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Date: 08/19/2019

Randy Albert
Associate Vice President of
Finance and Analytics
for Northern Light Health
Randy Albert, associate vice president, Northern Light Health Finance and Analytics, has recently been appointed chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s Financial Analytics Leadership Council—a group driving change in healthcare’s approach to using data and business intelligence to improve patient care.

“As chair of this council, I am able to share all I’ve learned from the great strides our system has made while also bringing back to Maine ideas from some of the country’s top financial minds in healthcare,” says Albert.  He adds, “I see this as an opportunity for Northern Light Health to become an influential health system in the analytics space.”

Tony Filer, CPA, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Northern Light Health says, “I congratulate Randy on his new appointment to chair of this prestigious council. He’ll be leading a group of representatives of large and complex national health systems. We’re proud to have him represent not only Northern Light Health but the people of Maine.”

By leveraging the enormous amount of data the health system produces, Northern Light Health’s team members are able to see in real-time, or near real-time, customized dashboards with much of the information critical to running their operations, and turning it into actionable information. “Our teams can see how long it takes patients to get an appointment in our primary care offices across the system, for example, and begin to make improvements where needed. Or, providers can see if a patient in the hospital experienced delays in care, then set to work on ways to lower the amount of time a patient needs to stay in the hospital,” Albert adds.

In his role at Northern Light Health, Albert manages the annual budgets and oversees financial forecasting, capital management, management reporting and analysis, productivity management, decision support, cost accounting, and business intelligence. He is a leader of Northern Light Health’s Operational Excellence program and serves on various multidisciplinary councils and committees within the organization. Albert is a graduate of the University of Maine with nearly 20 years of experience in financial management for businesses and financial institutions.

As chair of this council, I am able to share all I’ve learned from the great strides our system has made while also bringing back to Maine ideas from some of the country’s top financial minds in healthcare. I see this as an opportunity for Northern Light Health to become an influential health system in the analytics space.

- Randy Albert

Date: 01/15/2020

Northern Light Health invests more than $220M to help create a brighter future for Maine communities

Download our community benefit report
Cover image of Northern Light Health's Community Benefit Report for Fiscal Year 2019

At Northern Light Health, we maximize our effect when we work with patients to address factors of health including poverty, nutrition, and transportation.

Whether it’s in Portland at Northern Light Mercy Hospital, or in Aroostook County at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, Northern Light Health is committed to delivering care focused on the needs of each person.

Northern Light Health and its members provided $220,986,917 in community benefit throughout the state from October 2018 to September 2019, according to a fiscal year-end report to the community.

“We are committed to making healthcare work for each individual. A large part of this work involves the pursuit to develop innovative community-based solutions that address our toughest health challenges and reach patients where they already are,” explains Doug Michael, associate vice president, Northern Light Community Health. “Through free community classes, paramedicine programs, transportation initiatives, and so much more, we are rolling up our sleeves to make care easier and more accessible. This is our promise to our patients, families, and communities we serve.”

Northern Light Health members provide a wide range of free or reduced-cost programs and services to those who are sick, injured, or disabled. These community benefits are designed to improve the health of our communities and increase access to healthcare in response to identified community health needs.

The brief, bulleted Community Benefit Report is categorized by nonprofit members to easily see how Northern Light Health is working to target each region’s unique needs. To request a printed copy of the Northern Light Health Community Benefit Report, please e-mail communitybenefits@northernlight.org.

Date: 01/16/2020

State of Maine grants Certificate of Need approval for affiliation of Mayo Regional Hospital and Northern Light Health

The State of Maine granted Certificate of Need approval today for the affiliation of Mayo Regional Hospital and Northern Light Health. The commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) granted approval with standard conditions to share financial results, quality outcomes, and service statistics for three years after the affiliation is completed.

“The approval of the Certificate of Need is an important step in welcoming Mayo Regional into our integrated healthcare system,” shared Michelle Hood, president and CEO, Northern Light Health. “While there is still much work to be done, we remain on target to complete the final steps of the legal and regulatory processes in early 2020. We look forward to refining our already strong relationship that is ensuring people in Piscataquis, and nearby Penobscot and Somerset counties have a high quality, seamless care experience in a way that is financially viable.”

During the coming months, teams at both Mayo Regional and Northern Light Health will begin working together to achieve clinical and business system integration. Marie Vienneau, president and CEO, Mayo Regional Hospital, commented, “All of us at Mayo Regional Hospital are proud of what we have accomplished to maintain quality care in the last 40 years, but we are pleased to move forward in this next step in our hospital’s story. This approval allows us to begin more in-depth collaborations with our Northern Light Health colleagues across the system—opening up doors to a wealth of expertise and opportunity. Together, we are well on our way to furthering our vision to create a healthier future for our community.”

More information will be provided in the months ahead regarding the progress of the affiliation.

The approval of the Certificate of Need is an important step in welcoming Mayo Regional into our integrated healthcare system.

- Michelle Hood

Date: 02/11/2020

Northern Light Health recently became the first healthcare system in the country to have all of its birthing hospitals named Gold Safe Sleep Champions by the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program. The certification recognizes Northern Light Health for its commitment to keeping infants as safe as possible in their sleep environment and eliminating as many sleep-related deaths as possible.

Cribs-for-Kids-Hospital-Certification-Seal-Gold-(1).jpgThe path to gold level certification began with a comprehensive, systemwide infant safe sleep policy. Other steps to certification included replacing receiving blankets in the hospital with wearable blankets or “sleep sacks,” training the care team on safe sleeping guidelines, developing a plan to educate parents about safe sleep before they leave the hospital, and modeling safe sleep behaviors in the hospital and in the community. Each Northern Light Health birthing hospital also provides cribettes to families in need that do not have the means to provide a safe sleep environment at home.

Northern Light Health welcomes more than 3,000 babies to Maine each year at its five birthing hospitals: Northern Light AR Gould Hospital (Presque Isle), Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center (Bangor), Northern Light Inland Hospital (Waterville), Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital (Ellsworth), and Northern Light Mercy Hospital (Portland).

“Caregiving teams from all five of our birthing hospitals made a commitment to together pursue the highest level of certification in this national program,” says Michelle Hood, president and CEO of Northern Light Health. “This achievement represents our dedication to patient safety and is a component of our commitment to providing new parents with resources to create a healthy environment for their new babies. I am proud of our teams for this effort, taking on a national challenge, and demonstrating how we are striving to make healthcare work for each family we serve.”

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, the only national infant safe sleep organization. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Cribs for Kids®, is dedicated to preventing infant sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation.

“Modeling safe infant sleep in the hospital and providing education to families has a significant effect on infant mortality,” says Devon George, MSN, RN, director of education and outreach at Cribs for Kids®. “As the first system in the country to achieve gold-level certification for all of its birthing hospitals, Northern Light Health is taking an active role in reducing preventable infant deaths in communities throughout Maine and setting an example for other healthcare systems to follow.”

Date: 02/18/2020

From Alzheimer’s research to new treatment methods for Opioid Misuse, Northern Light Health releases it’s 2019 Annual Report

Northern Light Health has several accomplishments to highlight from 2019. Northern Light Acadia Hospital and its partnerships with Jackson Laboratory, UMaine, and Massachusetts General Hospital, are bringing grant funding for Alzheimer’s research and clinical trials to Maine. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and Northern Light Mercy Hospital have created innovative treatment models for opioid misuse that is attracting state and federal funding to address the opioid crisis.  

These are just a few of the highlights that can be found in our 2019 Northern Light Health Annual Report, which also includes our system’s required annual reporting of our finances and charitable giving. We continue the work to become a fully integrated healthcare system where patients will receive the same level of care, whether they walk into Northern Light CA Dean Hospital in Greenville, Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland, or Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle.

At Northern Light Health, our purpose is to make healthcare work for you, and one way that we are doing that is by raising quality through innovation, teamwork, and efficiency. You will see examples of this throughout the pages of this year's report.

Read our 2019 Annual Report

Date: 03/02/2020

Marie Vienneau, FACHE,
president and CEO of
Northern Light Mayo Hospital
with Michelle Hood, FACHE,
president and CEO of
Northern Light Health
Mayo Regional Hospital officially becomes the tenth hospital of Northern Light Health

Two organizations with a shared vision to meet the healthcare needs of the people of Piscataquis County have officially come together. Northern Light Health and Mayo Regional Hospital completed their merger agreement on March 1. Today, to commemorate this significant achievement, Michelle Hood, FACHE, president and CEO, Northern Light Health joined with Marie Vienneau, FACHE, president and CEO of the newly named Northern Light Mayo Hospital for a press conference and celebration at Mayo with hospital employees.   

“As a stand-alone hospital, Mayo has been providing excellent care to people in Piscataquis County for more than 40 years. Working together, we can continue that mission,” said Hood, “We are pleased to welcome Mayo’s leaders, board, and employees into our organization as we work together toward a common goal to preserve rural healthcare services in this region of the state.”  

Following a thorough review process with ample opportunity for public input, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) granted a certificate of need in January, which allowed the merger between Mayo Regional Hospital and Northern Light Health to go forward. For Mayo, integrating with a healthcare system provides a sustainable path forward.  

“Mayo not only provides local care, but as the region’s largest employer, it is vital to the rural economy of Piscataquis County,” explained Vienneau, “As a member of Northern Light Health, we have found a better path forward for our patients, our employees, and our community.”

Following the press conference Hood, Vienneau, and Mayo employees signed a banner depicting Mayo’s new logo under the Northern Light Health brand. Although the legal aspects of the merger are complete, there is still much more operational work that will occur over the course of the year to fully integrate Mayo into Northern Light Health. 

Date: 03/03/2020

Long-time Northern Light Inland Hospital president retiring; new leadership changes planned

John Dalton
John Dalton, president, Northern Light Inland Hospital, and vice president, Northern Light Health is retiring after 14 years leading the 48-bed community hospital and 105-bed continuing care center in Waterville. During his tenure at Inland, the hospital received national recognition for quality and safety, including straight As in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, LeapFrog Top Rural Hospital award for two years, and Lakewood’s 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

“It is an understatement to say that it has been my great privilege to work with everyone at Northern Light Health and to serve the greater Waterville area over the past 14 years. I am very proud of the staff and providers of Northern Light Inland Hospital and Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood - from the quality of care they deliver every day, to the way they treat each person as if they were a member of their own family - they are what makes Inland and Lakewood special,” said Dalton.

Dalton’s last day will be March 6, 2020.  Although he is retiring, he will remain active in the Waterville community, where he has been involved with several community organizations.

“We will miss John’s thoughtful and enthusiastic leadership in our organization, as well as his witty nature and common-sense approach to complex matters. But we know he and his wife, Jackie, are eager to spend more time with their grandchildren and travel more across the globe,” explained Michelle Hood, FACHE, president and CEO, Northern Light Health.

Terri Vieira
Although Dalton’s retirement leaves a significant void, Northern Light Health is fortunate to have some talented leaders ready to assume new leadership roles. Terri Vieira, MHA, FACHE, president, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital and Northern Light CA Dean Hospital, will assume the presidency at Inland.  As a result, Vieira will leave her post at CA Dean. Marie Vienneau, FACHE, president of Northern Light Mayo Hospital, will replace Vieira as president of CA Dean. 

Vieira, who has been at Northern Light Health for more than 19 years, said she is excited about the opportunities that lay ahead for both hospitals she will be leading. “Rural healthcare delivery is rapidly changing — for the better. I am fortunate to be working for a healthcare system that is passionate about ensuring access to critical healthcare services remains close to home for all Maine communities,” said Vieira. 

Before coming to Northern Light Health, Vieira worked in several hospitals in New England, including Newton-Wellesley and Somerville hospitals in Massachusetts, and Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. She has her Master of Health Administration and Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology from St. Joseph’s College in Standish. Vieira also serves as a board member for the Maine Hospital Association and received her Fellowship in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) in 2015. 

Marie Vienneau
Marie Vienneau is a Maine native who began her career in healthcare as an operating room nurse at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. She served for 23 years in executive roles at Millinocket Regional Hospital, including 11 years as CEO and chief nursing officer. She has served as president and CEO at Mayo since 2014. She earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Maine in Orono and is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives.  

 “CA Dean and Mayo have much in common being critical access hospitals serving patients in rural Piscataquis County, and we already work collaboratively together on some shared services including OB/GYN and podiatry,” explained Vienneau. “It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve these two excellent institutions.”

Both Mayo and CA Dean are strategically organized and geographically well located to serve patients in Piscataquis County in much the same say that Inland and Sebasticook Valley Hospital complement each other to serve patients in central Maine. Vieira and Vienneau will work closely together as they gradually transition into their new roles in the coming weeks.

Date: 03/05/2020

Northern Light Acadia Hospital has joined the Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network, a partnership that will strengthen substance use disorder treatment services for individuals and families in Maine.

Hazelden Betty Ford is the national leader in prevention and recovery solutions for youth and adults suffering from substance use disorders. This partnership will provide Northern Light Health members and their communities with access to the latest educational tools, evidenced-based practices, and research. Bangor-based Acadia Hospital is the first collaborative member in New England in the Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network.

“Hazelden Betty Ford is the gold standard of care for substance use disorders,” says Scott Oxley, senior vice president of Northern Light Health and president of Acadia Hospital. “With their expertise, we plan to build a strategic and more comprehensive approach to patient care for those with mental health and substance abuse disorders.”

Scott adds that the tools and knowledge that will be gained from this partnership will directly benefit many patients whose lives are affected by substance use disorders. While this partnership will benefit patients under Acadia Hospital’s care who are diagnosed with both mental health and substance use disorders, it will also help patients in Northern Light Health general medical settings. Research indicates that approximately 36% of patients seen in primary care have a substance use disorder, and nearly half of all emergency department visits are related to substance use.

“This patient care network will give our healthcare providers continuous training in the most up-to-date, evidence-based clinical practices,” says John Campbell, MD, Northern Light Acadia Hospital senior physician executive. “We’ll have access to proven tools that will help providers and patients alike; not only at Acadia Hospital, but throughout Northern Light Health’s statewide network.”
In addition to its patient care network, Hazelden Betty Ford operates 17 substance use disorder treatment sites across the United States.

“We have a rich culture of partnership and knowledge sharing with leading organizations like Acadia Hospital,” says Bob Poznanovich, executive director of Business Development for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. “We want to ensure our patients continue their care with quality providers like Acadia Hospital and also believe that we can learn from their expertise.”

In addition to being the nation's leader in advocacy and policy for treatment and recovery, Hazelden Betty Ford’s resources include the nation’s largest recovery publishing house, a fully accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals, and a unique children's program.

 
About Hazelden Betty Ford
Hazelden Betty Ford is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It is the nation's leading nonprofit treatment provider, with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. Learn more at HazeldenBettyFord.org.
 
About Northern Light Acadia Hospital
Northern Light Acadia Hospital is a non-profit, acute care hospital and community mental health agency located in Bangor, Maine. Acadia Hospital is committed to providing a safe and positive environment for children, adolescents, and adults with mental health and chemical dependency problems and to advocating for their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Both of Acadia’s hospital-based and community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment services work toward a unified mission: empowering people to improve their lives.
 

