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PREVENTION & MEDICAL CARE TO HELP YOU LIVE BETTER, LONGER.

Valley Medical Group Patient News

May 26, 2021

Information for Patients, Families and Visitors  

Masks/face coverings will continue to be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at all times at Valley Medical Group effective May 29,th in accordance with the order by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

 

 

 

July 30th, 2021

 

Dear Valley Medical Group Patients and Families,

It has been several months since my last update. I want to share some important information regarding how we continue to adapt to the global Covid-19 pandemic to provide you with comprehensive, safe medical care.  

COVID-19 Updates: In Hampshire and Franklin Counties, 55% of us are vaccinated against COVID (60% of those over 12); this is good start but nowhere near ideal. It has allowed many of us to return to activities like work, school or daycare/camp, and dining out or seeing live music. Unfortunately, the more powerful delta variant is circulating, and it is more contagious. As a result, we are starting to see positive test results again and hospitalizations among the unvaccinated across the country are rising. 

What does this mean for you? If you are fully vaccinated, it means you should be cautious. If you are older, have chronic conditions or take medications which lower immunity, you may need to continue to wear a mask, social distance, and avoid crowded indoor spaces. Why? Because no vaccine is 100% effective, and we are seeing some breakthrough cases even amongst those who are fully vaccinated. Does this mean the vaccines do not work? No, even with breakthrough cases the vaccine is still 88% effective. Very few vaccinated individuals are requiring hospitalization. This demonstrates that the vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness and death.  

If you have not yet been vaccinated, please consider joining the 186 million of your fellow citizens who have been vaccinated. There is no time to spare, as levels of the delta variant approach 85%. If you are unsure about vaccination, please reach out to your health care provider to discuss further. There is significant misinformation on social media and it can be challenging to interpret alone.  If you need to find a location to receive a vaccine, you may visit https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.

If you are feeling sick?  Please be seen and are tested, even if you are vaccinated. VMG has testing available at all of our health centers daily.  


ARE YOU SEEING PATIENTS AT YOUR OFFICES?
Yes! We have been seeing patients all along, and since March, as it became safer to do so; we have been increasing in-person appointments. About 80% of our primary care visits are in person (some services like behavioral health , nutrition and diabetes education remain mostly virtual given how much easier this is for our patients). If you want to be seen in office, we are happy to see you. If you prefer telehealth that is still an option. Please note: With the expiration of the Emergency Declaration, we are no longer able to provide telehealth services if you are not physically located in Massachusetts at the time of your visit.

FLU VACCINES: It is nearly that time of year again. We hope in addition to being protected against COVID, you will choose to get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccines will be available in our centers and at local pharmacies.  Influenza is still a dangerous disease, and with more indoor activities and less masking, we expect to see more flu this year.

RACIAL AND HEALTH INEQUITIES:
Along with dealing with a global pandemic, 2020 was a painful year for our country and many of us, our friends, and loved ones as centuries of systemic racism rose to the forefront of our collective consciousness. Publicized police killings, the lack of jobs or housing opportunities, and the well-documented negative health effects of having dark skin all emphasized that addressing racial and health inequalities in our country needs to be a priority. Valley Medical Group has begun to take stock of how well we handle the effects of racism in our workplace and in the care we provide you. We have much to learn and will be training our staff and providers in the coming months. We look forward to learning and growing together with you to be a healthier, safer, and more tolerant community for everyone, regardless of skin color, race, gender, or sexual orientation.

 

Be well,

Paul D. Carlan, MD

President, Valley Medical Group

 

VMG Working to be an Anti Racist Practice

In honor of Black Maternal Health Week (April 11-17th), we want to raise awareness of the Kaiser Family Foundation's report on Racial Disparities in Women's Maternal Health. VMG stands firmly in the belief that "It Takes A Village" to raise a child, to raise awareness, and to undo racism! Therefore, we are sharing resources so our whole community can become more knowledgeable on this topic, starting with the Black Mamas Matter Toolkit!

