Archive - 2016

Can Your Work Life Be Your Social Life?
Eating for a Healthy Heart
Rethinking the Role of Alcohol
Summer Meals for Kids and Teens
Defining Toxic Stress from a Community Perspective
Portion Control Made Easy
Grateful Alcoholic
3-4-50 Lamoille
Lace Up Those Kicks…
Biking For Everyone

Can Your Work Life Be Your Social Life?

By: Lynda Marshall

Workplace wellness

Worried that your boss will see you chatting to the guy at the next desk? Concerned that your employees spend too much time socializing at work? Relax. Those water cooler chats are actually a good thing—for people and for businesses.

Socializing at work is good for people. It’s perfectly natural that we develop relationships in the place we spend the most time—work. Employees with positive workplace relationships are happier at work, and happier people are more productive, more creative, and generally more successful. Social interactions stimulate the production of oxytocin, the so-called “love” hormone, which can lower cortisol (the “stress” hormone) and blood pressure, induce feelings of optimism, and increase self-esteem. Employees then respond to stress better. Social interactions also allow employees to relate to their coworkers as human beings, which promotes better communication and trust.

The bottom line? Don’t be afraid to get friendly. Not TOO friendly, but that’s a different blog post…

Interested in learning more? Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, has a great TED Talk on this subject.

Socializing is good for business, too. Higher productivity and more creativity are important parts of a successful work culture. Don’t forget, that an employee’s attitude will invariably spill over into his or her interactions with customers and clients. Happy employees tend to stay at their jobs longer, which helps businesses save money. Bottom line? Encourage your employees to get to know one another—it’s “work” that will pay off.

Here are a couple of good pithy articles on this topic:

Lynda Marshall is the Human Resources Director & Compliance Officer at Lamoille County Mental Health Services in Morrisville. She manages human resources, acts as risk management, oversees employee wellness, and edits a community newsletter.

LCMHS is celebrating 50 years as the designated mental health and development disabilities services agency for Lamoille County. LCMHS serves children, adolescents, families, and adults, including individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Its programs help individuals gain independence and enhance the quality of their lives.

Eating for a Healthy Heart

Eating healthy is one of the most important things you can do for your heart. Luckily, it’s not as hard as you may think. In this video, cardiologist Adam Kunin, MD suggests small changes that can make a big difference in your heart health, and shares how the team at Copley Hospital can help you during your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Rethinking the Role of Alcohol

By: Jessica Bickford

lemonade recipe

This past weekend, many of us gathered together with friends and family to celebrate the Fourth of July. We often see these celebrations as a great time to kick back with a beer, glass of wine, or mixed drink.

Working in substance abuse prevention, I’d like to challenge you to rethink the role of alcohol at your next event. (This does not mean that you will necessarily eliminate its presence altogether, but take a look…) Below are simple tips to decrease the role of alcohol in your celebrations.

1) It’s easy for our children and teens to get the message that you need alcohol to have fun. When every gathering has alcohol it’s too easy for it to become normal, leading them to believe that they can increase their fun if they have alcohol.

Tip: Have festive, quality non-alcoholic drinks on hand so that youth can celebrate too and see adults choosing non-alcoholic options. (Keep reading for a recipe for homemade lemon/limeade.

 2) Alcohol at gatherings is often not monitored well enough – making it easier for youth to experiment.*

Tip: If you have alcohol present – assign someone to monitor it to ensure that underage guests are not helping themselves. Check out for more great tips to connect with your teens!

3) You may have guests who are in long-term substance abuse recovery. Having an alcohol-free party allows them to celebrate without concern that they may relapse.

Tip: Check in with your guests before the party and always provide non-alcoholic options.

4) The drive home. Unless your guests are spending the night, you may be putting them and others at risk if they get behind the wheel.

Tip: Monitor your guests’ drinking and if someone is buzzed or intoxicated, arrange for them to stay or get a ride home.

5) The expense. Alcohol is expensive.

