September 24, 2010
At the September meeting of its board of trustees, the Ottauquechee Health Foundation approved a grant to Mt. Ascutney Hospital & Health Center to create a Community Care Coordinator in the Foundation’s service area. The community care coordinator (CCC) helps individuals in the community navigate the complexities of the health care system and assists them in getting the care they need.
The CCC will be an advocate, facilitator, communicator and counselor for the Foundation’s service area, which includes the towns of Woodstock, Hartland, Barnard, Bridgewater, Killington, Pomfret, Reading, and the Village of Quechee.
“The board is thrilled that this project has come together to address a critical need in our community,” said Meg Seely, OHF Board President. “This has been a collaborative project from the beginning, over a year ago, led by our board member, Lynn Peterson.”
Dr. Peterson worked with Mt. Ascutney Hospital, the Thompson Center, Health Information & Referral Service, local providers and others to develop the idea. “We started with a research project back in 2006, that showed that seniors and others facing chronic disease, were not getting the supports they needed to help them maintain their quality of life while at home,” said Dr. Peterson, a retired surgeon and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. “Some years ago Martha Lussier, RN provided this function for our region. Now this is called ‘advanced primary care.’”
The Foundation’s board approved funding for a three-quarters time position, with Mt. Ascutney Hospital pledging funding support through the State’s Blueprint for Health program. “We would like to have the CCC be a full time position, since we believe the need to be closer to three care coordinators,” noted Dr. Peterson.
The OHF board agreed to try to raise additional funds through its annual appeal between now and the end of the year. If they are able to surpass their $50,000 goal by $12,000, they will be able to make an additional grant to have the position be full time. The board has committed to ask each board member to increase their annual gift this year for the next two years and hopes that other community members will do the same.
Mt. Ascutney Hospital expects to post the new position within the next week. A local advisory committee will assist the hospital in hiring the care coordinator and remain in place to provide ongoing support, guidance and feedback.
The Foundation will host a public forum about the CCC later this Fall. Check OHF’s newly redesigned web page at www.ohfvt.org for date and location. Grants—Funding—Support: Because good healthcare matters to us all.