Consumer and Employer Leadership Explored at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Issues Conference

first_imgConsumer and Employer Leadership Explored atBlue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Issues ConferenceBurlington, VT — Employee health incentives, better management of chronic illnesses, new provider payment structures, and integration of mental and medical health care were among a variety of strategies proposed Wednesday by a panel of national experts who met in Burlington to discuss ways to improve health care and at the same time hold down health care costs.The experts highlighted a half-day conference held as part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermonts annual health issues symposium series. Nearly 300 Vermonters attended, including employers, health care providers, legislators and consumers.Keynote speaker Ian Morrison, an internationally known author, consultant and futurist specializing in long-term forecasting and planning, addressed the changing environment surrounding consumer involvement in health care. Morrison explained that information necessary for useful provider quality ratings is inadequate today but will improve dramatically in the next five years. Morrison cited pay for performance as holding great promise as a reimbursement strategy for improving our health care system. Morrison also identified e-business as a key factor in system improvement in the future.Other panelists included Michael Samuelson of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Islands Health and Wellness Initiative, Alex R. Rodriguez, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Magellan Health Services, Sharon Moffat, Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health, and Harvey Yorke, President and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care.Michael Samuelson focused on the role of the individual in partnership with employers, providers and health plans. He effectively used personal experiences to illuminate trends in health care that rely on greater personal involvement.Dr. Rodriguez outlined the role that depression plays in overall heath status, and the importance of mental health care as a priority in any effective health care system.Harvey Yorke described a useful and innovative strategy for employers to emphasize preventive health while simultaneously holding down costs. Yorkes hospital has created and implemented an incentive program for its employees that rewards employees financially for incorporating self-responsibility for practicing healthy behaviors. The incentive, Yorke told conference participants, is to decrease the amount that the employee contributes to the cost of the health insurance premium as the employees level of compliance with health criteria increases.Sharon Moffat concluded the conference agenda with an overview of key initiatives the states health department is pursuing to improve health status. Foremost among those projects is a chronic care initiative underway to reform the way the health care system approaches chronic illness.The program was moderated by WCAX-TV Channel 3 news co-anchor and medical reporter, Sera Congi. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont President and CEO William R. Milnes, Jr. welcomed the conference participants and introduced the program.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and branch office in Williston, and offers group and individual health plans to Vermonters. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com(link is external). Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.(End)last_img read more

Douglas to form new Department of Labor

first_imgGovernor Announces Plan to Merge Departments to Form New Department ofLaborGinevan to Retire, McDonald to Head DET & Merger Effort, Terrill will Moveto AOTMontpelier, Vt.- The Douglas administration is proposing to merge theDepartment of Employment and Training (DET) and the Department of Laborand Industry (DLI) to create a single Department of Labor, Governor JimDouglas has announced.Current DET Commissioner Anne Ginevan, however, is retiring; the effectivedate of her departure is still to be determined. Ginevan, 63, and aresident of Middlebury, is the second direct appointee to step down at theend of the Governor’s first term.”Anne is a proven administrator, has done a great job working tostrengthen our network of job training and education programs and has astrong understanding of government affairs and the legislative process.She has been a valuable member of our team and will be missed.” Douglassaid.”The next step is for us to move forward with our plan to merge theDepartment of Employment and Training with the Department of Labor andIndustry to create a one-stop-shopping model for job training, workforcedevelopment, and responsible labor and industry policy,” Douglas added.”Empowering Vermonters with the skills that they need to succeed in the21st Century economy is a central component of my job creation strategy.”Governor Douglas will appoint current Agency of Transportation SecretaryPatricia McDonald, 61, of Berlin, to fill the vacancy at DET.Douglas said McDonald’s public and private sector management experience,and her relationship with key legislators will be important to the successof the merger proposal. “Pat’s banking and human resources managementexperience, coupled with her strong record of government service, make heran excellent choice to lead this effort,” Douglas said.Before working for state government, McDonald worked for CIBA-GEIGYCorporation for 20 years, moving to Vermont in 1989 to take a position asVice President of Human Relations and Regulatory Management at TheMerchant’s Bank. In 1994, McDonald was appointed Commissioner of MotorVehicles and in 2000 became Deputy Commissioner of Education. Prior toher appointment at AOT McDonald served as Commissioner of Personnel.Current Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and CommunityDevelopment Dawn Terrill will be appointed Vermont’s next Secretary ofTransportation. Terrill, 36, is a resident of Colchester.Prior to her appointment as Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Terrill servedas President and CEO of Hill Associates in Colchester, Vermont, a companythat provides education and training to service providers and equipmentmanufacturers in the telecommunications industry.Terrill joined Hill Associates in 1988, holding various managementpositions including those of Chief Financial Officer and Senior VicePresident.Her new agency has the mission of maintaining a transportation system thatallows for the safe movement of people and goods in a cost-effective,environmentally sensitive and timely manner. AOT oversees approximately14,000 miles of roadway, 320 miles of Interstate, over 2,370 miles oftoll-free state highways, 11,210 miles of municipal roads, 13 publictransit system, 16 public use airports, ten state-owned airports, and 623miles of rail, roughly half of which is state-owned.Douglas said he sought someone “who is a proven manager and whounderstands that maintaining and improving our transportationinfrastructure is critical to our job creation strategy. I have everyconfidence in Dawn’s ability to build on the tremendous progress we’vemade in the last two years.”###last_img read more

