Plans progress to ensure healthcare services for the Springfield region

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Members of the Springfield Medical Care Systems and Springfield Hospital boards of directors met with Gov. Phil Scott and several members of his team early Monday, Jan. 14, to address SMCS’ financial challenges. The meeting was constructive and it was clear that significant work lies ahead for the health system, which must be accomplished in a very short period of time.

Committed to rectifying the current situation, board members are working around the clock to improve the system’s financial performance and ensure sustainable access to healthcare services in the Springfield region. Board members recognize the extreme urgency of the matter, their leadership role in the current situation, and the gravity of coming decisions to ensure the long-term future of this valuable regional healthcare resource.

“We are encouraged by Gov. Scott’s support and are committed to developing a path forward that accomplishes two critical objectives. First, all efforts must be made to preserve access to high-quality health care for residents and visitors of southeastern Vermont. Second, maintaining the status quo is not an option,” commented George Lamb, chairman of the Board for SMCS. He added “The healthcare landscape is changing rapidly and we must focus our attention on healthcare transformation, recognizing the future of healthcare relies less on inpatient hospital stays and increasingly on outpatient services and integrated health systems.”

Acknowledging that Springfield Hospital is in serious financial condition, the hospital board is putting all options on the table for a diligent review and thoughtful consideration. Critical decisions will be required in the coming weeks that will impact how healthcare is delivered in the region for years to come.

“Springfield Hospital will continue to work closely with the governor’s appointee and representatives from our state’s health agencies throughout this process,” continued Lamb. “Working closely with our board and recently appointed interim chief financial officer, we will look to this experienced leadership team to help guide the process. We will also continue to work with external resources to provide additional, specialized counsel to our board and leadership team.”

Over the next six weeks, these professionals will work together with internal teams, the Boards of SMCS and Springfield Hospital, Quorum Health Resources representatives, and the governor’s office to aggressively map out a detailed plan for the future.

“Our boards are deeply committed to ensuring that SMCS remains a vital community resource for high-quality healthcare, as well as a significant employer in the region. We appreciate the dedication and efforts of our staff and the ongoing support of our community as we work through this challenging time,” added Lamb

SMCS announces leadership team

Springfield Medical Care Systems board of directors approved three interim leadership appointments.

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Michael J. Halstead, interim CEO of Springfield Hospital. Photo provided.

Michael J. Halstead, MBA, has been appointed interim chief executive officer for Springfield Hospital. With more than 40 years of healthcare leadership experience, Halstead has guided dozens of hospitals through periods of significant challenge while working collaboratively with employees, physicians and other stakeholders to improve financial performance and maintain a strong focus on quality and satisfaction.

Halstead, who is employed by Quorum Health Resources, recently served as vice president of the company’s East Division where he provided strategic and operational guidance to nearly 50 hospitals and health systems throughout the eastern United States. Previously, Halstead served as regional vice president of QHR where he was responsible for 11 not-for-profit hospitals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and president and CEO of Carlisle Hospital & Health Services, which included a 200-bed acute care hospital, a rural health center, and several physician practices.

“Mr. Halstead brings a strong background in strategic planning and finance, familiarity with Vermont and New Hampshire, and deep healthcare knowledge at regional and national levels,” commented Lamb, adding, “His training and expertise are well-suited to the critical financial challenges we face.”

Halstead holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Southern Maine School of Business in Portland, and is a certified fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

 

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Joshua R. Dufresne, acting CEO of SMCS. Photo provided.

Joshua R. Dufresne, MBA, has been appointed acting chief executive officer for Springfield Medical Care Systems. Formerly chief operating officer and HRSA project director for SMCS, Dufresne will lead operations of the community health center network, which serves more than 35,000 patients annually.

Dufresne brings deep knowledge and experience with SMCS’ community health center operations. Throughout his 14 years with SMCS, he has served as director of practice operations, director of Rockingham Health Center, and director of patient financial services. In his most recent role, he was responsible for the network’s overall service line operations; the integration of behavioral health, dental, vision services; and the addition of school-based care and lifestyle medicine programs.

Dufresne holds a Master of Business Administration from Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., and currently serves on the board of Black River Innovation Campus and Vermont AHEC, both in Springfield. He is a current member of the Vermont Rotary and the American College of Healthcare Executives; and a past member of Edgar May Health & Recreation Center, Springfield Boys & Girls Club and Bryant Federal Credit Union boards.

 

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Wayne A. Scholz, interim CFO, SMCS. Photo provided.

Wayne A. Scholz, MBA, has been appointed interim chief financial officer for Springfield Medical Care Systems. Scholz, who is employed by QHR, most recently served as interim revenue cycle director at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, N.M. As regional associate vice president of QHR, he has provided managerial and financial support to more than 24 nonprofit and governmental hospitals around the country during his nearly 30 years with Quorum. Earlier in his career, he served as division controller for American Healthcare Management Inc. and chief financial officer for HCA hospitals in San Antonio, Houston, and Uvalde, Texas.

Scholz holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Texas in San Antonio and serves on the board of the Lone Star Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association in Dallas.

“We are pleased to welcome these accomplished leaders to our interim administrative team. Each brings extensive leadership experience and knowledge in their respective areas, which will be pivotal to our success as we navigate our current financial challenges and work to define a new path forward for SMCS and Springfield Hospital,” said Lamb.

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