For Immediate Release                                                                       For More Information Contact:
August 10, 2017                                                                                         Ron Hallman, 388-4744

Local addiction treatment options expand: Services growing in three area towns

MIDDLEBURY — Addison County will soon see a substantial expansion of Medication Assisted Treatment services for locals who are addicted to narcotic painkillers. That treatment — which includes the prescribing of Suboxone — is now being offered in Middlebury and will soon take root in Vergennes.

addiction treatment team
DR. WILL PORTER, far right, is part of a team that is providing Medication Assisted Treatment in Bristol and now in Middlebury at UVM Health Network/Porter Podiatry. Pictured with Dr. Porter are team members, left to right, Shawn Thompson-Snow, Mary-Lynn Walkomen, David Payne and Therese Giles. Independent photo/Trent Campbell

 

And leaders of Mountain Health — a Federally Qualified Health Center in Bristol — confirmed that beginning next month it also will dispense Medically Assisted Treatment, known as MAT.

The Primary Care Vergennes Office — formerly known as the Little City Family Practice — is preparing to provide MAT services “in the near future,” according to UVMHN, Porter Medical Center spokesman Ron Hallman.

These are major new developments in the county’s war on opioid addiction, which continues to claim victims. Until last month only the UMVNH, Porter Primary Care Bristol (formerly known as Bristol Internal Medicine) was offering MAT. Its enrollment has been limited to 110 patients, which is a fraction of the number of area residents who are addicted to illicit narcotics and must currently travel many miles north or south to receive treatment — or simply go without.

“We’ve all learned a lot about the need to pitch in,” said Dr. Will Porter, who for the past three years has been offering MAT services through Porter Primary Care Bristol. His colleague, Dr. Emily Glick, was the first Addison County physician to offer a Suboxone-based MAT program.

But Dr. Porter is now able to offer MAT care to patients for one day a week (Thursdays) in Middlebury, thanks to an agreement with the folks at UVMHN/Porter Podiatry at 76 Court St.

Porter stressed the Porter Podiatry Thursday sessions are for the convenience of some of the practice’s current 110 patients who find it difficult to get to Bristol. Around one-third of those 110 patients are now rotating into the Middlebury location.

“I gave my patients the option of being seen in Middlebury instead of Bristol, and many of them opted for that,” Porter said. “I thought, ‘(Middlebury) is the center of the county, most people live closer to Middlebury than Bristol. Most people with addiction struggle with transportation, so it makes total sense. It’s been a long-term goal to do this.”

Still, Porter is optimistic he’ll soon be able to boost the number of patients to whom he’ll be able to offer MAT services, due to a recent, major change in the way he’s serving people. Rather than seeing patients individually, they have moved to seeing them in groups.

“Group medical visits are a phenomenon in diabetes care and other care; it’s well-recognized that this is therapeutic to have peer support in their treatment, because peers have a lot of perspective,” Porter said.

Here’s how it works.

The physician conducts medical visits with patients in a group, which then meets with a counselor and a case manager. The patients also submit to mandatory urine screening and receive their Suboxone prescription as part of their visit.

“This way, it’s more efficient,” Porter said. “We can see up to 10 patients in an hour and a half, whereas before, I would see three people in an hour and a half doing individual treatment.”

Put another way, instead of seeing 12-14 patients daily in Bristol, Porter will be able to see 16-18 using the group format.

Seeing patients as a group, officials believe, will eventually create additional capacity for local physicians to add to their MAT rolls.

“Medication doesn’t produce the recovery,” Porter said. “Medication gives people the space to do the real work of recovery, which occurs in their heart and in their mind.”

Incarceration isn’t the solution, according to Porter.

“Punishment doesn’t work; treatment works,” Porter said. “This is a condition in which people’s lives and their minds have been changed, and they need help. And medicine works.”

Dr. Porter cautioned, however, that not everyone is cut out for MAT services in a group setting. Above all, Addison County candidates must be motivated. Patients must submit to random urinalysis checks to ensure compliance.

“We very carefully select patients for the program,” Porter said. “Not everyone is appropriate for treatment in that setting. It’s a much less intensive, supervised setting than one of the hubs in Rutland or Burlington, where there’s daily contact between the treatment center and the patient.”

Paths to Addiction

Porter’s patients have become addicted through various channels. Some became hooked after having been prescribed painkillers following an injury. Others have found drugs in the family medicine chest and wanted more. Still others bought some on a street corner and couldn’t get enough. And once addicted, some people will do anything to get more.

“There are many paths to it,” Porter said. “But one thing you can say for sure is, no one ever set out to be addicted to opiates. It’s not what you want to do. It looks like a solution at first, then it becomes the worst problem you could create for a person.”

Dr. Frank Provato is medical director at Bristol’s Mountain Health, which mainly serves residents of the five-town area of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton New Haven and Starksboro. It recently added mental health services (through the Counseling Service of Addison County) and dental care.

Mountain Health prides itself in offering care for virtually all of a person’s health care needs, whether they be medical, mental or dental. So when it became clear some of the practice’s patients were struggling with addiction to opioids, it only made sense to offer an MAT program, Provato noted.

“We are aware there’s a waiting list (for MAT services) in Addison County,” Provato said. “We have identified some patients in our practice.”

This won’t be the first time Mountain Health has taken steps to serve people with addiction. The practice already has a drug/alcohol counselor on its staff. That person has not been in a position to issue prescriptions for Suboxone, however. Some Mountain Health providers are currently receiving certification to be able to prescribe Suboxone.

Mountain Health’s staff also includes an acupuncturist who will be able to provide “acudetox” to supplement MAT services, according to Provato.

“This is well-established and uses acupuncture needles,” Provato said. “What it does is it serves as a form of relaxation. There is also evidence that it reduces the urge to use controlled substances.”

Mountain Health officials are not yet putting a specific number on the MAT patients they’ll be able to accommodate. But given the opioid addiction crisis throughout the state and country, it’s probably safe to say they’ll be able to fill all their spots.

The NO. 1 Priority

A recent New York Times report placed drug overdose deaths in the U.S. at around 59,000 in 2016. That figure exceeds the number of U.S. service men and women who died during the entire Vietnam War, and is more than died during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1996.

“The surgeon general has declared (opioid addiction) the number one public health priority for the nation,” Dr. Porter noted. “That’s above dementia, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and everything else.”

Still, fewer than 10 percent of people with severe opiate-use disorder are seeking treatment, according to Porter.

“That’s devastating,” Porter said. “What can we do if we can only get one out of 10? It’s invisible and hard to get at. It’s in the shadows.”

Fortunately, providers like Porter and Glick have induced many people to step out of the shadows.

“My experience, in doing this for three years in Addison County, is that when you provide treatment for addiction that is compassionate and high quality, it’s the best advertisement for others to come in for treatment,” Porter said. “I have had the direct experience of taking on patients and then having their family members, their acquaintances seeking treatment.”

How successful is the treatment?

Here’s what Porter has learned and seen during the past few years: If you take 100 people and put them through MAT, around 70 percent will emerge having conquered their addiction to illicit opiates. The success rate is around 5 percent for the same 100 people who go the abstinence only route, according to Porter.

Unfortunately, the domestic health care industry hasn’t made a big transition to MAT.

“In the U.S., 80 percent of the (drug treatment) programs are abstinence-based,” Porter said. “We’re using the wrong tool, because of political, philosophical, judgment-based perspective.”

Busy Family Doctors

Porter isn’t surprised there aren’t more Addison County health care providers in the MAT business. He knows they are extremely busy.

“I fully see that family doctors have been nearly submerged in Addison County,” Porter said. “And in general, everything flows downhill to primary care. Every last detail gets shuffled back to them. (Family doctors) are the dairy farmers of the medical world. They don’t have a moment to take a breath, and they don’t have the leeway to take on more.”

Nonetheless, there’s hope and progress on the horizon, Porter said, including the fact that:

  • Dr. Lynn Wilkinson is returning to UVMHN, Porter Medical Center this September to join the MAT program.
  • Valley Vista has launched substance abuse treatment programs in Vergennes.
  • New state guidelines, which took effect July 1, place limits on the amount of narcotic painkillers that can be prescribed to patients.

Dr. Porter plans to stick with it as an MAT physician.

“I have been practicing medicine for 25 years, and the last three have been the most rewarding of my career,” Porter said.

“The ‘golden age’ of treatment, I think, is coming.”

 By John Flowers. Used with permission from the Addison County Independent newspaper.

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For Immediate Release                                                                       For More Information Contact:
June 8, 2017                                                                                         Ron Hallman, 388-4744

New “UVM Health Network--Porter Express Care” Clinic to Open Next Week

MIDDLEBURY--The new UVM Health Network/Porter Express Care clinic will open on Tuesday, June 13th, in the Collins Building on the main Porter campus.

“This location offers easy access to a variety of hospital support services including lab and radiology, while providing convenient, high-quality healthcare services to our community, said UVMHN-PMC President Dr. Fred Kniffin. “We have been working diligently for months to design and build a comfortable 5-bed clinic with all of the resources to streamline care for our community, and it is an exciting new service for Porter and our community.”

Dr. Kniffin’s enthusiasm is echoed by Dr. Amanda Young, the medical director for the new clinic. “Porter Express Care” will be open seven days a week, to serve our patients who are unable to be seen in a primary care office for a variety of reasons, those who are visitors to our community, or people who require urgent medical attention but who do not require the level of clinical care associated with a traditional emergency department visit”, she said. “We believe that the introduction of this new service is a true milestone for Porter and the people we serve”.

