Porter offers options to patients about to lose their physician

MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center officials are reaching out to the scores of patients who will be affected by the announced closing of the Porter Internal Medicine (PIM) practice.
Porter Medical Center Interim CEO Dr. Fred Kniffin confirmed the closing at Porter’s annual meeting held on Wednesday, March 30. He sent a letter this week to PIM patients elaborating on the move.
“I am writing to share with you the news that Dr. Naomi Hodde and Dr. Cynthia Smith will be leaving our practice to pursue professional opportunities outside of our community in the next few months,” his letter reads. “Dr. Smith will be leaving at the end of this month and Dr. Hodde will be leaving in mid-June.” 
The letter goes on to say that: “From May 2 until her final departure on June 13, Dr. Hodde will be available to see patients at our Bristol Internal Medicine practice. At that time, her patients may choose to see another provider in that location or choose another provider within our community — and we will assist you.”
Kniffin added Porter leaders and area providers have been working to identify the best option for the remaining PIM physician, Dr. Brad Armstrong, and his patients.
“In light of these changes and after a very thorough review of all possible near-term options, Dr. Brad Armstrong and I have determined that we will be relocating his medical practice to our Neshobe Family Medicine practice in Brandon as of May 2,” Kniffin said. “Although we explored every possible option for allowing Dr. Armstrong to remain in the current location, it is simply not feasible to maintain a full-time/stand-alone medical practice with a single provider.”
Any current patient of Dr. Armstrong’s at the Middlebury practice will be automatically transferred to Dr. Armstrong at Neshobe if they wish to follow him there.
“If at this time you wish to follow Dr. Armstrong to his new practice location at Neshobe, you do not have to do anything,” the letter states. “Your records will be automatically transferred to the new practice with no action required on your part.
“If you would prefer to transfer your care to another local office, our office staff will work with you to facilitate a smooth transition,” Kniffin added.
Enclosed in the letter to PIM patients was a list of Porter practices that are currently accepting new clients. The hospital will also assist patients who need help transitioning to a different physician. Patients needing assistance are asked to call 388-8805.
 “We understand, appreciate and sincerely apologize for the significant impact these changes will have on you as a patient,” Kniffin said. “We are committed to working with every PIM patient to ensure that you and your family have the care you need.
“I am confident that one of the offices within Porter Medical Group can continue to provide timely access to appointments and the same level of outstanding patient care that you have come to expect from Porter Internal Medicine,” he added.

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