Press releases

Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Vermont Receives Prestigious $100,000 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service  

Finalists from Boston; Columbia, S.C. and Atlantic City, N.J. also Recognized

CHICAGO, January 24, 2012 - In honor of its broad-based efforts to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of its community, Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center (MAHHC) in Windsor, Vt., is the recipient of the 2011 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, one of the most esteemed community service honors in healthcare.

Each year, this $100,000 prize is presented to a healthcare organization that provides innovative programs that significantly improve the health and well-being of its community. The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by The Baxter International Foundation, and the American Hospital Association (AHA) and Health Research & Educational Trust.

Named as finalists for this year's award and receiving $10,000 each are AtlantiCare in Atlantic City, N.J., Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and Palmetto Health in Columbia, S.C.

"Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center serves as a coalition-building catalyst within the community, bringing together local health and human service providers, educators, law enforcement officials, clergy, parents and consumers to collectively identify, plan and provide community health programs and services to area residents," said John O'Brien, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. "The system's major initiatives focus on building a community health infrastructure, preventing substance abuse, providing access to care through a free clinic, connecting residents to social services and providing senior housing. Through such efforts, Mt. Ascutney demonstrates its commitment to pursuing the goals of health promotion and disease prevention, as well as the achievement of health and well-being for the community."

Founded in 1933, MAHHC successfully fosters local, state and national partnerships and developed initiatives that make a significant difference by addressing local health-related issues and building collaborative relationships within the community. In light of challenges faced by the largely rural local population, such as higher-than-average incidence of respiratory disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer of the respiratory systems; alarming rates of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect; and lack of adequate transportation to get to health resources, MAHHC founded its community outreach program in 1995 to proactively address these challenges through community health education and disease prevention activities. MAHHC's initiatives have not only resulted in impressive outcomes, but also have contributed to the rich tradition of mutual support between the community and the hospital.

"Receiving this award is a wonderful recognition of our long-standing commitment to improving the health and wellness of our community," said Kevin W. Donovan, CEO of MAHHC. "Our leadership, staff and program partners are committed to improving the lives of those we serve through traditional and non-traditional means for a healthcare organization. Using an array of educational programs that promote healthier living, we are measurably changing our community. It is important to note that our healthcare facility and its programs are integrated into the community with sustainability in mind. We want to make a positive impact immediately, of course, but we are focused on the future health of our community members, as well."

Among other programs, MAHHC was recognized for the following innovative community service initiatives:


The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes healthcare organizations that serve as role models for improving the health and well-being of the people in their communities. This year's winner and finalists offer a broad spectrum of programs to meet the needs of their vulnerable populations," said O'Brien. "By leading, supporting and collaborating, they enhance the lives of residents in the communities they serve."

2011 Finalists
Three Foster G. McGaw Prize finalists were also recognized for their significant accomplishments in community service. Each received a $10,000 prize:


Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center is a not-for-profit community hospital located in Windsor, Vermont whose mission is to improve the lives of those it serves.  The Hospital has a renowned inpatient rehabilitation unit, therapeutic pool, and physical therapy department as well as acute care, transitional care, hospice and skilled nursing care services.  In addition to a strong primary care base in multiple locations, specialty services include dermatology, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynecology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, pediatrics, physical and occupational therapy, podiatry, psychology, rheumatology, urology and others.

The Foster G. McGaw Prize, celebrating more than 25 years of honoring excellence in community service, recognizes healthcare organizations that demonstrate commitment to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize, first awarded in 1986, inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities. For more information, visit www.aha.org/foster.

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of healthcare provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, healthcare systems, networks, other providers of care and 42,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for healthcare leaders and is a source of information on healthcare issues and trends.  For more information, visit the AHA Web site at www.aha.org.

The Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), helps organizations expand access to healthcare in the United States and around the world. The foundation, established in 1981, began to focus exclusively on increasing access to healthcare in 2002 - particularly for the disadvantaged and underserved - in communities where Baxter employees live and work. Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. For more information, please visit www.baxter.com.

Founded in 1944, the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) is a private, not-for-profit organization involved in research, education and demonstration programs addressing health management and policy issues. An affiliate of the American Hospital Association, HRET collaborates with healthcare, government, academic, business and community organizations across the United States to conduct research and disseminate findings that shape the future of healthcare. For more information about HRET, visit www.hret.org.