The clinic will be Open 7-Days a Week from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sundays. Patients will be seen on a walk-in basis with no appointments needed. Services will include point of care lab tests and diagnostic tests including radiology exams, as well as common injuries such as sprains, strains and lacerations. “Beyond providing immediate care, all patients will be assisted with referral and follow-up appointments to area primary care and specialty providers,” Young said. “The goal is to wrap our healthcare system around our patients and make easy transitions between acute and chronic care.”

According to Kniffin, the support from our community for this project has been overwhelming.
“We are thankful to our PMC Auxiliary for their commitment of $75,000 to this project, to the Middlebury Lions Club for their pledge of $15,000 and to two anonymous donors who have donated $100,000; as well as to Middlebury College for their assistance in making this project possible and to everyone on our staff who has worked so hard over the past several months to introduce this invaluable service to our community,” he said.

 

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For Immediate Release                                                                       For More Information Contact:
May 29, 2017                                                                                         Ron Hallman, 388-4744

New “UVM Health Network--Porter Express Care” Clinic to Open in early June

MIDDLEBURY--The new UVM Health Network/Porter Express Care clinic will open in early June, in the Collins Building on the main Porter campus.

“This location offers easy access to a variety of hospital support services including lab and radiology, while providing convenient, high-quality healthcare services to our community, said UVMHN-PMC President Dr. Fred Kniffin. “We have been working diligently for months to design and build a comfortable 5-bed clinic with all of the resources to streamline care for our community, and it is an exciting new service for Porter and our community.”

Dr. Kniffin’s enthusiasm is echoed by Dr. Amanda Young, the medical director for the new clinic. “Porter Express Care” will be open seven days a week, to serve our patients who are unable to be seen in a primary care office for a variety of reasons, those who are visitors to our community, or people who require urgent medical attention but who do not require the level of clinical care associated with a traditional emergency department visit”, she said. “We believe that the introduction of this new service is a true milestone for Porter and the people we serve”.

The clinic will be Open 7-Days a Week from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sundays. Patients will be seen on a walk-in basis with no appointments needed. Services will include point of care lab tests and diagnostic tests including radiology exams, as well as common injuries such as sprains, strains and lacerations. “Beyond providing immediate care, all patients will be assisted with referral and follow-up appointments to area primary care and specialty providers,” Young said. “The goal is to wrap our healthcare system around our patients and make easy transitions between acute and chronic care.”

According to Kniffin, the support from our community for this project has been overwhelming.
“We are thankful to our PMC Auxiliary for their commitment of $75,000 to this project, to the Middlebury Lions Club for their pledge of $15,000 and to two anonymous donors who have donated $100,000; as well as to Middlebury College for their assistance and to everyone on our staff who has worked so hard over the past several months to make this project possible,” he said.

 

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May 11, 2017                                                                                        Contact: Mike Noble (802) 847-2886

 

The University of Vermont Health Network has named Jerald Novak as the network’s chief people officer, effective, May 1.

Jerald NovakBurlington(VT) – The University of Vermont Health Network has named Jerald Novak as the network’s chief people officer, effective, May 1. He most recently led Human Resources for Global Assets at Biogen in Cambridge, MA. The position replaces the former chief human resources officer function.

As chief people officer, Novak will not only provide strategic vision and direction for the human resources efforts of the Network, but also focus on cultural integration of the system, leadership team development, and advancement of our talent management strategy to develop a high-performance, sustainable organization that can meet strategic and operational goals.

Novak has 20 years of experience in human resources.  At Biogen, he led the creation of a new global manufacturing function and developed a talent review process for early career talent.  He also implemented a new company-wide operating model enabling field affiliate organizations and centralized functions to work together more productively.

“Jerald’s track record of managing change while increasing organizational capability will be of great value as we work to meet our mission,” said John Brumsted, MD, UVM Health Network president and chief executive officer.  “I look forward to partnering with him to continue elevating our culture throughout the UVM Health Network.”

“I’m thrilled to join an organization where the mission begins and ends with the patient,” Jerald added.  “I believe a continued investment in our network’s culture and employees will pay even greater dividends for our patients and all who support them.”

Prior to joining Biogen in 2014, Novak served at organizations including Honeywell, Citigroup and PepsiCo in leadership roles as an HR business partner, talent acquisition leader and in leadership development.

Novak has a Bachelor of Science degree in Television, Radio & Film Production from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communication, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing, with an emphasis on Strategic Human Resource Management, from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

About The University of Vermont Health Network

The University of Vermont Health Network is a six-hospital system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives.  The partners are:

Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our hospitals remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.

 

For Immediate Release                                                                                 For More Information Contact:
April 24, 2017                                                                                        Ron Hallman, 388-4744

Porter Plans Community Celebration to Formally Announce UVM Health Network Affiliation

MIDDLEBURY-Porter Medical Center will hold a special community celebration on May 11 to formally announce and celebrate the recent affiliation with the University of Vermont Health Network. Although the affiliation became effective in April following a vote at the PMC annual meeting in March, a community launch celebration is planned for May 11 during National Hospital Week.

The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. with remarks by administrative leaders from both Porter and the University of Vermont Health Network and the unveiling of the new monument signs which will stand at the entrance to the medical center campus. Porter CEO, Dr. Fred Kniffin, is encouraging all staff and community friends to attend this event and participate in this historic day. “We are excited and confident that this affiliation will lead to even greater collaboration between Porter and UVM Health Network and will improve access to health care and specialized services, as well as allow Porter to continue to fulfill our mission and improve the overall health of our community” he said. “We encourage both members of our Porter family and our local friends and supporters to join us for this event,” he added.

During various community presentations over the past year, Kniffin emphasized that Porter and the UVM Health Network agreed early on that maintaining the current array of clinical services that Porter now offers is essential, as well as a mutual desire to bring more specialized medical care to the community and allow Porter to work collaboratively to secure closer clinical integration with the academic medical center.

“We are excited, we are enthusiastic, and we are ready to begin this new chapter in the history of Porter Medical Center to build upon a strong foundation of care and to enhance those services for the current and next generation of our patients and residents”, he added.

In addition to the formal ceremony in the morning, there will be a cook-out, live music and other festivities occurring on campus for both employees and community friends. For more information, members of the community may call 388-4744.

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Porter Building 'Express' Clinic for Urgent Care

MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center has begun construction on a new clinic that will serve people requiring immediate medical services, but who do not require the resources of an emergency department.

It’s going to be called “Porter Express Care,” and it is now being built into a 1,600-square-foot space within Porter’s Collins Building.

Porter officials said the new clinic will provide quick health care options for patients who might otherwise go to the emergency room. Porter spokesman Ron Hallman cited earaches, strep throat, lacerations, urinary tract infections, concussions and sports injuries as among the ailments that will appropriately be dealt with at Porter Express Care.

PMC President Dr. Fred Kniffin said the new clinic will give Addison County residents a new — and less expensive — care option that is quite common among other hospitals.

“At every community forum I have led over the past year, someone would invariably ask me when Porter would be opening up a local urgent care center so that they could receive this necessary service here in Addison County and not have to travel out of our community or obtain care in our emergency department for acute medical problems that are, in fact, not emergencies,” he said through a written statement. “We are very excited about this new project and, more important, our community is clearly both very excited and supportive of our new Express Care project.”

With a tentative June opening, Express Care will be open seven days per week — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. It will be a walk-in service that will use the same medical records as Porter Medical Group in order to allow for sharing of clinical information with the patient’s primary care provider for follow-up care.

Construction of the new facility began this month. It will include five exam rooms and a separate entrance into the Collins Building.

Dr. Amanda Young helped plan the project and will serve as the clinic’s medical director.

(From the Addison Independent)

 

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For Immediate Release                                                                                 For More Information Contact:
March 16, 2017                                                                                        Ron Hallman, 388-4744

Porter Community Members Vote in Support of UVM Health Network Affiliation

MIDDLEBURY-The members of Porter Medical Center voted unanimously at the PMC annual meeting on March 15 to approve necessary amendments to the Porter bylaws representing the final step for Porter to complete an affiliation with the University of Vermont Health Network. The affiliation will become effective in April, and the formal community launch is planned for May 11 during National Hospital Week.

“This vote by our members, by our community, is an historic powerful confirmation of the very diligent, comprehensive and forward-looking strategic planning process we have been engaged in for more than a year. After multiple meetings with our internal and external constituencies, as well as comprehensive analyses of how this affiliation will enhance our mission to serve our community, our corporate members have now formally voted to approve the required bylaw amendments to conclude this process” said PMC Board Chair Maureen McLaughlin.

Porter CEO, Dr. Fred Kniffin, applauded this vote and enthusiastically supports this decision. “I am confident that this affiliation will lead to even greater collaboration between Porter and UVM Health Network to improve access to health care and specialized services, and allow Porter to continue to fulfill our mission and improve the overall health of our community” he said.

“Since the very beginning of this journey, the best interest of our community and our entire organization was the center principle. Our underlying motivation was ensuring continued local access to high-quality healthcare services, with a focus on clinical integration, improving our facilities and ensuring our overall financial strength to ensure that Porter remains a strong integral partner in this community for the next 100 years” McLaughlin added.

