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Specialty center at St. Joseph slated to close

NASHUA — St. Joseph Hospital is closing their Cardiovascular and Diabetes Center, but services will remain as the hospital switches to a different model.

Vice President, Corporate Communications with the hospitals parent company, Covenant Health, Karen Sullivan said programs are remaining operational but the patients will be seen in other ways following the centers closure at the end of the month. She said the endocrinologist group will still remain at the same address and that programs are remaining operational.

“Instead of having a clinic, the patients who are most critically in need or services and require intensive monitoring are going to be monitored by an endocrinologist, which is the specialty medical service which is most closely aligned with diabetes,” Sullivan said.

Patients who are stable will be referred out to their primary care physicians. She said that is a most appropriate model because the primary care doctors are going to be looking at all sorts of things, including diabetes. This is being done in an attempt to closely align the patients need with the providers that can best meet those needs.

“This is on a patient by patient basis,” Sullivan said. “If the patient is in need of intensive monitoring, they’ve being referred to the endocrine group and if they are stable, they are being referred to primary care physicians.”

The services offered are not going away, rather being delivered differently. All patients will have transitioned to either the Endocrinology Department or to their primary care physicians by Oct. 30. After that date, the center will officially be closed. She said the transition will impact just over 1,000 patients, although the vast majority will be transitioned to the Endocrinology Department. Approximately 50 patients will then be transitioned back to their primary care providers.

“We are making a very concerted effort to put the patients as close to the appropriate providers as possible,” Sullivan said.

Adam Urquhart may be contacted at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.