Vermont Business Magazine Granite United Way (GUW) recently awarded a grant of $15,000 to Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center (MAHHC) in support of the Windsor Connection Resource Center (WCRC), a Hospital-sponsored community program that connects local residents with health and human services resources.
“This award is wonderful news for the WCRC and for our entire community,” said Jill Lord, RN, MS, and Director of Community Health at Mt. Ascutney Hospital. “It will allow us to continue to serve individuals and families in the Windsor region, and to expand our services and outreach.”
Founded in 2002, the WCRC works to promote a healthier community by ensuring that everyone in the region has the information and tools necessary to access vital health and social services programs.
"The WCRC meets a critical need in our region," explains Lord. "Because of the rural nature of our communities, we have many residents who lack adequate transportation or understanding of how to access the services they need. For many, it is a continuing struggle to find the resources they need to stay healthy and keep their family members healthy. At the WCRC we guide people to the programs and providers that meet their unique needs – which might even include the need for transportation to appointments, or other support services.”
In 2015, a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) conducted by Mt. Ascutney Hospital, in collaboration with Valley Regional Hospital, New London Hospital, Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, identified 12 major areas of concern that the WCRC is striving to address. In the order in which they were ranked on the CHNA, they are: alcohol and drug misuse (including heroin and pain medication abuse); the cost of prescription drugs; access to mental health care; access to adequate affordable health insurance; access to dental health care; lack of physical activity; poor nutrition; mental illness; access to primary health care; health care for seniors; and tobacco use.
Lord notes that many problems on the list have an economic, educational, or mental health component. “Federal, state and local budget cuts, fragmented health and social service programs, lack of jobs and low educational attainment – these also play a role, not just in individual health, but in the overall well-being of a community. And health care is just one component of that. We also need to address other issues which impact community well-being, such as affordable housing, child care, drug and alcohol treatment programs, job training and mental health services.”
“Everything is connected,” says Lord. “And through the WCRC’s interagency case management approach, struggling individuals or families are assisted holistically by many collaborating partners.”
“Our name really says it all,” Jill Lord notes. “We connect people to resources, and then, hopefully, they can connect with a better life.”
In awarding the Granite United Way grant, Patrick Tufts, President, and CEO of the agency expressed his enthusiastic support of the WCRC, saying, “Granite United Way is proud to partner with agencies like Mt. Ascutney Hospital because their work aligns with our community’s most pressing needs.”
About Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center
Founded in 1933, Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center is a not-for-profit community hospital including the Critical Access-designated Mt. Ascutney Hospital in Windsor, Vermont, and Ottauquechee Health Center in Woodstock, Vermont. Affiliated with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the Hospital provides people in communities across the Upper Connecticut River Valley with primary care and a comprehensive suite of specialty services, along with 25 inpatient beds, an Emergency Department, a therapeutic pool and an acclaimed Rehabilitation Center including ten inpatient beds. Mt. Ascutney Hospital is a recipient of the national Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, one of the most prestigious awards in healthcare, and is accredited by both the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) at the highest level possible.
About Granite United Way
Granite United Way is an experienced and trusted organization dedicated to leveraging the resources of investors and volunteers to create lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of our community’s most pressing needs. Granite United Way is committed to improving the lives of individuals and families by supporting programs in the areas of education, income and health. Granite United Way works with over 1,000 companies, 25,000 investors and thousands of volunteers every year to make our communities a better place. Granite United Way holds distinguished recognitions by both GuideStar and Charity Navigator, nationally known charity evaluators.
Granite United Way serves the Central Region, Merrimack County, North Country, Northern Region, Southern (Manchester/Derry/Salem), and Upper Valley Regions of NH and VT as well as Windsor County, VT.