Date: 03/09/2020

We know that our patients and communities are concerned about the Novel (New) Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks worldwide. Northern Light Health, like other hospital systems across the country, prepares for events like this all year long through disaster management planning and training.

Northern Light Health is taking the steps necessary to ensure the safety of our staff and patients in anticipation of the spread of this disease. 

We strongly recommend that you stay up to date by referring to the Centers for Disease Control Fact Sheets.  The information on the CDC page is updated regularly as they learn more about the illness and how it is spread.

We also recommend visiting the Maine CDC website for up to date information.

The most effective way to protect yourself (and others) from any virus is by:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 40 seconds.  If you use hand sanitizer, make sure it is 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer works best on hands that are visibly clean.

  • Using proper sneezing and coughing etiquette (cover your nose/mouth with your elbow).

  • Staying up to date on immunizations, including influenza.

  • Staying home when you are sick.

If you are experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please call your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms.

Date: 03/16/2020

For the safety of our patients, families, caregivers, staff, and others in our communities, Northern Light Health has announced temporary changes to our normal operations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that all who need it receive medical care.

Elective and non-essential care

Effective immediately, elective surgeries, office visits, diagnostic tests, endoscopies, and other procedures that can be considered “nonessential,” will be assessed for postponement until a later date. Each case will be evaluated by the patient’s healthcare provider to determine if it should be postponed. Patients will be contacted by their healthcare provider’s office if their procedure, visit, or test can be rescheduled. This is not a decision we make lightly and do so in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the American College of Surgeons. We remain here at the ready to care for those who need it. 

Visitation policy

Northern Light Health has modified its visitation policy to restrict visitors while recognizing that in
exceptional circumstances, having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In all cases, visitors will be subject to screening at the entrance and will not be permitted to visit if they are exhibiting COVID-19 virus symptoms. Patients and families are encouraged to connect with their local Northern Light Hospital or continuing care facility for specific information about the visitation policy in their community.

Additionally, Northern Light Health is establishing appointment-only, drive-up testing in many communities. This approach helps us keep patients and staff safe, expedites care for all patients, including those visiting for routine care, and reduces the use of and potential infection risk associated with putting on and taking off personal protective gear. Initially, drive-up testing will be available by referral only for patients who meet the clinical criteria – patients must call their primary care provider’s office for a phone screening and referral.

“Northern Light Health has been preparing for COVID-19 for several weeks, and these changes to our operations will ensure that we’re able to focus on responding to our patients’ needs, both those who may be affected, and those who require other types of care,” says James Jarvis, MD, medical specialist, Northern Light Health Incident Command. “The community can join us in flattening the curve by following the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s guidance for preventing the spread of the disease. As the situation evolves, Northern Light Health will be here to meet the community’s needs and is committed to keeping patients and families up-to-date.”

Date: 03/20/2020

Northern Light Pharmacy recommends alternative methods to pick up medications

In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 to customers and staff, Northern Light Pharmacy is recommending alternative ways to receive prescriptions. These alternatives include:

  • Free mail order service: An existing free and convenient option available to all residents in Maine. Using this service will not only help to avoid the spread of infection by having prescriptions delivered directly to your home or mailbox, but it is fast. Most orders can be delivered within one business day if ordered within Maine. Call 207-275-3300 to sign up for this service.

  • Free delivery:  Northern Light Pharmacy has expanded the coverage area for our free delivery service during this time. We are delivering to the following cities and towns. This service is offered Monday through Friday. Towns/cities include: Bangor, Brewer, Orono, Old Town, Glenburn, Hampden, Hermon, Veazie, Holden, Orrington. Call 207-275-3300 to sign up for this service.

  • Rx to Go:  Northern Light Pharmacy on State Street in Bangor is offering curbside delivery to any patient at this location only. The parking lot has dedicated parking spots for this service. Patients will need to call the number on the signage and a staff member will bring the medications out. We ask that if possible, payments are made with a credit or debit card. 

“Ensuring our patients have their medications is our priority. Keeping our customers and staff as healthy as possible during this time allows us to continue serving our communities and provide the quality service they have come to expect from our pharmacies,” says Matt Marston, PharmD, MBA, director of pharmacy, Northern Light Pharmacy.  

Customers looking for more information about any of the programs are encouraged to call 207-275-3300.

Date: 04/06/2020

Northern Light Pharmacy changes to curbside pick-up beginning April 8

In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 to customers and staff, beginning April 8, Northern Light Pharmacy locations are offering delivery, mail, and curb-side pick up only. Patients will no longer be able to go inside the stores to pick up medications for the time being.

In order to adhere to the no visitor policy at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Northern Light Pharmacy - Riverside, located inside the Webber building, will be unable to offer a curbside pick-up option. The same Riverside Pharmacy team will remain available over the phone to assist with ensuring all of their patients have assistance in receiving their medications through alternative delivery methods.  Customers are requested to pick up their medications at any of the other locations or use the free mail order or delivery services.

Parking lots at each location have dedicated parking spots for this service. Customers will need to call the number on the signage and a staff member will bring the medications out. If possible, payments made with a credit or debit card are preferred. The Pharmacy located on State Street in Bangor will have a new drive thru option as well. Our curbside and drive thru service will continue to offer all of our same over-the counter and convenience items for sale as well.

Customers who prefer to stay home are encouraged to use our free mail order or delivery services.

  • Free mail order: An existing free and convenient option available to all residents in Maine. Using this service will not only help to avoid the spread of infection by having prescriptions delivered directly to your home or mailbox, but it is fast. Most orders can be delivered within one business day if ordered within Maine. Call 207-275-3300 to sign up for this service.

  • Free delivery: Northern Light Pharmacy has expanded the coverage area for our free delivery service during this time. This service is offered Monday through Friday, and are delivering to the following cities and towns: Bangor, Brewer, Orono, Old Town, Glenburn, Hampden, Hermon, Veazie, Holden, and Orrington. Call 207-275-3300 to sign up for this service.

“Keeping our customers and staff as safe and healthy as possible during this time while ensuring they still have their medications is our priority,” says Matt Marston, PharmD, MBA, director of pharmacy, Northern Light Pharmacy.  

Customers looking for more information about any of the programs are encouraged to call 207-275-3300.

Keeping our customers and staff as safe and healthy as possible during this time while ensuring they still have their medications is our priority.

- Matt Marston

Date: 04/16/2020

A special message to Northern Light Health staff from President and CEO, Tim Dentry, on the COVID-19 response

We are now more than a month into the fight against COVID-19. This relentless virus has taken its toll, but the spirit across Northern Light Health remains strong. Our new president and CEO of Northern Light Health, Tim Dentry, shares how the coworkers he meets in his travels throughout Maine — from Portland to Presque Isle — inspire him every day and how proud he is of the exceptional job you have done. Please take a moment to view his video message and thank you for all you do to keep our communities safe.

To learn more about the Northern Light Health response to COVID-19 go to northernlighthealth.org/Resources/COVID-19.

Date: 04/16/2020

Dr. James Jarvis talked virtually with media outlets on April 15 about Northern Light Health’s response to COVID-19

 

James Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, medical specialist, Northern Light Health Incident Command, talked with a number of media outlets virtually about our system’s response to COVID-19 on April 15. Dr. Jarvis spoke about the community spread of COVID-19, that the numbers reported are low based on limited testing, and reiterated the importance of social distancing and hand hygiene. He talked about the actions Northern Light Health is taking to protect staff, the supply of personal protective equipment, and the HIPPA compliant Zoom platform Northern Light Health uses to connect patients and their providers. Paul Bolin, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, senior vice president, Chief Human Resources Officer, Northern Light Health, spoke on services offered to staff such as, short term disability options, virtual support groups, chat rooms, and virtual yoga sessions. Paul and Dr Jarvis answered questions from media addressing the number of COVID-19 cases across our system, our universal masking policy for all staff, the trend lines we are seeing, and our Bass Park testing site. We anticipate these topics and more will be in the news tonight and through the week.

Date: 05/01/2020

With a continuous focus on social distancing, it’s clear, community members are looking for alternative ways to connect and share their support for one another. Today, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center launched a digital thank you board for community members to share their kind words, reflections and appreciation for the more than 12,000 employees who are helping to respond to COVID-19 throughout Maine. 

Contributors can share their sentiments through words, photos, and short videos and post to what will become an ever-changing tribute to caregivers and staff. “The outpouring of support from our community has been heartwarming,” says Tim Dentry, MBA, president and CEO of Northern Light Health. “Daily, residents of Maine are showing their gratitude through homemade signs, donated food, and kind words, to name a few. In times of crisis, Mainers want to be together and this is one more way for our communities to connect.” 

Anyone wanting to contribute to the thank you board can visit northernlight.org/thanks. For a shareable video about the digital thank you board, click here.  

Date: 05/04/2020

On March 1, Mayo became a member of Northern Light Health. This article highlights some of the ways both Northern Light Mayo and the system have been able to support one another during this challenging pandemic.

View the full article

Date: 05/11/2020

Hospital Week is not only a celebration of hospitals, but of health systems and healthcare workers throughout the nation who dedicate their careers to keeping our communities healthy and guiding families and individuals through the care experience.

This year, during this challenging time, Tim Dentry, president and CEO, Northern Light Health, pays tribute to all our employees and thanks them for their bravery and commitment during this exhausting fight. Please take a moment to view this special message.

 

Date: 05/26/2020

The Community Health Leadership Board (CHLB) kicked off a regional campaign Tuesday to encourage people to wear and donate masks. As a member of the CHLB, Northern Light Health joins area healthcare organizations, business leaders, and community members in encouraging friends and neighbors to wear a mask when in public, and donate a mask to those in need. 

“Mask Up for ME” will include social media components, video, and grassroots outreach. The goal is to help educate everyone about the need to wear a mask in public.  

“The CDC recommends wearing a mask or face covering in public, even when more than six feet apart,” said James Jarvis, MD of Northern Light Health. “Our healthcare community agrees, and strongly recommends that everyone follow that recommendation. The science is clear: wearing a mask or cloth face covering in public will help keep others safe. It is a basic common courtesy, just like driving slower than the speed limit in a neighborhood where kids are playing outside. While you could drive faster legally, it’s not the responsible thing to do.”  

The primary goal of the campaign is to encourage people to show their care for the community by wearing masks in public. And the campaign is encouraging donations of cloth, reusable masks to help provide face coverings for those who cannot provide their own.  

There are several places where donations of washable, reusable cloth face coverings can be made, including Northern Light Acadia Hospital, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, St. Joseph Healthcare on Center Street in Bangor, PCHC - Brewer Medical Center, Darling’s Ford VW Audi, Bangor Police Department, and Gold Star Cleaners in Bangor and Brewer. The donated masks will be professionally cleaned, packaged with wearing and washing instructions, and distributed through a number of CHLB organizations.  

A full list of drop off locations for mask donations, as well as wearing and sewing instructions, and other helpful information can be found on the Mask Up for ME section of CHLB’s website at www.chlb.me. Mask Up for ME is also using Facebook and Instagram to further spread the message.


 

Date: 06/03/2020

The following message was sent to Northern Light Health employees on June 3, 2020 from the President and CEO, Tim Dentry.

I write today about what we stand for, and in doing so, I have even greater clarity of what I stand for.

As an organization, I know where Northern Light Health stands. We represent and serve all the people of Maine. It’s important that our communities know they can rely on us living up to our quest to be community treasures where we serve.  As healthcare professionals, we promise to treat with compassion, dignity and respect all who come to us, no matter their race, background, or social standing. For healthcare workers, no matter your job, it is a solemn oath. 

The answers to American problems are found by living up to American ideals – to the fundamental truth that all human beings are created equal and endowed by God with certain rights. The heroes of America – from Frederick Douglass, to Harriet Tubman, to Abraham Lincoln, to Martin Luther King, Jr. – are heroes of unity. Their calling has never been for the fainthearted. They often revealed the nation’s disturbing bigotry and exploitation – stains on our character sometimes difficult for the American majority to examine. We can only see the reality of America’s need by seeing it through the eyes of the threatened, oppressed, and disenfranchised.

That is exactly where we now stand. Many doubt the justice of our country, and with good reason. Black people see the repeated violation of their rights without an urgent and adequate response from American institutions. We know that lasting justice will only come by peaceful means. Looting is not liberation, and destruction is not progress. But we also know that lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.

- Statement by former U.S. President George W. Bush

In times of upheaval, whether it be a public health crisis or the current pervasive social strife in our country, true colors must be flown, and must speak for our character and our love for our fellow men and women. Our ability to continue to serve the health needs of our communities while strife is happening is part of what we stand for, and who we are. I also understand that these are stressful times personally, manifested in different ways, and that it may affect your emotional health and your ability to be present in the ways you usually are. That is understandable. Please reach out to our colleagues through Healthy Life Resources if you need someone to talk to.

I ask you to be sure that we continue to take care of one another during this time. As we all work through these events in our own ways—some of us with quiet reflection and others by engaging in local activism, it will be important to listen. We will be respectful of one another and give one another space to grieve and process the news around us. And, we will embrace and respect the diversity of the Northern Light family and protect and defend the dignity of those we work with, as family.

Through the pandemic, communities have honored healthcare workers as the heroes of the moment.  Let’s capitalize on that mantle and be good role models for peaceful expression, tolerance and acceptance of others. We have the freedom as well as the responsibility to speak up for what is right, and to speak out against wrongs. Each one of us can be a powerful voice for good. 

I spent over a decade before I came to Maine living in foreign lands, like Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates. I was in the minority there; I was different from the local population, at first did not understand their language and customs, and was away from home without family and loved ones. We have colleagues and those we care for who have had similar experiences coming to our world, away from their roots. In my overseas experiences, I was embraced and welcomed, never felt threatened because of the color of my skin or my spiritual or political beliefs. My prayer is that here, we embrace everyone with love and joy, listen and learn from those around us, and be thankful for the diversity of God’s children.

Always remember we at Northern Light have a culture of quality which starts with a culture of caring which has at its core a culture of caring for one another. Every person who works at Northern Light does so with our love, respect and thanks. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Please continue to support and respect each other. A strong community stands for tolerance and respect. Northern Light Health stands for tolerance and respect — and so do I.  

I close with another passage from former President Bush’s remarks on this sad moment in our history:

“This will require a consistent, courageous, and creative effort. We serve our neighbors best when we try to understand their experience. We love our neighbors as ourselves when we treat them as equals, in both protection and compassion. There is a better way – the way of empathy, and shared commitment, and bold action, and a peace rooted in justice. I am confident that together, Americans will choose the better way.”

Thank you.


 

Date: 06/17/2020

Northern Light Health sets plan towards building a strong future for social and medical justice 

This week, Northern Light Health leadership announced their systemwide plan to eliminate racism and other forms of discrimination and promote a strong future for social and medical justice.