Do You Know The Encyclopedia of Mac…?

first_img26th June 2006, Apple is an American computer technology corporation develops, sells, and supports a series of personal computers, portable media players,computer software, and computer hardware accessories.The company’s most well-known products are the Apple Macintosh line of personal computers, the iPod portable music player, and the iTunes media player.Apple has been a major player in the evolution of personal computing since its founding in 1976. The Apple II microcomputer, introduced in 1977, was a hit with home users. In 1983, Apple introduced the Lisa, the first commercial personal computer to employ a graphical user interface, which was influenced in part by the Xerox Alto.In 1984, the Macintosh (commonly called the “Mac”) was introduced, furthering the concepts of a user-friendly graphical user interface, and also introducing the mouse for the first time in a personal computer. Apple’s success with the Macintosh became a major influence in the development of graphical interfacesIn 1991, Apple introduced the PowerBook line of portable computers, establishing the modern ergonomic form and design that has since become ubiquitous in the portable market.The first Macs were powered by Motorola’s 32-bit 680×0 families of CPUs. In 1994, Apple introduced the PowerMacs, which used the higher-performancePowerPC chip designed by Apple, Motorola and IBM. PowerMacs run native PowerPC applications and emulate traditional Mac 680×0 applications. PowerPCchips have enjoyed substantial increases in performance over the years.In the 2000s, Apple expanded their focus on software to include professional and prosumer video, music, and photo production solutions, with a view to promotingtheir computers as a “digital hub”. It also introduced iPod, a portable digital music player which has become the most popular player on the market.Mac OS, which stands for Macintosh Operating System, is a series of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Computer for their Macintosh line of computer systems. The Mac OS is often credited with popularizing the graphical user interface.Another important thing invented by apple is Macintosh Clones, capable of running Mac OS, notably Power Computing and Umax. These machines normally ranvarious versions of classic Mac OS.In 1988, Apple released its first UNIX based OS, named A/UX. This was an operating system that seamlessly integrated the Mac OS look and feel with the powerand flexibility of UNIX.The graphical user interface used by Macintosh personal computers, which is modeled after an actual desktop and has little pictures (called icons) of file folders, a trash can for deleting files, etc. Pull-down menus and dragging objects originated with the Mac. For people who are not computer experts, the Macintosh user interface makes everything much easier to learn. Parts of this interface were developed by Xerox PARC, but never released.The internet is the best place to buy cheap computer parts. Due to increase in demand for many parts in many suppliers find it profitable to sell their products online.The online dealers have their websites, which offer information on the various types of computer parts available for purchase. Whether you want to reviews computer hardware on water-cooling, flat screens, memory modules, video cards, and the latest in gaming and technology news, just go to http://www.dvwarehouse.com(link is external) they have something youll enjoy. Shop by our busy computer hardware forum, where thousands of hardware enthusiasts participate in active discussion. Also try searching our hardware forum database, as well as our full network of sites, for answers to any computer questions.DV Warehouse is one stop shop for the Video Editing Solutions, as we aim to provide the widest range of video editing products available nationwide. From the latest HD solution to the hard-to-find analog device for your studio, DV Warehouse should be your first stop. They offer a multitude of products from dozens of the industry’s leading manufacturers, normally available at multiple vendors, under one roof. Visit them today for best buy Computer Parts.Author: Harry JohnsonFor Listing visit http://www.dvwarehouse.com(link is external)(Best Online Computer Store).Just login tohttp://www.dvwarehouse.com(link is external) for all kinds of Mac Part You can also vist our other site for http://www.idigitals.com(link is external)for Computer Partslast_img read more

Lane Press, Omya latest to cut workers

first_imgLane Press in South Burlington and Omya in Proctor are the latest Vermont firms to lay off workers. Each stated that the recession has slowed business resulting in a need to reduce payroll.Lane Press laid off 29 in March after laying off 10 in January. This leaves them with about 225 employees. In January, the printer also cut hours and reduced pay for most workers. The company prints high-end glossy magazines, such as college alumni magazines. It stated that clients have been cutting back on frequency of publication, such as going from monthly to bi-monthly, or printing on less expensive paper.Omya said it cut seven workers at its two sites in Vermont and five others in operations outside the state. It employs 63 in Proctor and 145 in Florence. It mines and distributes calcium carbonate as an additive for many products from glossy paper to plastics to antacid tablets.last_img read more

HHS makes $551,000 in stimulus funds to support Vermont hospitals

first_imgThe activities described in this release are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  To track the progress of HHS activities funded through the ARRA, visit www.hhs.gov/recovery(link is external).  To track all federal funds provided through the ARRA, visit www.recovery.gov(link is external). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will notify states about the availability of the increased portion of allotments for hospitals.  Not all states spend their full DSH allotments; so, before this new funding can be accessed, states must demonstrate they have used all of their existing fiscal year 2009 DSH allotments.  States must request the additional funds from CMS as part of their quarterly Medicaid budget request and the funds will be distributed as separate Recovery Act DSH grants. To see a complete list of the revised DSH allotments that include additional funding provided through the Recovery Act, please visit http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/cms/dshstates.html(link is external). Eligible hospitals are those that serve a disproportionate share of low-income or uninsured individuals and are known as Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH).  States receive an annual allotment to make payments to DSH hospitals to account for higher costs associated with treating uninsured and low-income patients.  This annual allotment is calculated by law and includes requirements to ensure that the DSH payments to hospitals are not higher than the actual costs incurred by the hospital to provide the uncompensated care.  The Recovery Act increases the amount of allotments available to states nationwide from approximately $11.06 billion to $11.33 billion for 2009. Building on President Barack Obama s efforts to ensure access to health care for millions of uninsured Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today announced that Vermont can access an additional $551,000 authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help pay hospitals to treat their most vulnerable patients. Millions of people rely on the care provided by their community hospitals, said Acting HHS Secretary Charles Johnson.  Through the help provided by the Recovery Act, we can make sure they continue to get the care they need in those hospitals. ### Thousands of hospitals around the country are the first place many families take their sick children for care or the only place where some of the more than 45 million uninsured Americans can receive some form of health care, said Acting HHS Secretary Johnson.  The funding from the Recovery Act will help ensure hospitals can keep their doors open to the people who need care most.last_img read more

EXPO 2009 keynote speaker is Van Jones, White House Council on Environmental Quality

first_imgOn May 20 and 21, business leaders from across Vermont, New England and Canada will converge on Northern New England s largest business-to-business trade show, the Vermont Business & Industry EXPO. The 25th annual exposition of business resources and networking opportunities will take place at the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center in Burlington. The featured guest will be Van Jones, White House Council on Environmental Quality who will be the keynote speaker during lunch on Thursday May 21. The lunch is sponsored by Comcast Business Class.The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the keynote speaker for EXPO s 25th Anniversary Luncheon. Van Jones, recently appointed by President Obama as the Special Advisor of Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will keynote EXPO s exclusive luncheon. Jones will speak about how building a green economy now can help Vermont businesses and workforce withstand any economic downturn. The lunch will take place on Thursday, May 21, at noon at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center.”We are proud to partner with the Vermont Business and Industry EXPO to serve as a sponsor of the 25th Anniversary Luncheon,” said Jeff Freyer, Vice President of Comcast Business Services for the Western New England Region, which includes Vermont. “We are also excited to take part in the state’s premier business networking event and to showcase our Business Class suite of products.”The EXPO Trade Show will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 21. The show features nearly 200 exhibitors and 3,000 business professionals, making this Vermont s premier networking event.A full schedule of events and more information about speakers, seminars and awards is available online at www.vtexpo.com(link is external).The Vermont Business and Industry EXPO is organized by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. The EXPO Platinum Sponsors include FairPoint Communications, IBM and Vermont Business Magazine.last_img read more

Allen Pools and Spas named Vermont Retailer of the Year

first_img-30- Allen Pool, Spas & Chemical Corp,Tasha Wallis, Executive Director of the Vermont Retail Association (VRA) announced today the winners of the 2010 VRA Retailer of the Year (ROY) Awards. In 2009, VRA inaugurated the ROYs to recognize the ‘best of the best’ in the retail industry, which is a major sector of Vermont’s economy. Retailers employ more Vermonters’over 37,000’than any other business sector except health care, accounting for 14% of the entire work force.All Vermont businesses engaged in retail operations are eligible for nomination and consideration for the ROYs.  After considering numerous nominations, this year’s panel of judges from the business community chose to honor these winners:RETAILER OF THE YEARHonoring a Vermont retailer for Overall Excellence Allen Pools and Spas Rutland  White River Jct.  Williston Contact: Tom Colman  tcolman@allenpools-spas.com(link sends e-mail)  (802) 288-9028Excellence and growth go hand in hand, and no better proof exists than this year’s ROY winner.  Allen Pools and Spas has grown steadily for more than a half-century, even posting a 20% growth in 2009, one of the toughest economic years in memory. What’s more, in 2010 they added 20% growth onto that!Dan Allen, Sr. started the company in his Rutland home in 1957.  Today, it has 33 employees in three thriving stores. Allen Pools and Spas is not only growing and prosperous–it is truly a “corporation with a conscience.” Its primary products–HotSpring Portable Spas–are silent, use little documented electricity, and are virtually chemical free.  The company also launched its “A.T.P.” program in 2010, providing free removal and environmentally friendly disposal of old spas, along with charitable donations with proceeds from salvaged spas.In 2010, Allen Pools and Spas received the highest honor from the world’s leading manufacturer of spas, HotSpring Spas.  The award citation read, in part, ‘Their determination, dedication, loyalty, and passion for customer satisfaction never falters. They excel in every way.”That says it all about Allen Pools and Spas.  Tom Colman, sales manager, summarizes Mr. Allen’s 53 year success story like this: “Ed Allen has never thrown any idea under the bus. He is the Ben Franklin of the modern business world!’GREENTAILER OF THE YEARHonoring A Vermont Retailer For Environmental Excellence The Outdoor Gear Exchange Burlington Contact:  Marc Sherman  duck@gearx.com(link sends e-mail)  802-383-0382 x300The Outdoor Gear Exchange could be the prototypical 21st-century business model, and the differences start right at the top. Marc Sherman is the 15-year old company’s founder. In the old paradigm, his title would be ‘President and CEO,’ or some other official-sounding label. He prefers ‘Visionary.’‘GearX’ was born in a discussion around an Adirondack campfire and the forward-thinking design was part of Sherman’s vision from day one. That vision included a three-phase mission statement. The first year focus was on customers: ‘We have fun outdoors and want people to enjoy themselves in our store.’ In the second year, it expanded to include staff:  ‘Our staff, a most crucial ingredient in our overall success, is empowered to question, change, and improve our business.’  And after the third year, it embraced the community as well: ‘At the Outdoor Gear Exchange, we strongly believe in a responsible environmental stewardship. We strive to run our business in a way that promotes our staff, local community, and outdoor industry as a wholeâ ¦’Outdoor Gear Exchange’s commitment to the environment is total. Company founder Sherman serves on the Burlington Public Works Commission. The company contributes to the Conservation Alliance, donates a nickel for every bag not used, has virtually eliminated the use of paper, offsets trade show travel with carbon credits, and uses compact fluorescent bulbs and UV tinted glass to reduce energy costs. And those are just a few of its overall environmental initiatives. Together, they form the solid foundation of a company where ethical behavior and environmental protection top the list of goals.COMMUNITY GEMHonoring Vermont Retailers Who Make Unique And Valuable Contributions To Their Communities The Old Brick Store Charlotte Contact:  Carrie MacKillop  carrie@oldbrickstore.com(link sends e-mail)  (802) 425-2421A Vermont village’s store plays a crucial role for its community, customers, owners, and visitors. One of the state’s most remarkable and venerated such establishments is Charlotte’s Old Brick Store, which had been operating since 1853. By 2008, though, the cherished icon had come on hard times. With bare shelves, cash flow down to a trickle, and renovations urgently needed, its ultimate demise seemed inevitable. Most potential purchasers would turn and run fast from such a decrepit property, but its very need was what attracted current owner/operator Carrie MacKillop most. ‘I needed something to dive into,’ she recalls. MacKillop purchased the store in January of 2009, with a plan for resurrecting the moribund landmark that was definitely not business as usual. From the outset, MacKillop intended to pursue ‘convenience with a conscience,’ re-inventing the historic store as a Community Supported Enterprise (CSE). In line with that, she sold memberships to raise money for much-needed renovations. Investors became members and would be reimbursed in store credits plus 10%.  No fewer than 90 families bought in, generating enough revenue for the renovations.       The Old Brick Store reopened on March 1, 2009 and has been flourishing ever since, offering food to rave about and a wide variety of beverages and wines. The store is still quintessentially Vermont, the rough edges here and there part of its inherent beauty. But the times have brought at least one 21st century necessity:  lattes are available. The vibrant new business generated a laudatory article in the Burlington Free Press. MacKillop herself penned an editorial for a local paper that eloquently captures the spirit and letter of her creation:   ‘The Brick represents childhood, adulthood, transitions and passages. It gives basis to vacation memories and the days of summer. People love the Brick not because of the goods it provides, but because of the memories it holds.’‘Judging to select winners was extremely challenging this year,’ noted Tasha Wallis. ‘There were so many outstanding retailers under consideration. But in the end, the three recipients stood out for the variety and quality of their laudable practices.The ROYs will be presented to the winners by Bonnie Hawley, President of VRA’s Board of Trustees, in an awards ceremony on Tuesday November 9 at 2 p.m. at Table 24 in Rutland.  The press is invited to attend.last_img read more

