January 17, 2018

Meeting Recap
            Greetings fellow Rotarians! Our speaker today was Bob Bick, the current CEO of the Howard Center.  Mr. Bick explained that the Howard Center has a staff of about 1,500 people and is the state’s 9th largest employer. The Howard Center is mainly funded by state and federal funds and about 90% of the individuals it serves are dependent on Medicaid. Once of the main issues faced by the Howard Center is the opioid crisis that has impacted Vermont. In 2002, a clinic was established in Chittenden County for methadone treatment. Currently, the clinic actively treats 997 patients with 2/3 of the patients receiving methadone treatments and 1/3 receiving buprenorphine treatments. Based on information gathered at the clinic, our area has seen an increase in heroin use but a decrease in the use of other opiates and synthetics.  The clinic also distributes free, anonymous overdose reversal kits.  Since 2013, the clinic has confirmed that the kits have led to over 1,000 overdose reversals. Mr. Bick announced that at Community Outreach team of four people will begin work in Essex and Essex Junction this month.  The purpose of the team will be to assist those with mental health issues, substance abuse issue, homelessness and unmet social service needs.  The primary goal of this outreach will be to increase access for people in our community to needed social services.  The secondary goal is to address concerning behaviors that necessitate immediate intervention but do not rise to the level of emergency responses.  For more information about the Howard Center, please visit its website at:
February 7th Joint Meeting
            Just as a reminder, we will be holding a joint meeting with the Burlington and Colchester-Milton Clubs in the atrium room at The Essex on February 7th.  Our speaker will be Donald Benton from Selective Service.  As our group will be larger than usual, we ask that you please sign up ahead of time to let us know if you will be attending.  This way we will be able to give The Essex a more accurate head count for that lunch.
Service Above Self Dinner
            Don’t forget to put the annual Service Above Self Dinner on your calendars.  This year’s event will be held on the evening of Wednesday, February 21st at The Essex. In addition to recognizing several first-responders who have gone above and beyond the call of duty this year, we will be recognizing an individual from our community who best exemplifies the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self”.  The cost for this dinner is $35.00 per person. 
Heavenly Pantry Food Shelf
            Thank you to all who have volunteered to cover shifts at the Food Shelf in January.  Presently, we have enough volunteers for this month. We are currently looking for volunteers for dates in February (Monday, February 12th and Thursday, February 22nd) and March (Monday, March 12th and Thursday, March 22nd).  Please let Sharon Dettenreider know if you are able to fill any of these slots.
Upcoming Meeting Schedule:  Wednesday, January 24th - Our speaker will be Dr. Allan Ramsay who will discuss proposals to provide primary care for all Vermonters.
For the complete list of upcoming speakers and information about the Club, please go to our website at   Be sure to also follow us on Facebook at , on Instagram at and on Twitter at
       Yours in Rotary,
Jason Ruwet