health news and notes


CDC diabetes prevention program at BMH

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will offer a diabetes prevention program for adults at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes who need help reducing their risk by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being.

The diabetes prevention program is based on the program led by the National Institutes of Health in collaboration with the Center for Disease Control, which showed that lifestyle changes and modest weight reduction can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent among those with prediabetes.

This evidence-based program is delivered over a 12-month period in a supportive, small group classroom setting. Sixteen weekly one-hour sessions are followed by six monthly sessions. Facilitated by trained lifestyle coach Elisha Underwood, the class is scheduled to begin Jan. 18 and will be held Thursdays at BMH in the Tyler Conference Room from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

In order to qualify for the program, participants must be at least 18 years old, overweight (BMI greater than 25), and at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

The program is free, but registration is required. Those with questions or wishing to register should call Elisha Underwood at 802-257-8867 or email

Inclusion Center

seeks helpers

The Inclusion Center is looking for people interested in helping the organization to grow and mature in various directions.

The Inclusion Center works with all people who have disabilities or medical issues, and everyone else who has an interest in those issues. The possibilities for what the Inclusion Center could be are endless: a drop-in center within another program; have a space with its doors always open; offer classes; or offer services as well as being a drop in center.

In order for the center to grow, a few more people are needed who can either come to board meetings (the second Friday of each month at 2 p.m.), or come to a work group each month, generally Friday mornings.

For more information, email or call 802-387-5285.

BMH offers free WRAP wellness workshop series

Brattleboro Memorial Hospitalwill offer a Wellness Recovery Action Plan workshop free to the community.

This workshop, conducted in three sessions, provides participants with tools to deal with life's complications and to plan for the inevitable bumps along the way.

Developed in 1997, WRAP helps individuals overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. The program is used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address physical, mental and emotional health issues.

BMH's WRAP workshop series will provide participants with tools and insights to manage challenging situations for themselves and others in their lives. The workshop series is also relevant for those who might be in support roles for people struggling with physical and mental issues, and for health care providers interested in becoming WRAP facilitators.

The series is scheduled for Jan. 19 from noon to 5 p.m., Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Brew Barry Conference Room 2 at BMH.

The program is free but registration is required. Contact Elisha Underwood at 802-257-8867 or for more information or to register.

Blood draw nets 41 pints

The Brattleboro December Blood Donor Day was held at the Eagles Club, No. 2445, 54 Chickering Drive, on Dec. 14.

A total of 41 pints was donated.

Multiple and 1-gallon donors included Nancy Sprague, 15 gallons; Raymond Brannagan, 13 gallons; Alice Charles, 10 gallons; Larry McIntosh, 5 gallons; Daniel Crocker, 2 gallons; Douglas Favreau, 2 gallons; Henry Mazelli, 1 gallon; and Nancy Kent, 1 gallon. Katherine Hebert was a first-time donor.

The January Blood Donor Day is scheduled for Tuesday at the Eagles Club from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Brattleboro Area Hospice offers grief support group

A new seven-week bereavement support group for adults begins Jan. 18 and will meet each Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m., ending March 1. This group is sponsored by Brattleboro Area Hospice and will meet at the hospice office at 191 Canal St. Connie Baxter is the facilitator of the group. Interested individuals must meet with her before the first session, so call her at 802-257-0775, ext. 104, by Jan. 12 for a pre-group appointment. The group size is limited to eight people.

Participation is free of charge and open to anyone in the community grieving the death 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. No previous connection with hospice is necessary in order to participate.

For more information, visit

Retreat's internship program receives accreditation

The Brattleboro Retreat recently announced that its Psychology Internship Program has been awarded a full seven-year accreditation from the American Psychological Association's Commission on Accreditation.

APA-CoA is recognized by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the national accrediting authority for professional education and training in psychology.

"This is nothing short of national recognition for the high quality treatment and training that takes place at the Brattleboro Retreat," said Kurt White, the Retreat's Director of Ambulatory Services. "Very few APA accredited training programs are available in Vermont, and this will certainly help us attract the most qualified interns from across the U.S. to come here to train and work with us."

The retreat launched its psychology internship program in 2011. Since then, fourteen individuals have completed the yearlong commitment working 40 hours per week in various programs including the retreat's Uniformed Service Program, Birches Treatment Center and Pain Management Program as part of their doctoral training in professional psychology.

The rigorous process of achieving APA accreditation required the retreat to submit a detailed self-study designed to assess the internship program's ability to meet APA accreditation requirements and also to gauge the retreat's overall ability to support a quality training environment.

After approval of the self-study, APA-selected site visitors conducted a two-day survey in late 2017 that included meetings with hospital administrators, faculty and students. An accreditation determination was then made after an extensive APA committee review of all documents and findings.

"A great deal of work was involved in making this happen, especially on the part of Retreat clinicians Frank Gallo, Ph.D., and Jilisa Snyder, Ph.D.," added White. "We're very proud of the outcome and excited to look forward and see how the internship program will develop and grow."


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