Casella Waste Systems, Inc extends exchange offer for 7.75% senior subordinated notes due 2019

first_imgCasella Waste Systems Inc,Casella Waste Systems, Inc., (NASDAQ: CWST) announced today that it extended the expiration date of its offer to exchange up to $200,000,000 of new 7.75% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2019 (the “new notes”) that have been registered under the Securities Act of 1933 for an equal amount of outstanding unregistered 7.75% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2019 (the “old notes”). As a result of the extension, the exchange offer is now scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on October 3, 2011, unless further extended.The exchange offer was originally set to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on September 29, 2011. As of this date, tenders of approximately $196,965,000 aggregate principal amount, or 98.5%, of the old notes have been received pursuant to the exchange offer. Except for the extension of the expiration date, all of the other terms of the exchange offer remain as set forth in the exchange offer prospectus, dated August 30, 2011.This press release is not an offer to exchange the new notes for the old notes or the solicitation of an offer to exchange, which we are making only through the exchange offer prospectus.Copies of the exchange offer prospectus and related documents may be obtained from U.S. Bank National Association, exchange agent for the exchange offer, at the following address:U.S. Bank National AssociationAttn: Lori Buckles60 Livingston AvenueMail Station-EP-MN-WS2NSt. Paul, MN 55107-2292Phone: (651) 495-3520Fax: (651) 495-8158FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTSSome of the statements in this press release are “forward-looking” and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These “forward-looking” statements include statements relating to, among other things, the exchange offer. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from the statements set forth in this press release, many of which are beyond the Company’s control and which are described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this release. RUTLAND, VT–(Marketwire – September 29, 2011) –last_img read more

More than $66,000 in grants for bulletproof vests awarded to 27 Vermont police stations

first_imgVermont Jurisdictions Receiving Bulletproof Vest Grants JurisdictionGrant AmountNumber of VestsBarre City$3,549.0012Barre Town$ 227.383Bennington County$ 3,275.0010Bennington Town$ 5,600.0014Brandon Town$ 299.501Brattleboro Town$ 898.503Burlington City$ 3,294.5011Dover Town$ 2,125.007Essex Junction Village$ 1,250.004Hartford Town$ 1,198.004Middlebury Town$ 1,740.004Milton Town$ 2,097.006Montpelier City$ 1,500.005Norwich Town$ 1,500.005Orange County$ 7,815.0020Richmond Town$ 898.503Rutland City$ 4,389.0014Shelburne Town$ 4,492.5015Springfield Town$ 830.493St. Albans City$ 898.503Stowe Town$ 1,230.003Vergennes City$ 3,235.509Vermont (State)$ 5,123.98135Vernon Town$ 2,341.507Williston Town$ 559.002Windsor Town$ 1,488.006Winhall Town$ 4,300.0014Total for Vermont$ 66,200.85323WASHINGTON (WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12) ‘ US Senator Patrick Leahy US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced Wednesday that 27 towns and counties across Vermont have been awarded grants from the US Department of Justice to help purchase bulletproof vests for law enforcement officers.  The grants are provided through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which Leahy authored in 1998. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program has helped to provide nearly one million bulletproof vests to law enforcement officers across the country, including more than 3,000 vests for Vermont officers.  The new grants announced by will help offices in Vermont buy more than 320 new vests.  ‘Bulletproof vests are saving lives of law enforcement officers across the country,’ said Leahy.  ‘They protect those who are on the streets every day helping to keep our communities safe, and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program has proven its life-saving value.’ The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program provides matching federal grants to state and local authorities for the purchase of bulletproof vests.  Leahy worked to include in the grant program an all-state minimum formula to ensure that all qualifying state and local jurisdictions would receive at least .5 percent of the total amount of federal funds appropriated in a given year.  Over the years Leahy has worked to modify the program for the benefit of grants recipients in other ways as well.  He fought to include a matching requirement to ensure that in certain smaller jurisdictions, including certain jurisdictions in Vermont, the federal grant will always amount to 50 percent of the purchase cost.  Leahy also worked to include a provision in the program to allow financially struggling jurisdictions to apply for a hardship waiver of the 50 percent match requirement. Leahy has worked to reauthorize the bulletproof vests grant program since its enactment, most recently in 2008.  The program is currently authorized through 2012.last_img read more