Archive - 2016

1
Is It That Time of Year Again?!
2
Early Childhood Development
3
Put Down The Phone
4
Ways of Healing
5
An Easy, Balanced Meal: Turkey and Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze
6
Is Your Health Goal a SMART Goal?
7
The Global Big Latch On – Saturday August 6th, 2016
8
2016 Global Latch On
9
Lamoille Valley Rail Trail
10
e-WIC is Live in Morrisville!

Is It That Time of Year Again?!

By: Valerie Valcour

back-to-school

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.

Put Down The Phone

 

I often wake up at 3 a.m., stressing about something. And I do the absolute worst thing you can do: I reach for my smartphone and read through my Twitter account and favorite blogs. It was in the wee morning hours that I saw this article from the Cleveland Clinic. It pointed out how stress affects your body.

Cortisol, the hormone created by stress, affects so many parts of your body. It can affect your muscles and joints, your heart and lungs, your skin and hair, your stomach and your neck and shoulders. Prolonged stress weakens your overall immune system, not to mention does a number on your mental health. To make matters worse, when you are stressed, you tend to exercise less and slide on the healthy eating. So many of aches and pains and flare-ups of all sorts can be stress-related.

My immediate thought: “Blog post!” Really. Then I thought I should turn off the phone and go back to sleep.

I’m still working on breaking the blue screen habit before bedtime (and at 3 a.m.) along with managing my stress in general. What do you do to manage your stress?

Ways of Healing

By: Mary L. Collins

healing

Healing is not always limited to what we might think it is or what we may have experienced. Within indigenous cultures, I have learned that much of healing evolves from spiritual practices, from symbols and rituals. While Western medicine is adept at the biology of illness, Western practitioners often stumble over the psycho-social benefits of healing that cannot always be measured in the ways we are accustomed. There is much more to healing than meets the eye. Here are a few questions that may help each of us get to the heart of it.

How do we measure elements of healing that matter most to us as individuals?

In what way do we, or others, evaluate our healing journey and progress?

What practices help us to create or restore wellness in ourselves and others?

How do we prepare, accept, and administer healing practices that go beyond surgical technique or pharmaceutical intervention?

I believe each of these questions can be answered by expanding our definition of healing. Or, if we, at least, remain open to the possibility, can we accept that there is more available to us than meets the eye? Here’s how.

Most everyone can relate to healing that comes from faith. Many people rely on their religious practices in times of joy, stress, or trauma. These worthy beliefs are founded in the practice of:

  • Compassion, As the recipient, “I now understand what it means to hurt or to be discouraged by a diagnosis.” Or, from the caregiver, “I want to know you as a person first; a patient second”
  • Gratitude, “What has my illness taught me and others?” and, “Thank you for allowing me (your physician, nurse, care attendant, hospice volunteer) to care for you. I have learned from the experience in ways that will help me help myself and others.”
  • Humility, “I am humbled by this disease; yet, as your physician/caregiver/loved one, I will do all that is within my power to restore you to health and wellness.”

How do we then weave these three aptitudes into our understanding and practice of health, wellness and healing?

Recently, I had conversations with seven care providers who work in different capacities within the Lamoille community; one is a hospice nurse with Lamoille Home Health & Hospice; another, a young Physical Therapy graduate student completing her clinical studies at Copley Hospital; the third is a service provider and client who works within the field of Traumatic Brain Injury services; the fourth, the Executive Director of a regional Recovery Center; the fifth, a Licensed Social Worker; the sixth a Reiki master; and lastly, a friend who recently completed a series of Writing Workshops where she learned a method of storytelling and coaching that has shown compelling results for people who have suffered some form of trauma. All seven women spoke of the unseen and often undocumented care provided through their work and interaction with patients, families, clients, and caregivers.

