Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's CEO shares future plans with Williamstown community

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WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care's (SVHC) President and CEO Thomas A. Dee visited Hops & Vines last Tuesday to share the organization's initiatives with town business leaders and community members.

Williamstown Chamber of Commerce director Emily Watts opened the event.

"There is an invisible border just far north that I am happy has been breached today. I am so glad to say that after four and a half years of living in the Berkshires and not having a primary care physician, SVHC has helped me get that, which has been outstanding," Watts said. "The Pownal campus is so close to Williamstown."

A relationship between Williamstown and the hospital has been in the works since last October, Watts said, citing SVMC's Director of Marketing and Communications Ray Smith's position on the chamber board.

Dee's talk centered around the hospital's deepening relationships with its partner Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., and the convenience of its Pownal campus at 7237 Route 7. The campus was established in the fall of last year and is accepting new patients.

SVHC accepts about 95 percent of Massachusetts health insurance and the Pownal campus is approximately seven minutes from Spring Street in Williamstown. SVHC's goals include adding an ambulatory care pavilion and integrate telemedicine technologies with specialists from Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

"Our mission is to provide exceptional care, and that's what brought me to this hospital about six years ago," Dee said. "I got blown away the more I investigated this small hospital. It's something a lot of people don't know about. Our vision is to become much more known as a preeminent, rural, integrated system that provides high value to our region."

Dee gave a similar presentation at the Bennington campus in April.

—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.


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