1
A Walkable Village and Morrisville Complete Streets
2
June is Men’s Health Month
3
Summer Meals for Kids and Teens
4
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries and Reconstruction
5
Fresh Garden Salsa
6
The Wellness Garden at Lamoille Home Health & Hospice
7
Questions About Vaccines? Please Ask!
8
Which ‘P’ Do You Choose to Be?
9
Join us at a Community Forum About Mental Health Treatment in the ER – May 3
10
Free Screening: Vaccines – Calling the Shots

A Walkable Village and Morrisville Complete Streets

By: Josh Goldstein

Josh Goldstein stands tall amongst the next generation of developers in Morrisville. He cares deeply about creating a sense of place in our community, and recently donated all the pavers and his time for the install for the new front patio of the Morrisville Food Co-op on Pleasant Street. Recently, Josh has focused his time on improving both the physical appearance and the functionality of downtown Morrisville – especially for pedestrians. As you will see in Josh’s below column, if we start to remake downtown Morrisville for pedestrians, more walkers and bikers will be able to take advantage of this infrastructure. And for me, the more people we have on our streets, the healthier our downtown (and its residents) will be. I hope you enjoy Josh’s perspective on our downtown as much as I do. Thank you and happy reading.

– Todd Thomas

After an entire generation of designing streets and roads around the car, truck, and snowplow, American cities from coast to coast are re-investing in and re-examining the use of streets and sidewalks. Bigger cities like Seattle, San Francisco Austin, Chicago, New York, and Miami have all adopted progressive policies toward multi-use streets by implementing dedicated bicycle lanes, traffic-calming implements such as raised/textured crosswalks, and green space “bumpouts.” There is also more public seating, pocket parks or “parklets’” and increased greening with urban trees and other landscaping. Scores of articles and research papers point out the socioeconomic benefits of better designed streetscapes and offer empirical evidence that shows how these re-designed or re-purposed streets are providing better health (both mental and physical), greater tax revenues through increased retail sales, less pollution, fewer traffic incidents and injuries, and other valuable civic benefits. These improvements have been studied  and well documented, and finding the results is as easy as a Google search. But less publicized efforts and results exist right here in Vermont.

Cities like St. Albans and Barre, and of course the Queen City of Burlington, are easy examples with a walk down their recently improved streets and sidewalks. New decorative light posts, brick pavers, granite curbing, and tree grates welcome pedestrians with aesthetically pleasing and safe walking zones.  Stores, cafes, restaurants, and other retail establishments are moving in and thriving in these new, vibrant streets.  Children and seniors are crossing the streets more safely. Bicyclists are coming in from outer regions of the city and have ample space to ride, or to park and lock a bike. These Vermont cities were, as little as a decade ago, facing high vacancy rates and depleted downtowns, and now look like bustling economic and community engines. And with recent projects like the Route 100 Truck Route and other community improvements, like the “Chair-art-able Project” and growing music series at the Oxbow, it’s high-time Morrisville re-thinks our downtown with an attitude toward “Living Streets” and greater connectivity.

The European woonerf (pronounced VONE-erf), Dutch for “living street,” functions without traffic lights, stop signs, lane dividers or sidewalks. Indeed, the goal is to encourage human interaction. Those who use the space are forced to be aware of others around them, make eye contact and engage in personal interactions. These spaces invite pedestrians, bicyclists, slow moving vehicles, playing children, peddling vendors, and just about any community member to pass through, stay and linger, or play and be active. It’s a beacon for life in the village, and more than 6,000 woonerfs exist in the Netherlands, alone, and thousands more across Europe and United States. Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace is our best local example, but the brick paved streets of Portland, ME or crowded Commercial Street in Provincetown, MA are familiar to New Englanders, as well. Couldn’t we create such a space near Pleasant Street, or in an oft-forgotten quad like the Brigham St. parking lot?

Walkability in the streets comes with measurable results. The Journal of the American Planning Association notes that just a 5 % increase in walkability is associated with “a 32.1% per capita increase in time spent in physically active travel, a .23-point reduction in body mass index, 6.5% fewer vehicle miles traveled, 5.6% fewer grams of NOx emitted, and 5.5% fewer grams of volatile organic compounds emitted.” The Landscape Architecture Foundation found that “an increase of walking for errands amounted to 70 more minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week.” In one Colorado case study, a newly improved streetscape lowered vacancy rates from over 13% to 7.2% over three years, and increased tax revenues over 16% in one year after construction, doubling the typical rates for all of metro-Denver. Morrisville counted 860 homes in the village in a recent census, with over 25% of those homes having children. Nearby, within walking distance, are The Manor, Copley Hospital, and other senior service centers. Surely our children and seniors would benefit from more pedestrian activities in and around town.  The AARP has been promoting “Complete Streets” for decades, supporting research and guides for implementation.  And, likewise, our retail and restaurants would benefit from more pedestrians on the sidewalks and streets.

With the upcoming addition of Morrisville’s first co-op and downtown grocery store since 1890, the village should piggyback off what is sure to be an exciting and vibrant addition by increasing the walkability and connectivity to a re-born Portland Street.  A vivid, colorful pedestrian mall or mixed-use plaza from the new MoCo on Pleasant Street would create just such an avenue, and could boast rich vegetation, interesting and functional paving patterns, public seating and shelter, and maybe some kiosks or carts selling local wares and crafts.  The plaza would encourage more commercial business activity and fill long-vacant storefronts on Portland Street, perhaps fostering growth to Hutchins or Brigham Street.  A pocket park, or parklet, would encourage community members to “linger” in town a little longer, and life brings life. More people equals more people. We should re-open dialogues about connecting downtown with the also-emerging commercial side of town, or “Morrisville-North,” with a walkable/bikeable recreation path that could follow the river through and over the Oxbow, or over to Clark Park.

The community should come together and voice preferences on these aspects, much like a well-attended Charrette between local planners, architects, community members, and businesses did in 1999. This local study and open-forum of ideas labeled many concepts we still hear milling about in Morrisville almost two decades later. The study is available at the town offices, and is still very relevant today.  Let’s re-open the conversation and capture the excitement of a burgeoning downtown to create a better downtown. To make it happen, though, will require holistic involvement from the people who will use it. In a quote about the lessons of promoting pedestrian malls and complete streets, one planner commented “it just can’t be the city. The private businesses, the community, and the public sector all have to strongly support it.”  I’m in.

June is Men’s Health Month

By: Nancy Wagner

Each year in June we celebrate men’s health. Why? Much of the focus is to bring awareness about men’s health to both men and women. Statistics tell us that men have more heart disease and cancer than women and have a shorter life expectancy. Some of this is genetics and lifestyle but some is also awareness, prevention and education. Men, as a group, don’t see their health care provider as often as recommended.

What would happen if men started going to see their provider more regularly and received regular preventative care and education? Perhaps we’d pick up warning signs and diseases earlier to help better prevent and treat them; creating longer lives or at least healthier lives. That’s the goal. So what can be done? Below is a list of suggestions from the CDC:

  1. Get good sleep: Adults need 7-9 hours per night.
  2. Toss out the tobacco: It’s never too late to stop smoking or chewing.
  3. Move more: Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of activity/movement.
  4. Eat healthy: Have a variety of fruits and vegetables daily and limit intakes of salt, sweets, fried foods and processed foods.
  5. Tame stress: while some stress is actually good for us, too much is not. Learn to deal with your stress in healthy ways.
  6. Stay on top of your game:
    1. See your provider regularly so problems are detected early.
    2. Pay attention to signs and symptoms and report them to your provider.
    3. Know your numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and BMI.
    4. Get vaccinated.

Men’s health is a family affair as it also impacts mothers, daughters and sisters.

More information can be found at:

www.menshealthmonth.org

www.cdc.gov/men/nmhw/index.htm


Nancy Wagner is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator at Copley Hospital. She provides health and wellness to Copley employees through screenings, education and fun activities; educates patients regarding their nutrition and diabetes needs; and works with community members providing education to schools and businesses. Nancy enjoys helping others learn new things about nutrition, their health habits, and their chronic diseases.

Summer Meals for Kids and Teens

Summer meals for kids and teens

 

Looking to stretch your food budget, try new foods and support local farmers? This summer, 3SquaresVT will provide free meals to children 18 and under; no registration, no application, no reservation required. In fact, many who apply are surprised they qualify. Below is a list of local meal sites in our community.

If you need a different location, call 2-1-1 toll free or text “FOOD” to 877-877 to find drop-in summer meal sites anywhere in Vermont.

The 3SquaresVT program helps Vermonters stretch their food budgets and put three meals a day on their tables. 3SquaresVT is for everyone who qualifies, including individuals, families, seniors, and people with disabilities. Receiving a 3SquaresVT benefit this summer means automatic free school breakfast and lunch for your kids in the fall.

3SquaresVT is a federal USDA program administered in Vermont by the Department for Children and Families, Economic Services Division that helps put healthy food within reach. Visit www.vermontfoodhelp.com to learn more and get an application,  or call 1-800-479-6151 for assistance.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries and Reconstruction

By: Leah Morse, MS, PA-C

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, the “ACL”, is an important stabilizing ligament in the middle of the knee. It is at risk of being torn in skiers, soccer players, and other athletes who commonly use cutting or twisting movements. About half of the time, an ACL tear will be accompanied by a meniscal tear and/or medial collateral ligament tear due to the overwhelming rotational or hyperextension force to the knee. Patients with ACL tears typically experience sudden pain and giving way of the knee, sometimes with an audible “pop” at the time of injury.  The knee will typically swell with fluid, become painful and unstable.

If this happens to you, initial treatment includes a period of rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), bracing, crutches, and anti-inflammatories. Early range of motion of the knee as tolerated with a trained physical therapist is also helpful. Then, an MRI is usually ordered to better visualize the ACL and further assess the knee injury.

Definitive treatment of an ACL tear depends on the patient’s age, desired activity level, and associated injuries. For young, active patients, ACL reconstruction offers a good chance of a successful return to sports and the pre-surgery level of activity.

Like many things in medicine, ACL reconstruction has advanced over the years. Mansfield Orthopaedics at Copley Hospital offers patients a minimally invasive “double-bundle” ACL reconstruction done arthroscopically. This reproduces the two naturally occurring components of the ACL, the anteriomedial and posterolateral bundles, through a few small incisions. Our orthopaedic suregeons can restore the location and orientation of the two ACL bundles using cadaver tissue or the patient’s own tissue to build a new ACL. Surgery usually takes 60-90 minutes, and any meniscal or cartilage injury can also be addressed arthroscopically at that time. (You can learn more here.)

Patients who undergo ACL reconstruction take on the small risks of surgery to regain knee stability and the ability to return to sports. Surgery is done on an outpatient basis and physical therapy is restarted one week after surgery. Rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction is a lengthy process – it takes many months for the body to reincorporate the new tissue into the knee. Patients who have undergone ACL reconstruction may start sports-specific agility training and drills five to six months after surgery, and running four months after surgery. It does take one year for full recovery and to properly rebuild muscle strength.


Leah Morse is a Certified Physician Assistant with Mansfield Orthopaedics at Copley Hospital. After completing Physician Assistant School and her Master’s Degree at Wagner College in New York City, Morse worked with the Neurointerventional Surgery team at Roosevelt Hospital in mid-town Manhattan. She relocated to her native Vermont in 2010 to work at Mansfield Orthopaedics, specializing in Hip and Knee joint replacement and sports medicine. Morse coordinates both the research program and the inpatient total joint replacement team.

Fresh Garden Salsa

Have you read Mary L. Collins’ blog post about Lamoille Home Health & Hospice’s Wellness Garden? Aside from providing an opportunity to support physical and mental wellness, gardens provide fresh, healthy produce that can be used in your favorite recipes.

Here’s a great summer recipe for Fresh Tomato Salsa, courtesy of Mary L. Collins and Lamoille Home Health & Hospice.

The Wellness Garden at Lamoille Home Health & Hospice

By: Mary L. Collins

It’s no secret that wellness among those who provide care to others can often suffer from neglect. While it may be benign neglect, the fact is, nurses, LNAs, PCAs, homemakers, therapists and others in the direct care field can often place themselves last on the list of health and wellness.

The American Nurses Association defines a healthy caregiver as:

“one who actively focuses on creating and maintaining a balance and synergy of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, personal and professional wellbeing. A healthy caregiver lives life to the fullest capacity, across the wellness/illness continuum, as they become stronger role models, advocates, and educators, personally, for their families, their communities and work environments, and ultimately for their patients.”

So, how do our caregivers manage their own needs?

By choosing nutritious foods and an active lifestyle, managing stress, living tobacco-free, getting preventive immunizations and screenings, and choosing protective measures such as wearing sunscreen and bicycle helmets, health care professionals and providers can set an example of how to be, themselves, healthy.

Lamoille Home Health & Hospice is dedicated to supporting its staff’s wellness by encouraging physical activity. Office staff are often seen walking the few miles each day around the health care campus on Washington Hwy that includes Copley Hospital, The Manor nursing home and short term rehabilitation facility, Copley Terrace, Morrisville Family Practice, and LHH&H’s offices. Staff can easily complete a two mile walk just by circling the campus. Many have invested in Fitbits to track their steps and activity. Most have dropped a few pounds in the process.

It is not only a physical benefit; the mental health benefits are also noted. According to Director of Nursing, Jennifer Beebe, “Nurses and caregivers are fully dedicated to their work, so much so, that we sometimes neglect our own health and wellness as we care for others. Lamoille Home Health is dedicated to providing the tools and resources our staff needs in order to stay physically and mentally healthy. It’s essential that we do in order to be examples to ourselves and to our patients.”


LHH&H has also received a grant from the Vermont Department of Health to launch our first Wellness Garden to benefit staff and families. If you agree with the adage, “Your body is your temple,” it starts with what we ingest, or don’t. LHH&H sees the wellness garden as a collective benefit and example for its staff and volunteers. All are invited to participate in the maintenance and harvest.

How does the wellness garden work?

Four years ago, the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Community Garden Network, Gardener’s Supply Company, and Master Gardener, Charlie Nardozzi, started working together to create a way for small employers (under 100 people) to initiate a garden at their worksite. From that, the Green Thumbs at Work Program was born. Through it, cash grants are awarded to companies and nonprofit organizations through a competitive application process. The grants must be matched by the employer. Grantees also receive a gift certificate from Gardener’s Supply Company and technical assistance from the Vermont Community Garden Network and Nardozzi. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont provided more grant money to expand the program. To date, 26 employers in the state have started Green Thumbs at Work gardens. Eight more organizations were chosen to launch gardens in 2017. LHH&H is among those eight.

The LHH&H Garden will benefit staff, volunteers, and our clients. The support of the grant and donations from local organizations and businesses including the HA Manosh Corp., many community volunteers, and staff, including PCA, Peggy Sprague, who is donating ALL the starter plants from her own extensive home gardens, will help LHH&H to complete the garden and encourage good health habits among our employees.  A bimonthly newsletter will be shared among staff, volunteers and patients and will include gardening tips, healthy recipes, and the benefits of eating certain vegetables and herbs.

The LHH&H Wellness Garden will provide much needed physical activity as well as the bounty of fresh produce harvested throughout the growing season. For more information, contact, Mary L. Collins, Marketing Director, Lamoille Home Health & Hospice at (802) 888-4651 or, email her at mcollins@lhha.org


Mary L. Collins is the Marketing Director at Lamoille Home Health & Hospice. A 2014 Home Care Elite Top Agency, LHH&H is one of eleven VNAs of Vermont home health and hospice agencies serving Vermont. She also serves as Marketing Director at The Manor, a 4 star nursing home and short term rehabilitation facility in Morrisville, VT, and she chairs the Lamoille Region Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. 

Questions About Vaccines? Please Ask!

By: Leah Hollenberger

The topic of vaccines and immunizations can be an emotional one. Certainly, as a parent, we want to protect our community, but at the same time, we want to do what is best for our child and avoid any harm. I did some reading on my own and, I am sure many of you can agree, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information and opinion that is available today.

I spoke with pediatrician Adrienne Pahl, MD with Appleseed Pediatrics. Dr. Pahl encouraged me to talk with my doctor. “Share your concerns, share what you are worried about with your doctor,” Dr. Pahl said.  “We can talk about current studies and findings and talk through recommendations with you. The most important thing to remember is that it is ok to ask.”

Dr. Pahl believes that vaccines are safe and effective and should be administered unless the child is unable to be vaccinated due to other health reasons. She bases her belief on extensive scientific evidence demonstrating the safety of vaccines and having cared for thousands of children. She explains that while we may not see many of the diseases for which we vaccinate, the bacteria and viruses that cause them are still around – here and in other countries. Vaccinations, along with better nutrition, better living conditions, hand-washing, and appropriate use of antibiotics, has meant many of us have never had to deal with an outbreak of polio or mumps. Her goal is that we never have to.

Here are several resources Dr. Pahl recommends to parents interested in learning more about vaccines:

Healthychildren.org – The American Academy of Pediatricians has a website that covers a wide variety of information of interest to parents. They have a number of articles about vaccines and immunizations, including a good FAQ.

