BRATTLEBORO -- The services provided at Cornerstone Pediatrics in Bellows Falls will merge with those at Just So Pediatrics and operate out of the latter's building starting Nov. 1, according to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.
BMH recently announced the merger that its officials say will shut down the practice at Cornerstone without terminating any staff members. They will now work at Just So Pediatrics on the BMH campus, a couple of doors down from the hospital's main entrance.
Bonnie McKellar, the vice president of physician practices and business development at BMH, told the Reformer the merger will connect children with greater access to health care as opposed to the partial week/half days currently provided at Cornerstone. She said patients going to Just So Pediatrics will have access to services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The facility also has four clinicians, a lab, X-ray capabilities and other primary care and specialty services.
Patients unable or unwilling to travel to Brattleboro can receive care at Rockingham Medical Group (with Dr. Eliot Hall and Linda Thomson, APRN) at 1 Hospital Court in Bellows Falls.
"The Cornerstone patients are very welcome at the Rockingham Medical Group in Bellows Falls or at the Springfield Health Clinic. Both are accepting new patients," McKellar said in an e-mail to the Reformer.
She said talks of a Cornerstone/Just So Pediatrics merger had been going on for several years and the decision was finalized at a board of directors' meeting in June.
Dr. Susan Slowinski of Cornerstone declined to comment and said she was not authorized to speak to the media.
McKellar said Cornerstone has one part-time pediatrician working three days a week, another pediatrician working two half-days so that the practice is covered three full days and two half-days with one physician. A nurse practitioner also works occasionally in the practice when the physicians are out. McKellar said all have agreed to reallocate their hours in Brattleboro.
"In addition we have one nurse and one front desk staff that have been offered positions in Brattleboro," she added.
McKellar told the Reformer that Cornerstone, at last count, had roughly 670 patients, and its annualized visits have been decreasing for a while.
The phone number for Cornerstone Pediatrics is 802-463-2020 and Just So Pediatrics can be reached at 802-251-8626.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.