first_imgDear Administrator Mills, Thank you for the support provided by your agency to Vermont small businesses in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.  The SBA was helpful in getting our state on the road to recovery and your assistance was very much appreciated by Vermonters. Based on feedback I have received from businesses harmed by this devastating storm, I am writing today to request that you create a new category of disaster loans for micro businesses that would be more accessible to small businesses like too many in Vermont that were unable to make use of existing SBA programs.  While I appreciate your recent efforts to streamline the disaster loan program, creating a microloan category will more directly address the challenges experienced by Vermont businesses. Over the last nine months, I have spoken with many affected business owners. I heard countless, inspiring stories of the community spirit that emerged to help many them recover. I have also heard the heartbreaking stories of businesses shutting their doors and laying off employees.  The feedback I received exposed a gap in support the federal government provided to recovering businesses. To illustrate the problem, SBA distributed over 1,900 business disaster loan applications in Vermont in the days and weeks following the storm.  Only 234 businesses were ultimately able to submit a completed application, of which only 137 were approved for a loan. Many of our small businesses were besieged in the aftermath of the storm. Employees were working around the clock with a monumental clean up task. They simply were unable to simultaneously compile the paperwork required to apply for a SBA disaster loan.  In some cases, the required three years of financial history had just been washed down the river. Others did not have the systems in place to access information in time to meet the deadline. The documentation required for a loan was simply too onerous for too many damaged and distressed small businesses. Importantly, the businesses needed small amounts of cash immediately in order to make necessary repairs to reopen. Their financial needs were far below the maximum loan amount for a SBA disaster loan. The SBA disaster loan process was simply too complicated and too time consuming for the small amount of money they needed to reopen.  The Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program for businesses needs to be more accessible to micro businesses in rural states like Vermont. Nearly nine out of ten businesses in Vermont have less than ten employees. These businesses are the backbone of our rural economy.  The current program should accommodate their special circumstances with smaller loans, faster turn-around times, and less paperwork. I request that SBA create a new microloan category of disaster loans tailored to meet the needs of businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Small microloans would be a minimal risk to the federal government because of the significantly lower maximum loan amount and would, in a disaster, quickly get cash into the hands of the very small businesses that are essential to the economic health of rural states like Vermont.  I would like to discuss this proposal with you at your earliest convenience.  You can reach me at (202) 225-4115. Sincerely, PETER WELCHMember of Congress In meetings with Vermont small business owners in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, Representative Peter Welch heard one recurring message: Federal disaster relief programs did not always meet their urgent needs. In response, Welch today proposed a new federal disaster relief program tailored to meet the needs of small businesses affected by natural disasters. In the days and weeks following Irene, SBA distributed over 1,900 business disaster loan applications. Only 234 businesses submitted a completed  application, of which only 137 loans were approved. In a letter sent today to the Small Business Administration (SBA), Welch is asking SBA Administrator Karen Mills to create a new microloan category within the existing SBA disaster loan program. Targeting businesses with fewer than 50 employees, this new loan program would provide smaller, expedited loans with reduced paperwork requirements. In his letter, Welch reported to Mills that, â Many of our small businesses were besieged in the aftermath of the storm. Employees were working around the clock with a monumental clean up task. They simply were unable to simultaneously compile the paperwork required to apply for a SBA disaster loan. In some cases, the required three years of financial history had just been washed down the river. Others did not have the systems in place to access information in time to meet the deadline. The documentation required for a loan was simply too onerous for too many damaged and distressed small businesses.â  Welch’s proposal grew out of meetings with small businesses throughout Vermont. In addition to visits in the immediate aftermath of Irene, Welch in April conducted a small businesses listening tour to gather feedback on federal disaster relief programs. Welch visited Snowfire Auto and Arvadâ s Grill and Pub in Waterbury, North Star Bowling in Wilmington and WW Building Supply in Newfane. Photo: Kerosene leaks at a mobile home park in Waterbury.Welchâ s full letter to SBA Administrator Mills is copied below.July 9, 2012 The Honorable Karen G. MillsAdministratorUnited States Small Business Administration409 3rd Street, SWWashington, DC 20416last_img read more

