News


Clothes Exchange Event to Benefit Camp Ta-Kum-Ta

The Clothes Exchange, a shopping fundraising event to support a social cause or nonprofit in our community, will be held May 2-3 at Memorial Auditorium.  The beneficiary of this year’s event is Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, a nonprofit serving children and families dealing with cancer.

“The Clothes Exchange has given over a quarter of a million dollars to local nonprofits and social causes in our community over the past 11 years,” said Adam Brooks, SEABA executive director and Clothes Exchange director. “Camp Ta-Kum-Ta is an organization that does a lot of great things for children and families dealing with cancer, including a wonderful camp experience during the summer.”

The Clothes Exchange is a mission-driven social enterprise dedicated to turning clothing into cash for community benefit.  For every event, The Burlington Clothes Exchange selects a new nonprofit partner who receives the event proceeds. In total, The Clothes Exchange has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for nonprofits in Chittenden County.

“Camp Ta-Kum-Ta is very pleased to be the beneficiary of the Annual Clothes Exchange and for the support of The South End Arts & Business Association.  As Camp Ta-Kum-Ta receives no state or federal funding, we rely solely on the support of individuals, organizations and the community.  Camp Ta-Kum-Ta is able to continue providing year round programs to children who have or have had cancer, and their families, because of events like the Clothes Exchange,” said Ted Kessler, executive director of the camp.

SEABA (South End Arts & Business Association) is a member-based organization located at 404 Pine Street, which supports the arts and businesses of the South End of Burlington. Its signature event, the South End Art Hop, will celebrate its 22nd year Sept. 5-7. For more information, visit www.theclothesexchange.org or contact Adam Brooks at 859-9222.

Lehouiller celebrates 102nd birthday

Celebrating her 102nd birthday with children Camille Lehouiller, John Lehouiller, Helen Walker and Gillies Lehouiller is Irene Lehouiller with staff member Jessica Carrillo at The Manor in Morrisville. (Contributed photo)

Irene Lehouiller recently celebrated her 102nd birthday with family and friends at her residence at The Manor in Morrisville. Lehouiller was feted at a gathering in her honor, where she received greetings from Governor Peter Shumlin and Senator Patrick Leahy.

Born in Canada, where she worked as an elementary school teacher, Lehouiller and her family have lived in Johnson since 1955. She has nine children, 16 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She is an avid bingo player and enjoys social gatherings, music and church. Family is and has always been most important to her.

VNA Creates 100 New Jobs and Offers Free PCA Training

The Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties (VNA) has received a $100,000 grant from the Vermont Department of Labor’s Workforce Education and Training Fund that will allow the creation of 100 new Personal Care Attendant (PCA) positions as well as additional training to enhance the skillsets of as many as 200 current PCAs through the PCA Career Ladder training program. PCAs comprise the VNA’s largest paraprofessional workgroup and they provide around-the-clock care to hundreds of clients every day, helping people with medical needs as well as people who require non-medical assistance, such as help with personal care and housekeeping, to stay in their homes.

With support from the Workforce and Education Training Fund (WETF), the VNA launched the PCA Career Ladder in 2012, offering tiered promotions and associated pay increases to PCAs who successfully complete trainings. The program, which is offered in collaboration with the Community College of Vermont (CCV), accepted 154 students into the program and created 115 new jobs in its first year and decreased the VNA’s PCA turnover rate by more than 25 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the need for PCAs will increase by 70 percent by 2020 due to the aging boomer population coupled with the trend of the elderly wanting to stay in their own homes. This grant allows the VNA to be better prepared to employ a workforce of PCAs for Vermont.

For more information, call 860-4449 or email careers@vnacares.org.

CVAA 40th Anniversary Dinner

CVAA (Champlain Valley Agency on Aging) will be celebrating its 40th anniversary on May 29 at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington. CVAA provides services and support to seniors and their caregivers to help seniors age with independence and dignity. The 40th anniversary celebration will include a 70s themed cocktail hour from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and a Ruby Red Dinner Celebration from 6:30-8:30 p.m., which will include a performance by Lyric Theatre. Tickets are $80 and are available at www.cvaa.org or 865-0360.

Converse Home Receives Excellence in Action Award

The Converse Home recently received the Excellence in Action award from My InnerView by National Research Corporation. This honor recognizes long term care and senior living communities that achieve the highest levels of satisfaction excellence, as demonstrated by overall resident and family satisfaction scores that fall within the top 10 percent of the My InnerView product database.

“Every year, we are exceptionally honored to award these fine organizations for their excellent quality and care given to their residents,” said Susan L. Henricks, President and COO of National Research.”

The Converse Home has been a part of the Burlington community for over 127 years and provides assisted living and memory care services for seniors.

‘Grand Friend Program’ Launched in Shelburne

Heartworks Shelburne Preschool and the Lodge at Shelburne Bay Senior Living Community on Shelburne Road are working together to create a “Grand Friend Program.” Throughout the year, residents of the Lodge will have an opportunity to visit Heartworks and participate in special activities. The Heartworks teachers and students will also visit the Lodge to share in afternoon snacks, create art projects and visit with the residents of the home.

According to Libby Macdonald, Director of the Shelburne Heartworks Preschool, “There are tremendous benefits to this kind of inter-generational program. From the student perspective, it’s an opportunity to develop new relationships, learn more about how they can contribute to our community and to enhance their social skills. It’s such a great thing to see them open up and engage with their new grand friends.”

Resident Services Director Cherrie Willette also praised the partnership. “We’re so thrilled to partner with Heartworks on this Grand Friend Program. Our residents enjoy the time with the students and it provides them with a strong sense of their value in the community, which is so critically important. There’s no doubt that this program will enrich the lives of both the Heartworks students and The Lodge’s residents. They’re both certain to treasure their new friendships and the time they spend together.”

Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center Earns AHA Recognition

Burlington Heath and Rehabilitation Center recently announced it has achieved the Tier Four Recognition level as part of the American Health Care Association’s Quality Initiative Recognition Program (QIRP) for achieving the following goals: increasing staff stability; safely reducing the off-label use of antipsychotics; increasing customer satisfaction; and safely reducing hospital readmissions.The Quality Initiative is an effort that builds upon the existing work of the long term and post-acute care field by setting specific, measurable targets to further improve the quality of care in America’s skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities.

‘Neighbor Rides’ Needs Volunteer Drivers

United Way of Chittenden County recently introduced its “Neighbor Rides” program. Neighbor Rides brings people and places together in Chittenden County. Volunteers use their own cars to help seniors and people with disabilities get to medical appointments, grocery stores and other essential errands

According to United Way:

• Over 80 percent of suburban and rural Chittenden County seniors have limited transit access
• Access to transportation improves quality of life and reduces isolation
• Neighbor Rides matches volunteer drivers with those in need of a ride
The program, which United Way says doesn’t affect drivers’ insurance rates, allows you to make your own schedule, choose your own hours and you may also receive mileage reimbursement.

For more information, contact Alyson Platzer, Neighbor Rides Coordinator via email at Alyson@unitedwaycc.org or call 861-7833.

Burlington Film Society joins the Vermont International Film Foundation

The Burlington Film Society (BFS),  a resource for local film events, will now be operating as an independent program within the Vermont International Film Foundation (VTIFF).  VTIFF is an organization whose mission is to enrich the community through film through film screenings and support for Vermont filmmakers.

This format will allow for further development of the Burlington Film Society’s mission, giving promotional, budgetary and infrastructure support. VTIFF is also at this time launching a membership program, giving members free access to BFS monthly screenings, discounts on the Vermont International Film Festival passes and access to other community film events.

BFS Founder and Director Barry Snyder said, “From the start, BFS recognized VTIFF as a sister organization with a shared mission of providing more opportunities for the public to experience the best that cinema has to offer, and to enhance the potential of cinema as a cultural institution. As BFS continued to grow and evolve it made total sense to us to benefit from the existing infrastructure of VTIFF, that would enable us to direct our energies toward the common goal of cultivating film culture in Vermont.”

This collaboration will not only support the VTIFF and all of its programming — including the annual Vermont International Film Festival — but will support the programming of the Film Society. For more information about membership, visit www.vtiff.org/membership.

For more information about The Burlington Film Society, visit burlingtonfilmsociety.org. For more information about the Vermont International Film Foundation, visit www.vtiff.org.

Annual Vermont Chapter Update

By Martha Richardson

Today more than 11,000 Vermonters, 5 million Americans and 36 million people worldwide are living with the Alzheimer’s disease and the numbers are growing.

But there is hope. We are all feeling the culture shift happening around Alzheimer’s disease. The Boomer Generation has begun turning 65. The scientific community is energized around Alzheimer’s research. The world is recognizing Alzheimer’s as a public health crisis. And, as biomarkers are identified 10, 15, 20 years prior to the onset of symptoms, the face of Alzheimer’s is beginning to change.

At the same time, the Alzheimer’s Association is going through its own culture shift. We’ve created a bold new plan that embraces and empowers all who share our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. Here are some highlights of our 2013 activities and what’s ahead for 2014.

Research: Alzheimer’s and related dementias research is a dynamic field and momentum builds each year. Even in the budgetary climate we face today, the scientific community is clamoring for more funding. Here in Vermont, we can influence funding by raising our voices and demanding that the National Alzheimer’s Plan be followed. Our volunteer Alzheimer’s Advocates are making a difference.

Increasing Concern and Awareness: Through stories generously shared by our friends with Alzheimer’s, family members, team captains and advocates, we were able to increase our media exposure around the disease five-fold. With the help of corporate partners, our Walk to End Alzheimer’s saw significant growth in 2013. Over 1,700 Vermonters raised nearly $175,000 at Walks held across the state.

Enhancing Care and Support

More Vermonters continue to turn to the Alzheimer’s Association for guidance in navigating their way through challenges brought on by dementia. In addition to our in- person education programs, local office support and 24-hour helpline (which offers personalized care consultations with masters level clinicians ), the Association is offering a full complement of programs and services online at alz.org. More than 100 Vermonters have enrolled in Alzheimer’s Navigator – an online resource that lets us help create an action plan to meet their specific needs and ALZConnected – an online community where people can safely share their concerns and get advice.
Jessie Cornell, Community Outreach Specialist, is currently working with a core group of volunteers to develop an Early State Engagement Program set to launch in 2014. The program will offer a unique calendar of events for persons in the early-stage of the disease and their care partners, helping people with the disease continue to live life fully and build connections.

Advancing Public Policy

Our Alzheimer’s Ambassador Program fully launched this year. Thanks to Alzheimer’s Ambassadors working with Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, all three of our representatives signed on as members of the Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force, supported the $100 million dedicated to Alzheimer’s research included in Obama’s FY14 budget proposal and both Senator Leahy and Congressman Welch have signed on as co-Sponsors of the H.O.P.E for Alzheimer’s Act.

