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December 30, 2013                                                         RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Event to Feature Donated Work of Local Renowned Artist

MIDDLEBURY--A new original painting, donated by renowned local artist, Anne Cady, will be the featured raffle prize at the January 24th benefit event for Porter Medical Center, which will be held at Two Brothers Tavern beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the event itself, which will feature a piano bar showcasing the talents of Fred Barnes and delicious local foods and beverages, are $25 per person.

Raffle tickets for the painting, valued at $4,500 and entitled: “Much More Than This One Road”, are $10 each (you do not have to purchase tickets for the event or be present at the event to enter the raffle).

Anne Cady’s landscapes are popular and in great demand and have been acquired by more than 600 private collectors around the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Europe.

The bucolic beauty of the Vermont countryside provides the inspiration for Cady's distinctive oil paintings. The rolling hills, farms, fields, forests and mountains all play a role in her compositions but once her brush touches the canvas she allows her imagination to be her guide. That is when the fun begins, she takes what she sees and makes it her own. Her paintings are playful with simple, clearly defined forms, full of vibrant color and spirit.

At the age of 15, Cady started teaching art classes at her home in Darien, Ct., to neighborhood kids. At Middlebury College, she studied printmaking with David Bumbeck. While raising her four children in Vermont, Cady founded and directed the Children’s Art School, which for nearly 30 years provided art classes to children in Pittsford, Woodstock, Reston, Middlebury and New Haven.

“We are grateful beyond words to Anne Cady for donating this incredible painting for our raffle and in support of the important work of Porter Medical Center,” said PMC Auxiliary President Holmes Jacobs. “This will be a great evening in support of the important work of Porter and a great evening for the lucky person who buys the winning raffle ticket for this magnificent original painting.”

Other major event sponsors for this Porter Medical Center benefit are Two Brothers Tavern, Woodchuck Hard Cider, Otter Creek Brewing and Baker Distributing. This event is organized and hosted by the Porter Medical Center Auxiliary, which raises funds to support the community programs and important work of our local hospital and Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.

Both event and raffle tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Porter Public Relations Office at 388-4738.


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December 8, 2013                                                               RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Third ARCH Room at Helen Porter (HPHRC) Dedicated

On December 7th, a Dedication Ceremony of the third “ARCH Room” (named the Addison Room) at Helen Porter (HPHRC) was attended by board members from both organizations, Helen Porter staff and residents, families and friends. These beautifully furnished rooms, funded by the organization, offer compassionate end-of-life care in a lovely home-like setting.

In dedicating this new room, Daphne Jensen, the President of the ARCH Board, said, “We would not be here today, if not for Neil Gruber’s vision of culture change, he opened the door for us. This new room in the Memory Care Neighborhood is special. The concept of this room was initially brought to our attention by the attentive staff that understands this unique environment and the individual needs of people residing here. We are grateful for the caregivers’ ability to navigate through the issues during this stage of life with flexibility, kindness and love. The people that work here are a gift to the community of Addison County and therefore we would like to dedicate this room to the staff of HPHRC.”

The ARCH (Addison Respite Care Home) initiative, that started planning 9 years ago for a way to provide our community with compassionate end-of-life care when home is not an option, has come a long way. After countless hours of conversations, research, meetings, organizing, and fund-raising the ARCH Board joined with HPHRC to achieve this dream. In the spring of 2011 the first room--Green Mountain Room in honor of the Middlebury Lions--was created at HPHRC on Otter Creek Place. In the fall of 2012 the second room—Champlain Room in memory of Milo Schaefer-- was created, next door to the first. Then a request was made to the ARCH Board by the remarkable staff at HPHRC for a third room. This room is unique in that it is located on the Memory Care Neighborhood. Many folks call this home, and the staff’s insight into the needs of these resident’s in their final days was compelling. Creativity on the part of both partners in this venture, ARCH and HPHRC, led to the newest room—Addison Room in honor of the staff at HPHRC.

Collaboration between many people and organizations throughout Addison County have worked together to take care of those in our community who deserve compassion, dignity and respect during this final passage in life. ARCH, Hospice Volunteer Services, Addison County Home Health & Hospice, Helen Porter, Porter Hospital including all the staff, volunteers, residents and family members have participated in raising awareness and hope for the dying and their caregivers. Heather Quesnel, Director of Nursing at HPHRC, supports the ARCH mission, “I have seen the magic that occurs within the ARCH rooms. The care giving process transforms from something that is provided, to a gift that is eagerly shared. The beautiful rooms bring pride to the staff which enhances their desire to go above and beyond for the patient and their families. The room reminds them about the very intimate, special and once-in-a-lifetime moment they are part of and for that they feel privileged and honored to be included.”

