BENNINGTON, Vt. — Mack Molding, the privately-owned business of Don Kendall and his family, has donated $5 million for Southwestern Vermont Health Care's emergency department expansion and renovation project at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.
"The Kendall Emergency Department" will be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting event once the future project is approved by the state and construction is completed. The gift constitutes the largest in the health system's history since Henry W. Putnam Sr. bequeathed the Bennington public water system for the construction of the community hospital more than 100 years ago.
"Mack Molding is pleased and honored to be able to give something back to the people of Bennington County, who have been so good to our company for over 85 years. After all, what could be more important than a modern emergency department?" said Don Kendall.
Kendall is the chief executive officer of Mack Group, the parent company of Mack Molding, a leading supplier of contract manufacturing services and injection molded plastic parts to companies in a wide range of industries.
"On behalf of the board of trustees, the medical staff, nurses and all of the SVHC family, we are incredibly thankful to Mack Molding, Don Kendall and his family, for this transformational gift," said trustees Chairman Tommy Harmon. "Mack Molding and the Kendall family have a storied history of supporting organizations throughout southern Vermont."
This year marks SVHC's 100th anniversary, and many originally constructed buildings and infrastructure of the hospital are still in use today. SVHC is developing a modernization plan to transform its facility into a sustainable, modern health system for the region. Constructed in the 1970s to accommodate 12,000 patients per year, the current emergency department annually treats nearly 25,000.
The health system's board-certified physicians and Magnet-recognized nurses' dedication to delivering the highest quality care has led to national and worldwide recognition for clinical excellence, quality, patient safety and satisfaction, say officials. SVHC accomplishes this mission despite operating out of the oldest hospital facility in Vermont and one of the oldest in New England.
"The emergency department is the most important service our health system provides to this region. This tremendous gift from Mack Molding, Don Kendall and his family will have a significant and meaningful impact to the 75,000 patients we serve in our local communities for future generations, and for that we are eternally grateful," said Tom Dee, president and CEO of SVHC.
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Protecting Children and Others During a Measles Outbreak
Dr. Marie George
Once a common childhood disease, measles was almost an expected part of growing up. But it wasn't without consequence. Worldwide, up to 2.6 million people died annually from measles every year up until a vaccine was introduced in 1963.
In recent years, some parents have refused to vaccinate their children based on misinformation about side effects of the vaccine. As a result, the number of unvaccinated children, teens and adults in our communities is on the rise. While those making the choice to not vaccinate believe they're making this decision solely on behalf of themselves or their children, they're actually impacting the health of others. Sometimes with deadly consequences.
How is it spread? Who is at risk?
The measles virus is highly contagious and spreads easily. Spread by close personal contact, coughing, or sneezing, the virus can remain active in the air or on a surface for up to two hours after it has been transmitted.
That means that any unvaccinated individual — including infants and those with compromised immune systems — can get sick when entering a space where an infected person was even hours before. Infected individuals can then go on to spread the illness days before they show any signs of the disease.
How to protect those at risk
Measles vaccines are by far the best possible protection you can give your child. Two doses are 97 percent effective and the potential side effects are rare and not nearly as scary as suggested by a lot of popular media. If they appear at all, side effects are usually a sore arm, a rash, or maybe a slight fever. Claims that the vaccine causes autism have been undeniably proven to be false.
As for when to get your child vaccinated, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend children receive the measles vaccine at age 12 to 15 months and again at 4 to 6 years old. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
How about adults?
Because the risk of death from measles is higher for adults than it is for children, teens and adults who have not been vaccinated should take steps to protect themselves. "The vaccine can be provided in two doses within 28 days of each other. This is particularly important for those planning travel overseas or to areas in the United States where outbreaks are occurring.
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