With nearly 1000 attendees, we attended the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum to deliver our message that Alzheimer’s must be recognized as a national priority.

In August, we hosted our first Town Hall Meeting, creating an open forum for more than 60 attendees to ask questions and share their input on improving dementia care in Vermont.

Growing Revenue in support of our Mission: Our community continues to show their support through special events like The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Reason to Hope Dinner, The Longest Day and small community events hosted by volunteers to raise funds for Alzheimer’s. Add that to the general and memorial donations received in FY13, and revenue has grown to $484,000.

So much has been accomplished thanks to the support of our community. Yet there is so much more left to do. If you would like to be involved, call 802-316-3839 or email mailto:martha.richardson@alz.org.

Martha Richardson is the Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter in Williston.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s Set for Sept. 22

The annual Vermont Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the nation’s largest event to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s care and support, will be held on Sept. 22, 2013 at the Shelburne Museum. For information, visit www.alz.org/walk or call 800-272-3900.

Quality of Nation’s Nursing Homes Improving

The quality of nursing homes has improved in most states and in the District of Columbia since the 2008 implementation of the Five-Star Quality Rating System by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an Abt Associates’ analysis finds.

The study shows that between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of nursing homes with an overall five-star rating, or much better than average quality, increased in all but three states and the proportion with a one-star rating, or much below average quality, dropped as well. There are more than 15,500 nursing homes in the country, and all of them are rated with between one and five stars.

“Between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of nursing homes with a four- or five-star rating grew in every state except for Hawaii, Montana, and Idaho,” said Alan White, Ph.D., a principal associate at Abt Associates who worked with CMS to develop the rating system. “While we don’t know the extent to which the existence of the rating system itself has led to this improvement, most nursing home operators pay close attention to their ratings and seem to be motivated to improve them. Some use their ratings as part of their marketing efforts, branding their facilities as ‘five-star’ nursing homes.”

White said the Five-Star Quality Rating System was created to help consumers, their families, and caregivers more easily compare nursing homes when visiting CMS’s Nursing Home Compare website. There they can learn about a facility’s overall performance rating and how it performs in three separate domains—health inspection surveys, staffing and quality measures. The ratings are updated monthly. Visit the website at www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/

Medicare Urges Vermont Seniors to Join Fight Against Fraud

In mailboxes across the country, people with Medicare will soon see a redesigned statement of their claims for services and benefits that will help them better spot potential fraud, waste and abuse.

The redesigned notice will make it easier for people with Medicare to understand their benefits, file an appeal if a claim is denied and spot claims for services they never received. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will send the notices to Medicare beneficiaries on a quarterly basis.

“A beneficiary’s best defense against fraud is to check their Medicare Summary Notices for accuracy and to diligently protect their health information for privacy,” said Peter Budetti, CMS deputy administrator for program integrity. “Most Medicare providers are honest and work hard to provide services to beneficiaries. Unfortunately, there are some people trying to exploit the Medicare system.”

For more information about the Medicare Summary Notice, visit: http://bit.ly/SummaryNotice.

AARP Vermont Appoints Poor as Outreach Director

Kelly Stoddard Poor has been appointed to associate state director at AARP Vermont in charge of state and community development. She is responsible for developing AARP Vermont’s volunteer capacity on social impact campaigns that improve the quality of life for all Vermonters as they age. In addition, she is responsible for statewide public education efforts and outreach to directly engage AARP Vermont members and their families on the issues that most affect their lives.

Stoddard Poor comes to AARP following six years at the American Cancer Society, where she led advocacy and government relations. As state vice president of health and advocacy initiatives, she managed a host of programs and activities in implementing the society’s overall business plan. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts and completed a master’s degree in sustainable development at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vt. She lives in Montpelier.

Melvin Selected Outstanding Senior Volunteer

A 95-year-old Randolph man has been honored as the Vermont winner of the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Salute to Senior Service award.

Retired Maj. Melvin McLaughlin is being recognized for his dedicated community service, including his work at Gifford Medical Center. Every day, McLaughlin can be spotted pushing his walker around the medical center, spending time with patients on all floors and helping wherever he is needed. He always has a smile on his face and a pleasant greeting for everyone who crosses his path.

As one of 50 state winners, McLaughlin earned $500 for his charity of choice and will be considered for the national Salute to Senior Service award.The Salute to Senior Service program was launched last year by the Home Instead Senior Care network to honor seniors’ commitments to their causes and communities.

First Death-with-Dignity Law Passed by Vermont Legislature

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin’s signing into law the nation’s first death-with-dignity bill passed by a legislature is a “breakthrough” moment, according to end-of-life choice advocacy group Compassion & Choices.

“This historic achievement is a political breakthrough that will boost support for death-with-dignity bills nationwide,” said Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee, an ER and ICU nurse and physician assistant for 25 years who co-authored the nation’s first Death-with-Dignity law in Oregon.

The Vermont law will provide criminal, civil and professional protections for physicians who prescribe medication to mentally competent, terminally ill patients that they can ingest to achieve a peaceful death.

“Gov. Shumlin and Vermont legislators have shattered a barrier by becoming the first politicians to show the courage to enact a death-with-dignity law,” added Coombs Lee. “Given the high margin of public support for end-of-life choices nationwide, it is only a matter of time before legislatures in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and other states that are currently considering death-with-dignity bills enact them into law.”

State Historic Sites Open for Season

Vermont’s State Historic Sites are open and welcome visitors of all ages. Sites include Chimney Point in Addison, Mount Independence in Orwell, Hubbardton Battlefield in Hubbardton, Old Constitution House in Windsor, Justin Morrill House in Strafford, Calvin Coolidge in Plymouth and the Bennington Battle Monument.

“These beautifully preserved gems enable thousands of Vermonters and visitors alike to experience history where it happened with interactive exhibits and special events that bring history alive for adults and children each season,” John Dumville, Historic Sites Operations Chief at the Division for Historic Preservation said.

To learn more about Vermont’s history and historic sites, current exhibits, season-long special events and children’s activities, visit www.historicsites.vermont.gov.

The Six Secrets to a Happy Retirement

The Six Secrets to a Happy Retirement: How to Master the Transition of a Lifetime, offers advice from retirement specialists, including Mark Singer. For 25 years, Singer has owned a retirement planning firm and many of his clients are now reaching retirement age. He says, “That’s not surprising, but what I find interesting is how my conversations with them have changed. Instead of focusing on money, we now spend a lot more time talking about life itself.

“Joe had worked for a company for over 30 years. He was a guiding light for many of his peers and was recognized as being someone who had helped shape the growth of the company,” said Singer. “Joe and I had previously done a Retirement RoadMap and it was clear that he could have a very enjoyable retirement. But when he came in with his wife to make the final decision, something interesting happened. Joe had been so focused on the numbers that he had yet to address the emotions that come with this transition. For the first time, he was faced with the reality of starting a new chapter in his life, and he was terrified.”

Singer’s longtime client was terrified because leaving a job is so much more than just leaving a paycheck—it’s also about having a reason to get up in the morning, and many retirees face this fear or feel displaced. Singer decided to write and publish “The Six Secrets to a Happy Retirement, “with the help of his favorite experts, to address some of the financial, physical and emotional issues of retirement faced by Joe and others like him.

“The Six Secrets to a Happy Retirement” is available on Amazon.com.

Obituary: Roger Dean Farley

Editor’s Note: It is with deep regret that we inform our readers that Vermont Maturity’s “Backward Glance” columnist Roger Farley passed away on Jan. 31.

 

Roger Dean Farley, 79, of South Burlington, passed away surrounded by family on Jan. 31, 2013, in Fletcher Allen Health Care, after a brief illness. Roger was born Jan. 4, 1934, in Albany, N.Y. He was a 1951 graduate of Columbia High School and was a lifetime member of the Rensselaer County New York Elks Club. He worked for Honeywell, Inc. as a system specialist, until his retirement. He then worked for a time at Radio Shack at the University Mall, before pursuing his lifelong dream of becoming a writer. He wrote a monthly column, “Backward Glance” for Vermont Maturity Magazine, and for many years was a regular contributor to the South Burlington Other Paper. He was a member of the South Burlington Development Review Board, until his illness. He was an active member and past president of the Burlington Amateur Radio Club. His call letters were WA1OZE (The Wizard). He was a lifetime diehard Red Sox fan, an avid reader and a music lover (especially, Dixie Land Jazz and Big Band Music). He loved computers and electronics and used them each and every day of his life.

Roger is survived by his wife, Linda (Rivers); brother, Douglas and wife, Beverly; sister-in-law, Gail Farley of New York; sister, Eileen Jensen of Florida; four daughters and their husbands, Laura (Bob) Greene of New Hampshire, Linda (Edward) Devino of West Addison, Lisa (Douglas) Fischer, and Lee Ann (Jonathan) Brignull of New York; three sons and their wives, Steven (Donna) of Essex, Robert (Krista), and William of New York; three stepdaughters and their husbands, Kelly (David) DeGrechie of Huntington, Brenda (Randy) Carpenter of Williston, and Tracy Campbell of Winooski; 21 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law, Roger Rivers (Rosemary) of California, and Rick Rivers (Susan) of Burlington; and sister-in-law, Kim White (Brad) of Georgia, Vt. He was predeceased by his brother, Michael of New York; and granddaughter, Adrienne Devino of West Addison.

The family would like to thank Karen Rounds, RN, Diana Barnard, MD, Linda Forgan, RN, and all of the Palliative Care teams and supportive staff on McLure 4 ICU. Funeral services were held on Feb. 6, 2013 at Corbin & Palmer Funeral Home, 71 South Union St., Burlington. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Roger’s memory to the AJ Devino Memorable Scholarship Fund, c/o VUHS, 50 Monkton Road, Vergennes, Vt. 05491; or to Therapy Dogs of Vermont, P.O. Box 1271, Williston, VT 05495.

Notch Above Tours Announces New Ownership

Gwendy Lauritzen, former Vice President of the corporation, has assumed ownership of Notch Above Tours, a Vermont-based, full-service tour operator specializing in group and individual travel throughout the U.S. and abroad. “I am both fortunate and honored to become the owner of this company that was established in 1993 by Jim Jackson. My extensive experience in the travel and tourism industry, combined with years of event planning, have proven to be immeasurable assets in the growth of Notch Above Tours,” Lauritzen said. The company is located in Malletts Bay in Colchester.

Johnson Joins Red Cross As Major Gifts Officer

The Vermont & New Hampshire Upper Valley Region of the American Red Cross recently announced that Suzanne Johnson has joined the staff as its Major Gifts Officer. She will be responsible for engaging potential donors in an effort to broaden the organization’s financial base, allowing it to advance its mission in Vermont & New Hampshire’s Upper Valley.

