SVMC Collects 2,600 Pounds of Unwanted Drugs over 6 Years
Grace Weatherby
/ Categories: NEWS, 2023

SVMC Collects 2,600 Pounds of Unwanted Drugs over 6 Years

BENNINGTON, VT—August 17, 2023—Since its installation at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a member of Dartmouth Health, the MedSafe collection box has facilitated retrieval of 2,600 pounds of unwanted and expired medications. The very first collection was conducted on August 16, 2017. SVMC is the first non-law enforcement 24-hour disposal location in the state of Vermont.

The box features a one-way medicine drop and can be used to dispose of unused or expired controlled substances, non-controlled substances, and even over-the-counter medications.

Several features ensure security, including a double-locked front panel and video monitoring. Medications can be removed for disposal only when both a member of the Bennington Police Department and a member of the hospital staff are present. The specialized box is available to the public 24 hours a day and located in SVMC’s Emergency Department waiting area. 

Disposing of unused and expired medications at a drug take-back location prevents the drugs from being abused or sold. In the past, people often flushed medications down a toilet or drain, which can cause pharmaceutical contamination of the water supply. In addition, the box is continuously monitored by video surveillance to prevent tampering.

The program was made possible through The Collaborative; Regional Prevention Partnership, a grant from the Vermont Department of Health; and cooperation from the Bennington Police Department, notably Chief of Police Paul J. Doucette and Lieutenant David Dutcher. Several community members also provide funding for MedSafe’s ongoing expenses.

 

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About SVMC:
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a member hospital of Dartmouth Health, is a comprehensive, preeminent, healthcare 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. SVMC includes Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the SVHC Foundation, as well as 25 primary and specialty care practices.

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center is among the most lauded small rural health systems in the nation. It is the recipient of the American Hospital Association’s 2020 Rural Hospital Leadership Award. In addition, SVMC is a five-time recipient of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. The health system is fortunate to have the support of platinum-level corporate sponsor Mack, a leading supplier of contract manufacturing services and injection molded plastic parts based in Arlington, VT.

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provides exceptional care without discriminating on the basis of an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

SVMC Contact: leslie.keefe@svhealthcare.org

 

About Dartmouth Health: Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire’s only academic health system and the state’s largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and is recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes the state’s only children’s hospital and multiple locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT; and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory and specialty services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.

DH Contact: news@dartmouth-health.org 

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