CEO Message to the Community – May 2024

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Primary Care Clinic Building Project Update

In last month’s issue of this publication, we reported that Vermont Congresswoman Becca Balint delivered a ceremonial check for $1.5 million for the new clinic project, representing a Federal appropriation from the FY24 budget. With Balint’s support, we will be applying for an additional $900,000 Federal appropriation for the project from Senators Peter Welch and Bernie Sanders.

Meanwhile, gifts and pledges are arriving from our very supportive community, including a pledge made two weeks ago from anonymous donors in the amount of $1,000,000, and a $100,000 gift from another anonymous supporter.

These large gifts mean so very much to us, but so do the smaller gifts, because they all add up. When people dig deep into their pockets to contribute any gift, no matter what the amount, it brings tears to my eyes because I know that they understand the importance of the new clinic. They are giving what they can to ensure that future generations will get the healthcare that they need in this rural area.

Grace Cottage Clinic Floor PlanWe have raised $9 million to date for the project, with $11 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.

Many patients have asked for an explanation of exactly where the new clinic building will be located. It will directly abut the hospital, next to the cafeteria; the Garden of Grace will be relocated to a different place on our campus. The entrance to the new building will be accessible from the large paved parking lot along the west side of Route 35, where there will be an entrance with two elevators and a stairway up to the clinic area, which will be all on one floor.

For more information about the project, including our 4-minute video starring Dr. Timothy Shafer, click here. If you’re interested in helping to make this project a reality by making a gift or a pledge of any size, please contact Andrea Seaton or Charma Bonanno at (802) 365-9109 or

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.

Grace Cottage Named A Top Performer By Human Rights Commission

We’ve just been notified by the Human Rights Commission that Grace Cottage is again a Top Performer in the Health Equity Index. We are one of only three hospitals in Vermont to achieve this distinction (along with UVM Medical Center and the Veteran’s Administration). I want to thank our Equity Team; they all work very hard, as have the rest of our employees, to earn this distinction. All are welcome at Grace Cottage!

Spring into Health 5K, Saturday, May 11

Spring Into Health 2024

We’d like to thank everyone who joined us for our 15th Annual Spring into Health 5K on Saturday, May 11th, on the Townshend Common.

It was a beautiful day and, thanks to our sponsors M&T Bank, Linda Bastian, Big Picture Farm, Burrows Sports, Cota & Cota, River Bend Farm Market, Smith Family Maple, and WEEI Sports Radio 93.7; the tireless work of 14 invaluable volunteers; and the enthusiasm of 119 runners, walkers, rollers, and strollers, it was the best 5K yet! You can view more photos on our Facebook page here. Mark your calendar for next year’s event on Saturday, May 10, 2025.


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’d be interested in sponsoring this event, please let us know. With 34 teams registered, golfer registration is closed, but call 802-365-9109 if you’d like to be added to the waiting list.

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 Co-Chairs this year, and Brian Tebo of Heart Felt Antiques will be returning as the auctioneer.

Flowering Tree
I hope that you’re enjoying springtime. The flowering trees on our campus (like this one planted in memory of Stan Holt, longtime Chair of Hospital Fair Day) are in full bloom!

Doug DiVello, President & CEO