Expanded Services Include Mental Health, Telehealth and Medication Management
Middlebury, VT – The University of Vermont Health Network – Porter Medical Center has recently hired nine new health care providers to serve patients at its Primary Care offices in Middlebury, Vergennes and Brandon. The new hires reflect a change in Porter Primary Care’s care model and service offerings, with a reimagined approach to deliver health care that aligns with the unmet needs of local residents.
“Our approach to health care is evolving with the needs of our patients and community,” said Porter Primary Care physician Dr. Natasha Withers, who also serves as Associate Chief Medical Officer. “Our focus has shifted to a proactive health and wellness approach, not just reacting to patient health crises. Keeping people healthy takes a diversified team of people working together to ensure our community has access to the right care.”
The new providers joined Porter between June 2021 and July 2022. They include two mental health service providers, psychologist Mark Frayne, PhD and mental health care manager Debbie McGlothlin, MSW. Porter is actively recruiting a psychiatrist and second mental health care manager to join the practice this fall.
The practice also hired three new primary care physicians, two in family medicine: Melanie Connah, MD, and Gail Fayre, MD, both in Middlebury, as well as internal medicine physician Teddi, Lovko, MD, who will see patients in Brandon. They are joined by Alison Farr, DNP, in the Middlebury office, and two new float providers, who will travel between Porter’s three primary care offices to open up access for acute care needs and to provide telehealth coverage: Corinne Webb, DNP and Hadley Warner, PA-C.
Porter also hired its first ever pharmacist as a credentialed provider, Nathan Lamberton, PharmD. Since last June, he has worked to help patients manage their medications, especially those who have chronic conditions like diabetes.
“In addition to being a great addition for our patients and community, our new providers have been hired to help Porter fulfill the goals set forth in our Community Health Improvement Plan,” said Porter President and Chief Operating Officer, Tom Thompson. “Our community has asked for more mental health services and improved access to care. These new additions to our team will help us reduce wait times and ensure patients stay healthier, which reduce the burden on costly services like Emergency Room visits.”
The reimagined Porter Primary Care team is also using technology to improve overall patient experience and outcomes, leveraging telehealth opportunities for some office visits, teleophthalmology for in office eye exams for patients who have diabetes, utilizing Epic MyChart for health records and implementing other services like centralized scheduling.
The improved use of technology helps Porter’s providers build successful health care plans for each patient, in partnership with their various health care providers, specialists and technicians who all need to manage information about appointments, medication, test results and office visits. Porter is continually expanding its adoption of technology and recently hired a nurse who will support all three practices virtually. This new role will help the care team more efficiently handle patient requests outside of their office visits.
Porter continues to grow its service offerings beyond office visits, including providing nutritional support services through access to a dietitian and offering patients support from a care manager, who can help support patients, coordinate their care and provide additional support to their health and wellness needs. Porter also offers self-management classes and provides education and support for those with disease specific issues, including diabetes and hypertension.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with any of Porter’s primary care providers, please call the office at 802-388-7185. Learn more at www.portermedical.org.
Learn more about the Addison County Community Needs Assessment and Porter’s Community Health Improvement Plan on Porter’s website: https://www.portermedical.org/about/community-health-needs-assessment/
About Porter Medical Center
The University of Vermont Health Network – Porter Medical Center is a designated critical access hospital comprised of a 25-bed acute care facility and 105-bed skilled nursing facility, which includes a memory care unit, short-term rehabilitation unit, and a long-term care unit. Porter operates a network of primary care and specialty medical practices throughout the region, including in Middlebury, Vergennes and Brandon.
About The University of Vermont Health Network
The University of Vermont Health Network is an integrated system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives. The partners are:
- The University of Vermont Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Porter Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Home Health & Hospice
Our 15,000 employees are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our affiliates remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.