SVHC Welcomes New Legal Counsel

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BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) announced Jason Morrissey, attorney, as its legal counsel. 
 
In addition to acting as counsel to SVHC, Morrissey will continue operating his private law practice in Bennington. The late Tom Jacobs had served as SVHC's general counsel until his death in 2020.
 
"We are so grateful for Tom Jacobs' long and dedicated service to SVHC," said Thomas A. Dee, FACHE, SVHC's president and CEO. "We are fortunate to have someone of Jason's caliber to step in and fulfill this very important role within our organization."
 
Morrissey received his bachelor's in finance from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and his juris doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law. He has owned his own law practice in Bennington since 2008. He started practicing law in Bennington in 2004 as an associate attorney at Cummings, Dailey & Cohen, LLP, where he later became a partner. Prior to moving to Bennington, Morrissey worked as a senior account manager and in other roles for steel companies in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
 
"Jason has the skills and experience to guide SVHC through the legal aspects of our operations," said Tommy Harmon, the chair of SVHC's Board of Trustees. "He will make a great advisor to both our Board and management team."
 
Morrissey serves on the boards of The Bank of Bennington and the Park Lawn Cemetery. He is vice president and trustee of the Cooper-Kelley Scholarship Fund, a member of the Vermont Bar Association's Real Estate Title Standards Committee, and Moderator for the Town of Bennington. He is a former member of the Bennington Select Board and former Director for Hospice of Bennington County.
 
"SVHC is such an integral part of our community," Morrissey said. "I look forward to contributing to the future of this great organization."
 
As general counsel, Morrissey will attend meetings of the SVHC Board of Trustees and consult on legal matters for the health system.
 

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Vermont Fish & Wildlife: Pollinators in Peril

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MONTPELIER, Vt. — Many of Vermont's pollinator species are in peril, and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department would like to share a few simple suggestions to greatly benefit our essential pollinator species.
 
"The majority of our flowering plants need pollinators in order to produce seeds," said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department zoologist Mark Ferguson. "Vermont is home to hundreds of species of pollinators from bees to butterflies to beetles and other bugs that play a vital role in pollinating our flowers, trees and food crops. These insects are responsible for pollinating 60 to 80 percent of Vermont's wild plants and play a critical role in the propagation of fruits and vegetables in gardens, wild berry patches, commercial berry farms, and apple orchards." 
 
But many pollinator species in Vermont are in trouble. Habitat loss, invasive species, single-crop farming, disease, and pesticides are a few of the threats affecting populations of these insects across our state. Vermont's native bees, including more than 300 unique species and three that are threatened or endangered, are among our pollinators being impacted the most. 
 
A recent examination of our 17 different bumble bees compared recent observations with historical collections and concluded that several species have drastically declined or disappeared from Vermont, including the rusty-patched bumble bee. 
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