In an internal statement, Tim Dentry, president and CEO, Northern Light Health, said, “It is my goal, by this time next year, that we will have identified all explicit and implicit bias within Northern Light Health, and embraced and promoted those ideals that create a system where social and medical justice drives our contributions to society and defines how we make healthcare work for the people we serve.” 

Moving forward, Northern Light Health pledges to take a hard look and come to terms with past failings and the hidden bias that is present within all of us. Dentry continued, “We need to learn that a difficult discussion is a productive one and should leave us with hope for what is to come, rather than sadness for the past. Most of all, we will learn and be ready to speak up when we see bias or injustice. When the situation calls for a gentle reminder or a strong statement, we should feel empowered to make that decision and speak the words that are reflective of a supportive and affirming culture for all.”

James Fullwood, DPM, podiatrist at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, who has been appointed as a member of an advisory group to help shape the path forward, shared in an earlier statement last week, “Northern Light Health can be, and I hope will be, a place where racial bias and indifference do not exist. I hope it to be an institution where social and medical justice reigns. An institution that is committed to giving the best care to our patients and support for all employees, open to examining and changing policies that negatively affect the lives of those it serves. Northern Light Health can be the place that no matter your skin color, religion, sexual orientation, social status or job title you will be safe and welcome.”

Dentry has identified the following immediate steps as the start to his long-term plan to end racism and promote social and medical justice:

  • Dentry will conduct ongoing Zoom meetings/dialogue sessions with our colleagues of color and other selected groups. These sessions will be scheduled frequently enough and at various times of day so that everyone who wants to participate can do so. 

  • Human Resources leaders and respective member presidents will conduct meetings/dialogue sessions to best problem solve in the local environments. 

  • Northern Light Health will produce podcasts or vlogs that feature people within Northern Light Health who can help us learn what we need to know to advance justice within our system. The first series of these will be called “8:46,” and will start next week. 

In addition, leaders from within the system will be conducting a full review of the current state to identify immediate action steps that need to be taken. This includes:

  • A review of all policies, trainings, hiring practices, educational sessions and disciplinary actions to ensure they are clear, accountable, have consequences, and back up Northern Light Health’s vision of social and medical justice.

  • A new mandatory learning session for all staff. Northern Light Health will recruit a leader in this field and form an internal advisory council to conduct the sessions, so we can move forward with confidence. 

  • A survey will be sent to all staff in the next two weeks to gauge staff attitude, engagement, and will provide an opportunity to write their own personal experiences.

  • The creation of ongoing forums to provide additional opportunities to hear from all colleagues, especially our colleagues of color or others who are subject to discrimination, to assure we are tuned in and making significant, sustaining progress.

Dentry stated, “This will not be an easy journey, but we will set goals, celebrate our achievements, and overcome our setbacks, as we move forward for years to come. We will keep striving towards progress, until the reason for the journey no longer exists.” 

Northern Light Health can be, and I hope will be, a place where racial bias and indifference do not exist. I hope it to be an institution where social and medical justice reigns.

- James Fullwood, DPM

Date: 07/01/2020

Cancer patients from all around Maine have appointments and receive treatment at Northern Light Cancer Care – Lafayette Family Cancer Institute throughout the summer. Now, thanks to a partnership with Darling’s Ice Cream for a Cause, they can now enjoy a frozen treat while spending time at the institute. Darling’s is keeping freezers that are accessible to Cancer Care patients stocked with a variety of ice cream products; it’s a small act of kindness that provides much needed relief.

 Jenifer Lloyd, philanthropy officer, major gifts, Northern Light Health Foundation states, “This gift represents just one of the many ways in which Darling’s provides support to our patients. From Champion the Cure Challenge, Hair Preservation at Northern Light Cancer Care, Children’s Miracle Network, and many other Northern Light Health initiatives, Darling’s has led the way in caring for our patients through philanthropy, as a lead corporate sponsor. We are very grateful for their compassion and generosity.”

Darling’s Ice Cream for a Cause has travelled around the region for years, serving free ice cream while soliciting volunteer donations to support worthy non-profits like Camp Capella, Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, Partners for Peace and the Maine Veterans Home to name just a few. This year they are holding off on getting the ice cream truck on the road due to Covid-19 restrictions but hope to start up later this summer. In the meantime, Darling’s continues to support the community.

According to Darling’s Ice Cream Ambassador Gary Bellefleur, “Darling’s Auto Group and Darling’s Ice Cream for a Cause are excited to partner with Northern Light Cancer Care to provide ice cream and popsicles to patients and their family that are coming in for treatments. We are glad we can bring a smile and some sort of relief to those who are going through such a difficult time in their lives. We are also thankful to our employees for their hard work and dedication to their jobs which allows us to make these contributions to the communities we all live and work in.”

Northern Light Health is dedicated to delivering compassionate, comprehensive cancer care with an experienced staff who work together to develop a cancer treatment plan personalized for each patient. 
The goal of Darling’s Ice Cream for a Cause is to find a way to have some fun, do some good and make people smile by handing out free ice cream and soliciting voluntary donations for a good cause.
 

Date: 07/01/2020


At Northern Light Health we’ve always been here to care for our communities, and we’re still ready for you. COVID-19 has changed many parts of our lives, but it is safe for you to access the care you need now, from a visit to your primary care provider to emergency care at any one of our hospitals.

Just like we have all made changes at home, Northern Light Health has changed to meet specific challenges to providing care and has implemented policies and procedures that ensure the safest environment possible for you and our staff.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to not delay care, delaying healthcare can cause conditions to worsen and create the need for more serious treatment. Most importantly, if you need emergency care, please call 9-1-1 immediately, access to emergency care has not changed.

We don’t want you to be surprised by the changes we’ve made so we’ve developed a series of short videos to show what you can expect during your visit at any Northern Light Health facility.

Ways We Are Keeping Our Patients Safe

  • Masking:  Masks or other personal protective equipment are worn by all caregivers and doctors. We’re also asking all patients and visitors to wear masks or face coverings upon entering a Northern Light Health facility.

  • Hand Sanitation: We continue to wash our hands and use hand sanitizer frequently and encourage you to do the same.

  • Screening: Pre-screening happens before appointments, with temperature checks and a series of symptom check questions for anyone visiting our facilities.

  • COVID-19 Patient Care: Patients with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms are treated by dedicated staff in designated areas. If you are at home with COVID-19 the Home Care COVID-19 team will care for you.

  • Cleaning/Disinfecting: All spaces are cleaned and sanitized per strict Northern Light Health medical standards. Our Environmental Services teams have always used checklists to ensure all areas are cleaned thoroughly. We disinfect every exam room and patient care area after each patient visit.

  • Reception Areas: Reception areas may look a little different. In many areas, we’ve placed stickers on the floor to remind people to maintain safe distancing, and we’ve installed plexiglass barriers in locations where patients and visitors may encounter staff.

  • Visitation Policy: We’ve had to restrict visitors because of the spread of COVID-19. This is hard because visitors have always been an important part of our patient care. We have very specific guidelines on which patients can have visitors and how many they can have. Your healthcare team can share more information about visitation restrictions.

  • Expanded telehealth services: A tool we’ve used for years to meet patient needs from home using a phone, tablet, or computer, telehealth appointments are available to meet more needs than ever. If you think a telehealth appointment might be right for you, ask your healthcare provider about it today.

 
You should always feel comfortable asking questions about your care. You can learn more on any of our websites and speak with your healthcare team to ask specific questions. Thank you for choosing Northern Light Health, it’s an honor to make healthcare work for you.
 

Date: 07/02/2020

Ellsworth, Maine (June 30, 2020) — Work Health, LLC, an occupational health program that partners with employers and communities to help employees stay healthy and heal when they are injured, is excited to announce the opening of an Ellsworth location at 32 Resort Way on July 6.

“We are excited to be able to expand and provide our services to businesses in Hancock county and beyond,” explains Sharon D’Amboise, associate vice president at Work Health “We look forward to partnering with our clients and help them succeed by keeping their employees healthy too.”

Work Health provides assessment and treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses, physical exams, on-site ergonomic evaluations, independent medical evaluations, and a variety of employment related testing services.

This is the seventh Work Health clinic in Maine. Other facilities are located in Bangor, Portland, Pittsfield, Waterville and Presque Isle. Work Health is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northern Light Health. 


At Northern Light Health, we’re building a better approach to healthcare because we believe people deserve access to care that works for them. As an integrated health delivery system serving Maine, we’re raising the bar with no-nonsense solutions that are leading the way to a healthier future for our state. Our more than 12,000 team members—in our hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, long-term and home healthcare, and ground and air medical transport and emergency care—are committed to making healthcare work for you: our patients, communities, and employees. To learn more about Northern Light Health and our locations across Maine, visit www.northernlighthealth.org.

Date: 07/02/2020

Northern Light Health Board of Directors elects new chair, vice chair at annual meeting

Kathy CoreyKathy Corey

Kathy Corey has been elected as the next chair of the Northern Light Health Board of Directors. The election was held during the board's annual meeting on June 10. Kathy Corey is the owner and vice president of merchandising and human resources for Day's Jewelers.

Corey has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Maine. She previously served on the Northern Light Inland Hospital Board of Trustees as chair and was a regional representative to the Northern Light Health board finance committee. Corey is a trustee and past board chair of the Kennebec Community College Foundation and has been very active in several community-related committees and causes.

"As one of the finest integrated health care delivery systems in America, it's a true privilege to serve within Northern Light Health," shares Corey, "I especially look forward to the board of directors' collaborative work with Northern Light Health's leadership team to continue delivering high-quality care to the communities we serve throughout Maine."

She succeeds Barry McCrum, owner and president of McCrum and Company, who served four terms on the board, including one term as chair. 

Stephen Rich
Stephen Rich

The board of directors also elected Stephen Rich of Glenburn to serve as vice chair. Rich retired as president and CEO of Bangor-based firm, WBRC Architects/Engineers in 2013. During his 30-year tenure at WBRC, he also served as chief operating officer, firm principal, project manager, and project architect.

He was first elected to the board in 2012 and is currently serving his third 3-year term. He has held several leadership positions on the board, including as chair of the governance and finance committees.

In addition to appointing a new chair and vice chair, the board welcomed three new directors including Marcia Conrad-Miller, vice president, Sector Lead Health & Life Sciences New England at CGI; Kevin Raye, a realtor and licensed associate broker for Due East Real Estate in Eastport, co-owner of Raye's Mustard Mill, and a former state senator and senate president; Steve St. Pierre, a vice president/business banker at KeyBank, North America.

A complete list of board of directors can be found at https://northernlighthealth.org/About-Us/Governance/Board

Date: 08/06/2020

How Northern Light Health Supply Chain teamed up with the University of Maine during COVID-19

Northern Light Health and the University of Maine have collaborated for many years on endeavors like training nursing students and providing healthcare to students at Northern Light Primary Care, Cutler Health Center. So, it’s no surprise that community need during the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed another opportunity for this relationship to shine. This time, the Supply Chain team at Northern Light is working with the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the university to do something neither has ever done before.
 
The university’s Process Development Center—known for its leading-edge pulp and paper research capabilities—has temporarily turned to production of hospital-grade hand sanitizer. The sanitizer is delivered to Northern Light Health in 55-gallon drums, and from there an employee team pumps it into smaller containers and ships it to sites all over the health system. 
 
“It’s a simple but very precise recipe,” comments Donna Johnson, research manager at the Process Development Center. “We are hand-mixing hydrogen peroxide, water, ethanol, and glycerol and shipping it out all over the state. Northern Light Health has been one of the larger customers.”
 
The team working at the Northern Light packaging facility is comprised of people who don’t typically work together, much less work on an assembly line. The system has avoided having to lay off staff during the pandemic. “These are administrative and clinical employees who have needed to be reassigned from their regular work duties,” observes Johanna Libby, manager of Support Services, Informatics, who is overseeing the operation. Receptionists, radiology technologists, medical technologists—employees from all over Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and the Northern Light Health Home Office—are filling large and small containers with hand sanitizer, labeling and boxing up bottles for shipment to the hospitals and other sites in need of the product. “The folks on this team may not even know each other, but they are doing a great job. They know the work is very important for the safety and health of both our employees and our patients,” adds Johanna.
 
At the Process Development Center in Orono, Johnson says her team is feeling very good about the opportunity to help during a time when so much has changed so quickly. She says, “The idea caught the attention of a couple of faculty members in the department, and we said ‘Yes, we can do this!’” The distribution of the sanitizer produced at the center is a part of the statewide response to the pandemic managed by the Maine Emergency Management Agency. Northern Light Health is not the only organization receiving the product, though it’s one of very few receiving sanitizer in 55-gallon drums.
 
“We have processed and distributed more than 1,900 gallons of hand sanitizer from Presque Isle to Portland,” says Libby proudly. “And we are meeting the demand thanks to this great partnership with the University of Maine. We will be here distributing as long as our members, staff, and patients need us.”

Date: 08/14/2020

Northern Light Health receives $1M Federal grant to combat opioid crisis in rural communities of central Maine
 
Brewer, Maine (August 14, 2020) — Northern Light Health has received a $1 Million Federal grant to support community efforts towards establishing or enhancing opioid use prevention, treatment, and recovery services in rural communities served by our healthcare system.
 
 Northern Light Health, in collaboration with Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, Northern Light Acadia Hospital, and a consortium of community partners, will work together to reduce the burden of substance use disorder/opioid use disorder (SUD/OUD) in the Sebasticook Valley region which includes the communities of Detroit, Dexter, Hartland, Newport, Palmyra, Pittsfield, and Saint Albans.
 
“People in rural communities suffering with opioid use disorder face increased challenges accessing services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a $1 million federal grant will go a long way in eliminating barriers to services that exist due to geographic limitations,” explained Terri Vieira, MHA, FACHE, president, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital.
 
During this three-year grant-funded project our work will be focused on five goals:
  1. Improve regional coordination and communication for SUD/OUD response
  2. Increase community awareness of substance use prevention and overdose response
  3. Improve clinical workflow and data availability for screening and treatment referral of SUD/OUD
  4. Improve access to comprehensive SUD/OUD treatment services
  5. Improve regional community and clinical supports for treatment and recovery.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health and Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $89 million to 89 rural organizations across 38 states as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP-Implementation).  

 
At Northern Light Health, we’re building a better approach to healthcare because we believe people deserve access to care that works for them. As an integrated health delivery system serving Maine, we’re raising the bar with no-nonsense solutions that are leading the way to a healthier future for our state. Our more than 12,000 team members—in our hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, long-term and home healthcare, and ground and air medical transport and emergency care—are committed to making healthcare work for you: our patients, communities, and employees. To learn more about Northern Light Health and our locations across Maine, visit www.northernlighthealth.org.
 