During the affiliation negotiations and at various community presentations, Kniffin emphasized that Porter and the UVM Health Network agreed early on that maintaining the current array of clinical services that Porter now offers is essential, as well as a mutual desire to bring more specialized medical care to the community and allow Porter to work collaboratively to secure closer clinical integration with the academic medical center. “These have been our priorities all along, and we feel that this affiliation with the UVM Health Network is our best path forward to accomplish all of these goals,” Kniffin said. During the past year, he has specifically pointed to bringing a common electronic medical record system, enhanced access to clinical, quality and financial expertise and construction of a new medical office building as specific and vitally important elements of this affiliation.

“We are excited, we are enthusiastic, and we are ready to begin this new chapter in the history of Porter Medical Center to build upon a strong foundation of care and to enhance those services for the current and next generation of our patients and residents”, he added.

“Porter Medical Center’s decision to join the UVM Health Network is very significant because of the deliberative process, including a special effort to include the whole community to carefully examine all of the options,” said John Brumsted, M.D., president and CEO, UVM Health Network and CEO, UVM Medical Center. “The greater Middlebury community has benefitted, and will continue to benefit, from Dr. Fred Kniffin’s leadership.”

According to Kniffin, more detailed information about the planned formal community launch on May 11 will be distributed to the community shortly.

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For Immediate Release                                                                                 For More Information Contact:
November 10, 2016                                                                                         Ron Hallman, 388-4744

Porter Staff to Participate with other Vermont Hospitals in Week-Long Disaster Response Training

Middlebury--During the week of November 14th, healthcare professionals from across Vermont, including 12 staff members from Porter Medical Center, will be traveling to a national emergency preparedness training facility in Anniston, Alabama under a federally-funded program to train at the “Center for Domestic Preparedness” (CDP).

In 1998, the Center for Domestic Preparedness opened its doors as a training center for the nation’s emergency responders. The CDP’s interdisciplinary training courses promote greater understanding among the following diverse responder disciplines: Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Service, Hazardous Materials, Healthcare, Law Enforcement, Public Health and Public Safety Communications. In 2007, the Noble Training Facility (NTF) was integrated into the CDP training center; Noble is a former Army Hospital which was converted to a training site for health and medical education in disasters. It is the only hospital facility in the United States dedicated solely to training hospital and healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response.

According to PMC spokesperson, Ron Hallman, more than half of Vermont hospitals are sending representatives to this federally-funded training program, including clinical, support and administrative staff. At the beginning of the five day course, employees will select one of two courses based on their skill sets: the Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents (HCL) or the Hospital Emergency Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents (HERT).

"We are excited to be taking advantage of this week-long training at the CDP, side-by-side with other Vermont colleagues from both UVMHN and small community hospitals like Porter, which will allow us to achieve greater coordination and consistency among all of our hospitals," Hallman said.

“Some potential issues that all Vermont hospitals face include hazardous material incidents from train or truck accidents, as well as industrial accidents. We also have to contend with nor'easters and ice storms that have wiped out power in some areas for days at a time,” he said. “Continuous training is important on site, and Porter does that throughout the year via disaster drills, but our goal for next week at the CDP is to learn from others in our state, learn about emerging issues and maybe help us as leaders to think outside of the box," he said.

Porter’s 12 team members will train in different roles: Incident Commanders, Emergency Department nurses, logistics chiefs, decontamination team members and as a public information officer.

"During emergency situations we often deal with challenges we don’t normally have to face during our day to day work. Our Porter team will have a change to work closely throughout the week with staff members from other Vermont hospitals as well as the experts at CDP," Hallman said.

The Vermont representatives will finish their respective classes on Thursday of next week. On Friday, they will put their training to the test during the Integrated Capstone Event or ICE. The ICE combines multiple courses in a final culminating exercise that promotes an interdisciplinary response to a simulated mass casualty incident. During the ICE, the students will be challenged with realistic scenarios in which role players, human patient simulators and mannequins portrayed survivors of a mass casualty incident.

The exercise will be carried out in various training venues including the CDP's indoor street scene, subway and at the Noble Training Facility.

A former student from New Hampshire who took this course last year summarized her experience this way: "It's just cool that we have a real hospital that we can train in. Very rarely can we bring someone in, decontaminate them, triage them and do the whole gamut. We can't train like that at our local medical center. Training at the CDP is a great team-building experience. I think everyone should avail themselves of the opportunity."

For Immediate Release                                                                                 For More Information Contact:
November 10, 2016                                                                                         Ron Hallman, 388-4744

Porter Staff to Participate with other Vermont Hospitals in Week-Long Disaster Response Training

Middlebury--During the week of November 14th, healthcare professionals from across Vermont, including 12 staff members from Porter Medical Center, will be traveling to a national emergency preparedness training facility in Anniston, Alabama under a federally-funded program to train at the “Center for Domestic Preparedness” (CDP).

In 1998, the Center for Domestic Preparedness opened its doors as a training center for the nation’s emergency responders. The CDP’s interdisciplinary training courses promote greater understanding among the following diverse responder disciplines: Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Service, Hazardous Materials, Healthcare, Law Enforcement, Public Health and Public Safety Communications. In 2007, the Noble Training Facility (NTF) was integrated into the CDP training center; Noble is a former Army Hospital which was converted to a training site for health and medical education in disasters. It is the only hospital facility in the United States dedicated solely to training hospital and healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response.

According to PMC spokesperson, Ron Hallman, more than half of Vermont hospitals are sending representatives to this federally-funded training program, including clinical, support and administrative staff. At the beginning of the five day course, employees will select one of two courses based on their skill sets: the Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents (HCL) or the Hospital Emergency Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents (HERT).

"We are excited to be taking advantage of this week-long training at the CDP, side-by-side with other Vermont colleagues from both UVMHN and small community hospitals like Porter, which will allow us to achieve greater coordination and consistency among all of our hospitals," Hallman said.

“Some potential issues that all Vermont hospitals face include hazardous material incidents from train or truck accidents, as well as industrial accidents. We also have to contend with nor'easters and ice storms that have wiped out power in some areas for days at a time,” he said. “Continuous training is important on site, and Porter does that throughout the year via disaster drills, but our goal for next week at the CDP is to learn from others in our state, learn about emerging issues and maybe help us as leaders to think outside of the box," he said.

Porter’s 12 team members will train in different roles: Incident Commanders, Emergency Department nurses, logistics chiefs, decontamination team members and as a public information officer.

"During emergency situations we often deal with challenges we don’t normally have to face during our day to day work. Our Porter team will have a change to work closely throughout the week with staff members from other Vermont hospitals as well as the experts at CDP," Hallman said.

The Vermont representatives will finish their respective classes on Thursday of next week. On Friday, they will put their training to the test during the Integrated Capstone Event or ICE. The ICE combines multiple courses in a final culminating exercise that promotes an interdisciplinary response to a simulated mass casualty incident. During the ICE, the students will be challenged with realistic scenarios in which role players, human patient simulators and mannequins portrayed survivors of a mass casualty incident.

The exercise will be carried out in various training venues including the CDP's indoor street scene, subway and at the Noble Training Facility.

A former student from New Hampshire who took this course last year summarized her experience this way: "It's just cool that we have a real hospital that we can train in. Very rarely can we bring someone in, decontaminate them, triage them and do the whole gamut. We can't train like that at our local medical center. Training at the CDP is a great team-building experience. I think everyone should avail themselves of the opportunity."

The Porter representatives plan to provide daily updates on their training activities all next week, including photos, to be posted on the Porter intranet page.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
October 7, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744 rhallman@portermedical.org
                                                                                      Mike Noble: 802-343-8807 Milner.Noble@uvmhealth.org

Porter Board Votes to Sign Letter of Agreement to Explore UVM Health Network Affiliation

MIDDLEBURY--The Porter Medical Center Board of Directors and the University of Vermont Health Network Board of Trustees voted unanimously on October 5th to sign a non-binding “Letter of Intent” to formally negotiate terms under which Porter Medical Center would join the University of Vermont Health Network.

Although not a binding contract, the Letter of Intent clearly sets in motion a more formal process of negotiations that is expected to last approximately six months, during which time Porter and the UVM Health Network will endeavor to agree upon the specific terms that would lead to Porter becoming an affiliate of the UVM Health Network as early as the spring of 2017. During the negotiation process, Porter will retain the option of choosing independence.

“The Porter board has been engaged in a very diligent, comprehensive and forward-looking strategic planning process for more than a year, and has evaluated both continued independence and potential affiliation with a number of other healthcare organizations in order to ensure that PMC continues to fulfill its mission to meet the healthcare needs of our local community. Based on this comprehensive analysis and feedback from more than a dozen forums with our community, employees, and providers, the board has now formally voted to move forward the next step in exploring a potential affiliation” said PMC Board Chair Maureen McLaughlin.

“I look forward to the discussions that can bring Porter Medical Center into the UVM Health Network,” said John Brumsted, M.D., president and chief executive officer, UVM Health Network, and chief executive officer, UVM Medical Center. “The UVM Health Network and Porter share similar missions, visions and values. Porter has strong community ties and we are both focused on keeping care as close to home for patients and their families as possible. Being part of the network creates opportunities in this challenging era of health care reform for collaboration and finding ways to become more efficient and effective in delivering high-quality care.”

