New Physician Assistant Joins SVMC Orthopedics Practice

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BENNINGTON, Vt. — John O’Shea has joined Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Orthopedics and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians.

O'Shea holds a bachelor's in kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He earned a master's in physician assistant studies from MCPHS University in Massachusetts.

Since 2018, O'Shea worked as a physician assistant at Orthopedics Northeast in Andover, Mass. He also worked as a patient care technician at Lowell General Hospital in Massachusetts. He is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

O'Shea has served as a medical volunteer in rural Nepal as a part of the Nepali Reliance Organization and as a medical race volunteer for the Boston Marathon and fundraising walks. He was a Division I track-and-field athlete. 

SVMC Orthopedics offers preventive and non-surgical treatments, minimally invasive surgery, and surgery for sports injuries, painful joints, and complicated fractures. They execute complete joint replacements, rotator cuff repair, and surgeries on hands, knees, wrists, feet, elbows and ankles.  The office is located at 332 Dewey St. in Bennington. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 802-442-6314 or visit the website.


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Regulators Give Centers for Living and Rehabilitation High Marks for Infection Prevention

BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, has earned deficiency-free status, the highest given, on a survey meant to determine ability to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other infections to those living, recovering, and working within long-term care facilities.

"CLR has always taken pride in its infection-prevention measures," said Suzanne Anair, the facility’s administrator. "When COVID-19 broke on the scene, our staff was ready to do what it took to protect patients, residents, and themselves. They have done a tremendous job."

On March 20, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, healthcare’s largest payer and most rigorous regulating body, declared that they would postpone normal survey activities in order to complete targeted infection-control surveys. According to the announcement, the purpose of the new surveys was to ensure "providers are implementing actions to protect the health and safety of individuals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic." CLR's infection-focused survey was on April 9, 2020.

Infection-control measures are particularly important within long-term care settings, where shared living spaces among the vulnerable elderly population have led to high rates of infection and death. 

CLR has cared for COVID patients and non-COVID patients throughout the pandemic. Leaders are proud to report that not a single known transmission of the virus has occurred at the facility.

"Considering that this is a contagious virus and our patients and residents are among the most vulnerable, we are grateful that we started to protect our building early by following CDC guidelines," said Dr. Jim Poole, CLR's medical director. "It is working."

One measure was restricting visitors to those providing medical care only.

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