Health news and notes

BMH appoints new care manager

BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro Memorial Hospital recently appointed Michelle Wright, RN, BSN as the new Manager of Care Management.

In her new position, Wright will oversee the hospital's care coordination system, population health, financial management, and resource utilization to yield cost-effective outcomes that are patient-centric, safe and provided in the least restrictive setting.

In 2012, Wright joined BMH as a medical surgical nurse. She later transitioned into a care management position within the quality department in 2015. Prior to her tenure at BMH, Wright gained experience in geriatric medicine, long-term care, and rehabilitation.

"We are very excited about Michelle's acceptance and look forward to her work on population health initiatives along with her efforts in standardized care management services across the BMH continuum of care," said Michele Rowland, MSN, RN, LICSW, Executive Director of Quality and Risk Management.

HCRS names two new members to board of directors

SPRINGFIELD — Health Care and Rehabilitation Services, southeastern Vermont's community mental-health agency, recently elected Jeff Acker and Phillip Kasten to its Board of Directors.

Originally from Connecticut, Acker moved to the Upper Valley to attend Dartmouth College in 1984. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Education in 1988, Acker pursued numerous entrepreneurial ventures in real estate, property management, and construction. Currently he and his wife, Lara, own HP Roofing, a full-service roofing business in White River Junction. His many years of experience as a local business owner will be a tremendous asset as he joins the HCRS Board of Directors.

Kasten is the Chief of Police for the town of Hartford. He has over 20 years of experience covering all aspects of law enforcement, specializing in the administration and management of community law enforcement. Kasten has a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention from the University of Cincinnati and has received numerous awards for his law enforcement work. As the Hartford Chief of Police, Kasten has been a partner with HCRS since taking his current position in 2015, which will provide him with a unique perspective as he joins the Board of this non-profit Agency.

Free produce distribution set for Jan. 25

PUTNEY — All are welcome to come for free produce and some non-perishable items distributed by the Vermont Foodbank and the Putney Foodshelf. This event is open to anyone in the community. Please bring your own shopping bags.

Now that the holidays are over, The Putney Foodshelf is back to distributing food on the fourth Thursday of the month. The next food drop at the Putney Meadows location will take place on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Please share this information with anyone you think would benefit from this opportunity.

BMH installs drug take-back box

BRATTLEBORO — If you have unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs, you no longer have to wait for drug take-back events. Brattleboro Memorial Hospital recently installed a MedDrop Drug Take Back box.

The MedDrop box is located in the entryway of the main entrance of the hospital. The blue box has a secure drawer to add the drugs that go into a locked safe. People who want to drop unwanted drugs do not have to be patients at the hospital.

"The ability to easily dispose of unused and unneeded medication serves to strengthen the safety and well-being of our community," said Stephen Kapral, R.Ph., Director of Pharmacy for BMH.

Items not allowed include illegal drugs, syringes, needles, liquids over four ounces, aerosol spray cans, trash, medical devices, chemical liquids, or other hazardous materials.

"The secure box has two locks opened by different keys held by different people to help eliminate any misuse of the drugs when the box is emptied," Kapral said.

Excess prescription and over-the-counter drugs can pose a serious risk in one's home. The MedDrop box is a secure metal drop box which will provide a safe way to properly dispose of them, thereby protecting the environment and water supply, as well as reducing the risk of accidental overdose, intentional misuse, or the development of addictions.

'Person centered' workshop set for late February

BRATTLEBORO — Person centered thinking workshops introduce seven skills and tools to build capacity for person centered practices. If you are a parent, caregiver or healthcare worker wanting the world to see people with disabilities or frailties as valued and valuable, this workshop will offer great ideas. With hands-on practice exercises, you will learn tools for information gathering, decision making, learning and action planning.

The training in person centered thinking serves as a foundation for everyone who is involved in supporting people with significant disabilities and is recommended for all paid staff regardless of their role. We have discovered that implementation of person centered planning is more likely when staff have participated in this training.

The workshop is set for Feb. 26 and 27 at the Winston Prouty Center for Child & Family Development.

For more information, or to register, visit or call Roy Gerstenberger at 802-777-9456.


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