Burlington, VT (PRWEB) November 14, 2014 -- New names for the four-hospital affiliation known as Fletcher Allen Partners, and its individual members, were made official today in recognition that the partnership has become one organization focused on delivering academic medicine to the people of Vermont and northern New York more efficiently and as close to home as possible. Fletcher Allen Partners will now be known as The University of Vermont Health Network, and three of the Partner hospitals - Central Vermont Medical Center, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and Elizabethtown Community Hospital - will add that title to their existing names. Fletcher Allen Health Care has become The University of Vermont Medical Center.
“This change marks a new era in health care in our region,” said John Brumsted, M.D., president and chief executive officer of The University of Vermont Health Network and The University of Vermont Medical Center. “Three years of close collaboration has resulted in more coordination of patient care than ever before, more access to academic medicine than ever before, and care that’s delivered more efficiently than ever before. We believe these new identities will help people understand that we’re working together as partners instead of competitors to provide the best of community and academic medicine close to home.”
Academic Medicine Matters
The new identities also reflect the long-standing partnership with the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and leverage the reputation of one of the nation’s leading research universities. Research has shown when people are aware of a strong university connection, they are much more likely to recommend their local hospital for care.
“Receiving health care locally is obviously better for patients, their families and our communities, and it helps to keep our organizations strong,” Brumsted said.
“This collective decision will enhance the local, regional and national reputations and quality of all of the entities that bear The University of Vermont name, and it makes more visible to the general public and to patients the important work that the university and these hospitals are doing together,” said Tom Sullivan, president of the University of Vermont. “This initiative will signal clearly to people in the region that they have access to a very high-quality health network aligned with one of the top academic medical centers in the country, which has a continuing strong commitment to providing exceptional patient care and effectively controlling costs.”
“By sharing resources and knowledge, we’ve made changes that are benefiting patients throughout the region every day,” said Stephens Mundy, president and CEO of Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) in Plattsburgh, NY. “Cardiology patients are getting life-saving care closer to where they live, and stroke patients are benefiting from standardized rehabilitation and better coordination of care. We’re also adding a Family Medicine residency program to the many existing residencies the network offers, which will have a tremendous impact on improving access to primary health care in northern New York.”
“Central Vermont Medical Center has worked closely with the Jeffords Institute for Quality at The University of Vermont Medical Center to be prepared for quality audits by The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services,” said Judy Tartaglia, president and chief executive officer of Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) in Berlin. “Our philosophy is to be prepared every day in every department, and tapping into the network’s resources has helped make that possible.”
“Continuity of care is incredibly important to patients - from the community-based primary care centers we own to the advanced care available at The University of Vermont Medical Center,” said Rod Boula, administrator and CEO of Elizabethtown Community Hospital. The affiliation among all hospitals in the network, along with The University of Vermont, is now reflected in the name and visual representation of each network affiliate. Patients will understand that they are entering a network facility whenever they see that new logo - no matter which facility they visit.”
Fostering the Academic Mission
At the University of Vermont, the College of Medicine and College of Nursing and Health Sciences will maintain close ties with The University of Vermont Medical Center, serving together as Vermont’s academic medical center, and look forward to expanding that relationship across The University of Vermont Health Network.
“For more than 100 years, the College of Medicine has relied on a strong alliance with our teaching hospital partner to fulfill our shared missions of education, research, care and service,” said Frederick Morin, M.D., dean of the University of Vermont College of Medicine. “Today that partnership becomes stronger than ever as it expands across the region, bringing improved care for patients, enhancing our education of outstanding physicians, and advancing our biomedical research agenda. This is truly an opportunity to set new standards for the future and lead the nation in developing an academic health care network.”
“This is a significant opportunity for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences to crystalize our relationship with our partners and create new pathways for our students to gain clinical experiences within a broader health network, as well as open doors for clinical research collaborations,” said Patricia Prelock, Ph.D., dean of the University of Vermont College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “We are now even more aligned in the effort to educate the next generation of health care providers in nursing, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, radiation therapy, medical laboratory science, nuclear medicine, athletic training and exercise and movement science who will contribute in unique ways to a coordinated and integrated model of health care.”
Improved Bond Ratings
Two of the three major bond-rating agencies recently elevated The University of Vermont Health Network to “A-” status, and the third upgraded the network to a “positive outlook.” “This is a very meaningful stamp of approval because the rating agencies did not just look at the books,” said Dr. Brumsted. “They also examined clinical and operational performance throughout the network and liked what they saw. The higher ratings mean we will save millions of dollars when we borrow money for major projects.”
Key Milestones to Date
• Realigned key cardiovascular services.
• Standardized rehabilitation protocols for stroke patients.
• Integrated the Jeffords Institute for Quality and Operational Effectiveness at The University of Vermont Medical Center throughout the four-hospital network.
• Initiated planning to establish a Family Medicine residency program based at CVPH starting in 2016.
• Initiated planning for a medical student clerkship in Obstetrics and Gynecology at CVPH.
• Incorporated of specialists at both CVMC and CVPH into the University of Vermont Medical Group.
• Saved the affiliated hospitals more than $6 million in supply chain purchases.
• Established psychiatric medical student clerkship at CVMC.
The boards of Fletcher Allen Partners, Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont voted to make the name changes in June. Approvals were recently granted by the Vermont Secretary of State, the New York State Education Department and the New York State Department of Health. A phased rollout of the new identities will begin immediately, and is expected to take 12-18 months.
Michael Carrese, The University of Vermont Health Network, http://www.UVMHealth.org, +1 802-847-0368, [email protected]