Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"Our Rural Health Center": Providing Care in "Small Town" Barre, MA

It is early July and our brand-new interns are experiencing their first days as residents at UMass!  And this month, I am shining a spotlight upon the Barre Family Health Center, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary in June!

"Barre: The Essentials": For over 35 years, the Barre Family Health Center has been the sole provider of health care for the people of Barre and its 10 surrounding communities. The closest ED is over 16 miles away and there are no other physicians in the area. This unique locale provides an ideal environment for practicing the entire spectrum of family medicine. Barre was also recently recognized as a level 3 (the highest possible) Patient Centered Medical Home by NCQA - read more here!

Our State-of-the-Art Health Center:
We are proud of our health center building, completed in 2007 and still quite new. In addition to the basics, it is enhanced with on-site stress testing, a fully equipped treatment area for assessment and stabilization, a CLIA-certified laboratory, digital radiography featuring real-time access to a radiologist, bedside ultrasound, bone densitometry and digital mammography. The facility is equipped with wireless technology, Allscripts, electronic medical records, and offers electronic prescribing, among other features.  

Faculty Mentors and Consultants: As a resident in Barre you will have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty of 11 family physicians, including two osteopathic physicians with OMT practices, and a PA. Also on staff are two psychologists, a Behavioral Science fellow, a PharmD, a podiatrist, and community family physicians all dedicated to teaching our residents. Consultants include a cardiologist and adult and child psychiatrists offering specialty care to patients and teaching to residents.

Procedure Training: Barre residents are trained in joint injections and women's health procedures such as colposcopy, endometrial biopsies, and IUD insertions. Residents become adept at more urgent and emergent procedures as well. All Barre residents gain experience with casting and management of fractures and sprains, suturing complex lacerations, removing foreign bodies, starting IVs and administering medications.

Special Populations Barre Serves: Providers care for patients from all walks of life who call the Barre vicinity home. Students from the Quabbin Regional school district, trainees from the MA State Police Academy, and members of the Insight Meditation Society (a retreat center) come to Barre for their care, as do students from both the Devereaux School and the Stetson School.

Town Life:  Barre is the very picture of classic "small town America." The local town pharmacist knows his patients personally and will stay open after hours to make sure residents have their prescriptions!  Boston is only 60 miles away and you can get to Barre via any of the major local highways. When our providers are not at work, they might dine at Picasso's Restaurant, ski at Mount Wachusett, hike at Rutland State Park or catch a performance at the Barre Players Theater.               
Barre's Wellness Garden: One of the most unique attributes of the heath center is the organic Wellness Garden that residents and faculty planted in 2011 to educate patients about healthy eating habits. Fresh vegetables (tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, spinach and much more) are now available daily for patients and providers and are offered to all patients, even during group visits. Providers have planned workshops for the community on canning and preserving and planting...a true 'taste" of Barre's small town life! 

Click here to read our Barre blog and to meet our Barre residents and faculty.   


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