Eight projects to get more than $160,000 to improve quality of life in Vermont nursing homes

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today announced the “Enhancing Quality of Life” grant recipients.  More than $160,000 will go toward measures that will improve the quality of life for residents in Vermont nursing facilities.“These grants will enable our high quality nursing facilities to further enhance the nursing home residents’ everyday experiences” said Governor Douglas. “I am pleased that we will be able to help our elders live better, fuller lives.”The grants are funded from penalties collected from nursing facilities across the state over the last decade for regulatory deficiencies.  By law, these funds must be directed to improve resident life in Vermont nursing facilities.“It took ten years to accumulate enough money to make this grant process successful,” says Jim Beeler, President of the Vermont Health Care Association, the trade organization representing long term care providers.  “That says something about the high quality services our nursing facilities provide.”The competitive grant process was open to all of Vermont’s 42 nursing facilities as well as others interested in implementing quality improvement projects in nursing facilities.  Eight projects were awarded a combined $166,654.  Winning project ideas ranged from creating a courtyard garden to implementing a nationally recognized end of life program for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia related diseases.Each applicant submitted a proposal on how they would use the money to make improvements for the benefit of nursing home residents.  The projects were required to have a continuing and long-term beneficial effect on the quality of life of residents in nursing homes. “The winning projects are consistent with our members’ continuous focus on quality improvement and ‘culture change’,” said Laura Q.  Pelosi, Executive Director of the Vermont Health Care Association. “We’re excited because these projects will enhance the individual residents’ experiences in such a positive way.”Grant award recipients include Derby Green in Derby; Mountain View Center in Rutland; Pine Heights at Brattleboro; Porter Healthcare and Rehab Center in Middlebury; Starr Farm in Burlington; Thompson House in Brattleboro; the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington; and PHI in coordination with Bel-Aire Center in Newport, Greensboro Nursing Home and Woodridge Nursing Home in Berlin. Grant recipients were acknowledged at an event on May 19.  In addition, the Vermont Health Care Association will designate the 2010 Nursing Home Gold Star Employers to those facilities that have achieved success in creating a workplace that staff enjoy and take pride in.  To round out the day, recipients of the 2010 Nursing Home Quality Awards will be recognized at this event for achieving high standards of quality service and care to residents.  These awards are presented annually to no more than five nursing facilities by the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living based on stringent criteria. Source: Governor’s office. 5.19.2010###last_img read more

USC hits the road to take on UC Irvine

first_imgComing off its first loss of the season to the Long Beach State Dirtbags, USC’s baseball team faced an unusual Southern California weekend of thunderstorms and flooding, which led to a cancelled game on Friday, a postponed game on Saturday and finally a doubleheader on Sunday against the Cal Poly Mustangs.Work horse · Senior Bob Wheatley, who has spent the second-most time on the mound for the Trojans this season, enters tonight’s game against the Anteaters with an 0.47 ERA. Opponents are hitting .179 against him. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanPerhaps this unexpected break arrived at an ideal time for the Trojans, considering they ended the weekend on a high note in a 16-0 shutout in game two of the doubleheader. The Trojans turned all 16 of their hits into runs thanks to stellar hitting by the starting lineup, especially senior catcher Jake Hernandez, who went 4-5 at the plate.Senior starting pitcher Bob Wheatley complemented his teammates’ impressive at-bat efforts by allowing only two hits during his seven innings of work, while striking out a career-high of 10 players.Wheatley thinks Sunday night’s success will definitely affect the way the Trojans enter tonight’s game against the UC Irvine Anteaters at Anteater Ballpark.“It’s a confidence boost any time you can put that many runs on the board, especially against a really good team like Cal Poly,” Wheatley said. “The biggest challenge going into tonight’s game will be responding to Sunday’s big win by remembering why and how we won and trying to repeat those actions again to be successful against UCI.”The Anteaters are led by head coach Mike Gillespie, who was a left-fielder for the Trojans in his college days and was the head coach at USC for 20 years. He led the Trojans to 15 postseason appearances and was named National Coach of the Year by Collegiate Baseball and the American Baseball Coaches Association after leading the Trojans to the national title in 1998.The Anteaters currently hold an 8-3 overall record and a 5-3 mark at home. UCI will be coming into tonight’s game off of a 5-3 win against Portland last Saturday.Despite the Anteaters’ early successes this season, USC head coach Dan Hubbs believes the Trojans will be victorious if they keep up their good hitting streak and play “unselfishly.”“We’re swinging the bat pretty well right now, so we just have to string those at-bats together,” Hubbs said. “We call it playing unselfishly in terms of offense, meaning that the guys need to not try to hit doubles but instead try to hit the ball up the middle and advance runners to give ourselves a chance to win.”The Trojans will also have to adjust in other ways to prepare for tonight’s game, considering it will be the first time this season they take on the Anteaters at Anteater Ballpark.“Playing UCI is tough because it’s a big ballpark, so not a lot of balls go out as far, and it’s cold so the ball doesn’t travel as well,” Wheatley said. “Every game I’ve played there has been a low-scoring game because of these challenges, but in my experience, the team that executes the offensive play the best is who’s going to win.”In terms of pitching, both staffs appear fairly evenly matched, given that the Trojans currently boast a 2.07 ERA compared to the Anteaters’ 1.36.Despite UCI’s slightly better average in this respect, Hubbs feels that the Trojans actually hold the advantage and are more than capable of handling the Anteater pitching staff.“We probably have a little bit more arm strength than they do, but they have good pitchers too who can pitch us off balance,” Hubbs said. “I feel confident that whoever’s pitching staff we face, we can match up on the mound.”In terms of lineup, Hubbs plans on keeping most of the starting players from game two of last Sunday night, with the exception of freshman Jeremy Martinez switching to designated hitter and junior Garrett Stubbs coming in as catcher. Sophomore Brent Wheatley will likely be the starting pitcher.UCI will be the only away game this week before the Trojans return to Dedeaux Field for the weekend. Hubbs believes that perhaps the team’s strongest asset entering tonight’s game is its increasing confidence in its abilities both offensively and defensively.“We know that Irvine is playing really well right now and that they are well-coached,” Hubbs said. “We have to play well to beat them. If we play well, we’re gonna have a good chance to win.”last_img read more