SVMC Orthopedics Practice First to Adopt Dartmouth-Hitchcock's GreenCare Model

October 06, 2017

BENNINGTON, VT—October 6, 2017— Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) Orthopedics announced yesterday that it is now using the Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) data-gathering research program, called the GreenCare model, to improve care for patients. With a $100,000 grant from the Aircast Foundation, SVMC Orthopedics is the first practice outside D-H to implement it.

“Dartmouth-Hitchcock, with its GreenCare Model, is leading health care reform in a way that will improve the quality of care and patient outcomes while decreasing costs, starting with its orthopedic services,” said Jonathan Cluett, MD, medical director at SVMC Orthopedics. “Funds from the Aircast Foundation allow us to participate in this transformational project locally and ultimately provide even better care for our patients here.”

The GreenCare model uses data collected from patients through surveys at several points during care to predict outcomes for similar patients in the future. The surveys record patients’ perceptions regarding their own physical and mental well-being, their post-recovery goals, and the outcomes of their procedures. Doctors and patients with improved data are likely to choose the most effective treatments. Collectively, better treatment decisions are expected to drive improvements in outcomes and patient experience while decreasing health spending.

“Basically, we are looking more closely and scientifically at what works and what doesn’t for every patient receiving a joint replacement,” said Nicholas Paddock, director of orthopedics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. “We hope to use that information to give doctors and patients a clearer picture of what they can expect in recovery and whether a joint replacement is right for them.”

“Most orthopedic procedures are performed at smaller centers like SVMC,” said Michael B. Sparks, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and the lead physician on GreenCare project within Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s orthopedics department. “In order for our data to reflect the reality of care, we need centers like SVMC to participate. We are happy to share our standard of care with SVMC and expand our already-successful partnership.”

The Aircast Foundation’s $100,000 contribution initiates the project, named the Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Orthopedic Research and Education Endowment at Southwestern Vermont Health Care. The Southwestern Vermont Health Care Foundation and the fundraising arm of Dartmouth-Hitchcock will work to leverage Aircast’s investment to secure additional funding for the project. The aim is to grow the endowment to $3 million, which will provide a research fellow at D-H. A dedicated research fellow will use the data gathered from the orthopedic practice in Bennington and other places to develop and test patient-level predictive outcome models, refine predictive models and comparative performance datasets, and publish findings.

“Aircast has always been interested in learning more about why the most effective orthopedic treatments work for patients,” said Jack McVicker of the Aircast Foundation. “The Aircast Foundation is proud to fund this project and to let the powerful minds at D-H and SVMC uncover more about how orthopedic services can be improved in the future.”

Eventually, the work is anticipated to improve care and shared decision making processes and provide evidence-based and measured care for the area SVMC serves. Ultimately, the research is expected to inform national healthcare policy for other orthopedic procedures and beyond.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC’s providers are members of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, a multispecialty medical group operated in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. SVHC includes the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, a 150-bed long- and short-term care skilled nursing facility; the SVHC Foundation; and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a 99-bed community hospital. SVMC also includes 19 primary and specialty care practices and primary care offices in Bennington, Manchester, Pownal, West Dover, and Wilmington, VT. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is the state’s first Magnet Center for Nursing Excellence, a designation it has held since 2002. To learn more, visit For news and updates, follow

Southwestern Vermont Health Care complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) is a nonprofit academic health system that serves a population of 1.9 million in New England. D-H provides access to more than 1,000 primary care doctors and specialists in almost every area of medicine, delivering care in Lebanon, NH at its flagship, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 45 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation; the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock; affiliate hospitals in Lebanon, Keene, and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and through the Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and at 24 Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. The D-H system trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research, in partnership with the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicineat Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. In 2016, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center was named one of "100 Great Hospitals in America" by Becker's Hospital Review.

The Aircast Foundation is dedicated to promoting and supporting scientific and clinical research and education leading to prevention, healing, and rehabilitation in orthopedics. Founded in 1996 by Glenn Johnson, pioneer of the Aircast, the Aircast Foundation focuses on optimizing function and improving medical outcomes with emphasis on research that exhibits creative and innovative solutions to complex medical problems.