Top News from 2008

Thursday, November 18, 2008                         RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Sales are Strong at Round Robin Upscale Resale Shop

MIDDLEBURY--The current economic climate has hurt retail sales in many parts of the country, but here in Middlebury the Round Robin “Upscale Resale Shop” has experienced strong sales growth during the past four months.

“Our sales are up 8% this year as compared to the same July – October period in 2007,and we have accomplished this while keeping our expenses in line with our budget and maintaining high quality merchandise” said shop manager Robin Huestis.

The result? After the first four months of the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the Round Robin has already contributed $15,000 in proceeds to the PMC Auxiliary—which in turn will use these funds to support programs and projects at Porter Hospital and Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. The $15,000 given so far represents 100% of the net profit budgeted from the Round Robin for the entire fiscal year. “Obviously, we are very pleased with these early results and hope that sales remain strong right through the Holiday Season”, Huestis said.

Thanks to the proceeds from Round Robin and one-time special events like the annual “Kentucky Derby Day” benefit, the PMC Auxiliary is in the final stage of fulfilling an overall pledge of $350,000 to the hospital’s “North Project” modernization, as well as another $60,000 pledge to support capital projects at Helen Porter. The Auxiliary also funds an annual scholarship for area high school students interested in pursuing a nursing degree, as well as ongoing support of Porter’s Lifeline program.

“The Round Robin has been the financial foundation of the Auxiliary for more than 30 years,” said PMC Auxiliary Board President, Barbara Huth. “Recently we went through a major period of transition from our old location on Park Street to our new location in the Marble Works Complex, but it seems that our loyal customers have found us, and we are now seeing many new faces come through the front door,” she added.

The Round Robin has approximately 60 volunteers who give of their time and talent to price and sell merchandise to the public six days a week under the watchful eye of Robin Huestis. Since the relocation to the Marble Works Complex, both the name and the inventory have changed. “We used to be called the Round Robin Consignment Shop, but we changed the name to Round Robin Upscale Resale to reflect our new policies of offering gently used (and sometimes new) merchandise that is of high quality but still
affordable,” Huestis said. “I think the fact that we offer such a diverse line of merchandise, including children’s clothing and household items, has attracted many young families to our store as people become more budget-conscience.”

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Thursday, November 12, 2008                                  RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

PMC Receives 2008 "Community Service Award"

Porter Medical Center was honored at the Addison County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting on September 11th with their 2008 “Community Service Award”. This is the highest award given to a non-profit organization in our community by the Chamber. In presenting this award, Chamber board president Robert Huth, noted that Porter has been providing for the medical and long-term health care needs of our community since 1925 and cited some of the specific major accomplishments of the organization since the early 1990’s. “Over the past 20 years, PMC has accomplished a significant series of capital projects that has contributed significantly to Porter’s ability to provide high quality care to the people of our region including construction of the Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, total renovation of the Medical/Surgical Unit, construction of a new Emergency and Radiology Wing, and most recently the modernization of its Surgical and Maternity Departments via a $16 million construction project. Along the way, Porter has invested in state-of-the-art technology (including a new 64-slice CT scanner installed this spring) and taken a leadership role in recruiting new physicians and other health care providers to our community—now operating a network of health care providers that represents the majority of primary and specialty care providers in Addison County,” he said.

Huth also told the more than 100 business people in attendance at the meeting that Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center has “evolved over the past decade to provide not only long-term care services, but also short-term rehabilitation services and offers the only Dementia Special Care Unit in our community.”

He said that both the hospital and Helen Porter consistently rank high in patient satisfaction and quality measures as compared to both Vermont and regional peers—and that both organizations play a significant economic role in our community as major employers and as strong supporters of other local and regional businesses.

“Looking forward, both the hospital and Helen Porter are investing in new information technology and Electronic Health Record systems to improve operational efficiency and provide more timely and comprehensive information to improve outcomes and the overall patient experience” he said.

Although Porter’s CEO, James L. Daily, was unable to attend the presentation due to his involvement in the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems annual conference in Burlington, Huth praised Daily for his 25 years as President of Porter Medical Center, and said that he has “provided leadership during times of great challenge and change in the health care industry.”

Accepting the award were Joe Sutton, Chairman of the Porter Medical Center Board and Gerry Gossens, Chairman of the Porter Hospital Board.

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Thursday, November 7, 2008                                  RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Vergennes Union High Seniors Raise $3,000 for Porter

More than 100 members of the Vergennes Union High School senior class visited the Porter Medical Center campus on the morning of October 8th as the culmination of a three-day walk-a-thon from Vergennes to Middlebury. The purpose of this event was to raise funds to support the Porter Hospital “Breast Cancer Screening and Education Project”—which provides low-cost screening mammograms to area women with no health insurance or high deductible policies. The project resulted in a $3,000 donation that was presented to PMC President James L. Daily by three representatives of the senior class.

