Reporter Harmony Birch’s article on the 67th Annual Grace Cotttage Hospital Fair Day
WINDHAM COUNTY — The stormy weather didn’t stop Windham County residents from enjoying two August traditions: Grace Cottage Fair Day and Rockingham Old Home Days. Locals from the Townshend and Rockingham areas marched their brightly colored umbrellas to the respective downtown areas, determined to have fun.
Grace Cottage Fair Day started in 1950, a year after the hospital opened, according to Andrea Seaton, director of Grace Cottage Foundation’s Office of Community Relations. The fair is used every year to raise money for Grace Cottage Hospital’s general operating budget. This year was more critical, however, because the money raised will be used to fund a new heating system to replace one that is old and “beyond repair,” said Jacki Brown, the marketing administrator at Grace Cottage. The best option the hospital could find was $542,000, she said. The money is being raised through donations, grants and the fair.
Reporter Mike Faher interviews Grace Cottage CEO Roger Allbee upon Allbee’s announcement of his forthcoming retirement:
In early 2014, Roger Allbee set aside the issue he knew best — agriculture — to become the top administrator of Vermont’s smallest hospital. It has been, he says, “a learning experience.” Last week, as Allbee announced his retirement from Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, he said he’s become well acquainted with the regulatory and financial problems rural hospitals face. But he’s also convinced there’s still a place for a small, independent hospital that’s focused on community health care.
Harmony Birch reports on the 12th annual Tour de Grace Bicycle Rally:
Saturday’s Tour de Grace Bike Rally broke records with 107 participants. Though the skies were overcast, people from at least eight different states – Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Georgia and, of course, Vermont – showed up to support Grace Cottage Hospital. The bike rally has been going on for 12 years. Cyclists paid $25 to $30 to register, with about $6,000 raised this year. All proceeds go to Grace Cottage, a nonprofit hospital in operation since 1949. It is designated as a Critical Access Hospital, a status given to hospitals in rural regions to reduce financial vulnerability.
Mike Faher reports on food insecurity in Windham County and on programs run at Grace Cottage to address the issue:
Federal statistics offer some positive news for hunger in Vermont: Over the past several years, the state’s rate of “food insecurity” has been trending slowly but steadily downward. But those numbers don’t mean much in the West River Valley region of Windham County, where community volunteers and school staffers are seeing a growing number of families who don’t have enough to eat. Their responses are diverse: A nurse is starting an in-school food shelf; a community organization is hosting cooking classes and free soup nights, and Grace Cottage Hospital is trying to grow a ton of tomatoes for the local food bank.
Grace Cottage Hospital CEO Roger Allbee talks about the potential impact of GOP health care plan on rural hospitals, with Chris Lenois on his “Green Mountain Mornings” talk show.
Grace Cottage CEO Roger Allbee is quoted in this article about the potential effects of an Obamacare repeal:
Roger Allbee, the CEO of Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, said the Medicaid cuts would also hit his small community hospital, which he said is already losing $2 million a year treating Medicaid patients, because the reimbursements are so low. “It’s absolutely devastating what they’re doing,” Allbee said. “It would be hard for a rural health care center like ours, which serves 14 communities, to even exist in the future under their plan. It’s devastating, absolutely devastating.”