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first_imgGW Plastics Inc,GW Silicones has announced the completion of its new facility at the GW Plastics Technical Campus in Royalton, Vermont. The $3.5 million expansion, which began in the fall of 2011, includes a 15,000-square-foot expansion that is scalable to 25,000 square feet. The new state-of-the-art Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) molding and assembly facility is capable of supporting up to 18 new injection machines and features an ISO Class 8 cleanroom along with expanded office, engineering and conference space.‘Our customers are increasingly looking to silicone as an alternative to thermoplastic because of its unique biocompatibility and performance attributes ‘it is odorless, tasteless, stainless, bacteria-resistant, easy to clean and sterilize, and works extremely well in complex injection molding applications with extremely fine detail and very tight tolerances,’explains Terri Marion, GW Silicones Business Development Manager. ‘The expansion of GW Silicones reflects our commitment to meeting our customers’growing demand for cutting-edge silicone applications in the medical device/healthcare and automotive markets.’GW Silicones, a division of GW Plastics (http://www.gwplastics.com/en(link is external)), delivers cost-effective solutions for the complex molding and manufacture of liquid silicone rubber (LSR) and unique multi-material components and assemblies to the medical device/healthcare market. GW Silicones specializes in product design and development, in-house precision tooling, and scientific injection molding along with a variety of contract manufacturing services. ‘With the recent expansion of our manufacturing facility in Royalton, VT, we can now offer improved production scalability along with our world class speed to market, quality and delivery,’said Mark Hammond, General Manager of GW Silicones. Royalton, VT, USA – July 24, 2012last_img read more

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first_imgA broad array of talent and remembrances will take the stage on Tuesday, August 28 at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph to commemorate the first anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene.  Following the statewide ringing of bells at 7 PM, the ‘We Are Vermont Strong’ program will kick off with a performance by the Vermont Youth Orchestra and Chorus. Other featured musical performers include Jon Gailmor, Shyla Nelson and Diane Martin. The program will also feature remarks from the Governor and Lieutenant Governor as well as Senators Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch.  Several short films will recall the struggle and the spirit that emerged from the disaster. ‘August 28th marks a significant milestone in Vermont’s heroic effort to recover from the state’s greatest disaster of this generation,’said Irene Recovery Officer Sue Minter. ‘Events to mark this historic moment are being held in communities around the state. The Chandler event will reflect on what the state has been through and recognize Irene survivors and the heroes who have helped them, as well as those who continue in recovery efforts.’ An Irene Art Exhibition will also be on display at Chandler’s Gallery beginning at 4 PM.  This special exhibit includes paintings by Sarah-Lee Terrat, James Jahrsdoerfer and other Vermont artists; a photography exhibit; a collection of artwork from Vermonters of all ages produced in response to Irene; and a Vermont Folklife Center multimedia installation of flood survivor stories. Many recovery and emergency response organizations will be present as well. A variety of food vendors’all themselves impacted by Irene’will be on site beginning with the opening of the gallery exhibit at 4 PM, including American Flatbread, Ana’s Mexican Loncheria and VT Maple BBQ, and Ben and Jerry’s will be scooping free ice cream inside the gallery. Doors to the main event open at 6:35 PM. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Vermonters are also encouraged to ring bells in their communities as one unifying activity across the state at 7 PM, August 28th and to share your Irene stories and photographs on our Facebook page. For more information visit: http://vtstrong.vermont.gov(link is external)Source: State of Vermont, 8.23.2012last_img read more

