Dr. Carolyn Clancy’s tour underscores successful partnership, looks to the future
Catholic Medical Center (CMC) was pleased to welcome Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Executive in Charge, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to the hospital Monday afternoon. Dr. Clancy was in the area to tour the Manchester VA Medical Center (VAMC), attend Governor Chris Sununu’s signing of SB 488, and visit CMC. She met the team in CMC’s endoscopy suite, where more than 500 local veterans have had procedures since August of 2017 as part of the hospital’s partnership with the VA. She also toured CMC’s new Clinical Decision Unit and discussed the potential for future collaboration.
“The department has taken account of what was an astonishingly swift response to an emergency situation, and to what has become the new normal for New Hampshire. This becomes the model from which everything else will follow,” said Clancy. “New Hampshire clearly is the first-in-the-nation to partner in this nature. This is most certainly because of the terrific leadership at the Governor’s Office, within the legislature, at CMC, and, importantly, our staff at the medical center led by Mr. Montoya.”
Last August, the Manchester VAMC began sending physicians, nurses, and patients to CMC’s endoscopy suite for certain same-day procedures after a building flood damaged one of their operating rooms. Since then, CMC has placed a care coordinator at the VA to help expedite referrals for other services such as surgery, cardiology and radiology. Earlier on Monday, Governor Sununu signed into law a bill that allows VA providers to practice at New Hampshire hospitals without having to go through the state licensing process.
“The partnership between CMC and the VA is a true New Hampshire solution,” said CMC President & CEO Joseph Pepe. “I want to thank Al Montoya and his team for working with CMC as a collaborator, not a competitor, so we can give our veterans the health care they deserve. We look forward to expanding this partnership to further compliment the good work that is happening at the Manchester VA Medical Center.”
The VA New Hampshire VISION 2025 Task Force, convened last year to examine ways to best meet veterans health needs in the state, is expected to hold Manchester VAMC’s recent collaborations as a model for VA care. The task force plans to release its findings soon. Similarly, the just-passed VA MISSION Act looks to implement a community care program across the VHA system. Under the MISSION Act, VA facilities across the country would supplement services with local partners that perform a needed service or procedure.
“On my third day, I got a call from (CMC’s Executive VP & COO) Alex Walker who said, ‘I have heard about the flood at your facility, and I want to help.’ Because of this offer of help, and the support from Governor Sununu, clinical practices around the state are empowered to support Veterans like never before,” said Alfred Montoya, director, Manchester VA Medical Center. “I look forward to driving innovation and change to improve the overall health care experience for veterans locally, with an eye on how these efforts will drive change for all veterans.”
(Top photo: Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Alex Walker of CMC, and Al Montoya of the Manchester VA Medical Center talk with CMC’s President & CEO Dr. Joseph Pepe in the hospital’s ER. Bottom photo, the teams from CMC and the Manchester VA Medical Center are in front of the hospital)