The seniors decided to pursue this community service project during the three days of the annual NECAP (New England Common Assessment) testing—which occupies much of the academic week for many other students at VUHS.

All 107 VUHS seniors spent three mornings walking to Middlebury, treading about a third of the way each day along the back roads of Waltham, New Haven and Weybridge. Prior to the walk, they had collected per-mile pledges or flat donations for Porter and for ANwSU families with cancer patients that need help with their medical bills.

VUHS teachers and volunteer days organizers Roberta “Cookie” Steponaitis and Lee Shorey said they and the seniors did not take long to decide on funding the fight against cancer as their community service focus. “Most have family members or friends who are or have been affected by cancer,” Shorey said. “There are quite a few people struggling with this.” Shorey said that the students’ effort might also raise the Porter project’s profile “so that more area women take advantage of this important program.”

Shorey said it was up to the students how much money was given to local families and how much they donated to Porter.

“It was up to them to decide,” she said. “We let them take ownership of that.” Steponaitis said school officials hope every year that the VUHS seniors will set the tone for their younger peers, and she is excited about their attitude toward the cancer walk.

“Coming out 100 strong, they set the bar pretty high,” she said. The school hopes to repeat this event in 2009 and perhaps coordinate it with other area high schools.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008                                  RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

MIDDLEBURY--Michelle Shambo, Assistant Vice President and a Certified Mortgage Professional with the Chittenden Bank in Middlebury, presented a $500 donation to The Round Robin Upscale Resale Shop last week,  representing an award Shambo recently received from the bank’s “Community Fund” recognizing her community service.

“This spring I was awarded the Community Service Award for my volunteering efforts in 2007. As a result of this award, I was granted a $500 donation to a charitable organization of my choice. Since I am involved in many non-profit organizations through out Vermont it was a difficult choice. But also by being a member of the Addison County community and a resident of Middlebury I know the importance of Porter Hospital and how it's success can help so many individuals not just a segregated group. So this is why I chose Round Robin with hopes that these funds will help the store raise more money for the hospital” Shambo said.

The Round Robin, now located in the Marble Works Complex in Middlebury, is the primary source of funds for the PMC Auxiliary, which recently completed a $250,000 pledge to Porter Hospital. Accepting the donation was Robin Huestis, manager of the Round Robin.

Chittenden Bank has been serving Vermont since 1906 with current assets of approximately $3.3 billion and 47 full-service branches. Chittenden is a subsidiary of People’s United Bank, a regional financial services company with assets exceeding $21 billion operating in Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York.

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Monday, August 18, 2008                                  RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Helen Porter to Host Community Presentation on Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease

MIDDLEBURY--On Thursday, September 11th at 6:30 p.m., Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center will host a community presentation entitled “The Latest Strategies for Diagnosing Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease” presented by Dr. William Pendlebury—Medical Director of the Memory Center at FAHC and Professor at UVM College of Medicine.

Dr. Pendlebury received his AB degree from Brown University3 in 1972, and his MD degree from the University of Vermont4 in 1976. Following an internship at the Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Pendlebury served for two years in the United States Public Health Service. He subsequently completed his neurology residency and neuropathology fellowship at the University of Vermont and Medical Center Hospital of Vermont from 1979 until 1984. Dr. Pendlebury was appointed to the faculty of the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1984 where he is currently a tenured professor in the Departments of Pathology and Neurology. He is also the Director of Neuropathology at Fletcher Allen Health Care, and the Computer Assisted Teaching System Laboratory at the College of Medicine. Dr. Pendlebury is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., and is licensed to practice medicine in Vermont and Massachusetts.

Dr. Pendlebury teaches in the areas of neuropathology and clinical neurology to undergraduate and graduate medical students, and to resident physicians in training. His research for the past 18 years has been focussed on basic and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease, including pharmacologic treatment strategies. He is the author or co-author of over 135 manuscripts, abstracts and edited book chapters, and has presented many other research papers at national and international meetings. He has been the recipient of research grants from the National Institute on Aging, Muscular Dystrophy Association, private foundations, and pharmaceutical research divisions. Dr. Pendlebury has received a number of awards including his undergraduate degree with honors, election to Alpha Omega Alpha, election to Sigma Xi, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Officer Award, and the Basic Science Teacher of the Year Award at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. In 1994, he was given the Ernest Hiram Buttles Endowed Professorship, honoring a commitment to and excellence in the teaching of pathology.

