Dartmouth Health selected to provide clinical care at Hampstead Hospital and Residential Treatment Facility

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As the state’s only academic health system, Dartmouth Health can utilize our expertise to deliver high-quality care, train the workforce, and break new ground in medical science and best practices.

William C. Torrey, MD

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced that Dartmouth Health was selected as the new clinical contractor for Hampstead Hospital and Residential Treatment Facility (HHRTF). On Wednesday, May 15, the governor and Executive Council approved a contract for Dartmouth Health to provide psychiatric and medical care to patients at HHRTF, the only source of pediatric psychiatric inpatient and psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF) level of care in New Hampshire.

"New Hampshire is committed to providing our children with a center of excellence for mental healthcare," said Gov. Chris Sununu. "Making use of our model of care at New Hampshire Hospital, our team at the Department of Health and Human Services continues to do excellent work to meet that goal. We look forward to continuous progress."

"DHHS has had a long and successful partnership with Dartmouth Health and we are excited to expand our work together to include the delivery of high-quality, therapeutic services at Hampstead Hospital and Residential Treatment Facility," said DHHS Commissioner Lori Weaver. "When the state purchased Hampstead Hospital in 2022, our intent was to establish a center for excellence serving the children and youth of New Hampshire. Today’s announcement is a significant step toward that goal as we work to shape the care and services at Hampstead to meet the needs of the youth in our state."

Since purchasing the hospital in 2022, the state has learned a great deal about the strengths and opportunities at hand, as well as the ways to better meet the needs of New Hampshire youth. The new model at HHRTF will mirror the approach in place at New Hampshire Hospital, with Dartmouth Health employees providing prescriber-level services and state staff overseeing non-prescriber roles as well as facility leadership and contract oversight. Given the long partnership between DHHS and Dartmouth Health and based on what has been learned since 2022, this approach will ensure the best possible care at HHRTF.

"Dartmouth Health is uniquely positioned to address the clinical leadership and patient care needs at Hampstead Hospital, where some of our state’s most vulnerable young people receive treatment," said Joanne M. Conroy, MD, CEO and president of Dartmouth Health. "The need for mental healthcare in both the inpatient and outpatient setting is critical, state and nationwide. Dartmouth Health is a proven leader in meeting acute psychiatric needs across the state, including through our clinical oversight and patient care at New Hampshire Hospital. Partnering with DHHS at Hampstead is a natural progression of this relationship and in the best interest of the institution and its patients."

The new model and the partnership with Dartmouth Health align with DHHS initiatives to build a system that ensures that children and youth have access to the right level of service at the time and place they need it.

"For many years, NAMI New Hampshire members have been grateful for the quality of care they and their loved ones have received at New Hampshire Hospital under the clinical leadership of Dartmouth health providers," said NAMI New Hampshire executive director Susan Stearns. "We are heartened that the State has chosen to use this proven model of public-private partnership as the foundation for care at Hampstead Hospital."

The department’s current clinical contract ends on June 30, 2024. DHHS and Dartmouth Health will work together on readiness planning to ensure a smooth transition for patients, families, staff and community partners on July 1. This will include connecting with current staff to work with them on the transition. As the contract states, the state and Dartmouth Health are committed to ongoing learning, innovation, and stakeholder-informed planning to improve the model over time.

"Dartmouth Health psychiatry and the state are deeply entwined having grown over the years from psychiatric care and medical direction at New Hampshire Hospital to offering talented clinical leadership to many state services, including at the Glencliff Home and the New Hampshire Forensic Hospital, currently under construction," said William C. Torrey, MD, Dartmouth Health’s chair of psychiatry. "As the state’s only academic health system, Dartmouth Health can utilize our expertise to deliver high-quality care, train the workforce, and break new ground in medical science and best practices."

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital, and multiple clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Bennington and Windsor, VT; Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.