May 25, 2015

The Hub: Epic Wellness comes to Williston


By Heleigh Bostwick
Observer correspondent

Epic Wellness provides chiropractic, acupuncture and massage services for employees at 47 businesses around the state. Instead of patients coming to them, they travel to their patients.
Until recently, that is.
“Our business model has always been that we travel to the company to perform our services on site, but in January we opened a physical office space where people could come in and use our services,” explained Owner Dr. Wendy Mehaffey.
Located on Williston Road near the intersection of Industrial Avenue, business is so good that Mehaffey said they were already outgrowing the space.
“Right now, we can accommodate 100 patients a week, but the business is really taking off, and we’re looking to expand to a larger space that can accommodate more patients,” she said.
When she started Epic Wellness four years ago, Mehaffey focused on her specialty, chiropractic services. As the business has grown, she’s added more services and additional staff.
Massage therapist Lauren Dube was hired as massage director and co-owner of the massage division of the business. Last fall, services were expanded.
“Our core services are chiropractic, as well as massage, followed by acupuncture, ergonomic evaluation and web-based stretching,” Mehaffey said. “We also lecture at company work sites on health and wellness topics like nutrition or how employees can decrease stress.”
Currently, the staff at Epic Wellness includes three chiropractors, eight massage therapists and two acupuncturists, but Mehaffey is hoping to add another acupuncturist and another chiropractor. Three administrative staff members handle insurance billing and processing.
Mehaffey said clients include the Vermont Country Store, King Arthur Flour, National Life, and closer to home, Burton Snowboards,, Pete’s RV Center and VPR.
Most companies schedule sessions once a week, twice a month or once a month, no contract required. Employees pay for services directly; there’s no expense to the company. Insurance pays for chiropractic and acupuncture and employees can use HSAs and flex plans like HRAs to pay for services as well.
“What’s nice about the business model is that it works for all company sizes,” she said. “It’s a win-win for everyone. We’ve reached a lot of people who wouldn’t normally come to us because they’d have to take off from work.”
Laurie Kigonya, human resources supervisor at VPR in Colchester, is a fan.
“They are totally awesome,” she said. “They get to know everyone on a personal level and care about you as a person, not just a patient.”
Kigonya sends out an email notifying employees when Epic Wellness will be on site.
“It doesn’t cost the employer anything, and there’s no scheduling on my end,” she said. “I show them the space that’s available and they come in and set up.”
It’s up to employees to schedule their session with Epic Wellness using the online scheduling software on its website. Confirmation and reminder emails are sent directly to employees.
“The employees love it,” Kigonya said. “We’re lucky that we found them.”

Epic Wellness is located at 4626 Williston Rd. Suite 112. For more information visit www.epicwellnessvt. com or call 343-3900.

CVU tennis teams into playdown season


The Champlain Valley Union High boys and girls tennis teams will be in the postseason playoff chases when they next set foot on courts in competition.
Both had final regular season matches Wednesday (Observer press time) with the girls hoping to conclude an undefeated pre-playoff slate at Stowe High, while the boys were meeting their Stowe foes at Shelburne’s Davis Park.
The Vermont Principals’ Association announces the playoff pairings this week. The CVU girls, 12-0 entering Wednesday’s finale, are in line for the Division 1 top seed.
In the past week, coach Amy deGroot’s girls won three matches. The Redhawks bumped off Essex High 6-1 Wednesday on the road. They then scored home 7-0 triumphs against Colchester High Friday and Stowe High Monday.
The singles quartet of Kathy Joseph, Elyse Killkelly, MacKenzie Buckman and Isabelle Angstman were winners in all three contests. Renee Dauerman and Maia Bertrand also had singles victories.
The boys bowed 6-1 to Essex, with Jack Zullo winning his singles match.
Then came a 5-2 win over Colchester. Ivan llone, Justin Hameline, Stephen Asch and Richard Hall captured their singles matches.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent

Sectional tourney next for CVU golf


With the regular season over, coach Seth Emerson and his Champlain Valley Union High golf team is looking forward to the northern sectional tournament Tuesday (10 a.m.) at neighboring Rocky Ridge Golf Club.
The Redhawks closed the season with a second place showing at Jay Peak Tuesday. Host North Country union won with 332 strokes to 349 for CVU and 407 for Essex high.
Will Ryan with a 79 and Carter Knox with an 82 were the Redhawks’ pace setters.
Last Friday at Cedar Knoll in Hinesburg, Knox won medalist honors with a 76 as CVU (338) bested South Burlington High by two strokes in team totals and Essex by three.
For the Redhawks, Ted Hadley fired an 82 while Will Ryan and Will McAllister shot 90s.