Dr. Pendlebury serves as an external reviewer for numerous journals and granting agencies, and is a member of the External Review Committee for the University of Rochester (NY) Alzheimer's Disease Center. He has lectured widely at colleges and universities throughout the United States on the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Pendlebury is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Association of Neuropathologists, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American Neurological Association. He has served as president of the Northern New England Neurological Society.

In addition to his academic undertakings, Dr. Pendlebury is a practicing neurologist and clinical neuropathologist.

This event is free and open to the public.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008                                  RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Porter to Collaborate with Other Area Agencies for Free Community Health Screenings in August

MIDDLEBURY--Porter Hospital, the Open Door Clinic and the Addison County Tobacco Roundtable will be collaborating on a free health-screening project during the 2008 Addison County Fair and Field Days event in August.

Volunteer nurses and other professionals from Porter Hospital and other area organizations (many of whom volunteer regularly for the Open Door Clinic) will staff the

community-screening project from 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. on every day that the Field Days event is happening. The screenings will be offered in the Lucien Paquette Building, which generally houses a variety of booths, displays and products for sale.

“Our hope is to have a very visible presence at an event that draws a large population of people with a wide-range of demographics and socio-economic profiles”, according to Melanie Clark of the Addison County Tobacco Roundtable. “We are very grateful to Porter Hospital for providing the necessary testing equipment and supplies, as well as other support of this project”, she added.

Clark added that the registered nurses who will be performing the screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc…also will be available to interpret the results on the spot and provide community members with general guidance as to what the results may mean and whether they should pursue further advice from their physician or other provider.

Registered Nurse, Ken Dabbs, who is the executive director of the Open Door Clinic and a staff member at Porter Hospital, has played a key role organizing this event and recruiting clinical people to participate. Heidi Sulis, Porter’s Director of Community Health Outreach and a member of the Addison County Tobacco Roundtable (as well as a board members of the Open Door Clinic) also has been instrumental in this project.

The Open Door Clinic, which is under the umbrella of Community Health Services of Addison County, has been in operations in Addison County for nearly 20 years. The Addison County Tobacco Roundtable, comprised of a variety of area organizations that receive tobacco grant funds from the State, was founded in 2002.

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Friday, May 16, 2008                                  RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Porter Participation in Bone Marrow Drive is Successful

MIDDLEBURY--Twenty-five Porter Hospital employees registered as prospective bone marrow donors on May 15th during a one-day “Marrow Donor Drive” outside of the hospital cafeteria.

Representatives from the Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) Marrow Donor program were available for most of the day to provide information, answer questions and enroll interested people into the program. RRMC is the only New England Hospital that offers a program of regular off-site bone marrow donation registration drives, which involves no cost to the donor or the host site. Kerry Ellis, Marrow Donor Program Coordinator, contacted Porter over the winter to explore whether or not there would be any interest in having a drive in Middlebury.

“This seemed like a very good program and a great opportunity for our employees to learn more about this project and, if interested, register to be a marrow donor with the national registry”, said PMC spokesperson Ron Hallman.

Every year, more than 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with life threatening blood diseases such as leukemia. For many of these patients, a marrow transplant is the only chance for a cure. At any given time, there is an average of 5,000 patients search the National Marrow Donor Program Registry. According to Ellis, adding new donors gives hope to these thousands of patients who are searching this registry.

“I think it is great that 25 Porter employees volunteered to be entered into the National Marrow Donor Program Registry during our inaugural drive, and we certainly are making plans to bring Kerry back next year so that we can continue to participate in this important project and provide our employees with this convenient and free opportunity to perhaps someday make a difference in someone’s life,” Hallman said.

For more information about this program, contact Kerry Ellis at 802-747-6267.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008               RON HALLMAN, 388-4744

Helen Porter Receives State Grant for new LNA Training Course

MIDDLEBURY-Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center has been awarded a "Workforce Education and Training Fund" grant from the Vermont Department of Labor to support three local courses to train Licensed Nurse Assistants (LNA's).

The $14,000 grant will allow Helen Porter to offer three courses over the next 12 months and train at least 18-24 local individuals as LNA's in hopes that many of these students will remain in Middlebury and fill positions currently available at HPHRC.

"We anticipate offering employment to each of the individuals who successfully completes this training," said HPHRC Administrator, Neil Gruber.  According to Gruber, the starting wages for these jobs, including benefits, will range from $13.59 to $16.51 per hour.

Helen Porter will work closely with the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury to recruit local students for this new educational opportunity. Additional information about these courses can be obtained from Neil Gruber at HPHRC or Nancy Slater Cobden at the Hannaford Career Center.


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