At the Hospitals: Dec. 13, 2015

At the Hospitals: Dec. 13, 2015

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Boards of Trustees Elect Chair, New Board Members

Lebanon — Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s boards of trustees elected a new chair and three new members at its meeting earlier this month.

Anne-Lee Verville, of Hopkinton, N.H., will begin her term as board chair on Jan. 1. She succeeds outgoing chair Robert Oden Jr., who will remain on the board and serve as vice chair.

Verville worked at IBM for 30 years, retiring in 1997. She served as IBM United States Marketing Group Chief Financial Officer and IBM Chief Information Officer and led IBM’s effort to support the education industry worldwide from 1994 until her retirement, Dartmouth-Hitchcock said in a news release.

In addition to serving on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health boards of trustees, Verville serves on the board of trustees of the Columbia Threadneedle Atlantic Mutual Funds. She is a member of the Committee of 200 and serves on the C200 Finance Committee. She was appointed to the National Skill Standards Board in 1995 by President Bill Clinton. Previously, she served on the board of directors of the National Alliance of Business, the board of advisors at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, the board of trustees of Western Governors University and the board of advisors at Wake Forest University.

Verville holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Smith College and received an honorary doctor of commercial sciences from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

“I am honored to be elected by my colleagues to lead the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Boards,” Verville said. “The challenges ahead are many for the future of health care, but so are the incredible opportunities. Dr. Jim Weinstein and our leadership team have designed a strategic model that has D-H well-positioned to achieve a sustainable health system. I’m excited about our future as D-H continues to provide the best care possible for our patients.”

In addition, Dartmouth-Hitchcock physicians Jeffrey Cohen, Timothy Scherer and Brian Spence were elected to three-year terms on the board.

Cohen is the chair of neurology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, a position he’s held since 2012, and a professor of neurology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He joined the Dartmouth-Hitchcock faculty in 2001. His areas of clinical focus include autonomic testing, clinical electrophysiology, neuromuscular disorders, peripheral neuropathy, and Post Polio Syndrome.

Cohen has served as director of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s ALS Clinic since 2002, and co-director of the Adult Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic since 2006. In 2003 he established and became the director of the Clinical Neurophysiology and Fellowship Program. He has been a mentor as part of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Leadership Preventative Medicine Residency Program since 2003. In 2006, he collaborated with a Dartmouth undergraduate to form College Student Interest Group in Neurology, which received funding from the American Academy of Neurology. Cohen regularly teaches as part of the medical student lecture series and neurology small group sessions. He teaches students, residents, and fellows in the clinic, the inpatient unit and the classroom. He was recognized as the 2014 Burton Sandok Visiting Professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic.

Cohen earned a medical degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Scherer is the chair of gastroenterology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua, where he has worked as an attending physician since 2002 specializing in general clinical gastroenterology, hepatology and advanced pancreaticobiliary endoscopy. He is the medical director of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua Endoscopy Center and has been a member of the board of governors at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua since 2006.

He has been New Hampshire Magazine’s “Top Doctor” for gastroenterology eight years in a row. He is the founder of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Southern Region GI tumor board at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, director of the metabolic syndrome clinic program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua and co-founder of the Multidisciplinary GI tumor clinic at Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Manchester. He represents the Nashua campus on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock GI steering committee. He currently practices at St. Joseph Hospital and Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua and at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester.

Scherer is a graduate of State University of New York in Brooklyn and completed his residency training in internal medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. He obtained fellowship training in gastroenterology at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass., where he received the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award.

Spence is a member of the department of anesthesiology, with subspecialty focus in both regional and cardiac anesthesia. He is board certified in perioperative transesophageal echocardiography and is a member of the National Board of Echocardiography Perioperative TEE Basic Exam Writing Committee.

Spence is an associate professor at Geisel and is also the medical director of preadmission testing at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. He has served as medical director of same day surgery, the post anesthesia care unit and the outpatient surgery center. He is a member of the perioperative advisory team.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and of Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering School, Spence holds bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and completed his internship and residency in anesthesia at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, where he served as chief resident his final year. He completed the Master of Healthcare Delivery Science program at Dartmouth College in 2013.

The board also recognized Oden with the Professor Rob Oden Fund, “supporting the student/patient partnership in compassionate health care delivery,” Dartmouth-Hitchcock said. The fund will enhance a program that enables Dartmouth undergraduates and Geisel students “to experience clinical encounters from the patient perspective.”

Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire Acquires Thetford Company

White River Junction — Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire has bought a private duty, non-medical personal care services company based in Thetford.

The acquisition of Kathy’s Caregivers, Inc. follows about a year of discussions between the two organizations, VNH said in a news release. The VNH board approved the purchase in August.

As a wholly owned service of VNH, Kathy’s Caregivers will continue to offer care on a private pay basis. Their services include errands, personal care, housekeeping and companionship.

“Here at VNH, we recognize that many people living at home may need non-medical help with daily activities such as cooking, shopping or getting to appointments,” said VNH President and CEO Jeanne McLaughlin. The agency has been considering offering a private pay option for some time, and Kathy’s Caregivers “has a proven track record of providing outstanding care with real compassion, which makes them an excellent match with us and the people we serve.”

Kathy’s Caregivers will keep its name and existing staff members, including founder and President Kathy McQueen, who called the acquisition a positive step forward for Kathy’s Caregivers and good news for patients.

“I started Kathy’s Caregivers four decades ago to help people who are ill or aging and who want to stay at home,” McQueen said. “Joining the VNH family provides us with a long-term succession plan that ensures Kathy’s Caregivers will continue to help people for many years to come. I look forward to being part of this exciting next step in our mission.”

According to McQueen, current clients of Kathy’s Caregivers should see no change in service due to the acquisition. “The real change is that people who utilize Kathy’s Caregivers will now have enhanced access to VNH’s other services and resources, if they wish,” she said.

For more information about Kathy’s Caregivers at VNH, call 1-844-524-9921 or go to

HCRS Pays Tribute to Mental Health Leader

Springfield, Vt. — Health Care and Rehabilitation Services honored a longtime employee who died of cancer in February and recognized other staff members at its annual meeting, held last month at its Springfield headquarters.

More than 130 board members, staff, clients and community members attended the event, which included a tribute to the late Frank Silfies , of Windsor.

Silfies joined HCRS in 1978 and spent 35 years working in the agency’s emergency services program, eventually becoming program director.

“A big man, with a bigger heart,” Silfies had a natural ability to help those in crisis, HCRS said in a news release. He was caring, compassionate, and understanding and had a “tremendous ability to listen and to get people to open up about their issues.”

He was truly committed to collaborative response and embodied that concept through his work at HCRS and across the state, said nonprofit, which has named its Springfield Crisis Care Center in memory of Silfies.

In 1992, Silfies co-founded the Green Mountain Critical Incident Stress Management team, a group of volunteers who train emergency responders to deal with the difficulties they experience in their emotionally challenging work, HCRS said. Silfies believed that emergency responders are “often the last to admit they need help,” and his efforts are credited for keeping many on the job.

Silfies was also instrumental in the statewide Team Two Steering Committee and helped design and teach the Team Two curriculum, which promotes collaboration between law enforcement officers and mental health crisis clinicians in the field. His vast experience enriched the learning of not only the participants, but fellow faculty members as well, HCRS said.

Silfies’ wife, SallyAnn, attended at last month’s tribute, as did many members of the emergency services community.

Also at the meeting, several employees received Encore Awards “for going above and beyond in demonstrating the guiding values of the agency,” HCRS said. They included Scott Breedlove, an IT network administrator; and Brenda Stearman, a payroll specialist. Breedlove and Stearman work in the agency’s Springfield office.

Several other employees in that office were honored for their years of service, including Margie Kennett, a case manager who has been with HCRS for 30 years, and Ralph Jacobs, a behavioral interventionist; Wendy Smith, a generalist; and Jeannie Spafford, a therapeutic activities coordinator, who have each been with the nonprofit for 20 years.

Six HCRS employees received 15-year service awards, 16 received 10-year service awards and 20 received five-year awards.

Health Care and Rehabilitation Services said it was proud to honor its staff members “for their years of dedication and service.”

The agency provides mental health and substance abuse services to residents of Windsor and Windham counties.

Volunteers Needed at Assisted Living Facility

White River Junction — Valley Terrace, an assisted living facility, is looking for volunteers to help and interact with residents doing arts and crafts and playing games. Volunteers could also visit residents, read to them and otherwise share their talents. An informational program and tour is scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Valley Terrace, 2820 Christian St. To RSVP, contact Marcia DeCoff-Perry or Bobbi Trombley at 802-280-1910 by Dec. 14.

— Compiled by Aimee Caruso


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