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first_imgDavid Robinson, Acting State Director for USDA Rural Development announces that three non-profits in the Northeast Kingdom each received $100,000 in grant funds. They are Gilman Housing Trust, Inc, d/b/a Rural Edge, Northeast Employment and Training Organization and Vermont Center for Independent Living. The Northeast Kingdom (Essex, Orleans and Caledonia Counties) region is a USDA designated Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone and this project has been approved by the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative ‘ the governing body which provides oversight to the Rural Economic Action Plan. ‘This is very exciting for our REAP Zone and our Housing Preservation Grant program.  These funds help to assists existing programs to take care of the serious issues in these homes in this area.  This is one of many great partnering accomplishments for USDA and all of the other funders in Vermont.’ said David Robinson.The Housing Preservation Grant is structured to help assist households with repair/rehab, weatherization, health & safety issues, accessibility, and more to single family dwellings.  Vermont Center for Independent Living has received funds twice for this area.  This year they plan on assisting 17 very low households.Northeast Employment and Training, Inc. has been with this program since 2006.  They have had a very strong weatherization program that this grant has helped keep going strong.  They are assisting 30 very low households.Gilman Housing Trust, Inc. d/b/a Rural Edge has been USDA’s longest partner in this program and the grant money has worked very well with their revolving loan fund program as well as the success they have receiving funds from other funders.  They will be assisting 15 very low income households in this area.   Joe Allard, Rehab Specialist, RuralEdge, stated, ‘One recipient, Julie Perry of Newport contacted us and asked for assistance in getting a new water heater and an accessible ramp.  Once the Initial Site Visit was completed, we found that the bathroom was not accessible and that changes needed to be made here for the owner to safely use the bathroom. The fuel oil tank was also badly rusted and appeared to seep out some oil around the fittings.  We have pooled together funding from our HPG program, Vermont Center for Independent Living’s HAP program, and two small grants from NEKCA and the State of Vermont ANR’s fuel tank replacement program.  She now has a new fuel tank, a new water heater, and a completely modified bathroom.  There are other items that are being addressed on this home today.’ “The population Gilman Housing Trust, Inc., d/b/a RuralEdge serves is extremely stressed.  Cultural resistance to accepting assistance often leads to clients approaching us only when conditions become unlivable.  Additionally, as the poorest region in a rural state, our clients are often at 30% median income or well below. Without the program’s ability to grant HPG funds, most of these applicants would either have to leave their home – with few or no options – or attempt to persist in very difficult circumstances.  It is no overstatement to say that HPG funds are saving lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.” George Mathias, Chief Operating Officer, RuralEdge.President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way ‘ strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities. USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as the Department implements sequestration ‘ the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.USDA Rural Development 8.15.2013last_img read more

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first_imgTasha Wallis, Executive Director of the Vermont Retail Association (VRA), has announced the winners of the 2013 VRA Retailer of the Year Awards. According to Wallis, ‘More than 40,000 Vermonters are employed in retail-related businesses, making up approximately 16% of the entire work force. Given the retail sector’s critical importance to the state’s economy, VRA launched its Retailer of the Year Awards (ROYs) in 2009 to recognize excellence in the retail industry. With so many deserving candidates, this year’s selection was particularly challenging. In the end, though, our 2013 winners were clearly the best of the best.’Formal presentation of the awards will take place at a luncheon on September 10th at Boyden Valley Winery in Cambridge. 2013 VRA RETAILER OF THE YEAR: Farm-Way, Bradford  Farm-Way has been owned and operated by the Metayer and Gallerani families since 1983. Originally situated in a restored Purina Mills building, the business sold bird feed, grain, livestock supplies, and a selection of merchandise. Responding to customer demands, over the years Farm-Way’s owners added clothing for work and recreation, footwear, gear, sporting goods, and housewares. Today, the business comprises 17 acres and maintains $4 million worth of inventory, including sought-after brands like Patagonia, Columbia, The North Face, Merrell, and many others. With 33 full-time and two-part time employees, it registers $10 million in annual sales. Through its website, www.vermontgear.com(link is external), Farm-Way serves customers throughout the U.S. and Canada and around the world.  An especially noteworthy accomplishment is Farm-Way’s 59.5 kilowatt solar array system, which supplies 43% of its power. The largest array of its type in Vermont at the time of its installation, it has inspired many other solar systems, some even larger than Farm-Way’s original.  