Dartmouth-Hitchcock Partners with North Country Healthcare to Provide Critical Neonatal Care via Telemedicine

North Country Healthcare is announcing a partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Connected Care and Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock to provide neonatal services via telemedicine.
(L-R) – Brian Beals, MD, AVH, Deborah Alonzo, RN, AVH, Kimberly Dubord, RN, AVH, Michelle Sherriah Baker, RN, AVH, Michelle Tyler, MD, D-H, Rebecca Woodward, RN, AVH, Izhar Mbgrani, medical student, Natalie Valliere, RN, AVH, Debra Therrien, RN, AVH.

North Country Healthcare (NCH), a nonprofit affiliation of four medical facilities in New Hampshire’s White Mountains Region, will partner with Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Connected Care and Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) to provide neonatal services to patients via telemedicine.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock TeleICN (intensive care neonatology) provides around-the-clock real-time assessment and treatment recommendations through telemedicine. Using state-of-the art technology, board-certified D-H neonatologists are able to join the local bedside teams to provide neonatal care to infants.

“Dartmouth-Hitchcock Connected Care is pleased to form this partnership with North Country Healthcare,” said Steve Ringer, MD, Neonatology Section Chief, CHaD. “Creating greater access to local care for all residents of Northern New England is a Dartmouth-Hitchcock imperative. Bringing this specialized service to the North Country to help moms and infants to receive the care they need close to home and near their local support systems is especially gratifying.”

NCH affiliates include Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency in Littleton, Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, and Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook. Although Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital and Weeks Medical Center do not offer labor and delivery services, providers there can now assist patients who are in labor using a specialized telemedicine cart which allows the bedside team to collaborate with a board-certified D-H neonatologist. At Androscoggin Valley Hospital, the local clinical team will collaborate with the D-H team using an iPad on a special stand that can be positioned at the patient’s bedside. In NCH hospitals, D-H telehealth clinicians utilize two-way, interactive audio and video technology, to support and assist the local clinicians in critical situations, allowing patients to receive specialty care that is unavailable locally.

"Androscoggin Valley Hospital is pleased to be able to provide another valuable service to families of the Valley Birthplace at AVH," said Deborah Alonzo, RN, Clinical Coordinator, Women's Services, Androscoggin Valley Hospital. "As the exclusive birthing hospital in Coos County, this relationship with Dartmouth-Hitchcock is all the more critical to help provide peace of mind and clarity during concerning instances."

“This expanded relationship with D-H and CHaD will play a pivotal role in NCH’s ongoing commitment to become a High Reliability Organization (HRO),” said Tom Mee, RN, BSN, MBA, North Country Healthcare CEO. “It is an excellent example of the NCH Mission to deliver high quality, accessible and integrated Healthcare throughout the communities we serve.”

TeleICN can reduce transfers for hospitals with labor and delivery units and it can also help hospitals that do not offer labor and delivery services with urgent cases in the emergency department, including assistance with expediting transport when appropriate.

The 24/7 support of TeleICN helps keep patients and families closer to home by supporting clinical decision making and providing expert evaluations and recommendations. If a transfer is necessary, D-H’s specialized TeleICN team assists in arranging transport for that patient.

To learn more about Dartmouth-Hitchcock Connected Care, visit dartmouth-hitchcock.org/connected-care.

About Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH), New Hampshire’s only academic health system and the state’s largest private employer, serves a population of 1.9 million across northern New England. D-HH provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH. DHMC was named again in 2020 as the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in 9 clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health includes the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 51 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only children’s hospital; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene, and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and 24 Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. The D-HH system trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research, in partnership with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT.

About CHaD

As New Hampshire's only full service, comprehensive children's hospital, the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock (CHaD) is committed to providing outstanding compassionate care for children and their families. Their physician expertise provides primary, specialty, and tertiary care to the children of New Hampshire, Vermont, and beyond. CHaD offers inpatient (hospital care) and outpatient (same day care) services at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. Outpatient and same day surgery services are available at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock Manchester, as well as outpatient pediatric specialties at Wentworth‐Douglass Hospital, Dover and in Exeter. Primary care is available at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock facilities in Bedford, Concord, Keene, Lebanon, Manchester, and Nashua, NH, and Bennington, VT. For more information about CHaD, please visit www.chadkids.org or contact us at (603) 650‐KIDS or chad.community.relations@hitchcock.org.