At The Manor, in Morrisville, Elena Robertson, a Life Enrichment provider and a Master Reiki practitioner, shares the Japanese practice with residents. This form of healing touch has been woven into care plans for residents as a natural alternative to relieving pain, anxiety, and other stressors. Staff and family who had never heard of the practice now sit up and take notice. A good example is the experience of one elderly woman who regularly receives reiki treatments as part of her ongoing care. As the woman relaxes in her wheelchair, her head gently bowed, eyes closed, Robertson places both hands just above the crown of the woman’s head. A slight smile grows on the elder’s face. She looks contented and comfortable. With slight, precise movements, Robinson focuses intently on the elderly woman as she concentrates on the movements that provide comfort, relaxation, and a sense of wellness. The senior says simply, “It makes me feel better.” She doesn’t quite know why but recognizes and welcomes the healing touch.

From Dawn Lefevre, a skilled and respected Hospice nurse with LHH&H, I learned that healing is a process of giving and receiving. From the deathbed of a patient, Dawn was able to provide clinical care to someone who was eased out of this world surrounded by their beloved dogs – all of which were snuggled close to their master on her bed as she breathed her last breath. The moment was peaceful, loving, and there was serenity in the room. All of it came from accepting and allowing that the best way onward was to know that to be embraced by the animals that were so beloved and connected to their person was the medicine she needed. Healing comes from love expressed.

From Paige Driver, a Physical Therapy graduate student enrolled at South College in Knoxville, TN, and currently completing her clinical studies at Copley Hospital, I learned that there are physicians who are working hard to break down medical practice habits and stereotypes in order to teach their students how to imbue their care with compassion toward the patient. Paige shared a story of a doctor who, rather than stand by the bedside of a patient diagnosed with terminal cancer, (standing in a queue around a patient’s bed is common in teaching hospitals), asked if he could sit next to her and hold her hand. That simple act of intimacy at a critical moment in the woman’s life allowed the doctor access to her healing process while it allowed the patient an opportunity to express her emotions and to be “heard” by the doctors who had gathered to break unfortunate news to her. Doctors can heal with compassion. Healing does not always mean an extension of life. It means being at peace with the diagnosis.

From Sonja Crowe, a Service Provider with Green Mountain Support Services, who works in the agency’s community-based Brain Injury Program, I learned that experience and observation can translate into providing better care and services to those who have had a traumatic or acquired brain injury. With intimate knowledge of what it means to live meaningfully with TBI, translating one’s own experience into the care and understanding of others can make a meaningful difference in that person’s healing journey. For Sonja, it comes from gratitude. When we turn something awful into a lesson and see it as a gift, it can be transformative for all.

From Deborah Miller, a mother, homeschooler and writer from Elmore, and from Stefani Capizzi, Executive Director of the North Central Vermont Recovery Center, I learned that efforts at creating a space for a person to tell their story and to be received with courtesy, attention, and dignity, opens up the opportunity to heal from past traumas or addictions. Humility is exhibited when we learn how to listen, rather than find it necessary to command the floor and express our opinions or knowledge at every opportunity. Listening is a practice of the very wisest and it is done all too rarely. Good caregivers listen. Listening heals.

And lastly, from Mary Ann Ginette, MSW, LICSW, who practices at The Manor and works with residents as well as staff to help them understand how they serve as a healer – no matter their position, education or experience. She said, “Our belief is that each individual working at The Manor is a healer being that they provide comfort, support and assistance to the residents and to each other.” The Manor understands that while healing is a requirement of good nursing home care, the wellbeing of the employees who provide that care also matters. This year, in addition to their Employee Assistance Program, The Manor added a monthly “Heal the Healers” program that encourages open and candid conversation. Mary Ann said, “Healing begins with understanding our own personal body, mind, emotional and spiritual connection to ourselves and others. Healing ourselves transforms into a healthy, happy work environment that flows into our care of residents. Balancing work, home, giving and receiving, brings compassion to our work as healers.” The program allows staff to explore their feelings and share their experiences in a supportive and nurturing environment, which translates to better care and understanding of residents.

In our quest to be exceptional care providers we must do these things well: We must possess the skills that heal the body. We must provide the services that ease a person’s suffering. And, we must connect on the most intimate level possible with compassion, gratitude and humility. Our patients are our teachers in healing and provide us the lessons of their illness, injury or infirmity. It is through their experience that we are made better caregivers and that we become true healers.


