Health system emerges from bankruptcy with new brand

  • Springfield Medical Care Systems has rebranded as North Star Health. (Courtesy North Star Health)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/17/2022 10:09:34 PM
Modified: 5/17/2022 10:08:26 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Springfield Medical Care Systems has rebranded as North Star Health, according to a Sunday news release.

The name change for the Springfield-based federally qualified health center comes after the organization exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy and split from Springfield Hospital in late 2020.

The “North Star” name aims to emphasize the way the organization’s care teams work to help patients “identify their health-related priorities,” by helping them reduce stress, sleep better or eat healthier, the release said. Making such lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of diabetes or hypertension, for example. Regular screenings for cancer, vaccinations and annual wellness checks are other preventive measures North Star clinicians provide.

“We have many patients tell us about what they want to change in their lives, and who see us as their guide and companion in that effort,” CEO Josh Dufresne said in the release. “Staff remarked how we can be like the North Star. Just as the North Star serves as a guiding light, our care teams meet each person where they’re at and help them reach their health and wellness goals.”

The name change also “embraces the wider scope and diversity of the many communities served by the (federally qualified health center) across two states,” the release said.

The organization includes Charlestown Health Center; Chester (Vt.) Dental Center; Ludlow (Vt.) Health Center; Ludlow (Vt.) Dental Center; Mountain Valley Health Center in Londonderry, Vt.; North Star Vision (formerly Lane Eye Associates) in Springfield; Rockingham (Vt.) Health Center, and Springfield Health Center. It also provides services onsite at four schools and the Edgar May Recreation Center in Springfield.

The organization then known as Springfield Medical Care Systems and the related Springfield Hospital first entered bankruptcy in June 2019, following several years of operating losses. Those losses eventually led to an accumulation of a total of about $20 million in debt.

Though the organizations separated as part of Chapter 11 restructuring, which was enabled by $6 million in exit funding from the state of Vermont, they continue to share some services through what Sunday’s news release called a “collaborative arrangement that supports a robust continuum of care for patients.”

Though the organization’s name has changed, the people running it have not.

“Our ownership, board of directors and organization have not changed and our locations, providers and services remain the same,” Bob Flint, chairman of North Star Health’s board, said in the release.

The transition to North Star Health will be phased in over the course of a year, beginning with the launch of a new website and online materials, and followed by updated signs over the coming months.

The launch of North Star’s new brand comes just about a month after Lebanon-based Dartmouth Health announced a new name and logo, which DH aims to use to increase name recognition in the southern part of New Hampshire.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.




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