Vermont Blueprint for Health Chronic Care Conference Empowers Providers

DATE: March 17, 2006
Contact: Communication Office

BURLINGTON, VT – Fifty-five percent of adult Vermonters have a chronic disease or condition and the incidence of chronic condition sharply escalates with age. Eighty-eight percent of the state’s population over the age of 65 suffers from one or more chronic condition.

The Vermont Blueprint for Health Chronic Care Conference, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, March 20 at the Sheraton Conference Center in Burlington, will provide information and resources that empower health care providers to more successfully manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer.

Chronic conditions are the leading cause of illness, disability and death, touching the lives of most Vermonters and consuming more than three-quarters of the $2.8 billion spent on health care. On a national level, 83 percent of health care spending is for people with chronic conditions.

“Significant long-term benefits can be realized in terms of decreased utilization, cost prevention and treatment if chronic conditions are addressed comprehensively by employers, health care providers and patients themselves,” said Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Paul Jarris. “This conference is an opportunity for health care providers to share best practices that can make a substantial, lasting difference in quality of life for people living with chronic conditions.”

The Vermont Blueprint for Health, initiated by Gov. Jim Douglas, is a collaborative approach to improving health and health care for people living with life-long illnesses, and is focused on information systems, effective patient self-management tools and community support. Gov. Douglas will speak at the conference at 10:15 a.m.

Featured speakers are Dr. John Barkmeier, medical director for Information Technology at ThedaCare, an integrated health system in northeast Wisconsin; and Francois de Brantes, MBA, former program leader for GE Health Care Initiatives and currently with Bridges to Excellence, a non-profit organization created to encourage significant leaps in the quality of care by recognizing and rewarding health care providers who demonstrate the delivery of safe, effective, efficient and patient-centered care.

The conference is presented by the Health Department and the University of Vermont College of Medicine.
There's still time to register for the conference online at, where you can find the full day's agenda — or by calling 802-656-2292. The conference is $50 for general admission, $75 for nurses and $125 for physicians. Registrations is also available on Monday at the conference.

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