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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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Health section

New Bereaved Parents Support Group

A new 8 week Bereaved Parents Support Group for parents mourning the death of their teenage or young adult child will be held at Brattleboro Area Hospice. The group will meet Tuesdays, beginning August 19, from 4:30-6:00 pm. Cheryl Richards will be the facilitator. Please call Cheryl at (802) 257-0775, X108 by August 12 to register for the group.

The death of a child is one of life’s most devastating losses. Sharing and connecting with other grieving parents can be a powerful component in the healing process.


Pertussis in the Community

By Dr. Kathleen McGraw, CMO

Summer is here in full force, and with that comes more outdoor activities, scraped knees, and the occasional summer cold. However this past month we also had a more unwelcome guest in our community – Pertussis. The Vermont Department of Public Health has reported 11 cases of Pertussis in Windham County during the month of June, most of which were children ages 3-17. While none of these cases have been seen in at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, we do see the need to do all that we can to prevent its further spread.


BMH Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital's Birthing Center, the Windham County Breastfeeding Coalition, and the BMH Ten-Step Committee to Empower Mothers and Nurture Babies are joining forces to celebrate the 2014 World Breastfeeding Week during the first week of August.

This year's theme, as established by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), is "Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal - for Life!"


Just So Pediatrics Welcomes New Physician

Just So Pediatrics is pleased to welcome new pediatrician Dr. Heather Lesage-Horton to their group, as of July 15, 2014.

Dr. Lesage-Horton, who is board certified, most recently worked at the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, she earned her medical doctorate and bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont, and completed her pediatrics internship and residency at the University of Michigan Health System, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.


Free Glucose Screening at the Brattleboro Farmers' Market July 12

The Brattleboro Walk-In Clinic will host a free blood glucose screening at the Brattleboro Farmers' Market tomorrow, Saturday July 12, from 9am to noon.

The market is open from 9 to 2, outdoors on Rte 9 in West Brattleboro. 802-254-8885


Brattleboro OB/GYN Welcomes New Midwife

Brattleboro OB/GYN is pleased to welcome new nurse-midwife Meredith Merritt, CNM, to the practice.

Merritt received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Vermont in Burlington and her Master of Science degree in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Kentucky. She resides in Brattleboro with her husband Peter, their five-month-old daughter Zora, and their dog Gary who came to them through rescue two years ago. Merritt's hobbies include hiking, running, yoga, traveling, and time spent with her family outside.


Record of Time to Successfully Make Payment On Phone for Vermont Health Connect

We have not been receiveing our Health Connect Bill in the mail.

Today I tried to make a payment via phone for Health Connect. Here is the log of what transpired.

  • On hold. 
  • After 27 minutes, talked to human being, whom I was able to tell that I wanted to make a payment. 
  • Transferred to next line. Now waiting to talk to payment specialist. 

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.”


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