BMH and Groundworks Collaborative partner for homelessness

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BMH and Groundworks Collaborative partner for homelessness

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 6:41am -- Denise Sortor

Vermont Business Magazine Brattleboro Memorial Hospital President and CEO Steven R Gordon and Groundworks Collaborative Executive Director Joshua Davis are pleased to announce that a $25,000 grant was recently received from the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc and $5,000 from the Vermont Mutual Insurance Community Foundation to underwrite the services of the newly created Community Health Team Vulnerable Population RN Care Coordinator position. This position will provide care coordination for complex and high-risk patients in Windham County who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.

Those experiencing homelessness in our community often do not receive adequate preventative and routine health care, often leaving health concerns until they become life threatening and more costly to treat. Much of their health care is provided through visits to the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) Emergency Department. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, many of which are clear: Many of our neighbors experiencing homelessness do not have a primary care health care provider, it can be difficult to keep appointments when one is without a place to live or reliable transportation, some may not feel welcome in a primary care provider’s office setting, and they may have barriers to following the routines necessary for maintaining health. Coupled with a difficult-to-manage chronic condition, such as diabetes or substance misuse, any of these challenges could compound to manifest a serious health concern.

In the early months of 2016, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Community Health Team and Groundworks Collaborative conducted focus groups with a number of individuals experiencing homelessness. The key lessons learned were that our neighbors without housing need consistent care, the care should be flexible to meet their circumstances, and they need assistance integrating into the health care system. To respond to these challenges, BMH has committed to placing a Vulnerable Populations RN at the Drop In Center in collaboration with Groundworks to provide both health care and case management for vulnerable individuals.

Ms Aimee Hoskins was recently hired as a member of the BMH Community Health Team as the Vulnerable Population RN Care Coordinator effective November 21st. Ms Hoskins brings many years of experience to this role working in Nashville, TN as a research nurse at Vanderbilt University. She will partner with Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and other community-based organizations to coordinate access to high-quality, cost-effective patient- and family-centered health care and social services.

Founded in 1904, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) is a licensed, 61-bed, not-for-profit community hospital located in southeastern Vermont, serving a rural population of about 55,000 people in 22 towns in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. The BMH medical staff includes board-certified providers in primary care and many other specialties, with a shared mission of providing exceptional health care delivered with compassion and respect. The Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Health System includes the BMH Medical Group, a multispecialty group practice of primary care and specialty care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Over 110 active volunteers assist BMH’s 600 employees in caring for our community.

Groundworks Collaborative was established in 2015 as a result of the merger of two well-established organizations: the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center and Morningside Shelter (having been in existence for 27 and 36 years respectively). Groundworks provides food, shelter, and ongoing supportive services to families and individuals facing a full continuum of housing and food insecurities in the greater Brattleboro area – meeting basic needs and doing so with dignity.

About Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc

Through funding, the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation positively reinforces charitable organizations and innovative programs that improve patient care and safety, promote healthy lifestyles, and support individuals and organizations that provide healthcare services, including causes in which Coverys employees and directors are involved. The development of the Foundation exemplifies Coverys’ dedication to being an affirmative and active corporate citizen in the healthcare community and the communities in which it operates.

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