ARCH is currently exploring new initiatives to further encourage ways to deliver what Dr. Ira Byock, Palliative Care Physician, compels us to envision, “the best care possible”. The ARCH Board would like to express their gratitude to all who have supported their efforts.

For more information about the ARCH initiative you may contact Daphne Jensen at 759-2646 or Laurie Borden at 388-4738 .


September 4, 2013
Contacts: Laura Jacobs/Earl Wells, e3communications


vitlSecond long term care facility in state to participate in network managed by Vermont Information Technology Leaders

BURLINGTON, VT – Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL) today announced Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center located in Middlebury is Vermont’s second long term care facility to connect to the state’s health information network. Through a VITL interface, Helen Porter staff is now able to receive lab results, radiology reports and transcribed reports soon after the data has been generated from Porter Medical Center to provide more effective and timely treatment.

“In addition to connecting physician practices and hospitals to Vermont’s information network, long term care facilities are also an important component,” said John Evans, president and CEO of VITL. “As residents transfer from one health care setting to another and are treated by various physicians, their most current clinical information is available in one location, which aids in the coordination of care through more efficient treatment and elimination of unnecessary tests or hospitalization.”

Having this clinical information available right in near real time enables treatment to be given more rapidly at Helen Porter, possibly reducing unnecessary admissions to the hospital. In the near future, doctors and other treating medical staff, such as specialists, will be able to electronically and securely access clinical data from Helen Porter through Vermont’s health information network.

“We at Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center are proud to be among the first long-term care facilities in the State of Vermont to connect to the VITL network and continue our ongoing efforts to integrate clinical technology with highly compassionate care”, said HPHRC administrator Neil Gruber.

About VITL: Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL) is a non-profit organization that assists Vermont health care providers statewide with adopting and using health information technology to improve the quality of care delivery as well as to enhance patient safety and outcomes. Comprised of a collaborative group of stakeholders including health plans, hospitals, physicians, other health care providers, state government, employers, and consumers, VITL is the designated health information exchange (HIE) for the state of Vermont and also the state’s federally-designated regional extension center. For more information, please visit


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July 16, 2013                                                               RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Dr. Laura C. Panto, joined Middlebury Pediatric & Adolescenth Medicine

MIDDLEBURY--Dr. Laura C. Panto, joined Middlebury Pediatric & Adolescenth Medicine practice on July 15, 2013. Most recently, Dr. Panto was a Pediatric Resident at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where she directed a “Teaching as Residents” Initiative and served on a Quality Improvement project.

Dr. Panto received her Bachelors Degree in Biology from Texas Tech University and went on to earn her Doctor of Medicine degree at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. She has been a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2010.

Dr. Panto was very interested in relocating to Vermont as her fiancé is an Internal Medicine Intern at Fletcher Allen and they plan to make Vermont their home. “I love outdoor activities, reading historical fiction, playing the clarinet and traveling with my future husband Tim,” says Dr. Panto.

Dr. Panto is committed to personal and professional excellence. Her main objective within her pediatric practice is to make lifelong connections with her patients and watch them grow as she is growing as a physician. “We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Panto to MPAM and to our Porter family” said Porter Medical Center President James L. Daily.

Dr. Panto is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, please call the office at 388-7959.


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June 14, 2013                                                           RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Vermont Author Sue Halpern’s New Book Featured in National Media

MIDDLEBURY--Vermont Author Sue Halpern’s newly released book, A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home, is receiving great reviews from the New York Times, USA Today and other national publications, and will be the feature story with Jane Pauley on NBC’s “Today Show” scheduled to air on June 25th.

Based on three years of weekly therapy dog visits with residents at Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Middlebury, (referred to as “County” in the book), Sue learns “Lessons in the good life from an unlikely teacher”…her dog Pransky.

The book details her relationships with the residents and staff of Helen Porter during her weekly visits with Pransky, and provides both humorous and philosophical perspectives on the positive contributions that a “non-judgmental” visitor like Pransky can have in the life of a nursing home resident.

Besides writing, Sue is an editor and teacher. She lives in Vermont with her husband, the writer and activist Bill McKibben, their college-age daughter Sophie, and Pransky their dog who is featured in her sixth and most recent book which was published in May, 2013 by Riverhead, a division of Penguin. She has written for any number of magazines--from Rolling Stone to The New Yorker and everything in between: The New York Times Magazine, Glamour, The New York Review of Books, Good Housekeeping, Mother Jones, and Conde Nast Traveler to name more than a few. At Middlebury College, where she is a scholar-in-residence, she runs the Narrative Journalism Fellowship, and at The New York Review of Books, she is the editor of NYRB Lit, the electronic imprint of NYR Books. Sue is the human half of a therapy dog team, was a Rhodes Scholar and a Guggenheim Fellow, and remains hopeful that ice cream is the key to world peace.

