At the Hospitals: July 26, 2015

At the Hospitals: July 26, 2015

VA Medical Center Surgeons Receive Career Development Awards

White River Junction — Two surgeons from the VA Outcomes Group, based at White River Junction VA Medical Center, have received Veterans Administration New England Career Development Awards.

“In addition to the honor bestowed by these highly competitive regional grants, the awards provide critical salary support that allows promising junior investigators to jumpstart productive careers as clinician-investigators,” the VA said in a news release.

Dr. Eric Henderson, an orthopedic surgeon, is orthopedic section chief at the medical center, a member of the outcomes group and assistant professor at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine.

The award will help him assess the need for, and feasibility of, shared decision making for veterans with hip and knee osteoarthritis, and develop expertise in patient-centered care and the implementation of SDM in orthopedic surgery, the VA said.

“This opportunity will afford Henderson the ability to pursue further research in shared decision making and implement programs to improve orthopedic care for veterans, resulting in improved veteran satisfaction, improved clinical outcomes, and reduced health care costs.”

Dr. Florian R. Schroeck, a urologist, is Urology Section Chief at the medical center, a member of the outcomes group, and assistant professor at The Dartmouth Institute and Geisel. Schroeck will use the award to develop and validate natural language processing algorithms to abstract histology, stage, and grade from full-text bladder cancer pathology reports.

Schroeck will also define and characterize cohorts of veterans with low- and high-risk early stage bladder cancer. His proposed project will lay the foundation for future work examining how and where risk-aligned bladder cancer care is provided and whether that care is associated with better outcomes for veterans.

CHaD Program Warns Of Children’s Heatstroke Risk

Lebanon — With summer underway, Safe Kids New Hampshire, a program of Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are reminding parents and caregivers about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars.

Heatstroke is the number one killer of children, outside of car crashes. Last year in the United States at least 30 children in vehicles died of heatstroke.

Children’s body temperatures can rise up to five times faster than that of an adult, and heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees, Safe Kids New Hampshire said in a recent news release.

On an 80-degree day, a car can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.

“Fifty-nine percent of all vehicle-related heatstroke deaths in children are caused by a child accidentally being left in the car, and 29 percent are from a child getting into a hot car on their own,” said Tom Leach, manager of the Child Passenger Safety Program.

“We want to get the word out to parents and caregivers: Please look before you lock.”

Parents and caregivers should never leave a child in a vehicle unattended. They should lock their cars, placing the keys out of children’s reach, and look in the backseat every time they exit the car; keeping personal items such as purses on the rear floor can help make checking the rear seat area become a habit.

“If you ever see a child left alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 right away,” Safe Kids New Hampshire said.

Bystanders who see a child left in a vehicle should do the following:

■ Make sure the child is OK and responsive. If not, call 911 immediately.

■ If the child appears OK, attempt to locate the parents or have security or management page the car owner over the public address system.

■ If possible, someone should wait at the car while the parents are being looked for.

■ If the child is unresponsive or appears to be in great distress, attempt to get into the car to assist him or her, even if it means breaking a window.

The warning signs of heatstroke include red, hot, and moist or dry skin; no sweating; a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse; nausea; confusion and strange behavior. If a child exhibits any of these signs after being in a hot vehicle, cool the child rapidly by spraying him or her with cool water or with a garden hose, never an ice bath. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately.

For more information, contact Jim Esdon at or 603-653-8360.

Free Oral Health Screenings Available for Seniors

A new program offers free oral health screenings and fluoride varnishing for Upper Valley residents age 65 and older.

Smiles for Seniors takes place Monday mornings at Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction and the Thompson Center in Woodstock. The services are carried out by a licensed dental hygienist.

Sponsored by the Ottauquechee Health Foundation, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Community Health, Vermont Oral Health Coalition and Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Community Health, the program aims to improve access to preventative oral health services for older adults.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact the Ottauquechee Health Foundation at 802-457-4188 or

Chronic Pain Workshop Set in Randolph

Randolph — A six-week chronic pain self-management workshop is set for Aug. 20-Sept. 24.

The free classes, offered Gifford Health Care and Vermont Blueprint for Health, will be held Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Kimball Library, 67 No. Main St.

The workshop is designed for people with either a primary or secondary diagnosis of chronic pain. It covers problem solving, appropriate use of medications and exercise, nutrition, emotions, and communicating with health care providers.

To register, or for more information, call 802-728-2390. — Compiled by Aimee Caruso


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