Oktoaskvt.org – The Vermont Department of Health’s website about vaccines. Look here for information about state vaccine requirements. Dr. Pahl especially likes this site because of the “Ask” section: you can submit your questions about vaccines and local medical professionals will answer them.

What We Know About Vaccines and Autism – A blog article from UVM about vaccines and autism

Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Comprehensive and reliable information about vaccines for patients and healthcare professionals.

A listing of community resources for a variety of issues and topics is available online at copleyvt.org/community-resources.


Leah Hollenberger is the Vice President of Marketing, Development, and Community Relations for Copley Hospital. A former award-winning TV and Radio producer, she is the mother of two and lives in Morrisville. Her free time is spent volunteering, cooking, playing outdoors, and producing textile arts. Leah writes about community events, preventive care, and assorted ideas to help one make healthy choices.

Which ‘P’ Do You Choose to Be?

By: Michele Whitmore

I am a positive person. In fact, people often ask me how I stay so positive. My response is that I choose to be. There are days when it would be much easier to choose the other ‘P’ (pessimism), but as I have learned from many others, the easy way is not always the right way or the best way when making a decision. Here are a few tips that I have used to help me stay on the positive path.

  • Whether your day will be a positive one or not is a choice we all make before getting out of bed. So, first thing in the morning, make the decision to have a positive day. Sure, some things may go south, but try not to let that impact the rest of your day.
  • Live life simply. Don’t try to keep up with anyone but yourself.
  • If your life is feeling a bit dysfunctional, remember: we all have our own challenges or dysfunctions. It’s kinda normal. And it’s ok.
  • Find time for self-reflection or self-improvement. Our lives are busy; we often over–schedule ourselves. It’s important to take time each day to “meet with ourselves” – check in, breathe deep, shut off your mind for a few minutes, and just be.

We all have this choice to make every day. Choose wisely and own it.


Michele Whitmore is the Associate Dean of Students at Johnson State College. She works closely with Student Service Departments within the College to provide purposeful events to students that will strengthen their professional leadership, personal growth, life skills development and social engagement. Thus far, the College has provided educational programs that cover LGBTQ issues, alcohol and drug use, sexual assault prevention, socio-economic struggles, and healthy choices related to eating well and being fit, to name a few.

Michele writes about the outreach and program opportunities that enhance the wellness of a campus community.

Join us at a Community Forum About Mental Health Treatment in the ER – May 3

Join Copley Hospital for an important discussion about mental health care on Wednesday, May 3, at 7 p.m. at Green Mountain Technology & Career Center.

The event will feature “Nowhere to Go: Mental Health Treatment in the ER”, a multi-media presentation produced by the Copley Hospital Ethics Committee in collaboration with students in the Creative Media, Art & Design class at Green Mountain Technology & Career Center.

A panel discussion and Q&A session with professionals working on the front lines of mental health care will follow the presentation:

Michael Brigati, Emergency Services Nurse Director, Copley Hospital
Monique Reil, Mobile Crisis Team Manager,  Lamoille County Mental Health Services
Dale Porter, RN, Emergency Services

We hope you will join us for this important community conversation about mental health, its challenges, and what is needed to improve care.

Free Screening: Vaccines – Calling the Shots

By: Leah Hollenberger

There has been a lot of information shared regarding vaccinations and their safety. An upcoming free film and discussion may help answer some of your questions.

The film, “Vaccines – Calling the Shots,” is from NOVA, the long-running, award-winning science documentary series from PBS. The film will be followed by a Q&A with providers from the Hardwick Health Center. Come watch the movie and join in the conversation Thursday, April 27 at 6:30pm at the Greensboro Free Library.

This NOVA film highlights that diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago—whooping cough, measles, mumps—are returning. NOVA takes viewers around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, hear from parents wrestling with vaccine-related questions, and shed light on the risks of opting out.

It is a good opportunity to talk candidly with primary care providers about vaccine safety, the risks of opting out, and any other concerns you may have.

For details, call 472-3300.

This free event is sponsored by the Hardwick Health Center. Presentations at the Greensboro Free Library are part of an open and free exchange of views, and may not necessarily represent the views of the library.


Leah Hollenberger is the Vice President of Marketing, Development, and Community Relations for Copley Hospital. A former award-winning TV and Radio producer, she is the mother of two and lives in Morrisville. Her free time is spent volunteering, cooking, playing outdoors, and producing textile arts. Leah writes about community events, preventive care, and assorted ideas to help one make healthy choices.