Farm-Way is an official Vermont Attraction and has been named a Yankee Magazine Editor’s Choice.  ‘Many thanks to all of our customers for their support over the years,’said Farm-Way owner Carol Metayer. We have appreciated them bringing their friends and families here to visit and all their feedback and encouragement. Also thanks to our incredible staff and to the Vermont Retail Association for its support and recognition.’ 2013 VRA COMMUNITY GEM:  Advance Music Center, BurlingtonIn 1992, Mike Trombley listened to the other side of his brain and left his career at a local design and engineering firm to buy half of Advance Music Center. A lifelong musician and 30-year member of the band, Quadra, Mike felt this was a chance to turn a hobby into a career.  He has not looked back.  Advance Music Center was established in 1982 in Middlebury.  The business moved to Church Street in Burlington in 1984, to lower Main Street in 1990, and then to its current location at 75 Maple Street in 1994. Mike bought out his partner in 1997 and has been diversifying and expanding the business ever since.  In 1998, Advance started its lesson program, which currently includes seven instructors and more than 200 students. 2001 brought the addition of Advance System Design, a division specializing in design, integration, and installation of intelligent audio/video solutions. In 2009, Advance bought MusiCraft, a Waitsfield company specializing in instrument sales, rentals, and repairs. Advance also has a full-service electronic and stringed instrument repair department. The company has 22 full-  and part-time employees.  Advance Music is honored to have been the recipient of the Seven Days ‘Daysies’ award as the best local music store since the inception of that prestigious award.  2013 VRA Greentailer of the Year:  Vermont Farm Table, BurlingtonIn 2008, Dustin Glasscoe observed that the furniture market was dominated by high-gloss, manufactured veneers and lacquer-finished hardwoods. He believed that warmer, cleaner, and more approachable furniture of balanced proportions could be built with hand-selected, reclaimed materials and non-toxic finishes. He started doing just that in his Shelburne garage. By 2011, with business flourishing, Vermont Farm Table moved to Burlington. Dustin’s commitment to his original vision of sustainability and community values remains firm. Wood and material come from barns, silos, and aging facilities such as the old Waterbury Train Station. Roughly 50% of total sales are products made from reclaimed woods. The business supports family farms by sourcing its ‘new’ wood from them. All woods used are sustainably grown and harvested. Finishes are non-toxic and waste is reduced to a minimum.VRA 8.16.2013last_img read more

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first_imgThe University of Vermont rose 10 places to 82 in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report college rankings. UVM was also ranked 34th among 173 public universities and 14th on the magazine’s “Up-and-Coming-Schools” list. Up-and-coming schools are those “making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty and student life,” the magazine says. The schools were selected based on the number of nominations they received from top college officials in their ranking peer group.”We’re pleased to have risen ten spots among national universities in U.S. News & World Reports’ latest rankings,” said UVM president Tom Sullivan. “The reason for the rise, largely, is an improvement in the university’s graduation rate, where the university shines, especially compared with other publics. It’s also gratifying to be on the magazine’s ‘Up & Coming Schools’ list, since that designation comes from our peers at other national universities who have noticed the great strides UVM has made recently and over the last decade.” UVM 9.10.2013last_img read more

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first_imgA new study from the University of Vermont shows that removing native forest and starting intensive agriculture can accelerate erosion so dramatically that in a few decades as much soil is lost as would naturally occur over thousands of years. Had you stood on the banks of the Roanoke, Savannah, or Chattahoochee Rivers 100 years ago, you’d have seen a lot more clay soil washing down to the sea than before European settlers began clearing trees and farming there in the 1700s. Around the world, it is well known that deforestation and agriculture increases erosion above its natural rate.But accurately measuring the natural rate of erosion for a landscape — and, therefore, how much human land use has accelerated this rate — has been a devilishly hard task for geologists. And that makes environmental decision-making — such as setting allowable amounts of sediment in fish habitat and land use regulation — also difficult.Now research on these three rivers and seven other large river basins in the US Southeast has, for the first time, precisely quantified this background rate of erosion. The scientists made a startling discovery: rates of hillslope erosion before European settlement were about an inch every 2,500 years, while during the period of peak land disturbance in the late 1800s and early 1900s, rates spiked to an inch every 25 years.