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. 

An Easy, Balanced Meal: Turkey and Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

By: David Vinick

For my first blog post I would like to share a favorite comfort food recipe that is easy to do and tastes great. This Turkey and Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze makes a good part of a balanced meal. It only takes about 20 minutes of prep time, and it also makes for great leftovers.

Turkey and Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra –virgin olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lighten beaten
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme ( or dried)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ pounds ground turkey ( 90% lean)
  • 1 cup panko ( coarse Japanese breadcrumbs ) or regular breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, bell peppers, garlic paste and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Wisk the egg and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add the turkey, panko grated cheese, ½ cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and the cooled vegetables, mix until just combined.
  3. Gently press the mixture into a 9-by-5- inch loaf pan. Whisk the remaining ¼ cup ketchup. ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl; brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake for 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

8 servings: per serving Calories 270; Fat 14g (sat. 4.2g Mono 6.3g Poly 3.1g) Cholesterol 104 mg; Sodium 451 mg : Carbohydrate 16g: Fiber 1g ; Protein 20g

What are your favorite healthy recipes? Share them in the comments section!


David Vinick is the Director of Nutritional Services at Copley Hospital. The department serves 110,000 meals a year to patients, staff, and visitors.

David began his career as a Food Service Manager at Copley Hospital 30 years ago. He was an owner, manager, and chef of Hilary’s Restaurant and Green Mountain Catering in Morrisville for 24 years. David spent six years as a Sous Chef at Copley Woodlands, an independent retirement community in Stowe, before returning to Copley Hospital.

David writes about his love of food and how to incorporate nutritious, local foods into your diet. He’ll share healthy recipes, as well as cooking tips and trends.

Is Your Health Goal a SMART Goal?

By: Rorie Dunphey

SMART Goal

Do you get overwhelmed or discouraged about changing habits? Do you wish that it was easier to lose weight, exercise more or manage your stress? Well, the first step is to to ask yourself, ‘Is my goal a SMART goal?’ SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. It is a very effective way to change behavior.

Let’s say you want to start exercising, but don’t know how to begin. You might think, ‘I want to exercise more’; since this goal cannot be measured, you will never know if you achieved it! Instead try; ‘I will walk 20 minutes, 3 days per week before dinner for 1 week’. This goal is specific in what, how much, when and how long you will do a behavior (in this case walking).

After a week of tracking yourself (writing progress down can increase motivation and help us remember what we decided to do!), set another SMART goal slightly more challenging than the first, if possible. For example; ‘I will walk for 30 minutes, 4 days per week before dinner for 2 weeks’, and so on… As these SMART goals accumulate overtime, you will see slow and steady progress toward your long term goals.

Rome was not built in a day and neither is good health. Carving up our long-term goals into achievable steps is a simple way to build success. Also, never forget the 3 P’s – Planning, Patience and Perseverance – are key ingredients!

So start today and make your next goal a SMART goal!


Rorie Dunphey works under Vermont’s Blueprint for Health as the RN Chronic Care Coordinator at Family Practice Associates in Cambridge. She works one-on-one with people and also leads classes to promote health and help people better manage their chronic diseases. She also assists patients in accessing community and state resources to better coordinate their health and wellness needs. Rorie has a particular passion for promoting a healthy diet and exercise routine to inspire people to live their best life.

The Global Big Latch On – Saturday August 6th, 2016

By: Valerie Valcour

The Big Latch On

WE ARE ON THE MAP! During International World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7 (this week!) the Lamoille Family Center and the Vermont Department of Health are partnering to host the 2016 Global Big Latch On. We will be joining other registered locations around the world celebrating breastfeeding. Women and their children will gather together to breastfeed and offer peer-to-peer support. Friends, family and community members are encouraged to join in this celebration to show their support for breastfeeding.

