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After 37 years of working for Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice (CVHHH) in multiple roles, Connie Colman, Warren, is more excited about healthcare than ever. She is now retired, but still sits on the CVHHH Board of Directors.



What excites him is how the industry has changed and continues to change.

“The good news is that we are moving towards a greater emphasis on preventative health and health maintenance which, when fully implemented, will improve health and reduce costs. At present, we are at the amid a transition from a fee-for-service model to so-called value-based purchasing, where healthcare providers are reimbursed based on the quality of patient outcomes rather than the current predominant system of payment simply based on services provided and medical tests and procedures performed New pay-for-performance incentives push us to place greater emphasis on preventative health maintenance; for example, annual health care visits wellness at your primary care provider and more effective case management of high-risk patients with frequent hospitalizations,” she said.

Beyond that, she said health care has changed so much in her career and is moving upstream through a focus on preventative care.

“We’ve really moved to care that’s more about patient-centred care and informed choices based on a holistic view of what patients need. When you’re in the doctor’s office, you’ll talk about nutrition, exercise, meditation, Tai Chi and other complementary therapies that have become an integral part of health care,” she said.

She said current medical practice is focusing on shorter hospital stays and getting people home sooner with high-tech home nurses.

EFFECTIVE USE OF DOLLARS

Home care and palliative care, which research shows are the most effective use of health care funds and the setting chosen by most patients, will be at the heart of this transition, he said. she adds.

Colman came to nursing after working as a medical social worker, teacher and community organizer for medical aid in Indochina during the Vietnam years. This experience and help dealing with her father’s heart problems led her to apply for an accelerated post-graduate nursing program in 1979.

“I found my passion and never looked back. My favorite rotation was Community Health and after completing my BSN I joined Waterbury Public Health which then merged with Barre Home Health to become CVHHH,” she said.



FIND A HOME

At CVHHH, she said she found a home and a team of people working to help neighbors and community members stay home by learning better ways to manage their health, recover from surgery, or recover from surgery. a disease and face end-of-life challenges.

“The goal is always to help patients become more self-sufficient within the limits of their particular conditions or in the case of end-of-life care, to provide comfort measures to enable patients and caregivers to live more fully. “, she noted.

During her 37 years at CVHHH, she has worked as a home care and palliative care nurse, clinical supervisor, clinical risk manager, quality manager and member of the leadership team. She served on the board of directors of the Vermont Legislatively Appointed Health Care Quality Program and is currently a member of the board of directors of Central Vermont Medical Center.

Working as Director of Quality at CVHHH was her favorite job and in the 1980s she started the agency’s Quality Assessment/Performance Improvement Program to improve service delivery, to collect outcome data and determine where agency was lacking. Then she hired staff to form a team to make improvements.

IN TIP

“It was very cutting edge in healthcare in the 1980s. I worked on it for over 20 years and enjoyed having staff involved in making changes for the better of their patients. and their families,” Colman recalled.

This program continues to this day and has entered the digital age.

“One of our initiatives to reduce hospitalizations was to implement an early telemonitoring program. Where appropriate, families are provided with an iPad tablet which communicates health status data to a designated nurse in the office. This ensures early management of the patient’s symptoms, so that exhausting trips to the emergency department can be avoided. Avoidable hospitalizations limit patient and family stress and system costs,” Colman said.

Colman has a three-dimensional view of how CVHHH operates as a former employee and board member, but also as a recipient of CVHHH’s care. His mother had a spinal cord injury while Colman was a young mother with a 4 and 6 year old at home.



“It was a very difficult situation to manage; she was one of the 2% of people who suffered from insurmountable pain. It took a wonderful team of people from CVHHH to help us with his many medical issues. I could never have done it without the help of the agency. We have nurses, orderlies, therapists and even an art therapist. We were able to have her in our home where she could get out and enjoy nature and be with her grandchildren,” Colman said.

RECOVER FASTER AT HOME

“I have always believed strongly that people recover faster and better when they are at home with the support of family, friends and neighbours. I think people are more relaxed at home. I think families benefit because they feel they can make a loving contribution to their loved one and also contribute to their end-of-life care if that’s the case,” she continued.

“CVHHH’s success depends on the support of our community. You can support us through municipal fundraising, participate in fundraising events, donate to our annual appeals, or on behalf of a specific staff member who has helped you or your loved one. You can also volunteer to help with office work in Berlin or train to become a hospice volunteer. These supports allow us to develop our services and also to subsidize the cost of care for those who have no insurance or inadequate insurance. As long as we can provide safe care in your home, know that we will be there for you, your family and your neighbors, that is our commitment,” she concluded.

Colman grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, and attended Camp Teela-Wooket in Roxbury in high school. Then his family moved to Middlebury. She met her husband Richard Travers in Middlesex and they lived at the Dimetrodon in Warren where he was one of the first three builders of the complex.