Affordable, accessible health care celebrated; Okemo chamber offers trip to China

Springfield Medical Care Systems announces National Health Center Week 2013 as part of a weeklong campaign, through Aug. 17,  to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers as local solutions for affordable and accessible health care.

Community health centers have been in existence for more than 45 years and have compiled a significant record of success by making high quality primary care care available and accessible to all.

SMCS serves more than 25,000 people in the local area, and is increasingly becoming the trusted provider of choice for many families. Patients choose health centers because they are convenient, affordable, and offer a comprehensive range of services from a team of caring professionals. Studies also show that overall, health centers deliver very high quality of care.

“We’re pleased and proud of the relationships our staff develop with their patients every day, giving them a patient-centered medical home,” said Josh Dufresne, chief of Practice Operations at Springfield Medical Care Systems. “When people have a place to go for regular care, they use it and stay healthier.” SMCS services under primary care include pediatrics, pharmacy, dentistry and outpatient mental health counseling as well as providing specialty care such as orthopedics, ear, nose and throat, adult day service, physical therapy and psychiatric. “This close integration helps us ensure that patients get the care they need, in the right place at the right time,” Dufresne said, adding, “We work hard to make sure patients are treated as individuals, with dignity and respect and that SMCS continues to be a place where people come first. This is what health care should be, and what we celebrate during National Health Center Week.”

Springfield Medical Care Systems is a not-for-profit, community-based health care system that includes seven community health center locations in Springfield, Ludlow, Chester and Rockingham, VT, and Charlestown, NH. For more information about SMCS and its subsidiaries, please visit

Chamber announces open trip to China

The Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce is organizing an affordable trip to China, open to all, for next March. Misty Valley Books, on the Green in Chester, will host an informational meeting with details of the trip and a slideshow beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18.

Lynne and Bill Reed, owners of Misty Valley Books, went on the chamber trip last March and will discuss their experiences. The itinerary includes four cities – Beijing, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai.  The per person price of $2,599 includes all air and ground transportation, luxury hotel accommodations and three meals a day. For more information call Misty Valley Books at 875-3400.

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