Medical Center to open in spring

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MANCHESTER — After more than a year's delay because of a funding shortage, the Manchester Medical Center is gearing to open this spring.

Dr. Janel Kittredge, co-owner of the forthcoming facility on Bonnet Street, shared the news to quash speculation that the medical center wasn't going to materialize.

In 2017, Kittredge and her husband, Dr. Thomas Sterling, announced that their walk-in clinic would begin operating at end of that year.

"There was a lot of chatter in town that we weren't going to open," Kittredge said. "We are, in fact, still opening, and we needed to raise more money."

Construction slowed because loan financing for the $1.4 million project encountered delays, Kittredge explained. The husband-and-wife emergency physicians are personally funding it with the help of community members, and Kittredge noted that the medical center is neither affiliated with a hospital nor receiving federal grants.

The Winhall couple, who have four daughters ages 3 to 11, apparently never had any doubts the medical center would materialize.

"We are pretty determined people," said Kittredge, a Manchester native and graduate of Burr and Burton Academy. "Health care is in a really difficult place right now, and this is something we could offer."

The couple, both 44, met during medical training in Ohio and are board certified in emergency medicine. Kittredge is medical director at the Carlos Otis Clinic on Stratton Mountain and runs a private practice in Manchester. Sterling, who hails from Arizona, works as an independent contractor for several hospitals in Massachusetts and also is a flight surgeon for the Vermont Air National Guard.

They thought up the Manchester Medical Center to fill the need for a local urgent care facility and emergency department alternative for nonlife-threatening medical conditions.

"Generally speaking, we will be able to treat and discharge 90 percent to 95 percent of ailments coming through the door," Kittredge said. The rest may require hospitalization and patients will be transferred to another facility after they're stabilized.

The medical center will provide a range of services to both residents and visitors, including treating the common cold, broken bones or chest pain, as well as refilling medication, conducting physical exams and providing vaccinations. It will be equipped with a laboratory, ultrasound imaging and a digital X-ray machine.

The facility will be open daily: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Patients won't need to be established with the practice or have medical insurance in order to be seen.

"Our goal is not to turn anyone away," Kittredge said, adding that patients with no insurance can either pay with cash or a credit card, or set up a payment plan. "Because we're not affiliated with a hospital, we're not an emergency department, there are a lot of extraneous fees that we don't have to charge."

Only three of the medical center's eight treatment rooms will be finished when the facility opens in the spring, but Kittredge said this is a way for them to start generating revenue to pay for the rest of the construction.

People interested in making a donation to the medical center, which Kittredge said is tax deductible, can contact her at dr.kittredge@mmcvt.com. They also welcome equipment donation, particularly for the X-ray room, and would name the room in honor of the donor.

Tiffany Tan can be reached at ttan@benningtonbanner.com, @tiffgtan at Twitter and 802-447-7567 ext. 122.


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