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2017: Thank You for Your Collaboration

December 17, 2017

Dear Friend,

As 2017 comes to a close, I want to thank you. When we took on tough legislative issues last winter, you were there to tell the hospital story. During hospital budget hearings this summer, you explained how thousands of health system employees deliver care, build communities and innovate for the future.

Our advocacy and awareness work is only possible because of your work with patients and families and your experience managing vital institutions. Thanks for raising your voices, staying alert, and connecting with colleagues in VAHHS forums throughout the year. Your commitment makes me optimistic about 2018.

It also makes me optimistic that here in Vermont, even when we face the toughest issues and struggle to agree on public policy, diverse groups and voices come to the table to solve big problems. We already bring this collaboration to the mental health crisis, community benefit and many other areas.

Our cooperative approach is exceptional. In some other states, as I often hear from my association colleagues, it can be much harder to engage partners, have difficult conversations, and build consensus.

VAHHS and our members are grateful to be at the table with the Scott administration, legislators, the Green Mountain Care Board, advocates, community partners, and other stakeholders.  

As major budget and policy decisions are made in the coming months, we will need to effectively explain our priorities and challenges, and demonstrate the damage of any proposed payment cuts.  

Our story is a good one. With hospitals leading the way, we are moving toward a system based on value rather than volume, and centered on prevention and primary care.  Health care providers are working together, for example, to ensure diabetic patients receive not only the insulin they need but also dietary guidance, physical therapy and personalized care to promote and sustain long-term health.

Hospitals also collaborate with charitable food organizations like the Vermont Foodbank to prescribe healthy food to Medicaid patients struggling with food insecurity. We work with designated agencies and housing organizations to coordinate resources and treat the underlying causes of illness.

Whether delivering direct care, improving mental health or managing the social determinants, our goal is the same—to create a health care system that is accessible, affordable, and of the highest quality.

In various ways in their unique communities, all of Vermont’s hospitals are working towards that goal.

As we look to the new year, and the hard work ahead, we are eager to continue critical conversations in the state and bring our field’s expertise and perspective to the effort.

From all of us at VAHHS, thank you for your part in making Vermont a place that welcomes the exchange of ideas and for your tireless work towards our ideal health care system.

Here’s wishing you and yours a happy holiday and a healthy, bright new year. 

This is the last VAHHS Update of the year. You will receive the next update on January 8, 2018.