Health news and notes



AIDS Project invites public to 30th Walk for Life Saturday

The AIDS Project of Southern Vermont is inviting the public to help raise money and awareness Saturday, at its 30th annual Walk for Life.

The event, set for 10 a.m. to noon at the River Garden on Main Street, will spotlight community efforts not only to support local people living with HIV/AIDS but also to reduce the risk of transmission to others.

The Walk for Life will feature speakers, music by local singers Samirah Evans and Cyndi Cain, a brief period of remembrance and a light lunch.

The AIDS Project, established in 1988, is encouraging individuals, businesses, churches, schools and community groups to form teams to seek contributions for its work with clients in Windham, Bennington and southern Windsor counties.

This year's walk is sponsored by West River Family Dental, Against the Grain Gourmet, Caracal Consulting, Re-Pete Property Maintenance Service and Brown Computer Solutions — the latter which is donating an iPad for a $5-a-ticket raffle at the event.

For more information, contact Karen Peterson at 802-254-4444 or or log onto the webpage


Planned Parenthood volunteer training set for Sunday

Become an official Planned Parenthood Volunteer in southern Vermont and ensure Planned Parenthood is accessible to all patients in spite of looming federal cuts. Volunteers will organize efforts to influence public policy regarding reproductive health care and increase community and patient awareness of PP services.

Training provided by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Planned Parenthood Defenders Group of Southern Vermont is scheduled for Sunday, May 21, at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, conference room 2, 5 to 7 p.m. Some food provided.

For more information, contact


Strategies to lower blood pressure naturally

Grace Cottage is hosting "Seven Natural Strategies and Lifestyle Habits to Lower Blood Pressure" on three dates: Monday, May 22, 3 to 3:45 p.m.; Friday, May 26, 7:30 to 8:15 a.m.; and Friday, May 26, 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. A blood pressure screening will be included.

Community members are invited to attend this free workshop, which will be led by Grace Cottage Community Health Team members Claire Bemis, RN; Bill Monahan, RN; and Cheryl Shaw, Health Coach.

The event will be held in the Holt Conference Room, Heins Building, 133 Grafton Rd., Townshend. Please RSVP by calling 365-3766 by Friday, May 19.


Emergency preparedness specialist to speak at Inclusion Center

Pamela Corbett, emergency preparedness specialist at the Vermont Department of Health, will be the guest speaker at The Inclusion Center on Monday, May 22, at 2 p.m. at the Gathering Place, 30 Terrace Street.

Corbett will discuss emergency preparedness for people with disabilities and address any health concerns participants may have. In her position at the Department of Health she deals with potential epidemics, floods and other major disasters that may occur.

The Inclusion Center is a no-fee program for all people who have disabilities whether mental or physical as well as those dealing with anxiety or depression. It meets on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Gathering Place and on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Michael's Episcopal Church.

For more information about The Inclusion Center, contact Julie Tamler at 802-387- 5285.


Blood donor drive nets 65 pints

The May blood donor drive held at the Eagles Club on Chickering Drive netted 65 pints.

Multiple and on-gallon donors included: Roy Kinoshita, 19 gallons; Harold Kuhns, 13 gallons; Christopher Adams, 11 gallons; Donald E. Elliot, nine gallons; Gary Goodemote, nine gallons; Elizabeth Judson, four gallons; Andrea J. Matthews, four gallons; Brian LaBounty, three gallons; Jon Blouin, one gallon; and Dodie Riggs, one gallon.

Raquel Roman Morales was a first-time donor.

The June blood donor day is set for June 13 between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Club No. 2445 at 34 Chickering Road.


Grace Cottage Fair Day organizers seek arts and crafts

The Grace Cottage Hospital Auxiliary Fair Day is continuing a wonderful tradition. The Aug. 5 event will again include a community arts and crafts show.

Area artists and craftspeople are encouraged to display their works in this show, which will be held in the Townshend Church on the Townshend Common throughout Fair Day.

The artwork and crafts pieces in the show will be for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Grace Cottage Hospital.

Those interested in exhibiting should contact Patty Jerez at 802-365-9266 or, Kathy Greve at 802-874-4403 or, Pokey Lyman at 802-365-7964 or or Lauri Miner at 802-365-4194 or as soon as possible, as space is limited.

