Valley News – Health system emerges from bankruptcy with new brand

Published: 05/17/2022 22:09:34

Modified: 05/17/2022 22:08:26

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Springfield Medical Care Systems has been rebranded as North Star Health, according to a press release Sunday.

The renaming of the Federally Licensed Health Center based in Springfield comes after the organization emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and spun off from Springfield Hospital in late 2020.

The name ‘North Star’ aims to highlight how the organization’s healthcare teams work to help patients ‘identify their health priorities’, helping them reduce stress, sleep better or eat better healthier, according to the statement. Making such lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of diabetes or high blood pressure, for example. Regular cancer screenings, vaccinations and annual checkups are other preventative measures provided by North Star clinicians.

“We have many patients who tell us what they want to change in their lives and who see us as their guide and companion in that effort,” CEO Josh Dufresne said in the statement. “Staff have commented on how much we can look like the North Star. Just as the North Star serves as a beacon, our care teams meet each person where they are and help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

The name change also “embraces the broader reach and diversity of the many communities served by the (Federally Qualified Health Center) in two states,” the statement said.

The organization includes Charlestown Health Center; Chester Dental Center (Vt.); Ludlow Health Center (Vt.); Ludlow Dental Center (Vt.); Mountain Valley Health Center in Londonderry, Vt.; North Star Vision (formerly Lane Eye Associates) in Springfield; Rockingham (Vt.) Health Center and Springfield Health Center. It also provides on-site services at four schools and the Edgar May Recreation Center in Springfield.

The organization then known as Springfield Medical Care Systems and the related Springfield Hospital first filed for bankruptcy in June 2019, after several years of operating losses. These losses ultimately resulted in an accumulation of approximately $20 million in debt.

Although the organizations separated as part of the Chapter 11 restructuring, which was made possible by exit funding of $6 million from the state of Vermont, they continue to share some services thanks to what the Sunday’s press release called it a “collaborative agreement that supports a strong continuum of care for patients.”

Although the name of the organization has changed, the people running it have not.

“Our ownership, board of directors and organization have not changed and our locations, providers and services remain the same,” Bob Flint, chairman of the board of North Star Health, said in the statement.

The transition to North Star Health will be gradual over the course of a year, beginning with the launch of a new website and online materials, and followed by updated panels over the next few months.

The launch of North Star’s new brand comes about a month after Lebanese company Dartmouth Health announced a new name and logo, which DH aims to use to increase awareness of the name in southern New Hampshire.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3213.

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