Living and having a business in Franklin County, I see the direct impact NMC has on people’s health—from my staff, to events we’re both involved in, to Rise VT.

Hi. I’m Andrea, CEO of 14th Star Brewing Co., a Veteran-owned craft brewery here in St. Albans. We’ve been in business for just over 7 years and have made a tremendous impact in our community in addition to winning several awards for top-quality beer. I’d like to share what we’re doing to influence our and the community’s tomorrow, as well as some experiences with and thoughts about NMC.

14th Star has been an active community member since inception. From helping the local soup kitchen get milk and eggs donated for an entire year to trading cans of beer for non-perishables to supply our food shelf. We’ve taken an active interest in the development and revitalization of St. Albans in a very impactful and measurable way. We host a multitude of charitable events each year as well as having become the family-oriented designation for gatherings, whether for work or social events.

Regarding my relationship with NMC—throughout the years, I’ve been a patient a number of times as well as being on the board of incorporators. And, as a mom, I had one too many trips to the ER when my kids were younger. Sometimes those trips had a long wait but I understood the reason why—obviously the most serious cases require attention first.

I choose to go to NMC for a variety of reasons. It’s close, the staff is knowledgeable and professional and there are very few services that aren’t offered at NMC that are available elsewhere. And, I always have good experiences. My first appointment for a mammogram, I had no idea what to expect—I found the employees to be very helpful and calming. I recently was seen for a foot issue and I was a bit worried about the length of time I might have to wait as the waiting area was packed. However, I think I waited for maybe 5 minutes before my name was called. I’ve never been treated with anything other than professionalism and kindness. I always recommend starting at NMC. If they aren’t able to provide the services needed, they can recommend someone that can. 

They provide top-quality health care to our community, but they also do many things to interact with the community.

The best example is RiseVT. I love the efforts being made to ensure people are moving in our community.

They are providing easy examples for ways that individuals and families can get a bit of movement into their lives at little or no cost.

As an organization that manufactures alcohol, 14th Star doesn’t have much of a working relationship with NMC. However, both organizations are very closely aligned when it comes to the health of our community—physical and fiscal. We’ve been involved with many events in the area together. Both organizations are seen as having a vested interest in the community. Plus, having such a great facility nearby, that accepts our medical insurance, is a bonus for us when it comes to recruiting talent.

I see the direct impact NMC has on peoples’ health in the community. Everything from the free health events that RiseVT hosts to the ease of being seen for any injury or illness. Plus, many that work within the hospital also participate in many charitable and community events, often serving on local charity boards to ensure our community receives the services its residents need.

Looking toward the future of healthcare, I’m concerned about the ability of the residents of this community to be able to afford the services NMC offers. As with any health care organization, health care costs are scary to consumers. If NMC isn’t able to keep costs low—Franklin County is not a wealthy county—they will receive backlash, regardless if it’s in line with health care costs in other counties and states.

The opioid crisis is also a major issue. As the parent of a child in recovery, recognizing the issue is the first step. I believe our community has done a good job of accepting this as fact. It will take a joint effort, that NMC will have a very large part in, to combat the problem. 

I’d also like to see, if NMC isn’t already doing so, an outreach program looking for those that avoid health care or health issues because of the cost. We have a large elderly population in this community and a large population of homeless. Those needs are often gone unanswered because they don’t have access to insurance or the money to pay for medical services. 

On 14th Star’s behalf, we will continue to help build our local community and that of the areas in which our products can be purchased by our continuous donation from the sales of our products. We will also continue to be leaders within the community by encouraging and supporting the efforts of other organizations. Our dream is that one day when people think of community-mindedness and world-class beer, they think of 14th Star, not just in St. Albans, but globally through our dedicated efforts to both. It takes positive efforts from everyone to better a community. I like to think that I and 14th Star are doing our part and it’s nice to know our community hospital is doing theirs.

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