Johnson has experience in fundraising, marketing, sales and management. In addition to having previously worked as a realtor, she owned and operated Tilley’s Café in Burlington for several years.

CVAA Pledges to End Senior Hunger

CVAA’s 3rd annual Bowl-a-thon to Strike Out Senior Hunger will be held on March 23 from 1:30 – 4 p.m. at Spare Time in Colchester. Teams of four will raise pledges of $400 per team, enough to feed more than 80 seniors in need in the Champlain Valley. Teams that raise pledges of $500 or more will be entered to win tickets to the Boston Red Sox. For more information or to register, visit www.cvaa.org or call 865-0360.

Way Joins Armistead

Diane Way has joined Armistead Caregiver Services as a Community Outreach Coordinator. She comes to Armistead with 18 years of experience including working as the Director of Sales and Marketing for The Lodges Retirement Communities and as a Residence Counselor at Wake Robin Life Care Retirement Community in Shelburne. The Vermont Health Care Association recognized Way’s efforts on behalf of seniors in 2006 with the Outstanding Marketing Director Award.  She was also named United Way Hometown Hero Volunteer of the Week in 2009. Way was a founding partner and continues to serve as a board member of Celebrating Seniors, Inc.

Vermont 50-Plus & Baby Boomers EXPO set for Jan. 26

Toni Catlin and Brett Hughes are set to perform at the Vermont 50-Plus & Baby Boomers EXPO

The 18th annual Vermont 50-Plus & Baby Boomers EXPO will be held Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel & Conference Center from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Baby Boomers, seniors and all ages are invited to enjoy a day of fun and learning featuring: more than 80 interactive exhibits; 12 seminars and workshops including Dr. Stuart Offer on age-erasing superfoods,  Madeleine Kunin on “The New Feminist Agenda,” international elder abuse expert Lillian Jeter on combating and preventing elder abuse, and Feng Shui consultant Lydia Solini; fashion show featuring F.H. Clothing Company of Quechee, Vt.; giveaways including a trip for two; Lyric Theatre Company performing songs from Broadway musicals old and new including tunes from Lyric’s current season productions of “RENT” and “Oliver”; afternoon dance party with DJ Charlie Rice; live music featuring Nashville singer/songwriter Toni Catlin with Brett Hughes, as well as an exclusive engagement with members of the Amida Bourbon Project, including international singer/songwriter Aya Inoue; hula hoop and Zumba fitness demos; silent auction to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association-VT; art workshops; free coffee tasting and more.

Tickets are $5 at the door, $4 in advance. Advance tickets can be ordered by phone, by visiting the University Mall Customer Service Desk or online at www.vermontmaturity.com/expo

For more information, visit www.vermontmaturity.com/expo or call (802)-872-9000 x18, or email vermontmaturity@aol.com.

Lemnah Named President of VERG

Sarah Lemnah  of St. Albans was named President of the Vermont Elder Resource Group (VERG). Lemnah is the Director of Development & Communications for CVAA (Champlain Valley Agency on Aging). In addition, she is the producer and host of “Aging Matters,” a radio program focused on senior issues airing on WOKO/WKOL/WJOY/WIZN/WBTZ. Lemnah is a regular columnist for Vermont Maturity Magazine. Her column, “Mature Matters,” deals with issues on aging. She is the editor and writer of “The CVAA Voice,” distributed to over 50,000 households in the Champlain Valley.

VERG is a membership organization that includes both for profit and non-profit professionals serving the Vermont elder community. Through peer to peer education and networking, VERG members strive to better serve elder clients. For more information on VERG, go to vergvermont.org.

Christmas Tree Sales Benefit Cancer Support Program

Every spring, Pat White and her friend Bill Shield, accompanied by Occim the cat, leave Florida for White’s tree farm in Jericho,Vt. to fertilize, spray and shear the future Christmas trees. In late November, they return to the tree farm on Clover Lane to sell the trees to benefit the Vermont Cancer Patient Support Program. (Photo by Phyl Newbeck)

By Phyl Newbeck

Most people who split their time between Vermont and Florida do so because they want to spend their winters in a warmer climate. That’s not the case for Pat White. The 74-year-old leaves her home in Vero Beach every November to spend a month in Jericho, Vermont selling Christmas trees to benefit the Vermont Cancer Patient Support Program (CPSP).

Raised on a farm in Colchester, White and her late husband built their Jericho home in 1977. In the 1990s, they began spending some of the colder months in an RV in Florida and bought a home there in 2004. While most snowbirds are happy to spend their entire winter in the Sunshine State, White has been doing a reverse commute since 2009 when she started “Christmas Trees for Cancer.” A breast cancer survivor whose husband died of leukemia, White wanted to put the Fraser firs planted at her Jericho home to good use. Almost 10 percent of the money she makes from selling holiday cheer goes to the CPSP.

Now in its fourth year, Christmas Trees for Cancer has become a popular destination for locals and even not-so-locals looking for a tree. In the first year of operations, White raised $1,025. The second year’s total was $1,730 and in 2011, CPSP raised more than $4,500. This year, White is hoping to send the CPSP a check for at least $5,000.

Every spring, White and her friend Bill Shield, accompanied by Occim the cat, leave Florida for Vermont to fertilize, spray and shear the trees, and mow the paths in between them. In September, they return to Vero Beach, but unlike most snowbirds,they don’t stay there for the winter. By late November, they return to the tree farm on Clover Lane in Jericho.

Over the years, their little booth has become fancier, with a generator hooked up to a decorated tree at the entrance. Ideally, White likes to see a light dusting of snow when she’s selling trees — enough to get people into the holiday spirit, but not enough to make buying trees a chore.

The Vermont Cancer Patient Support Program uses the donated money for its emergency fund, which helps patients in treatment meet their financial obligations. The program, which subsists purely on local funding, has been in existence since 1999 and can provide up to $500 annually to cancer patients. Money can be used for a variety of expenses including rent or mortgage payments, electricity, fuel and phone bills and other incidental expenses. Recently, CPSP has grown large enough to hire consultants who provide psychological help and nutritional counseling free of charge. Jennifer James, Administrative Coordinator for the CPSP, said between 90 and 95 percent of the funds received go straight into the program. James is thrilled that White is willing to donate money to the fund. “It’s absolutely wonderful,” she said. “These local events are how we are able to provide services and funds to patients who need them.”

Although many of the 2,000 trees on the farm are up to 14 feet tall, there are still some six and eight-footers for those looking for a more compact conifer. This year, all the trees were basal pruned so the bottom foot of the tree is bare of branches, making it easier for folks to cut their own trees, particularly if there is snow on the ground.

White dedicates the operation to the memory of her late husband. She is steadfast in her support of CPSP because of the low administrative overhead and the fact that the program’s funds stay local. “I know from my own experience,” she said “that when these things hit, you don’t always have the extra money to do the little things. This program really helps people with necessities like transportation and groceries.”

White estimates that 90 percent of the people who buy her trees are either cancer survivors themselves or have close friends or family who have been affected by the disease. There have been times when people still undergoing treatment for cancer have made the trek to the farm. White remembers one young man who told her the Cancer Patient Support Program paid for his family to fly to Vermont to visit him while he was receiving chemotherapy. Another man had taken time off from work to care for his wife and the program helped pay their fuel bill. Two of White’s close friends died of cancer this year, so she is even more determined to raise as much money as she can for the program.

White is grateful she can play a small role in helping others deal with the disease and although she’s a Florida kitty, Occim seems content sitting in her home-made knitted hoodie guarding the cash register. White’s devotion to her cat is understandable. A previous rescue cat named Lucky is responsible for White learning she had breast cancer. The little cat pressed on a painful spot in her breast, sending White to the doctor to determine what the problem was. Being a survivor compels White to make her reverse commute year after year. The warmth of Florida will have to wait while she spreads her own warmth in Vermont.

Christmas Trees for Cancer is located on Clover Lane, off Lee River Road in Jericho. It is open from 8 a.m. to dark every day until Christmas.

Madeleine Kunin Speaks on Intergenerational Cooperation at CVAA Meeting

By Marianne Apfelbaum

The first female governor of Vermont spoke at CVAA’s annual meeting in November about “intergenerational policies that work.”

Madeleine Kunin, 79, called for a “different work structure that fits better with today’s families.” She cited workplace flexibility, redefined paid sick days/medical leave and a greater investment in early childhood education as key components for achieving necessary social change. She noted that the U.S. is one of only three countries (the others are New Guinea and Swaziland) that don’t offer paid maternity leave and that this country has the highest child poverty rate of any industrialized country at 22 percent (by comparison, Sweden’s is just 3 percent). Kunin urged “young people and the elderly to work intergenerationally,” and to lobby for one another “because we are one family.”

Kunin sees old and young working together for the common good as essential, and challenged women in particular to come forward and make their needs heard. “We have to speak up and we can’t always be ladies!” she said.

Referencing the Sandwich Generation, in which working parents are taking care of both children and aging parents, she asserted that we are different than the rest of the world. “We think it is our fault if we can’t do everything…but the family has fundamentally changed in the last 30, 40, 50 years.”

Kunin acknowledged that social change does not come easily, but “happens when we see people as real.” Citing the gay rights movement as one example, she noted that her speech at the first gay pride parade in Burlington was a surprise to some, but it was also a time when people began to recognize that “these people are our children, neighbors and co-workers.”

She also noted that social change comes about when people speak up. “The Americans with Disabilities Act changed attitudes, culture and law toward those with disabilities and it was because the disabled community spoke up.”

Kunin is optimistic that change is on the horizon. “The spirit of generosity, giving and caring…that’s what makes democracy work for all of us. We are in this together!”

Alzheimer’s Disease: Annual Update

The Thank you Brigade—made up of Emma Raymond, Nancy Baker and Pat Bennett of Burlington—cheered on participants in the 2012 Vermont Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Shelburne Museum on Sept. 23. More than 800 people joined the event and helped raise nearly $120,000 for educational programs, support services and research. (Photo by Britt Anderson Lilienthal)

A major breakthrough happened in the world of Alzheimer’s in 2012 — the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services developed and released the first-ever National Alzheimer’s Plan. It wasn’t the sought-after cure, or a new form of treatment, but it lays the groundwork for significant increases in research funding and support for those with Alzheimer’s. More than 40,000 advocates from across the country came forward to inform and actively support the drafting of the plan. Here in Vermont, our advocacy ranks grew 10-fold to nearly 1,000 during the process.

The National Alzheimer’s Plan is a sign that Alzheimer’s disease is beginning to be recognized as one of the largest health threats we face today. More than 36 million people worldwide—5.4 million Americans— including 11,000+ Vermonters are currently living with the devastation of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, now the sixth leading cause of death and the only one of the top 10 diseases without a known cause or cure. These alarming numbers will continue to rise as 8,000 baby boomers celebrate their 65th birthday each day. One in eight people age 65 and older develops Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025. as many as 20,000 Vermonters may be living with dementia.