Date: 09/09/2020

Northern Light Health is proud to join other corporations and philanthropic leaders across Maine to raise $260,000 to combat racial injustice and inequity throughout the state through the Racial Justice Fund of the Maine Justice Foundation. The list of corporate founders and civic leaders are as follows:

 
AARP Maine, Androscoggin Bank, AT&T, Baker Newman Noyes, Bangor Savings Bank, Bernstein Shur, Central Maine Power, Deighan Wealth Advisors, Drummond Woodsum, Eaton Peabody, FL Putnam, Gorham Savings Bank, HM Payson, Hancock Lumber, Hannaford Supermarkets, Harvard Pilgrim, Northern Light Health, Pierce Atwood, Preti Flaherty, RM Davis, Verrill, and the Steven and Tabitha King Foundation.
 
The 21 founders, representing a wide range of Maine companies, law firms and professional services committed to racial equity, have created the fund with gifts of $10,000 each. The Maine Justice Foundation expresses its profound gratitude for their generosity and commitment. Michelle G. Draeger, Executive Director of the Maine Justice Foundation said, “By supporting the fund, each of these organizations has recognized that it will take money as well as public support to fully address racial injustice in Maine. The State of Maine is lucky to have such generous and forward-thinking executives leading these organizations.”
 
Northern Light Health president and CEO, Tim Dentry, shares, “As a healthcare organization, we represent all people in Maine, and are committed to standing true to our promise to treat with compassion, dignity and respect all who come to us, no matter their race, background, or social standing. This is a solemn oath. But taking a stand for injustice requires us to do so much more than what we can do in our profession. I could not be more proud that Northern Light Health is one of the 21 initial founders taking the lead to initiate the Racial Justice Fund. This is one additional way we are helping to create change for a better world.”
 
In addition, the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation has stepped forward with a major grant to help launch the Racial Justice Fund. The Maine Justice Foundation will continue to seek donations to increase the fund.
The Racial Justice Fund at the Maine Justice Foundation will support education and advocacy aimed at achieving racial justice, equity and eliminating racism. The goal of the fund is to support Black, Indigenous, and people of color and to forge social, systemic, and economic solutions to combat racism in our culture, organizations and systems in Maine.  
 
“A critical dialogue about race discrimination is occurring across our nation and state, in our workplaces and inside our homes,” said Draeger. “It is before us as a result of countless public acts of violence against Black Americans who are engaging in the simple pursuit of daily liberties – watching birds in a park, jogging in the afternoon, sitting in a car, simply trying to breathe. Fundamental change is necessary if we finally want to become a country where every citizen is afforded the freedom of liberty and equal justice, without regard to differences in race. As an institution concerned with equal access to the legal system, the foundation has a responsibility to address racial injustice. As a historically white organization, we also have a responsibility to change and to lead change.”
 
An Advisory Committee has been created to formulate the specific goals of the fund, issue a request for proposals and recommend grants. The current members are: co-chairs Dr. Evelyn Silver and Senator John Jenkins, Tim Dentry, Michael-Corey Hinton. Mary Herman, Prof. Marcelle Medford, Angela Okafor, Reginald Parson, Francys Perkins , Spencer Thibodeau, Bill Harwood and Janis Cohen.
 
Co-chair Senator John Jenkins said, “As a private citizen and elected official, my life has been committed to ending the pain of racism, in our institutions and in our hearts. In this country and state, my belief is that the last few months have revealed a true turning point. Now is the time to bring all Black, brown and indigenous people fully into the fold of American citizenship, with equity and justice. It’s incumbent upon us now to leverage every ally, every dollar, every talent we have to do so. I’m proud to join this effort and help make that opportunity real.”
 
For a full description of the Racial Justice Fund and the Advisory Committee members, please visit https://www.justicemaine.org/grants-and-programs/racial-justice-fund/.
 
The Maine Justice Foundation, founded in 1983 as the Maine Bar Foundation, is the state’s leading funder of civil legal aid for poor and vulnerable Mainers. Find us online and support the Racial Justice Fund at www.justicemaine.org.

Date: 09/10/2020

Brewer, Maine (September 10, 2020) - In July, Northern Light Health launched its first 
podcast, Tim Talk, hosted by president and CEO Tim Dentry with the goal to break down
barriers, open hearts and minds to diversity, and focus on issues of social and medical
 justice. Tim Talk is part of Northern Light Health’s multi-pronged plan to eliminate
racism and build a strong future for social and medical justice, which starts with a
culture of caring for one another. Through this public platform, Northern Light Health 
hopes to invite a larger community audience to this important discussion.

“As a statewide healthcare delivery system, Northern Light Health represents and serves 
all the people of Maine. We promise to treat with compassion, dignity, and respect all 
who come to us, no matter their race, background, or social standing,” explains Dentry.
 “Therefore, it’s important that our communities know they can rely on us living up to
 our quest to be community treasures where we serve. This starts by listening and having
 discussions, sometimes discussions that may feel uncomfortable, in order to truly 
understand the perspective of others and begin to develop solutions to address 
disparities brought forth by centuries of inequality and injustice within our society.”

During each episode, Dentry welcomes a colleague to sit down at the table and engage 
in a thoughtful discussion regarding a chosen topic of focus. Previous topics have
 included Northern Light’s role in medical justice, white fragility and microaggressions,
 perspectives of diversity in the community, and promoting a desire for actionable 
change. Future planned topics include perspectives from the LGBTQ+ community and
 religious tolerance and diversity. While the podcast is only in its first three months of 
production, Tim soon plans to extend his guest invites beyond employees and to other
s in the community who wish to participate.

Andrew Dees, director of Provider Network Management, Northern Light Beacon
 Health, was recently invited on Tim Talk to discuss how to promote a desire for
actionable change. Dees comments, “Tim Talk is one intentional act of courageous 
leadership from our president and CEO to address the issues of social and medical
justice within our realm of influence. It’s a clear signal to our organization and
 community of where Northern Light Health stands on this important and longstanding 
issue. I was honored to share a few practical examples of how we can influence change 
every day. I’m encouraged by the progress, positive feedback and conversations this podcast has generated throughout the system.” 

Currently, there are six episodes available and can be found at northernlighthealth.org/podcast or by downloading from the following podcast platforms: Google, Apple, Spotify, and Podbean. New episodes are uploaded every two weeks. 

“Our early listenership has been encouraging for a first-time podcast,” says Dentry. “As of the beginning of September, we have achieved 3,976 unique views to our podcast site (northernlighthealth.org/podcast), with 2,564 total downloads and plays. We hope through Tim Talk and other discussions within our system, we can start to come up with meaningful solutions by tapping into the many voices of diversity that we have across our healthcare system and in our greater community.

If you wish to learn more about Tim Talk, please reach out to Karen Cashman, director, Public Relations, Northern Light Health, kcashman@northernlight.org or 207-973-6164.

Date: 09/18/2020

Northern Light Inland Hospital has quarantined ten members of our healthcare staff after they were directly or indirectly exposed to a patient with COVID-19 in the hospital. The Maine CDC has been notified and we are working with them on contact tracing, which will help identify any other staff who may have been exposed and need to quarantine.
 
We were notified on Thursday, September 17 that an Inland patient tested positive for COVID-19.
 
Based on principles and some specifics outlined in CDC guidelines and lessons learned from organizations already responding to a large patient volume from COVID-19, we are contacting all staff who had or may have had exposure to the patient or the employees and directing them to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms.
 
Because we have an obligation to protect the privacy of our patients and staff, we will not be discussing details. Hospital admissions and other services are not impacted by this situation.
 
“Safety remains our top priority,” said Dr. Gavin Ducker, co-president of Northern Light Health Medical Group and senior physician executive at Inland Hospital. “We are closely assessing how the exposures occurred so we can prevent future exposures. We will continue to communicate about the situation with our staff and the community.”
 
Terri Vieira, Inland Hospital president noted, “Inland is grateful for our community support now and throughout the pandemic. Please know that we are doing everything possible to address this situation and safeguard our community.” 

Date: 11/10/2020

We’re pleased to share that Scott Oxley, Northern Light Health senior vice president and Northern Light Acadia Hospital president, has been asked to participate in a discussion panel led by U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), along with Maine healthcare providers, experts from the Bipartisan Policy Center, and health experts on the benefits and future of telehealth for Maine and across the nation’s rural areas.

 
The pandemic has resulted in a dramatic expansion of telehealth services, especially in Maine; these services have allowed for safe access to care for millions of Americans, though the legislative, regulatory, and payment changes that made this possible are not permanent. This panel discussion will focus on how policymakers and healthcare providers can work together to consider the investments and changes needed to sustain access to 21st-century quality healthcare through telehealth to meet the needs of Americans.

 
The panel will featureJennifer Lundblad, President & CEO, Stratis Health; Dena McDonough, Associate Director, Health Project, Bipartisan Policy Center; Dr. Lisa Miller, Family Medicine Physician, Western Maine Health; and Scott Oxley, President, Northern Light Acadia Hospital.
 
When:        Friday, November 13, 2020
                        12 pm – 1:15 pm
Where:       Virtual- Register HERE

Date: 11/17/2020

Northern Light Health is pleased that Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s Investors Service have affirmed our BBB and Ba1 respective ratings.

S&P also affirmed our outlook status as “Stable.”  S&P noted, “The stable outlook reflects generally improving pre-pandemic underlying performance at Northern Light Health’s clinical assets that have produced debt service coverage and a stable balance sheet that are in line with rating level expectations. Although earnings are weak in fiscal 2020 due to the pandemic, we believe that Northern Light Health’s solid enterprise profile, stable balance sheet, and improving track record prior to the pandemic support the current rating.”  

While Moody’s affirmed our rating, we are disappointed that they changed our outlook from stable to negative. The Moody’s outlook revision reflects their expectations of very narrow prospective compliance with quarterly debt covenants over the next year given the impact COVID-19 may have on operations. Northern Light Health has not violated any debt covenants.

Overall, we have a positive story to tell. Northern Light Health remained dedicated to our employees while they were dedicated to caring for our patients, community, and one another. We weathered the coronavirus pandemic without mandatory staff furloughs or sweeping changes in staffing levels. And we are exceptionally pleased that Northern Light Health accelerated provider recruitment during the pandemic, increasing the number of providers hired by 25% over last year. More than 50 providers accepted offers of employment based only on virtual visits. This approach met COVID-19 health concerns and helped reduce our spend on locums and overall operating performance. This proactive approach was the right thing to do. As the second wave of COVID-19 is being felt across the nation, our system is prepared and responding in a thoughtful, coordinated, informed manner.

Since forced cancelations in the spring, our volume recovery has been largely exceptional, with recovery stronger in some areas than others. We remain proactive. In the coming months the work we are doing to extend our Operational Excellence program will be picking up steam throughout Northern Light Health as we continue to find areas of efficiency to meet the needs of our patients and communities.

Date: 11/18/2020

Inland-Hospital-food-donationNorthern Light Health has prioritized food insecurity in its Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for years. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need and affected individuals, families, and communities in many ways. One of the key problem areas is an increase in food insecurity for vulnerable populations due to the economic damage caused by the efforts to lessen the virus’ spread.
 
As has become our brand, Northern Light Health organizations all over the state have risen to the occasion, continuing or even increasing efforts to address food insecurity for fellow employees, patients, and the community at large.
 
Our newest member organization, Northern Light Mayo Hospital, has worked under the Partners in Community Health Grant (PICH) to embed food insecurity screening into their electronic medical record in all five of their primary care settings. The screening has since been added to the inpatient setting, Emergency Department, oncology center, and diabetes program to ensure that more patients at all touchpoints receive the “screen and intervene” approach.
 
For patients identified as at risk for food insecurity, Mayo offers a food resource guide that lists all area resources. It works closely with community partners at the Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard and the Piscataquis Regional Food Center, and local farms such as Ripley Farm (through Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Farm to Pantry program).
 
 “In rural Piscataquis County, we recognize food insecurity as a great concern and have worked hard over the last several years to develop a program that meets the needs of our vulnerable population,” says Hillary Starbird, community outreach supervisor, Northern Light Mayo Hospital. “We are proud to have food insecurity as one of our Community Health Improvement strategies and continue to work toward ensuring no one in our county is hungry.”
 
Like other Northern Light Health hospitals, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center screens patients at specific food insecurity locations during their medical appointments, including primary and specialty care offices.
 
Additionally, an onsite garden at the Northern Light Health Center on Union Street in Bangor provides fresh produce to patients in need. Some practices offer food bags to patients with enough shelf-ready food for two or three days.
 
“As a healthcare leader in our state, we have a responsibility to identify factors to health that extends beyond our walls, and do what we can to break down barriers for our patients and their families,” says Rand O’Leary, MSA, FACHE, senior vice president, Northern Light Health and president, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “No one should wake up each day wondering where their next meal will come from, and we are proud to help the people we serve live a healthier life through our Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program.” Learn more about the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors at northernlighthealth.org/emmcfood.
 
One example of employees stepping up and going above and beyond is the Masked Heroes Food Drive held in May at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. For a week, employees donated 975 pounds of food items to feed patients and fellow employees faced with food insecurity. Volunteers from the Eastern Maine Medical Center Auxiliary sorted and packaged the donations for distribution.

Also, employees made a financial contribution to the effort through the Northern Light Foundation website. Hundreds of people stepped forward to give an astounding $1,935 to help purchase additional items.

Recently, Northern Light Inland Hospital announced a $5,000 donation to the hospital from Joanne Booth and her employer, Sodexo, to support their Food is Medicine program. The grant is part of Sodexo’s “Heroes of Everyday Life” program that honors staff for their outstanding community efforts in fighting hunger. Booth is an Oakland resident and a senior manager with Sodexo’s Health Care division. Sodexo is an international food services and facilities company.
 
Inland’s Food is Medicine program helps patients at their physician practices and the hospital. Providers and staff screen patients for food insecurity and patients who have immediate needs are offered emergency food bags on the spot. Inland leaders say that a patient can’t recover from illness or live their healthiest possible life if they aren’t getting the proper nutrition. The program also provides transportation funds for Inland patients who cannot get to a foodbank on their own.
 
“Sodexo’s support of our mission to improve the health of the people and communities we serve is a great community partnership,” says Terri Vieira, president of Inland Hospital. “We are very grateful to Sodexo and Joanne Booth, who has been a champion for food stability efforts in the area. Together, we are making a difference.”
 
As the pandemic closed schools, daycares, and businesses last spring, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital and Healthy SV gave families with children an extra hand to get through tough times and stay as healthy as possible. With the help of a grant from Kohl’s, 250 backpacks were filled with nutritious food and distributed to students for safe pick up in local school districts. 
 
In addition, SVH partnered with the Good Shepherd Food Bank to bring the Food Mobile to Pittsfield in September and October. The “pantry on wheels” delivers free, high-quality, nutritious food to communities across Maine.
 
 
At Northern Light Primary Care Blue Hill, the practice participated in the Mainers Feeding Mainers program. A local farm, King Hill Farm, dropped off fresh produce each week for patients (and even employees) to take home. This initiative provided access to fresh, healthy ingredients to those in the community who may be at-risk for food insecurity or otherwise may not have the opportunity to enjoy fresh local food.
 
Northern Light Pediatric Care in Ellsworth and Northern Light Primary Care in Blue Hill join with Good Shepherd Food Bank to provide shelf-stable food to families in need. In addition to supplying families who identify as at-risk for food insecurity with community contacts and resources, our staff can provide a few days’ worth of food to help bridge the gap in securing additional support.
 
