$4 million partnership bolsters holistic patient care, provider support at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital

Behavioral Health

Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital (APD), a member of Dartmouth Health, has received a transformative $4 million strategic investment from The Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation. This gift establishes an endowed fund aimed at strengthening critical patient care initiatives and supporting healthcare providers in their ongoing delivery of compassionate care. 

The $4 million endowment will fund the integration of medical, social, and behavioral health services for patients with complex needs. By embedding social workers, recovery specialists, geriatricians, and behavioral health providers alongside primary care physicians (PCPs), APD can deliver more holistic care that addresses patients’ full medical, social, and psychological needs.

“This generous gift is critically important to our patients and to the health of our community. It will allow us to provide comprehensive, compassionate care to some of our most vulnerable patients,” said Susan E. Mooney, MD, MS, FACOG, president and CEO of APD.

Primary care serves as a linchpin for community health, especially in rural regions like northern New England, where underserved populations face unique challenges. In recent years, clinicians in the Upper Valley have noticed a rising number of patients grappling with mental and behavioral health challenges that require a significantly higher level of care.

This strategic investment will strengthen APD’s primary care services by supporting the hospital’s integrated care model and acknowledging the amount of attention, training, and expertise that clinicians need to address those challenges. Such an approach aims to provide APD’s primary care patients with more comprehensive and coordinated healthcare.

“This investment ensures APD can continue to provide quality holistic care—in perpetuity,” said Mooney.

The impact of this philanthropy extends beyond patient care, helping to ease stress and burnout for PCPs within the APD community. PCPs frequently work beyond the scope of medicine to ensure their patients, regardless of circumstance, can lead as healthy lives as possible.

In recent years, the hospital has identified the need for an integrated team trained in social work and behavioral health to address the challenges patients face and administer critical support to overextended PCPs. This endowment ensures the long-term sustainability of this vital program, which existed previously but lacked the resources for longevity.

“Working with someone who requires a higher level of care and diagnosis, PCPs can bring in a behavioral health clinician and focus on the things we’re trained to do,” said Annika M. Brown, MD, medical director of APD. “We can leave interactions feeling more satisfied and hand off to really competent colleagues.”

By equipping PCPs with a dedicated support system, APD can reduce the stress and burnout doctors have faced in managing high-risk, multifaceted cases. This includes care for those experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, substance use, complex socioeconomic challenges, and other barriers to patient care.

With this enhanced care model in place, PCPs can continue going above and beyond to improve outcomes for the patients they serve, delivering high-quality, holistic care without feeling overwhelmed by the burdens associated with navigating community resources.

“It's been a godsend,” said Brown. “Mental health demand has been intense. The support of behavioral health clinicians has been incredible for our doctors. They’re trained experts and specialists in their field, and PCPs know medicine. So, we can all do what we do best, which helps us serve the patient’s medical needs by also meeting their social and psychological needs—in real-time. We benefit and patients benefit. It’s pure magic.”

APD and Dartmouth Health are deeply grateful to The Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation—for being a champion of patients and providers in our region, and for a steadfast commitment to enhancing our community’s access to comprehensive, integrated, and personalized patient care.

About Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital (APD)

Known for highly personalized and high-quality care, APD is the community hospital of the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. Founded in 1932 and a member of Dartmouth Health since 2016, APD’s areas of clinical excellence include surgical services, primary care, geriatric care, sleep health, orthopaedics, and emergency services. The APD campus is also home to a senior living community with assisted and independent living facilities. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.