Published: 09.12.2022 13:30:56
Modified: 09.12.2022 13:30:36
LEBANON — Southwestern Vermont Health Care, based in Bennington, Vt., plans to become a member of Dartmouth Health, DH administrators announced in a Friday message to employees.
The new agreement builds on the services the two organizations have shared since 2011 through Dartmouth Hitchcock Putnam Physicians Group, based at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, and clinical collaborations in the areas of cancer care, telemedicine, and quality and safety .
“The proposed agreement will strengthen and expand services in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular medicine, orthopedics and primary care,” wrote Joanne Conroy, DH’s CEO, and Steve Leblanc, DH’s chief strategy officer, in the note to employees . “Having SVHC as a regional resource will further expand our ability to serve patients in Vermont, Massachusetts and New York.”
The two healthcare organizations have signed an agreement that, if approved, would add the 99-bed SVMC, as well as 25 primary and specialty care practices, two nursing homes and a foundation across nine locations in Bennington and nearby New York and Massachusetts. to DH.
“We believe a more formal relationship will strengthen and expand services for the 75,000 patients served by SVHC,” said Audra Burns, a DH spokeswoman, in an email Friday.
A message seeking comment from SVHC was not returned in a timely manner, but SVHC CEO Tom Dee told Vermont News & Media on Thursday that the agreement he is said to have in place for March is a long time coming and in light of that it makes sense that they have already worked together and share a “common culture”.
Based in Lebanon, DH currently includes five other hospitals including Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon’s Upper Valley; Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon; New London Hospital; and Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor; a Visiting Nurse Association and several clinics. An affiliation with Claremont-based Valley Regional Hospital is also pending.
“This is another step in ensuring we have a solid and thoughtful plan that both positions the organization for current financial sustainability and looks ahead to Dartmouth Health’s future growth,” Conroy and Leblanc wrote. “We will update you on our progress as we work to complete this important transaction and we look forward to officially welcoming SVHC to the Dartmouth Health System.”
The announcement comes after a plan for DH to join forces with Manchester-based Catholic Medical Center fell apart earlier this year and the DH system recently reported operating losses largely due to staff shortages and difficulties in discharging patients on time are due to behavior.
SVHC and DH aim to complete the “integration” within the next year, the employee email said. They work through a “robust process of organizational due diligence and regulatory review,” Burns said.
Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3213.