Springfield Medical Care Systems, an independent federally qualified health center (FQHC) serving southern Vermont and southwestern New Hampshire, today unveiled a new name and brand identity: North Star Health. Announcing the name change, Bob Flint, chair of North Star Health’s Board of Directors, emphasized “our ownership, Board of Directors and organization have not changed and our locations, providers and services remain the same.”

Importantly, the North Star name will help dissuade any perception that the organization’s health and wellness services are geographically limited to Springfield Township in Vermont. Having substantially expanded its service area over the years, the name embraces the wider scope and diversity of the many communities served by the FQHC across two states. The change also signifies a move away from the joint incorporated structure previously shared with Springfield Hospital to a more autonomous and collaborative arrangement that supports a robust continuum of care for patients.

North Star Health includes Charlestown Health Center, Chester Dental Center, Ludlow Health Center, Ludlow Dental Center, Mountain Valley Health Center, North Star Vision (formerly Lane Eye Associates), Rockingham Health Center and Springfield Health Center and provides services onsite at four schools and the Edgar May Recreation Center in Springfield.

Officially recognized as “patient-centered medical homes”, multi-disciplinary care teams at each North Star Health location are focused on helping individuals identify their health-related priorities.  While many people may only visit a doctor when they are sick, North Star encourages patients to consider how they would like to improve their life, from reducing stress, sleeping better or eating healthy to reducing their risk for chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension.  Screenings for cancer, vaccinations and annual wellness visits are also reasons to have an ongoing relationship with a healthcare provider.

“We have many patients tell us about what they want to change in their lives, and who see us as their guide and companion in that effort,” explained CEO Josh Dufresne. “Staff remarked how we can be like the North Star. Just as the North Star serves as a guiding light, our care teams meet each person where they’re at and help them reach their health and wellness goals.”  With multiple locations including school-based services, telemedicine visits, walk-in care and soon a mobile unit, the FQHC is committed to being accessible to everyone across its service area.  Accessibility also means providing financial assistance, help with transportation, health education programs, and a range of support services.

The transition to North Star Health identity will be phased in throughout the year, beginning with the launch of a new website and online materials, with facility signs and other elements updated over the coming months.  Community events are also planned to introduce the new brand.

For more information, visit www.northstarfqhc.org or contact Diane Flynn at [email protected], or 802-886-8943

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