MANCHESTER >> Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's (SVMC) staff dedicated the northshire campus on Sunday with a newly renovated facility, in an effort to spread awareness of primary care access in the area.
The distinct National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Level 2 Patient Centered Medical Home added a new vestibule and waiting room, second floor consultation rooms and a new wing of five new exam rooms. The building was constructed in 1987.
"Primary care is a big piece of our strategic plan. As we build a healthcare system of the future, the base notes of the health system is having vibrant, accurate and numerous primary care centers," Thomas Dee, Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) chief executive officer and president said. "I'm very pleased that this was really a centerpiece. We made a decision a couple of years ago to make an investment here, and we probably invested a little over $1 million to expand this center. We are very proud of the facility here."
Formerly, the upstairs was used as storage and office space and the new examination wing allowed to employ another provider. The practice offers mental health services, smoking cessation counseling and diet and nutritional education as well as routine medical examinations.
"We are a Level 2 medical home and that's a designation that shows that we have reached a certain level of proficiency in terms of our teamwork, our prevention and our ability to provide not only primary care, but other services here," Dee continued.
SVHC also opened a primary care facility in Pownal last fall, and has plans to conduct an open house there in the near future.
"I noticed when I came in the sign said 'celebration,' and sadly in today's world there's not a lot to celebrate," Donor Roby Harrington, III said. "I think the community here is something you can always celebrate."
The open house consisted of a healthy barbecue, vision and blood pressure screenings, a jump rope competition and face painting. The Manchester Rescue Squad opened an ambulance for tours.
Other services offered include pediatrics, follow-up care, family practice, women's health, oncology, physical therapy, laboratory work, on-site X-ray services, health promotion, diabetes education, behavioral health and wellness.
SVHC has a strong partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock in New Hampshire, which allows access to more than 1,200 primary and specialty care physicians, according to SVHC's website.
"The building itself has been designed with the community in mind. It was a practice at one point .now it's the model of a lot of other places," Alan Wiegand, chair of the Northshire Regional Advisory Board said. "[Nurse Practitioners] can really do a lot of stuff for the community. It takes a while for people to realize that it's here. Even when it was here, people didn't realize it was Bennington overseeing what was going on."
The northshire campus is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday's and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is located at 5957 Main St. and Route 7A in Manchester. To make an appointment, call 802-362-4440.
— Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.