The Mountain Times

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Once vital organization dissolving

Dear Editor,

After 65 years of existence and service to infants and children in Rutland County, Community Childcare of Rutland County, better known as The Well Baby Clinic, is finally dissolving.

Since the clinic went out of business in 1999 (mainly because the need had declined as federal and state programs covered the cost for healthcare for low-income families,) the organization continued to service children through the School Child Program. It was Margaret (Peg) Randall who continued to honor requests for families in need. Peg recently passed away.

The origin of the program dates back to 1947, when a member of the Rutland Jewish Sisterhood named Anna Frank organized a tag sale. That effort raised $446 toward running a health care program for the children of Rutland's needy families, well before the advent of Medicaid or Dr Dynasaur.

Dr Emily Perkins, one of Rutland's first pediatricians, donated much of her time and services.  Soon, nine religious groups (Catholic, Protestant and Jewish) and parent-teacher associations got involved and the program formally became the Community Child Care Well Baby Clinic in 1949. The clinic moved from the old Rutland Hospital to the Longfellow school to the Lutheran Church and finally the Vermont Achievement Center. In January 1950, the original group disbanded and turned over the assets to a newly formed non-profit corporation.

Rutland pediatricians provided medical examinations for healthy children from birth through 5 years old. In addition, the children were immunized by our public health nurses, given vitamins free of charge, as well as medicine when the family was unable to buy it. The clinic also provided used clothing for the children.

Today, thanks to the prudence of the volunteers of the churches and the synagogue there are funds remaining in our treasury. The Executive Committee of the organization has decided to donate the remaining funds to several organizations in Rutland County that work with infants and school age children for their health and wellness. It is our hope that the money will benefit the organizations and aid them in continuing their mission as well as that of Community Childcare.

The warmth that came through with so many volunteers made our clients feel comfortable and unafraid. We would like to thank all the people who have been involved over these many years for their time, their energy, and their love.
Elaine Latzky, Mendon, Vt.