The team at Northern Light Acadia Hospital focuses on patient needs, including food security. Tucked in a hallway of Acadia’s Medication Management Unit, shelves are filled with food and personal-care items for patients to take what they need for themselves or their family. This effort started nearly two years ago and is kept stocked by donations, department fundraising, and passionate staff.
 
These are just a few examples of the incredible work being done by employees and organizations across Northern Light Health as we continue to serve the communities we serve.
 

Date: 11/25/2020

Brewer, Maine (November 25, 2020) - Northern Light Medical Transport is reporting a COVID-19 outbreak at our Dexter facility. We have identified five COVID-19 positive cases among transport staff in this region; four of these cases appear to be linked. We are working closely with the Maine CDC to conduct contact tracing and to test all regional Northern Light Medical Transport staff.

This outbreak appears to be connected with lunch breaks, and while our personal protective equipment and safety protocols work and protect our staff, this is a stark reminder that we all need to take precautions like physical distancing at all times when we are around people outside of our households.

At this time there is no indication that there have been patient exposures associated with this outbreak and we will continue to communicate as more information is available.

Northern Light Medical Transport staff from across our system have stepped up to ensure that the Dexter community has access to safe, fast emergency services while testing and tracing is completed.

No additional information will be available until after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Date: 12/07/2020

Brewer, Maine (December 07, 2020) - Many have suffered hardships in our communities and will continue to do so until the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. Northern Light Health is dedicated to supporting our communities by upholding our tradition of partnering with others to better serve and support Maine people in need. In the spirit of collaboration and in this time of extraordinary need, the statewide health delivery system made a $10,000 donation to the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services, Maine (The Alliance). This gift was made in honor and recognition of the collective voluntary service of the more than 160 board members within our integrated governance model throughout the system who have stepped up during this crisis and tirelessly give of their time and talent.

Tim Dentry, president and CEO, Northern Light Health, and Kathy Corey, chair, Northern Light Health Board of Directors said in a joint letter to board members, “At no time before has our healthcare system been as challenged or demonstrated more resiliency than in 2020, nor required more from our volunteer board members to guide us through this scourge. In years past, it was our tradition to share a small gift with each of you in appreciation for your service, loyalty, and dedication to making healthcare work for all across our great state. But this year, of all years, we wanted to ‘up our game,’ and express our humble gratitude in a timely and meaningful manner.”

The Alliance is a highly regarded nonprofit statewide membership association of community behavioral health organizations. Their work helps ensure Mainers have full access to the continuum of a recovery-oriented system of care for mental illness and substance use disorder from prevention through treatment and into peer recovery. In hearing the news, Malory Shaughnessy, executive director of the Alliance commented, “We are thrilled to be the recipient of this gift and delighted that Northern Light Health would consider us when making such a generous gesture. We are keenly aware of both the increasing need and of other fine organizations across Maine who are doing great work in this arena. This gift will help the Alliance to advocate for those who need a voice for addiction and mental health treatment services and comes at a time when the global pandemic is pushing even more folks to need these services. A heartfelt thank you to Northern Light Health for its commitment to working with our communities, healthcare providers, and to improving the health of all Mainers. This is a great example of that commitment.”  

“While we are not yet beyond this awful pandemic, we know Northern Light Health will endure and emerge better and stronger, in no small part thanks to the service of our board members,” commented Dentry. “It is their unwavering dedication, diligence, and adaptive innovation that has helped us weather this terrible storm. That is why we’d like to recognize them with this gift that will go toward uplifting Mainers by advancing statewide treatment and recovery-oriented services. Together, we are building a brighter future for Maine.”

Date: 12/09/2020

Northern Light Health, Central Maine Healthcare, and MaineGeneral Health come together with an important message for Mainers

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Brewer, Maine (December 9, 2020)
- We have reached a critical time in the COVID-19 pandemic. Case numbers are rising, and our hospitals and healthcare system are feeling the pressure. Currently, we’re seeing the highest number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths since the pandemic began. We’ve been preparing for this for months, and we’re ready, but the increase in cases makes our caregivers’ jobs much more challenging.

Every day we see examples of people not following the most basic and sound scientific advice on how to address the pandemic. For that reason, Northern Light Health joined with other healthcare systems in Maine to deliver an important message; we can’t do this without public support. It’s great that so many see healthcare workers as heroes; now it’s time people to show how much they care.

Today, during our weekly COVID-19 news briefing, John Alexander, MD, MHCM, FACEP, chief medical officer, Central Maine Healthcare and Steve Diaz, FAAFP, FACEP, chief medical officer, MaineGeneral Health joined James Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, senior physician executive for System Incident Command, Northern Light Health, and director of Clinical Education, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center  to urge Mainers to act responsibly to slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Together, the three Maine clinical leaders urged people to:

  • Mask: Wear them in any public spaces, indoors or out

  • Wash: Wash your hands often

  • Distance: Don’t gather multiple households under one roof, stay six feet apart, and take the opportunity to enjoy a quieter holiday

  • Stay home if you’re sick: Mainers like to tough it out, even if you don’t have symptoms being social while you’re COVID-19 positive can put others at risk

This news conference kicked off a statewide campaign, presented by the three healthcare systems. To view our letter to Maine people, please visit, https://northernlighthealth.org/Covid-Response.

 
 
 

Date: 12/29/2020

Eight Northern Light Health hospitals will soon receive $100,000 each to assist in covering losses experienced as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and our critical public health response. These Northern Light hospitals are Acadia Hospital, AR Gould Hospital, CA Dean Hospital, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Inland Hospital, Maine Coast Hospital, Mercy Hospital, and Sebasticook Valley Hospital.

This program was established to provide grants for healthcare providers that demonstrate a need for financial relief based on lost revenues or expenses related to the disruption of business operations caused by COVID-19. The program intends to help providers remain viable as a bridge to economic recovery by providing short-term relief with a portion of the state’s federal CARES Act relief funding. The Maine Health Care Financial Relief Grant Program is funded with $30 million made available to Maine under the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund.

The Mills Administration announced the program on November 30, with a 10-day turn-around to submit applications for financial relief. “Maine’s health care providers have risen to countless challenges throughout the pandemic, from caring for those directly and indirectly affected by COVID-19, to protecting their workforces, to partnering with Maine DHHS to expand free testing,” says Jeanne Lambrew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Northern Light Health Finance and Grant Services teamed up to quickly assess the program’s requirements, clarify eligibility, and submit applications on behalf of our eligible member organizations.

John Doyle, Northern Light Health’s vice president of Finance, is leading  efforts to secure and allocate several million dollars in federal and state recovery assistance funding, each with unique eligibility, cost allocation, and reporting requirements. “We are eternally grateful that many governmental agencies, both at the federal and state levels, have recognized the tremendous financial strain COVID-19 has placed upon the health delivery system and directed funds in support of our providers. This will be a tremendous help.”

“Our team is grateful for the opportunity to partner in support of the heroic efforts of our Northern Light Health colleagues who are caring for our patients, expanding COVID-19 testing, and very soon to be assisting with community vaccinations,” says Doug Michael, chief community health and grants officer. “We’ve been working closely with John and the Finance team to quickly seize recovery opportunities that will sustain vital patient care services while engaging in a robust public health response at this critical time.”

Date: 01/15/2021

James Jarvis, MD, physician leader for Incident Command, Northern Light Health, and director, Clinical Education, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center administers Governor Mills’ first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.Today James Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, physician leader for Incident Command, Northern Light Health, and director, Clinical Education, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, gave Governor Mills her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Blaine House. The Governor was vaccinated on the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation as part of Phase 1A as a person critical to Maine’s COVID-19 response. Governor Mills will receive the second and final dose of the Moderna vaccine in 28 days.

The Governor, who is 73, was vaccinated exactly one month after the first person in Maine, a COVID-19 ICU nurse at Maine Medical Center, received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. To date, 66,487 vaccinations have been reported in Maine.
 
Northern Light Health is actively preparing to vaccinate individuals over age 70 and those with certain at-risk conditions against the virus that causes COVID-19.  We are still awaiting detail from the state about the amount of vaccine we will be receiving. While awaiting this information, we are unable to schedule clinics at this time. We know information will change quickly, and we will keep you informed as we prepare to go live. If community members ask you, please share with them that we ask community members not to call our practices as they have no more information. For the foreseeable future, we will be unable to provide vaccination outside of our special vaccine clinics.


 

Date: 01/27/2021

In an effort to get people vaccinated faster and more efficiently, beginning February 2, Northern Light Health will offer community vaccinations for those 70 and over at the Cross Insurance Center. We started vaccinating this age group at various smaller vaccination sites across the state on January 23 as a temporary solution while we worked to establish the Cross Insurance Center site.    

 
“The smaller sites were a good stop gap measure to get shots into people’s arms as quickly as possible to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” explains Matt Marston, PharmD, associate vice president, Northern Light Pharmacy. “As vaccine shipments increase in the coming weeks and months, the Cross Insurance Center site will allow Northern Light Health to be well positioned to assist in the statewide vaccination effort.”
  
Establishing a mass vaccination site during an unprecedented global pandemic has required substantial planning and coordination within the Northern Light Health system, as well as with state and local governments. The Cross Insurance Center vaccination center will begin with a soft launch Tuesday. The goal is to vaccinate 900 on Tuesday and an additional 900 on Thursday to start. The mass vaccination site will include more than 40 fully staffed vaccination stations when it is operating at full capacity.
 
As with the smaller sites, people will need to register ahead of time to receive a vaccination appointment. Community members over the age of 70 can currently register either online at covid.northernlighthealth.org/publicvaccine or through our call center hotline, 207.204.8551.
 
New appointments are released each Monday but can be updated throughout the week if more vaccine is available. We remind people to show up no more than 10 minutes prior to their scheduled time to reduce the potential for long lines outside the facility, especially during these colder winter months. We are currently experiencing extremely high volume to both our registration website and call center. We thank the community in advance for their patience as we work to get all community members registered for vaccinations in an efficient and effective manner.
 

Date: 01/29/2021

At Northern Light Health, we work with patients to address factors of health in our communities including food insecurity, opioid use, and health education. Whether it’s in Ellsworth at Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital or in Dover Foxcroft at Northern Light Mayo Hospital, Northern Light Health is committed to delivering care focused on the needs of each person. Northern Light Health and its members provided $260,022,627 in community benefit throughout the state from October 2019 – September 2020, according to a fiscal year-end report to the community.   

“Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve continued to develop innovative community-based solutions that address our toughest health challenges and provide the best care for people all over Maine,” explains Doug Michael, associate vice president, Northern Light Community Health.

Northern Light Health members provide a wide range of free or reduced-cost programs and services to those who are sick, injured, or disabled. These community benefits are designed to improve the health of our communities and increase access to healthcare in response to identified community health needs.

The brief, bulleted Community Benefit Report is categorized by nonprofit members to easily see how Northern Light Health is working to target each region’s unique needs. The report is available on the Northern Light Health website at https://northernlighthealth.org/Community-Health-Needs-Assessment/Community-Benefit-Reports. To receive a copy of the Northern Light Health Community Benefit Report, please e-mail communitybenefits@northernlight.org.

 

 

Date: 02/08/2021

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This morning, Nirav Shah, MD, JD, director of the Maine CDC, visited the Northern Light Health COVID-19 Bangor Vaccination Site at the Cross Insurance Center. Dr. Shah came to tour the facility and learn more about the site’s operations. Currently, the site is handling 900 or more vaccinations during each clinic. Today, 400 vaccinations were planned, primarily second doses for healthcare workers and first responders who had already received their first dose. At maximum capacity, the site will be able to safely handle upwards to 5,000 vaccinations a day. However, vaccine availability still remains extremely limited.
 
During his visit, Dr. Shah shared, “This is really remarkable; it’s exactly what was needed at the right place, at the right time. Statewide, we are trying to make vaccines as available to everybody as we can, and we know one of the ways to do that is through high throughput sites like this … One of the reasons I wanted to come here today was to learn. To learn how the check-in process works, about the optimum way to draw doses, how to maximize throughput at every turn, so I’m honored to come and learn about all this myself.”
 

Date: 02/13/2021


Gov-Shah-Jarvis_CIC_13Feb21-7-(1).jpgThis morning, Governor Janet Mills along with Nirav Shah, MD, JD, director of the Maine CDC, and additional state officials visited the Northern Light Health COVID-19 Bangor Vaccination Site at the Cross Insurance Center. Governor Mills came to learn more about the process and flow of this vaccine site and how it could be replicated across the state. During a media conference following her tour, she shared, “It was a very efficient, smooth, and pleasant process, and I am so impressed. Thank you to Dr. Jarvis for heading this up, and for Northern Light for doing such an incredible job, as well as to the 160 volunteers here today. I’m delighted to be here to witness this event to admire what Northern Light has done in this locale. I’ll say that this entity is doing extraordinarily well giving shots in arms.”
 
“I was so impressed by the progress that they’ve made,” stated Dr. Shah. “We’d like to replicate the model and the operation here across the state, and so I’d like to take this moment to commend the entire Northern Light team for the progress that they’ve made … what is happening right above us that will be the pathway out of this pandemic for this state.”
 
During the media conference, Dr. Jarvis also took a moment to say a few words about recent developments that have been made to the Bangor vaccination site. “We opened our second vaccination pod today which increases our ability to vaccinate almost two fold. It is our intent to get to a point where we can see if we vaccinate 5,000 people a day at this facility. It is a joy for those of us who work here to be able to hear from people that they feel safer than they did yesterday, and that’s a wonderful thing.”
 
As the media conference was wrapping up, Dr. Shah commented on the hope he saw today at the Northern Light Health clinic. “I saw something that I hadn’t seen in the faces of people, and I haven’t seen that in about a year—which is happiness, joy, and optimism. I think sites like this and the process of vaccinating people across the state is for the first time, for many people in a long while, a sign of hope and optimism on the horizon so again that is in part due to the efforts that the team at Northern Light Health has taken. So, I’d like to take a second to thank them and commend them.” 
 

Date: 03/17/2021

Healthcare Heroes featured in 2020 Northern Light Health Annual Report.

 
kathy-knight.pngBrewer, Maine (March 17, 2021) There are many things about 2020 we would all like to forget, but there are plenty of things worth remembering too. Throughout Northern Light Health, our healthcare workers showed courage, strength, and perseverance to guide our patients and communities through an unprecedented global pandemic. We feature some of their stories in our 2020 annual report.

We compiled more than two dozen interviews with healthcare workers who were on the front lines caring for the sick as well as employees who worked quietly behind the scenes to support them. We also highlight the community members who donated items or performed acts of kindness for healthcare workers. In addition, we detail how our new president and CEO, Tim Dentry, accepted his position, and how our newest member hospital, Mayo joined the system just as COVID-19 was surfacing in Maine.

At Northern Light Health, our purpose is to make healthcare work for the people of Maine. You will see examples of this throughout the pages of this year's report.
 

Date: 03/23/2021

Northern Light Health announces the launch of two rural hospital modernization projects that will shape the future of healthcare in Hancock and Piscataquis Counties. The projects will replace century-old hospital buildings at Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital and Northern Light CA Dean Hospital (Greenville) with modern new facilities.

“Rural hospitals are closing at an accelerated rate across the country,” says Tim Dentry, president and CEO of Northern Light Health. “By thinking differently about how we deliver healthcare in rural Maine, we are building a patient-centered, sustainable model that will preserve access to care in these communities for generations to come.

The new facilities, which will be located on the existing hospital campuses, will include all private patient rooms, 24/7 full-service emergency departments, lab and imaging services, and more. A new FAA-approved helipad and ambulance garage and dormitory will be built at CA Dean Hospital. According to Dentry, the projects go beyond bricks and mortar.

“We have a unique opportunity to come together as a healthcare system to provide core services as close to home as possible and improve access to highly specialized care in innovative ways,” he says. “These future-focused projects will enhance telehealth, care coordination, and rapid medical transport to extend the services provided in our communities.”

The planning process for both projects is already underway, and construction will begin in the spring of 2022.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced that strong rural hospitals are vital to the communities they serve, and their importance has never been greater,” says Tim. “Our older facilities were not built for the way that healthcare is provided today, and they will not allow us to meet future standards of care. That’s why we believe now is the right time to move forward with plans to strengthen vital healthcare services in Hancock and Piscataquis Counties.”

Community support is expected to play a key role in funding the projects. Fundraising campaigns in Hancock and Piscataquis Counties will provide opportunities for individuals and businesses to partner with their local hospitals to make the projects a reality.

To learn more:

Date: 04/30/2021

Slugger and Northern Light Mercy Hospital remind you to get your COVID vaccine, so more of us can sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at an actual ballgame this year! Here's where you can schedule a vaccination: https://covid.northernlighthealth.org/

Date: 04/30/2021

They asked. We delivered. We knew that we needed to move quickly once the Maine CDC shared with us that they would receive enough shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to begin mass vaccinations. Thanks to months of careful planning, it took Northern Light Health just 72 hours to open our first mass vaccination site to begin the work of getting Mainers vaccinated and back to living life. That work continues today. If you haven’t already, please make your appointment to get vaccinated and help us put COVID-19 in our rear-view mirror. To register for an appointment call (207) 204-8551 or go to https://northernlighthealth.org

Date: 05/24/2021

Brewer, Maine (May 24, 2021) - Northern Light Health announced today that it will increase its minimum starting rate to $15 an hour across the organization. The adjustment has already begun and will be complete by June 1, 2021.

The investment is intended to help retain our valuable healthcare workforce and will attract new people to support Northern Light Health’s mission and the communities it serves.

“We continually evaluate our compensation to ensure that we remain very competitive. We were able to support this effort through the hard work from our leadership team and every staff member who focused on increasing access to services for our community. This is something to be celebrated,” says Paul Bolin, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Northern Light Health. He notes, “Starting rates of pay are just one component of the rich total compensation package we offer at Northern Light Health. We are proud of the comprehensive benefits package offered to all part time and full time employees including retirement programs, paid time off, wellness offerings, medical coverage, and opportunities to develop their education and professional careers.”

Date: 06/03/2021

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Brewer, Maine (June 3, 2021)
 - Joining forces with Portland-based Partners for World Health, Northern Light Health is donating much-needed medical supplies and equipment to help overwhelmed hospitals and healthcare systems in India respond to the coronavirus pandemic.   

"We have a culture of caring at Northern Light Health that includes caring for our friends and neighbors in every corner of the world, explained Tim Dentry, president and CEO, Northern Light Health. "We are fortunate to have allies like Partners for World Health to help us make a difference where it matters."

 Supplies and equipment, including N95 masks, goggles, face shields, and medical devices such as oxygen concentrators and bag valve masks (BMVs), which are devices used to assist people in breathing, were loaded onto pallets for Partners for World Health to pick up and ship to India.

"Thanks to the extraordinary discipline of our patient care team and the determination of our Supply Chain team to procure and conserve PPE, as well as the generosity of our greater Maine community, we can contribute to this worthy cause while still ensuring the absolute safety and protection of our own employees across the state," explained Mike Whelan, vice president of Facilities and Supply Chain. Partners for World Health will arrange for the supplies to be shipped to Amara Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, a state in India's southeastern coastal region.

"We are thrilled that Northern Light Health responded decisively to the challenge of finding ways to help those in India struggling to respond to the impact of COVID 19," said Elizabeth McLellan, president and founder of Partners for World Health, "When we were approached by Navneet Marwaha, MD, vice president and chief quality officer at Northern Light Health, her passion to help and her desire to ensure that PWH could do this quickly and efficiently meant that in a few short days we had a significant package pulled together, and we are readying the first of four containers set to ship out. In addition, we are working to expedite via air freight critically needed equipment - I thank Navneet, Mike Whelan and his team, and Tim Dentry, president and CEO,  Northern Light Health for their generosity and trust in our mission, operation, and values."

The first air freight shipment is expected to arrive at its destination by mid-June.
   
Partners for World Health, a non-profit that specializes in getting medical supplies to places across the globe where they are needed, is raising money for this effort and others. Anyone willing to donate can do so here.  
 

Date: 06/09/2021

diverse-nurses.jpgIncreasing the diversity of Maine’s workforce in nursing is the focus of a more than $1.7 million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to the University of Maine School of Nursing, in partnership with Northern Light Health and Morgan State University.

The four-year award by HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will address the need to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals from financially disadvantaged and underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities in Maine and, ultimately, help address the state’s shortage of nurses.

A priority of the initiative, Promoting Diversity in Nursing Education, is to capitalize on the social, cultural, and ethnic resources for in-state student diversity, says Kelley Strout, director of the School of Nursing and principal investigator on the initiative that will include first-generation college students.

Targeted student recruitment in Maine will help ensure that graduating nurses join and remain a part of communities where their skills are most needed, Strout says. Increasing diversity of both students and faculty in the School of Nursing will prepare graduates to meet workforce needs fully.

The initiative’s goals align with the mission of the UMaine President’s Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

The School of Nursing offers one of the university’s most sought-after degree programs, receiving upward of 1,400 applications for approximately 80 seats available in the fall semesters of the past five years. Nearly half of UMaine nursing students have been from out of state, and many do not remain in Maine after graduation.

“Place-bound and place-invested nurses are essential to meet the long-term needs of Maine,” Strout says. “Strategic recruitment campaigns will help identify the students best positioned to thrive in the nursing profession and will add to the state’s workforce diversity.”

The nursing workforce diversity initiative has three goals: increase access to nursing education for racial and ethnic minority and first-generation students; support the academic and professional success of racial and ethnic minority and first-generation nursing students in the bachelor’s degree program, and increase exposure and representation of racial minorities among the School of Nursing faculty.

Among the objectives in the first year of the grant, the School of Nursing will develop evidence-based holistic admission criteria with the assistance of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The goal is to reform the school’s current narrow admissions criteria that are now based on two quantitative academic measures — high school grade point average and SAT score of 1110 or higher — to be more inclusive and reflective of such factors as certified nursing assistant and other health care-related work experience, and early college coursework.

A new UMaine nursing student success coordinator will focus on student recruitment, retention and graduation as part of the holistic approach.

UMaine faculty in nursing also will tap the health care-focused diversity, equity and inclusion resources of Northern Light Health. Last fall, Northern Light established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council, directed by Marwa Hassanien. Its DEI curriculum for Northern Light staff includes those at Eastern Maine Medical Center, the primary clinical training site for the School of Nursing.

“This Initiative serves two essential purposes. First, it will help increase the diversity of our workforce, which can be challenging in a fairly homogeneous state like Maine. Second, it will complement some of Northern Light Health’s innovative work to recruit and retain nurses,” says Catharine MacLaren, vice president, Talent and Diversity, Northern Light Health. “We are fortunate to have such a valued partner as the University of Maine to help address a critical nursing shortage, which affects our health care system and our entire state.” 

A faculty exchange program with Morgan State University, Maryland’s preeminent public urban research university, and the state’s largest historically Black college and university, will be a critical resource in the development of curricula and program activities that are keenly receptive to the social determinants that often impede access to education and academic success of students from diverse, disadvantaged backgrounds. Morgan will focus initially on how best to support high-risk students, creating — in partnership with UMaine and Northern Light Heath — training and learning opportunities for faculty. The long-term goal is to have semester-long faculty exchanges between the UMaine School of Nursing and the nursing program in Morgan State’s School of Community Health and Policy.

“Our nursing program at Morgan is extremely pleased to be part of this meaningful alliance brought together by a joint commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion — both in theory and in practice,” says Maija Anderson, DNP, APRN, SAMFE, director of nursing at Morgan State University. “The HRSA grant award affords us the resources to develop opportunities of mutual benefit, to include short- and medium-term exchanges for faculty teaching across the nursing curriculum, as well as advance workforce diversity in the nursing profession.”

Date: 06/11/2021

To address urgent need for psychiatric care in Maine, Acadia Hospital  seeks to improve hospital’s facilities

Northern Light Health announces a proposed upgrade and expansion of Northern Light Acadia Hospital’s adult and pediatric inpatient services to help address the urgent, growing need for psychiatric care in Maine. The project, which will create more private rooms at the 29-year-old facility, will improve statewide access to critically needed care at one of Maine’s two private psychiatric hospitals.

"Expanding access to care for some of Maine's sickest patients isn't a local issue. Sixty-three percent of Acadia Hospital's inpatient admissions come from outside Penobscot County," says Scott Oxley, Acadia Hospital president. "With the demand for inpatient psychiatric care increasing and our patients’ needs becoming more complex, now is the right time to move forward."

Acadia Hospital can serve more patients than it currently does within its existing number of licensed inpatient beds. However, the hospital cannot use all of its 100 beds due to the current configuration of the space. "The majority of our inpatient beds are semi-private rooms with two beds per room. This was a standard design for hospitals 30 years ago, but it no longer allows us to meet the community need of today," says John Campbell, MD, FANPA, vice president, senior physician executive, chief medical informatics officer at Acadia Hospital.

Some of Acadia Hospital’s patients require a single room resulting in one bed in that room becoming unusable. Dr. Campbell explains that every day at the hospital, between 20 and 25 beds are taken “out of service” for this reason. “This lack of available beds places undue strain on emergency departments which are often the only alternative for emergency psychiatric care. Psychiatric patients can sometimes spend days in emergency rooms waiting for beds.” 

In March of 2020, Acadia Hospital saw a nearly 50% spike from the previous year in the number of psychiatric consultations provided to its 17 partnering Maine hospital emergency rooms for crises, including suicidal behavior or attempts, self-harm, behavioral outbursts, anxiety, or substance use. Acadia Hospital’s Anthony Ng, MD, DFAPA, medical director of Community Services, says that "on any given day, we have 30 to 35 patients needing a psychiatric bed in these emergency rooms, half are children and adolescents. This is a challenging situation for hospital emergency rooms and patients who would benefit from admission to a psychiatric hospital without delay."

"These pressures are far from new," acknowledges Oxley, "but the pandemic has shined a light on the urgent need for us to lead the way toward a new future of behavioral and mental healthcare for Maine people." Oxley envisions the modernization project will provide a welcoming, modern, and therapeutic environment for patients, family members, and staff. "The construction of this highly functional space is one piece of a larger, holistic approach. We're also addressing the patient need through continued investment into Acadia's community-based programs to deliver care and education in schools, in places of work, in primary care offices, and more."

The design and planning process is underway, which includes Acadia Hospital seeking regulatory approval from the State of Maine. Community support will also play a key role in funding the project. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2022.

Date: 07/01/2021

As the number of Mainers vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to expand and cases decrease, Northern Light Health continues to respond to the pandemic in real time based upon the needs of our communities. 

“Swab and Go” testing sites to close

The success of getting Mainers vaccinated against COVID-19 over the past six months has led to a decreased demand for testing and has made it possible to move testing services to medical offices and pharmacy settings. As a result, all Swab and Go testing sites will be closing and testing will be moving to alternate locations. 

  • August 1, 2021: Portland, Ellsworth, and Blue Hill area Swab and Go locations will close.

  • July 1, 2021, all other regional Swab and Go sites will close.

Up to date, regional details on new testing and vaccination sites can be found on the Northern Light Health website by clicking on Coronavirus Update. 

It is important to note that Northern Light Health’s rapid response COVID-19 testing team will continue their work to support organizations and communities addressing outbreaks.

Date: 07/12/2021

If you have a few minutes, watch this video. You will understand more about the dire situation in India and how Northern Light Health is donating critically needed medical supplies to help overwhelmed healthcare workers in the world’s second-most populous country.
 
Portland-based Partners for World Health is our partner in this endeavor and is coordinating the shipment of medical supplies and equipment, including N95 masks, goggles, face shields, and medical devices such as oxygen concentrators and bag valve masks (BVMs) to India.

 

Date: 08/05/2021

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Brewer, Maine (August 2, 2021)
 - Community members from across Maine are invited to participate in regional community health forums to help build a brighter future for Maine. These forums are part of the Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), a statewide public-private partnership that occurs every three years and includes Northern Light Health, Central Maine Healthcare, MaineGeneral Health, MaineHealth, and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The public forums will occur between September – November 2021.

The forums bring together many community stakeholders to identify priority needs, local resources and opportunities for partnership and collective action. Local hospitals, community-based organizations and public health entities use the data gathered at these forums to inform local and regional health improvement plans for Maine people. Northern Light Health member organizations will develop and publish health improvement plans for its health service areas in the spring of 2022.

Doug Michael, associate vice president of Community Health and Grants, Northern Light Health, shares, “We believe Maine can become the healthiest state in the nation. Accomplishing such a goal requires robust community involvement, a shared vision for action and partners committed to addressing priority needs. We look forward to learning from our neighbors about the issues they find most important. The Maine Shared CHNA guides us forward, it is our road map to a healthier Maine.”

Local Maine Shared CHNA planning committees will host forums and conduct community outreach to ensure feedback from those who represent the broad interests of the community, including but not limited to the medically underserved, low-income, those who may experience health disparities.

All forums will be held virtually through video conference software. Anyone from the public is welcome to attend but must register. For additional information, specific forum dates, and to register, go to northernlighthealth.org/Community-Health-Needs-Assessment/Community-Engagement.

Date: 08/20/2021

Award-winning documentary Gen Silent addresses challenges facing LGBT older adults

A special virtual screening and panel discussion of Gen Silent is scheduled for Friday, August 27 from 12 to 2:30 pm. The documentary runs approximately 75 minutes, and the panel discussion will follow. 

This event is being offered free to the public by Northern Light Acadia Hospital as part of our broader Northern Light Health sponsorship to HEAL (Health Equity Alliance) for the Summer of Pride. 

