Robert R. Cawley, D.O.
Dover, NH 03802
It has been nearly a year since Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (WDH) became part of the Massachusetts General Hospital family and the evidence is everywhere – with new programs and enhanced services for patients and more clinical care collaborations.
Mass General cardiologists have joined WDH’s team in the comprehensive Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology program to offer a full spectrum of services, including inpatient and outpatient consultations, cardiac catheter ablation, defibrillator and advanced cardiac device implantations, as well as a cardiac device clinic.
“This is an excellent example of collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital,” says Dr. Chee Yuan Ng, a Mass General cardiac electrophysiologist, who is practicing at WDH along with fellow Mass General specialist Dr. Stephan Danik three days a week. “We are excited to provide electrophysiology expertise to complement the wide range of cardiology services already provided at Wentworth-Douglass.
At Coastal Neurology Services in Dover, Dr. Daniel Hoch, a Mass General epileptologist, works once a month alongside Dr. Adnan Khan. The two participate remotely in Mass General’s epilepsy conference. “Teleconferencing serves two purposes,” Dr. Hoch says. “One is academic, it gives us all an opportunity to learn and benefit from the group consciousness. The other is patient care, it allows us to plug in patients from the Wentworth-Douglass catchment area without the hassle of them having to travel to Mass General.”
Dr. Anne Louise Oaklander, a Mass General neurologist and researcher, and Dr. Khosro Farhad, a neurologist with WDH, have been collaborating on groundbreaking research. Because of their alignment in clinical care, Dr. Oaklander refers waiting patients from her Mass General clinic who are from north of Boston to Dr. Farhad’s office to keep care local.
And a comprehensive Trauma Program has been established under the leadership of Dr. Peter Hedberg, a Mass General surgeon and Trauma Medical Director for Wentworth-Douglass. WDH is a designated Level III Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center.
It is all that the board and executive team envisioned when it was decided several years ago that WDH wanted a leading health care institution as a partner, says Gregory Walker, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of WDH.
They didn’t have to look far. Wentworth-Douglass had been partnering with Mass General since 2008 when the hospital started TeleStroke, a program allowing WDH physicians to consult via videoconferencing with Mass General specialists to treat patients with stroke symptoms.
“We decided that if we wanted to have even more depth and breadth in our specialized services, and expand beyond where we were, we had to find a long-term partner who was a market leader for patient-centered quality care,” Walker says. “We want to become the regional hub for clinical services. We want to bring clinical services to patients locally who may have had to travel to Boston in the past. Together with Mass General we want to ensure people get the best care, when they need it.”
For Mass General, it was a logical next step. On January 1, 2017, Mass General acquired Wentworth-Douglass, a nationally recognized, not-for-profit charitable health organization, as its principal anchor in the Seacoast region.
“This made tremendous sense to us when we were approached by Greg Walker and the board,” says Tony James, Senior Vice President, Network Development and Integration at Mass General and Massachusetts General Physicians Organization. “We’ve developed a great relationship with the team at Wentworth-Douglass -- the clinicians, the administration and the staff. We have a lot of common values and we are very culturally aligned.”
While other hospitals in the region have a clinical or program affiliation with Mass General, Wentworth-Douglass, a 178-bed Magnet® Recognized hospital, is the first Mass General subsidiary in New Hampshire.
“The difference is that we are fully integrated with Mass General,” Walker says. “Patients are going to see synergized access to a seamless continuum of quality care. Our goal is to build upon each other’s organizational strengths to best meet the region’s needs.”
Certainly, the alliance between a high-caliber regional hospital and a world-class leader in health care is bringing a wider scope of specialty care for patients, as well as increased opportunities for clinicians and employees.
Wentworth-Douglass physicians have more options to further their education and enhance their medical training, while collaborating with Mass General colleagues on research and publications. As part of the same organization, employees from all departments may carry job seniority from one institution to the other. In fact, Walker says physician recruitment at Wentworth-Douglass is at a peak.
James says in the future Mass General plans to begin exporting more clinical trials and clinical research programs to Wentworth-Douglass and will pilot new programs from Partners HealthCare, the parent organization of Mass General and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
WDH will implement Epic, an electronic medical record system used throughout the entire Partners HealthCare network. “We can now develop a joint strategic plan to look at the population needs of the entire Seacoast,” Walker says. “Eventually we will all be using the same electronic medical system.”
It is estimated millions of dollars will be saved by combining the purchasing power of Partners with WDH, Walker says.
In addition, Mass General’s commitment, since its founding in 1811, to community health and community health centers meshes perfectly with WDH’s mission.
Learn more about the new programs, enhanced services and additional clinical care collaboration available at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital!