BENNINGTON—April 16, 2015—A new agreement between the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center means that patients will have access to a broader range of services and the local cancer program will be linked directly to one of only three NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in New England.
“This agreement helps us align our cancer services with those of Dartmouth-Hitchcock,” explained Dr. Orion Howard, medical director of Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center. “As a result, we will be more involved in research, able to offer a wider range of clinical trials, and able to access the expertise of this world-class cancer program.”
The agreement, which officially began in January, will provide patients and doctors in Bennington with access to clinical trials and specialty services. It also means SVMC’s oncologists can take part in tumor boards and meetings using a special telemedicine link.
Howard, who also is a member of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, explained that although he already had ready access to his colleagues at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the new agreement formalizes and expands on what had already been happening. “Dartmouth-Hitchcock has several specialty clinics that we are eager to participate in. In addition, we are looking forward to tapping the expertise of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s administrators, physicians, and other experts to help assess our programs and refine and augment the great care that we already provide.”
“Closely affiliating our cancer program with Dartmouth-Hitchcock is an important part of our strategy to keep care local,” explained Tom Dee, president and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care. “They have outstanding patient care, world-class research, and a clinical culture that respects the patient and matches our own culture. We are excited to have them as a partner.”