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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Dartmouth Hitchcock to Help Two Smaller Hospitals Coordinate Services

Toby Talbot

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend are looking for ways to collaborate more closely.

They say the goal is to make health care more cost-effective and accessible in southeastern Vermont.

The hospitals are only 17 miles apart and they want to learn how they can better coordinate care in the region.

They’re turning to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and a consulting firm to gather data that will lead to recommendations later this year.

Steven Gordon is president of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

“And we look towards Dartmouth and more importantly looked at Helms and Company which is the consulting firm we are going to be using for this engagement to help identify those opportunities for a collaboration to help make us more cost effective in this era of health care reform,” Gordon said.

Gordon says neither hospital is in bad financial shape. But he says this is a good time to look for ways to save money without reducing the quality of care.

Currently, the 19-bed Grace Cottage Hospital focuses on acute and rehabilitative care.

Brattleboro Memorial has with 61 beds, and provides more primary and specialty services.

The two hospitals already share some providers and have worked together on a community health assessment.

Patients from either hospital are often referred to Dartmouth Hitchcock for serious surgery. All three hospitals say they want to work more closely together.