SVHC Summer Gala Raises Record Funds

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BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Summer Gala—the Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) Foundation's signature fundraising event was held for the first time in two years on the evening of June 11 at the Hubbell Homestead in Bennington. 
The event hosted more than 400 people and raised more than $450,000. This is the highest amount ever raised at an SVHC event, according to SVHC. Funds raised will support the Vision 2020 project to renovate and expand the Emergency Department and  Regional Cancer Center.
"The outpouring of support for our hospital and the exceptional physicians, nurses, and staff was incredibly inspirational," said SVHC's Vice President of Corporate Development Leslie Keefe. "We all felt the enthusiasm generated by the tremendous generosity from the attendees and sponsors at this exciting and emotional event."
A major highlight of the event included the presentation of the Vision Award for Physician Leadership to Dr. Michael Welther and the Sean L. Casey Distinguished Community Service Award to Tony and Jackie Marro.
"These individuals are very special and deserving of these coveted awards," said Keefe. "It is due to their efforts that SVHC is successful."
The event was organized by a group of volunteers working with the SVHC Foundation team. The committee included Suzanne Anair, Monique Geannelis, Vicki Jerome, Jean Morris, Elise Munsey, Jessica O'Connell, Carol Patterson, Ginger Ritchie, Allison Rogge, Rachel Rogge, and Janet Thibodeau.  
"The event was a major success due the committee's efforts," said Leslie Keefe. "We are so thankful for their devotion to the healthcare system."
The Summer Gala's Title Sponsors included Allaire Health Services, Dartmouth Health, and Mack Molding Co. Similarly instrumental in the event's success was The Summer Gala Committee, a group of 12 volunteers who participated in organizing the event.
Vocalist Maxine Linehan opened the evening with a performance of "Stronger Together," an original song by her and her husband Music Producer Andrew Koss, which was inspired by SVHC's COVID pandemic slogan.
Guests also enjoyed a cocktail hour; a raffle including a $10,000 first prize; a live auction of items including unique experiences and international and luxury travel; dinner; and dancing to The Refrigerators.
Presenting sponsors included 1768 Hubbell Homestead, the Richard and Pamela Ader Foundation, The Bank of Bennington, Kathy Fisher and Rocco Maggiotto, Monique and Peter Geannelis, John and Deborah Larkin, Montucky Cold Snacks, and The Rogge Family. Angela and Chris Bevin; Coggins Auto of Bennington; Hayden Plumbing and Heating, Inc.; Lavallee Brensinger Architects; Nixon Peabody, LLP; People's United, a division of M&T Bank; The Rowley Agency; Radiology Associates of Bennington; and Trane supported the event as lead sponsors.
"The Summer Gala sponsors and donors were immensely supportive," Keefe said. "We are deeply grateful for their extraordinary commitment to our mission of exceptional care and comfort for the people we serve."
For more information about the event and to participate in the 2023 Summer Gala, visit or contact the foundation office at (802) 447-5017.

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SVMC Celebrates Accredited Nursing Residency Graduates

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), graduated eight nurses from its Transition-to-Practice Nurse Residency Program. 
The program is the first program in the state and one of only 208 in the United States to have received accreditation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Practice Transition Accreditation Program for nurses working in the medical-surgical, women's and children's, and emergency departments. Accreditation for the intensive care unit is expected to be obtained later this year. Current students in the program joined the graduates in celebrating their completion.
The year-long program is completed during the students' first year of employment and as they serve in nursing roles across the organization. Monthly meetings connect RNs with nurse educators, leaders, and skilled preceptors for mentorship. They incorporate clinical skills assessments and hone the interpersonal and organizational skills needed to coordinate care with a team of health care providers on the job. Topics for group sessions include communication, leadership, inter-professional teamwork, evidence-based practice, and ethics. Skill sessions provided new graduate nurses opportunities to gain confidence in the hands-on aspects of their work.
"We are very proud of these distinguished graduates,"  said Pamela Duchene, PhD, APRN, the chief nursing officer and vice president for Patient Care Services at SVMC. "Each of them is prepared for a long and successful career in the field of nursing."
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