Boomers bring a strong sense of urgency to the cause — a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and dream of seeing it realized in our lifetime. The National Alzheimer’s Plan is a significant first step towards a coordinated effort to make that happen. But the job is far from done. Now Congress must provide the funding necessary to continue implementation of the plan in the 2013 fiscal year. The president’s 2013 budget currently includes $100 million in additional funding for research, awareness, education, outreach and caregiver support.

The staff at the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has been listening to the voices, stories and needs of its advocates. The message is clear that it must continue to fight the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease and educate our communities that dementia is not normal aging. In addition, it must raise awareness of the support services available in local communities and through the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as provide the knowledge and strategies needed to maintain quality of life for those with dementia and their care partners.

Through partnership and collaboration with stakeholders, advocates and volunteers, the Association continues to develop new ways of meeting the needs of our unique state. Here are a few highlights of recent activities:

This fall, SASH (Seniors Aging Safely at Home) coordinators from 33 senior housing sites across the state have been trained to present the Association’s Know the 10 Signs and The Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease programs in their local communities.

In November, volunteer support group facilitators for those with early stage dementia and their caregivers as well as caregiver support group facilitators were provided with a full day of training to establish Alzheimer’s and related dementia-specific support groups throughout the state.

Volunteers in the long term care ombudsman’s program were provided training on the basics of Alzheimer’s, how to effectively communicate with those with dementia and information about the resources available from the Association to share with staff in the LTC facilities they visit.

In December, case managers from Vermont’s area agencies on aging will receive training to enhance their understanding and support for people living with Alzheimer’s.

The Association unveiled a new educational series, Living with Alzheimer’s, to help caregivers, families and individuals with a diagnosis navigate the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. These programs are available in-person, as well as online at www.alz.org.

The Association now has individual Alzheimer’s Ambassadors working directly with Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, Congressman Welch and their staffs to ensure they are informed and understand how Alzheimer’s disease affects our local communities and the Alzheimer’s Association stance on legislation that affects the dementia community.

A $260,000 grant from the Alzheimer’s Association has been awarded to Dr. Lindsay Reese of UVM as part of a Fellowship Exchange Program with Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Much of our progress is the direct result of connections made, as well as funds raised, through the Association’s largest mission-focused event, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Participation grew by nearly 40 percent as 1,200 people joined us at one of the six walks held across the state. Nearly $154,000 was raised.

If you have time and talents you are willing to share with the local chapter, email Executive Director Martha Richardson: martha.richardson@alz.org or call (802) 316-3839.
For more information, visit www.alz.org/vermont. 24/7 Helpline (800) 272-3900, or call the Vermont Chapter: (802) 316-3839.


Free Meal for Seniors on Christmas Day

HANDS (Helping and Nurturing Diverse Seniors) has announced that it will be providing both a delivered meal and a sit-down dinner this year on Christmas Day. “We love being able to have a meal so that people can gather together on Christmas,” said HANDS Director Megan Humphrey. “We also know that some people want a meal delivered.”

The free 8th Annual Holiday Dinner for Seniors will be held on Christmas Day at 1 p.m. at Heineberg Senior Center in Burlington with dinner as well as entertainment. To reserve the free meal (either ham or vegetarian lasagna) and transportation or to have a meal delivered, call Champlain Valley Agency on Aging at 865-0360 by Dec. 14. Last year, 300 meals and gift bags were delivered or served and “we’re hoping seniors will call the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging to reserve a meal,” Humphrey said.

For more information or to donate, visit www.handsvt.org.

Dress for Success Opens in Burlington

Since suiting the first client in 1997, Dress for Success has served more than 500,000 women internationally by providing them with business-appropriate clothing, mentoring and professional development programs. Dress for Success Burlington opened on Sept. 28, and is first in the state of Vermont, joining 124 others around the globe,. “Dress for Success is thrilled that the women of Burlington and Chittenden County will soon benefit from the programs we offer. What we do goes far beyond just suits – we empower women to achieve success in work and in life,” says Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide. “We are confident that this new affiliate will be a tremendous success.”

The mission of Dress for Success Burlington is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help them achieve financial independence by addressing their social and economic needs in relation to work, home and community.

Executive Director and affiliate founder Harri Williams decided to bring Dress for Success to Burlington based on a need in the community and her desire to positively impact the lives of women as they make efforts to support themselves and their families. “I am incredibly fortunate to have a job that combines my commitment to public service with my passion for women’s issues. To be able to bring this tremendous organization to the state I live in has been a humbling and joyful experience,” Williams said.

Dress For Success Burlington is located at 95 St. Paul Street, Suite 110. For more information, call 316-1026 or email Burlington@dressforsuccess.org.

Scillia Joins National Quality Board of Overseers

Revera Health Systems recently announced that Carole Scillia, Vice President of Corporate Compliance/Risk Management, has been elected to serve as a member of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers. The AHCA Board of Governors established the Board of Overseers to oversee, direct the activities and ensure the vitality of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living offers the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards each year to skilled nursing centers that demonstrate a long-term commitment to quality, self-assessment and progress. The rigorous application process starts at the beginning of each year, and hand-picked examiners review each submission over the summer, with winners receiving their awards at the AHCA/NCAL National Convention.

As a member of the Board of Overseers, Scillia is now responsible for establishing the award criteria and appropriate policies and procedures to administer, promote and preserve the credibility of the National Quality Award Program. In addition, Ms. Scillia is responsible for evaluating all aspects of the program, including the adequacy of the criteria and the processes for determining award recipients, she will assess how well the program is achieving its missions and she will be help to produce an annual report for the AHCA/NCAL Board of Governors, which includes recommendations regarding improvements. “Revera Health Systems is proud of the appointment of Carole Scillia to the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Board of Overseers,” said Tom DePoy, Senior Vice President. “The honor is a testament to Ms. Scillia’s dedication and passion to her work with the AHCA.”

ReSOURCE Changes Store Name

Three years ago, ReSOURCE changed its name from ReCycle North to ReSOURCE: A Nonprofit Community Enterprise Inc. In an effort to expand the community’s knowledge of the multiple training programs and environmental services they offer, ReSOURCE created additional sub-brands to help market their services. What had been known to many for over 17 years as ReCycle North became ReSTORE. This change made sense at the time, especially because ReSOURCE had recently expanded to central Vermont and taken over the operations of a sister nonprofit that had operated in Montpelier for close to 20-years as The ReStore.

However, the recent opening of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Williston created the potential for confusion among customers. Both ReSOURCE and Habitat wanted to avoid conflict — ReSOURCE and Green Mountain Habitat have been close partners and have in fact built a dozen units of affordable housing jointly with Habitat acting as developer and ReSOURCE YouthBuild helping in the construction. This led to the decision to change ReSTORE to ReSOURCE Household Goods Store.

ReSOURCE and Habitat have been working on the name change for three months for the same outcome — to provide clarity to customers and promote two nonprofits with separate but very important missions. In addition to changing ReSTORE to ReSOURCE Household Goods Store, ReSOURCE has changed what was ReBUILD to ReSOURCE Building Material Store. Barre ReSTORE has become ReSOURCE Household Goods & Building Material Store.

ReSOURCE will focus its marketing on one unified brand (rather than multiple sub-brands) in an effort to connect the community to all that the nonprofit does. “Our hope is that by making these changes, we will improve the public’s understanding of the three parts of our mission; job training, poverty relief, and environmental stewardship,” said Tom Longstreth, Executive Director.

At Home Senior Care Accredited from Joint Commission

At Home Senior Care has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in home care. A Joint Commission expert surveyor evaluated At Home Senior Care for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of clients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

“With Joint Commission accreditation, we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis from the top down. Accreditation provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence,” says Mary Lou Morrissette, president and founder of At Home Senior Care. “Achieving… accreditation for our organization is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide.”

For more information call (802) 747-3426 or visit www.athomeseniors.net

Amuse Chef Named Top Chef of the Champlain Valley

Shawn Calley, Executive Chef of Amuse at the Essex Resort & Spa was named Top Chef of the Champlain Valley for the second straight year at CVAA’s benefit to support Meals on Wheels. Calley went head to head against Michael Clauss of the Bluebird Tavern and Andrea Cousineau of the Bearded Frog. Calley impressed the judges with his complex dishes highlighting this year’s secret ingredient — zucchini. The team from Amuse presented the judges with an Asian style consommé, pork dumpling and pork tartare with vegetables for their appetizer. For the entrée the winning dish was pork done three ways: a pork burger with pickled zucchini; seared pork loin with a red wine/cherry sauce; and pork belly with fried egg and hollandaise.

More than $26,000 was raised to support Meals on Wheels at the Top Chef of the Champlain Valley, enough to provide over 8,800 meals to seniors in need. Over 230,000 Meals on Wheels are delivered each year in the Champlain Valley to homebound seniors. A near capacity crowd packed the Maple Ballroom at UVM’s Davis Center to watch Calley be named the Top Chef. For more information call 1-800-642-5119 or visit cvaa.org.

81-Year-Old Volunteer Honored

An 81-year-old Middlebury woman has been honored as the Vermont  winner of the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Salute to Senior Service award. Ruth Barenbaum is being recognized for her dedicated community service, including her work at the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging and Meals on Wheels.

“Ruth is a valued member of the community and a senior hero to many,” said President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jeff Huber of Home Instead, Inc. “She has shown that volunteer opportunities  for older adults should not diminish because of age. Seniors such as Ruth are making important contributions to their communities through charities, nonprofit organizations and faith communities.”

Bodette joins Otter Creek as Marketing Manager

Cheryl Bodette has joined Otter Creek Awnings, Sunrooms & Custom Closets, Inc. as the new marketing manager.

Bodette is a native Vermonter and a resident of Milton. She has an extensive background in marketing, sales and management and is an active volunteer with Lyric Theatre Company.

Otter Creek designs and installs custom awnings, sunrooms and closets for homes and businesses throughout Vermont.

For more information, visit www.ottercreekawnings.com

August 2, 2012

Northern Meridian Opens Third Building

Northern Meridian recently announced the opening of Building 3 to further meet the needs of the area’s expanding senior population. (Contributed photo)

After nine years as a well-established independent living community, Northern Meridian recently announced the opening of Building 3 to further meet the needs of the area’s expanding senior population.

“When the developer planned Northern Meridian several years ago, we envisioned it as a community-oriented option for ‘young-at-heart’ over 55 residents, especially those who were looking to downsize their living space, but wanted to stay engaged and active,” said John Wilking, president of Neville Companies. “Our residents have made that vision a reality. With the addition of our newest building, we will now be able to offer this experience to more Vermonters.”

Like the established residences, the new building is located on Lime Kiln Road in South Burlington across from a 10-acre park donated by Northern Meridian’s developer. The park features a limestone bluff and is bordered by several miles of cedar forest that stretch along the Winooski River and end at the shore of Lake Champlain.

