Michael Morse

Rutland Regional announces 2016 employees of the year

RUTLAND — Rutland Regional Medical has named its 2016 clinical and nonclinical employees of the year
Matthew Morse, a registered nurse from the operating room (clinical) and Betty Wos, an assistant in the emergency department (nonclinical), were honored at Rutland Regional’s annual Service Awards Banquet on May 2, 2017. Morse began his service with Rutland Regional in October 2012, first as a traveler, and joined the staff permanently in March 2015. He hails from Norwich, New York and received his nursing degree from SUNY Morrisville in 2007. Morse is noted for his ability to provide calm and comfort to patients and is always eager to assist his team in securing supplies and with room setup. Wos, a native of Ira, started with Rutland Regional in 1975.

Good Beginnings of Central Vermont worker Katie O'Rourke, left, works with a young East Montpelier mom and her baby. A new law provides workplace accommodations to mothers with healthy pregnancies.

New law supports women with healthy pregnancies

On Friday, May 4, Gov. Phil Scott signed bill H.136 into law. Known as Act 21, the legislation provides the same accommodations to working pregnant women that are available to people with disabilities as specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act. “This is an economic equity issue. Women are already in a more financially precarious situation than men in the state of Vermont and this law allows for simple solutions for women to maintain their positions within the workplace during and after their pregnancy,” said Cary Brown, executive director at the Vermont Commission on Women. Act 21 provides an easier process for pregnant workers to receive reasonable accommodations in the workplace, and requires employers to reasonably accommodate a worker’s condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, unless the employer can prove that doing so would pose “undue hardship.”
Under disability laws, employers must accommodate pregnant women’s needs in the workplace during a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, allowing them to stay healthy and prevent problems before they could possibly occur.

Amy Cisz

Nurse recognized for above-and-beyond care

BERLIN — Amy Cisz, a registered nurse, received Central Vermont Medical Center’s second DAISY award for extraordinary nurses in a surprise ceremony recently. Cisz earned the honor for her role helping a severely mentally ill patient who arrived in the emergency department with multiple physical, hygiene and emotional care needs. “While it is an expectation that any of us would care for this patient, Amy stepped up and took the case,” said Matthew Choate, CVMC’s chief nursing office, who has worked with Cisz in CVMC’s emergency department for more than 10 years and presented her with the honor. “When I think about a nurse whom I would want caring for me or my family, Amy comes to the top of any list.”
Cisz spent hours coaxing the patient to accept care. The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem) award is an international recognition program that honors skillful, compassionate care.

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff Photos

Biting satire: Trump doll gives pet toy company ‘yuge’ lift

WILLISTON — A Vermont pet-toy company with roots in Waterbury Center has been growing by leaps and bounds since starting up a year ago, thanks in large part to the previous experience of its owners, an emphasis on creativity and high-quality products — and to President Donald Trump. “When Trump decided to run, it was like a gift from the pet-toy gods,” said John Lika, co-founder of Fuzzu, which started in Waterbury Center before moving in February to its current location in a Williston industrial park. “We just had to start up again.”
Lika founded Fuzzu (pronounced fuz-zoo) with wife Anne Lika, both of whom live in Essex, and Waterbury Center designer Sarah-Lee Terrat. The three 60-somethings had worked together at the Likas’ previous pet-toy company, Fat Cat, which they grew for 13 years before selling the business in 2007. Lika said a long noncompete agreement kept them out of the industry for years after that, but the stars seemed to align as the presidential election started to percolate.

Vermont treasurer leads charge to improve financial literacy

In Vermont, the focus for literacy has taken on a new dimension. State Treasurer Beth Pearce and the state’s Financial Literacy Commission have called for additional strategies to improve the financial capabilities of residents. “The Financial Literacy Commission believes strongly that the State of Vermont can do more to advance the financial capability of our citizens by building on successful programs and more efficiently utilizing existing resources,” said Pearce, who serves as a co-chair of the commission, in a news release. The call to action includes House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, John Pelletier, director of the Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy, and other commission members. The group urged policymakers to take a look at the commission’s 2017 Financial Literacy Report and asked the General Assembly and Vermont leaders to take steps to secure the financial security of all of the state’s residents.

Courtesy photo
Officials at the Montshire Museum are looking at ways to use its 100-acre over the coming decades.

Museum looks to a future spent outdoors

NORWICH — The Montshire Museum of Science is developing a master plan to expand the museum’s outdoor experience for a 100-acre landscape that focuses on discovery. Plans began in 2016, with completion envisioned for 2020. “The master plan has been implemented to unify the vision of the outdoors — to maximize the opportunity of our shoulder seasons. For us, “discovery” pertains to learning science through an interactive process. When you come to visit us we make science accessible by helping people make connections to the world around us and how the world around us works,” said Marcos Stafne, executive director at the Montshire.


Think you’re enjoying your weekends? Guess again

“The Weekend Effect” by Katrina Onstad, 2017, HarperOne, $25.99, 304 pages
Zzzzzzzzzip. That was the sound of your last weekend as it passed by. But it probably doesn’t matter, anyhow: It was packed with work, to-do’s, obligations, kids sports and more work. Sometimes, you wonder why you even bother. You might as well just go to the office.

Mike Mainer

UVM grad Mike Mainer joins DuBois & King

Mike Mainer has joined DuBois & King consulting engineers as a civil/environmental engineer. Mainer is a graduate of the University of Vermont’s environmental engineering program. His six years of professional experience includes design and permitting of residential, commercial and municipal water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure projects, as well as site investigation and remediation of hazardous materials. He resides in Hinesburg and works out of the firm’s Brandon office. DuBois & King provides multidiscipline planning, engineering and environmental services from offices in Randolph, South Burlington, Brandon and Springfield, Vermont, and Bedford and Laconia, New Hampshire.

Andrew Carlson

Visiting Nurse chaplain is employee of the year


RUTLAND — Hospice chaplain and bereavement coordinator Andrew Carlson was named Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region’s 2016 Employee of the Year. The winner is selected from nominations submitted by colleagues based on commitment to exceeding expectations in work and in support or comfort of patients and their families. It recognizes an employee whose work exemplifies the values of respect and dignity of the individual, excellence, honesty and fairness, stewardship of resources, and teamwork. Carlson joined VNAHSR in 2015. “Andrew sees hospice patients and families at a critical juncture in their lives.

Scott Woodward

Second-in-command named for Digital Services team  

MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott and Agency of Digital Services Secretary John Quinn have appointed Scott Woodward deputy secretary of Digital Services. Woodward will join Quinn in leading the newly formed agency, created by Scott and approved by the Legislature. “He is a problem solver with a reputation for successful delivery of service to customers and partners,” said Quinn. “He will be a valuable addition to our team as we work with other agencies and departments to implement Governor Scott’s vision for a more modern, efficient and valuable state government.”

Woodward brings more than 25 years of leadership, consulting and IT experience to the position. He began his career as an officer in the U.S. Army.