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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013


Health section

Beware Of A Legal Hospital Scam Called "Observation Care"

Hospitals can keep patients overnight -- even for several nights -- for "observation care" without telling the patient that they are officially an out-patient, even though they are in a hospital bed. Medicare patients can then be surpised to receive high bills which which are not covered, but should have been if they had been an in-patient. 

It is unconscionable -- but unfortunately not so unusual --- that at at a time of greatest vulnerability, a patient is on their own to defend themselves against a powerful institution. Here is a link to an article which warns patients who are kept overnight at a hospital that it is essential to verify exactly what their patient status is, since the hospital is not required to tell them.


Rescue Inc. Announces Subscription Campaign for 2014-2015

Subscribers Benefit from Substantial Savings on Ambulance Services

BRATTLEBORO, VT—Rescue Inc., is in the midst of its subscription campaign, by which residents may sign up at a flat annual fee to receive substantial savings for the cost of certain ambulance services not covered by insurance.

Drew Hazelton, Chief of Operations, explains that for someone who had three ambulance calls in a year, the total cost could be $1500 or more. “For an uninsured person, our subscription plan could pay the full amount on a qualifying bill,” he said. “For an insured person, their plan may still require a patient co-pay, or the cost of the ambulance service might go toward an insurance deductible — but again, with a subscription they may not have to pay anything, if the call falls under the subscription parameters.”


BMH Physician Group Launches New Online Patient Portal for Easier Access to Health Information

With the launch of a new patient portal this month, called “MyHealthPortal”, BMH Physician Group now offers patients the option to access select portions of their health records online.

MyHealthPortal, featured on the BMH Physician Group home page will launch June 2014, giving patients fast, easy access to their personal health information. MyHealthPortal is a personalized, safe, secure and completely confidential communication link between the patient and the providers.


BMH Center for Wound Healing Recognized with National Award for Clinical Excellence

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Center for Wound Healing was recently awarded a Center of Distinction Award, by Healogics, Inc., the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. The Center achieved outstanding clinical outcomes for twelve consecutive months, including patient satisfaction scores over 92%, a minimum 91% wound healing rate within 30 median days to heal, and other quality outcomes. Of the 511 centers eligible for the Center of Distinction award, only 157 achieved the honor.


BMH Recognizes Wanda Smith as Employee of the Year

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce that Wanda Smith has been recognized as the 2014 BMH Employee of the Year.

An employee at BMH since 1980, Smith was chosen to receive this honor due to her long-time dedication, attentiveness to safety and cleanliness, respect for patient privacy, positive attitude and sense of humor, and pride in a job well done.

Smith works in the Environmental Services Department. She was previously recognized as the BMH Employee of the Month in November 2009.


BMH CEO Receives National Award for Exceptional Leadership

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital President & CEO Steven R. Gordon has been honored with a 2014 American Hospital Association Grassroots Champions Award for exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of a hospital’s mission.

The American Hospital Association (AHA), in partnership with the state hospital associations, presents these awards annually to one individual from each state, with winners being chosen by the state association. The 2014 honorees were recognized at a special Breakfast of Grassroots Champions at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting on May 6 in Washington, DC.


BMH and Hospice Co-Sponsor Free Workshop Discussing End-of-Life Issues

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Brattleboro Area Hospice are co-sponsoring a free interactive workshop on May 19 entitled, "How to Talk About the End of Life."

Talking about one’s dying is not something most people feel comfortable doing. We would rather put it off until we absolutely have to. Even healthcare providers avoid it. This interactive, how-to workshop will include personal stories and examples of the powerful benefits of talking about it.


Back Pain Treatment is Topic of Free BMH Educational Program

On May 19, at 6:00 PM in the Brew Barry Conference Room, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will be offering a free educational program entitled, "Understanding Back Pain and Sciatica: When is Surgery Advised," by Dr. Jon Thatcher.

Thatcher, who is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, will discuss the causes of back pain, surgical and nonsurgical treatment options, and when surgery is appropriate.

"Many people suffer from back pain, and most back pain can be treated conservatively without surgery," says Thatcher. "Surgery becomes more effective when leg pain is caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back known as sciatica."


New Technology for Hip Replacement is Topic of Free BMH Educational Program

On May 12, at 6:00 PM in the Brew Barry Conference Room, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will be presenting a free educational program entitled, "The Anterior Hip: A Muscle-Sparing Approach to Total Hip Replacement," by Dr. William Vranos.

Vranos, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, will describe this new approach to replacing the hip, which is minimally invasive and spares muscles from incision allowing patients to have a shorter recovery time and less rehabilitative time.


Just So Pediatrics Hosts an Open House

On May 13, from 4:00 – 6:00 PM, Just So Pediatrics is hosting an open house to celebrate its new location in the Medical Office Building at 19 Belmont Avenue, Suite G102 on the ground floor, at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. 

Situated just across the street from their old location and conveniently located on the hospital grounds the new office provides larger space and updated facilities.

"The new location is bright, beautiful, and fully functional," says Dr. Valerie Rooney."We've added an additional exam room and are accepting new patients to our new facility."


Privacy Concern About Health Care Records

There is a health care records concern I have about "global consent" -- whereby your records are stored in one big state file, to which, if you sign a release, any health care provider may have access.  This story was on Vermont Public Radio -- link to it http://digital.vpr.net/post/new-patient-information-system-sparks-privac... .  For information on the information exchange, see vitl.net .

