By Debbie Hebert

On May 1, 2015 we were pleased to host an Open House, officially unveiling Putney Family Healthcare’s expanded and renovated facility to the community. The gathering celebrated the completion of a four-month-long project that added 680 square feet to the building’s footprint and upgraded our existing treatment facilities in order to serve our patients most effectively.

We’ve always loved being located in Putney and accessible to the community, but we needed additional space to provide more clinician hours, improve patient privacy and comfort, and give our staff the room they need to work effectively. We also wanted to focus on treating our patients locally whenever possible; offering suturing and other minor procedures that don’t require a hospital visit, but do require that we have the proper equipment and treatment space.

79 Main Street in Putney is a lovely, well-preserved Victorian, originally built as a residence, but we moved in 2012 and set up shop as a medical practice. Converting residential space into medical treatment and office space is never easy, and we quickly outgrew our existing facility. It became clear that we not only needed additional space for the comfort and privacy of our patients, but that we needed to upgrade our existing space as well.

Working with our local contractor, GPI Construction, we broke ground on Nov. 1, 2014 and welcomed our first patients into the new space on March 1, 2015. Throughout the entire construction project we were still seeing patients, with our staff doubled up at desks, and various pieces of equipment temporarily re-located. Rob Prohaska, BMH’s Director of Plant Services worked hand-in- hand with GPI, with input from the practice’s staff, to design and execute the plans for the expansion. He notes, “This partnership kept the quality of the construction high at a minimum of cost to BMH. The teamwork displayed resulted in the project coming in slightly under budget.” To their great credit, GPI completed construction right on schedule and turned over a beautiful facility that was ready to welcome patients as soon as the paint was dry. To our staff’s great credit, they weathered the construction process and all of its necessary disruptions with their typical good humor and professionalism!

The major focus of the expansion was to add four brand new exam rooms, equipped with the appropriate equipment to broaden the types of procedures we are able to do on-site. By having the facilities and equipment to do a wider range of procedures, we don’t need to send patients to the hospital or Emergency Department unless it is truly an emergency or they need a specialized service. We’ve also expanded our on-site lab facilities, so we can continue to offer our community a local option for getting their lab work done. We can see patients with tick bites to chest pain and almost everything in between.

Services available at Putney Family Healthcare are:

  • Routine physical exams and health screenings
  • Sick (acute care) visits
  • Immunizations and flu shots
  • Lab work including phlebotomy
  • Preventive health care
  • Prescription refills in 48 hours
  • And much more!

We’ve always taken patient privacy very seriously, and this expansion gave us the opportunity to build in features like sound-absorbing carpeting, frosted windows and a discreet ambulance entrance. We want our patients to feel confident that their private information stays private, without fear of things being overheard or overseen. The new sound-absorbing carpeting is working so well that we are planning to install it in the pre-renovation parts of the facility as well.

The expansion also enabled us to open up additional secure file and chart storage space upstairs in what used to be staff offices. Even though we operate with an Electronic Medical Record system now, we still have many paper records that need to be properly stored and cared for as they provide important information about patients’ medical histories.

By expanding the size of our treatment rooms and adding equipment like high-powered lighting and adjustable exam tables, we can perform tests like EKGs and procedures involving suturing with plenty of room to work without tripping over each other and our equipment. Patients are enjoying the additional space and privacy, but also appreciate that the practice maintains its homey and welcoming feeling.

The new treatment and exam rooms have made it possible for John Todd, APRN FNP to join us on a full-time basis, so we have been able to open up appointments for new patients. Kari Dickey, DO and Richard Fletcher, APRN continue to see patients full-time in Putney, supported by a great team of nurses and medical assistants as well as our friendly and helpful front office staff. To learn more about our practitioners, please visit: http://bmhphysiciangroup.org.

While our patient volume is growing, parking is plentiful and because we’re so conveniently located, many of our patients choose to walk to their appointments. With our focus on prevention and wellness, we’re heartened to see our patients incorporate walking into every aspect of their lives.

Community members may not be aware that Putney Family Health Care cares for patients of all ages, from infants to seniors, so we can be the primary care provider for entire families. We enjoy the diversity of the patients we see, and invite anyone who is seeking out a primary care provider for yourself or your family to call BMH Centralized Scheduling at 844-258-8777 for your first appointment. After your initial appointment, all further appointments can be scheduled by calling Putney Family Healthcare directly at 802-387-5581. We look forward to caring for you and your family in our beautiful and expanded facility!

Debbie Hebert is the Practice Manager at Putney Family Healthcare, a member of BMH Physician Group. She can be reached at 802-387-5581.