In 1987, SVMC built the SVMC Northshire Campus building. It was a primary care office for a practice started by Dr. Mark Novotny and Dr. Michael Polifka. Dr. Robert Schwartz joined the team in 1992.
"Since then, medicine has changed a lot, and now, we have upgraded the building to enhance the services we offer here," Schwartz said.
"In the past," Schwartz explained, "medicine focused on sick care. Someone got sick, and the doctor diagnosed and treated him. The Vermont Blueprint and the medical home model have changed that, placing a greater emphasis on primary care."
As a certified medical home, SVMC’s Northshire Campus has a broader clinical team than is typically seen in a doctor’s office. The team focuses on the needs of the whole patient. It includes physicians and nurses, but also mental health services, smoking cessation counseling, and diet and nutritional education. The goal is to help people learn to manage their lives so they don’t get a chronic disease or so a chronic disease they already have doesn’t get worse.
All this activity requires a different sort of building, which is why Southwestern Vermont Health Care invested in upgrading the building for the future.
The second floor, which had housed offices and storage, has been converted into universal medical rooms. These rooms provide space for a range of uses, including diet and nutritional counseling. In addition, we created a room dedicated to telemedicine. Working with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, a telemedicine link will allow a patient to consult with specialists without actually having to drive long distances.
"It’s not the solution for every specialty consult, but it works very well for some, including many follow-up appointments," Schwartz said.
Downstairs, the project consolidated office space to add five new exam rooms, which allowed the addition of another provider.
“The building isn’t bigger, but there are more exam rooms,” said Joshua Samuelson, MD, the campus's medical director. “The practice can include more providers and see more patients.”
The waiting area was also renovated. The space is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, so it is better suited to meet patients with special needs. In addition, a smarter, more private welcome center was created for patients.
The renovation is part of broader SVHC strategy to boost access to primary care in the areas it serves.
"By partnering with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, we continue to support primary care in the Northshire and across southern Vermont. Working together, we will bring new providers, a broader array of services, and advanced telemedicine to the Northshire, making our communities stronger and healthier than ever before," Schwartz said.
The SVMC Northshire Campus is located at 5957 Main Street (Route 7A) in Manchester. They are open 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday –Thursday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 802-362-4440 to learn about availability for new patients.
An Open House to celebrate the renovation is scheduled for 12 - 2 p.m. Sunday, July 24 at the Northshire Campus. The event will include food and family fun, including kids’ activities, games and prizes.