KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- The board charged with controlling the cost of the state’s health care system will be holding its regular meeting at the Bennington Fire Department on River Street on Monday, offering the public a chance to ask questions and comment as well as hear from local health care leaders.
The Green Mountain Care Board meeting runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Guest speakers will include Southwestern Vermont Health Care President and CEO Thomas Dee, Dr. Michael Brady of Molly Stark Dental Clinic, and Dr. Gregory King, of Mount Anthony Primary Care.
"When Vermont’s Legislature created our board, they directed us to go about our business transparently and with public input," said Anya Rader Wallack, chairwoman of the GMCB.
"While our board members travel all over the state and we have good attendance at our Montpelier meetings, we also want to find ways to reach out to a broader audience. We hope people in the Bennington area will attend our meeting and contribute to our work."
The GMCB meets regularly in Montpelier. In addition to its regular business the public is being asked for its thoughts on hospital budgeting, health insurance rates, changes being planned for health care delivery, and the health care system as a whole.
Brady, who is a member of the SVHC Board of Trustees, said he will be speaking not on behalf of the hospital but the dental program he has worked with for the past 13 years. Brady runs a dental clinic out of the Molly Stark Elementary School and does work at Bennington Elementary School along with Pownal Elementary School. He said the program works with students on Medicaid to get them better access to dental care they might not otherwise get.
Brady said he suspects the GMCB is interested in how the program has been able to last all these years. When it began the plan was for it to have about 300 patients at one time; it now sees closer to 700. It also works with the Bright Smiles program, which refers children to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center when they need more extensive dental work requiring sedation.
The GMCB posts its meeting minutes and agendas on its website, http://gmcboard.vermont.gov/. The public can also send comments to the board there.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr