Comments Sought for Vermont State Health Plan

DATE: December 17, 2004

CONTACT: Communication Office
863-7281

BURLINGTON, VT – The public is invited to submit written comment on a draft of the new Vermont State Health Plan that has been posted on the web by the Vermont Department of Health, at www.HealthyVermonters.info/HealthPlan.

The draft plan integrates public health and health care delivery and incorporates community-based programs, consumer participation and health care provider practice. Upon acceptance, the document will become Vermont’s official health policy and will serve as a basis for the state’s Health Resource Allocation Plan, which will be published in July and be used to guide health planning decisions for the next several years.

“In this plan we are calling for fundamental change in the way our health system works,” said Health Commissioner Paul Jarris, MD, MBA. “All Vermonters have a part to play in improving health outcomes, strengthening our public health and health care delivery systems and reducing costs.

“This plan,” Jarris said, “spells out what we need to do individually and collectively to reach these goals.”

Two public hearings on the plan are scheduled for January.

From 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, January 5, there will be a hearing on Vermont Interactive Television, with all 14 sites participating. The sites are in Bennington, Brattleboro, Castleton, Johnson, Lyndonville, Middlebury, Newport, Randolph Center, Rutland, Springfield, St. Albans, Waterbury, White River Junction and Williston. Driving directions are posted at www.vitlink.org/HTML/Locations.htm

From 7 to 9 p.m. that evening, there will be a second hearing in Conference Room 2B, Vermont Department of Health, 108 Cherry Street, Burlington.

The secretary of human services will submit the State Health Plan to the Legislature in February.