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North Country swims in rough healthcare waters

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by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — At the North Country Hospital annual meeting held last month Dr. Greg Walker, head of the medical staff, declared “At North Country we take care of our own.”

When the Chronicle spoke with hospital president and CEO Tom Frank recently, he said Dr. Walker’s statement is both North Country’s credo and a simple necessity.

“Every hospital in the state of Vermont will tell you they’re unique,” he began, “but North Country truly is and I’ll tell you why.  It’s to do with our location.  We’re 45 miles from the nearest other hospital and two-plus hours from the nearest tertiary, the big hospital.  We have to take care of here.

“This is our community.  That’s why we’re here.  We’re not here to take care of patients from Burlington or Rutland.  Ninety-two percent of our in-patient discharges….

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