State grant funds new CVPH projects

ROBIN CAUDELL/STAFF PHOTODr. Claude E. Nichols (left), professor and chair of the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group, talks with Dr. C. Philip Volk, who specializes in orthopedics, sports medicine and joint replacement at CVPH. Of the merger between their departments, Volk said “patients are going to love it. It’s going to make a great environment for me to work in. It’s going to make seeing patients just a real good experience for my staff.” 

PLATTSBURGH — Bundling, a common practice for service providers and insurance companies, will transform two aspects of the University of Vermont Healthcare Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital’s campus.

Two renovation projects, the Heart Center and Musculoskeletal Center, will consolidate existing practices while improving access to high quality care and enhancing patients and employees’ experiences at CVPH.


“We received $5.8 million from the State of New York to do some spectacular transformation that will affect everyone in this room, all our patients, and our community in general,” CVPH President Michelle LeBeau said at a celebratory meeting Thursday afternoon.

“Currently, we have three separate cardiology practices, and we have two separate orthopedic practices.

“And that $5.8 million is going to allow us to break ground very shortly on bringing all of those teams together so that we can do the right things by our patients and by each and everyone of you who care for them every day.”

Work will begin in November on the new suites, which are funded by the New York State Health Care Facility Transformation Program.

Work will soon begin on new Cardiology and Musculoskeletal suites to be completed by the end of 2020.

The existing Cardiology Services Office, located in the Miner Medical Arts Building, 214 Cornelia St., will become the site of The Heart Center, according to a press release.

General Cardiology, Electrophysiology and Interventional Cardiology will all be located in the 9,600-squarefoot space.

Orthopedics and Sport Medicine and Neurosurgery will all be located on the second floor of 206 Cornelia St., nearly 14,000 feet, as part of the grant-funded project.

“We’re lucky to have that,” LeBeau said.

“You know healthcare finance is tough right now, and when you’re able to write a fabulous grant — thank you Joyce Rafferty (retired CFO/Sr. Vice President) who is not with us at the moment — and have the state recognize the fact that you have a really awesome organization and a great team of physicians and great people who provide exceptional care, we’re really blessed to be able to bring something new and exciting to the region.”

The project is slated to begin in November, and she’s excited to get it off the ground.

“I want to make sure that I thank each and every one of you for your input and your guidance and your thoughts and your suggestions on how we create these two practices the very best for the folks that are here and for the folks who use the system every single day,” LeBeau said.


Dr. C. Philip Volk specializes in orthopedics, sports medicine and joint replacement at the hospital.

“This is something I’ve been looking to for 20 years since I’ve been here,” Volk said.

“It’s going to change our practice dramatically. Patients are going to love it. It’s going to make a great environment for me to work in. It’s going to make seeing patients just a real good experience for my staff.”

The Musculoskeletal Suite is a leap into the new century for the hospital and the population it serves in his estimation.

“It’s really, really nice,” Volk said.

“It’s something that we worked on in collaboration with our partners across the lake. It’s based on their design over there, and it’s just a really nice facility. It’s going to make it easy for all of us.”

Dr. Claude E. Nichols, professor and chair, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation of the UVM Medical Group, concurred with Volk.

“I think these two buildings are going to allow us to kind of, as Phil said, jump into the 21st century where it will enhance our ability to recruit and just help patient care in the North Country,” he said.

“CVPH has such potential that it hasn’t realized yet, and I think this will help us get there, at least from a musculoskeletal perspective.”


The great advantage of joining these practices from a physicians’ standpoint is going to be the increased ease of collaboration, according to Dr. Alison Guile, an internist and regional physician leader for the Medical Group.

“So the patient who needs to have the total hip replacement will be able to know that the surgeon who is planning the surgery can all look at the same X-rays at the same time, which is doable now,” she said.

The same ease of patient care, collegial collaboration and efficiency holds true for the new Heart Center.

“The patient who needs to see both a general cardiologist and an electrophysiology specialist or a general cardiologist and an interventional specialist will be able to see both of the people, probably talking with them, at the same time potentially or at least collaborating over the same patient,” Guile said.

“That’s going to be an increasingly important part of healthcare as we move into thinking about value-based care.”

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