“That’s more than a hundred-fold increase,” says Paul Bierman, a geologist at the University of Vermont who co-led the new study with his former graduate student and lead author Luke Reusser, and geologist Dylan Rood at Imperial College, London. “Soils fall apart when we remove vegetation,” Bierman says, “and then the land erodes quickly.”Their study was presented online Jan. 7 in the February issue of the journal Geology. Their work was supported by the National Science Foundation.Precious resource“Our study shows exactly how huge an effect European colonization and agriculture had on the landscape of North America,” says Dylan Rood. “Humans scraped off the soil more than 100 times faster than other natural processes!”Along the southern Piedmont from Virginia to Alabama — that stretch of rolling terrain between the Appalachian Mountains and the coastal plain of the Atlantic Ocean — clay soils built up for many millennia. Then, in just a few decades of intensive logging, and cotton and tobacco production, as much soil eroded as would have happened in a pre-human landscape over thousands of years, the scientists note. “The Earth doesn’t create that precious soil for crops fast enough to replenish what the humans took off,” Rood says. “It’s a pattern that is unsustainable if continued.”The scientist collected 24 sediment samples from these rivers — and then applied an innovative technique to make their measurements. From quartz in the sediment, Bierman and his team at the University of Vermont’s Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory extracted a rare form of the element beryllium, an isotope called beryllium-10. Formed by cosmic rays, the isotope builds up in the top few feet of the soil. The slower the rate of erosion, the longer soil is exposed at Earth’s surface, the more beryllium-10 it accumulates. Using an accelerator mass spectrometer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the geologists measured how much beryllium-10 was in their samples — giving them a kind of clock to measure erosion over long time spans.These modern river sediments revealed rates of soil loss over tens of thousands of years. This allowed the team to compare these background rates to post-settlement rates of both upland erosion and downriver sediment yield that have been well documented since the early 1900s across this Piedmont region.While the scientists concluded that upland erosion was accelerated by a hundred-fold, the amount of sediment at the outlets of these rivers was increased only about five to ten times above pre-settlement levels, meaning that the rivers were only transporting about six percent of the eroded soil. This shows that most of the material eroded over the last two centuries still remains as “legacy sediment,” the scientists write, piled up at the base of hillslopes and along valley bottoms.“There’s a huge human thumbprint on the landscape, which makes it hard to see what nature would do on its own,” Bierman says, “but the beauty of beryllium-10 is that it allows us to see through the human fingerprint to see what’s underneath it, what came before.”“This study helps us understand how nature runs the planet,” he says, “compared to how we run the planet.”Soil conservationAnd this knowledge, in turn, can “help to inform land use planning,” Bierman says. “We can set regulatory goals based on objective data about how the landscape used to work.” Often, it is difficult to know whether conservation strategies — for example, regulations about TMDL’s (total maximum daily loads) of sediment — are well fitted to the geology and biology of a region. “In other words, an important unsolved mystery is: “How do the rates of human removal compare to ‘natural’ rates, and how sustainable are the human rates?” Rood asks.While this new study shows that erosion rates were unsustainable in the recent past, “it also provides a goal for the future,” Rood says. “We can use the beryllium-10 erosion rates as a target for successful resource conservation strategies; they can be used to develop smart environmental policies and regulations that will protect threatened soil and water resources for generations to come.”PHOTO: Hurricane Isabel flooding the Potomac River at Great Falls, Va., carrying sediment eroded from farm fields upstream (Photo credit: Paul Bierman, 2003).last_img read more

