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Community news briefs: Senior Solutions selects new executive director

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/3/2021 2:52:40 PM
Modified: 4/3/2021 2:52:40 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Senior Solutions, the Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont, has selected Mark Boutwell to be its next executive director.

Boutwell, who has been the director of social services at the Springfield, Vt.-based nonprofit organization for around seven years, will begin his new role on Monday, according to a news release.

He replaces Carol Stamatakis, who retired after leading the organization for five years.

“Mark Boutwell is a compassionate and skilled leader who supports the dignity of all people,” Senior Solutions Board of Directors President Barbara Woods said in a news release. “His familiarity with Senior Solutions and his collaboration with regional and state leaders across Vermont will serve us well.”

Boutwell has worked at human service agencies in the Twin States for more than 37 years, according to the release. He has overseen the day-to-day operations at Senior Solutions, administered grant programs and represented the organization on regional and state committees and task forces serving older Vermonters.

Expanding outreach efforts in the nonprofit’s 46 towns, updating data and technology systems and strengthening collaboration with other community groups are among his goals as executive director.

“I want Senior Solutions to be a household name for every older Vermonter and family member seeking services in Southeastern Vermont,” Boutwell said in the release. “I look forward to broadening the focus of Senior Solutions’ work advocating for older Vermonters and continuing to expand the ways we can meet their needs.”

Randolph principal to leave for role with Upper Valley Educators Institute

LEBANON — Randolph Union High School and Middle School Principal Elijah Hawkes is leaving the school after 10 years to serve as director of School Leadership Programs at the Upper Valley Educators Institute.

“One of the most meaningful aspects of working at a school is joining young people and their families on the journey of growing up,” Hawkes wrote in a letter to students and families on the school’s website. “Wherever my work takes me, I will remain a neighbor, a friend, and among RU’s greatest allies.”

Assistant principals Caty Sutton and Lisa Floyd will serve as co-principals, according to Hawkes announcement.

Hawkes, who has mentored participants at UVEI and served as a guest teacher, will begin his role in July, according to a news release from the Lebanon-based nonprofit organization. He replaces Nan Parsons, who served in the role for seven years and is leaving to take a job as assistant principal at Hanover’s Ray School. She will continue to teach students at UVEI as an adjunct faculty member.

During Hawkes’ time at Randolph, graduation rates rose from below state average to above. He also recently published a book titled School for the Age of Upheaval: Classrooms that Get Personal, Get Political and Get to Work.

“Elijah’s leadership at Randolph embodies our model for effective leadership,” UVEI Executive Director Page Tompkins said in a news release. “He’s focused on equity; deeper learning; developing students’ habits of mind, hand, and heart; and has successfully distributed leadership among the faculty and students, which allowed them to further projects that matter to them, such as the project-based learning courses and the first ever statewide, student-led conference on racism in schools.”

Thetford Elementary School hires principal

THETFORD — Bernice Mills will be the new principal of Thetford Elementary School.

Mills, who has worked as the special education coordinator for the Orange East Supervisory Union of which Thetford is a part, will begin her new role on July 1. She rplaces Chance Lindsley, who has been principal since 2019, according to a news release from the union. Prior to coming to the supervisory union, Mills was principal at Bath Village School for five years and co-principal for the St. Johnsbury School District.

“A strong school/parent partnership, collaborative staff teaming, and data driven decision making are key to student achievement,” Mills said in the release.

Home health agencies partner for nurse residency program to address shortage

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire and VNA Health System of Northern New England have partnered together to start a one-year nurse residency program for registered nurse graduates to address the persistent home health care nursing shortage affecting the region.

The two nonprofit organizations will work with nursing schools to offer home placements to nurse residents as well as instruction and emotional support. Rural areas including the Upper Valley have struggled for years to find nurses, according to a news release from the White River Junction-based VNH. Nursing schools, the release noted, do not typically offer a home health rotation which may mean graduates do not see it as an option.

“I am excited to expand our nurse residency program this year and bring more nurses into the incredible practice of home-based care,” Johanna Beliveau, president and CEO of VNH, said in the release. “Home care allows you to truly focus on the one person in front of you, understand their health goals, and directly impact their progress where it matters most, at home.”

Thetford hires community nurse

THETFORD — Longtime Thetford resident Brian Campion will begin his role as the town’s new community nurse on Monday.

He replaces Cindy Grigel, who is retiring and will continue to serve on the board of Community Nurse of Thetford, according to an announcement from the board. Before becoming a nurse, Campion served as an EMT with the Thetford Fire/FAST Squad and Upper Valley Ambulance Service. He has also worked as an inpatient nurse at Dartmouth-Hitchock Medical Center, in telehealth at the White River Junction VA Medical Center and has held different roles at the Vermont Department of Health.

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Alice Peck Day ER physicians fully integrated with DHMC department

LEBANON — All Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Emergency Department doctors are now also board-certified and can provide care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

“Providing the same emergency physicians at APD as at DHMC means that APD patients can be assured they will always have access to the highest-quality emergency care at their local hospital,” Dr. Scott W. Rodi, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at DHMC, said in a news release. “Patients can count on consistency among the doctors they see and a smooth transfer to DHMC if necessary. This staffing model will help optimize consistent, integrated care within the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health system.”

Lake Sunapee VNA adds two new board members

NEW LONDON — The Lake Sunapee VNA has added two senior care providers to its board of trustees.

Elizabeth Falicon is the owner and a nurse practitioner at Life Long Care of New London. Christopher Martin is the owner and administrator at Woodlawn Care Center in Newport.

“Liz’s experience in primary care and Chris’ experience in long-term care bring necessary perspectives to the board that will help guide the organization through current and future complexities of health care in our region,” Jim Culhane, president and CEO of the New London-based nonprofit organization, said in a news release.

Editor’s note: Email community news items to

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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