News and announcements from SVHC


Fall Healthier Living Workshop helps patients manage chronic pain

Living with a chronic pain is never easy or straightforward. The Healthier Living Workshop—a free, fun, and interactive six-week educational program in southern Vermont—can help patients manage symptoms and gain skills to live their best life possible every day.

Registration for the fall session is open now. The workshop is scheduled 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 6, 13, and 20 and Nov. 3, 10, and 17 at Equinox Terrace, 324 Equinox Terrace Rd., Manchester Center. Sessions are confidential, and family and supportive friends are welcome.

The Healthier Living Workshops were created by Stanford University and are sponsored through a grant from the Vermont Blueprint for Health. Certified leaders offer sessions packed with ideas participants can use to stay optimistic; cope with loss, frustrations, and fear; manage pain; de-stress, relax, and beat fatigue; reduce depression; and improve self-confidence. Participants set their own goals, and learn to improve communication with medical team members and loved ones, increase activity, improve nutrition, feel better, and take an active role in their care.

Participants also make valuable connections with others coping with similar challenges and receive a free resource book and relaxation CD that offer even more information about the topics discussed. Many who've taken the workshop have called them "truly life-changing." Those interested in attending should contact Kathy Dockum, regional coordinator, at 802-440-4098 or

FreshStart classes offered to help people quit tobacco

Quitting tobacco is among the most difficult things someone can do. Many people benefit from attending a weekly class to help them quit. Through a cooperation among the American Cancer Society, Vermont Blueprint for Health, Vermont Quit Partners, and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), local residents can attend a free FreshStart Tobacco Cessation class.

Participants choose between two sessions, 12 – 1 p.m. or 4 -5 p.m., every Tuesday at SVMC. They will learn new ways to stop smoking or chewing, get tips on how to handle stress and withdrawal symptoms, meet others trying to quit, and receive free nicotine replacement. For those with scheduling difficulty, individual sessions are also available by appointment.

Advanced registration is required. Contact Kathy Dockum, local Vermont Quit Partner at 802-440-4098 or

Cancer Center to develop a directory of complementary and alternative practitioners

The team at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center (SVRCC) is always looking for ways to enhance the care they provide to their patients. From recent feedback, Cancer Center staff learned that patients appreciate receiving complementary and alternative therapies in addition to their care at the Cancer Center.

SVRCC is reaching out to practitioners of acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic medicine, herbalism, massage, Qi gong, reflexology, Reiki, Tai Chi, and others in southern Vermont, eastern Rensselaer County in New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts in order to meet this request. All are encouraged to register for inclusion in the directory at by Nov. 1.

A directory based on the registrants will be compiled and distributed to cancer patients starting in December. Inclusion in the guide is not an endorsement by Southwestern Vermont Medical Center or SVRCC of the services listed. Those listed will be asked to update their information once yearly. For questions about the directory, please visit or call Rebecca Hewson-Steller at 802- 440-4244.


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