Local Social Services Organizations Celebrate 3rd Anniversary of Community Care Team

December 15, 2017

BENNINGTON, VT—December 15, 2017—Last week Southwestern Vermont Medical Center hosted leaders from a dozen local social services agencies for a lunch in celebration of the 3rd anniversary of the Community Care Team. Those in attendance represented Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), United Counseling Services (UCS), Bayada, Support and Services at Home (SASH), Shires Housing, the Vermont Department of Human Services, and others. Many shared heartfelt success stories as a part of the event’s program.

The Community Care Team is an innovative program that helps social service providers coordinate their work for the clients and patients they share. The program improves the lives of patients and clients by meeting their needs more efficiently. The change has related to a 44 percent decrease in Emergency Department visits among the participants.

Addressing the group, Thomas A. Dee, FACHE, Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s president and CEO, thanked participants for working to transform the community. He indicated that the Community Care Team is a contributor to the success of the health system.

The program usually meets participants for the first time in the SVMC Emergency Department. While they may have a medical issue, the participants are discovered to have other barriers preventing them from staying well: addiction, behavioral health conditions, or housing and food needs. At that point, they are asked if they would like to participate in the Community Care Team program. Their agreement gives a health promotion advocate stationed in the Emergency Department permission to discuss their needs with community organizations that could help them.

Together, the health promotion advocate and community partners create integrated care plans that meet the needs of patients,” said Billie Lynn Allard, the administrative director of Care Management, Transitional Care, and Ambulatory Services, who leads the project. “This program is strengthening partnerships, yielding results, and most importantly, improving people’s lives.”

The Community Care Team program is a part of the Accountable Communities for Health project, which gained national recognition as the Magnet Prize ™ recipient at the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet ™ Conference in Houston in October.

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From left to right, seated: Billie Allard, SVMC; Kim Warren, SVMC; Sadie Fischesser, Agency of Human Services; and Nancy Iserman, SVMC. Standing: Rosemarie Schatz, UCS; Barbara Elston, Bayada; Michelle Benjamin, VNA; Al Bashevkin, Bayada; Harriet Sullivan-Bibee, SVMC; Jill Maynard, SVMC; Corinne Bakaitis, UCS; Donna Smith, SVMC; Becky Arbella, Shires Housing/SASH; Katharine Murphy, SVMC; Michelanne Sylvester, Vermont Department for Children and Families Economic Services Division; Colleen Arcodia, VCIL; Virginia Cuddihy, SVMC; and Anna Mattison, UCS.

About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care 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 facility; the SVHC Foundation; and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a 99-bed community hospital. SVMC’s services include an emergency department staffed by physicians each of whom is board certified in emergency medicine; the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, which is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and managed by Dartmouth-Hitchcock; and a fully digital imaging department. SVMC also includes 19 primary and specialty care practices with 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 distinction it has held since 2002. To learn more, visit svhealthcare.org. For news and updates, follow facebook.com/svmedicalcenter.