“Northern Meridian residents take full advantage of the beautiful surrounding areas. Many take daily walks and get outdoors in every season. Residents also enjoy swimming in the pool year round,” said Wilking.

For more information, call Kandi Chastaine at 800-287-0208.

Miner Receives GCM Certification

Annemarie Miner

Annemarie Miner, a life-long Vermonter and partner at Elder Care Connections of Vermont, has received her Certified Care Manager designation from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers and is also now recognized as a Certified Geriatric Care Manager by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.

Miner’s career includes more than 15 years in the healthcare industry working with, advocating for and supporting elderly individuals (and younger individuals with disabilities) and their families. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Gerontology and a Master’s Degree in Family Studies with a concentration in Gerontology.

Wake Robin Recognized for

Environmental Excellence

Wake Robin Lifecare Community in Shelburne has earned The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its project, “Energy Use & Conservation: From Policy to Practice.” The award recognizes the Community’s “efforts to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution and promote environmental sustainability.”

The comprehensive efforts have reduced the Community’s carbon footprint by thousands of pounds—including a reduction of 58,000 pounds (and 318,000 gallons of hot water) in the laundry service alone

President/CEO Allie Stickney said, “This award recognizes that environmental consciousness is woven into our community—from a Board of Directors’ policy on energy saving and conservation to a myriad of specific activities… We’re proud to provide a lifecare community where residents can continue to live their green ideals.”

Resident David Conrad agrees. “Caring for the planet is a core value for me—and other residents, too. Without residents, board and staff all thinking creatively about this issue, we could not have won this award.”

Free Alzheimer’s Training

Available To Family Caregivers

The local Home Instead Senior Care® office is offering a unique approach to help families manage the challenges of Alzheimer’s and other dementias

The Alzheimer’s or Other Dementias CARE (Changing Aging through Research and Education) Training Program helps families care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease at home using an approach called “Capturing Life’s Journey” that involves gathering stories and experiences about the senior to help caregivers provide comfort while honoring the individual’s past. Because people with Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty with short-term memory, the Capturing Life’s Journey approach taps into long-term memory.

The Home Instead Senior Care network assembled the top experts in Alzheimer’s disease to develop the CARE approach. “The training we’re offering to families is the same kind of training our professional caregivers receive,” she noted.

Free training for families caring for these older adults is now available through online e-learning modules, available at HelpForAlzheimersFamilies.com. Also available is a free guide called Helping Families Cope which includes advice to help families keep their loved ones engaged and manage behaviors.

For more information, contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office at 802-860-4663 or visit HelpforAlzheimersFamilies.com.

June 1, 2012

Central Vermont 50+ EXPO

Saturday, June 9, 2012 • 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Killington Grand Resort Hotel & Conference Center, Killington

Schedule at a Glance:

Live entertainment ~ Ovations at Killington

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. World-renowned Celtic group Gypsy Reel

1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. The Potluck Folk Singers

Dancing, wine & giveaways ~ Oscar Ballroom

10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Line dancing demonstration and lessons

2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Wine and Vermont microbrew tastings

9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Sign up for giveaways at Booth 4

Silent Auction ~ Northstar Ballroom

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Silent auction to benefit the Alzheimer’s Assoc., Vermont Chapter

Art Workshops ~ Escapade event room

10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Burnished photography with Sally D. Curtis

11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Pastels with Alice Sciore

12 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Watercolors with Maurie Harrington

1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Scherenschnitte with Edie Johnstone

2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Oil painting with Nancy Nyerling  Pisano

Informative seminars ~ Gateway event room

10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Phone Services for the Hearing/Speech-disabled

11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Health Coverage After Retirement

12 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Comparing Travel Package Options

1 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Meeting the Needs of the Sandwich Generation

2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Dating in Vermont

April 12,2012

‘We’re Lucky to Have You

Luncheon’ Honors Volunteers

The Franklin-Grand Isle United Way hosted a St. Patrick’s Day themed event to honor volunteers from across the region in recognition for all of the tremendous good work that is done to help local families during the holidays through the Operation Happiness Program.

On March 17, the Franklin-Grand Isle United Way gathered volunteers from across the region to share a meal and recognize all of the tremendous good work that is done to help local families during the holidays through the Operation Happiness Program.

Guests were treated to a St. Patrick’s Day themed event including a traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage donated and prepared by the Franklin County Senior Center. More than 50 people who have been involved in Operation Happiness in Franklin and Grand Isle counties attended the luncheon to connect with fellow volunteers and reflect on the recent year’s success.

The United Way gave special recognition to five treasured veteran volunteers for all of their years of service including: Bob Cyr of Swanton; Laurel and Rita Spears from Highgate; Maurice Gauthier from Grand Isle; and Betty Casavant from St. Albans. Kathy Lavoie, who spoke about the 20-plus years of service that the Spears and Cyr families have devoted to the community, reflected, “It’s great to take time out of our busy lives to honor these community members that give so much. This luncheon gives us a chance to sit down and share Operation Happiness stories of the past and connect with groups from around the two-county area. It also provides an opportunity for us to talk about new ideas for the future.”

Operation Happiness was formed in the early 1980s by the local chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion to help local families in need at the holidays. Within a few years, they were joined by the United Way, who provided staff and organizational support under the leadership of Rear Admiral Warren Hamm.

Thanks to hundreds of community donations of food, toys and dollars, Operation Happiness assists over 1,100 families throughout Franklin and Grand Isle counties by providing boxes of food for families and toys for children.

BAYADA Hospice Hires Community Liaison

Jeanne T. Comouche

BAYADA Hospice, a specialty of BAYADA Home Health Care, recently announced the appointment of Jeanne T. Comouche of South Burlington as hospice community liaison for its Burlington service office.

Comouche is responsible for educating the community about the benefits of hospice care and the range of services BAYADA Hospice provides.

Comouche has extensive experience serving the senior community. She is founder and president of Celebrating Seniors in Vermont, an innovative non-profit organization that provides fun and stimulating events for seniors. Prior to joining BAYADA, she worked for five years for Armistead Caregiver Services, first as a caregiver and then an outreach coordinator. Before working with seniors, Comouche spent more than a decade as an elementary school teacher.

“I was drawn to BAYADA because of its mission, values, professionalism and commitment to quality,” Comouche said. “I look forward to helping more people in Vermont understand the breadth of hospice services that are available to them.”

Armistead Caregiver Services

Announces New President

Armistead Caregiver Services, providers of in-home care for seniors, has announced Tom Juers as the new President of the company. Juers brings to Armistead 30 years of service industry experience. The first 17 years of his career were spent with Eckerd Drugs and the last thirteen with Burger King Corporation, where he served as a Franchise Business Leader in New England and upstate New York. Most recently he held the title of Operations Excellence Leader for the Northeast United States and Canada.

“Over the last several years, I have felt like I needed to contribute to the community I have served in a bigger way, pay forward if you will. I saw an opportunity to help take care of those who have taken care of us and provided us with much of what we have today as a society. I had been looking for the right way to do that and began my search of companies that served our senior community. Armistead Caregiver Services fit the bill,” said Juers.

March 15, 2012

Brumsted Named Fletcher Allen CEO

John R. Brumsted, M.D., has been named president and chief executive officer of Fletcher Allen Health Care. (Courtesy photo)

Fletcher Allen Partners has named John R. Brumsted, M.D., as president and chief executive officer, Fletcher Allen Health Care.  Dr. Brumsted has been serving as the organization’s interim president and chief executive officer since the departure of Melinda Estes, M.D., this past August. Dr. Brumsted, 59, will also serve as the president and chief executive officer of Fletcher Allen Partners. Fletcher Allen Partners is an integrated delivery system comprising Fletcher Allen Health Care and Central Vermont Medical Center.

“I feel honored and humbled as I take on this role,” said Dr. Brumsted. “Fletcher Allen is made up of an extraordinary group of dedicated and caring men and women – 7,000 strong. It is a privilege to work with them as they deliver high quality care to our patients and their families.”

Prior to being named interim president and chief executive officer in August 2011, Dr. Brumsted has enjoyed a varied and successful career at Fletcher Allen. He served Fletcher Allen most recently as chief medical officer.  He has also served as chief quality officer, senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs at the UVM College of Medicine, and medical director of The Vermont Health Plan and Vermont Managed Care. He also served as Fletcher Allen’s interim president and chief executive officer for an 8-month period in the late 1990s.

Dr. Brumsted received his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Dartmouth College and his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School in 1978.  He completed a surgical internship at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn., in 1979.  He subsequently served in the U.S. Public Health Service in Randolph, New York for two years prior to moving to Vermont to complete his residency in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine between 1981- 1985.  He completed a fellowship in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Fletcher Allen in 1987, within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  He is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a member of Fletcher Allen’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a tenured professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

Dr. Brumsted is currently a member of the Vermont Medical Society (VMS) Council and is chair of the VMS Research and Education Foundation Board.  He has published extensively, both nationally and regionally.

Dr. Brumsted lives with his family in Shelburne.

Bowl-a-thon to Strike Out Senior Hunger

CVAA will host the second annual Bowl-a-thon to Strike Out Senior Hunger on March 31 from 1:30 – 4 p.m. at Spare Time in Colchester. Teams raise pledges of $400, enough to feed more than 80 seniors in need in the Champlain Valley. Teams have a chance to win a trip for two to Orlando, Florida and tickets to Walt Disney World. Space is limited so teams should register as soon as possible at www.cvaa.org or by calling 865-0360.

Jarrett Receives Elder Law Certification

The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) – the only organization approved by the American Bar Association to offer certification in the area of elder law – recently announced that Glenn A. Jarrett, Esq. of Burlington has successfully completed its elder law certification examination.

Certification in elder law – one of the fastest growing fields in the legal profession – will provide a measure of assurance to the public that the attorney has an in-depth working knowledge of the legal issues that impact the elderly.

Jarrett, of the Jarrett Law Office, PLC in South Burlington, is now a Certified Elder Law Attorney. He has practiced law for more than 35 years and has focused his practice since 2001 on the many aspects of elder law and estate planning. He is an honors graduate of Middlebury College and received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He is also a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner.

February 7, 2012

50 Plus & Baby Boomers

EXPO 2012 Prize Winners

Armistead Caregiver Services, three hours of free care, $70 value, Lina Vanderhoof.

Armistead Caregiver Services, three hours of free care, $70 value, Sherry Laclair.

Bayada Hospice, Comfort Basket, $50 value, Bilijean Smith.

Birchwood Terrace Healthcare, Mazza’s Basket, $50 value, Ardelle St. Gelais, Winooski.

Brownway Residence, Halvy’s Café $50 Gift Card,Stephen Cheney, St. George.