 

Where better to begin than in utero to assert the birthright of our children, mothers, and all humans to live in a world free from racism. This past year, COVID highlighted the racial differences in access to healthcare and the prevalence of illnesses that co-exist among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Now, let us take the recent CDC statement committing to address racism as a serious threat to public health as a collective call to action to encourage systemic interventions to address the factors that impact the health and wellbeing of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. These include stress, food insecurity, police brutality, inequities in the legal system, poverty, employment discrimination, environmental hazards, educational inequities, etc.

 

We hope this holistic, race conscious approach to health will redirect resources to racially marginalized groups and support funding for research on the long term impacts of racism and intergenerational trauma on mental and physical wellbeing. Valley Medical Group, for its part, has committed to a Climate Survey and Interrupting Racism trainings for our whole staff to root racism out of public health and provide culturally sensitive and proactive, racially responsive care to all our patients.  

 

For further resources, please check out: 

Nine Organizations Working to Save Black Mothers

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patient centered care at VMG​

OUR STAFF TAKES PRIDE IN SERVING ADULTS, ADOLESCENTS, AND

CHILDREN IN A COURTEOUS AND RESPECTFUL MANNER.

PATIENT CENTERED MEDICAL HOME

Valley Medical Group (VMG) has been certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Level III Patient - Centered Medical Home. What does this mean to you, our patient?

At VMG, you select a primary care practitioner as your first stop for any preventative or acute care. Your primary care practitioner will, over time, get to know you and your family, your preferences and values for medical care, and be in the best position to provide education, support, encouragement, and care whenever necessary.

Valley Medical Group
CONTACT US

Valley Medical Group can be contacted through each of our offices listed below.​

31 Hall Drive
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone (413) 256-8561
Fax 1-866-644-0869

 

Office Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

Closed Saturday and Sunday

 

Full service laboratory on site.

Hours are Monday–Friday, 8am–5pm

 

238 Northampton Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
Phone (413) 529-9300
Fax 1-866-644-0870

Office Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

          Telephones, 8am-5pm

Closed Saturday and Sunday

Full service laboratory on site.

Hours are Monday–Friday, 8am–5pm

329 Conway Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
Phone (413) 774-6301
Fax 1-866-644-0871

Office Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

         Telephones, 8am-5pm

Saturday Urgent Care, 10am-1pm

         Telephones, 9am-1pm

Full service laboratory on site.

Hours are Monday–Friday, 8am–5pm

 
CONTACT US

Valley Medical Group can be contacted through each of our offices listed below.​

31 Hall Drive
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone (413) 256-8561
Fax 1-866-644-0869

 

Office Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

Closed Saturday and Sunday

 

Full service laboratory on site.

Hours are Monday–Friday, 7am–4:20pm

Scheduled Appointments Encouraged

 

238 Northampton Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
Phone (413) 529-9300
Fax 1-866-644-0870

Office Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

          Telephones, 8am-5pm

Closed Saturday and Sunday

Full service laboratory on site.

Hours are Monday–Friday, 6:30am–4:20pm

Scheduled Appointments Encouraged

329 Conway Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
Phone (413) 774-6301
Fax 1-866-644-0871

Office Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

         Telephones, 8am-5pm

Saturday Urgent Care, 10am-1pm

         Telephones, 9am-1pm

Full service laboratory on site.

Hours are Monday–Friday, 6am–4:20pm

Saturday, 7am - 10:20am

Scheduled Appointments Encouraged

 

70 Main Street
Florence, MA 01062
Phone (413) 586-8400
Fax 1-866-644-0872

Office Hours: 

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

          Telephones, 8am-5pm 

Saturday Urgent Care, 8am-4pm

          Telephones, 8am-4pm

Sunday Urgent Care, 8am-12pm

          Telephones, 8am-12pm

Full service laboratory on site.

Hours are Monday–Friday, 6:30am–4:20pm

Saturday, 8am - 11:20am

Scheduled Appointments Encouraged