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first_imgVermont Business Magazine Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), have announced the Q2 2016 results of their joint initiative, the VBR-EPR Business Conditions Survey. For this reporting period, the diffusion index shows a decline in optimism from Q1 2016 to Q2 2016, indicating that Vermont CEOs continue to feel neutral to mildly pessimistic about the business climate for the coming three months. The survey, which is conducted quarterly, provides both a look back at the previous quarter and a predictive index going forward. The data for both the backward and forward-looking questions are weighted to the Vermont economy by sector employment and turned into “diffusion indices.” These diffusion indices provide a tool for analyzing and presenting insight into the Vermont economy over time through the sentiments of the Roundtable members.The raw survey data can be easily compared to the national Business Roundtable CEO Survey, a quarterly survey of national and multi-national companies, which contains similar questions to the VBR/EPR Survey in terms of employment and capital spending. Comparing these two surveys revealed that Vermont companies are more positive-to-neutral about employment stability than national companies, while capital spending outlooks were slightly less optimistic than in the past for VBR respondents and more closely align with BRT results.Each question on the survey is weighted by sector employment and the diffusion number is formulated by giving each “strong positive” answer a numerical value of 1.0, “mild positive” answers a numerical value of 0.5, neutral answers a value of 0, “mild negative” answers a value of -0.5, and strong negative values of -1.0. The diffusion index numbers are then formulated based on these numerical values. A value of 100 would mean that every respondent answered “strong positive”, a value of 0 would mean that every respondent answered neutrally, and a value of -100 would mean that every respondent answered “strong negatively.”Overall FindingsThe latest survey, which was conducted during the first two weeks of April 2016, achieved a response rate of 74 percent overall and included a 50 percent or greater response rate from all but three sectors within the membership. The survey asked eight retrospective and prospective questions about the CEOs’ economic outlook, demand, capital spending, and employment. Survey results show that:Most responses to the question about the state’s overall business climate outlook were neutral (51%). The remaining responses were split between optimistic (28%) and pessimistic (20%).More than 60 percent of respondents (62%) shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions; and,The education sector had the most optimistic outlook on the general business climate, while the health care sector had the least optimistic outlook.Graph #1 below shows the diffusion index of overall economic outlook, which measures the level of confidence (optimism or pessimism) respondents have about different aspects of the economy based on the first question on the survey, and can range from 100 (where 100% of respondents answered “strong positive”) to -100 (where 100% of respondents answered “strong negative”).Graph #2 above shows the composite index of the diffusion index points for the questions relating to demand, capital spending, and employment in the next three months. The majority of responses were neutral and the index point slid from a mildly optimistic index point of 19 last survey to an index point of 9 this survey, indicating a shift toward true neutral. The outlook remains in the neutral range.Also included in the survey was the opportunity for Roundtable members to express their opinions on other topics adversely affecting their businesses. The greatest frequency of responses from members concerned high taxes and tax policies, health care costs, economic growth/development in Vermont, and the difficulty of finding workers.The next survey will be conducted in early July 2016.The Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of chief executive officers of Vermont’s leading private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues. www.vtroundtable.org(link is external).Economic & Policy Resources, Inc. (EPR) has been providing private and public sector clients throughout the U.S. and Canada with problem-solving economic research and analysis services for more than 25 years. Our professionals bring a broad spectrum and a deep reservoir of problem-solving knowledge and experience in applied economics to each assignment. We put our capabilities and experience to work for our clients so that they have the insight and understanding necessary to move forward with confidence. EPR has successfully completed assignments throughout the United States and in eastern Canada. www.epreconomics.com(link is external).last_img read more

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first_imgE4H Environments for Health Architecture,by Jennifer Arbuckle, Partner, E4H Environments for Health Architecture There is a continuing trend throughout the country towards an integrated, “one-stop shop” medical village.  