By Elaine Swift, Grace Cottage Family Health Practice Director
Sometimes the language used by government agencies obscures the goal. The term “Patient-Centered Medical Home” is like that. People ask me all the time, “What does it mean, and why is it important?” I’d like to explain some of the ways that being a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) helps Grace Cottage provide the best care for our patients.
First, it’s helpful to know that, while all of the various services offered at Grace Cottage are important, the PCMH designation applies specifically to primary care practices. It is Grace Cottage Family Health, the part of Grace Cottage where patients go for their regular checkups and other primary care needs, that has received the PCMH designation. In fact, Grace Cottage Family Health was recently awarded Level 3 PCMH recognition, the highest level possible.
What does that mean for our patients?
By Louise McDevitt, Nurse Practitioner, Grace Cottage Family Health
as originally appeared in the April 21 Brattleboro Reformer Graceful Health column
Let’s start by looking at some common beliefs about alcohol. How would you answer the following questions, true or false? A moderate amount of alcohol each day is good for your health. The United Nations has established a standard portion size for alcoholic drinks that is honored in most countries worldwide. Drinking may decrease the risk of heart attack and strokes. Drinking decreases a woman’s risk for getting breast cancer. Women who are pregnant should not drink. Wine is better for you than other alcoholic beverages. Your chances of having a car accident are doubled even if your blood alcohol limit is only half the legal limit.
Grace Cottage Hospital has been named a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital (CAH) for “Best Practice – Patient Satisfaction.” The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has chosen Grace Cottage for this exclusive “Top 20” list out of all 1339 CAH facilities throughout the U.S. It is the only CAH in the Northeast to receive this designation.
Grace Cottage Family Health of Townshend, VT, has received Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). This certifies that Grace Cottage’s Rural Health Clinic has achieved the highest level of evidence-based, patient-centered, coordinated care.
Grace Cottage Family Health welcomes Mental Health Counselor Eileen Arama to its team of 12 medical providers. Arama is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, offering counseling appointments for adults as well as children ages seven and up.
Trained at the Gallaudet University School of Social Work in Washington, D.C., Arama received her Masters of Social Work degree with Honors in May 2003. She has worked locally at Brattleboro’s Austine School for the Deaf, at Sunderland Elementary School, and at the Brattleboro Retreat, in addition to other positions in Vermont, Connecticut, and Israel.
By Elizabeth Harrison, Grace Cottage Health Coach
as originally appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health column, April 7, 2017
You probably know already that too much stress can make you sick. Chronic stress puts a tremendous load on our bodies, increasing our risk of getting a whole host of diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and digestive troubles, to name a few.
And no doubt, you have direct experience with stress. We all lead busy lives, and it can be challenging to take time for self-care. It’s important, though, and I would like to offer a few simple stress reduction techniques that can make a huge difference. None of these are time-consuming or costly, and they don’t require any special equipment.
By Deborah Brown, Grace Cottage Family Health Diabetes Educator
as originally appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health column, March 24, 2017
Do you have diabetes? If you said no, how do you know?
As many as 8 million Americans have this disease without knowing it. And even without obvious symptoms, undiagnosed diabetes can still be ruining your health.
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. Heart disease and stroke are two-to-four times more common in those with diabetes. It is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults, and of end-stage kidney disease. More than half of the amputations of feet and legs are due to diabetes; 60-70 percent of those with diabetes have some nerve damage; and diabetes contributes to serious infections and gum disease.
Diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to produce or use insulin—the hormone that helps move glucose inside the cells to provide energy.
By Jorda Daigneault, Grace Cottage Family Health Nurse Practitioner
Think you can’t run a 5K? You’re not alone. And yet, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.
Take, for example, this story from the home page of the “Couch to 5K” website:
“With the help of the Couch to 5K program, in less than seven months, I went from a 47-year-old, 104kg, 30 cigarettes a day sort of guy, to an 82kg, 0 cigarettes, running 45 to 50 kilometers a week sort of guy. Ten months after finishing C25K I completed my first marathon. Since then I have run another 5 marathons, as well as 9 ultra-marathons including three over 100km.”
Maybe you think this is all hype, some marketer’s made-up story to sell the program. I know otherwise—because I’m a success story too.
By Dr. Maurice Geurts, Grace Cottage Family Health
February is the month of Valentine’s Day, when we focus on emotions of the heart. February is also American Heart Month, a time when we are encouraged to consider the mechanics of this important organ.
Fortunately, most of the time, our hearts do their work silently and reliably, without any effort on our part. We shouldn’t take them for granted, though. Our hearts do need our attention, as certain lifestyle behaviors do often lead to malfunction.
The most common disease of the heart is the one over which we have the most control.
Grace Cottage Hospital Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Louise McDevitt is the author of a new book for clinical practitioners.
Orthopedic Physical Assessment, published by Fitzgerald Health Education Associates and co-authored by McDevitt and FNP Monica Tombasco, is a reference guide to help medical students and seasoned clinicians alike with orthopedic diagnosis and treatment.
The guide is a spiral-bound book in cue-card format, making it easy to find information quickly. It provides a comprehensive compendium, with diagrams, glossary, and references for further information.