RANDOLPH, Vt., Sept. 26, 2023—Family Nurse Practitioner Roz Vara-Good has joined Gifford Health Care, serving on the Addiction Medicine team at Kingwood Health Center in Randolph and at Gifford Health Center at Berlin – Primary Care.
Vara-Good treats patients for opiate use and alcohol use disorders. In her role, she provides medications and facilitates referrals for behavioral health supports, and coordinates care with primary care providers as well as a drug and alcohol use disorder counselor.
“I am one piece of the puzzle, helping with the medication piece and monitoring,” she said.
Vara-Good decided on a career in health care after spending two-and-a-half years in the Peace Corps, in Senegal, West Africa, where she lived in a local village.
“My background was in agriculture, but I found that what people really wanted to hear about was related to health care,” she said. “It was really tangible and rewarding to help them. When I came home, I decided to go back to school to be a nurse practitioner.”
Vara-Good said she is especially drawn to individuals who face barriers in accessing care.
“There can be a stigma,” she said. “And some people may have interactions in health care that make them never want to come back.”
Vara-Good’s philosophy of care puts patients in the driver’s seat.
“They are the experts of their own bodies,” she said. “My goal always is to give patients information and help them make the best decisions for themselves. In general, I want folks to feel supported and heard, and understand that their opinions are important and that I value them. Each patient is unique. What works for one won’t work for another. My goal is to figure out what works for each person.”
Vara-Good, who grew up in Cabot, Vt., was drawn to Gifford by a positive experience she had here as a patient and by Gifford’s reputation.
“Gifford has always been on my list of places where I check job listings,” she said. “Whenever Gifford comes up, across the board, people have lovely things to say and think really highly of it. As someone who grew up in a town with a thousand people, it’s really great to be based in a rural health care system. This is a unique opportunity to get to know patients and the community within a really well-respected system.”
Vara-Good is certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She previously worked in family medicine at Dartmouth Health, Cheshire Medical Center, in Keene, N.H.; and held nursing positions with Intermountain Medical Center Covid Response in Murray, Utah; Denver Health Surgical Trauma Unit in Denver, Colo.; and Astra Home Health in Denver, Colo. She earned her master’s degree in nursing from Regis University in Denver, Colo.; a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Colorado-Denver in Aurora, Colo.; and a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt.
When not at work, Vara-Good enjoys gardening, listening to Red Sox games on the radio, reading, and spending time with family.
For more information about the Addiction Medicine team at Gifford, visit giffordhealthcare.org.
Gifford is a community hospital in Randolph, Vt., with family health centers in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, Randolph, and Rochester, and specialty services throughout central Vermont. A Federally Qualified Health Center and a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country, Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department and inpatient unit; many surgical services; an adult day program; 49-unit independent living facility, and a nursing home. The hospital’s mission is to improve individual and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.