SVHC Thanks the First Day School
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/ Categories: NEWS, 2020

SVHC Thanks the First Day School

Shown from left to right are John, Penelope, and Josef Lamson; Trey Dobson, MD; Pamela Duchene, PhD, APRN; and Gabriel, Thea, Amy, and Adelaide Newbold.

BENNINGTON, VT—June 15, 2020—In mid-May, the Southwestern Vermont Health Care Foundation received a letter and donation from the First Day School of the Bennington Friends Meeting, a local group of the Religious Society of Friends, known more commonly as Quakers.

The letter was written by 11-year-old Thea Newbold of North Bennington. She wrote on behalf of the other children of The First Day School, the Quaker equivalent of Sunday School, according to Amy Newbold, Thea’s mother.

In the letter, Thea explained that the adults had provided the children with funds to give to the charity or charities of their choice and that the children had chosen to send a third of the funds to the hospital.

“We know that you are risking your lives to help people in need during this pandemic,” Thea wrote. “And we are very grateful for your hard work. Please accept this gift… to help you get supplies like masks… to protect others and yourselves.”

The letter was signed by Addie, Gabe, Josef, and Penelope.

“While we are deeply grateful for each of the donations we have received to the COVID-19 Relief Fund over the past several months, this one was particularly heartwarming,” said Leslie Keefe, vice president for Corporate Development at SVHC. “Our health care providers take great comfort in the support of these compassionate and thoughtful children.”  

The health system invited The First Day School of the Bennington Friends Meeting to meet SVHC’s clinical leaders—Chief Medical Officer Trey Dobson, MD, and Chief Nursing Officer Pamela Duchene, PhD, APRN—on the lawn at the front of the hospital earlier this month

”It is really special that the children chose SVHC as the local organization for their contribution,” said Duchene. “It is wonderful that, at such young ages, they recognize the importance of caring for their community.”

Dobson added, “This is such a thoughtful group of young people. Meeting them was the highlight of my day.”

The children also supported Feeding America and the World Wildlife Foundation.

About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices. For more information, visit

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provides exceptional care without discriminating on the basis of an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

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