“As we have maintained throughout, the focus of this strategic planning process has always been, and remains, what is in the best interest of our community and of our entire organization for the future. Ensuring continued local access to high-quality healthcare services for our local community is paramount, but additional considerations include clinical and financial strengths and access to capital for essential projects to ensure that Porter remains a strong and integral part of this community for the next 91 years” McLaughlin added.

“Maintaining the current array of clinical services, bringing more specialized medical care to the community, and working collaboratively to pursue closer integration with our academic medical center have been our priorities all along, and we feel that this potential affiliation with the UVM Health Network is our best path forward to accomplish all of these goals,” said PMC Interim President Dr. Fred Kniffin. Kniffin points to the possibility of bringing a common EMR system, enhanced access to clinical, quality and financial expertise and a new medical office building to Porter as specific elements of this partnership.

“As this process unfolds and these negotiations continue, we will communicate with our internal and external constituencies and continue to share updates with our patients, staff, community, and providers” he said.

View One Page Summary of PMC/UVMHN “Letter of Intent”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
September 6, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Annual Campaign Boosted by $100,000 in Challenge Grants

MIDDLEBURY--Two major and anonymous financial commitments totaling $100,000 have been committed to Porter Medical Center in the form of “challenge grants” intended to encourage others to support the upcoming “People for Porter” annual campaign.

Through these challenge grants, every donation made to Porter between September 15 and December 31 will be matched on a 2-1 basis by these donors according to Porter’s Vice President for Development Ron Hallman. “We are deeply grateful to these anonymous friends who have come together to offer this incredible challenge opportunity for our local supporters,” he said. “This is a unique opportunity for every member of this community to have their individual donation, regardless of the amount, to essentially be tripled thanks to the availability of these matching funds.”

The Porter Medical Center annual campaign supports the work of both Porter Hospital and Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center and provides resources for health care programs, new equipment and other special projects.

The 2016 annual campaign is chaired by Porter’s Interim CEO, Dr. Fred Kniffin, who has personally signed more than 1,000 letters that will be mailed next week to current PMC donors, but he emphasized that this is a community-wide effort. “Porter needs the support of our community now more than ever, and I hope that both long-time donors and new friends will take this special opportunity to demonstrate their support of our community hospital and skilled nursing facility,” he said.

For more information contact Porter at 388-4744 or at www.potermedical.org

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Middlebury College, Porter Medical Center Collaborate to Improve Community Access to Post-Sexual Assault Medical Care. Details...

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
August 15, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Enters New Phase of Planning in Evaluating Independence or UVM Health Network Affiliation

MIDDLEBURY— Today, Dr. Fred Kniffin shared with Porter Medical Center employees that the PMC Board of Directors has identified the University of Vermont Health Network as their potential partner, should they choose affiliation at the conclusion of Porter’s ongoing strategic planning process. The UVM Health Network was selected from among four institutions that responded to their affiliation request for proposals. He noted that determining the future of Porter Medical Center had entered a new phase; the continued evaluation of independence vs. entering into an affiliation agreement with the University of Vermont Health Network.

For well over a year, the Porter Medical Center Board of Directors has been engaged in a comprehensive and extensive strategic planning process to chart the future course for Porter as either an independent health care organization or as an affiliated partner with another medical system. The process has included significant research, deliberations, community conversations and multiple forums with providers and employees.

"We have evaluated other potential partner options and had multiple conversations, presentations and face to face meetings with the leaders of interested organizations,” Dr. Kniffin said. “It is abundantly clear that if we choose to partner, our best partnering option would be with the UVM Health Network. That is now the only affiliation option that we are considering, should we decide to make that choice.”

Throughout this evaluation period, Porter has hosted a dozen informational forums with staff, providers and the general community to engage them in this conversation and solicit their thoughts, ideas and concerns about both options. The goal according to Kniffin is to create a shared vision of the best path forward to ensure that the people within the PMC service area continue to receive access to high quality, comprehensive and patient-focused health care, as well as position Porter for health care reform and the coming significant changes in Vermont's health care delivery system.

"What we have heard loud and clear from our community and our providers and staff during our forums is that maintaining local access to the highest level of health care services appropriate for a community hospital is essential,” Dr. Kniffin summarized. “That includes access to local primary and specialty care, maintaining all of our current inpatient and ancillary hospital services, as well as the skilled nursing care offered by Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.

"Quality and access to care are our top priority, and it is clear that the incredible resources and providers within the UVM Health Network represent a significant potential opportunity for enhancing health care in our community,” he added. “We continue to evaluate our financial future and are comparing what we could accomplish alone vs. what we could accomplish as part of a larger and stronger system."

"These are important conversations about the future of health care in our community, and our board and leadership team are completely focused on what is best for our patients, residents and the organization that has played a central role in the lives of our neighbors for 91 years," Kniffin concluded.

Another series of informational forums is now underway, including a planned community-wide forum on August 24th at 7:00 p.m. in Middlebury at the Middlebury Regional EMS headquarters. At that meeting, more specific details will be shared on both the quality and financial considerations being vetted by the PMC board, which anticipates making a final decision this fall.

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August 2, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter is one of Three Vermont Hospitals to Earn CMS Four Star Rating for Quality

Middlebury--The federal government released its first overall hospital quality rating last week, similar to the long-standing 5-Star CMS rating used for nursing homes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) based the star ratings on 64 individual measures that are published on its Hospital Compare website. The number of stars each hospital receives depends on how well the hospital performed on these 64 which include death rates, readmissions, safety indicators and patient satisfaction scores. According to CMS, the goal of this rating system is to offer consumers a simpler measure of hospital quality than the full listing of more than 100 separate measures reported by the government.

In Vermont, no hospital achieved a five star rating, and only Porter Hospital, Central Vermont Hospital and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital achieved four-star ratings. The remaining Vermont hospitals earned either a two or three star rating, or were not rated.

Dr. Kate Goodrich, who oversees Medicare’s quality ratings, said in a statement that it has been using the same type of rating system for other medical facilities, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers, and found them useful to consumers and patients. Those ratings have shown, she said, “that publicly available data drives improvement, better reporting, and more open access to quality information for our Medicare beneficiaries.”

"Today, we are taking a step forward in our commitment to transparency by releasing the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating," Goodrich said.

“Consumers can use this trustworthy program to compare hospitals side by side,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, a Washington nonprofit. “This is a huge step forward.”

Just 102 hospitals nation-wide received the top rating of five stars, and few are those considered as the nation's best by private ratings sources such as U.S. News & World Report or viewed as the most elite within the medical profession.

Earlier this summer, Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center was notified that it had earned a 5-Star CMS rating.

Hospital CMS Star Ratings in Vermont:
BRATTLEBORO MEMORIAL HOSPITAL BRATTLEBORO VT 4
CENTRAL VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER BARRE VT 4
COPLEY HOSPITAL MORRISVILLE VT 3
GIFFORD MEDICAL CENTER RANDOLPH VT 2
GRACE COTTAGE HOSPITAL TOWNSHEND VT Not Available
MT ASCUTNEY HOSPITAL WINDSOR VT Not Available
NORTH COUNTRY HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CENTER NEWPORT VT 3
NORTHEASTERN VERMONT REGIONAL HOSPITAL SAINT JOHNSBURY VT 3
NORTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER INC SAINT ALBANS VT 2
PORTER HOSPITAL, INC MIDDLEBURY VT 4
RUTLAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER RUTLAND VT 3
SPRINGFIELD HOSPITAL SPRINGFIELD VT 2
UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER BURLINGTON VT 3

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Medical Center Welcome Four New Board Members

The Porter Medical Center Board of Directors is pleased to welcome four new members who will join the board this summer, two of whom fill vacant board positions prescribed by the PMC Bylaws.

Anne Collins, by virtue of her election as President of the Porter Medical Center Auxiliary Board of Directors will be joining the parent board to replace Jan Bark who is the outgoing Auxiliary Board President. Anne is an active volunteer with Porter, the Parent Child Center, Town Hall Theater, and the Middlebury Garden Club, and has recently published a cookbook. She will also be working part-time in the office of her husband, Dr. Brian Collins, who is opening a new pediatric dental practice in Middlebury.

Cheryl Mullins will serve as one of three appointments from Middlebury College as outlined in the PMC Bylaws and will replace Patrick Norton who has accepted a new position at Tulane University. Mullins is the Director of Human Resources at the College and leads the Human Resources staff in serving the employees of Middlebury College to ensure an environment of collaboration and partnership among all members of the Middlebury community. She also is responsible for policy development, strategic planning, legal compliance, staffing management, HR forecasting and program development for the Middlebury College, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and related schools and programs.

Two additional members have been appointed to their roles by the current PMC Board to fill vacancies until formal elections are held at the next Porter annual meeting next spring. These two new members are Sherry Greifzu, RN, MSN, AOCN, Executive Director of Addison County Home Health and Hospice and Bob Thorn, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Counseling Service of Addison County. Greifzu joined ACHHH as its leader in May of 2015 and Thorn has served as the CEO of the Counseling Service since 1994. In addition to representing two of the largest health and human service agencies in Addison County, both Thorn and Greifzu have extensive experience in health care leadership and strategic planning and Greifzu is a registered nurse.

