CEO’s Message to the Community – August 2022

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Fair Day 2022

TelemedicineI’m very pleased to announce that we have TeleEmergency services available 24/7 in our Emergency Department, thanks to a partnership with Dartmouth Health’s Connected Care. Grace Cottage Emergency Medicine physicians and providers now have an immediate link to their colleagues – Board-Certified Emergency Medicine physicians and nurses at Dartmouth Health – via high-quality two-way video communication. This high-tech telecommunication technology ensures that, in the most complex of clinical circumstances, our patients have access to the impressive expertise and experience of both hospitals, simultaneously. This system has already proven very valuable in assisting our professionals in providing live-saving care to patients in our Emergency Department, and in coordinating efficient and rapid transfer of patents to Dartmouth Health when necessary. This is just one more example of our commitment to continuously striving to offer our patients and the communities we serve the best care possible.

Just as we finally seem to be emerging from a global pandemic, is it possible that we’re entering another one of similar magnitude? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding NO. Monkeypox is serious, but transmission is difficult. Prolonged contact, especially with someone else’s skin lesions, is the primary form of transmission, so these important steps can be taken to stay safe:

  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has Monkeypox or with someone who has open lesions, sores, or a rash of unknown origin.
  • Avoid contact with objects, services, and fabrics with anyone who has Monkeypox.
  • As always, practice good hygiene, including frequent hand-washing.
  • IF you feel sick, or have a new or unexplained rash or sores, avoid contact with other people or animals, stay home, and contact your primary care provider.

The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have declared that monkeypox is a public health emergency; they have done this in order to trigger grant funding and access more resources to fight outbreaks. We hope to receive the only FDA-approved JYNNEOS hMPXV Monkeypox vaccine here at Grace Cottage in the near future in order to protect those in our community who feel that they are at high risk for contracting the disease. To date, two cases of Monkeypox have been reported in Vermont.

The CDC has a great deal of information about monkeypox on their website, which you can access by clicking here, and our Chief Medical Officer, George Terwilliger, has written an informative article about monkeypox in the Brattleboro Reformer; and the Q&As are posted on our Grace Cottage website

Fair Day 2022I hope you had a chance to attend our 72nd Grace Cottage Hospital Fair Day on Saturday, August 6. It’s astounding to me to see the result of the work of almost 200 volunteers who donated more than 2,300 hours of time, energy, and enthusiasm to make Fair Day the success that it is. Each booth is so independent and self-sufficient, with their own way of doing things, and it all fits together seamlessly and in harmony, like cogs and gears, to make the “engine” of Fair Day work. We raised more than $105,000 at this year’s Fair Day, a record amount, by far. After expenses of the Fair, we expect to have at least $80,000 to put toward the much-needed expansion of our Emergency Department. I particularly want to give a shout out to Fair Day Chairperson Eileen Fahey, who has been working tirelessly since last year’s Fair to make this year’s the best yet! Of course, it takes more than volunteers to create a successful Fair – it also depends on those who donate items such as vehicles, jewelry, furniture, plants, books, etc., and on fairgoers who buy these treasures!

Doug DiVello, President & CEO
Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital