2024 RVNAhealth Spring Breakfast Live Auction Preview

Here is a preview of the exciting live auction items that will be up for bid at the 23rd Annual RVNAhealth Spring Breakfast on Friday, April 26, 2024 at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury, 7:30am. Funds raised will support our home health services, hospice care, and community health and wellness programs across 35+ towns in the region.

 

BROADWAY YOUR WAY  

A car service will whisk you away to the bright lights of the big city! Enjoy your Broadway show of choice with your $500 Broadway.com gift certificate. Dine at your restaurant of choice with your $250 American Express gift card, before or after the show.
Gift of John & Lori Berisford and George Earl, Jr.

 

 

 

FOUR FOR FORE – GOLF FOURSOMES

Can you ever have too much golf?!  Hit the links with three friends and enjoy some of the nicest courses around. This golfer’s package includes a round for four at each of these great area clubs: Ridgewood Country Club, Salem Golf Club, Silver Spring Country Club, and The Club at River Oaks — all with lunch and carts. Time to play hooky!
Gift of Bob Rossman/The Club at River Oaks, Dan LeBlanc/Ridgewood Country Club, Bill Hecht/Salem Golf Club, Karl Habib/Silver Spring Country Club

 

 

 

FAMILY FUN IN FALMOUTH – ENJOY A SUMMER WEEK ON CAPE COD

Relax with a summer escape to the Cape, July 26 – August 2. Enjoy spacious, 2-bedroom accommodations at InnSeasons HarborWalk in Falmouth, MA.  Overlooking Falmouth Harbor, this resort is minutes from the beach, downtown and the island ferries making it ideal for exploring the Cape. The newly renovated suite sleeps eight, with a queen-sized bed in bedroom #1, two full-sized beds in bedroom #2, a full-sized pull-out sofa in the living room and a full kitchen.  Head off to Martha’s Vineyard with two roundtrip tickets on the Island Queen and enjoy a sail {for two} on the Black Dog Tall Ship, Alabama.
Gift of The Couri Family and Christopher & Mary Joyce  

 

 

 

BE THE HOST WITH THE MOST!

Gourmet dinner for 6, professionally prepared and served in the intimacy of your home, by À Table/S+B catering. Includes a generously donated charcuterie board and a $200 VISA gift card to purchase wine pairings of your choice to complement your meal.  A beautiful flower arrangement will complete the evening’s presentation.
Gift of Sarah and Bernard Bouissou of À Table, 109 Cheese & Wine, Rodier Flowers, Diane Minck, Debbie & Peter Hayes

 

 

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF AFRICA – ZULA NYALA PHOTO SAFARI

Here’s your chance for that bucket list trip to South Africa! Capture your own award-winning photographs of elephants, giraffes, hippos, leopards, zebra and many more plains wildlife in the heart of one of Africa’s richest conservation regions. This Photo Safari for two includes 6 days/6 nights luxury accommodations, including 3 delicious meals daily and 2 daily open Land Rover excursions with experienced guides. Before you depart, come to RVNAhealth for a complimentary travel health consultation to make sure you are prepared for your adventure. (NOTE: This trip does not include cost of vaccinations, airfare, airport transfers, personal beverages, side trips or phone calls. Trip must be used within two years of auction date.)
Gift of Zulu Nyala Group and RVNAhealth

 

 

BATTER UP YANKEES FANS

You, your friends, and the Yanks! Win four tickets to Yankee Stadium with seats in a prime location: 12th row, field level behind on-deck circle (you pick the date, based on selection and availability). Use a $200 gift card to dine at The Audi Club. In-seat wait service is available too!
Gift of Marci & Ted Tregurtha and Patti & Steve Ross

 

 

 

THE METS & YOU!                                                 

Sit back at Citi Field, enjoy the Mets, a little batting practice, and dine before the game using a $200 gift card. Four tickets to a game (you pick the date, based on selection and availability). Prime location—15th row, field level behind home plate. In-seat wait service available!
Gift of Marci & Ted Tregurtha and Patti & Steve Ross

 

 

Want to Reach the Milestone of 100 Years Old?

nutrition and longevity

Nutrition for Quality of Life and Longevity

One of the key strategies to optimize your chances of living to 100 lies in the realm of nutrition. Our health is influenced by a myriad of factors, some within our control and some beyond it. Lifestyle factors and choices we make day-to-day exert a significant influence on our overall health and longevity. Thus, it’s crucial to maximize control over these modifiable aspects of our lives.

Longevity, in this context, encompasses not only the length of life but also its qualitative aspects, emphasizing the importance of maximizing both longevity and health span.

Among lifestyle factors, nutrition stands out as perhaps the most influential. What we eat has a profound impact on various aspects of our health, including gene expression, inflammation, and mental well-being. The cumulative effect of our dietary choices over time significantly shapes our longevity, either positively or negatively.

Navigating what constitutes a truly nourishing diet can be daunting. However, certain principles are true for everyone. Highly regarded diets such as the MIND diet, DASH diet, and various other diets that target specific diseases all seem to follow patterns in the types of foods, plant-rich, unprocessed, whole foods. Perhaps the most well-known and effective longevity diet – the Mediterranean emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like fish and olive oil. It is associated with increased life expectancy and improvements in various diseases, including heart disease, a leading cause of mortality in the United States.

The Mediterranean diet checklist:

  • Daily intake:
    • Berries
    • Dark chocolate
    • Green tea
    • Leafy greens
    • Olive oil
  • Weekly intake:
    • Beans
    • Flaxseeds
    • Soy
    • Salmon

Energy and Cognitive Benefits

Moreover, energy levels are among the most noticeable aspects of our health affected by nutrition as we age. Balanced meals comprising fiber, healthy fats, and protein, as advocated by the Mediterranean diet, contribute to stable blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and promoting sustained energy throughout the day. For instance, a meal like grilled salmon (protein + healthy fat) with vegetables (fiber)  cooked in quinoa (fiber + protein) provides protein, healthy fats, and fiber, offering a balanced nutritional profile.

Cognitive health is another area profoundly influenced by nutrition, particularly as we age. While some cognitive decline is inevitable with aging, certain nutrients have been associated with preserving cognitive function in older adults. These include omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, flavonoids/anthocyanins abundant in berries, and choline present in eggs and fatty fish.

In summary, incorporating fiber, healthy fats, and protein into each meal, with an emphasis on Mediterranean diet principles, can mitigate the impact of age-related diseases, bolstering energy levels and cognitive function, and supporting overall bone and muscle health.

For More Information on Nutrition from RVNAhealth

Monica Marcello, RVNAhealth Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator. Available for Osteoporosis consultations.

If you’re interested in learning more or need help with osteoporosis and nutrition, our RVNAhealth Nutritionist, Monica Marcello, RD, regularly holds informational presentations and cooking classes out in the communities we serve. You can also connect with Monica by signing up for her monthly nutrition newsletter or by contacting her with questions at nutrition@rvnahealth.org.

About Monica: Monica Marcello, MS, RD is RVNAhealth’s registered dietitian and nutrition educator who promotes holistic health, longevity, and quality of life. Monica’s areas of expertise include disease prevention and treatment for many chronic and acute conditions.

Meet Danielle Taibi, OT, Dementia Specialist

Danielle Taibi, OT

Meet Danielle Taibi, OT, Dementia Specialist and Educator

RVNAhealth has been fortunate to have Danielle Taibi, Occupational Therapist and Dementia Specialist, play an integral part in the development and roll out of its Dementia Education and Resource Program.  Danielle has been with RVNAhealth for 8 years, working in occupational therapy and home health supervisor roles. Through her experience treating and assisting patients and families she became passionate about dementia care. Danielle is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) and Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer. In addition to treating patients she is lending her dementia knowledge and training to RVNAhealth and the community. We recently sat down with Danielle to ask her a few questions about her most recent role and involvement in RVNAhealth’s Dementia program. You may read a summary of our discussion below or listen directly to our conversation through the linked audio files.

 

Connecting People with Dementia Information

Danielle’s interest and passion for dementia resources stems from listening to patients, family members and caregivers – many expressing the lack of information and resources to direct them where to start or where to go with a dementia diagnosis. “I am someone who wants to delve into what intervention strategies and what training is going to be the most helpful for people out in the community, and for RVNAhealth staff, who are more and more treating patients with dementia.”  Listen to Danielle talk more about her passion for dementia education >>

 

Spreading Knowledge and Creating Resources

RVNAhealth’s recent program is more than just an educational program. It is just a small part of the overall dementia initiative the agency has taken over the past two years. Efforts started with training clinicians across RVNAhealth as Certified Dementia Practitioners (CDP). And a few, including Danielle, have gone on to become certified as Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainers. In addition to continuing to train clinicians internally at RVNAhealth, Danielle is helping to take the same dementia-focused initiative out into the community in the form of training for local Assisted Living Facilities as well as for our community presentations.   Listen to Danielle talk about RVNAhealth’s dementia initiative >>

 

Advice To Newly Diagnosed Patients and Family and Caregivers

Individuals faced with a new diagnosis of dementia can become overwhelmed by the lack of resources and guidance, as well as the emotional stress encompassing the diagnosis itself.  Danielle shared a positive message for patients and caregivers, saying “You are still ‘you’. And you will be ‘you’ right till the end. The person does not go away […] There is still quality of life.”  Listen to Danielle’s thoughts and advice for those facing a new dementia diagnosis >>

 

A Unique Background Lending to a Unique Perspective

We concluded our sit down with Danielle by learning a little more about her unique background and how it has helped to shape her passion and approach to dementia care. We won’t spoil Danielle’s fun fact about her background, so listen in to learn more! >>

 

To learn more about RVNAhealth Dementia Education and Resources Program, please visit out website.  You will find details about various services, along with our current schedule of dementia education programming.

 

RVNAhealth is a private, 501c(3) non-profit organization which provides a continuum of care to people in 35+ towns across Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven Counties. RVNAhealth depends on financial support from individuals like you who believe that healthy communities improve the quality of life for everyone. Every gift — no matter the size — is critical to upholding our mission and sustaining our important work. If you would like to support RVNAhealth’s mission to deliver unmatched, compassionate healthcare when and where it is needed, please click here.

Join Us for Breakfast!

We hope to see you at our annual Spring Breakfast on Friday, April 26th, 7:30-9:00am at The Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury, CT. The morning will be complete with exciting auction items, great raffle prizes, delicious breakfast, and an inspiring impact speaker.

The Board of Directors, Spring Breakfast Committee, and friends of the organization look forward to celebrating the meaningful work of RVNAhealth and the continuum of care the agency provides throughout 35+ Connecticut communities.

Each year, the Spring Breakfast brings together 400 local business leaders, medical professionals, community groups, and RVNAhealth supporters to welcome spring and raise funds critical to patient care and program support. Funds raised allow RVNAhealth to care for patients and clients regardless of age, diagnosis, or financial circumstances and have a lasting impact on the lives of those served as well as their families. It is truly an inspiring morning and a great way to start the day!

Anne Mead, Ed. D., Director of Family, School and Community Partnerships for the Danbury Public Schools, will share insight into the partnership between RVNAhealth and the Danbury Schools, the profound impact of RVNAhealth’s Well-Child Program in Danbury, and the long-term, often life-changing, benefits the program provides to the families it serves and the community as a whole.

Laura Shulman Cordeira, MPH, Director of Community Health and Wellness at RVNAhealth, sums this up well in noting that “Our two teams have worked together to remove as many barriers as possible for students to meet the medical requirements needed to attend school. It is an innovative solution in a school district where the growth of the student population has outpaced the growth of pediatric practitioners.” Dr. Mead agrees, noting, “The partnership between Danbury Public Schools and RVNAhealth is invaluable to ensure health and access to education for our most vulnerable students and their families.”

This year’s Live Auction is filled with exciting opportunities including an African Safari for 2, a family summer vacation to Cape Cod, NY Yankees and NY Mets tickets, a NYC night out for dinner & a Broadway show, a four courses golf package … and more! Special thanks to our Sponsors, whose generosity provides invaluable support to our mission to provide unmatched, compassionate healthcare when and where it is needed.

You are invited to become a sponsor or host a table at this year’s event, which will include a delicious breakfast, live auction with travel and entertainment packages, and a raffle that includes dozens of prizes. You may purchase sponsorships or tables online at RVNAhealth.org or contact Jennifer Christensen at 203.438.5555, x1052 or jchristensen@rvnahealth.org.

Donor Support of Mission Programs – Well Child Clinics

RVNAhealth Well-Child Program

Supporting Communities – One Child at a Time

Providing care for children who lack insurance has long been essential to our mission.  In 1927, the (then) DNA vaccinated 74 children against diphtheria and we have continued this tradition with Well-Child clinics in our Ridgefield office.

RVNAhealth Well-Child ProgramDuring the pandemic, our community health team recognized an urgent need for COVID-19 vaccines among low-income families in Danbury. This led to a partnership with Danbury Public Schools and Social Services to identify children in need. Now RVNAhealth offers monthly Well-Child clinics so these children can get the immunizations necessary to attend school and participate in sports and other activities. So far, our Danbury clinics have served over 400 children, and we have provided 750 vaccines! In 2024, we plan to offer Well-Child Clinics from our New Milford office as well.

Our clinics provide children with a full physical examination by a medical doctor, plus hearing and vision examinations, all school-required immunizations, including the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as urinalysis, anemia screenings, height and weightRVNAhealth Well-Child Program measurements, tuberculosis screening, and blood pressure checks.

RVNAhealth services also include translating and interpreting medical/vaccine records, updating the state database, and sending forms to schools. Our Community Health staff follows up in subsequent months to ensure students complete their vaccine series. Without this oversight, such follow-up typically falls through the cracks for children who do not have a primary care provider.

RVNAhealth Well-Child ProgramIn addition, families also have an opportunity to meet with an RVNAhealth social worker who can connect them with resources and help them navigate the process of enrolling in health insurance and other benefits. We also provide each family with a bag of groceries through our partnership with Community Food Rescue.

Donor support is crucial for this program and donors help in so many meaningful ways: From annual fund donations, gifts of backpacks, early-reader books in Spanish and Portuguese, and packages of toiletries, to legacy gifts that ensure the future of this program. As one donor put it, “RVNAhealth isn’t just helping one child, you are helping whole families.”

For more information on how you can support RVNAhealth Well Child Clinics, contact Jennifer Christensen (jchristensen@rvnahealth.org) or call (203) 438-5555, x1052.

Volunteering: It’s Good for You!

Volunteering at RVNAhealth

“Volunteering isn’t just good for the soul; it’s medicine for the heart, mind, and body.” – Unknown 

With the arrival of spring comes the appreciation of new growth. While you take a moment to observe the external change around you, maybe you will be inspired to consider new personal growths and goals. At RVNAhealth, we hope that you are reminded to invest in yourself! Schedule and check off all those annual wellness appointments, take time for exercise, eat well, and do things to nourish your social and emotional well-being.

On the topic of social and emotional well-being, April happens to be National Volunteer Month in the United States.  During this time, organizations, communities, and individuals often come together to celebrate the impact of volunteers and encourage others to get involved in service activities. RVNAhealth, too, looks forward to celebrating its own special community of volunteers!

More Than Just a Feel Good Factor

Volunteering has been shown to provide a multitude of social and emotional benefits.  It can boost happiness, gratitude, and a sense of purpose. And if you needed another reason to raise your hand and get started, volunteering has also been connected to longevity! Researchers studying the “Blue Zones” (geographic regions around the world boasting populations living statistically longer lives) have found that volunteerism is often integrated into daily life. It is a natural part of how people interact with each other and contribute to the well-being of their community. Overall, the principles of volunteerism in Blue Zones revolve around fostering social connections, promoting community well-being, and embracing a sense of purpose and collective responsibility. These values contribute to the overall health, happiness, and longevity observed in these regions.

Volunteering at RVNAhealth

Watch one of our favorite volunteers, Sophia, star in ‘A Day in the Life of a Hospice Volunteer”

RVNAhealth welcomes all inquiries for volunteer opportunities. The RVNAhealth volunteer program offers safe and diverse opportunities for donating time in a way that is purposeful and meaningful for everyday heroes of all ages. Share the gift of your time across our robust organization in an administrative role, or join our Hospice volunteer corps, dedicated to supporting patients and families at end of life. A little known fact specific to our Hospice volunteers program — RVNAhealth, and all Medicare-certified hospice programs, are required by law to have 5% of service hours performed by volunteers.  Why?  Because hospice care in the U.S. was founded by volunteers, and the commitment to the power, beauty, and altruism of volunteering remains!

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering at RVNAhealth, please visit us here and fill out our Volunteer Inquiry Form.

 

RVNAhealth is a private, 501c(3) non-profit organization which provides a continuum of care to people in 35+ towns across Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven Counties. RVNAhealth depends on financial support from individuals like you who believe that healthy communities improve the quality of life for everyone. Every gift — no matter the size — is critical to upholding our mission and sustaining our important work. If you would like to support RVNAhealth’s mission to deliver unmatched, compassionate healthcare when and where it is needed, please click here.

 

Osteoporosis: Nourishing Your Bones

nutrition for osteoporosis

A Nutritional Approach to Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, characterized by weak and brittle bones, is a condition that affects millions worldwide. While factors like age, genetics, and physical activity play significant roles in bone health, nutrition stands as a cornerstone in the prevention and management of osteoporosis. In this article, we’ll explore the vital role of nutrition in combating osteoporosis, focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet, the importance of calcium intake, and the impact of vitamin D.

The Power of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

An anti-inflammatory diet not only benefits overall health but also plays a crucial role in bone health. Chronic inflammation can accelerate bone loss and increase the risk of fractures. By incorporating anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fatty fish into your diet, you can help reduce inflammation and promote bone health.

Fruits and Vegetables: Nature’s Bone Protectors

Research suggests that higher fruit and vegetable intake is associated with a lower risk of fractures. These nutrient-rich foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants essential for bone health. Aim to incorporate a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables into your meals to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to build and maintain strong bones.

The Calcium Connection

Calcium is a vital mineral that plays a central role in bone health. Adults aged 50 and older should aim for a daily calcium intake of 1200 mg to support bone strength and density. However, simply consuming calcium-rich foods may not be enough. To optimize calcium absorption, it’s important to consume it in small, separate doses throughout the day.

Sources of Calcium

  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Dark leafy greens like collard greens and spinach
  • Sesame seeds
  • Molasses
  • Tofu
  • White beans

Incorporating these calcium-rich foods into your diet can help ensure you’re meeting your daily calcium needs and supporting your bone health.

The Role of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and bone mineralization. Without adequate vitamin D levels, your body may struggle to absorb calcium effectively, increasing the risk of bone loss and fractures. To optimize bone health, it’s crucial to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D through sun exposure, dietary sources, or supplements.

Check Your Vitamin D Levels

Since vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium absorption, it’s essential to monitor your vitamin D levels regularly, especially if you’re at risk of osteoporosis. Speak to your healthcare provider about getting your vitamin D levels checked and discuss supplementation options if necessary.

In conclusion, nutrition plays a vital role in the prevention and management of osteoporosis. By following an anti-inflammatory diet, prioritizing calcium-rich foods, and ensuring adequate vitamin D intake, you can nourish your bones and support long-term bone health. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized nutrition advice tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.

For More Information on Nutrition from RVNAhealth

If you’re interested in learning more or need help with osteoporosis and nutrition, our RVNAhealth Nutritionist, Monica Marcello, RD, regularly holds informational presentations and cooking classes out in the communities we serve. You can also connect with Monica by signing up for her monthly nutrition newsletter or by contacting her with questions at nutrition@rvnahealth.org.

Monica Marcello, RVNAhealth Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator. Available for Osteoporosis consultations.

About Monica: Monica Marcello, MS, RD is RVNAhealth’s registered dietitian and nutrition educator who promotes holistic health, longevity, and quality of life. Monica’s areas of expertise include disease prevention and treatment for many chronic and acute conditions.

