WDH and MGH collaborate on multiple centers of excellence
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (WDH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) recently signed a clinical collaboration agreement to develop multiple centers of excellence, combining the expertise of both institutions to provide world-class medical care in the community.
According to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital President & CEO Gregory Walker, the agreement is an important step in the hospital’s efforts to be the highest quality community hospital in Northern New England.
“Our hospital and physician leaders, with Board of Trustees approval, spent over two years evaluating potential partnerships with several academic medical centers to offer Seacoast area residents the very highest level of medical care available,” Walker said. “I believe our hospital combined with MGH’s ability to connect to scientific research and clinical breakthroughs will help us further deliver exceptional quality care for Wentworth-Douglass Hospital patients.”
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Medical Staff President, William Hassett, MD, emphasized the role of WDH physicians in the process.
“What makes this clinical collaboration so exciting is that our physicians drove the decisions regarding what our community needs and how MGH can complement existing technologies and staff,” he said. “This is an outstanding way to embrace the future of medicine, keeping patients here whenever possible and utilizing MGH for medical problems that require the tertiary/quaternary levels of care at their world-class institution. Our goal is to always give our patients the highest quality care.”
The first three major initiatives among many to be introduced over the next two years will focus on the creation of a Stroke Center, Enhanced Trauma Center and the expansion of Cancer Services beginning with the development of a specialized, gynecological oncology surgery program at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.
Peter Slavin, MD, MBA, president of Massachusetts General Hospital, shared his enthusiasm about the collaboration.
“We are very excited to collaborate with Wentworth-Douglass on so many clinical fronts,” he said. “This endeavor provides an opportunity to deliver community-based patient care of the highest quality, safety and efficiency.”
The hospitals will launch the Stroke Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in October that will meet the highest standards of care established by the American Stroke and Heart Associations. Clinical specialists from MGH and WDH staff worked diligently over the past six months to develop this Center. The Center will also have the capability of directly linking to MGH stroke specialists via a Telestroke videoteleconferencing capability for the most difficult cases. This will enhance the Center's capability to diagnose, treat and, if necessary, transfer to the MGH Stroke Center.
WDH Neurologist and Chief Medical Officer Paul Cass, DO oversees the Stroke Center Project. "What makes this unusual is not the Telestroke capability, because a number of NH an ME hospitals have this connection to MGH, but the ongoing collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital to help us each and every day maintain the highest standards of care for our patients, “ Dr. Cass said. “In the future we will have immediate access to MGH stroke protocols and treatment approaches that evolve to improve the care and outcome for stroke patients. This will allow our staff to train at MGH and bring back these new skills to our community. This doesn't only apply to stroke but to six other initiatives currently underway."
Vice President of Patient Care Services Sheila Woolley, RN, BSN, MPH, said the clinical collaboration with MGH provides new opportunities for nurses and other clinicians to share best practices and gain expertise.
“Our relationship strengthens the existing model of professional practice at WDH and opens other avenues of clinical initiatives.”
The clinical collaboration with MGH is an extension of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s achievements over the years in quality, trauma care and cancer care. WDH was one of the first hospitals in the nation to participate in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)’s Culture of Safety initiative. “Through IHI, we’ve raised the level of care for pneumonia patients, reduced infections and improved the care of patients with diabetes,” Walker said. “Our ER is the busiest emergency service in the Seacoast and 4th busiest in New Hampshire ranking as one of the highest in the state for the care of heart failure patients (nhqualitycare.org).”
The Seacoast Cancer Center is the only center in the Seacoast with three linear accelerators and the capability to provide Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Image Guided Radiation Therapy, High Dose Rate therapy and MammoSite, a treatment for breast cancer patients.