Sharing doctors supports CVPH inpatient pediatric program

UVM Children's Hospital physicians provide coverage in Plattsburgh

The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, along with many others in New York, has long relied on pediatricians in their communities to provide care for children and adolescents in the hospital.

“They have done an outstanding job,” says Kent Hall, MD, VP/chief medical officer at CVPH, but it can be disruptive for community pediatricians to be pulled away from their clinics to see patients at the hospital. “Further, patients at the hospital are in much more serious condition than what these providers see day-to-day. They were concerned they were not doing all their patients justice.”

In search of a solution, Hall approached Lewis First, MD, chief of Pediatrics at the UVM Children’s Hospital at UVM Medical Center, and Karen Leonard, MD, director of the Pediatric Hospitalist Division at UVM Medical Center. “Karen and Lewis came over to Plattsburgh to learn more about our patient population and how we could best support” community pediatricians.

The trio came up with a workable plan:

  • Recruit four pediatric hospitalists who would spend 75 percent of their time at CPVH and 25 percent at UVM Children’s Hospital.
  • UVM Children’s Hospital’s full-time pediatric hospitalists, such as Leonard, would provide coverage at CVPH when their hospitalists were working in Burlington

Two of those pediatric hospitalists began work in October. Another two are being recruited from an ample pool of very qualified candidates.

“This is an excellent example of Network facilities working together to not only continue to offer hospital pediatric services at CVPH, but to improve those services for our community,” Hall says.

First is “delighted that we can extend the high-quality, child-friendly pediatric care of the UVM Children’s Hospital to CVPH so we truly become a children’s hospital whose ‘walls’ are those of the Network itself. This will let us make local pediatric care the best it can be.”