Tip: If you limit alcohol, you can invest in nicer food and have your guests talking about your party for years to come!

 6) Less stress. Limiting or skipping alcohol can minimize stress. No one has to worry “Uncle Bill” drinking too much and getting out of control.

Tip: Focus on fun and being together. Provide activities that your guests enjoy, like horseshoes, cards, volleyball, etc.

Celebrate well and make safety a priority!


Bonus Recipe: Lemon/Limeade for a Crowd

Homemade Lemonade/Limeade is a hit at our celebrations! I love that I don’t have to worry about who drinks it or how much they consume. Plus, I can usually make it for under $5!


  • 2 pound bag of lemons/limes
  • 3 Cups of sugar (Less if you like it tart, but I’ve found this ratio to be good for a crowd)
  • 3 Gallons of Water
  • Ice
  • Fun garnish of your choice… paper straws, sliced up lemon peels, mint, berries, etc.

(Makes 3 Gallons. For less, us 3-4 lemons/limes, 1 cup sugar, 1 gallon water.)


  • Juice your citrus.
  • Add sugar and about ½ of the water.
  • Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved.
  • Add your ice, then top off with water.
  • Garnish and enjoy!

* According to SAMHSA, youth who experiment with alcohol are more likely to have substance abuse dependence requiring treatment between the ages of 18-30. 

Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.

Summer Meals for Kids and Teens

Summer meals for kids and teens

Are you worried about affording enough food for your family? This summer, 3SquaresVT will provide free meals to children 18 and under, no registration, no application, no reservation required. Below is a list of local meal sites.

 3SquaresVT free meals

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.

In addition, the First Congregational Church in Morrisville will offer a free drop-in “Breakfast on Us” program Monday – Friday from 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. for all community members.

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. In fact, many who apply are surprised they qualify. 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 to learn more and get an application,  or call 1-800-479-6151 for assistance.

Defining Toxic Stress from a Community Perspective

By: Scott Johnson

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 10.07.36 AM

The Lamoille Family Center and Building Bright Futures Council are partners with eight other communities across the country in the Early Childhood-Learning and Innovation Network of Communities (EC-LINC). EC-LINC is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington D.C. and the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County. The mission is to support families and improve results for young children in communities across the country with a focus on accelerating the development of effective, integrated, local early childhood systems.

EC-LINC partners have long histories of building effective early childhood systems and share their perspectives and experiences to guide our work and solve common challenges together. EC-LINC works to:

  • Create a “community of communities” that fuels learning and innovation to tackle the toughest shared challenges and demonstrate results.
  • Build and disseminate knowledge about the range of community-based efforts across the country.
  • Develop opportunities for local leaders and state and federal policymakers to work together to accelerate strategies that improve results for children and families.

Over the past year, one of our collective efforts was a Learning Lab on community responses to toxic stress, resulting in this Policy Brief.

“Building on the widely used definition of toxic stress from the Harvard Center for the Developing Child, the [EC-LINC] Learning Lab has worked to define what toxic stress is, why it is of concern and how communities can respond.”

The next question for our community to answer is what we will do in Lamoille to ensure all of our children are healthy, nurtured, supported and free of abuse. Please feel free to share your ideas here, or contact Steve Ames or myself.

Scott Johnson: or 888-5229 Ext. 124

Steve Ames: or 279-7558.

For more information about the EC-LINC, visit

Scott Johnson is Executive Director of the Lamoille Family Center and has worked in Lamoille Valley in human services and education for nearly his entire career. The Family Center has served our community by encouraging, educating and celebrating children, youth and families for forty years.

Scott writes about early care and education, adolescent development and strengthening families that improve conditions of well-being.

Portion Control Made Easy

By: Nancy Wagner

Ever wonder how much food you should be eating? Many of us think, “Less than I am now,” because our health care provider has suggested we lose weight. But what does that really mean? Should I be counting calories, or carbohydrates or fats? Sometimes it is as easy as cutting back on portions – eating a little bit less. The following video can help you do just that!

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.

