CEO Message to the Community – March 2024

| News

New Primary Care Clinic Update

grace cottage new clinic renderingI am delighted to announce that, on Friday March 8, I received a phone call from Vermont Congresswoman Becca Balint informing me that our appropriation request for $1.5 million from the federal government for the new clinic project was approved! This brings us to a total of $7.8 million raised in pledges and gifts for the project to date, with $12.2 million to go. We are making applications to other government entities and a variety of foundations. We are also speaking with many Grace Cottage supporters who understand that this is a critical and transformational project for the community and for our patients. For more information about the project, click here – I think you’ll enjoy the 4-minute video about the project, starring Dr. Timothy Shafer. If you’re interested in helping to make this project a reality by making a gift or a pledge, please contact Andrea Seaton or Charma Bonanno at (802) 365-9109 or

Meanwhile, our healthcare architect has been conducting “Design & Build” meetings with clinic and other Grace Cottage employees who will be impacted by this project, and Southern Vermont Engineering is working on the permitting process for our Act 250 Environmental permit, with a target submission date of late May or early June.

The 15 medical professionals who are providing more than 31,000 patient visits per year in the Grace Cottage Family Health clinic are eager for this new building, which will greatly increase efficiency, privacy, and comfort for the patients that they care for.

Spammers and Scammers

If this weren’t so important I wouldn’t follow such great news with this sobering topic, but you are undoubtedly seeing an increase in scammers who want to take advantage of you (and everyone else). Hackers are co-opting and using Grace Cottage’s (and other hospitals’) phone number to make random calls, and you may receive one of these, with Grace Cottage or “Primary Care” on your caller ID. Hackers count on the fact that you would answer a call from your healthcare provider, and then they try to get as much information from you as they can. PLEASE be cautious – if you are unsure about the nature or the legitimacy of the call, ask the caller to give you their number so that you can call them back. A scammer will hang up and you’ll literally be “off the hook” without having divulged anything that can ultimately be used against you.


Cabin Fever Online Auction

Grace Cottage’s annual Cabin Fever Auction raised almost $25,000, which will go towards construction of the new primary care clinic. We want to thank the 190 individuals and businesses that donated a wide variety of items that attracted 1,233 bids from 263 generous participants. Quite a few of the gift certificates donated by local businesses went for twice their face value, and artwork and trips were very popular items as well. Next year’s Cabin Fever Auction will be held on February 14-26 but, if you don’t want to wait that long for our next Auction, come to the fabulous Auction at Hospital Fair Day on the Townshend Common on Saturday, August 3!

Make Tracks for Health

Make Tracks group photoOur first-ever snowshoe and x-c ski event, held at the Stratton Nordic Center on March 2, was a great success thanks to the 35 participants and volunteers who joined us despite the gloomy forecast (the rain held off until after the event). There was enough snow on the trails for snowshoeing, although it was a bit too icy for x-c skiing. Thank you to our event sponsors: M&T Bank, Rawsonville Market, River Bend Farm Market, River Road Pizzeria, Solstice at Stratton, Stratton Mountain Market, Stratton Resort, and Von Bargen’s Jewelry. The nearly $3,000 raised will go towards construction of the new primary care clinic. Save the date for next year’s Make Tracks for Health at the Stratton Nordic Center: Saturday, March 1, 2025, 10-noon.


Spring into Health 5K, Saturday, May 11

Spring is almost here, so mark your calendar now for our 15th Annual Spring into Health 5K on Saturday, May 11th, on the Townshend Common. We’re happy to welcome Dr. Moss Linder back to the megaphone. Registration is $20 per participant (children under the age of 18 attend free with signed parent/guardian permission). Registration is open now, click here.

Tee It Up for Health, Saturday, June 8

Our 15th annual golf tournament, Tee It Up for Health, will take place at Haystack Golf Club in Wilmington, with a noon shotgun start. If you’re a golfer, please join us and, if you’re not, please consider volunteering for this fun event to raise funds for the primary care clinic. To register an individual, a twosome, or a team, click here. Slots are filling up fast, now that the weather is warming up and golfers’ thoughts are turning to the links!

Hospital Fair Day, Saturday, August 3

Volunteers are always needed and appreciated. E-mail to donate your time (and/or items to sell, whether art, jewelry, furniture, collectibles, baked goods, etc.). Connie and Helen Holt ( are the Fair Day Chairpeople this year, and Brian Tebo of Heartfelt Antiques will be returning as the auctioneer.

We didn’t have much of a winter in Vermont this year, but now that the time has changed and the days are getting longer, we’re looking forward to a great spring and summer. We hope that you are too.

Doug DiVello, President & CEO