annual budget.

Many of us here in the Village support adding back into the budget the funds to hire the ninth police officer, who is required to provide a full 24/7 policing schedule without incurring high overtime expenses. We also fully support the present funding of the fire department, in a Village comprised largely of century-old wooden homes.

Mr. Mitchell appears to have an animosity towards police and fire officials, perhaps resulting from a previous arrest and conviction for arson. To be fair, he claims he was falsely accused. Nonetheless we have a convicted arsonist focused on reducing the size of police and fire departments, which are entirely necessary to the health of our Village.

It's time once again for the good citizens of Bellow Falls to demonstrate that we fully support public safety. Let's use this voting opportunity to restore funding for the ninth police officer, and keep our fire department whole. It's time once again for the good citizens of Bellow Falls to demonstrate that we fully support of public safety. If this meeting is warned, let's pack it.

Whit Blauvelt,

Bellows Falls, July 23


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