SVMC Selected for Prestigious National Project
Ashley Jowett
/ Categories: NEWS, 2021

SVMC Selected for Prestigious National Project

Multi-Hospital Cooperation Aims to Increase Rates of Colon Cancer Screening

BENNINGTON, VT—March 18, 2021—The American Cancer Society (ACS) has selected Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), as a Hospital Systems Capacity Building (HSCB) Community of Practice (COP) site to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.

The HSCB COP initiative is 3-year project including 20 hospitals and their community partners nationwide. The aim of the project is to bring well-performing health systems together to share tools, resources, and capacity-building assistance and to solidify evidence-based methods to improve community health.

“I am thrilled to embark on this journey with SVMC over the next three years. I have witnessed the great work they already do around Colorectal Cancer Screening, so it came as no surprise they were recognized,” said Amy Deavitt, cancer control strategic partnerships manager for the American Cancer Society, Inc., Northeast Region. “We look forward to increasing our communities’ awareness around Colorectal Cancer Screening.”

The Vermont Department of Health, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer, ACS, and professionals from multiple SVMC departments served as instrumental partners in SVMC’s previous work to increase colorectal cancer screening rates and will remain on the team throughout this COP project.

“Partnership has always been one SVMC’s greatest strengths,” said Charlene Ives, MD, medical director of SVMC’s Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center. “This project will allow us to broaden our engagement with our current partners and other health systems in the collaborative to increase our colorectal cancer screening rates.”  

Nine of the 20 hospitals, including SVMC, will be working on increasing rates of colorectal cancer screening. The remainder are working to increase rates of HPV vaccination or to improve breast health equity.

In a letter notifying hospital leadership of the opportunity, Meg Fischer, the director or Hospital Systems Capacity Building, identified SVMC as “one of the most promising sites for this work across the country.”  

HSCB is administered by ACS and is a project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The project is funded through the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support. At the end of the 3-year project, the group aims to deliver evidence-based cancer-prevention and screening interventions that can be replicated by other hospitals to improve outcomes.

About SVHC:
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 includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care is among the most lauded small rural health systems in the nation. It ranked fourth nationwide for the value of care it provides by the Lown Institute Hospital Index. It is a four-time recipient of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. It has also received the highest marks possible from The Joint Commission, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Leapfrog Group. 

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.

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