Community Invited to Health Needs Forum

March 19, 2015

BENNINGTON—March 19, 2015—Residents of Bennington and surrounding communities are invited to a public forum, hosted by Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), from 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, April 9 in the 3rd Floor Meeting Room at the Bennington Fire House.

This focus group provides an opportunity for the public to give feedback on the status of health in the Bennington community. This information will be used to develop strategies and partnerships designed to support people’s health.

“Hearing from the community ensures we are addressing the needs of patients” says James Trimarchi, director of planning at SVHC and one of the leaders of the forum.

This forum will inform SVHC’s Community Health Needs Assessment, a report that is created every three years. This report combines feedback from the community with health data gathered from the Department of Health, US Census, and other sources. It details the most pressing health needs of the community and outlines plans to address those needs.

A previous report released in 2012 identified a need for more access to primary care. As a result, SVHC increased the number of primary care providers in Bennington, expanded their primary care offerings in Manchester, and recently opened SVMC ExpressCare.

James Trimarchi summarized the importance of the public form by stating that “a person’s health is affected by many different factors, and improving the health of our community is a dynamic issue. Feedback from the public will help us achieve our mission to provide exceptional health care and comfort to the people we serve.”

For more information, please contact Salem Carriker, SVHC’s AmeriCorps VISTA, by phone at (802) 447-5190 or by e-mail at

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is an integrated health system serving Bennington and Windham Counties in Vermont and nearby communities in New York and Massachusetts. In addition to Soutwestern Vermont Medical Center, SVHC consists of the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, the SVHC Foundation, and the SVMC Northshire and Deerfield Valley campuses. It also includes Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, a multispecialty medical group operated in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock.