History and Stories

Mountain Community Health Lobby - Comprehensive Primary & Dental CareHistory of the Five-Town Health Alliance, Inc.

The 5THA, which promotes access to healthcare regardless of ability to pay from its base of operations in Bristol, VT, is a proud and active Health Center.

As part of the planning process, the 5THA listed the key events, milestones, and occurrences in their history. The pivotal moments that have shaped the Health Center into its current form are outlined below.



In 2005 a small group of community members met to discuss the loss of our then-sole community dental provider.


Work continued by these groups that supported the initial community members to form the Five-Town Health Alliance, inc. (5THA) and officially become a 501c3 non-profit corporation.


Efforts continued to secure funding as a Community Health Center (CHC), and in June, Addison County was identified as a medically underserved population by the Department of Health and Human Services, which made 5THA eligible to apply to become a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).


Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) announced a funding opportunity across the United States to organizations that were eligible to apply to become a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) new access point (NAP). 5THA Board continued to meet monthly and strategize.


The NAP queue was now nearing its 2-year end, and the 5THA, along with BSPCA were continuing conversations about what to do next.  Their ongoing collaborations with key Five-Town Health Alliance (5THA) providers and staff ended in a decision to move ahead with the merger.


5THA became designated as a FQHC-LAL 10.1.13 and a mere month later became fully designated as a FQHC on 11.1.13.


A few highlights. We received a 100% on our Operational Site Visit (OSV) which is unheard of, especially for a young FQHC like ours. We started our MAT program, which is flourishing one year later. Secured additional MAT funding to add a new site as a mobile van. Additional potential partnerships with key health agencies, such as John Graham Shelter; Turning Point, Addison County School District for school-based programs, and others. Continued our health care shares program independently, although DOH wants to continue this collaboration with additional funding sources. Transitioned the medical director position to allow Dr. Provato to concentrate solely on MAT. Purchased and deployed a mobile health unit to deliver MAT services in the Middlebury area where the need was great for many patients. Recruited Dr. Bates who is also stepping nicely into medical director roles to help fill the void. Recruited Dr. LaMancuso to replace the loss of Dr. Bratspis. Recruited a full-time dentist to take our dental clinic to their next chapter. Development Committee has completed the long waited for annual fundraising letter and are very motivated to continue. Completed our SAC, where we were able to lower our unduplicated patient target once again. We lowered from 4836 to 3719.


The past few years have been extraordinarily challenging, yet our health center has met every challenge with swiftness and finding ways to pivot quickly to meet those challenges. Bristol Internal Medicine closed to their patients with just 30 days’ notice leaving many patients without a primary care provider. Our small health center stepped up and not only met the need working collaboratively with PMC we also worked simultaneously on moving into a larger footprint in building 4 of the BristolWorks! Complex. At the end of September 2019, we successfully merged Red Clover Family Dentistry into our FQHC model as they faced difficult times with their sole dentist relocating to ME. Right after the new year began, we had high hopes for a bright future unfolding and were met quickly with a pandemic that has been relentless and continuous. This was no small feat, but our team met this challenge head-on with speed, skill, and teamwork that was nothing short of miraculous. During the first year and into the second even at its lowest points, we were able to retain all of our staff while we continued services for our patients and community.


Many great things came from 2022, FTHA purchased our current building from Bristol Works to continue our commitment to the community. As property owners, we venture into uncharted territories allowing us to make long-term changes that best suit our patient populations. This also opens the door for more grant funding possibilities we previously did not qualify for as (renters). We welcomed our new practice manager Roxanna and nurse manager Bridget With the drive of Lindsay White and partnership with Mt. Abe and Middlebury College, we announced our School-Based Health Center. Allowing Nurse Practitioners and Physicians from Mountain Community Health to be onsite at Mt. Abe one day a week. Providing routine and urgent care to students and staff.


Mountain Community Health: Many patients and community members took the time to provide feedback regarding our Medical and Dental services. We are pleased to report that an overwhelming majority recognize the importance of local access to affordable care. We are delighted to announce our new name, logo, and website as part of the continuing effort to better serve the medical and dental needs of our community.