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Southwestern Vermont Health Care has been named one of the 2019's Best Places to Work for the fifth year in a row.

Biz Briefs: SVHC Named One of Vermont's Best Places to Work Again

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Five and counting

Southwestern Vermont Health Care has been named one of the 2019's Best Places to Work for the fifth year in a row. SVHC received the honor for the first time in 2015. It remains the only hospital in the state of Vermont to be recognized by the awards program. "The employees of SVHC derive genuine satisfaction in fulfilling our mission of exceptional care and comfort for the people we serve," said Tom Dee, president and chief executive officer of SVHC. "It's their commitment and teamwork that enable our groundbreaking achievements and grow SVHC’s reputation as a place to make a truly meaningful and rewarding career."

This statewide program is operated by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce with partnership from the Society for Human Resource Management, the Vermont Department of Labor, and the Vermont Department of Economic Development. The program surveys and identifies the best places of employment to recognize organizations that benefit the state’s economy, its workforce, and businesses.

In addition to the Vermont Business Magazine honor, SVHC has also appeared on Becker's Hospital Review's national list of the "Top 150 Places to Work in Healthcare" since 2016. Both Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, SVHC's skilled nursing facility, have been awarded the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' 5-star rating, and in 2017, the hospital received the American Nurses Credentialing Center's top honor, the Magnet Prize.


The final rankings for each category of the Best Places to Work in Vermont awards will be announced at a special awards presentation in early spring 2019. A listing of SVHC's open positions and other workplace information can be found online.

 

'Partners of Hope'

In order to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer, all Big Y Supermarkets donated proceeds from their October initiative "Partners of Hope" to 32 local breast cancer support groups throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. This month long program reflects the partnership, commitment and support of breast cancer awareness and research that are so vital for many. Of the more than $216,000 donated to several organizations across the state, funds were donated to the Berkshire Medical Center Women's Imaging Center in Pittsfield.

During the entire month of October, Big Y donated a portion of the proceeds from both the Floral and Produce Departments, and 5 cents for each Big Y, Top Care, Full Circle, Simply Done, Paws Happy Life, Pure Harmony, @Ease, Tippy Toes and Culinary Tours brand products purchased between Oct. 4-10 The Big Y Butcher Shops also donated 10 cents from every pound of All Natural Angus Beef and Big Y Smart Chicken sold during the entire month of October. Big Y Pharmacy & Wellness Center donated $5 for every flu shot given. Big Y's pink reusable, earth-friendly shopping bag highlighting the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign was also available and every store promoted Partners of Hope pink ribbons for $1 for the month of October as a way of generating additional proceeds for local breast cancer organizations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. Big Y's dietitian team, Carrie Taylor and Andrea Luttrell, also devoted a portion of their fall newsletter to cancer prevention.

 

Nonprofit awards

The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, in partnership with The Berkshire Eagle, will present the second annual Berkshire Nonprofit Awards breakfast on Tuesday, May 21, from 8 to 10 a.m. at Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield. The award recognizes people who work tirelessly in the nonprofit sector to serve the Berkshire community.

Nominations are being solicited from across the Berkshires in seven categories: Executive Leadership, Board Member, Super Staffer, Unsung Hero, Volunteer, Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement. Nineteen honorees (one lifetime achievement and three in each remaining category) will be selected by a committee of business and nonprofit leaders. The nomination form is available online; the deadline for submissions is March 31.

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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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