Corporators and community leaders gather for Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital annual meeting
Over 150 Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) Corporators and community leaders attended the organization’s annual meeting at Northern Vermont University on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The meeting, which marked the end of NVRH’s 2019 fiscal year, highlighted organizational achievements from the past year and featured remarks from NVRH CEO Shawn Tester, NVRH Board Chair Tom Robinson, and the Executive Director of Lumunos Clinicians Wellbeing Services Doug Wysockey-Johnson. The meeting also included election and re-election of Corporators and trustees.
In the opening remarks, Robinson noted exciting future endeavors, including plans for meeting the community’s after-hours and convenient care needs. He also introduced incoming Board Chair, Jane Arthur, and commented on increased engagement at quarterly Corporator meetings.
Tester summarized highlights from the hospital’s fiscal year, including the opening of Northern Vermont Center for Sleep Disorders, new peer recovery coaches in the Emergency Department, a name change for the Philanthropy Department, addressing workforce challenges, workplace well-being initiatives, and The 99 Faces Project – a traveling art installation currently located throughout the hospital that destigmatizes mental health challenges.
Tester then shared stories about his family and their experiences with NVRH over that past year, acknowledging that it had not been an easy year for him.
“One way to look at it is to think, boy that was tough,” Tester said. “But how many people get to easily visit their loved one because they’re in a local hospital? My mother was blown away by the kindness of the volunteers, the comfort of the music program, the high-quality food, the Chaplain. All of this contributed to her getting better faster. And I got to experience firsthand how we treat our patients in our community.”
NVRH Prevention Specialist Tennyson Marceau, who was elected as a first-time Corporator, recognized Marty Beattie for discontinuing sales of tobacco products at Marty’s 1st Stop in Danville, Vt.
The evening’s guest speaker – Doug Wysockey-Johnson – addressed burnout, the meaning of work, and the health benefits of social connections. He talked about using stories as a way to develop trust, and in turn, positive work culture.
“To prevent burnout, work should be meaningful,” Wysockey-Johnson said. “And when we see direct consequences of our work, we find meaning.”
The 2019 NVRH Annual Report, which was distributed at the annual meeting, highlights the beginnings of several projects, collaborations and partnerships, including Shawn Tester’s first year as NVRH CEO; the implementation of new technology; a partnership with the Youth Conservation Corps to offer a farm-to-hospital public health program that connects families to healthy food; the opening of the Northern Vermont Center for Sleep Disorders in collaboration with North Country Hospital; the acquisition of Northern Physical Therapy; new supports in the Emergency Department and the implementation of value-base payments.
Robinson recognized Jeff Moore, acknowledging that NVRH was appreciative of his service to the Board as he had to step down due to business commitments. Robinson also recognized Ken Norris for his service on the Board as well as Steven Nichols and Cathy Boykin, who both served three terms of three years. NVRH Trustee Steve Feltus, who filled in for the Chair of the Nominating Task Force Terry Hoffer, concluded the evening by presenting 26 Corporators up for re-election, 21 Corporators up for election, four trustees up for re-election and two new trustees, Thaddeus Richardson and John Kascenska, up for election. All motions passed unanimously.