MILTON — RiseVT, a primary prevention strategy of OneCare Vermont, is expanding its reach to serve the community of Milton as part of a massive statewide expansion to improve the health of Vermonters where they live, work, learn, and play. OneCare Vermont is the Accountable Care Organization for the state, working with providers to improve patient health and lower healthcare costs.
Embracing healthy lifestyles is key to reducing chronic illness and RiseVT works to create the environments where people spend their days conducive to making the healthy choice easy, or even the standard. In 2018, the University of Vermont Medical Center added a RiseVT program manager to their staff and launched in Chittenden County in the towns of Richmond, Huntington, and Bolton. With an additional program manager position added in August, the RiseVT-Chittenden County team is now able to add Milton as the newest RiseVT community in the state.
“Helping our patients remain healthy and building partnerships in our community is at the core of our mission at the University of Vermont Medical Center,” said Dr. Stephen Leffler, Interim President and COO at UVM Medical Center. “We are excited to see RiseVT expanding to Milton and look forward to strengthening this partnership to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce chronic illness.”
RiseVT uses proven evidence-based models to transform communities. Compiling all the best strategies for community organizing, systemic change, and measurement and evaluation, RiseVT is tackling population health across all sectors of the community. “We want everyone in Vermont to have easy access to the tools and resources to be as healthy as they can be,” remarks Marissa Parisi, Executive Director of RiseVT. “When opportunities for good nutrition, physical activity, and mindfulness are built into the daily culture of school, work, and the broader community environment we reduce the chances of our people developing chronic illness down the road. Good health outcomes are key to a vibrant Vermont economy!”
RiseVT started in Franklin & Grand Isle Counties with a commitment from Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans to invest in preventive health for the community served by the hospital. In 2018 OneCare Vermont took the RiseVT model on as its primary prevention strategy—the goal to bring RiseVT to every region of Vermont.
Milton is the 34th community to have RiseVT working to improve health for its citizens, hiring Justin Graham and Rosy Metcalfe as the University of Vermont Medical Center’s onsite RiseVT Program Managers in August 2019. Graham comes to RiseVT with a background in event management and program development for Special Olympics and Metcalfe has training in social work and experience working at Fellowship of the Wheel, an organization improving mountain biking accessibility. Both Graham and Metcalfe understand how social and environmental factors directly correlate to health and are committed to amplifying efforts in the Milton area to make it easier for their neighbors to embrace healthy lifestyles.
“I am excited to be working in Milton where there is already so much happening to encourage healthy lifestyles,” Metcalfe said. “I look forward to working with my colleague, Justin, to draw attention to Milton’s natural playground and existing efforts to improve health and wellness, while also offering some capacity to bring partners together in a true collective impact model.”
“There is a lot of positive energy in Milton. Leaders have a strong pulse on challenges that community members face and are eager to welcome RiseVT as an additional resource,” said Graham. “I am really looking forward to learning from members of the Milton community and supporting their efforts to make healthy lifestyles the norm.”
RiseVT-Chittenden County Program Managers, Justin Graham and Rosy Metcalfe, will attend the Milton Community Dinner on Thursday, November 21, 4:30-7 p.m., hosted at the Milton Middle School; 42 Herrick Avenue, Milton.