—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

CVU softball team faces Comets Thursday


Coach Paul Potter’s Champlain Valley Union High softball team takes its 3-9 record on the road Thursday for a session with the 11-1 Bellows Free Academy Comets in St. Albans.
On Saturday, the Redhawks will travel to Milton High for a morning contest.
This past Tuesday, the Hawks fell 19-3 to visiting Middlebury Union.
CVU did get a forfeit win Friday over Burlington High when the Seahorses could not field a full team for the trip to Hinesburg.
On Thursday, CVU bats did some bashing as Kate Songer, Sophie Hubbert-Severance and Claire Potter ripped two hits apiece, but visiting Missisquoi still managed a 17-9 victory.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent

Trip to Tigerland Friday for CVU boys lacrosse

Observer photos by Al Frey Defending Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High boys lacrosse team continues on its winning streak. ABOVE: Sophomore attacker Charlie Bernicke takes on a defender.

Observer photos by Al Frey
Defending Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High boys lacrosse team continues on its winning streak.
ABOVE: Sophomore attacker Charlie Bernicke takes on a defender.

With two lopsided victories in the last four days and a 6-6 record on its plate, the defending Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High boys lacrosse team will come eyeball-to-eyeball with the Tigers of 9-2 Middlebury Union Friday. And the game is on the road.
The Tigers made a statement Tuesday by going into Essex High and bumping off the 8-3 Hornets, 10-9.
The Redhawks return home Tuesday to meet Colchester High.
CVU popped visiting Rutland High 19-2 Tuesday as Matt Palmer rocketed five goals into the Raider cage while Elliott Mitchell cut loose with four. Griffin DiParlo connected for two tallies and assisted on another four. Owen McCuin and Charlie Bernicke popped two scores each.
The win followed Friday’s 16-1 rapping of St. Johnsbury Academy at the Hinesburg lax yard.
In that game, before the first 12 minutes had clicked off the clock, the Redhawks held a 9-1 lead and were definitely enroute to a rout.
Palmer had another big outing with two goals and four helpers. Bernicke unleashed three tallies while DiParlo and McCuin each netted two goals.
Goalie Chris Gronlund was in the CVU cage in both games.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent

Three games left in girls lacrosse regular season


For the Champlain Valley Union High girls lacrosse team, the theme Tuesday might have been, “let the good times roll (again).”
And in a narrow loss Monday at home to mighty 9-2 Burlington High, there were signs the good times might return.
Mount Mansfield Union High, a team the Redhawks nipped 11-10 May 1 in Jericho Center, was set to visit Hinesburg Wednesday (Observer press time).
A strong Middlebury Union squad is slated to roll into the Hawks’ nest Friday (4:30 p.m.)
Now 5-5 after four straight losses, the Redhawks gave Burlington plenty of tense moments before the Seahorses escaped with a 10-9 victory. This was the same BHS outfit that ruled CVU 17-6 early last week in the Queen City.
Caroline Hern led the CVU rebellion with four goals plus an assist. Lily Schmoker fired a goal and chalked up three helpers while Lydia Maitland scored and passed off for two assists.
Redhawks’ goalie Bailee Pudvar stopped 11 BHS shots as the visitors held a 21-16 advantage in shots on net.
CVU also lost 9-5 last Wednesday at 7-2 South Burlington High and 14-10 Friday at Rice Memorial.
In the Rice contest, Emma Owens came up huge with five goals. Annie Keen popped three scores of her own and assisted on two others. Hern added two goals and an assist.
Pudvar was a busy, busy netminder with 16 saves.

— Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent

National attention for CVU girls hoopsters

CVU Women's BB  Jaunich

Laurel Jaunich

CVU Women's BB Sadie Otley

Sadie Otley

Vermont high school basketball followers were aware, now the entire nation—or that part that eyes Sports Illustrated magazine each week—knows.
The Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team has won 71 straight games and three Division 1 crowns.
That was the message as juniors Laurel Jaunich and Sadie Otley had their pictures displayed in the magazine’s popular Faces in the Crowd feature that focuses on exceptional high school and other athletes throughout the country.
The short article, included in the May 11 edition, pointed out that Jaunich led the team scorers with an average of 15.5 points and Otley paced the squad in assists with 4.5 per game.
And yes, they will be back next season, their fourth as starters.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent



Choose one of the options below or go to to check out more than 300 other volunteer options from local nonprofits, schools and public partners or call us at 860-1677.