Burlington Parks & Recreation, Beach Pass, $50 value, Shirley Mercia, Williston.

Burlington Parks & Recreation, Class Discount, $10 value, Pam Carter, Burlington.

Burlington Parks & Recreation, Northern Lights Cruise Tickets, $53 value, Briget Morgan, Fairfax.

Cathedral Square, Shaw’s $50 Gift Card, Jeannine Griffin, Brandon.

Compatibles, One Month Membership, $100 value, Jim Richards, Fair Haven.

Conroy and Company, Kindle Fire, $200 value, Carolyn McKensie, Williston.

Edward Jones, Windjammer $50 Gift Card, Jean Kerner, Barre.

Franklin County Rehab Center & Holiday House, Olive Garden $25 Gift Card, Carol Hager, Franklin.

Griswold Special Care, Basket from Cheese Traders, $75 value, Jeanette Voss, Shelburne.

Helen Porter Healthcare & Rehab Center, Dakin Farm $30 Gift Certificate, Judy Gordon, Grand Isle.

Lyric Theatre Company, 2 Tickets to Opening Night of “Titanic”, $56 value, Jo ann McCaffrey, Essex.

Northern Meridian Senior Living, Windjammer $50 Gift Card, Marphelen Taff, Williston.

Nowak & Nowak Financial Services, $50 value, Janet Schneider, S. Burlington.

Snyder Homes, Harrington’s Gift Basket, $75 value, Fred Smith, S. Burlington.

Starr Farm Nursing Center, Car Care & Auto Safety Kit, $75 value, Louis Hanlon, Shelburne.

TLC Nursing Associates, LLC, Alarm Clock, $25 value, Irene Derby, Burlington.

TLC Nursing Associates, LLC, Alarm Clock, $25 value, Ronald Paquette.

TLC Nursing Associates, LLC, Kindle, $100 value, Wendi Simpus, Colchester.

United Way, Hannaford $50 Gift Card, Lee Bristol, Essex Junction.

UVM Continuing Education/OLLI, Two Tickets toLane Series Performance, $56 value, Patricia Brace Reed, Colchester.

Vermont Green Mountain Tours, Trip for 2 to Foxwoods Casino & Mohegan Sun Casino, $620 value, Mary A. Couture, Winooski

Vermont Kin As Parents, Godiva Chocolate Gift Basket, $29.99 value, Cathy Bergeron, S. Burlington

January 20, 2012

Three Area Seniors Granted

Wish of a Lifetime

Nick Eaton (Left), Angela Arena, Bill Maris, Yvonne Benedict and Craig Potter after the Wish of a Lifetime announcements were made. (Photos courtesy of Champlain Senior Center)

Champlain Senior Center was host to a unique celebration on Dec. 30 – the granting of wishes for three area seniors. Their wishes were announced at the Center’s Holiday Party by Bill Maris, Managing Partner of Google Ventures and a Burlington native. Their wishes are being fulfilled through Bill Maris’s generous contribution to Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of A Lifetime.

The recipients were: Craig Potter, 84, of Colchester received a trip to the Grand Ol’ Opry; Angelina Arena, 64, of Burlington will be able to visit a nephew she hasn’t seen since 1995; and Yvonne Benedict, 88, of Burlington will take a sightseeing trip to New York City.

Marcia Mason, a participant at the Champlain Senior Center, thanked Maris for his contributions not only to the wishes that were granted, but for his support of the Champlain Senior Center in providing all meals for the month of December.

Wish of a Lifetime was founded in 2008 by two-time Olympic skier, World Cup Medalist and entrepreneur Jeremy Bloom with a vision to initiate a nationwide cultural shift in how aging is viewed by granting lifelong wishes to seniors who have overcome tremendous challenges in their own lives. “They have given a lifetime of service, wisdom, and love to their communities and families. Growing old doesn’t mean you need to stop dreaming,” his says.

December 1, 2011

CVAA Honors Staff, Community Partners

 

By Marianne Apfelbaum

“Live well, live long, live life,” was the theme of CVAA’s annual meeting last month, which honored staff and community partners, and included presentations by speakers who emphasized the need for better health and human services for seniors.

The nonprofit organization, whose mission is to empower seniors to live well, recognized more than a dozen staff members who have dedicated themselves to serving the organization, including 20-year employees Harry Benoit, Carolyn Carlson and Zoe Hardy.

CVAA also presented Community Partner and Ambassador Awards to:

-Sue Buoninconto, an 8-year volunteer who is retiring this year after spearheading the Bristol Meals on Wheels program

-Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program, highlighting the success of the ”Take Control, Help Yourself” partnership with CVAA

-IBM, which received the Community Partner Award for its Days of Caring initiative and ongoing financial support

-Vermont Maturity Magazine, for its support and promotion of CVAA’s programs and services

-Home Instead Senior Care, for its support of the organization and willingness to help whenever there is a need

-Mark Schroeter and Nicole Grubman of the Chittenden County Hoarding Task Force, for assisting the CVAA with this growing problem among seniors

The keynote speaker for the event was Anya Rader Wallack, PH.D., Chair of the Green Mountain Care Board, who spoke about health care reform and its impact on seniors. Wallack said the Board is charged with revamping the health care system in Vermont including: reducing administrative waste and the accompanying burden on physicians; implementing an electronic records program; instituting payment reform to emphasize value rather than fees for services; improving care delivery; and improving coverage with an eye to health care coverage for all.

Senator Bernie Sanders, chair of the subcommittee responsible for the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act,  wrapped up the event by emphasizing that Social Security “is not going broke” and in fact has “a surplus of $2.5 trillion…and is viable for the next 25 years.”

He also noted that “there are lots of bogus arguments out there. Social Security did not contribute to the deficit,” and should not be cut, he said. Instead, he said there are ways to do deficit reduction that are fair. “The gloves are coming off” in his fight to protect seniors, the poor and children, he said.

CVAA serves more than 10,000 seniors in Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle and Addison counties, administering the Meals on Wheels program, senior advocacy and numerous other programs. For more information on services or volunteer opportunities, call CVAA at 865-0360 or visit www.cvaa.org.

Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot

Call the Visiting Nurse Association at 802-658-1900 to find out about flu clinics in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. In Addison County, call Addison County Home Health and Hospice at 802-388-7259. Local CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies also offer flu shots.

Franklin County Home Health Agency Awarded Business of the Year Award

The Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation (FCIDC) presented Franklin County Home Health Agency with its Business of the Year Award at its annual meeting on Nov. 8.

In her presentation, FCIDC board member Becky Tarte Richards recognized the Agency for its role in the community. “Almost all Franklin County families have experienced, at some point in time, the kind, knowledgeable, professional service of Franklin County Home Health Agency. We are fortunate to have such an organization in our county.”

Richards also pointed out the role the Agency plays as a major Franklin County employer. “The Agency started with six part-time employees. Currently, they provide 230 jobs, using flexible hours and work conditions. The annual payroll is $7,000,000 … It’s important to note that this valuable community partner also helps our families manage care of loved ones and balance our jobs at the same time – something employers should recognize.”

Executive Director Janet McCarthy accepted the award on behalf of the Agency. In her acceptance speech, she cited the Agency’s staff, who make home health care visits in wind, storms, sleet, snow, and floods seven days a week, 365 days a year. “We remain as dedicated to our community as ever and look forward to meeting the challenges of our changing health care system.”

For more information, visit www.fchha.org.

VHCA Awards Three Staffers at Burlington Health and Rehab

Three staff members at Burlington Health and Rehabilitation were recently honored at the annual Vermont Health Care Association awards ceremony. Taking home top honors were staffers Lynn Avery, Katie Jewett and Bridget King.

Bridget King was named Occupational Therapist of the Year for her expertise and dedication to residents at the center. According to Ursula Margazano, administrator at the center, “Bridget has a way of making the hard work of rehabilitation enjoyable for our residents. She’s very creative and full of innovative ideas, and makes a real effort to get to know her patients and earn their trust.”

Katie Jewett was named Physical Therapist of the Year.  “Katie is an excellent worker,” says Margazano. “ Her ‘whatever it takes’ approach to providing therapy services has had a positive impact on patients’ perception of our responsiveness and quality. She has superb communication skills and empathy that foster trust in her patients and co-workers. She has become a mentor for all members of the therapy team at BHRC, as well as the students she has supervised.”

Lynn Avery, head of resident and family services at Burlington Health and Rehab, was also the recipient of a top award. “Since the very beginning of her career with us, Lynn has demonstrated an outstanding level of professionalism and leadership,” said Margazano. “ She is wholeheartedly committed to our residents and families and goes out of her way to make sure that their every need is met. She is upbeat, a great team player and a wonderful mentor, with a positive approach to even the most challenging situations.”

“We are so proud to have not one, not two, but three award-winning employees here at Burlington Health & Rehab,” said Margazano. “Everyone who works here recognizes the great work that Bridget, Katie and Lynn are doing. But it’s wonderful when the Vermont Health Care Association shares our high opinion of these wonderful employees. We couldn’t be more proud.”

November 10, 2011

Holiday Stroll to Benefit CVAA

The Arbors at Shelburne will hold the 3rd Annual Holiday Stroll on Dec. 1 from 6-8 p.m. This year, the Holiday Stroll will not only feature decorated wreaths, but also centerpieces and gift baskets. Each year, dozens of local businesses and individuals decorate festive pieces to be displayed and auctioned off to benefit an area nonprofit. This year, CVAA will be the beneficiary. CVAA serves over 235,000 Meals on Wheels each year in the Champlain Valley to homebound seniors.

The Holiday Stroll will include a homemade soup dinner, warm cider and tasty desserts. In addition, a local vineyard will be hosting a wine tasting and there will be live music. The Holiday Stroll is open to the public for a suggested $5 donation.

If you would like to decorate a wreath, centerpiece or gift basket please call Kathi Monteith at the Arbors at Shelburne at 318-4445.

Red Cross Seeks Volunteer Drivers to Deliver Street Banners

The American Red Cross is looking for special volunteers to deliver street banners to communities throughout Vermont and portions of New Hampshire.

The volunteer driver’s day starts at the Red Cross Donor Center at 32 North Prospect Street in Burlington where a Red Cross van and the banners (typically 2 or 3) are picked up.  The volunteer will receive directions ahead of time to the different communities for that particular delivery day.  A cell phone and a gas card are provided for the trip. Each week’s destinations are different. The volunteer may do a northern route up to Enosburg Falls and Newport or do a southern route to Bennington and White River Junction before returning to Burlington.

According to Alice Drislane, Volunteer Coordinator, “This is a unique opportunity for volunteers who enjoy driving through the Vermont countryside. We are happy to have volunteers who could help out with this effort on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis – whatever would work best for the volunteer.”