“The process of identifying new potential board members starts with an evaluation of Board needs and the strengths and experience of existing Members. Consideration is given to educational and professional experience, financial and strategic planning background, leadership skills, geographic diversity within our service area, and gender and age diversity,” said PMC board Governance Committee chairman Peter DeGraff. “The specific attributes we put on the top of our list this year included a strong financial and business background, strategic planning skills, and familiarity with Vermont’s healthcare landscape. Representation from other area health and human service organizations as well as someone with a nursing background were seen as important as we move toward a more integrated health care delivery system in Vermont”, he added. “We are very pleased with the diversity of talent and perspective these new members will bring to our board at this critical time in Porter's history," said PMC Board Chairperson Maureen McLaughlin.

All potential candidates are initially vetted by the PMC Governance Committee and then approached individually to gauge their interest.

The PMC Board is currently comprised of 20 members who serve as volunteers to set the strategic direction of the organization and provide governance oversight to all areas of operations for Porter Hospital and Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
June 28, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Medical Center Launches Community Conversation about the Future of Health Care in our Community

Community discussions, advisory committees and an online questionnaire designed to receive public feedback

Middlebury, Vt. – Porter Medical Center’s Board has launched a community conversation including community forums and an online questionnaire as part of their strategic planning process regarding the future of Porter and health care delivery in our community. According to PMC spokesperson Ron Hallman, Porter is strongly encouraging members of the community to be a part of the forward-looking strategic planning process now underway to ensure the community continues to have access to high quality health care services for years to come. “We want to hear from all interested individuals both within our organization and throughout our community as our board explores various options and strategies to strengthen Porter Medical Center and enhance health care for our patients and residents” he said.

“This is an exciting and important time for Porter Medical Center as we consider what the future of our community hospital should look like in the years ahead,” said Maureen McLaughlin, Chair of the Board of Porter Medical Center. “We are eager to hear the community’s thoughts as we work to place Porter on sound financial footing, while maintaining the level of care and service the community needs to thrive.”

As part of this exploration, Porter has organized a Physicians Advisory Committee and a Community Advisory Committee to help hospital leaders evaluate options and analyze public feedback.

“This community discussion is an important part of our strategic exploration of future options and opportunities,” McLaughlin added. “It’s so important that folks come out and learn what our strategic issues are, and make their voices heard as we consider how best to shape Porter’s future.”

As part of the community engagement process, Porter is hosting three summer forums as well as offering an online questionnaire for those who cannot attend or wish to have their feedback remain anonymous. According to Hallman, Porter is considering all options including maintaining its existing independent structure, as well as affiliation with another larger organization. “This is a vitally important decision and community conversation, we hope people will actively participate and share their thoughts, ideas, concerns and comments” he said.

Below is Community forum schedule, all are welcome:

Middlebury - Regional EMS Headquarters
July 12, 2016 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
55 Collins Drive

Vergennes - Bixby Library
July 20, 2016 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
258 Main Street

Bristol - Holley Hall
July 26, 2016 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
1 South Street

Presentation from the Forums

For those who wish to take the online confidential survey, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PorterMedical through July 29.

For more information about Porter Medical Center, visit: www.portermedical.org or call the public relations office at 388-4744.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
June 21, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Auxiliary Donates $131,000 to Hospital for State-of-the-Art Patient Monitoring System Upgrade

new patient monitoring system upgrade Dr. Fred Kniffin, Interim CEO of Porter Medical Center, discusses the need for a new patient monitoring system with PMC Auxiliary President, Jan Bark.

Last week, the PMC Auxiliary Board of Directors approved a contribution of $131,000 to Porter Hospital in support of a state-of-the-art patient monitoring system upgrade project.

The Porter Medical Center Auxiliary Board of Directors has approved a contribution of $131,000 to Porter Hospital in support of a state-of-the-art patient monitoring system upgrade project. The total cost of the project is $350,000 with the Auxiliary donation providing the final funding portion of what Porter’s interim CEO Dr. Fred Kniffin has called “one of my highest priority projects and a significant step forward for our community hospital.”

“Our nurses and clinical team members provide great care to our patients and are highly-skilled and dedicated to patient care quality and safety,” Kniffin said. “Our role as leaders of the organization is to ensure that these front-line caregivers have the most modern and appropriate tools and technology required to support their clinical work and serve our patients.”

The new telemetry monitoring system represents a significant upgrade from the current system that is used to monitor patients who have cardiac related medical issues on the Medical/Surgical Unit. Through the use of this equipment, nurses will have the ability to continuously visualize their patient’s heart rhythm wherever the nurse or patient is on the floor. Additionally, nurses will receive audible alarms on both fixed monitoring units at the nurses’ station and to their personal hand-held device when they are away from the nurses’ station if potentially worrisome rhythms occur. Two remote visual displays will also be added to the Medical/Surgical Unit in the hallways.

“This is the same system used at the University of Vermont Medical Center and truly is the most modern system now available anywhere in Vermont,” said Porter Chief Nursing Officer Karen Beinhaur. “We are so grateful to the Auxiliary for their significant investment in supporting outstanding patient care at Porter Hospital,” she added.

The PMC Auxiliary Board, chaired by Jan Bark, is a group of area men and women who raise funds via special events and Round Robin Upscale Resale Shop in order to provide financial support to Porter for equipment, renovations or community programs.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
June 20, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Receives Grant to Support Nutrition Counseling for Area Cancer Patients

The Cancer Patient Support Foundation of Vermont has awarded a grant to Porter Hospital to support nutritional counseling for cancer patients.  The $3,700 grant will be available to offset any out-of-pocket expenses cancer patients might otherwise incur and “fund gaps in insurance reimbursement for nutritional counseling and other supportive services” according to a letter from Sarah Lemnah the Executive Director of the Foundation.

“We look forward to our new relationship with Porter, striving mutually to make the journey cancer patients and their families face a bit easier,” she wrote.  “The goal of the grant is to ensure that cancer patients at Porter have no out-of-pocket expenses for these important services” said PMC spokesperson Ron Hallman.  “We are very pleased to be partnering with the Cancer Patient Support Foundation to better serve our community,” Hallman added.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
June 9, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Helen Porter Achieves CMS Five Star Performance Rating for First Time

MIDDLEBURY--Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center has achieved it’s first-ever “5- Star Rating” from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is the highest CMS level of rating for quality of care, staffing and results from health department inspections. In addition to notifying the facility, the data is published on the CMS “Nursing Home Compare” website where it is available to the public.

On this web site, CMS explains the rating system and why it is important for consumers to understand and monitor. “Nursing homes vary in the quality of care and services they provide to their residents. Reviewing health inspection results, staffing data, and quality measure data are three important ways to measure nursing home quality”.

According to CMS, the Nursing Home Compare rating system “allows consumers to compare information about nursing homes. It contains quality of care and staffing information for all 15,000 plus Medicare- and Medicaid-participating nursing homes and includes data which reflects nursing home specific performance on on-site health department inspections, staffing ratios and several quality of resident care measures”.

The data is provided to CMS by individual nursing homes on an ongoing basis using a form called the Minimum Data Set. The information collected includes the residents' health, physical functioning, mental status, general well-being and quality of care information like whether residents have gotten their flu shots, are in pain, or are losing weight.

In terms of staffing, federal law requires all nursing homes to provide enough staff to adequately care for residents. However, there's no current federal standard for the best nursing home staffing levels according to the CMS site. ”Nursing homes must have at least one RN for at least 8 straight hours a day, 7 days a week, and either an RN or LPN/LVN on duty 24 hours per day. Certain states may have additional staffing requirements. LNAs provide care to nursing home residents 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. The amount of physical therapy service hours depends on the needs of the resident” according to CMS.

Helen Porter Administrator, Jim Darragh, shared this news with the entire Porter Medical Center community earlier this week in an email. “This accomplishment reflects the outstanding work you all do each and every day to provide a quality home for our residents and short stay patients. I am proud to work with such caring and compassionate people who are truly dedicated to this important segment of healthcare and the elderly population we serve. I’m particularly impressed with the improvement in our health inspection score; which directly reflects our adherence to both federal and state regulation regarding all aspects of our nursing home operations and all areas and departments” he wrote.

According to Darragh, ratings such as this are important, but he emphasized that it also is important for people to come and visit any long-term care facility, meet the staff and view the physical features of the nursing home before making a final decision. “At Helen Porter, we are so fortunate to have incredible activities programming, short-term rehabilitation services, special end- of-life rooms and programs and a beautiful courtyard for our residents” he said.

In concluding his message to the staff, Darragh added: “This achievement reflects the continued hard work and focus in the area of clinical care and other outcomes such as, frequency of re- hospitalizations, successful discharges home, percentage of residents who receive both influenza and pneumococcal vaccines, just to name a few. Please except my most sincere appreciation and thanks for all that you do to make this a quality place to live and a true community asset that contributes significantly to the PMC mission: To improve the health of our community, one person at a time”.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
June 9, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Auxiliary Donates $131,000 to Hospital for State-of-the-Art Patient Monitoring System Upgrade

MIDDLEBURY—The Porter Medical Center Auxiliary Board of Directors has approved a contribution of $131,000 to Porter Hospital in support of a state-of-the-art patient monitoring system upgrade project. The total cost of the project is $350,000 with the Auxiliary donation providing the final funding portion of what Porter’s interim CEO Dr. Fred Kniffin has called “one of my highest priority projects and a significant step forward for our community hospital.”

“Our nurses and clinical team members provide great care to our patients and are highly-skilled and dedicated to patient care quality and safety,” Kniffin said. “Our role as leaders of the organization is to ensure that these front-line caregivers have the most modern and appropriate tools and technology required to support their clinical work and serve our patients.”

The new telemetry monitoring system represents a significant upgrade from the current system that is used to monitor patients who have cardiac related medical issues on the Medical/Surgical Unit. Through the use of this equipment, nurses will have the ability to continuously visualize their patient’s heart rhythm wherever the nurse or patient is on the floor. Additionally, nurses will receive audible alarms on both fixed monitoring units at the nurses’ station and to their personal hand-held device when they are away from the nurses’ station if potentially worrisome rhythms occur. Two remote visual displays will also be added to the Medical/Surgical Unit in the hallways.

“This is the same system used at the University of Vermont Medical Center and truly is the most modern system now available anywhere in Vermont,” said Porter Chief Nursing Officer Karen Beinhaur. “We are so grateful to the Auxiliary for their significant investment in supporting outstanding patient care at Porter Hospital,” she added.

The PMC Auxiliary Board, chaired by Jan Bark, is a group of area men and women who raise funds via special events and Round Robin Upscale Resale Shop in order to provide financial support to Porter for equipment, renovations or community programs.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
April 7, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Reaches out to Patients about Closing of Internal Medicine Practice

MIDDLEBURY--Porter Medical Center Interim CEO Dr. Fred Kniffin sent a letter this week to the patients of Porter Internal Medicine formally announcing the plans for closing this practice. “I am writing to share with you the news that Dr. Naomi Hodde and Dr. Cynthia Smith will be leaving our practice to pursue professional opportunities outside of our community in the next few months. Dr. Smith will be leaving at the end of this month and Dr. Hodde will be leaving in mid-June” he wrote.

The letter goes on to say that: “From May 2 until her final departure on June 13, Dr. Hodde will be available to see patients at our Primary Care - Bristol practice. At that time, her patients may choose to see another provider in that location or choose another provider within our community--and we will assist you,”.

Kniffin shares in the letter that his leadership team and area providers have been working hard behind the scenes to identify the best option for the remaining PIM physician, Dr. Brad Armstrong, and his patients. “In light of these changes and after a very thorough review of all possible near-term options, Dr. Brad Armstrong and I have determined that we will be relocating his medical practice to our Primary Care - Brandon practice in Brandon as of May 2nd. Although we explored every possible option for allowing Dr. Armstrong to remain in the current location, it truly is not feasible to maintain a full-time/stand-alone medical practice with a single provider” he added.

“We understand, appreciate and sincerely apologize for the significant impact these changes will have on you as a patient. Losing your provider, or having your provider relocate to another practice, are extremely difficult situations for any patient. We are 100% committed to working with every PIM patient to ensure that you and your family have the care you need” Kniffin said.

According to the letter, any current patient of the practice will be automatically transferred to Dr. Armstrong at Neshobe if they wish to follow him there. “If at this time you wish to follow Dr. Armstrong to his new practice location at Neshobe, you do not have to do anything. Your records will be automatically transferred to the new practice with no action on your part”.

“If you would prefer to transfer your care to another local office, our office staff is committed to working with you and facilitating a smooth transition and continued excellent service for you and your family” he wrote.

Enclosed with the letter is a list of Porter practices that are currently accepting new patients in case individuals wish to transfer their care by reaching out to one of these practices directly. But it also offers additional assistance to patients if they need help. “Please feel free to call our office at 388-8805 and we will assist you in any way possible” it reads.

“I am confident that one of the offices within Porter Medical Group can continue to provide timely access to appointments and the same level of outstanding patient care that you have come to expect from Porter Internal Medicine” Kniffin said.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
April 7, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Community Commentary: Porter and Primary Care
Dr. Fred Kniffin, Interim President and CEO

At our recent Porter Medical Center Annual Meeting I announced that I had learned that morning that Porter Internal Medicine would be closing soon. Since then, I have received numerous calls and letters from community members who are deeply concerned by the closing of this practice and about the future of adult primary care access in Addison County. I appreciated that feedback, and I would like to take this opportunity to address those concerns.

First, please know that I appreciate the unique nature of the physician-patient relationship. If your physician is leaving our community, I understand how difficult that is. We are fortunate in this community to have great healthcare providers. Access to high quality primary care is essential to us all.

When I started at Porter in 1990, we had four internal medicine physicians: Dr. Ted Collier, Dr. Robert LaFiandra, Dr. Dave Henderson and Dr. Alan Covey. They were core members of our medical staff. I admired their commitment to their patients. I respected their skills and wisdom. They were colleagues and mentors for me as a young physician.

I was around when this first group of internists retired, and I know how hard those retirements can be when a generation of our community has such a deep connection with these doctors. What I also learned is how difficult it can be to recruit high quality primary care internal medicine physicians.

One year ago, we had eight providers in our community practicing internal medicine. Today we have six, soon to be four. For those upset by the departure of these valuable providers, I fully understand and acknowledge your anger. We are a diminished community for this loss.

Which brings us to today…..

I believe in Internal Medicine. I am an Internist by training. I believe a healthy department of Internal Medicine is essential for our hospital and for the health of our community. But there is no easy or short-term fix. Recruiting new, highly skilled physicians to locate and practice here will take time. As the new leader of Porter Medical Center, I plan to work with my board, medical staff and administrative colleagues to take a comprehensive look at where we are and develop a solid plan for addressing the primary care needs of our community. It will be hard work, but it is urgent and necessary work, and we will do it together.

In summary, I understand how unsettling these changes have been for our community. Our network of physicians, both primary and specialty care, is one of the great assets of our community. Porter’s Mission is to improve the health of our community, and a strong provider network is essential to this mission. Please know I recognize the value of our provider network, and that I will be working hard in the weeks and months ahead to address this extraordinarily important issue.

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Annual Meeting of Porter Mecial Center, Inc.

The Annual Meeting of Porter Medical Center, Inc. will take place on March 30, 2016, at 7:00pm in Bicentennial Hall, Room 216. The Meeting Agenda is now available here. Also the proposed changes to the Bylaws are also available here.

 

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February 4, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Medical Center: The Path Forward
Maureen McLaughlin, Porter Medical Center Board Chair

The future of Porter Medical Center has never been brighter.

That is a very broad, potentially provocative, statement - especially in light of all of the recent changes, challenges, and difficult decisions our community has been hearing about. Nevertheless, it is a statement that is embraced by the Porter Medical Center Board of Directors, and one which we believe truly characterizes our board's belief and commitment to the future of the organization.

It will not be an easy path--real change is never “easy”. However, ongoing transformation is what is needed, what is essential, if we are to continue to serve our community with the highest quality healthcare services possible for the present and future generations. We recognize there is a human element to this transformation. Porter deeply values all of its employees and has encouraged those affected to apply for open positions within our campus for continued employment.

I read an article last week in a Board Governance publication about the challenges of leading an organization to a stronger future when, by all outward appearances to the staff, community and patients, everything is “just fine” as it is today. Here is my favorite quote from that article:

“It’s relatively easy to win support to fix an organization that is clearly broken. When every observer knows the business is losing money, the customers are going elsewhere, and the staff is leaving to join competition, the company’s leadership has broad permission to make dramatic changes to ensure the organization’s ongoing viability and prosperity. But what should leaders do when the platform isn’t burning yet, and they know the fire is coming? How can visionary healthcare leaders transform their successful systems today so they can be successful tomorrow, too?”

The current financial challenges, now being addressed by Porter, have been shared openly with the community in several local newspaper articles, on Middlebury Community Television, in community commentaries and Letters to the Editor. What is equally important to share with the community is that our Board of Directors has a deliberated, comprehensive process in place to address the current short-term challenges, while developing a long-range strategic plan that will sustain and support the Mission and essential services provided by Porter Medical Center.

We are governing through challenging times, but with a clear vision for our future: “To improve the health of our community, one person at a time” and be the health care system of preferred choice for you, the people of Addison County. Those may just sound like admirable words – but with our Mission and our Values guiding us as we move forward with each difficult and complex decision, we are dedicated to providing high-quality patient-centered health care for our community, while stewarding the resources entrusted to us.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this essential and complex path of transformation. We will continue communicating often with our community as we carry on with this important journey.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
January 6, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Announces Plans to Create new “Porter Access Center” to Better Serve Patients

MIDDLEBURY--By early spring, Porter Medical Center will be introducing a new “Porter Access Center” to facilitate faster and better access to care for all Porter patients.

“Our Mission is to provide excellent healthcare services, create an exceptional patient/family experience and do so without waste and excessive cost. In assessing areas for improvement that enhance attainment of our Mission, Peter Igneri and Rebecca Woods are leading an effort to create a new “Porter Access Center” by mid-March” said PMC President Lynn Boggs.

According to Boggs, the Access Center will be a centralized and specialized “call center,” staffed by existing and experienced Porter staff members. Staff will handle appointment scheduling, referrals to specialists/other providers and obtaining required pre-authorizations, for our entire network of Porter practices and their patients, as well as new patients and those referred from out-of-network providers.

Patients will continue to call the telephone number of any Porter practice (the current phone number) and their call will automatically be routed to the Access Center. “Our goal is that all calls will be answered within 3 rings by one of the staff members. Staff members will have access to templates and protocols, which are being developed now, for each individual Porter provider using their input. Patients will be scheduled or referred for appointments in a very timely and customer-focused process. When available, we will introduce a single telephone number for patients to use which will be marketed for Porter Medical Center” Boggs added.

