All CHCB locations will be closed on Monday, July 5, in observance of Independence Day. Our on-call nurse/provider will be available for any urgent needs by calling your specific health center location. Have a safe and healthy holiday weekend!
“Pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your healthcare provider might help, but is not required for vaccination.” – The Centers for Disease Control
Here are a few key takeaways:
- If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or considering getting pregnant it is important to think about getting the COVID-19 vaccine! Many women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are choosing to get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their families.
- People who are pregnant and get COVID-19 infection have a higher chance of severe illness and complications than a person who is not pregnant. For this reason, medical providers and public health agencies like the CDC and Vermont Department of Health feel it is important for all pregnant women to be offered the COVID-19 vaccine. You should talk with your CHCB medical provider about getting vaccinated and if this decision is right for you.
- What does the research say? Pregnant women were not included in the original COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, but the CDC and other researchers have been observing data from women who have been vaccinated during pregnancy and breastfeeding since December 2020. To date no safety concerns have been identified. Medical providers have routinely and safely given pregnant women other types of vaccinations in pregnancy for a long time, we recommend the flu shot every year to protect against influenza and TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) in pregnancy. Both of these vaccines protect mom and baby from infections.
The current research on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy reports that after the mother gets the vaccine the body makes antibodies to protect again COVID infection. Researchers have seen that these protective antibodies are passed to baby during pregnancy and while breastfeeding which may help protect the newborn from COVID infection.
- At this time, there have been no adverse effects noted to mothers or babies during their pregnancy who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. We do not know of any risks to the pregnancy, baby or a person’s fertility from the COVID-19 vaccine. None of the COVID-19 vaccines available under the emergency use authorization in the US cause infertility.
If you would like more information please talk with your CHCB medical/OB provider.
Here is more information from trusted sources!
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now available at our Riverside Health Center. Pre-registration is not required, so we are welcoming walk-ins every Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm. Everyone age 18 and over, including part-time residents, students and visitors, can access these clinics to receive the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Thank you for doing your part to bring immunity to our community!
Please join us in welcoming Grant Picarillo, FNP, Grace Zimmer, FNP, and Kelsey Cone, DMD to CHCB!
Grant is the newest addition to our Champlain Islands Health Center. He is a graduate of Columbia University Doctorate of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner program and is interested in public health advocacy, health system reform, and LGBTQ+ care. Grant is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer where he learned conversational Spanish, and holds a master’s degree in Health Policy from Harvard. Prior to moving to Vermont from Brooklyn, Grant worked in health policy in Washington DC. When not at work, Grant enjoys spending time with his rescue dogs, travelling, playing tennis, knitting, and spending time in Montreal with his husband.
Grace just joined the medical team at our Riverside Health Center. She received her master’s in nursing from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN. She worked for two years as a Nurse Practitioner in Milton, VT before joining CHCB. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Grace worked as a primary care nurse in the Appalachian mountains of Eastern Tennessee. Grace grew up in North Africa and has a basic knowledge of French. Her professional interests include, but are not limited to, global health, providing care to adolescent/young adults, and preventive medicine. Grace enjoys hanging out with family and friends, cooking, pottery, travel, and learning new languages.
Kelsey is our newest dental provider, currently working out of Riverside. She completed her undergraduate studies at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. There, she was a student-athlete and the assistant captain of the National Championship ice hockey team. She then attended University of New England College of Dental Medicine in Maine as a member of the inaugural class. Dr. Cone completed her General Practice Residency at Community Regional Medical Centers of Fresno, California. Her exceptional training and exposure to multiple local hospitals serving diverse populations has afforded her invaluable experience and knowledge in all aspects of general dentistry. Dr. Cone has a strong passion for helping others. With her meticulous treatment planning and execution, she constantly strives to make a positive and lasting impact on her patients. She is committed to always doing what’s best for her patients. Dr. Cone enjoys the outdoors with her dog Wilson and plays golf in the off-season. Her latest interest is following the Portland Trailblazers. Go Blazers!
Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) is home to over 320 staff members, across eight different locations, serving 30,000 patients annually. The mission of CHCB is to improve the health of all those who live in the communities we serve, and, as with most things, it is all in the delivery. This series is produced by former CHCB nurse and current Board member Beth Reilly, to chronicle the many different people who make up the fabric of CHCB, and stitch together the variety of paths, passions, and experiences of those who rise to the occasion, each day, to provide outstanding health care for our community.
“The Cause of Homelessness is Lack of Housing.”
Allison Joyal joined CHCB in 2019 in the role of Permanent Supportive Housing Case Manager at Beacon Apartments and the Safe Harbor Health Center, where she works to support 100% formerly chronically homeless individuals. During her time as a housing counselor for another nonprofit organization, Community Action, Allison began her enjoyment working with the homeless population. When asked what brought her to CHCB, Allison reports “As a housing counselor and housing advocate, I remember hearing of CHCB’s Safe Harbor Health Center and the Beacon Apartments project when it began. I remember being so impressed with the concepts of Homeless Healthcare and Housing First and thinking I wanted to be involved in that. As soon as the job opened up, I jumped at the chance to join the CHCB team.”
Housing First is a homeless assistance approach where the focus is on housing and food security. Other potential issues such as unemployment, substance abuse, and behavioral health do not create barriers to accessing housing or food with the Housing First model. CHCB offers the only federally-granted Healthcare for the Homeless Program in the entire state, allowing us to support those suffering from homelessness by connecting them with medical and dental care, social services, intensive outreach and case management. For Allison and her colleagues, their job is delivering this model of assistance and care. When asked about what is unique to her role, Allison states her patients “trust the Beacon team to guide them to a future that is safe and stable.” They work hard to meet patients’ basic needs, as well as take things one step further with a tiny library, garden space, and coordination of care with a variety of community partners.
Experiencing homelessness is a trauma. Therefore, when working with this population, there is an added benefit in having a personal connection. Having experienced homelessness herself due to Tropical Storm Irene, Allison not only understands “the constant crisis mode” one experiences due to being unhoused, but is open with her patients about her own experiences. On a daily basis, Allison can be found supporting her patients with everything from housing applications and coordinating medical appointments to providing assistance with individual questions and concerns. “If someone’s heater is broken, we may teach them to call maintenance. We create budgets with people who have never had one… we often just sit and listen to those who need to vent.” There is no script to this job, only the consistent push to provide the necessary support for individuals to take the next positive steps in their lives.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Allison has lived in Vermont with her family since 2001. These days, when not at work, she can be found living off the grid on a micro-farm in Plainfield, VT raising ducks, chickens, pigs, goats, fruits and vegetables. Allison also runs a homesteading Facebook group called “Down to Simple” and she and her husband, a veteran of the Vermont National Guard, have two grown children. When asked what brings her to work every day, Allison states, “I love my job because every day I am given the opportunity to assist people who often had a pretty tough go in life. My patients have suffered unimaginable trauma, often through their entire lives. Yet we get to treat them to the dignity they always deserved. We get to remind them they deserve homes and good health.”