On June 10, 2015 Gifford officially celebrated the opening of the new Menig Nursing Home, an anchor facility for a new senior living campus on 30-acres of meadow land overlooking the Green Mountains in Randolph Center, Vermont. Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott, Green Mountain Care Board Chair Al Gobeille, and Division of Licensing and Protection Director Suzanne Leavitt were among the distinguished guests who gathered to cut a red ribbon that stretched across the entrance to the new building. Neighbors and community members, many who supported the project through a long planning and permitting process, joined Gifford staff and Menig residents—who had settled into their new home a week earlier—to share stories and a celebration cake.
The new Morgan Orchards Senior Living Community has been designed to provide much-needed local living options for area seniors. Future independent and assisted living units are planned to offer people a continuum of care as they age.
Scott noted that the project was a true example of doing things the “Vermont way” — from the construction jobs brought to local businesses, to the “recycling” of vacated hospital space into private patient rooms and the successful $3.5 million raised so far in an ongoing $5 million capital campaign.
“This tells me that you have the faith and trust of those around you here in Vermont,” he said. “This trust hasn’t been blindly given; it is something you have earned year in and year out.”
Green Mountain Care Board Chair Al Gobeille also noted the significant community support for the project, and spoke of the importance of integrating healthcare into our communities. “Everything Gifford has done here has been to properly integrate healthcare into this community,” he said. “The Gifford team has worked hard to bring this community the best care continuum you can get.”
Vice President of Surgical Services Rebecca O’Berry thanked those who helped complete the project: retired Gifford Facilities Director Theron Manning; Architect Bob Mallette and Morris Switzer Associates; Dan Smith, Stuart Nutting and HP Cummings Construction Company; Rob Favali and Dubois and King; Albie Borne and Bates and Murray; Jeff Gilman and WB Rogers; New England Air; Green Mountain Drywall; and John Benson.
Gifford Administrator Joseph Woodin pointed out that Gifford has worked with some of these local contractors for decades.
“Relationships are important in all that we do at Gifford — with the community and with local businesses. This whole facility is built on staff and the relationships they have with patients and with each other,” he said. “Menig itself was named for a couple who chose to donate their money to help those in the community they loved.”
Howard Menig moved to Braintree when he retired as a chief engineer with Standard Oil. After he died in 2001, his wife Gladys discovered a significant collection of valuable company stock.
“Gladys Menig didn’t spend the money on herself, she donated to Gifford, which helped us build the original nursing home at the hospital,” Woodin said. “Today we are carrying the Gladys and Howard Menig name forward here in this new facility.”
Gifford is a community hospital in Randolph, Vermont, with family health centers in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, and Rochester and specialty services throughout central Vermont. A Federally Qualified Health Center and a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country, Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department; inpatient and rehabilitation units; many surgical services; accredited cancer program; a day care; two adult day programs; and a 30-bed nursing home, the Menig Extended Care Facility, which was named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best 39 nursing homes in the country in 2012. The Birthing Center, established in 1977, was the first in Vermont to offer an alternative to the traditional hospital-based deliveries, and continues to be a leader in midwifery and family-centered care. The cancer program is accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The hospital’s mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.