Inquiries about this opportunity may be addressed to Alice Drislane, Red Cross Volunteer Coordinator, at 802-658-6400 x3647 or drislanea@usa.redcross.org.

Free Health and Wellness Program for Those Age 60+

Jen Manosh, an AmeriCorps Member working with CVAA, is offering a versatile, interactive health and wellness program designed for adults 60 and over. This program consists of 8 weekly sessions on Wednesdays, beginning Nov. 2 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Taft Farms Senior Living in Williston. Participants will set personal goals in a supportive environment, talk about current health trends and issues, play games, and learn about age-specific nutrition concerns. This program is free and open to the public. Pre registration is recommended. To reserve a space or if you have any questions about the program, contact Manosh at 865-0360 x1058 or jmanosh@cvaa.org

Willem Lange Featured at League of Local Historical Societies and Museums Meeting

Writer Willem Lange shared stories at the Annual League Meeting on Nov. 4 at the State House.

The Vermont Historical Society held its Annual Meeting of the League of Local Historical Societies and Museum, on Nov. 4 at the Vermont State House.

This year’s conference, “Telling Your Stories,” featured keynote speaker Willem Lange, a beloved New England writer and master storyteller. Lange’s weekly column, “A Yankee Notebook,” appears in several New England newspapers. He is also a commentator for Vermont Public Radio.

Following the keynote address, attendees chose from 10 educational workshops. Workshop topics included Training Docents to Tell Your Stories, Disaster Planning, Effective Marketing and Publicity, and Artifact Labeling.

The daylong conference generally has more than 150 attendees and features a keynote address, business meeting, achievement awards, lunch, and professionally-led workshops relevant to the needs of the local history community. Attended by local historical society members, museum professionals and the interested public, the meeting provides participants the opportunity to network and share concerns, successes, and issues.

The Vermont Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that operates the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier, the Leahy Library in Barre, and programming throughout the state. Established in 1838, its purpose is to reach a broad audience through outstanding collections and statewide outreach. Visit the Society’s website at www.vermonthistory.org.

‘Safe at Home’ Confidentiality Program Celebrates 10 Years

2011 marks the 10th anniversary of Vermont’s Safe at Home Address Confidentiality program.

The Safe at Home program was established by the legislature in 2001 and iss one of the earliest implementers of a program of this type and is now one of 32 programs in the nation.

The Safe at Home program offers two service components to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: a substitute address service and a protected records service. These services limit a perpetrator’s ability to access public information that could identify the new location of a victim, keeping them from being vulnerable for further abuse.

“The substitute address portion of the program is a mail forwarding service. All program participants use the same post office box number and mail sent to the box is forwarded on to the participant’s actual address at no expense to the participant,” said Secretary of State Jim Condos. “The protected records service allows program participants to use the substitute address when creating records with state or local government agencies. Participants can obtain a driver’s license, get married and register births without fear that those public records will put them at risk of being located by their perpetrator.”

Since July 2001, 249 people have participated in the program, representing 102 households, 115 adults and 134 children. Currently, 102 people are participating in the program.

“The Safe At Home Program offers the most endangered victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking vital safety and support. We deeply appreciate the Secretary of State and the Safe At Home staff for their efforts on behalf of victims,” said Karen Tronsgard-Scott, Executive Director of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Application to the program must be made through a trained, certified employee of an organization that provides counseling and other services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. You can find more information about the Safe at Home program at http://www.sec.state.vt.us/otherprg/safeathome/safeathome.html

Bayada Hospice Nurse Manager Named HPNA’s First Vermont State Ambassador

Sonja Molyneux

Sonja Molyneux, RN clinical manager for Bayada Hospice in Burlington, has been appointed by the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association (HPNA) Board of Directors as the State Ambassador to the national HPNA Public Policy Committee. The HPNA is the nation’s oldest and largest professional nursing organization dedicated to promoting excellence in hospice and palliative nursing care.

As ambassador, Sonja’s participation is essential to the HPNA’s understanding of policy issues in Vermont. She will serve as a vital conduit for sharing state and national policy information to and from hospice and palliative care nurses within the state.

“Sonja has a passion for hospice and palliative care reform, whether it’s legislative issues, public policy or advocacy, and we’re thrilled that she was selected as Vermont’s first state ambassador,” said Linda Covert, RN, MSN, CNS, director of Bayada Hospice in Burlington.  “As the co-founder of Vermont’s first chapter of the HPNA, Sonja is a strong leader, supporter and advocate for end-of-life reforms on the state and national level.”

Bayada Hospice, with Vermont offices in Burlington, Norwich, and Rutland, consists of an interdisciplinary team which provides clinical, social, spiritual, and emotional care, enabling patients at end-of-life to remain at home (a facility, private home or community residence) with comfort, independence, and dignity.  As clinical nurse manager at Bayada, Sonja coordinates the nursing staff’s involvement in the interdisciplinary team and provides direct care, education, oversight, and support to the nursing team.  Additionally, Sonja provides community education and training as one of Bayada’s clinical liaisons.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to contribute to the efforts creating policy and advocacy improvements for all Vermonters, and especially for those in need of hospice and palliative care who cannot advocate for themselves,” Sonja said.

Bayada Hospice is a specialty of Bayada Nurses. Founded in 1975 by J. Mark Baiada, Bayada Nurses provides nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, hospice, and personal home health care services to children, adults, and seniors in the comfort of their homes. For more information, visit www.bayada.com or www.youtube.com/bayadanurses.

Chittenden County Walk To End Alzheimer’s Raises $64,000

Participants crowd the Circus Barn lawn at the Shelburne Museum during the opening ceremonies of the 2011 Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 25. More than 650 people attended the walk, raising almost $64,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association-Vermont Chapter. (Courtesy photo by Lisa Mullerauh)

More than 650 people from across the region joined the Alzheimer’s Association-Vermont Chapter at the 2011 Chittenden County Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Shelburne Museum on Sept. 25. Participants raised $64,000 to fund critical Alzheimer’s research, care, support and programming across the state. This event has nearly doubled in size since 2010, when just over 300 people helping to raise $33,000 in 2010.

“It is clear from the incredible success and attendance at this year’s event that Chittenden County has shown its commitment to the fight against Alzheimer’s,” said Joany Simonds, Event Coordinator for the Vermont Chapter. “It is truly inspiring to see our community answer this call to action in support of the more than 11,680 Vermonters currently living with Alzheimer’s across our state.”

The Chittenden County Walk to End Alzheimer’s, formerly called Memory Walk, is one of seven walks in Vermont and thousands across the country united in their efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate Alzheimer’s disease. Statewide, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s has raised more than $129,000.

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic and is now the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease will rapidly escalate, increasing well beyond today’s estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. In Chittenden County alone, there are nearly 3,000 people living with Alzheimer’s. For more information or to make a donation visit alz.org/walk.

October 6, 2011

Stern Center for Language and Learning Announces Move

The Stern Center for Language and Learning, a nonprofit learning center, recently announced that it received a lead gift of one million dollars from the Hoehl Family Foundation for a new home.

The new Stern Center location will be named the Cynthia K. Hoehl Building in honor of Hoehl, a life-long teacher, tutor, and current Stern Center board member. Hoehl has worked in public schools, migrant communities, and even prisons, so she’s seen first-hand how important literacy skills are across the lifespan. “As a Stern Center board member, I’ve watched the extraordinary impact that Blanche and her team have had on individuals who learn differently. Our family decided to invest in the future of the Stern Center,” Hoehl said. In addition, the Hoehl Family Foundation established the Cynthia K. Hoehl Institute for Excellence at the Stern Center in 2008.

The Stern Center will reduce organizational costs and more efficiently use space by combining its Williston services under one roof. Currently, the Stern Center occupies 135 Allen Brook Lane and leases additional space at 147 Allen Brook Lane to accommodate staff and students. The Stern Center will relocate to The Seven Gables building at 183 Talcott Road in Williston.

The Stern Center will move to its new location in late 2011 between instruction semesters to minimize interruption of services. The new location will continue to offer all of the Stern Center’s research-based and professionally delivered services. The Stern Center’s White River Junction office will not be affected by this move. For more information, visit www.sterncenter.org.

AARP Vermont Selects Two Vermont Communities for Community Design Support

AARP Vermont recently announced the selection of two Vermont communities to receive $15,000 each in support of community design initiatives aimed at creating a more livable community for all ages. Brattleboro and Jericho/Underhill were each awarded grants to conduct Active Living Workshops in their towns featuring a nationally renowned expert on community redesign and improvement. Selection was based in part on the proposal’s focus on transportation and pedestrian needs, impact on older residents and on the demonstrated support of community groups, residents and town officials.
“These are very strong proposals and we are excited to help these communities move forward with their efforts to tackle complex design and development challenges while enhancing the walk-ability and livability of their communities,” said Greg Marchildon, AARP Vermont state director. “This initiative is an extension of the work AARP has been doing on livable communities and transportation since 2006. We hope this intensive program of education and actual planning will lead to actionable recommendations that will really make a difference for residents.”

A central element of the award includes a very hands-on Active Living Workshop with Dan Burden, an internationally recognized authority on livable and sustainable communities, healthy streets, traffic calming, and bicycle and pedestrian programs. He is co-founder and executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute based in Port Townsend, Washington.

The Active Living Workshops will focus on a specific area of interest to each community. The aim is to educate and inspire community leaders and residents to improve livability, walkability and active transportation. Working together, the planning groups will conduct walking audits of roadways, explore strategies and design approaches and review the challenges they may face. With the guidance of Burden, the workshops will help participants recognize how planning and community design influence successful aging, health, and overall livability while giving participants an expanded toolkit to draw from to build healthier neighborhoods.  Additional funding will be available towards implementation of one or more of the workshop recommendations and AARP will provide ongoing support to both communities.

Caregiver U Training Program Launched

Armistead Caregiver Services, a local senior home care company, has launched an innovative new program called Caregiver U. Caregiver U is an extensive and interactive training program available to Armistead employees as well as the public — including professionals working in healthcare and other related fields, private caregivers and family caregivers. Caregiver U’s goal is to provide maximum flexibility to participants who need and want to pursue additional training and education in the field of senior care, but are trying to balance a career and life.

“Currently, we are experiencing an increased demand for home care and there is a growing need for assistance from experienced professionals.Our caregivers’ roles and responsibilities are also expanding and there is becoming an ever-greater need for quality training and education,” says Bianka LeGrand, the Director of Training and Development at Armistead.

Families employing private caregivers can utilize Caregiver U to help their employees be better prepared with challenging situations in the home. About two dozen classes  are offered including Effective Communication in a Working Environment, Ethics and Aging, Client Confidentiality and Privacy, and Alzheimer’s and Behavior Management.

Phase two of Caregiver U is to roll out the menu of classes to area businesses and their employees directly or indirectly working with seniors, as well as private caregivers and family caregivers.