 

Walking The Talk And Winning Awards in Home Care!

StayingWELL Services caregiver training

In photo: Jessica Spears, StayingWELL Supervisor, provides hands-on caregiver training with “Alex,” RVNAhealth’s training manikin

RVNAhealth StayingWELL Home Care Services Wins 2024 Best of Home Care – Leader in Experience Award

For the second year in a row, RVNAhealth StayingWELL Services has won the distinguished Best of Home Care – Leader in Experience Award from Home Care Pulse (HCP), the leading firm in experience management for home care. As a Leader in Experience, StayingWELL Services is now recognized among the top 15% of over 3,000 home care agencies nationwide participating in the HCP Experience Management Program. For Melissa Woodhouse, Director of RVNAhealth’s StayingWELL Services, excellence in non-medical home care starts with listening to our clients and having the best caregivers!

Home Care Pulse 2024 StayingWELL Awards

Walking The Talk in Client and Caregiver Satisfaction

A firm believer in the adage, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure,” Woodhouse and team sit down monthly to review satisfaction and experience feedback that comes in continuously from our clients and caregivers. “We’ve been using Home Care Pulse for unbiased feedback for over four years. The insight and information we receive have been invaluable to the management and success of our services. We are particularly proud of our improvements over the past year. The 2023 Home Care Pulse data shows that we outperformed 70% of other nationwide home care agencies in both client overall satisfaction with their daily life and client ratings of their caregiver abilities.” Woodhouse attributes these outstanding results to their increased investment in caregiver training programs – all which tie back to client and caregiver feedback.

Investing In Our Caregivers and Delivering the Best in Client Home Care

All new caregivers hired by RVNAhealth StayingWELL Services go through an orientation program with training by experienced supervisory staff. This past year, StayingWELL Services acquired usage of and incorporated a full-sized healthcare training manikin (nicknamed, Alex) to elevate hands-on training. All caregivers now receive group and individual hands-on training in techniques such as bathing, dressing, transfers, and more. “This additional ‘hands-on’ training now provided in the office, before a caregiver goes out to a client, has been a significant game-changer,” says Woodhouse. “Caregivers learn more and feel more confident, and our supervisors obtain better assessments of caregiver capabilities and can customize ongoing learning needs. This ultimately has led to better pairings of caregivers to client needs — which has had a great impact on our client and caregiver satisfaction scores.”

Melissa Woodhouse, RVNAhealth Director of StayingWELL Services

In addition to its caregiver training, StayingWELL also prides itself on a continued robust supervisory and support team. “I am pleased to hear positive feedback from both clients and caregivers about the support we provide to our caregivers. In addition to orientation and training, our three full time home care supervisors go out with caregivers for every new assignment and for any client status changes. This is another differentiator for us,” says Woodhouse.

“Having won this prestigious home care award last year, and then seeing the continued efforts of our team to push for and achieve even higher satisfaction – I am just extremely proud.  Our team of 200+ caregivers and support staff come to work and make the quality of our clients’ lives their number one priority each day. It is very exciting to be able to share this year’s award and results with our team and celebrate all that they do!”

About RVNAhealth StayingWELL Services

RVNAhealth StayingWELL Services provide non-medical at-home personal and household daily living assistance to help you retain independence and live safely, comfortably, and joyfully at home or wherever you reside. Available 365 days annually, for short- or long-term durations, our caregivers serve over 35 communities in Connecticut. To learn more, please visit our StayingWELL Services website or call 203-438-5555.

Going Somewhere? RVNAhealth Travel Health Will Have You Ready!

Travel Vaccines at RVNAhealth

Honeymoon?
Babymoon?
Student term abroad?
Retirement travel?
Volunteer mission trip?
International business?
Anniversary celebration?
Bucket list travel?

Whatever drives your need to explore the world, travel can make you feel wonderfully alive! But…it can also expose you to serious health and safety threats!

According to the CDC, “As many as 43%–79% of travelers to low- and middle-income countries become ill with a travel-associated health problem. Although most of these illnesses are mild, some travelers become sick enough to seek care from a health care provider.”

