At Grace Cottage, Good Food is Good Medicine

Staff With Local Produce

By Denise Choleva, CDM-CFPP, Grace Cottage Dietary Director

You hear the phrase a lot these days: “Food is medicine,” and it makes a lot of sense. We know there are plenty of foods that can make us sick because they have too much sugar, artificial ingredients, or fat. So the opposite has to be true too, that food can help make us well.

Healthy food in a healthcare setting makes good sense, for patients as well as for employees and community visitors. That’s why I signed the “Healthy Food in Healthcare” pledge in 2012, and that’s why I’ve been so committed to using the freshest, locally produced food here ever since.


Living Well Through the Ages

By Dr. Jesper Brickley, Grace Cottage Family Health

Fall is a time to reflect on transitions in life. In the words of Albert Camus, “autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower.” It is a time of transition and reflection. The measure of time bears little importance compared to what fills the time being measured. We pass through time like rays of light through crisp autumn trees. We are enriched by the process of aging and reflect that which we absorb and find meaning in.

Grace Cottage’s Healthy Aging Conference, to be held Nov. 15-16 in Grafton, Vermont, will give us time to reflect on these ideas and to share a wealth of information about how to celebrate the accumulation of years and to age healthfully.


Grace Cottage Adds Lymphedema Therapy

Abby Abbot

By Abigail Abbott, Grace Cottage Physical Therapist

The bad news first, and then the good news: most women dealing with breast cancer are so focused on getting rid of the cancer, thinking if they achieve that, it will be the end of the experience. Lymphedema is probably the furthest thing from their minds. But there’s a high probability they’ll have to deal with this disease, as high as 50-50, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The good news is that specially trained physical therapists can make this experience much less traumatic. And further good news: help is nearby! Grace Cottage now has two physical therapists certified to provide this therapy, Cindy Kenyon and me.


Grace Cottage Now Offers Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Jen and Melinda

By Jen Studin and Melinda Roy, Grace Cottage Pediatric OTs

The word “occupational” might lead you to think that Occupational Therapy (OT) is job-related, but really, it’s much more than that. And when it comes to kids, OT is not focused on work at all — unless you consider it work for kids to learn to play, to take care of themselves, and to develop social skills.

OT helps people of all ages to attain and refine the skills they need to participate in daily life: things they need to do to take care of themselves, and things they do for enjoyment. Pediatric OT focuses on skills required to play, bathe and dress, interact with peers, and fulfill student and family responsibilities.


Is Your Child Developing Normally?

Natalie Harding

By Natalie Harding, Grace Cottage Hospital PA-C

It might seem like just another chore on the back-to-school task list, but there are plenty of good reasons why your child’s required yearly physical is a wise investment.

Children with chronic health challenges like asthma, allergies, or diabetes obviously need to be watched closely for any changes in their conditions, but “well” kids need watching too. The yearly physical provides a structure for regular check-ups to ensure that your child is developing normally.


What to Expect When Your Doctor Refers You to a Warfarin Clinic

By John Kim, PharmD

If you or a family member has been recently diagnosed with irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) or a blood clot, your doctor may prescribe a medication called warfarin and refer you to a warfarin clinic.

What is warfarin, you might ask? It is a medication classified as an oral anticoagulant (often called a blood thinner) used to treat and prevent blood clots.


Plants to Avoid This Summer


By Danny Ballentine, Grace Cottage Emergency Department Physician Assistant

If you grew up in this country, you’ve probably somewhat familiar with our three most common poisonous plants: poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. We don’t have to worry about poison oak in the Northeast, as it generally grows only in the Southeast and along the West Coast. But poison sumac and poison ivy are both native here, so they are definitely plants to look for and to avoid.


The Right Formula for Colon Health

William Monahan

By Bill Monahan, Grace Cottage Community Health Team RN Outreach Coordinator as originally appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health series, July 1, 2016 When applied properly, any well-proven equation produces good results. The formula for avoiding colon cancer is relatively easy: Colon Health = Preparation + Screening + Prevention. Colorectal cancer, often referred to […]


Bone Density Testing: Not Just for Women

Angie Clark

By Angie Clark, Grace Cottage Hospital Director of Diagnostic Imaging
as originally appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health series, June 3, 2016

The latest news to come out regarding osteoporosis is that testing for men tends to fall through the cracks.

While women’s bone health is often followed closely by their primary care and ob-gyn providers, men aren’t as likely to get regular check-ups or to be referred for bone density testing when it is needed.


Be Prepared for Anaphylaxis

Natalie Harding

By Natalie Harding, Grace Cottage Hospital PA-C
as originally appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health series, May 20, 2016

Summertime in Vermont. It’s a great time of year for getting together outdoors with family and friends, fixing up the house, catching up on yard work.

Unfortunately, it’s also a great time of year for bugs that bite and sting, and they love to join the picnic.