This is what I sent to my legislators regarding this issue:


New Grief Support Group

A new Six-Week Bereavement Support Group for adults begins on Tuesday May 6th and will meet each Tuesday from 4:30-6:00 pm, ending June 10th. The group is free of charge and open to anyone in the community grieving the death loss of a loved one, no matter where you are on your journey of grief.

Bereavement Support Groups offer a safe, mutually supportive environment for sharing experiences, insight and encouragement, through discussion, handouts, and suggestions for moving through grief. This group is sponsored by Brattleboro Area Hospice (BAH) and will meet at the hospice office at 191 Canal St. in Brattleboro. No prior connection with BAH is required in order to participate.


Women's Cardiac Symposium at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital

The Center for Cardiovascular Health at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will be hosting a Women’s Cardiac Symposium on May 3, 2014. The Symposium will be held in the Brew Barry Conference area from 7:30 AM -12:30 PM.

The Symposium will host several speakers who will discuss the impact of heart disease on women. Topics will include cardiac risk factors, emergency care, STEMI protocols, cardiac rehabilitation and how Accountable Care Organizations are working to improve the continuum of care. For more information about speakers, click here.

“We are very excited to be able to bring so many experts together to discuss the impact of heart disease on women,” said Marcy Rushford, Director of Cardiovascular Health. “Women are often so busy taking care of others, that they neglect themselves and the warning signs for heart disease. By offering this free seminar, we are hoping to raise awareness.”


Prescription Drug Take Back Day - Saturday, April 26th 10am - 2pm

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of medication disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications. Clean our your medicine cabinet and bring your expired and unused medications to one of the following locations.

Bellows Falls Police Dept. 170 Rockingham St., Bellows Falls

Brattleboro Police Dept. 230 Main St., Brattleboro 


Community Conversation: Preventing Teen Rx Misuse

Did you know that 1 in 5 Windham southeast high-school students have misused a prescription (Rx) stimulant or opiate (pain reliever), not prescribed to them? And 1 in 10 have misused an Rx medication in the past 30 days?

The Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition (BAPC) will be hosting a Community Conversation-Preventing Teen Rx Misuse. This event is designed to bring teens, parents, adult mentors, educators and community members together, using a "World Cafe" styled event, to discuss and develop solutions to prevent youth Rx misuse.

Teens and adults will take part in determining achievable strategies to address teen Rx misuse and create an opportunity to develop and execute strategies in the coming year.


BMH Celebrates National Donate Life Month with New England Organ Bank this April

This April marks the 11th annual National Donate Life Month, a celebration commemorating those who have given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. For those whose lives have been saved or healed by a transplant, National Donate Life Month provides a chance to share their story to encourage more people to register as donors.

Suellen Canfield was a happy wife, mother and grandmother when she died suddenly in 2001. Her family had no doubt that if given the opportunity she would continue to help others even after she had passed. At 61 years old, Suellen’s gift of organ donation saved the lives of three people. Her husband, Bob, volunteers for New England Organ Bank sharing his story of how in great loss he found comfort in his wife’s ability to help others.


BMH Offers Free Educational Program on Knee Pain Treatment Options

On April 24, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will be offering a free educational program featuring Dr. Elizabeth McLarney discussing knee pain.

Dr. McLarney, who is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, will review knee pain. She will address its etiology and treatment. She will discuss both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options.

Dr. McLarney, who attended Brown University, Albany Medical College and completed her orthopaedic surgery residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, has experience diagnosing and treating a wide a variety of orthopaedic conditions. She works in the office of BMH Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, which is part of the BMH Physician Group, a multispecialty group practice of primary care and specialty care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. The group's mission is to provide community-based, quality health services delivered with compassion and respect.


Healing Retreat May 2-4 in Putney

You are your best healer!

Come learn how each and everyone of us is born with the gift to heal ourselves. I n this weekend retreat, you will experience simple and profound ways to awaken your body’s innate healing ability.

Participants will leave with a renewed and empowered sense of health and well-being.


BMH Dedicates New Lobby to Roland and Harriet Fisher

On April 10, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital hosted a dedication ceremony of BMH's new lobby in honor of long-time Brattleboro residents Roland and Harriet Fisher.

The new "Roland and Harriet Fisher Lobby" recognizes the couple's final and generous gift in support of BMH's $3.5 million "Doorway to Exceptional Care" Capital Campaign for the new Emergency Department and front entrance at the hospital.

The guests were welcomed by BMH Board Chairman Peter Carvell. Following brief remarks about the renovation and the improved facilities, BMH President and CEO Steven R. Gordon, introduced the featured speaker Arthur Magnaghi.


BMH Offers Free Educational Program Focusing on Dementia

On April 21, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will be hosting an educational program entitled, “Conversations about Dementia,” designed to help community members talk about some challenging and often uncomfortable topics.

Presented by Maggie Lewis, MPA, LNHA, director of programs and services for the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, this program will clarify many of the signs and resources, and clearly outline what steps can be taken.

“Many in our community confront issues with Alzheimer's and related dementias,” says Lewis. “Often, we are unsure of seeing the signs of dementia and what steps need to be taken to plan for its occurrence.”


iBrattleboro Poll

So far, this summer has had too much