“Our staff members within each practice will be able to focus more attention on their patients who are receiving care within the practice locations, instead of excessive phone time which interrupts and slows the patient experience routinely today” she said.

Currently, there is a “pilot program” underway at Primary Care - Brandon, where a group of Porter staff are testing this process with referrals and pre-authorizations. On the first day of this pilot, the staff successfully handled more than 300 referrals/pre-authorizations.

According to Boggs, the “Porter Access Center” will be located in one of the modular office buildings on our campus once some minor renovations are complete. “We are excited to be creating this new Access Center to better serve our community and support our Mission.”

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first in 2016FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
January 2, 2016                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Only minutes after welcoming the New Year, the staff at the Porter Hospital Birthing Center welcomed the first baby born in a Vermont hospital. Gary Augustus Brodowski, a 9-pound, 3-ounce baby boy, arrived at 12:07 a.m. on January 1 and was Vermont’s “New Year’s Baby” for 2016. The family lives in Rutland and also has a 2-year old daughter.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
November 30, 2015                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Komen Grant Supports Porter Initiative to Provide Free Screening Mammograms

MIDDLEBURY--Since 1990, Porter Hospital has been providing free screening mammograms to area women who do not qualify for the “Ladies First” program or who have high deductible insurance plans.

Thanks to a recent grant from the Susan G. Komen foundation and in concert with the Ladies First program and the Open Door Clinic, Porter has secured additional resources to offer even more free mammograms to women during the month of January.

“We will be reserving several slots for this program in January and getting the word out by the local media to ensure that women know about this opportunity” said PMC spokesperson Ron Hallman.

“Screening mammograms remain one of the standard and highly effective screening tools for early detection of breast cancer” said Dr. Steve Koller, a Radiologist at Porter Hospital. “According to the American College of Radiology women are encouraged to have a screening mammogram annually beginning at age 40” he added.

Porter recently introduced a new 3D mammography unit which is the latest state of the art technology available.

“Additionally, our new 3D unit allows us to see masses and distortions associated with cancers significantly more clearly,” he added. “This new technology also detects 41% more breast cancers and reduces false positives by 40%,”.

For more information about this program, contact the Porter Hospital Radiology Department at 388-4757.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
November 18, 2015                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744 or rhallman@portermedical.org

Infusion Center to Open at Porter Medical Center

MIDDLEBURY--Porter Medical Center is preparing to open a new “Infusion Center”, a clinical space designed to address the medical needs of hundreds of area patients who currently have to travel outside of Addison County for many types of therapeutic services required to treat a wide-range of diseases.

“Infusion (IV) therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or a catheter. This therapy is prescribed when a patient's condition cannot be treated effectively by oral medication,” said PMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Fred Kniffin.

According to Kniffin, the Infusion Center will offer a variety of outpatient infusion therapies designed to treat conditions ranging from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, immune deficiencies, infectious diseases, anemia, asthma and more.

“If you need to receive medications via infusion as part of your treatment plan, our clinical team will work with your physician to provide convenient access to care, as well as support your family in what will be a comfortable and relaxing facility. The new Infusion Center will open on November 30 and will be located in the Porter Medical Center Collins building, and is currently being outfitted with new treatment chairs and non-clinical features that will allow patients to listen to music, watch television and visit with family, all while receiving their infusion treatment.

“Our goal is to provide excellent patient care in the most convenient and comfortable setting possible,” Kniffin added. “Moving forward, we will be working closely with our patients and their families to seek their input and ideas to continually improve our service and the overall patient experience.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        FOR MORE INFORMATION:
September 9, 2015                                                   RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744 or rhallman@portermedical.org

Porter Appoints New Chief Medical Officer

MIDDLEBURY--Dr. Carrie Wulfman, a family practice physician who sees patients at Primary Care - Brandon in Brandon and is also the Medical Director of Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, has been appointed to serve as the next Chief Medical Officer of Porter Medical Center effective January 1, 2016. Her new role will begin as on an “interim” basis so that she can evaluate the demands of this new position while continuing to see patients two days each week at Primary Care - Brandon in Brandon. Dr. Wulfman will replace Dr. Fred Kniffin as the Porter CMO.

“When I assumed this position over two years ago, I told our CEO that I wanted to take this assignment on for two years and then return to my roots as an Emergency physician”, said Dr. Kniffin. “I have been honored to serve as the first Chief Medical Officer in the history of Porter and to have played a role in many important projects, including the transition to our new CEO, Lynn Boggs. I am now ready, both personally and professionally, to return to caring for patients.”

“The timing of this change is perfect. Lynn is an extremely competent CEO and exceptional leader. She understands the importance of quality care and customer service and has the experience and expertise to take Porter to the next level”, he added.

Boggs, who assumed the role of President and CEO of Porter Medical Center in late June, praised Dr. Kniffin for both his many past contributions to Porter and for playing a central role in her transition. “Fred is a remarkable person, experienced physician and advocate for quality at Porter Medical Center,” she said. “As he approaches the final months of his commitment to this key leadership role, his devotion and contribution to our organization, and to our senior leadership team, remain invaluable. I am very pleased to know that Dr. Kniffin will remain part of the Porter ‘fabric’ caring for the sick and injured in our Emergency Department,” she added.

Boggs also praised Dr. Wulfman for agreeing to step forward into this position on a part-time basis while she continues to serve the patients of Brandon and surrounding communities as a practicing physician two days each week. “Carrie has consistently demonstrated that she is a caring, compassionate and extremely competent physician, and her patients at Primary Care - Brandon absolutely love her,” Boggs said. “I am gratified that we were able to create a schedule for Carrie that allows her to continue to serve patients while also taking on responsibilities as a new physician leader for Porter.”

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Green Mountain Care Board Announces 2016 Hospital Budget Decisions

Montpelier, VT – After completing its review of Vermont’s hospitals’ budget requests for fiscal year 2016, the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) has set the total fiscal year 2016 budget increase for Vermont’s hospital system at 3.5%, including 0.5% that qualifies as investments in health reform. This marks the third year in a row that Vermont’s 14 hospitals as a group have kept net patient revenue increases at or below the target set by the GMCB.

In announcing their decisions regarding hospital budgets for Fiscal Year 2016, the Green Mountain Care Board approved the Porter Hospital budget as submitted with no changes. Nine other hospitals’ budgets were approved as submitted and four were reduced by the GMCB.

PMC Board Chairperson, Maureen McLaughlin, responded to this news in an email to Porter’s new CEO, Lynn Boggs: “Congratulations to all. We appreciate all of your hard work, and know this result is well deserved,” she wrote.

In written guidance issued in March 2013 and reiterated this spring, the GMCB instructed hospitals to hold their FY16 net patient revenue increase to no more than 3 percent plus an allowance of up to an additional 0.6 percentage points for investments in health care reform initiatives. Net patient revenue includes payments hospitals receive from patients, government, and insurers to pay for patient care – but not revenues from other activities such as cafeterias, parking, and philanthropy.

Hospitals submitted budget requests in July, starting a two-month review process that included GMCB staff scrutiny of the budgets, open hearings with each hospital in August, a public comment period, input from the Office of the Health Care Advocate, and discussion in GMCB’s weekly open meetings.

The second key indicator of growth in hospital revenue is the “rate” – the increase in the price a hospital sets for services before negotiating with insurers. The GMCB approved rates ranging from -10.0 percent change to 6.0 percent change for individual Vermont hospitals in fiscal year 2016.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         FOR MORE INFORMATION:
August 5, 2015                                                               RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

New Campus-Wide Nutrition Service Department at PMC (PDF)

In an effort to improve quality, enhance efficiency and facilitate greater collaboration within our organization, the two Nutrition Services Departments at Porter Hospital and at Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center are being consolidated into a single, campus-wide PMC Nutritional Services Department as of Monday, August 3rd.

The department will be led by the new PMC Nutrition Services Director, George Schreck, in concert with Laura Brace, who has been appointed as the new PMC Director of Operations for Nutrition Services and Will Endres, who will be the campus wide Nutrition Services Supervisor.

These three experienced and talented leaders will work closely together to advance excellence and efficiency in the delivery of meals for our patients, our residents, our staff and our visitors at both the hospital and HPHRC.

George Schreck comes to Porter with more than 20 years of experience as a nutrition services manager, private chef and restaurant owner. Most recently, he served as the Executive Chef and Dining Services Director at The Lodge at Otter Creek in Middlebury, where he oversaw all meal services for a 175 person community and supervised a staff of 25 employees. He was named the “Vermont Health Care Association Chef of the Year” in 2013.

Laura Brace has been a visionary leader for Porter Hospital’s nutrition services department
for the past 15 years and has led the hospital department through many successful regulatory surveys
and has brought creativity and efficiency to the provision of food for our patients, staff and visitors.
She will now be a leader for both the hospital and the nursing home working closely with George and
Jamie Bryant (who will be a lead cook at Helen Porter).

The third new PMC nutrition services department position is a Supervisor position to oversee
the day to day work of the cooks and line staffs at both the hospital and HPHRC. Will Endres has
been appointed to this new role. He brings 20 years of cooking experience to this position, including
16 with Porter. He is about to complete a certificate course as a Certified Dietary Manager through the
University of North Dakota.

“We are fortunate and excited to be embarking on this new campus-wide initiative with three
very talented and committed leaders” said PMC Vice President of Development and Public Relations
Ron Hallman.

“Our goal for this new combined department is nothing short of excellence; and I am confident that we have put into place a team that can get us there and also find efficiencies and cost-savings along the way”, he said.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         FOR MORE INFORMATION:
June 16, 2015                                                               RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Dedicates North Wing in Honor of Retiring CEO James L. Daily
In recognition of Jim Daily’s thirty-one years of service and commitment to Porter Medical Center, the PMC Board of Directors announced last week the re-dedication of the hospital’s “North Wing” as the “James L. Daily North Wing”.

“The North Wing exists due to Jim’s foresight and leadership.” said Maureen McLaughlin, Porter Medical Center Board Chairperson. “He has taken Porter Hospital from the days of “Big Brother” (1984) to Big Pharma. He has shepherded Porter from managed care and HMO’s to ACO’s, and steered us as technology has transformed the way medicine is practiced. He has had the vision to keep Porter vibrant, relevant and forward thinking. Past, present and future members of the Porter community are extremely grateful for Jim Daily’s guidance.”

The North Wing was opened in the fall of 2006 as the new home of the hospital’s first Birthing Center and a new Surgical Care Center. The $16 million project was the largest and most ambitious project in the history of Porter, and included a $5 million capital campaign.

“I am deeply moved to have been honored by Porter in this very significant way” Daily said. “The North Project was a team effort and required the commitment of many individuals for an extended period of time; it is very meaningful to me to have my name associated with such an important community resource” he added.

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Porter Introduces new 3D Mammography Details...

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         FOR MORE INFORMATION:
June 3, 2015                                                               RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744
Porter Hospital Introduces the Care Channel for Patient Areas

Porter hospital now offers The C.A.R.E channel for patients and family. It is a soothing addition to the TV channels currently offered. More Information.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         FOR MORE INFORMATION:
May 19, 2015                                                               RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Hospital Birthing Center Earns State-Wide Recognition

Middlebury-- As part of the Vermont Regional Perinatal Health Project, representatives of the Porter Hospital Birthing Center recently reviewed the 2014 Perinatal Statistics for Vermont Community Hospitals at a May meeting sponsored by the Vermont Child Health and Improvement Program (VCHIP).”

This annual meeting of hospital providers of maternity care focuses on ways to continuously identify and implement improvement strategies for caring for women and infants at Vermont hospitals, including the review of key statistics of birthing centers throughout Vermont as compared to established quality standards.

Porter Hospital Birthing Center nurse manager, Danielle Bryant, represented Porter at this meeting and was extremely pleased with a number of key statistics that reflect well on the quality of care provided to area women in Addison County.

“Our birthing center has a 20% Cesarean section rate compared to the national average of 32% and is the third lowest C-section rate in the state of Vermont”, she said. “We also are extremely proud of the fact that we had zero non-medically indicated inductions prior to 39 weeks during the past year and that we had a 70% success rate for assisting women to successfully have a natural birth following a Cesarean birth (known as a “VBAC” birth),” she added.

Bryant also noted that Porter Hospital had the best rate in the state for the treatment of pregnant women who test positive for a bacterial infection called “Group Beta Strep” which can be passed to the baby at birth if not detected and treated during labor. “This is a very important quality indicator and we are very proud of the fact that we are performing at the highest level of any hospital in our state” she said.

In addition to high quality marks, Bryant notes that the Porter Hospital Birthing Center continues to attract more women to deliver in one of the five home-like birthing rooms. Porter has seen a steady increase in births since 2009 from 299 births that year to 376 births in 2014.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         FOR MORE INFORMATION:
March 31, 2015                                                             RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Porter Medical Center Announces New President and Chief Executive Officer

Middlebury--Porter Medical Center Board Chair, Bill Townsend, announced today that Lynn Boggs, MBA, MSN, RN, will be Porter’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding James L. Daily who will retire this spring after 31 years in this role.

“After a comprehensive national search for a new leader for Porter Medical Center, we are absolutely thrilled to have found an exceptional health care executive with more than 35 years of experience to help guide Porter Medical Center into the future” he said.

Boggs is a registered nurse who holds master’s degrees in business administration and science of nursing, and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She most recently served as Senior Vice President, System Operations, for Mission Health in North Carolina, while concurrently serving as president and CEO of McDowell Hospital; a post she held since 2012. Mission Health covers the 18-County Western North Carolina region and was recognized as one of the nation’s “Top 15 Health Systems” in 2012 and 2013 by Thomson Reuters and Truven Health Analytics. McDowell Hospital, part of the Mission System, is a 64-bed hospital with a network of nine physician/mid-level provider practices.

Among her many achievements at Mission Health was the successful development of new services in the eastern counties of Mission Health’s service area and developing system-wide clinical contracts and services that supported a clinically integrated regional network of care. As President of McDowell Hospital, she successfully led the organization in improving quality, financial performance and patient satisfaction.

Prior to her senior leadership roles at Mission Health, Boggs served as executive vice president and COO for SSM Healthcare in St. Louis, a system that includes seven hospitals in Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma. While at SSM Healthcare, Boggs provided operational oversight for three hospitals, ambulatory and home health services, a 200-member medical group and 950 inpatient beds.

Before joining SSM Healthcare, Boggs served in a variety of leadership roles at Novant Health System in Winston Salem, North Carolina, a nonprofit health care system serving more than 5 million residents from Virginia to South Carolina. There, she served as president of Presbyterian Hospital and Presbyterian Orthopedic Hospital. She also spent three years as the executive vice president and COO for Novant’s four hospitals in its Southern Piedmont Region. Boggs began her career at St. Francis Xavier Hospital in Charleston, S.C. and later moved on to director of the Emergency-Trauma, Outpatient and Ambulatory Services at Greenville Hospital System in Greenville, S.C.

Boggs earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Wake Forest University and her Master of Science of Nursing – Nursing Administration degree from the Medical University of South Carolina.

“I look forward to the opportunity to join such an outstanding organization which has been serving the people of Addison County and surrounding towns for 90 years”, Boggs said. “During my visit to Porter earlier this month, I was deeply impressed by the strong commitment of the board, medical staff and employees to serving and caring for the community through excellent customer service and the delivery of high quality health care; and I am looking forward to both leading and working collaboratively as a team to take Porter forward” she said.

She added, “I also want to acknowledge the tremendous accomplishments and legacy of Jim Daily over the past 31 years, and express my strong desire to build upon his hard work and ensure that Porter Medical Center continues to serve our community with the highest quality health care services.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         FOR MORE INFORMATION:
March 30, 2015                                                              RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Podiatry Joins the Porter Hospital Network of Practices
MIDDLEBURY--As of March 30th, Podiatry became the newest area medical practice to join the Porter Hospital network of practices according to PMC spokesperson Ron Hallman.

“We are excited to welcome Podiatry to our Porter Practice Management family of practices and to play a role in ensuring the continued success of this practice supporting the outstanding health care services provided by Dr. Peter Miller and his staff,” he said.

The Porter network of practices includes a dozen offices providing both primary care and specialized care in Middlebury, Vergennes, Bristol and Brandon.

“Although Podiatry is now part of Porter Hospital, patients and the community will continue to receive the same services from the providers and staff who have been offering specialized podiatry services to patients for many years” Hallman added.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Thursday, March 5, 2015                                              RON HALLMAN, 802-388-4744

Speaker Shap Smith to Provide Keynote Address at
Porter Medical Center Annual Meeting

MIDDLEBURY--The 2015 Annual Meeting of Porter Medical Center will be held on Monday evening, March 16th at 6:30 p.m. at the McCardell Bicentennial Hall (Room 216) on the campus of Middlebury College. The meeting is free and open to the public. The keynote speaker will be Vermont House of Representatives Speaker Shap Smith, who will offer his views and updates on health care reform initiatives and pending legislation in the Vermont Legislature.

The 2015 PMC annual meeting will also be the final Porter annual meeting for our retiring CEO/President, James L. Daily; and there will be a small reception for him prior to the meeting outside of the meeting room. All are invited.

In addition to the remarks by Speaker Shap Smith, brief reports will be provided by PMC Board Chair Bill Townsend, PMC President, James L. Daily and Medical Staff President Dr. Kris Anderson regarding the work of Porter Medical Center during the past year, and related topics of importance to our organization and community.

For more information call the Porter Medical Center public relations office at 388-4738.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          FOR MORE INFORMATION:
October 6, 2014                                               Apoorva Stull (202) 955-3567 & Andy Reynolds (202) 955-3518

AREA MEDICAL PRACTICES EARN NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR PATIENT-CENTERED CARE

NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home™ standards emphasize enhanced care through patient-clinician partnership

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has recently announced that Primary Care - Middlebury, Primary Care - Bristol, Porter Internal Medicine Middlebury Family Health and Pediatric Primary Care have received NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term, participative relationships. Four other area practices, Primary Care - Vergennes, Rainbow Pediatrics, Mountain Health Center and Primary Care - Brandon are in the process of completing their application for this important designation.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patient and provider reported experiences of care.

“NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Recognition shows that these practices have the tools, systems and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time.”

To earn recognition, which is valid for three years, medical practices must demonstrate the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home. NCQA standards aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers
 

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