Vermont hospitals team up to help Lamoille County families in need

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MORRISTOWN — The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS) held its 2019 Annual Meeting, entitled Healthy Vermont Together: People, Passion, Promise last week beginning on September 11.

Early arrivals at the conference gathered to do a service project to help local families in need.

More than 50 participants, including hospital CEOs and staff, stuffed 750 bags with essentials like shampoo, toothpaste, soap and deodorant for individuals and families in need.

Partner Capstone Community Action will provide the bags to homeless and housing-insecure residents in Lamoille and Washington Counties.

“We know our providers and hospital leaders serve their communities every day, and we wanted to bring that aspect of service to our annual meeting, especially since it fell on September 11,” said Devon Green, vice president of government relations at VAHHS. “We know the work of our community partners is an integral part of keeping our communities healthy. Our hospitals recognize the importance of safe shelter and good nutrition to the health of our neighbors.”

Sue Minter, executive director of Capstone, attended the VAHHS Annual Meeting to thank the group.

She said the organization would distribute the bags in several locations.

“We have an essentials closet in Lamoille County in Morrisville, where families in need can get personal care items they can’t use their SNAP benefits for, but desperately need,” said Sue Minter.

“We also have the largest food shelf in Washington County, where they will be given out. Most importantly, though, I want to thank you at a deeper level, for your leadership, in really tackling the reform of a health care delivery system. You know that you cannot bend the cost curve of our health care delivery service without meeting the needs of the families outside of your doors,” she noted.

Anna Noonan is president and CEO of Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) in Berlin. She attended the conference and helped assemble the bags.

“What a terrific idea to get together and give back. We have a large population of families experiencing housing insecurity and we know that impacts their health. This may seem like a small thing to people who have the means to purchase these products, but we know this will make a big difference to those in need in our community,” Noonan said.