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Vermont system joins Dartmouth Health

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington has joined Lebanon, N.H.-based Dartmouth Health, now a six-hospital system. 

The agreement was made official on July 1, according to Dartmouth. Historically, joint programs between the systems included the formation of Dartmouth Hitchcock Putnam Physicians and expanded telemedicine, oncology services and patient safety initiatives.

The merger will lead to increased access to technology and clinical research and bring together more than 2,000 physicians and providers in the region, according to the health systems. 

"Rural health systems like ours are experiencing greater economic challenges than ever before, between a significant healthcare labor shortage, the high cost of contract labor, delayed hospital discharges due to staffing shortages at post-acute care facilities, rising demand for services and a growing ledger of uncompensated care," Dartmouth President and CEO Joanne Conroy, MD, said in a news release. "We know we can't solve these problems alone, but working together we are stronger."

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