Gen Silent is an award-winning documentary that follows six LGBT older adults in Boston, Massachusetts over a year as they navigate the paid and unpaid care system. Gen Silent discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall still affects generations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people with feelings of distrust and dangerous isolation. As we witness the challenges that these men and women face, we also see hope as each subject crosses paths with an impassioned professional trying in their own way to change an entire care industry.

“Northern Light Health is committed to truly ‘seeing’ every member of the communities we serve across Maine, and we strive to better understand and appreciate the diverse perspectives and experiences of our patients and their families,” says Chris McLaughlin, LCSW, associate vice president, Community and Pediatric Services, Northern Light Acadia Hospital. “By making educational events like this available to not just our employees but the broader community at large, we can create spaces to learn and grow together and engage in the important discussions we all need to be having to ensure that our services are welcoming and affirming to all who chose care at a Northern Light Health facility.”

Featured panelists –

  • Jason Flatt, PhD, MPH, assistant professor, School of Public Health, Social & Behavioral Health Program, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

  • Marilyn R. Gugliucci, MA, PhD, professor and the director of Geriatrics Research at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM)

  • Len Kaye, D.S.W, PhD, director, UMaine Center on Aging, professor, UMaine School of Social Work

  • Dyan Walsh, MSW, executive director, Eastern Area Agency on Aging

  • Nancy Kelly, MSW, advisory committee member, SAGE Maine/Equality Maine

Date: 09/08/2021

BREWER, Maine (September 8, 2021) — Today, the American Business Immigration Coalition is hosting an Immigration and Healthcare Solutions virtual summit for members of Congress and staff. Lisa Harvey-McPherson RN, vice president of Government Relations for Northern Light Health, is joining health care leaders from across the country to discuss the need for Congress to support immigration policies that will address the critical need for health care workers in Maine and nationally.
 
Maine has a well-documented nursing workforce shortage and is projected to reach a deficit of 2,700 registered nurses by 2025. At Northern Light Health, we recruit healthcare providers to our hospitals to care for patients statewide. There is a critical need for both primary care and specialty practitioners. We recruit throughout the United States and in other countries for highly qualified physicians and nurses to relocate here; however, that work is challenged by the low number of J-1 Conrad Visas allowed each year in the State of Maine. National policy restricts Maine to just 30 J-1 Conrad Visas annually. National J-1 Visa limitations also challenge us as we work to recruit foreign nurses to work in our hospitals and home care program. Seventy-seven foreign-trained nurses are ready to work for Northern Light Health but are awaiting the visas required to come to the United States for employment.

More than one-quarter of the physicians on our active medical staff at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in northern Maine are foreign medical graduates, says Jay Reynolds, MD vice president and senior physician executive. “They fill critical roles in our primary and specialty care services. We would not be able to offer the cardiology, cancer, and inpatient services that we do if not for the many contributions they make every day. Our rural and underserved population would either need to travel 150 miles for these leading-edge services or do without. The J-1 visa program is a literal lifeline to Aroostook County.”
 
Deb Sanford, MBA, MSN, RN, vice president of Nursing and Patient Care Services, says foreign-trained nursing partners are an integral part of the care team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. Sanford cited talent, compassion, and a richness of experience, adding that, “Our patients often recognize these nurses for their skills and kindness. These same nurses have won many awards in our hospital and from our patients for the high standard of care and commitment they provide to the profession of nursing here at EMMC. Without these nurses, we would have to close services due to the shortage of nurses in Maine and across the nation.
 
At Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Melissa Skahan, vice president of Mission Integration, says they seek to close the opportunity gap by providing immigrant healthcare workers access to education and training while meeting critical labor force needs and earning competitive wages to support themselves and their families. Additionally, Skahan says, “There is a growing need for workers with bilingual and cultural skills to serve our increasingly diverse public.”
 
Lisa is briefing virtual summit attendees on our need for foreign-trained doctors and nurses. She is asking members of Congress for their support to increase the visas available for health professionals. We thank Senator Collins and Senator King for co-sponsoring the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act. This bill will enhance our nation’s nursing and physician workforce during the COVID-19 crisis by recapturing unused immigrant visas.

Date: 09/28/2021

Pfizer-IHI-Grant-(1).jpgBrewer, Maine (September 28, 2021) — Too many Mainers miss medical appointments because they lack transportation or go hungry because they are too proud to seek help. Imagine if we had a better way to uncover what people are experiencing and could instantly connect them with resources to help them find rides to a doctor’s appointment or access a food pantry?  

Northern Light Health just received a $250,000 grant from Pfizer and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to invest in our Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Screening and Data improvement processes. Social determinants of health are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health outcomes.  

“Northern Light Health is committed to improving health outcomes for all Mainers, in all the communities we serve. Healthcare organizations have a pivotal role in improving the health of the patients we serve by better understanding the environment and social conditions that impact them. We need to not only screen for these conditions that impact the health of individuals but also have a mechanism to connect people with the resources they need to support healthier lives and healthier communities. Our commitment to health equity aims to do just that by leveraging data and technology,” explains Navneet Marwaha, MD, vice president and chief quality officer, Northern Light Health.     

Northern Light Health is one of three recipients nationally to receive this highly competitive quality improvement grant award. With this award, Northern Light Health will: 

  • Establish a multidisciplinary system-level SDOH Committee to oversee enhanced response to SDOH screening and referral.

  • Recruit 4 to 6 primary care practices to participate in quality improvement projects to achieve SDOH screening rates of at least 70%.

  • Provide quality improvement support and document best practices in SDOH screening and referral workflows.

  • Work with primary care practices to reach SDOH screening and referral targets and promote the adoption of consistent documentation of screening and results.

  • Integrate enhanced ability to assess patient and community social health needs by implementing an electronic health record (EHR) Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) analytics dashboard.

  • Implement an integrated social care referral platform to improve ability to connect patients with social health needs to community resources.

“This is a wonderful opportunity,” shares Carrie Arsenault, MBA, president, Northern Light Beacon Health. “The key to helping people improve their health is to have a robust screening and referral process and the technology to track and record the data so that we can continuously review and improve our processes. We thank Pfizer and IHI for believing in us and investing in the work we are doing to make Maine a healthier place for all our people, regardless of who they are, where they live, or what they do.” The grant funding for this 15-month project became available at the beginning of September.   
 

Date: 11/10/2021

GettyImages-1211155962-(2).jpgBrewer, Maine (November 10, 2021) - Ensuring you always have access to your COVID-19 vaccination information just got easier. Northern Light Health is pleased to announce that COVID-19 vaccination records are now available as SMART Health Cards through our patient portal website and app. Our SMART Health Card feature allows patients to share limited amount of information, such as a vaccine record, with verifiers portably and securely.
 
Having access to her SMART Health Card made Ellsworth’s Jane Langley’s plans to travel to Singapore easier. She shared, “The Singapore government would only accept the SMART Health digital card. I had been in contact with state and federal officials about this matter as well as Northern Light Health. Thanks to Northern Light Health’s proactive attention to the matter, I was able to register my information with the Singapore government this week and got my Vaccinated Travel Pass!  Like many families, we’ve been waiting to reconnect with loved ones for many months. With the digital pass, I’ll be able to see my daughter and hug my new grandchild! We are eternally grateful for the responsiveness from Northern Light on this issue.”
 
James Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, physician leader, Incident Command, Northern Light Health, and director, Clinical Education, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, says “While many places in Maine do not require vaccination verification at this time, proof of vaccination is often required for travel and to attend events around the U.S. and in other countries. We are living in a digital age, and by giving our patients the option to use the SMART Health Card, we are finding another way to make healthcare work for those we are proud to serve in Maine.”
 
Northern Light Health SMART Health Cards meet U.S. and Global efforts to define a digital vaccination card standard. To learn more about the development of these standards, please visit the VCI voluntary coalition webpage, VCI.org. Community members who were vaccinated through Northern Light Health can access their SMART Health Card by logging into their patient portal at MyNorthernLightHealth from a phone, tablet, or desktop computer.
 

Date: 11/17/2021

Many of you are already aware of the tremendous work that our direct care staff do every day to care for patients who are sick with COVID-19. Many of you do this work every day. The rest of you support these efforts. We are grateful to every one of you. In our continuing efforts to share information with the public that we hope will save lives, ease the burdens on our direct care workers, and turn the tide on this pandemic, we are sharing with the you and the public, a series of videos that we hope send a powerful message, not only about the compassion with which we care for patients, but also about the steps we can take to end this deadly pandemic.   

ICU Nurses

If you want to see the care and compassion with which ICU nurses show to patients they are treating with COVID-19, please watch this video. It’s an eye-opening account of our care teams efforts to treat patients who are really sick, and in some cases dying from a largely preventable illness.


Lifeflight Crew

Operating in a small, confined space with patients who are infected with COVID-19, LifeFlight of Maine crews must take extraordinary precautions to protect themselves and care for people who are critically ill. We wanted you to see the work they do.


Home Care & Hospice Nurses

Caring for patients who are sick at home with COVID-19 poses unique challenges for Home Care & Hospice Nurses. The trunk of their cars becomes their new station for donning PPE. Their driver’s seat is their new office. Learn more about the work they do, and how it has changed during the pandemic.  

Date: 11/17/2021

Brewer, Maine (November 17, 2021) - The Maine CDC announced earlier today that “effective immediately, all Mainers age 18 years or older who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine are eligible for a booster dose at least six months after the second dose of their primary series. Those who received the single-dose J&J vaccine remain eligible for a booster dose at least two months after their initial dose.” While this is the official approval needed to begin administering these doses across Maine, please refer to the information below regarding registering to receive a vaccination through Northern Light Health. 

Matt Marston, PharmD, vice president, Northern Light Health, shares, “We have ample doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to accommodate our Maine communities. With cases on the rise throughout Maine, we look forward to being able to provide more Mainers with this additional layer of protection and reassurance. Along with additional recommended precautions, such as masking and appropriate hand hygiene, vaccination is the most effective way to control the spread of COVID-19.”
 
For many Mainers it has been nearly a year since they were first vaccinated, and since that time new COVID-19 variants (like Delta) have developed and, for some groups, new strains are more likely to cause breakthrough infections. While breakthrough infections tend to be milder and are less likely to result in hospitalization or transmission to others, they are still a risk. We encourage all Mainers to get a booster shot as soon as they are eligible.

Northern Light Health Booster Registration

Online registration for booster vaccines is available effective immediately on our Northern Light Health vaccine scheduling tool (https://covid.northernlighthealth.org/). Eligible community members may schedule a booster appointment using the scheduling tool. If they do not have access to a smart phone or computer, they should call 207-204-8551 to make an appointment. If they are having trouble getting an appointment at a Northern Light Health facility, they should visit the full list of COVID-19 vaccination sites at Vaccination Sites | Covid-19 (maine.gov) or call the Maine COVID-19 Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111

Information on “Mix-and-Match” Boosters

While any initial, two dose vaccine series must be with the same vaccine, you may mix-and match vaccine types for your booster. Those who have had more severe side effects from their first two doses, may benefit from trying a different vaccine for their booster. Mixing and matching has also been shown in early studies to provide an enhanced immunity response, particularly for those who initially received John & Johnson as their initial vaccination.

Date: 11/18/2021

As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, healthcare and frontline workers are struggling to manage the stress of dealing with the virus continually. In collaboration with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services StrengthenME program, Work Force EAP is offering free support services for all Maine healthcare and frontline workers who may be feeling down, disconnected, or discouraged.
 
“These are really trying times, particularly for healthcare and frontline workers who are often short-staffed, overworked and navigating all the personal challenges that come with living through a pandemic,” states Work Force EAP Director Sheila Thibodeau, LCSW. “We know workers need to be able to take care of themselves to provide quality care, yet there are so many barriers to accessing support. That’s why we are thrilled to partner with the State of Maine’s StrengthenME program to offer a range of free support services. If you are a healthcare or frontline worker, we are here for you.”
 
Call 1-800-769-9819, go online at www.workforceeap.com/strengthenme, or send an email to strengthenme@northernlight.org to access free support services that include individual confidential coaching sessions, wellness workshops, and connection groups.
 

Date: 11/22/2021

Imagine this: your child is complaining of a sore ear and the sniffles, and the problem seems to be getting worse. You take your child to the pediatrician to be examined. Shouldn’t an antibiotic be one of the next steps in care? Not necessarily.

“Antibiotics do a great job of battling bacterial infections, but they do not work on viruses that cause colds, flu, or COVID-19,” says Kyle Massey, PharmD, BCIDP, infectious disease pharmacist and co-director, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “Antibiotics save lives, but they aren’t the right answer for many sinus infections, and even some ear infections.”

During antibiotic awareness week, November 18-24, Northern Light Health is raising awareness about antibiotic resistance and the dangers of prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed. Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to public health.

“Without antibiotics, a cut or scrape could become life-threatening, major surgery would be much riskier, and cancer patients receiving chemotherapy would be more susceptible to infection,” says Rebekah Gass, MD, physician lead, Northern Light Infectious Disease Care and co-director, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. “When we use antibiotics responsibly, we ensure that they will continue to be effective against serious, life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia and sepsis.”

If an antibiotic is not needed, your healthcare provider will offer a treatment plan that will help you or your family member get relief from symptoms. Questions to ask your provider include:
  • Are these symptoms caused by bacteria, a virus, or something else?
  • Is an antibiotic the appropriate treatment?
  • What treatments are available to help me or my family member feel better?
  • What can my family do to stay healthy in the future?

“If you or a family member have a virus, there may be treatments available to help with symptoms,” adds Massey. “Your family’s health and comfort are your provider’s top priority, and you can expect your provider to discuss the various options available to help you feel better.”

When antibiotics are prescribed, it’s important to take the medications as directed and to talk with a healthcare provider about any side effects.

To learn more about how antibiotics are used in your care and the dangers of antibiotic resistance, please visit northernlighthealth.org/antibiotics.

Date: 11/22/2021

GerosOver the past decade, significant strides have been made in studying cancer and cancer treatment at the genetic level. Because of this, many types of cancers now have a high degree of treatment success, bringing hope and joy to individuals and their loved ones.
 
While there are high profile research centers that are doing significant work in the field of cancer genomics research, many treatment providers, like Northern Light Cancer Care, are also involved in cutting-edge research.
 
One of the difficulties of supporting sustained research is often acquiring the necessary funding. That is why a major gift made to Northern Light Cancer Care is so exciting. Jim and Cathy Gero have donated $250,000 in support of cancer genomics research, with a major goal to fund a cancer genomics research coordinator position, along with funding other critical components such as clinical trials of promising cancer treatments.
 
Their generous support not only demonstrates their commitment today, but they have also created a legacy for the future. The Geros have committed a significant gift from their estate to create the James and Cathy Gero Endowment Fund for Cancer Genomic Research to provide ongoing support to improve upon existing therapies and support advancements in oncology care for patients.
 
According to Cathy, “We love Maine and know how hard it is for people facing a cancer diagnosis. We would like to be part of an effort to enhance the ability of Northern Light Cancer Care and the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute to provide the best treatments possible. By funding genomics research at a local level, we are hoping to provide a catalyst that will lead to studies of different avenues of treatment, using the latest technology.”
 