Special Olympics Vermont is preparing for the 2015 Summer Games. Volunteers are needed. There’s a perfect position for all volunteers. Shifts available May 29, 4-8 p.m., May 30 and 31 8 a.m.-5 p.m. All volunteers receive lunch and a t-shift. Contact Caitlin Jenkins at 861-0274 or email [email protected]

Cathedral Square Corporation is looking for a group of volunteers to build raised garden beds at Holy Cross. Must be skilled at reading plans and building and able to commit to completing the project (it could take more than one day). Will need lead time to order materials. Contact Beth Alpert at 859-8819 or email [email protected]

Make-A-Wish Vermont is in need of a volunteer one or two mornings a week to help with database entry and general office tasks. Experience with Raiser’s Edge is a plus. Contact Shawna Wakeham-Smith at 864-9393, Ext. 104 or email [email protected]

American Red Cross Blood Services is seeking volunteers to greet and register platelet donors, discuss basic eligibility and answer questions. Good customer service skills and basic writing and computer skills needed. Training provided. One two-hour shift a week. Interview and background check required. Contact Alice Drislane at 497-6708 or email [email protected]

Vermont Foodbank is in need of volunteers to harvest “seconds” from Vermont farms to be processed and provided to those who would otherwise not have access to local produce. Volunteers should be able to lift up to 30 pounds. Contact Nicole Mitchell at 477-4146 or email [email protected]

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes is looking for volunteers to help address their “to do” list which may include waterfront cleanup, scraping and painting, raking, etc. Flexible scheduling. Volunteers are also needed to help at the biggest event of the season, the Kids Pirate Festival on June 11, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Contact Elisa Nelson at 475-2022 or email [email protected]

Shelburne Museum is again hosting The Classic Auto Festival and needs volunteers to help escort cars onto the Museum grounds and assist with check-in and break-down. June 5, three-hour shifts. Contact Pam Nuovo at 985-3346 or email [email protected]

Girls on the Run Vermont needs volunteers for its non-competitive 5K event at Champlain Valley Expo, June 6 from 8 a.m. – noon. Help with face painting, handing out water bottles, staffing the food table and cheering on the girls. Contact GOTR at 246-1476 or email Julie Cubino at [email protected]



Lloyd M. “Duke” Shepard, 88, passed away peacefully in the UVM Medical Center on Friday, May 15, 2015, surrounded by members of his loving family. Duke was born in Starksboro on Oct. 18, 1926, the son of Newman and Mildred Shepard, the youngest of eight children. Duke married the “love of his life,” Louise M. Johnson, on Dec. 20, 1946, after meeting on the Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain. He worked for 20 years as a truck driver for H.P. Hood, then for Mitchell Fuels, and New England Marine. In his later years, he worked for his daughter and son-inlaw at Northland Janitorial. He was a longtime resident of Williston, moving there in June 1958 with Louise and his five children. He leaves his oldest daughter, Nita and husband, Raymond Ingham; son, Donald and companion, Joni Ellis; daughter, Brenda and husband, Donald Ingham; daughter, Sheila (predeceased, July 2011) and husband, Arthur Seoane; and youngest son, Gary and wife, Helen; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. He is also survived by his sister, Ruthena Zeno; two sisters-in-law, Joyce Shepard and Rollande Shepard; and several nieces and nephews. Duke was proud to be a W.W.II veteran, having served on the U.S.S. Dayton. He loved his home, family and large circle of friends; spending time outside enjoying nature; loved horses and all animals. He had a wonderful, fulfilling life and a peaceful journey to the next one. We will always remember his smile and quick wit. The family wishes to acknowledge the wonderful care and consideration given to Duke and his family from the UVM Medical Center staff. A graveside memorial service will be held at the Maplewood Cemetery in Huntington on Saturday, June 20, 2015, at 11 a.m. Arrangements in care of the Gifford Funeral Home.