Grateful Alcoholic

By: Lisa Mugford


Addiction recovery

Grateful by definition: Deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful.

Alcoholic by definition: One who has a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction.

Let us take the term “Grateful Alcoholic.” Do you understand it? Connect with it? Disagree with it? Sounds like an oxymoron to me, but let’s explore the deeper meaning of this term and how it relates to my own recovery, which in turn might allow you to discover what it means to yours.

My name is Lisa and I’m a grateful alcoholic in recovery. Yes, grateful.

Am I grateful that I drank alcoholically for so many years? NO! Am I grateful that alcohol got me into trouble many times throughout high school, college, and into adulthood? Negative! Am I grateful for countless missed opportunities, most which I am probably unaware of? Heck no! Am I grateful that I lied, cheated, and stole to get alcohol? I think not! Am I grateful that I chose alcohol over my family, friends, and co-workers? Nope!

You might ask then, why am I grateful? Take a guess! I have a feeling you might be able to figure it out. And if you’re a Grateful Alcoholic yourself, or a grateful individual despite any hardships such as mental or physical illness, please share below why you are grateful, or why you are not.

Thanks so much for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.

Lisa Mugford volunteers and works part time at The North Central Vermont Recovery Center in Morrisville. The Recovery Center provides a supportive, welcoming, safe, and substance-free environment for individuals and families on their paths to lasting recovery from drugs and alcohol. Lisa writes for the Recovery Center, which means her blog posts are inspirational, real, and sometimes heart breaking. She lives in Waterbury, VT and owns a business in Stowe.

3-4-50 Lamoille

By: Valerie Valcour

Vermont has ranked as the number 1 and number 2 healthiest state for the past 7 years. That’s good news! Yet according to the Department of Health, 55% of all deaths in Vermont result from chronic diseases caused by 3 behaviors: lack of physical activity, poor diet and tobacco use. These 3 behaviors can lead to 4 diseases: cancer, heart disease and stroke, Type 2 diabetes and lung disease. These 4 diseases lead to more than 50% of all deaths in Vermont.

3-4-50 is a new prevention campaign to support the health of Vermonters. The 3-4-50 concept is a helpful tool when supporting families to live longer, healthier lives, in safe and vibrant communities.


So what is our local Department of Health doing to help families live healthier lives? One example is helping local businesses become Breastfeeding Friendly Employers. Check out the list of employers here. Another example is helping the Lamoille Regional Planning Commission include health, recreation and healthy food practices in the regional plan. Yet another example is the creation of the Healthy Lamoille Valley coalition, which is made possible by a grant from the Vermont Department of Health and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.

You may recall, I recently wrote about the benefits of walkable communities. Celebrate summer and get out to enjoy the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, sidewalks, backroads, and other local resources in your communities. Bring a friend or family member for added support, safety and fun. Grab an apple or banana instead of that candy bar the next time you shop for a snack. Go to 802 Quits for resources to help you or a loved one quit smoking.

Visit 3-4-50 to learn more about active living, healthy eating and tobacco prevention. Live Well Lamoille!

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.

Lace Up Those Kicks…


Copley Hospital’s Wellness Center has shared a list of upcoming runs/walks through June. If you are a runner or a walker, signing up for an event is a great way to stay motivated and/or reach your goals.

Not sure you’re ready for a 5K? Check out our training program for the Copley 5K or 1-Mile Health Walk.

June 4th – West River Trail Run, Londonderry

June 4th – Colchester Causeway 5k/15k, Colchester

  • Choose either a 5k or 15k.  The race begins at Airport Park and follows a gravel trail out the historic Causeway before returning to the finish.

June 4th – Miles for Smiles, Stowe

June 11-12th – Green Mountain Relay, Jeffersonville.

  • Teams of seven to 12 runners exchange relays for 200 miles from Jeffersonville to Bennington on Route 100.

June 11th – Fight for Air Climb, Bennington Battle Monument, Bennington

  • Runners take to the stairs up the Battlefield Monument while raising funds for research and programs to help people affected by lung disease.

