112th Annual Meeting in new Independent Living at Morgan Orchards Senior Community
Gifford President and CEO Dan Bennett told more than 65 community members gathered for its 112th Annual Meeting that the organization’s deep roots in primary care will guide it through uncertainty in the current healthcare environment. The March 3 event was held in the new Strode Independent Living facility at Morgan Orchard’s Senior Living Community in Randolph Center, which opened on September 26, 2017.
“While we saw our share of challenges in 2017, we have a clear plan to meet them,” Bennett said. ‘Primary care is the gateway to accessing the health care system, and our team-based preventive and primary care model is uniquely positioned to succeed in the coming population-based environment. By excelling in primary care—providing high-quality, personalized care, accessibility, and exceptional customer service—we will meet the challenges we face.”
The year brought significant national and state recognition for Gifford: the primary care practices received the highest quality award of any Federally Qualified Health Center in Vermont, and all of the primary care practices achieved certification as Level 3 Patient Center Medical Homes – a measure recognizing the quality of care they provide. The Pediatric practice achieved the highest completion rate of immunization for HPV in Vermont, and last April received a state award for best overall immunization rate for 2 to 3-year olds.
An expanded community health and outreach program brought an increase in community involvement (including health screenings, community and school-based substance use education, support for local law enforcement, community lunches), and new local and regional partnerships with organizations like Health Hub, VTC, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Orthopedics, and Norwich University’s nursing program.
2017 was also a year of challenges for Gifford. The loss of several providers early in the year led to lower patient volumes and increased staffing costs, and Gifford ended the fiscal year with an operating loss. Successful provider recruitment, institutional cost reductions, and organizational restructuring efforts helped to build back capacity in several clinical areas by the end of the year.
Bennett stressed that moving forward Gifford will continue to focus on high-quality, personalized care, accessibility, exceptional customer service, and providing services and supports for seniors.
Following the president’s report Dr. Scott Rodi spoke about the impact of the mental health crisis on community hospital emergency departments. Rodi was Gifford’s Medical Director and Emergency Room director from 2015-2017, and currently serves as regional director of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Emergency Medicine.
Community scholarships and awards presented
Savanna Andress was awarded the Dr. Richard J. Barrett M.D. Scholarship, a $1,000 award for a Gifford employee or an employee’s child pursuing a health care education. An LNA and unit coordinator on Gifford’s inpatient unit, she is pursuing a Registered Nurse degree and will be taking courses this year at CCV and VTC.
Health Hub, received the $1,000 Philip D. Levesque Memorial Community Award, given annually in recognition of his personal commitment to the White River Valley. The grant will support HealthHub’s mobile dental hygiene facility that travels to area schools from Sharon to Williamstown. A registered dental hygienist provides cleanings, x-rays, sealants and fluoride treatments to children and adults.
Board of trustees and directors elected and service recognized
Gifford Board of Directors and Trustees Chair Matt Considine recognized retiring members Bob Wright (12 years), Gus Meyer (12 years), and Sue Sytsma (3 years; she previously retired after 9 years in 2000) for their years of service.
Theron Manning (South Royalton), Ben Jickling (Randolph), and Jody Davignon (Randolph) were re-elected to the Board of Directors and Trustees; and Todd Winslow (Wilder), and Peter Nowlan (Randolph), were re-elected to the Board of Trustees.
The following officers were elected: Matt Considine, Chair; Lincoln Clark, Vice Chair; Barbara Rochat, Secretary; and Jody Davignon, Treasurer.
For more information see Gifford’s 2017 Annual Report at www.giffordhealthcare.org.