Cathy Wright, Activities Director of Copley Woodlands, an Independent Senior Community in Stowe, is already looking forward to Caregiver U becoming available to staff and families. “Through Bianka’s insight and understanding of the health care system and specifically the role of the caregiver, she has developed training classes to assist professional caregivers, nurses, social workers and family members caring for loved ones.”

“Our training and educational seminars are open to individuals in the community, facilities and companies who want to provide more for their employees as they navigate the difficult web of aging,” Says Amy Feeney, President of Armistead Caregiver Services.

For more information visit www.armisteadinc.com or call Amy Feeney at 802-316-6091.

Tax-Aide Program Seeks New Volunteers

You could help your neighbors and members of your community in Chittenden, Addison and Franklin Counties with their tax returns — all it takes is a commitment and some training. Each year from the first of February through mid April, AARP Tax-Aide volunteers prepare federal and state tax returns for low and middle income taxpayers with special attention to those 60 and older.   AARP Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free volunteer-run tax counseling and preparation service, is seeking volunteers to assist in tax preparation. Volunteers of all backgrounds are welcome and some computer skills are an extra bonus.  You do not need to be an AARP member nor a retiree. No prior experience in tax preparation is necessary and volunteers of all ages are welcome.

Tax counselors receive free tax training and become IRS-certified by passing the IRS exam. They help residents one-on-one at tax sites in their own communities across Vermont. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and help others in your community.

A special information and introductory training session is scheduled for Oct.18-20at the AARP Offices at 199 Main Street, Suite 225 in Burlington. Participants will learn how to use computers to prepare federal and state tax returns.  Sessions will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  To register or for more information, email Dominic Di Cicco at domdi@yahoo.com or call 802-878-8091, or visit our web site at www.aarp.org/money/taxaide/

New Development Focuses on Accessibility and Sustainable Design

Hinesburg is home to a new housing community called Green Street. The sustainable design development features over nine acres of open use common land, a stream, and a 110-year old barn for community use within walking distance of Hinesburg Village. Green Street has received endorsement from the Vermont Smart Growth Collaborative.

A unique attribute of Green Street is its forethought in accessibility. All individual homes have the option of installing elevators, either during construction, or afterwards, due to the alignment of the homes’ oversized closets on each floor. In addition, each home features a first floor bathroom with wheelchair accessible shower and a space that can be utilized as a bedroom. A pedestrian walkway connects each home to the crosswalk in the village center, where public transportation is available.

Rob Bast and Mac Rood, developers of Green Street and owners of Bast & Rood Architects of Hinesburg, have been in business together since 1994 and have worked collaboratively on residential, municipal, educational and commercial projects throughout Vermont, including City Market in Burlington, Lantman’s Best Yet Market in Hinesburg, and LEED accredited Green Mountain Valley School Library in Fayston

For more information, visit www.greenstreetvermont.com or call 482-5232.

‘Into the Wilderness’ wins Gold Medal for Regional Fiction

Deborah Lee Luskin’s debut novel, “Into the Wilderness,” has been awarded the Independent Publishers’ Gold Medal for Regional Fiction. “Into the Wilderness” is a love story set in Vermont in 1964. A story about the book and Luskin appeared in the arts section of the May issue of Vermont Maturity Magazine (www.vermontmaturity.com).

The Independent Publisher Book Awards, begun in 1996, is the largest independent book contest in the world, intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles produced each year.

Luskin’s “Into the Wilderness” won the Gold Medal for Regional Fiction in the Northeast, which includes New York and New England. Luskin has been writing about Vermont since relocating from New York City in 1984. She holds a PhD in English Literature from Columbia University and has taught literature and writing to diverse learners, from Ivy League undergraduates to prison inmates. She is a Visiting Scholar for the Vermont Humanities Council, an essayist, a skilled technical writer, and a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio.

Wake Robin Subsidiary to Manage Eastview Community

Addison County’s newest retirement community — Eastview at Middlebury — will be managed by Wake Robin through a subsidiary in Shelburne. In announcing this partnership, Eastview President, Rob Alberts said, “Wake Robin’s experience in providing services and building a resident-centered community of interesting, independent seniors is a terrific match with the Eastview vision, its local ownership and local Board leadership.”

Wake Robin President/CEO Allie Stickney spoke to the importance of Eastview’s non-profit mission and values, saying, “Eastview fills an important niche in offering Vermont’s growing retirement-age population another option for independence — and support.”

Eastview at Middlebury will be fully operational in 2012 and offer independent living, assisted living and memory care.

State Names Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center ‘Gold Star Employer’

Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center has been named a “Gold Star Employer” by the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living.

The Gold Star Program was created to recognize skilled nursing centers and other care agencies that employ best practices for staff development and retention.

“We’re extremely proud of our employees, “ said Tom De Poy, a regional vice president for Revera Health Systems, the parent company of Burlington Health and Rehabilitation. De Poy noted that two other Revera centers also received Gold Star Employer awards: Rowan Court Health and Rehab in Barre, and Bennington Health and Rehab.

CVMC Offers New
In-House MRI

Central Vermont Medical Center now offers an in-house MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). The new state of the art unit is a 1.5 Tesla GE Optima scanner. It has a wider aperture (70cm vs 50 cm) than most scanners. This is specifically designed to allow larger patients and patients who suffer from claustrophobia to feel more comfortable during their procedures.

Judy Tarr, CVMC president and CEO said “I was one of the Diagnostic Imaging Department’s first patients to use the new machine. I can tell you that the experience is vastly improved for patients who suffer from claustrophobia.”

Vermont Physician Honored with Unsung Heroes’ Award

The American Lung Association and Koop Foundation, Inc. recently recognized Theodore Marcy, M.D., M.P.H., as the recipient of the 2011 Unsung Heroes’ Award.  The national award is presented annually to an advocate for tobacco control who has made significant, but frequently unrecognized, contributions to reduce the burden of tobacco use. Dr. Marcy noted at the ceremony, “No one person does this alone. I accept this award on behalf of the many unsung heroes in Vermont who have worked tirelessly on tobacco control.”

“Dr. Marcy’s many contributions to reduce the burden of tobacco use span a broad range from patient care to program development to health care systems change,” said Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of New England. “He is dedicated to reducing the impact of tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death.”

An attending physician at Fletcher Allen Healthcare and professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Dr. Marcy serves on the boards of the American Lung Association of New England and Vermont and has been a member of the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board since 2004.

Vermont’s First Hospice Providers Honored at Statehouse

Franklin County Home Health Agency, along with the four other original hospice providers in Vermont, which were also among the first 28 in the entire country, were honored by the state Legislature. Every House member and Senator – all 180 – signed the resolution honoring them for their forty years of service. Executive Director Janet McCarthy and Hospice Manager Annette Blanchard were on hand to receive this recognition.

Franklin County Home Health Agency has provided hospice care to county residents for over forty years.

Burlington Summit Explores Designing Cities and Towns for People, Not Cars

About 120 people turned out on May 6 at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington for the “Summit on Community Design, Aging and Active Living” hosted by AARP Vermont.

Transportation professionals, state and city officials, town planners and a host of consumers came to hear internationally renowned  expert  Dan Burden speak about how communities and residents can take steps to improve walk-ability, road design and livability in their communities.

Burden’s primary message stressed that cities and towns should be designed for people, not cars. Burden is a leading authority on how smart growth, “complete streets” principles and people-centered design can support healthy and active aging.

He noted that the old concept of bigger and faster isn’t necessarily better for communities, although that is how our roadways were designed in the past.

Burden,who has worked on community and roadway designs around the world, said, “Building communities that work for people should be our focus.”

Recognizing the need for citizens to engage in their communities and access the basics – food, transportation, services, entertainment, etc. – leads to a healthy, livable community.  He shared several examples of how different towns and cities have transformed their town centers and roads in ways that are attractive, accommodate cars and provide access to all users including walkers, bikers, etc.

Burden’s message also outlined how citizens can be the catalyst for change in their communities.  He demonstrated how several towns and neighborhoods were improved by the organized involvement, action and persistence of citizens.  Community design that incorporates safety, health and economic development along with integrated, multi-modal  transportation and land use will address the interests and concerns of the key sectors in a community that make decisions and influence change.

Encouraging walking is central to Burden’s message.  As he said at the opening and close of his presentation, “Walking is the first thing an infant wants to do and the last thing an older person wants to give up.”

A Practitioner’s Workshop was held in the afternoon for people who wanted a more in-depth, interactive session on how to apply the principles discussed and develop strategies that improve walkability and active living.  Several ideas for low-cost and no-cost solutions were discussed.  AARP Vermont also reviewed its recently announced program to fund community design work in two Vermont communities.  The initiative will provide $15,000 for each town for community design projects aimed at improving walkability for active seniors.  A central element of the award includes a very hands-on Active Living Workshop and consultation with Dan Burden. (For information on these grants call Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur at 802-951-1313).

Burden is co-founder and executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute based in Port Townsend, Washington. He is an internationally recognized authority on livable and sustainable communities, healthy streets, traffic calming, and bicycle and pedestrian programs.

Maksym Named New Director of United Way

Don Rendall, President of the Board of Directors of the United Way of Chittenden County, has announced that Martha Maksym of Grand Isle has been named the new Executive Director to succeed Gretchen Morse, who announced her retirement effective June 30.

“We reviewed over sixty applications and interviewed a pool of candidates that were impressive and capable. Martha has the ideal combination of skills, experience and commitment to the health and well being of the people of Chittenden County. We are thrilled with the choice and feel confident that her proven success at convening multiple stakeholders to solve community problems, along with her over twenty years of health and human service nonprofit management and administration experience, makes her the ideal person to assume United Way’s top leadership position,” Rendall said.

A graduate of the University of Vermont with a Masters Degree in Public Administration, Maksym has held a number of senior management positions at United Way over the last 17 years and is currently the Director of Community Investments. She also serves as Diversity Officer for United Way, overseeing the implementation of a Diversity Strategic Plan. Maksym currently chairs the Board of Leadership Champlain and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of the Leadership Champlain Program and the Vermont Leadership Institute of the Snelling Center for Government. She is also a member of the Boards of both the Vermont Health Foundation and Hunger Free Vermont.

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen to serve our community in this capacity. We all are well served by a committed network of human services providers. The relationship between United Way and our community partners is long standing and strong, and I look forward to continuing our work together to improve lives in Chittenden County,” Maksym said.

NSF Awards $2.9 Million for
New ‘Aging Sciences’ Program

By Angela Yeager

The National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year, $2.9 million grant to Oregon State University to support an interdisciplinary graduate training program in aging sciences.

The OSU program, called Linking Individuals, Families and Environments (LIFE) in an Aging Society, will train Ph.D. scientists and engineers through NSF’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship, or IGERT program. It will include scientists at OSU’s Center for Healthy Aging