Top News from 2006

DECEMBER 29, 2005                                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

A contribution of $5,000 from the Bristol American Legion to Porter Medical Center was presented to PMC President, James L. Daily, on December 28th. The donation brings to $10,000 the total support from the Bristol Legion for the hospital's ongoing capital campaign for the "North Project" modernization.

"We are deeply grateful to the Bristol American Legion for this renewed and generous support of the most important and ambitious project in the 80-year history of our organization", Daily said.

The North Project, now under construction, is a $16 million renovation and building project, which will modernize the Porter Hospital surgical facilities and create the first Birthing Center for our community according to Daily. The hospital anticipates that the new facilities will be available in the early part of 2007. 

The facilities will replace and modernize portions of our hospital which were constructed 30 years ago. "Porter's physician and nursing staffs are outstanding and have always provided excellent patient-focused care for the citizens in the Middlebury area," said Porter Hospital Board Chairman, Kip Freeman. "This project will further enhance patient satisfaction by coupling that excellent personalized care with a facility that is designed to accommodate advances in medical care, patient expectations and enhanced privacy."

In addition to this most recent contribution by the Legion, Porter has received notification during the past month of a commitment of $8,500 from the Chittenden Bank, $3,000 from the Merchant's Bank and foundation grants from the Agnes Lindsay Trust of New Hampshire and the Oakland Foundation of West Virginia.

"Our fund-raising efforts will continue into 2006", Daily said.  "We remain extremely grateful for the generous support of our community to this vitally important project, and we anticipate that other community organizations and individuals will respond in a positive way to this opportunity to support our community hospital."


SEPTEMBER 6, 2005                                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

"Sunday Series" Returns with McCardell Lectures on Civil War

MIDDLEBURY - John McCardell, president emeritus of Middlebury College and a decorated historian of the American South, will present two lectures entitled Road to Reunion: The Civil War and American Historical Memory as part of the Porter Auxiliary's ongoing "Sunday Series" events. The talks will take place on Sunday, October 9 and Sunday, October 16 at the Middlebury Inn beginning at 4 p.m., with refreshments and a reception to follow. Tickets for individual lectures are available at $25.00 per person, or $45.00 per person for both lectures.

The series promises to provide a fascinating perspective on one of the most important periods in American history. "We're delighted to have John McCardell sharing his extensive knowledge of the Civil War and leading us through this presentation, and I know that this will be a well-attended and enlightening series," says Auxiliary president Peggy Burns.

McCardell will focus on the role of memory on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line in the aftermath of the war. "Memory, of course, is selective, and decisions about what is important to remember vary from person to person, group to group, and generation to generation," he says. "  In 1865 the country faced two competing objectives: reconciliation, which had as its primary goal a speedy and full restoration of the seceded states; and reconstruction, which attached highest priority to addressing what many viewed as the principal cause of the war-slavery-and its many consequences.  Either objective could be attained, but only at the risk of failing to achieve the other. Determining what about the war was worth remembering-and forgetting-would in turn determine which objective would take priority.  These talks will explore how that process worked itself out and consider the consequences of choices deliberately and inadvertently made, of roads taken and not taken."

The Civil War continues to exert a unique hold on Americans' imaginations for a variety of reasons, McCardell says: "As a 'brothers' war' it pit some Americans against others in defense of causes each believed to be just. As a 'war between the states' it tested the federal principle, in which lay the genius of the American constitution. As a 'civil war' it challenged the notion of American exceptionalism. And as a 'war for freedom' it effected a social revolution with the emancipation of 3 million slaves. And yet, within the broader historical context of civil wars, whatever the country or century, the outcome of the American Civil War was remarkable for the rapid reassimilation of the seceded states, albeit not without a cost. In the end, union took a higher priority than liberty."

McCardell came of age during the Civil War centennial, in Frederick, Md., where battlefields lie in all directions: Gettysburg to the north; Antietam to the west; Harpers Ferry and Manassas to the south; and Monocacy virtually next door. "I have a Mississippi-born grandmother whose father was wounded in the war, and we still have the bullet," he says. "All of this made my decision to attend Washington and Lee, and to devote my life to the study of 19th century America, almost inevitable."

