At the Hospitals for Sunday, Aug. 25

Published: 8/24/2019 10:19:28 PM
Event raises $120,000 for end-of-life care in Vt.

RANDOLPH — Nearly 500 community members participated in the 14th annual Last Mile Ride last weekend, raising more than $120,000 for end-of-life care and special services for central Vermont patients and families at Gifford Medical Center and elsewhere.

The event included a 5K and family-friendly walk, as well as a motorcycle ride and brought the total raised since the inaugural event in 2006 to more than $880,000, according to a news release. The money is used to cover costs associated with estate planning and funeral services, special events like weddings, transportation for visiting family members or for patients who require appointments with specialists outside of the region.

“Throughout the year I hear from folks who share with me how your generosity has helped them or a member of their family meet their unique needs during advanced illness or at the end of life,” Gifford Development Director Ashley Lincoln said in a news release.

Race results are available at Next year’s event is scheduled for Aug. 14-15. More information is available at

Mt. Ascutney gets grant for wellness coach

WINDSOR — The Couch Family Foundation awarded Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center a three-year grant to support a family wellness coach.

The coach, who is embedded in the clinics at the Windsor hospital and the Ottauquechee Health Center, works with families to develop action plans and to provide information about positive parenting approaches, as well as support in times of need, in collaboration with partner organizations including nonprofits and area school systems.

“This position is critical to the promotion of healthy families and community,” said Jill Lord, director of community health and patient care services at Mt. Ascutney, in a news release.

The coach helps to address “prevention, and the impacts of adverse childhood experiences which are directly linked to significant increased likelihood of chronic disease and mental health issues in later life,” Lord said.

The Couch Family Foundation, which awarded the grant in an undisclosed amount to Mt. Ascutney in June, was established by Barbara and Richard Couch — a co-founder of the Hanover-based Hypertherm — with their children, to support organizations that serve communities in the Upper Valley and Martha’s Vineyard. The Foundation provides grants with a focus on early childhood education.

Newport senior home starts expansion project

NEWPORT — An assisted living and memory care community located on Summer Street began construction earlier this summer on a $7.2 million project that includes 28 new apartments.

Summercrest Senior Living, which currently is home for up to 54 residents, expects to welcome residents to the new units next year, according to a news release. The project includes a renovated main entrance slated to lead to the new wing of apartments, which will extend into the existing front parking lot where part of the former Newport hospital once stood.

The project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also includes renovations to existing common areas, a new cafe and marketplace, an expanded activity room, a hair salon and an outdoor patio with access from the cafe.

Alice Peck Day welcomes new gynecologist

LEBANON — Dr. Michael Ritondo has joined the gynecology team at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon.

Ritondo, who began work at APD on Aug. 9, comes to the critical access hospital following previous positions at Springfield (Vt.) Hospital, Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont and Littleton (N.H.) Regional Hospital, according to a news release from APD.

Ritondo earned his medical degree and completed his OB-GYN residency at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola College in Baltimore.

He has been licensed in New Hampshire since 1996, Vermont since 2000, and has been board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1998. Additionally, Ritondo is a fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

HCRS welcomes new staff

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Health Care and Rehabilitation Services recently has hired nine new staff members, including some to serve the Hartford and Springfield areas.

New employees in the Upper Valley include Sharon Bruce, a direct support professional in Springfield; Judith Duhaime, a respite provider in Hartford; Adrienne Barrows, a community outreach specialist in Springfield; Alanna Parker, a office support generalist in Hartford; Collin Drake, a behavioral interventionist in Hartford; Nathan Haskell, a direct support professional in Springfield; and Amber Fife, a board certified behavior analyst in Springfield and Hartford.

The new hires will support the nonprofit agency’s mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability programs, which serve more than 4,000 individuals annually across Windsor and Windham Counties.

— Compiled by Nora Doyle-Burr

Valley News

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