Copies of “A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home” can be obtained by visiting the Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing web site:, which also contains information about other innovative programming underway at HPHRC under their ongoing “Culture Change” approach to resident-centered care.


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June 12, 2013                                                           RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

MIDDLEBURY—At their monthly meeting in June, the Porter Medical Center Auxiliary Board of Directors approved $61,000 in contributions to support a variety of projects at the hospital and at Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (HPHRC).

The contributions included $50,000 for a new surgical table specifically designed to be used in orthopedic cases, specifically hip replacement surgery, in a manner that allows for a less invasive procedure and reduced recovery time for the patient. The board also approved $10,000 for the Helen Porter Lifeline program and $1,000 for a new wheelchair for the Admissions/Emergency Departments.

The PMC Auxiliary is a membership organization with approximately 400 communityk members and a 20-person board of directors. Funds that are donated to Porter Medical Center come from proceeds from sales at the Round Robin Upscale Retail Shop, as well as from special events such as the annual “Kentucky Derby Day” benefit each spring.

“We are grateful to Porter Medical Center for the care, services and programs offered to our community, as pleased to be able to play a role in supporting all of these through our annual contributions”, said Auxiliary President Holmes Jacobs.

“Porter Medical Center deeply appreciates the extremely generous financial support from the Auxiliary and is very thankful to the board and to all of the volunteers who work at Round Robin and throughout our organization to support our mission”, said PMC President James L. Daily.

For more information on the Porter Medical Center Auxiliary or to get on their mailing list call the Porter Public Relations Office at 388-4738.


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May 21, 2013                                                      RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

MIDDLEBURY--On June 4th, Porter Hospital will be opening a new outpatient rehabilitation clinic at the Primary Care - Bristol practice in order to provide more convenient access to a range of services for the people of Bristol and surrounding community.

Known as “PROS” (Porter Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Services), the new clinic will be providing Physical Therapy services three times per week with flexible hours in the early morning and evening. “We are hoping to catch the before and after work needs of our patients and make these services easier to access both geographically and from a scheduling perspective” said Doreen S. Kadric, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Porter Medical Center

“A very intriguing idea came from one of our staff members, Ali Zimmer, who will be the physical therapist at the clinic, which is to reach out to Athletic Directors at the local schools and promote off-season athletic conditioning: strength, agility and flexibility to reduce the risk of injury or re-injury for student-athletes”, she said.

“We also will be providing “Driver Evaluations” for those individuals who are referred by their physician” she added. Driver Evaluation is performed by Occupational Therapists and is designed to assess individuals with cognitive impairment to assist their physician with the difficult decision of determining whether driving is a safe option. The new clinic will provide this assessment monthly.

“It is important for folks to understand they do not have to be a patient of Primary Care - Bristol to utilize our services” Kadric added.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, individuals should call Carol Sweeney at 388-4777.
Other less visible steps that Porter has taken to be more environmentally friendly in our dietary department include replacing the dish-room sprayer with a low flow valve to save water and replacing plate heaters with a combination heaters to reduce electric costs.

According to Brace, Porter has always worked with local farms and food vendors to purchase fresh products, such as turkeys from a poultry farm in Orwell, milk, cottage cheese, sour cream from Monument Farms Dairy in Weybridge, eggs/maple syrup from Maple Meadow Farms in Salisbury, beef from Greg’s Meat Market in Middlebury and apples from Champlain Orchards.

Brace also has a long list of new ideas to investigate including possibilities of introducing composting, even more local purchasing, serving only fair trade coffee, exploring more recycling opportunities, introducing reusable water bottles and mugs for staff and a starting a community/organization garden. She says that her department has some specific short-term goals, such as revising patient menus to be trans fat free, as well as some long- term goals such as a vegetable swap during the summer months.

Porter Hospital joins the more than 200 hospitals across the country that have signed the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge including Hackensack University Medical Center, the fourth largest healthcare facility in the country, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Catholic Healthcare West health system, the largest US Catholic healthcare system. Here in Vermont, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Northeastern Vermont Regional also have signed the pledge.

Vermont Fresh Network’s Vermont Coordinator for the “Healthy Food in Health Care” Initiative, Alyssa Nathanson said “Porter is demonstrating leadership not only for our community, but for the country. We are fortunate to have a facility like this take a leadership role in Vermont. We hope that more hospitals across the state will follow suit.”


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