The objective is to modernize and improve care delivery by integrating hospital care with retail, housing, elder care and living systems. As market forces drive the need to streamline, consolidate and achieve greater efficiencies, while consumers expect greater access and convenience, and as reimbursement models favor holistic care rather than periodic treatment incidents, a more comprehensive architectural design approach is needed. The healthcare village approach is evident in the new partnerships forming among healthcare providers, government agencies and real estate companies to pursue these projects, reflecting greater collaboration and a more coordinated way of delivering care. More frequently we are seeing urgent care, elder care, preventative care, health education, and other outpatient services clustered in one-stop shopping destinations.Medical villages feature flexible, adaptable facilities that are designed to accommodate, and anticipate, evolutions in care delivery and technology. They achieve new efficiencies in how space is used, enabling clinical and administrative services to provide multiple functions simultaneously – reducing overall costs.Patients visiting a medical village can benefit in terms of time, convenience, and access. They can connect with multiple providers in one location, accessing both primary and urgent care, lab work, rehabilitation services, and pharmacy, while also attending educational and wellness classes, all within walking distance.E4H Environments for Health Architecture, a nationwide architecture and design firm exclusively focused on healthcare, is at the forefront of this design trend, engaged in many such projects across the country.  E4H’s modular designs focus on creating spaces that can be multi-functional, with maximum flexibility, using the same area, for example, for a rotating specialty clinic one week, and once a month infusion therapy the next week.  Exam rooms are designed to be as uniform as possible, enabling use by any type of provider from psychiatric to cardiology. Likewise, procedure rooms are not dedicated to only one type of procedure, but designed for flexible use. There are shared reception and waiting areas, staff support areas, and bathrooms saving the cost of excess square footage and services. Private offices are minimal, staff work areas are open and collaborative, with areas for private consultation strategically located throughout.   Some examples of E4H’s medical village projects from around the country, supported by these unique funding partnerships, include:In TICONDEROGA, New York, The entire Inter-Lakes Health campus, which houses Moses Ludington Hospital, is being transformed into “a medical village”. This project entails 26,000 SF of renovations, expected to be complete in late 2018. The hospital will include an emergency department, diagnostic imaging, an outpatient clinic, PT/Rehab, Lab, and Pharmacy. and adjacent on the same campus there will be senior housing, a nursing home, adult home, dental clinic, and a primary care center, as well as hospice care and substance-abuse treatment. The $9 million project is being funded in part by New York’s Department of Health. A critical part to the project’s completion is the hospital’s partnership with the University of Vermont Health Network, which will further enable the system to bring all new modern facilities to serve more North Country patients. This collaborative approach to design will allow the system to bring an expanded array of outpatient services to their patients, without expanding the footprint of the hospital.This project is supported by New York State’s major grant program, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Program, aimed at a fundamental restructuring of the healthcare delivery system, and reducing avoidable hospital use by 25% over 5 years. The Harker Heights Medical Pavilion, a three-story, 60,000SF medical office building located on the Seton Medical Center campus in Harker Heights, Texas.  Rendina Healthcare Real Estate, one of the largest full-service healthcare real estate firms in the country, developed the building in joint ownership with the many specialists who occupy offices there.  Patients have access to numerous medical specialties all under one roof including family practice, internal medicine, cardiology, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, rheumatology, and urology. One of the first such projects E4H Environments for Health Architecture completed was for Dartmouth Hitchcock in Nashua NH. This multi-specialty medical office/ambulatory care building accommodates both primary and specialty care patients in a collaborative environment. Diagnostic testing, endoscopy, MRI/CT, and infusion therapy are provided on site as well as a walk-in clinic for same-day care. Clinical and support programs include pediatrics, family medicine, oncology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, and space for visiting specialists. This 150,000SF space was designed with E4H’s modular approach, creating a Lean environment with extraordinary flexibility for future use. It includes collaborative off stage areas, instead of private physician offices, and saved valuable square footage for clinical space. The design supports this patient-centered Medical Home model where a primary care team, led by the physician, works collaboratively to address the acute, chronic, and preventative needs of patients.The pace of change in healthcare delivery will only increase in the coming years, with new technologies, medical treatments, and certain economic pressures and changes to payment models. Creative public/private partnerships, integrated campus models and design innovations that can readily adapt will be critical to that future. No one can afford to let space sit idle, so increasing flexibility of usage allows healthcare providers to do more with less and improves the patient experience at the same time.Jennifer Arbuckle, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Partner, E4H, WillistonJennifer has 27 years of diverse healthcare experience. She has guided many projects from master planning through construction and is a talented planner, architect, and designer. She has worked on projects across New York State and New England, ranging from Children’s Hospitals to Community Medical Centers. She is also the Chair of the Vermont Board of Architects.last_img read more

