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Meet Elizabethtown Community Hospital’s Emergency Department Care Team

Dr. Laurel Plante

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Dr. Laurel Plante, one of the new docs in the Ticonderoga emergency department of Elizabethtown Community Hospital, has always been focused on emergency medicine. “I worked in EMS before medical school, and I returned to emergency medicine as my specialty, after realizing that I liked every rotation during my training and knowing I didn’t want to be bored,” she laughs. “There is always something interesting in the emergency department.”

Dr. Plante graduated from UVM in 1995 with a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences. After a four-year break, she went back to UVM for medical school, and then went on to Bay State at Tufts University in Springfield, MA, for her residency before returning to Vermont, where she grew up. Her father, who worked as a hospital CRNA in Rutland and Middlebury after retiring from the military, settled the family in Shoreham, Vermont, during Laurel’s childhood.

After practicing emergency medicine herself in the “big cities” of Rutland and Burlington, Dr. Plante chose to practice in a rural setting in Ticonderoga, where she has more of an opportunity to practice “bread and butter medicine.” At a larger hospital, she says, “you have consults available to you in every specialty. Here, you need to be able to deliver a baby if the situation calls for it.”

Now, the biggest challenge in her work is the hours, which often mean she has to be away from her husband and two children, ages 9 and 11, on holidays and weekends. What Dr. Plante sees as the most rewarding aspect is “being there when patients are at their sickest and most scared,” including – and especially – at the very end of their lives.

After losing her father and both of her in-laws within a very short time about five years ago, she says she gained a strong appreciation for the meaning of that end-of-life transition – something she takes every day into her work. “I find a lot of personal reward in making that time as comfortable as possible for the patient and as meaningful as possible for the family. It’s an opportunity you’ll never get back,” she says. “It should be a meaningful experience.”  

The COVID-19 pandemic is foremost on all of our minds, particularly when it comes to the decision to seek medical care. Your local emergency department team at the UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital urges patients to seek prompt medical care for accidents or illnesses – and especially when it comes to signs of heart attack or stroke.

Emergency departments and facilities across the University of Vermont Health Network have put added safety precautions in place to protect patients and staff – including temperature checks, plexi-glass partitions, screening questions for everyone entering the facility, and mandatory masks.

To learn more about how you can safely get the care you need, please visit www.ech.org.

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