The Grace Cottage Hospital Auxiliary Fair Day is a major fundraiser that helps the hospital purchase needed equipment. For more information about Fair Day, call 802-365-9992 or 802-365-9109.


Free talk on neuroscience and education at Landmark College

On Sunday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m., Nadine Gaab, Ph.D., will preseent ""Hope or Hype? The Use and Misuse of Neuroscience in Education." The event will be held at the Brooks M. O'Brien Auditorium in the East Academic Building at Landmark College.

This talk will be the keynote address for the 27th annual Landmark College Summer Institute. As a special benefit to the local community, the keynote address of the Summer Institute is free, accessible, and open to the public.

An associate professor of pediatrics and an acclaimed researcher at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Gaab studies reading development in typical and atypical children, including possible pre-markers of dyslexia in young children.

"The label `brain-based' has rapidly entered the field of education and hundreds of strategies, interventions and teaching tools claim to be either brain-based or to significantly alter your brain in a positive way. In this lecture, we will critically evaluate these claims and carefully examine the potential role neuroscience can play in education," said Gaab. "We will further discuss limitations of the bridge between these two disciplines and strategies for how to identify legitimate claims in the intersection of education and neuroscience."

Local educators and parents with an interest in students who learn differently are encouraged to register for and attend the full Landmark College Summer Institute, which will take place from June 25 to 28. The Summer Institute features intensive three-day strands and single sessions focused on working with students who learn differently, including students with learning disabilities, ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.

This year's three-day strand topics include 21st century study skills, math support, executive function support and "Thriving In College: The Path to Success for Students Who Learn Differently," a new workshop to be presented by founding Landmark College faculty member Linda Hecker during her last week at Landmark College before her retirement.

Details and registration information are available at Group rates and other discounts are available. Contact the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training at or 802-387-1662 with any questions.


BMH hires new finance director

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital recently welcomed Brandon Reed as the new director of finance.

Reed was previously employed at Cooley Dickinson Medical Group in Northampton, Mass., as the accounting manager. A graduate of Western New England University, with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Reed has a background in both accounting and finance, working at Deloitte & Touche and Arthur Andersen, in Hartford, Conn.

"We're delighted to welcome Brandon to the Brattleboro community and to BMH," said Michael Rogers, BMH's vice president of fiscal services. "His extensive experience in financial reporting, revenue cycle processes, and project management will be great assets to the hospital."

A Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, Reed also maintains licensure as a certified internal auditor and certified informational systems auditor.

Previously serving as owner and CEO of Challenge Total Fitness, Inc. DBA Fitness Together, a personal training fitness center in Northampton, Mass., Reed was awarded Business West's annual 40 Under 40 distinction in 2010. He currently serves on the Board of Corporators and Governance Committee Member for the Loomis Communities in Northampton, Mass.


West River Valley Thrives welcomes new program director

West River Valley Thrives. with a mission to support and promote healthy lifestyle choices with an emphasis on the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use by young people, recently announced the addition of Erica Reynolds to its staff. Reynolds is taking over for Kristin Cox as the organization's program director. Reynolds has a law degree from Western New England University School of Law and a degree in sociology from Smith College.

"I am inspired to be involved with youth health issues after working in the non-profit and legal field and seeing firsthand how these issues affect our area youth," said Reynolds. "The problems with youth substance abuse, violence, and youth empowerment are pressing issues for this area that are being addressed by area coalitions such as West River Valley Thrives. There are many risk and protective factors that influence young people's decision-making; it is through the work of coalitions such as ours that these factors are identified and targeted and I am excited and honored to continue this great work."

Reynolds said she looks forward to getting to know the West River Valley community better and is available to meet with any individuals or groups interested in hearing more about herself and/or the work of the West River Valley Thrives Partnership.

For more information, visit


American Cancer Society Relay For Life set for June 10

Cancer survivors, caregivers, volunteers, and community members will unite for the annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Windham County in an effort to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer.

Funds raised help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease today, and fund cancer research that will help protect future generations. During Relay For Life events, members of each team take turns walking or running around the track or path. Teams participate in fundraising in the months leading up to the event.

To register online for the June 10 event, visit The event is scheduled for 1 to 11 p.m. at Brattleboro Union High School.

For more information, contact      Elizabeth Gardner at


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