Archive - September 2016

Healthy Bodies and Healthy Communities
Copley Run for the Heart
Is It That Time of Year Again?!
Early Childhood Development

Healthy Bodies and Healthy Communities

By: Caleb Magoon


Just a week or so ago, local veterinarian and businesswoman Paula Yankauskas successfully swam the English Channel at the age of 62. The Hyde Park resident swam the 21mile stretch in just over 16 hours becoming the oldest American to ever complete the feat. She also raised (and still is raising) money for Multiple Sclerosis research at the same time.

Why is it exactly that we (as a society) have tied athletic events and achievement to fundraising? I’m not sure, but those events seem to pop up more and more every year. Many people must be funding and participating in these events because they’re growing and not going away.

I’ll be honest when I say that at times I feel overwhelmed by the asks we all get for the many events we see in our region. Yet, how can I say no? Would I say no to the Lamoille Area Cancer Network who puts an amazing 100% of funds to use in our community? No. Could I say no to a local youngster raising money for their first race? Would I say no to being a small part of Paula’s amazing athletic achievement? How could I?

I’ve been on the other side of things, too. I remember my mom doing the March of Dimes when I was a kid, and we helped collect coins for her. A couple years ago my wife and I completed the Camel’s Hump Challenge, a 14-mile backcountry ski circumnavigating Camel’s Hump in the dead of winter to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. It was an incredible feat just to finish the trek but it was even better knowing we had done a little good while we were at it.

No matter how we started tying these events to raising funds for worthy causes, it’s no secret why they are so widely popular. Bettering our community and world while bettering our bodies feels great. It goes beyond simply training on your own in a vacuum. These events give us the opportunity to set athletic and fundraising goals, work to achieve them and share in an experience and eventual success of an event. We don’t just do it alone, we do it as part of a wider community and we all win.

No wonder these are so popular. So join in! Find a cause or event you like and join up. Train and raise money and celebrate your inevitable win. I won’t be swimming the English Channel anytime soon, but Paula has inspired me to jump back in the water. When someone comes around raising money for his or her event, give what you can. Do it for the individual and the community. As hard as it can be to open your wallet once again, do what you can. This happy and healthy union between athletics and fundraising means we all win.

Caleb Magoon is a Hyde Park native who grew up hiking, hunting, biking and exploring Vermont’s Green Mountains. His passions for sports and recreation have fueled his career as the owner of Power Play Sports and Waterbury Sports. Caleb encourages outdoor activity and believes it is an essential element to a healthy lifestyle and the Vermont way of life. Caleb serves the Lamoille Valley by volunteering on numerous community boards such as the Lamoille County Planning Commission, The Morrisville Alliance for Commerce and Culture, Mellow Velo, and the state chapter of The Main Street Alliance. He lives, plays and works in Hyde Park with his wife Kerrie.

Copley Run for the Heart


Copley Hospital invites you to join us for the 2nd annual Run for the Heart on Saturday, October 1. This family-friendly run/walk will kick off Morrisville’s annual Rocktoberfest Street Festival Celebration.

The goal of this event is to promote healthy decisions, specifically focusing on a healthy heart. Why?

  • In Lamoille County, heart disease is one of the top leading causes of death for ages 25+
  • Heart disease is one of the top causes for hospitalizations, and is a prevalent chronic condition.
  • Heart disease is preventable and can be avoided with healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Almost all of us have been touched by someone with heart disease.

The 5K run/walk starts at Oxbow Park and uses the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.  Runners and walkers in the 5K will be given “chipped” bibs, with 802 Timing providing timing services. Immediately following the 5K kick-off, members of Copley’s Respiratory team will lead participants of the 1-mile health walk around the Oxbow park path.

Advance 5K registration for adults and students is $25 and 1-mile health walk is $10. Participants in both events will receive a t-shirt. Kids 6 and under can participate for free (t-shirt not included). All proceeds from the event will benefit Copley Hospital’s heart health programs including cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation and wellness programs.

If you can’t make the event on October 1, you also have the choice of a “Virtual Race Kit” where you can race on your own time and in the location of your choice and still receive a t-shirt and a Copley Champion Certificate.

Following the race, participants are encouraged to participate in the many festivities that Rocktoberfest offers. See a full list here.

What are you waiting for? Form a team, join a team, or run/walk in honor of a loved one. For more information or to register for Copley’s Run for the Heart visit

Is It That Time of Year Again?!

By: Valerie Valcour


Recently I received, in the mail, a 15 X 12 colorful back-to-school flyer advertising a wireless internet offer. The flyer tells me how I can save money and help my student get more homework done, all by just signing up for this online offer.

This made me think about other back-to-school strategies that should be promoted, for example, getting your tween or teen in to see their doctor for a regular comprehensive physical exam once a year. This annual exam is an opportunity for your child to talk to another trusted adult and build a relationship that will last throughout their school years and beyond. We also know when students are healthy they learn better.

Your son or daughter’s physician welcomes being part of the back-to-school routine. They will take the time to talk with your child about things that matter to them such as relationships, peer pressures, and sports. Your doctor will also talk about other issues such as healthy weight, substance use and smoking, among other things. To see what to expect during a routine visit, read through the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Bright Futures pre-visit questionnaires.

Even after all the required school entrance vaccines have been met, and even if your child doesn’t play sports, they will benefit from seeing their doctor once a year. Read more about why visits with your child’s doctor are important here.

Your school nurse is another member of your child’s healthcare team. School nurses help ensure kids have health insurance and access to health care, and they work with parents and other school officials to help keep children and youth as healthy as possible. For more resources, see Vermont School Health’s website.

So consider this your back-to-school reminder to make a doctor’s appointment for your tween or teen. If you would like more information about talking with your child about making healthy choices check out the Vermont Department of Health’s Parent-Up website.

Valerie Valcour is a Public Health Nurse and specializes in chronic disease prevention and emergency preparedness at the community level for the Department of Health in Morrisville. Valerie has lived in Lamoille County most of her life. She graduated from People’s Academy in 1983 and worked as a nurse at Copley Hospital for several years. In addition to her work, she volunteers as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.

Early Childhood Development

By: Steve Ames

early childhood

A young child, by age 4, has an extraordinary number of connections in his or her brain. Hundreds of trillions. In a baby, these connections are created as fast as 1,000 per second. These first four or five years are THE most important time in any person’s life. During this period their lighting-fast brain development either builds pathways for success, or not, depending on their experience.

Quality experiences for babies and toddlers mean stable and positive interactions with adults in their lives. Playing, talking, singing, reading – right from the very beginning.

Over the last couple of years working in early childhood, I have become more and more impressed with the importance of quality early experiences and how they contribute to healthy brain development for children. At the same time, it’s the extraordinary work by parents, child care providers and preK educators throughout the area that is helping to raise the most wonderful kids I’ve met yet!

In the Lamoille Valley more than 68% of kids have both parents in the workforce, so we really depend on child care providers – early educators – to help our kids to grow and flourish to their best potential. I’m lucky to work together with many of these folks to be sure that support is there for kids and their families, and many others who advocate for this critical part of childhood.

An especially wonderful resource for us has been the Lamoille Family Center, which runs playgroups, a child care center, and parent education classes, and provides support to children who can grow better with a little bit of help and coaching.

As the Regional Coordinator for Building Bright Futures, Steve staffs The Lamoille Valley Building Bright Futures Regional Council, a volunteer committee focused on the well being of young children and their families. There is one such Council in each of twelve regions of the State. Steve also works with the Playroom in Morrisville. He writes about early childhood, families, community, play, and equity.