Archive for October, 2012

Satellite view of the enormous cloud field associated with Hurricane Sandy on Thursday morning. (NASA)

Brattleboro Town Manager Barbara Sondag has issued the following, written on Thursday evening, October 25:

“First responders and Town officials are closely tracking Hurricane Sandy.  The most current forecast indicates that the Brattleboro area could be impacted by Sandy sometime between Monday and Wednesday (October 29 – 31).  The forecast indicates that heavy rains and high wind speeds are possible.  Concerns include power outages, flooding, flying debris, downed trees, road closures and bridge failures.

It is not safe to assume this storm will act in a similar fashion to Tropical Storm Irene.

Sandy could have higher winds than we experienced with Irene, making power outages more possible and increasing the risk of flying debris.  In addition our current water table is high increasing the risk that high winds could more easily uproot trees, causing road closures or power outages.  In short everyone should prepare for this storm – not just those who were impacted by TS Irene.

The Town is working to secure sandbags and we hope to have more information on their availability sometime on Friday.  I have released the attached PSA and will continue to prepare and distribute PSAs as we receive new or more specific information.

I would advise anyone who suffered damage from Irene and made repairs to document those repairs (photos of present conditions especially) so there is no question what storm caused what damage.

The reason is that if there is future damage, these photos will serve to clearly delineate damage from Irene and damage from Sandy for insurance or FEMA claim purposes.

We will also be updating the Town website – — and utilizing the Brattleboro Emergency Notification System (BENS) as needed.”

Barb has asked that the Chamber, along with Building a Better Brattleboro, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and the West Brattleboro Association alert their constituencies — business owners, organizations and citizens — of the threat Sandy may pose to our community.

Please pass this information along to your employees and to those in the community who might not have as direct access to the latest information as others of us.

Thank you!

Grace Cottage Hospital has been named one of the most advanced hospitals in the world for its use of comprehensive Electronic Medical Records (EMR), a key factor in providing the safest, highest-quality patient care possible.

According to HIMSS Analytics, Grace Cottage Hospital is currently at “Stage 6” for adoption of EMR. Only 397 of more than 5,300 hospitals in the United States have achieved this status; Fletcher Allen Healthcare Center in Burlington is the only other Vermont hospital that has reached Stage 6. HIMSS Analytics, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) scores hospitals based on their progress in completing eight stages (0-7) towards creating paperless patient records.

“Becoming the second hospital in Vermont to earn this recognition is a significant achievement,” said Grace Cottage Hospital CEO Mick Brant. “As the smallest hospital in Vermont, Grace Cottage is committed to giving our health care providers the most advanced tools available in order to provide our patients with the best possible care.”

Grace Cottage is well known for having the highest overall patient satisfaction scores in the state of Vermont and, in partnership with Cerner Corporation, has spent the past two years preparing for and implementing a facility-wide Electronic Medical Record system, a $2.5 million investment that is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“The entire staff has worked very hard to make this happen,” Brant adds. “Achieving Stage 6 in HIMSS Analytics is a major milestone in the 64-year history of this hospital, so all of our employees deserve to be very proud of what they’ve accomplished for our patients. Now, we’ll work towards Stage 7.”

More information about Grace Cottage’s HIMSS Analytics Stage 6 designation is available at


Founded in 1949, Grace Cottage Hospital is a Critical Access Hospital offering a variety of health care services, including: a 19-bed hospital with a 24/7 emergency department; an imaging department with digital X-ray, CT scanner, bone densitometer, and ultrasound; a full-service lab; a rehab department with physical, occupational, and speech therapy services for inpatient and outpatient treatment; an outpatient rural health clinic with family practice doctors and a mental health department; a community wellness center hosting a variety of classes; and a full-service pharmacy open to the public.


HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded 50 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations are headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. HIMSS represents more than 38,000 individual members, of which more than two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 540 corporate members and more than 120 not-for-profit organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, research initiatives, and media vehicles designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. To learn more about HIMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at

On behalf of the Grace Cottage Hospital Rehabilitation Department, I would like to thank the staff, community members and establishments who helped make this year’s 14th Annual Physical Therapy Month Poker Walk such a big success. This year over 100 walkers/runners, completed the 2-mile course on Wednesday, October 10, despite the cold and rainy weather.

I would like to thank the following donors for their generous contributions to our raffle: Grace Cottage Hospital, Grace Cottage Community Wellness Center, Grace Cottage Foundation, Messenger Valley Pharmacy, Patty Winter, Siobhan Young, Flo Burt, Jim Heal, Archer Mayor, Wayne’s Auto and Jeep, Newfane Greenhouse, and Mary Meyer.

A big thanks also to Snow Goose Inn of West Dover, VT, for again contributing our “Grand Prize,” a one-night stay for two, which went to the community member with the best poker hand. Thanks also to the Last Chair Restaurant of West Dover, for contributing the employee “Grand Prize,” a voucher for dinner for two.

We were well hydrated and fueled with water and granola bars donated by C & S Wholesale Grocers, who was also our event lead sponsor, thanks to a generous financial donation. Thanks so much.

This year we were once again fortunate to have the Windham County Sheriff’s Department and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), who did an excellent job with traffic control. We really appreciate it. Also, a big thanks to Grace Cottage’s volunteers, the “Grace Greeters,” who cheerfully helped handing out cards at the stations despite the weather.

Once again, thank you, Tammy Claussen and Tom Russell, for bringing your students out. Leland and Gray is a huge part of the event.

Great job everyone! See you next year for the 15th Annual Physical Therapy Month Poker Walk.


Sindy Hassig
Grace Cottage Hospital Physical Therapist