Before you go, get in the know by visiting the RVNAhealth travel health clinic. Here, you will learn about the most up-to-date information about your destination and receive recommendations and vaccinations to keep you safe and healthy.

Our trained nurses provide:

  • Itinerary-specific health advice;
  • Discussion of and administration of required and recommended immunizations;
  • Preventative medication for Malaria, Altitude Sickness, Traveler’s Diarrhea
  • Education on safe food/water practices;
  • Insect precautions;
  • Environmental considerations.

Travel health and vaccine consultations are available in person OR virtually by phone/Zoom.

Vaccine administration requires a visit to our clinic. For virtual consultations, our nurse will schedule a consultation with you over the phone to review your trip. If it is determined that vaccines are needed, then a follow-up office appointment will be scheduled to administer vaccines. Consultation and Convenience Fees apply – Effective 1/10/24.

To schedule an appointment, call RVNAhealth at 203.438.5555 or email BeWell@rvnahealth.org.  In person appointments are held at our offices at 27 Governor Street in Ridgefield. Appointments should be scheduled 4 to 6 weeks prior to travel, especially if preventative vaccines or medications are required/recommended, but we will do our best to help you with last-minute appointments.

RVNAhealth Travel Health Nurses can administer the following commonly needed travel vaccinations/medications*:

  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Yellow Fever {we are a U.S. Government Certified Yellow Fever Center}
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Polio
  • Meningitis
  • Measles {MMR}
  • Preventative medication for: Malaria, Altitude Sickness, Traveler’s Diarrhea

We can also provide advice on ways to avoid the mosquitos that carry diseases such as:

  • Zika virus
  • Yellow fever
  • Malaria
  • Dengue fever
  • Chikungunya

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 203.438.5555 or email BeWELL@rvnahealth.org.

*RVNAhealth is not able to bill to insurance for the consultation or vaccines. Payment is accepted via check or credit card. You will be given an itemized receipt with insurance diagnosis codes, which you can use to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement, if you choose to do so.

Embrace Gut Health with Fermented Foods!

If you’re looking for a simple yet impactful way to boost your health this month, we’ve got just the suggestion for you—eat sauerkraut and yogurt, just not together 😊. Fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, among others we will explore shortly, have remarkable benefits for your well-being.

Fermented Foods for Gut Health

Fermented foods are foods and beverages that are produced through controlled microbial growth and have been shown to have a profound impact on our health. The magic behind these fermented wonders lies in the process of fermentation, where bacteria and yeast break down sugars into lactic acid. This lactic acid bacteria, often referred to as probiotics or “good bacteria,” do wonders for your gut health, and in turn, your overall health and wellness. These foods not only improve digestion and help maintain a healthy body weight but also play a vital role in reducing inflammation and supporting the body’s natural detoxification pathways.

To highlight this, a recent study from Stanford Medical School discovered that consuming fermented foods can assist in weight loss and reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. So, adding these probiotic-rich foods to your diet is a win-win for your taste buds and your health! Here are some examples of fermented foods that can help nurture your gut microbiome:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Tempeh
  • Natto
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Fermented pickles (made with salt instead of vinegar)
  • Olives

In the study highlighted above, the participants consumed up to 6 servings a day of fermented foods! Don’t worry, you do not need to go that far to experience the benefits. Aim for one serving of a fermented food per day. To help you get started, here’s a great recipe for Kimchi Egg Muffins – enjoy!

For More Information on Gut Health from RVNAhealth

If you’re interested in learning more or need help with gut health issues, our RVNAhealth Nutritionist, Monica Marcello, RD, regularly holds informational presentations and cooking classes out in the communities we serve. You can also connect with Monica by signing up for her monthly nutrition newsletter or by contacting her with questions at nutrition@rvnahealth.org.

Monica Marcello, RVNAhealth Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator

About Monica: Monica Marcello, MS, RD is RVNAhealth’s registered dietitian and nutrition educator who promotes holistic health, longevity, and quality of life. Monica’s areas of expertise include disease prevention and treatment for many chronic and acute conditions.