After graduating from Washington and Lee in 1971, McCardell did graduate work at Johns Hopkins and then Harvard, from which he received his Ph.D. in history in 1976. A year later the Society of American Historians honored his doctoral dissertation with the prestigious Allan Nevins Prize, and in 1979 W.W. Norton published his thesis as The Idea of a Southern Nation, a book that remains an essential text on the rise of Southern nationalists and Southern nationalism in the mid-nineteenth century.

McCardell had spent 16 years on the Middlebury faculty when the college named him as its 15th president in 1992, a position he held until his retirement a year ago. He continued to teach throughout his presidency, and he remains on the faculty, while also serving as a trustee of the National Civil War Museum in Richmond, Va.

Tickets are limited and may be reserved by calling the Porter Hospital public relations office at 388-4738.


APRIL 6, 2005                                RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Porter Auxiliary to Host Annual "Derby Day" Benefit

If your upcoming travel plans do not include the infield at Churchill Downs in Louisville for the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby, then join us in Cornwall on Saturday afternoon, May 7th, for the fourth annual "Kentucky Derby Day Benefit" sponsored by the Porter Medical Center Auxiliary.

Mint Juleps, Harrington spiral ham on biscuits, and other treats in keeping with the Derby theme will be featured at this event hosted by Bruce and Sue Byers of Cornwall under a tent affording beautiful views to the Adirondacks.

Guests will be able to wager on their favorite horse organized by committee chairman Peter Langrock-and then cheer on the winner during a live broadcast of the "Run for the Roses" at approximately 5:30 p.m.

According to PMC Auxiliary president Peggy Burns, guests (men and women) are encouraged to don a favorite hat in keeping with the festive spirit of the Kentucky Derby. 

Tickets are $35 per person and may be purchased by calling the Porter Hospital Public Relations Department at 388-4738.  Visa and MasterCard will be accepted.

FEBRUARY 5, 2005                      RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Porter Hospital presented its plans for our long-anticipated "North Project" to members of the Public Oversight Commission (POC) on Wednesday, February 2nd at the Middlebury Inn.  The meeting was well-attended by members of our community, including Porter board members, physicians and hospital staff.

After a 60 minute power point presentation by Pat Jannene outlining the key points in our "Certificate of Need" application for the North Project, PMC board chairman Stephen C. Terry provided the POC with his views from the perspective of our trustees. He amplified many of the points made during the presentation regarding the absolute need to modernize 30 year-old facilities that are central to the provision of basic community hospital services (maternity and surgery)-and emphasized that the board, the medical staff and the community have worked collaboratively to plan and support this necessary project.

Next, Porter nurses Carol Edson and Nancy Klopfenstein provided the POC with their views from the "front lines" as caregivers who strive to provide excellent patient care to our community in facilities that are less than adequate.  They spoke eloquently and with great enthusiasm about their pride in their work, and their belief that this project is absolutely necessary to patient care.

During the public comment period, testimony in support of our application was given by Ruth Hardy, Executive Director of the "Open Door Clinic", Jamie Stewart, Executive Director of the Addison County Economic Development Corporation, Rob Alberts, owner of Middlebury Fitness and former Porter nurse manager Julie Trevor.

Following all of the presentations by Porter and our supporters, the members of the POC asked a number of questions, followed by a conversation among themselves concerning the merits of the project. It was clear from this discussion that the POC members were positively impressed by our presentation and the clear need for the project outlined in our Certificate of Need application.

The POC will meet again on March 9th at the Capital Plaza in Montpelier, at which time they will further deliberate and, hopefully, vote to recommend approval of our CON application to the Commissioner of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration. His final decision is due by no later than May 9th.

In the meantime, Porter Hospital continues to work with Bread Loaf Corporation and others to refine our plans for accomplishing the North Project following approval of our CON application.

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