Hospital leaders make and donate health and hygiene kits for refugees

Participants from the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems’ annual meeting pose with health and hygiene kits they assembled for refugees as a service project. Courtesy photo.

Service project at Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems 2022 Annual Meeting supports refugee families expected to arrive in Bennington County this year

Vermont Business Magazine Health and hospital leaders who gathered at the 87th annual meeting of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS) joined together to produce health and hygiene kits for refugee families who will arrive in Vermont this year. Since the conference took place in Manchester, the group worked with Bennington County Open Arms (BCOA) to provide essential supplies for the 15 families who are expected to join Bennington County communities this year.

“Above all, we want these families to feel welcomed and supported as they join our cities and towns, so this project is our way of doing just that,” explains Michael Del Trecco, interim president and CEO of VAHHS. “Our kits contained health items that ranged from gauze bandages to heating pads and toiletries from toothbrushes to shaving kits. We know that supplies like this are important for good health and we were happy to provide them to families who will likely come to Vermont with little or nothing,” he notes.

Del Trecco says that participants at the annual meeting packaged the essential supplies into clothes hampers, also important to any household.

President and CEO of University of Vermont Medical Center, Stephen Leffler MD, and other hospital leaders sort supplies for Vermont refugees.

“Bennington County Open Arms (BCOA) sends our appreciation to hospital and health care leaders for the ready-made health and hygiene kits!” says Grace Winslow, a leader in the volunteer organization. “It is donations like these that enormously simplify welcoming families to a new location. Our volunteers know well that shopping for and collating these wonderful baskets of supplies was an expensive and labor-intensive undertaking. Your generous donation will free up BCOA resources to provide additional support to families who are arriving to this brand-new country with only what they can carry and will help them better manage their lives for their first few months here,” she adds.

Del Trecco related that VAHHS members understand how important it is to welcome immigrant families and ensure they have access to Vermont’s health system. To further goals around refugee care, the association heard from Vermont State Refugee Office Director Tracy Dolan as a keynote speaker at the annual meeting.

Health care leaders gather at the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems annual meeting to complete a service project that produced health and hygiene kits for refugee families.

About VAHHS:

VAHHS is a statewide membership organization devoted to improving the health status of communities throughout Vermont and to serving our members in their efforts to develop and sustain high quality health services for Vermonters.

Montpelier, VT – VAHHS