News From Grace Cottage

Spring into Health 5K Set for May 7th

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5K Runners

Enjoy a morning of good, healthy fun in the great outdoors at the 7th Annual Grace Cottage Hospital “Spring into Health” 5K on Saturday, May 7th. The family-friendly 5K starts at 8:30 am on the Townshend Common. The race will be timed for competitors, but is open to all, whether you run, jog, walk, roll, or stroll.  The course is 3.1 miles of mainly flat, paved road along Grafton Road (Route 35).

After the race, there will be awards, raffles, and general merriment. There is also a free Fun Run for kids 8 and under on the Common at 9:15. The event, held rain or shine, wraps up around 10:30.

Register online for an early bird rate of $15/13 & up (free for those 12 and under!) at or by calling (802) 365-9109. Online registration closes at noon on Wednesday, May 4. The first 100 to register will receive a free performance t-shirt designed by Leland & Gray student Joel Emmons. You can register at the race for $20/13 and up (still free for 12 and under), but no guarantees on getting a t-shirt!

This event, sponsored by People’s United Bank, raises funds for patient care at Grace Cottage Hospital. For more information, visit or call (802) 365-9109.


Free Fraud Prevention Workshop: April 12th

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identity theft

Join AARP Vermont at Grace Cottage Hospital on Tuesday, April 12th at 7:00 pm for a free hour-long workshop on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from frauds, scams, and identity theft. Last year, 13 million people were the victims of identity theft alone. Don’t let one of them be you!

Read more

Physical Rehab Can Help with Vertigo

| Graceful Health, News

Melissa WalkerBy Melissa Walker, Grace Cottage Physical Therapist
as originally appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health series, March 25, 2016

Vestibular rehab is physical therapy for your vestibular system, one of the body systems that helps you maintain your balance when you stand and move. The system is made up of several parts within the inner ear that tell you whether you are standing upright or not, and that provide information on the position and motion of your head, stabilizing you as you move.

Ideally, the vestibular system helps you maintain your equilibrium, keeping your center of mass over your base of support. But sometimes there are problems with this system. Read more

Poison Prevention: It’s Not Just About Children

| Graceful Health, News
Kenny Rudd in ER

By Dr. Kenneth Rudd, Grace Cottage Hospital Emergency Department Co-Director
as appeared in the Brattleboro Reformer’s Graceful Health series, March 11, 2016

National Poison Week is March 20-26 this year. For the past 55 years, this event has been held to raise awareness and provide strategies for poison prevention.

The headline used by the National Poison Week Council to announce this year’s event isn’t surprising: “Children Act Fast, So Do Poisons.” Over 90% of poison exposures occur in the home, and certainly, we do need to keep our homes safe so children don’t gain access to dangerous chemicals and medicines. But there’s more to this story than children.

Poisoning is a serious and persistent problem. The Institute of Medicine estimates that the incidence of poisoning in the United States is approximately 4 million cases per year, with 300,000 cases leading to hospitalization. In 2013, 43,982 deaths were caused by drug poisoning. In addition, the U.S. poison control centers received calls for poison exposures for 80,266 animals, so be mindful of your pets too. Read more

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