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Copley & D-H Collaborate to Offer Tele-Rheumatology Service

January 26, 2018

Telemedicine Technology Used to Increase Access to Needed Care

Copley Hospital is partnering with Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Connected Care to introduce Rheumatology appointments via telemedicine for residents of greater Lamoille County. This new service helps overcome current barriers to accessible rheumatological care and will improve access for patients living in rural north central Vermont.

The partnership brings together D-H Rheumatologist Daniel A. Albert, MD and Copley’s patients via telemedicine to provide evaluations, follow-up exams and recommendations for relevant therapies or interventions. This TeleRheumatology specialty service uses live, two-way secure video on large format, high-definition mobile carts in the Multi-Specialties Outpatient Clinic at Copley Hospital.

“Copley’s collaboration with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Connected Care enables us to improve access to needed care in our community,” said Vera Jones, Chief Operating Officer of Copley Hospital.  Jones explained that the hospital had offered rheumatology in the past but had to discontinue the service when the provider retired. “Telemedicine uses technology to remove barriers to care and with Dr. Albert’s expertise, our community again has access to treatment of arthritis, rheumatic diseases and other bone, joint and muscle disorders close to home. “

“Telemedicine is an increasingly effective way of rendering care to patient populations that are more difficult to access,” said Dr. Albert, who mixes periodic in-person visits to smaller hospitals with telemedicine to provide care to patients in rural areas.

Dr. Albert has more than thirty years of medical experience and currently continues both health service and translational research with a primary focus on innovative therapies for autoimmune disease. Major research interests of late include Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Strategies, and Health Economics of Rheumatic Disease with emphasis on TeleRheumatology Services.

To begin, the TeleRheumatology Clinic at Copley Hospital will be held the fourth Friday of every month from 9:00am – 11:00am beginning February 23, 2018. It is anticipated that an additional TeleRheumatologist with Dartmouth-Hitchcock will join the clinic later this year.

For more information about the TeleRheumatology Clinic at Copley Hospital in collaboration with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, please call 802-888-8372.

Copley Hospital offers exceptional care from skilled specialists using state-of-the-art treatments and technology supported with the warm, personalized feel of a community hospital. Copley offers 24-hour emergency services, a family-friendly Birthing Center, and inpatient and outpatient care including Cardiology, General Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation Services, and Diagnostic Imaging on its campus in Morrisville. A non-profit community hospital, Copley serves the greater Lamoille County region and is one of the area’s largest employers. Visit http://www.copleyvt.org or call 802-888-8888 for more information.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) is a nonprofit academic health system serving communities in northern New England. D-H provides access to more than 1,000 primary care doctors and specialists in almost every area of medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, four affiliate hospitals, 24 ambulatory clinics and through the Visiting Nurse and Hospice for VT and NH. The D-H system trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research, in partnership with the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center.