This free event will be held on Saturday, August 6th from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at Lamoille Family Center (480 Cady’s Falls Road, Morrisville, VT). Light refreshments will be provided. If you plan on attending, please RSVP to 888-5229 x141.

Some of the goals of the Big Latch On are to:

  • Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
  • Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available locally and globally.
  • Make breastfeeding a normal part of day-to-day life at a local community level.

The Big Latch On has grown from two countries participating in 2010 to 28 countries participating in 2015. There could be over 15,000 participating breastfeeding women and children this year!

Please consider attending this community event. Reach out to Carol Lang-Godin at the Lamoille Family Center 888-5229 x141 if you have questions. We hope to see you there!


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.

2016 Global Latch On

By: Leah Hollenberger

The Big Latch On

We have a breastfeeding mother and child in the Copley Hospital lobby 24/7 this week to help share an important message. Granted, the mother and child are made of cardboard, but the message they share is very much alive: breast is best. Why this week? It is World Breastfeeding Week and the focus is on raising awareness and support of breastfeeding throughout our community.

Why is Breastfeeding Important?

  • Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients for infants.
  • Nutrients in breast milk may help protect infants against some common childhood illnesses and infections.
  • It may also help the mother’s health. Certain types of cancer may occur less often in mothers who have breastfed their babies.

Copley Hospital’s Birthing Center and The Women’s Center offers certified lactation support and breastfeeding counseling.  You can call them for information at 888-8100.

The Vermont Department of Health and the Lamoille Family Center are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) with:

2016 Global Big Latch On
Aug. 6 10:00am-11:00am

at The Lamoille Family Center

Women and their children will gather to breastfeed and offer peer-to-peer support. Friends and family are encouraged to join in this celebration to show their support for breastfeeding. If you are currently breastfeeding and would like to attend this free event, please RSVP to 888-5229 x141 by August 4th.

The Big Latch On aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding families by:

  • Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available locally and globally.
  • Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
  • Make breastfeeding as normal part of day-to-day life at a local community level.
  • Increase support for women who breastfeed – women are supported by their partners, family and their communities.
  • Ensure communities have the resources to advocate for coordinated appropriate and accessible breastfeeding support services.

Additional local resources are available in support of breastfeeding. There are also a number of resources online; a list is included on the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedLine site.


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.

Lamoille Valley Rail Trail

By: Todd Thomas

Lamoille Valley Rail Trail

Did you know that something happened this summer that will change all of our lives? And no, I am not talking about the Br-exit vote. Nor am I talking about the duplicitous NFL Commissioner punishing Tom Brady for footballs that were naturally deflated (alas us Vermonters know how cold air works in the winter).

I am talking about the ribbon-cutting that took place in June in Morrisville for our section of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. As a land use planner, I love talking about how transportation shapes the built environment, especially how providing active transportation choices can improve the physical health and economic wellbeing of a community. But first I will tell you how our new rail trail is going to change downtown Morrisville, much like how a similar recreational amenity slowly but profoundly changed where I grew up.

As a kid, I grew up on Boston’s North Shore and I was afforded a front row seat to the metamorphosis of towns like Newburyport and Ipswich as recreational bicycling slowly invaded each of these downtowns, forever changing them. This “invasion” started when the commuter train line into Boston started replacing the train’s passenger seats with bike-racks in one of the train cars heading out to the coast on Saturdays in the summer. This train bike-rack pilot program quickly grew in popularity to where, before long, on various warm weather days, trains were rolling north out of Boston’s North Station with more cyclists and bikes onboard headed to Newburyport and Ipswich than regular train passengers. Not surprisingly, all of these cyclists starting patronizing my sleepy local lunch spots after a hard day of pedal-touring places like Plum Island in Newburyport. Pretty soon these lunch spots were no longer sleepy and the locals even had to contend with lycra-wearing road warriors for seats at our (no-longer-so-local) pub on Friday night. I think I finally realized how grand this recreational-induced transformation had become when a local bait shop turned into a gift shop seemingly overnight – like a caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly. 