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first_imgKeurig Dr Pepper,Vermont Business Magazine Keurig Green Mountain, Inc, based in Waterbury, has introduced a new lineup of brewer colors just in time for the spring and summer seasons. Knowing the importance of color in the kitchen, Keurig worked closely with its longtime partner, the Pantone Color Institute to create an assortment of new beautiful and bold colors for select Keurig brewers that complement a variety of design aesthetics.“With today’s continually evolving design and color trends, consumers have so many ways of incorporating different accents into their home” says Phil Drapeau, Vice President of Hot System Appliances. “Each year we look forward to introducing new colors to our Keurig coffee maker lineup so consumers can bring their own personal style into the kitchen.”Influenced by the antioxidant ingredients of fruits and vegetables, Black Plum(link is external) is a rich blue-based purple with a hint of red. Magical and mystical, Black Plum adds visual interest and drama to any environment in which it is placed. Black Plum is offered exclusively in the K15 series brewer, sold on www.keurig.com(link is external) and other leading retailers for $99.99.Keurig also introduces Plum Gray(link is external) as part of its offering, a contemporary lavender gray hue that is the essence of subtlety. Ideal for those with tempered tastes, Plum Gray invites harmony and composure into the kitchen. A natural with stainless steel appliances, Plum Gray is considered one of the most desirable colors outside of black to consumers and is offered exclusively in the K200 series brewer, sold on www.keurig.com(link is external) and other leading retailers for $129.99.Combining a sense of nostalgia with modernity, Keurig’s third new spring color for 2017, Oasis(link is external), is a soft and cool green blue color with a vintage feel. Oasis was a main theme throughout kitchen appliances and décor at The International Home and Housewares Show in March 2017 and continues to be a trending color for all ages. The K200 brewer in Oasis will now be launched more broadly. Keurig is bringing this color to the K200 series brewer, sold on www.keurig.com(link is external) and other leading retailers for $129.99.In addition to the newly introduced colors above, Keurig has also coordinated with key retail partners to develop color exclusives including the K15 Brewer in Oasis available only at Target later this summer, the K200 series brewers in Graphite and Denim Blue sold exclusively at Kohl’s as well as K15 series brewer in Greenery, the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year.For more information on the wide variety of colors available for your Keurig coffee maker, please visit www.Keurig.com(link is external)About Keurig Green Mountain, IncKeurig Green Mountain, Inc. (Keurig) is reimagining how beverages can be created, personalized, and enjoyed, fresh-made in homes and workplaces. We are a personal beverage system company revolutionizing the beverage experience through the power of innovative technology and strategic brand partnerships. With an expanding family of more than 70 beloved brands and 445 beverage varieties, our Keurig® hot beverage system delivers great taste, convenience, and choice at the push of a button. As a company founded on social responsibility, we are committed to using the power of business to brew a better world through our work to build resilient supply chains, sustainable products, thriving communities, and a water-secure world. Keurig is a private business owned by an investment group led by JAB Holding Co. For more information visit: www.KeurigGreenMountain.com(link is external). To purchase Keurig products visit: www.keurig.com(link is external), www.keurig.ca(link is external), www.keurig.co.uk(link is external), www.keurig.co.kr(link is external).About The Pantone Color InstituteThe Pantone Color Institute™ is the consulting arm within Pantone that forecasts global color trends, advises companies on color in brand identity and product development, and on color assurance programs. Through seasonal trend forecasts, color psychology, and custom color consulting, the Pantone Color Institute partners with global brands to leverage the power, psychology and emotion of color in their design strategy.Source: Keurig 6.5.2017last_img read more

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