The Primary Care team at Gifford Health Care continues to expand to meet the needs of central Vermonters, with Rachel Coombs, MD, providing family care at Gifford’s Bethel Health Center starting this week.
Coombs works with patients at all stages of life, from newborn to geriatric, including prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. She sees family medicine as the foundation of a healthy society.
“For me, the most rewarding aspect of practicing family medicine is the ability to connect with people about what is most important to them. This allows us to create a shared vision of health and work toward it together,” said Coombs, who enjoys providing care in a full-spectrum practice. “I am able to care for the entire family, from pregnancy, birth, and beyond through geriatrics and everything in between. Seeing my patients in their family context helps me understand them on a deeper level, which is so important for community health.”
Originally from Pennsylvania, Coombs has lived in Vermont for eight years and looks forward to providing care in her adopted home state.
“The sense of interconnectedness and genuine responsibility to the people of this community is what most hospitals strive for and few achieve,” she said. “Gifford is truly a community hospital, and it is one of Vermont’s treasures.”
Coombs’ clinical interests include women’s health, LGBTQ health, and adolescent medicine. She recently completed her residency with New Hampshire Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency at Concord Hospital; is a member of the New Hampshire Academy of Family Physicians; and holds certifications in Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). She earned her medical degree from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in Providence, R.I. She completed post-baccalaureate studies at Dartmouth College and at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She also attended Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgton, Maine, where she earned her Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential. Coombs’ volunteer experience includes providing medical care in Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as representing Vermont children and families at the Shambhala Meditation Center in White River Junction. She also has experience working on dairy farms throughout northern New England. At home, she keeps busy with family, including three stepsons and two daughters, and enjoys singing and playing the guitar, banjo and ukulele.
In addition to Coombs, Gifford recently announced that Physician Assistant Katherine Clemente, Nurse Practitioner Pascale Stephani, and Dr. Emilija O. Florance have joined the Primary Care team. For more information about Primary Care, visit giffordhealthcare.org/service/primary-care. For more information about Gifford’s locations throughout central Vermont, visit giffordhealthcare.org/location.
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