In Vermont, everything is smaller and everything seems to take a little longer than it does in southern New England. So while I do expect the opening of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail to profoundly and positively affect downtown Morrisville, like it did for Newburyport and Ipswich, it could take a decade or so for that to happen. When high-value active recreational opportunities like the new rail-trail in Morrisville, or even the Rec Path is Stowe, are offered to people, these recreation amenities become heavily used and become cherished attributes of the community.

So let this blog post encourage you to dust off that bike in your garage and put it to good use on the rail trail. In doing so, you will be improving your health and making the already fabulous downtown Morrisville even more vibrant. Hopefully I will see you out on the rail-trail, where I will be pedaling towards a healthier me and a more economically robust downtown Morrisville. And finally, don’t say I didn’t warn you when, ten years from now, you realize how important the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail was towards furthering the revitalization of our ever-improving downtown.


Todd Thomas has a Master’s Degree in City Planning from Boston University and has worked both in Massachusetts and Vermont as a consultant and as a land use planner for town government. Todd is currently the Planning Director for Morristown, Vermont.

Todd’s recent work includes helping to revitalize downtown Morrisville, making it the fastest growing city and/or historic downtown in the State since the 2010 Census. Todd attributes much of the downtown’s housing and population growth to zoning reform as it relates to minimum parking requirements.

 

e-WIC is Live in Morrisville!

By: Valerie Valcour

Vermont eWIC

The USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is now up to 21st century standards in Vermont! Since 1973, the program has provided income-eligible families with nutrition education and counseling as well as food prescriptions with nutrients targeted to improve health outcomes. Over 800 families are enrolled in the program through the Morrisville District of the Vermont Department of Health which includes Lamoille County as well as Hardwick, Greensboro, Craftsbury, Stannard, and Woodbury. In February 2016, the Morrisville District Office began the transition from home delivery of foods to an electronic debit card to use at the grocery store, known as e-WIC

Perhaps the most exciting advantage of the transition has been the increase in the variety of foods available to families. With home deliveries, families used to receive only one or two brands of each kind of food. Now, there are more gluten-free, whole grain and cereal options; and some organic foods including soymilk and tofu, legumes, pasta, yogurt, infant cereals, fruits and vegetables. Local foods such as La Panciata bread from Northfield, Vermont Soy tofu, and yogurt from Butterworks Farm are included. Families also receive foods when they need them instead of on a twice-per-month fixed schedule, increasing convenience. Because each participant receives a prescription of a specified quantity of food, families do not need to worry about the costs of most their WIC-eligible foods while they are shopping. Anne Farley, mother of two from Wolcott said, “It’s nice to have choices and to be able to purchase things as I need them, rather than having to store larger quantities from the delivery. I have to go to the grocery store anyway, since WIC is supplemental, and I am able to get more of a variety in the store.” Rather than foods being left on the doorstep, many families appreciate being able to shop with a card. Farley said, “If you’re at all sensitive to others knowing you receive WIC benefits…now that most of the bugs are worked out at the stores, it’s not too conspicuous with the card.”

The WIC card may be used at major supermarkets in Vermont and some smaller stores including Sterling Market in Johnson, Tops in Hardwick, the Eden General Store, and Mac’s Market in Stowe. Families may identify WIC-eligible foods multiple ways. A smartphone app called WIC Shopper allows a quick scan of any UPC code to determine eligibility. There is also a user-friendly food guide booklet available at grocery stores and WIC offices listing the brands and sizes. For spur-of-the-moment shopping trips, the labels on store shelves with the WIC symbol identifying allowed foods are helpful. Staff are dedicated to educating families so that they may have positive experiences while shopping for their WIC foods.

Free classes on oral health, nutrition, or physical activity are offered each month, often via partnerships with local programs and organizations such as Head Start, Building Bright Futures, Copley Hospital, and the Lamoille Family Center. Pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children under 5 enrolled in Medicaid insurance in Vermont are automatically eligible for WIC. For more information, visit www.healthvermont.org/wic or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vdhmorrisville. Interested in applying? Simply call 1-800-649-4357.


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.