CEO Coronavirus Update – July 21, 2020

It’s been almost two months since my last Message to the Community and I’d like to bring you up to date on what’s been going on at Grace Cottage during that time. We are fully open for business, and are pleased that we have played a part in keeping our community as safe as possible. Vermont is the first state to report no new Covid-19 deaths since June 16. We have certainly flattened the curve and hope to continue this trend.


Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation Grant Awarded to Grace Cottage

Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital has received a grant from the Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation in response to an appeal for Covid-related assistance.

Like most other hospitals in the nation, Grace Cottage has maintained a constant state of vigilance, prepared to respond to community needs, while experiencing a significant drop in operating revenue during the pandemic, as people have followed Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s stay-at-home instructions and cancelled or postponed healthcare services. In order to bridge this huge gap, Grace Cottage has appealed to individuals and charitable organizations for funds to keep operations going. The Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation made a generous grant in response to this appeal.


CEO Coronavirus Update – June 2, 2020

Messenger Valley Pharmacy

Our community has embraced Grace Cottage in so very many ways during this challenging time that it’s impossible to try to list them all here, and we want to thank every individual and organization that went so far above and beyond to help. I must say, though, that a flyover by the Vermont Air National Guard on the Friday before Memorial Day was as awe-inspiring as the April 22nd drive-by tribute parade conducted by area fire departments, Vermont State Police, the Windham County Sheriff’s office, and Rescue, Inc.

Vermont has reported a total of 988 cases of Covid-19, and 55 deaths, with no current hospitalizations in the entire state due to the virus (16 hospital patients are currently under investigation). The Covid-19 news from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, where numbers have plunged in recent days, is encouraging. However, it is extremely clear that there are many unknowns about what this virus will do in the coming months. I cringe when I see some of the media coverage of people in large crowds without masks, whether recreating or demonstrating. We will find out the result of this behavior in the coming weeks and months; only time will tell.


CEO Coronavirus Update – May 19, 2020

It’s been just over two months since coronavirus completely captured the attention and the actions of our nation. After more than eight weeks, it’s understandable that many people are getting complacent if they live in an area with a low incidence of the virus, as we are experiencing in Vermont. However, part of the reason we have the lowest growth rate of coronavirus of any state in the nation is that we have been so vigilant and cautious.


CEO Coronavirus Update – May 12, 2020

These messages, which I’ve been sending out weekly since March 24th, have generated such a tremendous outpouring of support, including countless e-mails from many of you with positive messages, as well as donations in the form of financial contributions and personal protective equipment. Grace Cottage has been here for almost 71 years and we feel genuinely and completely embraced and cherished by our community — a community which, as we have learned, extends across many states and several countries. We thank all of you who have reached out to Grace Cottage in one way or another, from the bottom of our hearts.


CEO Coronavirus Update – May 5, 2020

Since the Governor’s March 24th ‘Stay Home Stay Safe Order’, many of you cancelled medical appointments for wellness visits or the continuing treatment of chronic conditions. Now that the Governor has approved the resumption of outpatient medical services, we are ready, willing, and safely able to schedule your visit, the sooner the better.

The Medical Director of our Rural Health Clinic, Dr. Timothy Shafer, shared with me his extreme confidence in inviting patients to the clinic to see him. As Dr. Shafer says, we have set up many procedures to keep patients safe throughout our facility, including our medical offices, outpatient rehab, X-ray, and lab. In fact, coming here for an outpatient visit or test is safer than going to a grocery store or a gas station.


CEO Coronavirus Update – April 28, 2020

As the COVID-19 curve continues to flatten in Vermont, with a total of 855 cases in the state and just 11 patients with COVID-19 currently hospitalized statewide, we are beginning the process of gradually and safely welcoming patients back onto our campus for medical visits. We are concerned that you and your loved ones may have been postponing necessary medical care for chronic and/or urgent conditions, either because you were afraid of contracting the disease, or because you felt guilty about imposing upon a medical staff that was preparing for a possible surge due to the pandemic.

Not only has our ER remained open 24/7, but our Grace Cottage Family Health Clinic and Outpatient Rehabilitation Services have been open as well, for important medical issues not requiring ER care. As of this week, our clinic and outpatient Rehab Department are expanding hours and visits.


CEO Coronavirus Update – April 21, 2020

I hope that you’re continuing to stay safe and well. This week, I am turning my weekly message over to our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. George Terwilliger, so that he can address your concerns from a medical perspective.

Before I do, though, I’d like to bring your attention to an article that appeared in VTDigger last week about the financial challenges that Grace Cottage and other hospitals are facing. Kevin O’Connor did an excellent job of summarizing the issues, and I want to take this opportunity to thank our community for your overwhelming support that you have given in so very many ways.