Kris Lewis Carlson, 66, of Williston, died peacefully in the Vermont Respite House on May 1, 2015. Kris was born on June 27, 1948, in Plattsburgh, N.Y., the son of Charles Arthur and Joyce Ruth (Lewis) Carlson. He was drafted by the Army and served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. His love for cars and problem solving led him to teach Industrial Arts and Science as well as Automotive Technology at Burlington High School and Burlington Technical Center from 1978 to 1990. He then started and developed the Automotive Technology Program at Vermont Technical College in 1990 and taught until 1994. He changed career paths and started working for Snap On Industrial until his retirement. In his spare time, Kris had a love of antique Buick cars, gardening, woodworking, and was a “jack-of-all-trades” for his family members, whom he was never too busy for. Kris is survived by his best friend and soul mate, Sandra B. Marcotte of Williston, and her son, Eric R. Marcotte and wife, Sherry, of Kentucky; daughter, Erica Carlson Houghton, and grand-children, Ella Marie Houghton and Riley Carlson Houghton, of Milton; sister, Mary Richer and husband, Ron, of Colchester; brother, Paul Carlson of Williston; brother, Eric Carlson and wife, Deb, of St. Albans; sister, Lori Arango and husband, Bill, of South Burlington; and a large extended family. He was predeceased by his father in 1970; and mother in 2012. The family would like to extend their most heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Chris Anker and Dr. Steven Ades and the nursing and support staff at UVM Medical Center. We also would like to thank Dr. Jaina Clough and the staff at the Vermont Respite House. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. To send online condolences please visit Those who wish to make contributions in his memory please consider The Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston, VT 05495.

Little Details: More than fur deep


By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

Life requires us to take risks to make connections. This is how we form friendships. This is how we build relationships with teachers, mentors and colleagues. This is how we learn to love.
For children who’ve experienced foster care, this can be particularly difficult.  Forging healthy emotional ties is challenging when links to one’s biological family have been disrupted. Whatever the reason for separation — negligence, abuse or crisis — removal from one’s home represents a secondary trauma.
May is National Foster Care Month. The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), which tracks statistics on this demographic group offers the following estimates:
510,000 children are living in foster care in the U.S.
40 percent of the 510,000 are aged 13 to 21
17 percent are living in group or institutional settings
49 percent are waiting to be reunited with their biological families
25 percent are waiting to be adopted because their biological families’ parental rights were terminated
Average number of placements a child in foster care experiences: 3
I work at an organization providing therapeutic foster care for children and youth coming out of particularly challenging circumstances. Many of the children we serve experience PTSD — not from a battlefield, but from their childhood home.
I’ve learned from colleagues who provide direct service — clinicians and social workers — that the impact of abuse and neglect sometimes delves far deeper than superficial bruises. Impaired cognitive development impacts a child’s ability to learn. Depleted self-esteem can precipitate poor choices and self-harm in the physical and emotional sense. Learning to trust others, when trust has been violated by those entrusted with one’s care, can be particularly difficult.
We strive to provide the youth in our care with: nurturing foster parents; educational advocacy and stability of placement; access to health, dental and mental health care; mentoring; healthy recreational opportunities; and preparation for the transition to adulthood. These aspects of “parenting” or “caregiving” are often missing or significantly disrupted in the lives of these children.
A relatively new tool in our agency’s toolbox is Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT). AAT is designed to improve a client’s social, emotional and cognitive functioning. AAT engages animals, directly, in the process of healing. Clients are partnered with an animal — often a dog, cat or horse — to spend time together.
Positive interactions foster improved physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning. For kids experiencing behavioral or emotional challenges, such therapy can enhance their sense of well-being, heighten self-esteem and strengthen attention skills.
Therapy Dog
Shayla is our office’s certified therapy dog. She wears a little pink service scarf. She’s a mixed-breed, chestnut-colored pooch rescued from an out-of-state kill shelter. Shayla wanders our office suite, sniffing her way through, while offering free petting services. She knows where our payroll administrator keeps a stash of dog biscuits and adjusts her visits accordingly. She sits quietly at her master’s feet during management team meetings. Shayla is a sweet diversion in a busy workplace.
The magic of Shayla’s presence is the impact she has on the children and youth we serve. Children ask to see Shayla and know they must calm themselves — just a little — in order to pet her in a gentle way. I’ve witnessed these transformations for young people spending time with our four-pawed furry friend.
A lot of our kids have learned to respond to relationships with defiance, as a way to protect themselves. That approach doesn’t work with Shayla. These kids learn to approach her gently. They learn how to simply “be” in the company of a gentle, compassionate soul.
Youth in foster care face significant hurdles on their journey to independence. Learning to form healthy relationships, while recognizing the power of positive interdependence, prepares these young people for life.
Shayla was abused as a puppy. I suspect her understanding of kids in foster care runs more than fur deep.
Katherine Bielawa Stamper, a Williston resident, is a former finalist for the Coolidge Prize for Journalism for writings on civility.  Reader comments are welcome at [email protected] or [email protected]