June 11th  39th Annual Capital City Stampede 10k, Montpelier

  • Runners race a flat and fast out-and-back course on half paved, half-dirt roads. Course is USATF-certified.

June 12th – Remembrance Run and Ludington Mile, Morrisville

  • Join us for the 11th Annual Remembrance Run on Sunday, June 12. There will be great prizes, great food, and great fun. Start your training now for the 5K run, or walk to benefit the scholarships for Trace, Sigrid, and Chris. There is also a kid’s 1-mile race. Visit to sign up.

June 12th – Equinox Trail Race 5k & 10k, Charlotte

  • The Green Mountain Athletic Association hosts a pair of runs on trails through fields, single tract and old roads.

June 18th – 9th Annual Run for Empowerment, Burlington

  • Run 10k, 5k, or walk a mile along the waterfront while raising funds for Women Helping Battered Women.

June 19th – Worcester 4 Mile Challenge, Worcester

June 24th – Sine Nomine, Vermont

  • The Endurance Society’s secretive endurance challenge will be held in a rural location disclosed only to the entrants.

June 24th-26th – Coyote Scramble Trail Runs, East Burke

  • Kingdom Trails hosts three days of trail runs with suggested distances for each day.  Post-run activities include bowling and live music.

June 26th – Paul Mailman 10-miler, Montpelier

  • The longest continually-held road race in central Vermont starts and finishes near Montpelier High School as part of the Central Vermont Runners and Onion River Sports Race Series.

And just a reminder: Copley’s 5k Run/Walk for the Heart is set for October 1, the first Saturday in October, at Oxbow Park in Morrisville. It includes a one-mile Health Walk. Our course uses the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail and Oxbow Park. It’s a fun way to kick off Morristown’s Rocktoberfest! Registration is open at

Biking For Everyone

By: Caleb Magoon

mountain bike

Biking should be a fun, healthy activity that anyone can do, right? Well, it is…but there are limitations. Whether you like to mountain bike, road bike or just cruise around with the kids, riding can be intimidating. Finding safe and accessible terrain can be a challenge for the young, old and novices. Our paved roads are crowded and often quite hilly. Our mountain bike trails are second to none, though they are mostly intermediate or expert level with very few true beginner trails. Although our assets for biking around Lamoille County are great, we’ve historically had limited options for people who aren’t hard-core enthusiasts.

I am happy to say that this is changing. Clubs and organizations have recognized the need for terrain, trails and pathways more suitable for the young, old, novices, and first timers. One huge development will be the completion of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. I don’t know of any other surface in the state that is equal in length, flat, and free of motorized traffic.

Such a project represents the democratization of biking. It will be a place where anyone can ride comfortably, easily, and safely. Whether you ride for fun, exercise, commuting, or all three, LVRT will open up a lot of terrain for use during all four seasons. It will also connect our communities in a new way, linking together many existing recreation assets.

Another new development is the new mountain bike trails being built on Cricket Hill in Hyde Park. Cricket Hill has been a fantastic free community resource for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking for over a decade. Now they’re poised to add mountain biking to the repertoire. Mello Velo is one of the newest mountain bike clubs to spring out of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association. For their first project, Mellow Velo wanted to focus on trails for novice riders. Cricket Hill was a great location already possessing parking, a trailhead and some double track trails. The group wrote a state recreation trails grant for $30,000 to make the project happen. These trails will be fun for anyone, but will be especially great for kids and adults new to the sport. Completion is expected this summer.

Creating recreation for “non-expert” riders can sometimes be challenging since novices don’t always speak out or advocate as strongly as sports enthusiasts. But as these biking assets have become available, I have realized the importance of providing biking to all. I’ve heard countless stories of kids finding their first groove on a mountain bike or older folks getting back into riding late in life because they have a safe place to do it. Providing resources to everyone is an important part of growing any sport. It’s good to see things moving in that direction for the health and benefit of Lamoille County residents.

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.