On Monday, May 4, Governor Phil Scott announced that hospitals could resume elective outpatient services. In early March, the Governor directed health systems to put on hold non-urgent appointments and procedures as Vermont prepared for, and responded to, COVID-19. This week, Southwestern Vermont Health Care's (SVHC) outpatient surgeries and diagnostic services, like those for imaging and laboratory work, resumed in full with enhanced safety protocols. One important protocol implemented is that all patients should arrive to the hospital or clinic with their own cloth face covering and it must be worn for the entire duration of their visit.
"SVHC has always maintained the highest standards in terms of safety, quality, and cleanliness, and immediately adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations for COVID-19," said Thomas A. Dee, FACHE. "We are now eager to resume providing care for all of our patients' health needs."
Even with suspending elective surgical procedures in early March and focusing on the COVID-19 crisis, SVHC continued to provide safe, high-quality care for patients requiring urgent and emergent surgical interventions. Additionally, the health system’s emergency department, ExpressCare, and most of its specialty practices consistently remained open during the pandemic. Many practices continued to see patients through enhanced telemedicine appointments. And, the hospital’s Women’s and Children’s Department welcomed 40 babies during the month of April, a five percent increase in births over 2019.
"Our utmost priority is to keep our patients, providers and staff safe. Patients whose procedures were postponed should feel comfortable to come to the hospital to receive care," said Trey Dobson, MD, SVMC’s chief medical officer. "With all of the precautions and protocols instituted, the hospital is likely our community's safest public space."
For questions about how to resume or initiate elective care, call your primary care provider or the specialist directly. For a list of providers, visit svhealthcare.org/physician-directory. If you would like to reschedule a procedure that was canceled, call (802) 447-5541.
Patients with cough or shortness of breath or any two of the following—fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell—should contact their primary care provider or the COVID-19 Informational Hotline at 802-440-8844 before arriving to either their provider's office or the hospital. For a detailed list of safety protocols, frequently asked questions, visitor guidelines, and COVID-19 information, visit svhealthcare.org.
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 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.