News From Grace Cottage

Should I get the shingles vaccine?

| Graceful Health, News
Lucian Devan

Lucier Devan (11)By Devon Lucier, AGNP, Grace Cottage Family Health
as appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health series, February 26, 2016

If you have ever known anyone with shingles, you will understand why the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that eligible adults become vaccinated.

Shingles is a very painful rash caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Anyone who has had chicken pox (and rarely, those who had the chicken pox vaccine, which includes a weakened strain of the virus) can develop shingles. For reasons not yet understood, the chickenpox virus reactivates and causes shingles. It may have to do with one’s immune system, and the tendency increases with age.

While anyone who has ever had chicken pox can get shingles, even on rare occasions children, most cases occur in people age 50 and older. According to the CDC, almost one third of Americans will develop shingles during their lifetime. Every year, there are approximately one million cases reported. Read more

Do You Have an Advance Care Directive? Informative Workshop Feb. 11 at Grace Cottage

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Maybe you already know what an “advance care directive” is, but you’ve been putting it off because it’s a scary topic. Or maybe you’ve heard the term, but you aren’t quite sure what it is. If so, an upcoming workshop at Grace Cottage can help.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, Grace Cottage is offering “It’s Really About Love,” an informational session on Advance Care Directives in collaboration with Taking Steps Brattleboro, a project of Brattleboro Area Hospice. Read more

Weight Loss Support Group offered at Grace Cottage

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On Tuesday, February 9th at 10:30am, Grace Cottage Health Coach Liz Harrison invites anyone whose goal is to lose weight to join her monthly support group for people who share this common desire. Joining Liz will be guest speaker and Behavioral Health Specialist Caroline Chase whose topic will be overcoming addictive food behavior.

Each month, Liz, or a guest presenter, spends about 20 minutes educating participants on a topic of the day, and then leads conversation among the group and offers professional advice and friendly encouragement. Liz’s goal is to get her clients to adopt nutritious diets and healthy lifestyles rather than to simply drop pounds by any means.

Both Liz Harrison, CCN and Caroline Chase, MS are members of the recently expanded Grace Cottage Community Health Team (CHT). As a Health Coach, Liz provides resources and skills to help her clients develop health habits. As a Behavioral Health Specialist, Caroline provides short-term goal-oriented counselling. Appointments can be made with these or other members of the Grace Cottage CHT free of charge – no insurance necessary.

This free weight loss support group is held the second Tuesday of every month from 10:30-12 noon, at Grace Cottage Family Health, 185 Grafton Rd. (Rte. 35), Townshend, VT. (EMS Room.) Prior to attending a first class, please register with group leader Elizabeth (Liz) Harrison at 802-365-3715 x5 or at

‘Cabin Fever’ Online Auction is ON!

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Grace Cottage Auction Collage

From February 1 ‘til the clock strikes 8:00pm on February 28, all are welcome and encouraged to check out the awesome array of items in Grace Cottage’s annual Cabin Fever Auction. More than 80 (!) items have been donated by generous businesses and individuals including some things you just can’t buy anywhere else. Valued from $12 to $5000, there is something for every taste and budget, and plenty of good deals to be had!

Bid low and get notified when someone outbids you or ‘Buy Now’ and make it yours today! Either way you play, feel good supporting this annual fund-raiser for the Grace Cottage Patient Care Fund. Check it out at


Balance and Physical Therapy

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Patty Winter headshotBy Patty Winter, Grace Cottage Physical Therapist
as appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health series, January 15, 2016

In the winter, it’s easy to imagine how the weather can increase your risk of falling. Year-round, though, your physical sense of balance is affected by internal as well as exterior factors.

For example, you may have heard of the Vestibular system, which is a series of tubes in the inner ear that acts like a carpenter’s level. This system keeps us oriented as to where we are in space, telling us whether we are upright or not. Some people experience dizziness when this system gets imbalanced. Some specially trained physical therapists can work with patients on inner ear issues, but that’s not the focus for this discussion. Read more

An Easy Test Can Save Your Life

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Dr. Ewa Arnold headshotBy Dr. Ewa Arnold, Grace Cottage Family Health
as appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health series, January 15, 2016

A question for women, in recognition of National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: The Papanicolaou (Pap) test takes less than five minutes to perform and, if done according to the recommended schedule, it can boost a woman’s chance of surviving cervical cancer to as high as 91 percent. Given that statistic, why wouldn’t you get the test?

To put this into perspective, women with early cervical cancer and pre-cancer often have no symptoms, so the Pap test is the only way for them to be diagnosed. If the cancer is detected at this stage, when the cancer is still localized to the cervix, the survival rate is very high. But the survival rate drops dramatically for those who are diagnosed after the cancer becomes invasive, meaning it has spread to nearby organs. According to the National Cancer Institute, for women at this stage, the survival rate drops to no higher than 57%.

The test, therefore, is the key to survival. More than half of the women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer have never been tested or have let their testing lapse. Read more

Bid Now in the Cabin Fever Online Auction!

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cabin fever auction

Dreaming of sunshine and sandy beaches?  You could win 7 days at a beachfront resort in Antigua in the Cabin Fever Online Auction!

Each year, we have an on-line auction to benefit our Patient Care Fund. Our Patient Care Fund helps Grace Cottage provide free care to those lacking adequate resources. Read more

Winning Design Selected for Grace Cottage’s 2016 Spring Into Health 5K

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5K Art Winner

Leland & Gray student Joel Emmons was recently awarded a $50 prize for his winning design for Grace Cottage’s 2016 Spring into Health 5K run.  Students in Stephanie Nyzio’s design class submitted artwork, and the Grace Cottage 5K Committee selected the winning design.  Grace Cottage has relied on the creative talents of Leland and Gray students for our 5K event graphics for the past several years.

Joel’s artwork will be used on event t-shirts and on posters promoting the 7th Annual Spring Into Health 5K to be held on Saturday May 7, 2016.  Read more

Grace Cottage Family Health Welcomes New Patients

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Grace Cottage Family Health has expanded its staff and extended its hours to accommodate a growing number of new patients. The new providers are Doctor Jesper Brickley, Nurse Practitioners Jorda Daigneault and Devan Lucier, Physician Assistant Natalie Harding, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Benjamin Wright.

Dr. Brickley joins Grace Cottage after completing his residency at Rose Family Medicine in Denver. He is a licensed Doctor of Osteopathy, a type of medical doctor who is disciplined in looking at each patient in an intrinsically holistic manner. Read more

Good Health is a Good Resolution

| News, Uncategorized

Roger AllbeeBy Roger Allbee, CEO, Grace Cottage Hospital
as appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health series, January 1, 2016 

What’s your New Year’s resolution? I hope it includes taking steps to improve your health. Making a resolution to eat better, get regular exercise, quit smoking, or lose weight can happen on any day, but the New Year is an especially appropriate time for a fresh start.

As CEO of Grace Cottage Hospital, when I contemplate ways to improve health, I’m thinking not just about myself, but about the population in general. We all know that the rising cost of health care is a strain on our budgets, as individuals, and as a nation. Getting healthy and staying healthy is always the wisest course, for both quality of life and financial security. Read more