We’ve transferred care of hundreds of Berne patients to other CCP practices. We’re pleased Jill Martin will continue care in Berne for those who chose it

To the Editor:

We’d like to clear up some of the misinformation that has been publicized. It has been stated that a previous physician attempted to buy the Berne office’s medical equipment but was unsuccessful. This isn’t entirely accurate.

When a practice closes, Community Care Physicians’ standard protocol is to perform a full inventory of all furniture, equipment, and supplies; transfer certain of those items to other CCP practices for use in patient care, and then donate the rest to local organizations in need. Certain medical equipment and supplies are not permitted to be transferred or donated outside of our organization by law.

CCP is happy to donate what we can to Jill Martin, Family Nurse Practitioner, for use in her future Berne medical practice, caring for the needs of the patients in that region. We are in the process of determining what of our inventory can be donated to that practice. We expect to donate all exam-room, office, and waiting-room furnishings; certain medical and laboratory equipment; and medical, laboratory, and office supplies.

Jill Martin said, “I am extremely pleased that CCP will be donating the much-needed furnishings, equipment, and supplies that I otherwise would need to purchase to open my practice.” 

We began supporting the patients of Berne in 2011 when Dr. Gary Kolanchick approached CapitalCare Medical Group about his long-standing desire to retire in a manner that would allow for the continuity of care for the patients of the community he had served for over three decades.

Although he had trained many family physicians over the years who were intrigued and inspired by rural medicine, on his own he had been unable to find a physician who was willing or able to assume the financial responsibility and the risk of managing the practice as a solo physician. CapitalCare was not in the business of rural medicine but was always mindful of the needs of the patients throughout the region.

We agreed to partner with Dr. Kolanchick in preparing the Berne practice for transition into a supportive model of medical practice that would keep the autonomy and character of the rural practice open while providing the much-needed administrative, financial, and clinical support a new physician would need.

Dr. Kolanchick had a young family-medicine resident in mind, and with the support of CapitalCare, he was able to convince her to join. We thank Dr. Kristin Mack for the excellent, innovative, and compassionate care that she provided the community of Berne for the past few years.

Although we are pleased that we were able to support the provision of care in the Berne community for the past eight years and provide the opportunity for Dr. Kolanchick to retire on his terms, we are disappointed that we were unable to find another physician, nor any other organization (hospital, federally qualified health center, or other medical practice) willing to assume the responsibility for the Berne practice following the announcement of Dr. Mack’s resignation.

There are models of care, many very successful, that are run by advanced practice providers, APPs, like Jill Martin, a truly qualified medical professional.

Our philosophy and our model of care has at its foundation strong physician leadership, and on-site presence. Our inability to recruit a physician to replace Dr. Mack following her resignation ultimately left us with needing to consider the best way for us to continue the care of the patients as seamlessly as possible given that we would not be able to keep the practice open without a physician.

We have been able to successfully transfer the care of hundreds of the Berne patients into other CCP practices, and we are pleased that Jill Martin will be able to provide care for those choosing to keep their care in Berne.

One of the innovative programs that Dr. Mack spearheaded through the support of the Alliance for Better Health was the vitalist program. This is a program that provided virtual home visits to certain qualifying residents of the community who may have had a short- or long-term inability to access care in the medical practice.

A review of the program upon Dr. Mack’s announcement found there were a total of 24 patients who had received care through the vitalist initiative. We are pleased that arrangements have been made to transfer the care of all but two of those patients as of this writing, and we continue to work with those two remaining patients to find the best options for the continuity of their care.

We wish Jill Martin success in opening her new practice and continuing the tradition of care in the Hilltowns.

Joan Regan Hayner

Chief Operating Officer

Community Care Physicians

Editor’s note: Jill Martin says she supports this statement.

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