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Published on November 21, 2019

James T. Bowse Health Trust Announces 2020 Grant Awards

For over 20 years the Bowse Health Trust (BHT) has awarded grant funds to collaborative community programs which measurably improve the health of Rutland County residents. This year the committee is pleased to announce the approved funding for three innovative projects over the next three years. To date, the BHT has funded a total of 66 programs many of which are still operating. Joan Gamble, Chair of BHT commented she is “excited to be associated with BHT because of the reach and impact on our community, it has given over $4 million to improve the health of Rutland County Residents since its inception in 1997.

The 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) identified the significant need for quality childcare, specifically for infants, and stressed the necessity to support the aging population in Rutland County. For these reasons, Rutland County Early Head Start, the Castleton Early Childhood and Special Education Initiative, and the Caregiver Support Program will receive BHT funding starting in 2020. The following projects were selected because of a critical need for these services within our community.

Over the next three years, Rutland County Head Start will expand programming to include Early Head Start, adding 38 childcare slots for infants and toddlers within Rutland City. This initiative will provide consistent care, education, nutrition, and support for families in our community. According the National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, “Early Head Start is an evidence and community-based program with a two-generation approach that provides comprehensive child and family development services.” Rutland County Head Start welcomes this program with years of experience and the knowledge needed to create a nurturing and safe environment for our youngest and most vulnerable residents.

The Castleton Early Childcare and Special Education Initiative will work over the next three years to increase available childcare spots to 49. Starting with infant and toddler availability in 2020, the program will increase access to quality childcare in the western part of the county. This innovative initiative pairs the developing Childcare Center and the new Early Childhood Education academic program, which will both be housed on the University's main campus. This combination signals not only the attention to creating more availability for quality childcare but will also train and prepare the next generation of Early Childhood Educators, emphasizing the importance of this profession and making a difference for years to come.

Under the leadership of Rutland Mental Health Services, the Caregiver Support Program will provide crucial services to an identified priority population: caregivers for older adults and older adults who are themselves caregivers. Services will be twofold in benefit; they will support the intense and demanding work of providing care to unwell individuals, while decreasing the need for loved ones under care to enter assisted living or nursing homes. The program will decrease the physical and psychological health burden on caregivers through individualized compassionate support services and trainings that will increase self-care and resilience.

We started this process with 21 Letters of Intent and had strong pool of applicants. It was an arduous process for all involved, because all of the proposals were worthy,” said Jamie Bentley, Community Impact Coordinator. The next grant cycle will be announced in April 2020. Grants are awarded on an annual basis, and the application information is posted on For more information, please contact Jamie Bentley at 802.776.5503 or email

Members of the Health Trust Committee include Joan Gamble, Chair; Victoria Young, Vice Chair; Claudio Fort; Renee Bousquet, Rick Lovett MD, Pam Reed, Nanci Gordon, Dick Courcelle, and Caprice Hover.

About Rutland Regional Medical Center

Rutland Regional Medical Center, founded in 1896, is the largest community hospital and the second largest healthcare facility in Vermont. With a strong patient focus, consistent quality performance, nursing excellence and award-winning care, Rutland Regional remains dedicated to improving the health of families and individuals throughout Rutland County and beyond.


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