Jim and Cathy have put out a call to action for others in the community to contribute to this effort. To that end, a major gift from The Partridge Foundation, a John and Polly Guth Charitable Fund has also joined this effort to support cancer research. It’s an exciting way to raise awareness and encourage others to support this cause.
  
Northern Light Cancer Care medical oncologist and director of clinical research, Sarah Sinclair, DO is optimistic about the possibilities the matching gift provides, “Genomic medicine is a rapidly growing field that has emerged as an important tool in improving our understanding of the biologic and molecular complexity of cancer. With the ability to obtain genomic information from an individual tumor, we can begin to personalize oncology treatment and improve upon existing therapy.”
Clinical research is essential to the continued improvement in cancer treatment. Northern Light Cancer Care is committed to supporting an active clinical trials program for cancer patients in our region. “We are grateful to the Geros for their visionary support and the lasting impact it will have on current and future patients. Their gift, and that of others, enhances our ability to further precision cancer treatment, develop innovative therapies, and provide hope and cures for cancer patients in Maine and beyond.” 
 

Date: 11/29/2021

Brewer, Maine (November 29, 2021) — On November 22, 2021, all Northern Light Health facilities began offering new patient discounts. Services performed and billed by Northern Light Health that meet the criteria below are eligible for discounts.

  • Self-pay/uninsured patients will receive an automatic discount on their total charges. This pricing aligns patient cost with the average payment Northern Light Health would receive on behalf of an insurance provider. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify, and payment plans can be arranged. For dates of service on or after November 22, 2021, patient bills, as well as online pricing lists and price estimation tools, will reflect these changes. (This discount is only available to those who are self-pay/uninsured and cannot be used in place of an individual’s insurance plan.)

  • For those patients making a full payment prior to or on the day of service or discharge, a time-of-service discount of 20% is available.

  • Patients who pay in full within 30 days of their first statement date are eligible for a 10% prompt payment discount.

Northern Light Health continues to work not only to improve access to healthcare for all community members, but to help our patients become informed healthcare consumers. We know that cost is a barrier for many people who need care. Talking about money can be hard, and many people put off care they need because they don’t know how to get information or assistance. We’re here to guide our patients through their healthcare experience, both to maintain their health and to access the care they need to improve it.

Patients with questions should visit NorthernLightHealth.org and click on Pay My Bill at the top of the page to get more information or reach out to any of our member financial assistance services departments listed on the website.

Date: 12/10/2021

Brewer, Maine (December 10, 2021) — Vaccination and boosters are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19, especially as we are now well into the holiday season. To accommodate the high demand for COVID-19 vaccine boosters, Northern Light Health will be hosting a series of vaccine clinics at the Northern Light Health Center, 885 Union Street in Bangor. Community members can begin registering for those appointments today. Registration is required and the information to do so is listed below.

Matt Marston, PharmD, vice president - Pharmacy, Northern Light Health, shares, “With the holidays upon us and more people gathering indoors, it’s essential that as many people as possible receive their COVID-19 booster so that we all, including our close friends and family, can stay safe and healthy this season. By opening these additional clinics, we hope to provide individuals in the Bangor area with an easily accessible and convenient option to receive their booster as soon as possible.”

Northern Light Health anticipates they will be able to handle at least approximately 144 patients at each clinic.

Northern Light Health Booster Registration

Online registration for booster vaccines is available effective immediately on our Northern Light Health vaccine scheduling tool (https://covid.northernlighthealth.org/). Eligible community members may schedule a booster appointment using the scheduling tool. If they do not have access to a smart phone or computer, they should call 207-204-8551 to make an appointment.

Information on “Mix-and-Match” Boosters

While any initial, two dose vaccine series must be with the same vaccine, you may mix-and match vaccine types for your booster. Those who have had more severe side effects from their first two doses, may benefit from trying a different vaccine for their booster. Mixing and matching has also been shown in early studies to provide an enhanced immunity response, particularly for those who initially received Johnson & Johnson as their initial vaccination.

Date: 12/16/2021

Terri-VieiraBangor, Maine (December 15, 2021) — Northern Light Health president and CEO Tim Dentry today announced the pending retirement of Terri Vieira, president of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley and Inland Hospitals, president of Lakewood Continuing Care, and a senior vice president of Northern Light Health. 

Vieira got her start in healthcare in 1973 as a radiology tech and later taught college-level anatomy and radiology. She has worked in various roles at healthcare organizations in Maine and has been with Northern Light Health since 2000. She became president of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in 2013, and in 2020, Vieira accepted the position of president of Northern Light Inland Hospital and Lakewood in addition to her duties at SVH. Vieira also served as president of Northern Light CA Dean Hospital from 2017 to 2020.

Vieira has seen many changes in healthcare during her career. She says the COVID-19 pandemic is leaving its mark on the health delivery system overall but notes that, “COVID-19 has brought out strengths in people we always knew existed. And it brought me back to my front-line roots. That has helped me better help those in the thick of it. As individuals and a system, we have shown we are resilient. It is hard, sure, but what is most important is that what we are doing is making a difference, caring for our patients, our communities, and ourselves. And I am both grateful and proud.”

While wishing Vieira all the best in retirement, Dentry said her voice of reason and ability to clearly communicate what others are thinking will be missed. “Terri has a gift of hearing discussion, pausing to reflect, and then summing up the heart of the conversation in a language we can all understand. Many of our Northern Light presidents see her as a leadership role model. I also consider her a friend and upon her retirement wish her great health and fortune.” He added that a successor will be named following an internal search and feedback from the hospital boards. A national candidate search is not planned at this time.

Vieira’s last day with Northern Light Health will be April 1, 2022. April Fool’s Day holds special meaning to Vieira and her two sisters. Her younger sister is also retiring that same day. Her older sister, whose birthday is April 1, is already retired. So, on April Fool’s Day 2022, the three sisters will get together to laugh, tell stories, and celebrate this new beginning for all of them. Vieira and her husband, Dean, will plan to spend as much time on the golf course as possible and enjoy their camp on Branch Lake.

Date: 12/21/2021

 

Representing Northern Light Health at the check presentation were Northern Light Mercy Hospital President Charlie Therrien (L.) and Vice President of Mission Integration Melissa Skahan (R.). Receiving the check on behalf of CHOM was Executive Director, Cullen Ryan (C.).
In what has become a holiday tradition, Northern Light Health presented a $10,000 donation to a worthy non-profit in honor of all Northern Light Health board members across the system on December 20 at Mercy Hospital’s Fore River campus. Representing Northern Light Health at the check presentation were Northern Light Mercy Hospital President Charlie Therrien and Vice President of Mission Integration Melissa Skahan.

This year’s recipient of the holiday gift is Community Housing of Maine, better known as CHOM. Often described as a small non-profit with a big mission, CHOM is the largest provider of supportive housing in Maine and seeks to create safe, stable, and inclusive communities through the development, purchase, and maintenance of high-quality affordable housing. Northern Light Health witnessed CHOM’s good work when working together to expand the successful McAuley Residence program, opening a second location in Bangor during the height of the pandemic to serve the Greater Bangor Region.

“In the true Northern Light Health tradition and spirit of partnering with others to better serve our communities and patients, we are pleased to be able to honor our system organizations’ volunteer board members this year by making a donation on their behalf to Community Housing of Maine, a nonprofit whose mission aligns with ours and whose work provides help and relief to the people of Maine most in need,” commented Northern Light Health Board Chair Kathy Corey.

In receiving the check on behalf of Community Housing of Maine, the organization’s Executive Director, Cullen Ryan, stated, “We are thrilled to be recognized by Northern Light Health and to receive this generous donation. This will make a huge difference to the vulnerable people we serve. It is our good fortune to be able to have a meaningful effect on people’s lives and being able to partner with highly effective organizations like Northern Light Health makes all of our work possible.”

At Northern Light Health, we’re building a better approach to healthcare because we believe people deserve access to care that works for them. As an integrated health delivery system serving Maine, we’re raising the bar with no-nonsense solutions that are leading the way to a healthier future for our state. Our more than 12,000 team members—in our hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, long-term and home healthcare, and ground and air medical transport and emergency care—are committed to making healthcare work for you: our patients, communities, and employees. To learn more about Northern Light Health and our locations across Maine, visit www.northernlighthealth.org

To find more about CHOM, visit their website:  www.chomhousing.org.

Date: 01/18/2022

Hugh-JonesBrewer, Maine (January 18, 2022) — Following a comprehensive search for a new senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Northern Light Health is pleased to announce that Hugh Jones will join the Northern Light team in the coming weeks. Jones comes to Northern Light Health from the Lewiston area, where he was vice president of strategy and managed care for Central Maine Healthcare.

Among other assignments, Mr. Jones will be charged with helping to advance our Integrated Strategic Financial Plan (ISFP) and ensuring alignment around these bold strategies. He will also provide leadership for marketing and communications, strategic planning, grants and community health, our external clinical affiliation relationships, and advocacy and government relations.

“I am pleased we found a candidate of Hugh’s skill and expertise so close to home,” commented Tim Dentry, president and CEO, Northern Light Health. “He already knows the state and is familiar with the statewide landscape of Northern Light Health. I look forward to welcoming him to the system and the senior leadership team. Speaking with Hugh over the weekend, he said he is excited to become part of the Northern Light team.”

Jones shared, “The mission, vision, and especially the brand promise to ‘make healthcare work for you’ really resonate with me. This compelling commitment to innovating for our communities, patients, and team members is what drew me to this opportunity in the first place. I am looking forward to getting started!”

Prior to arriving in Maine in 2020, Jones served as senior vice president and chief strategy and development officer for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tennessee, and before that he held a similar role at Mount Carmel Health System, in Columbus, Ohio. He has also held various strategy and development roles with Trinity Health and Holy Cross, as well as planning and finance roles for Kaiser Permanente. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Carleton College, studied at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and earned a Master of Business Administration from George Mason University. He also holds a healthcare management certificate from Georgetown University and completed the Global Leadership in Healthcare program at the University of Michigan.

Mr. Jones and his wife, Patricia, have two adult children. They look forward to relocating to the greater Bangor area. He will officially join the team in March. Please join me in giving Hugh a warm Northern Light Health welcome! 

Date: 01/20/2022

$3.5 million commitment from the late Subway co-founder and Maine native is the largest in the hospital’s history

Northern Light CA Dean Hospital announced it has received a $3.5 million capital campaign donation from the late Dr. Peter Buck, who had longtime ties to the Moosehead Lake region and a lifetime commitment to his beloved home state. Dr. Buck passed away on November 18, 2021.

Last July, Dr. Buck provided an anonymous challenge grant to match every dollar donated to the campaign up to $500,000. The strong community response helped complete the challenge ahead of the year-end deadline. Dr. Buck was pleased by the impact of the challenge and began to make arrangements for a second campaign gift.

“During a challenging time, this campaign really brought our community together to help preserve access to care in our region,” says Marie Vienneau, president of CA Dean Hospital. “Words cannot express our gratitude to Dr. Buck for his remarkable commitment and its impact for our patients and community.” She continues, “We are thankful for the support of every single donor who helped ensure high-quality care will continue in our area.”

Dr. Buck’s gift completes the CA Dean “Preserving the Promise” $6.2 million capital campaign to support the $18 million hospital modernization project. Included are five private rooms with acute/swing beds, a 24/7 emergency department, imaging, and a lab; a new, separate ambulance garage; an FAA-approved helipad; and renovation of the existing East Wing to house 10 private rooms with swing nursing facility beds. 

“Dr. Buck grew up in a Maine farming family. He was deeply committed to continuing the legacy of Maine’s working forests and supporting the communities and people in those regions,” says Ben Benoit, president of PCW Management, who formalized Dr. Buck’s gift intentions. “He was passionate about ensuring there was access to healthcare, education, and affordable housing in the Moosehead Lake region, which was a special place for him.” 

More than 250 individuals, employees, foundations, businesses, and grateful patients joined Dr. Buck to help CA Dean complete the $6.2 million capital campaign in less than 10 months. The project will break ground in the spring of 2022, and the new building will open in early 2023. More than 40% of the project’s cost will be funded by philanthropy.

“We are deeply grateful and inspired by Dr. Buck’s generous commitment to the people of the Moosehead Lake region, and his investment in the vital health care services CA Dean provides to the community. His gift is life changing for so many,” says Tim Dentry, president and CEO of Northern Light Health. 
 

Date: 01/21/2022

Both Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) and Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) have reviewed the long-term rating on the bonds issued for Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (now d/b/a Northern Light Health [NLH]). Moody’s revised Northern Light Health’s outlook to positive from negative and affirmed the system’s Ba1 rating. S&P reaffirmed Northern Light Health’s BBB rating with a stable outlook.
 
Moody’s noted in a report released this week that the Ba1 rating is supported by Northern Light Health’s “strategies to increase patient access and growing brand awareness, which will help offset the impact of the pandemic on volumes.” They also were reassured that a multi-year improvement plan that builds off of the success of 2021 as well as the completion of the Northern Light Mercy Hospital consolidation project, which was recently completed on January 4, will help sustain cashflow. In addition, Moody’s commented that the positive outlook reflects that “margins in fiscal 2022 will likely be relatively close to fiscal 2021 levels as continued improvement initiatives will offset pandemic-related and labor challenges.”
 
Northern Light Health senior vice president and chief financial officer, Tony Filer, CPA, shares that while the pandemic is not yet behind us, these ratings validate Northern Light Health’s commitment to our continued investment in Maine communities. “We are pleased that both S&P and Moody’s are confident in our system’s future viability. Moody’s decision to upgrade our outlook to positive futher underscores their level of certainty. Throughout the pandemic, Northern Light Health has stood strong—a united front dedicated to providing our communities with the services they need both close to home and virtually through telehealth. Our teams across Northern Light Health have risen to the challenge and through hard work, diligence, and innovation continue on our mission to make healthcare work for Maine people.”
 

Date: 02/01/2022

Northern Light Health to “Go Red” for women’s heart health on Friday, February 4



Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Each year, one in four deaths are caused by heart disease. For this reason, Northern Light Health is joining the American Heart Association and others nationally for American Heart Month throughout the month of February.

Northern Light Health hospitals from Portland to Presque Isle will “Go Red for Women,” encouraging employees and all Mainers to wear red on Friday, February 4 to help raise awareness of heart disease, particularly among women.

The following may be early warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Unusual or extreme fatigue
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Upper body discomfort (jaw, neck, back pain)

Knowing these heart attack symptoms could mean the difference between life and death. The sooner appropriate action is taken, the better the odds are for survival and decreased complications following a heart attack.

All Northern Light Health organizations encourage Mainers to move to the rhythm of a healthier heart. To learn more and for additional useful resources visit northernlighthealth.org/hearthealth.

Date: 02/02/2022

Many Northern Light Health care sites, cafeterias, and Northern Light Pharmacy accept tap to pay contactless payments through Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay using cell phones and smartwatches. As of February 1, tap to pay is temporarily unavailable at some locations. All other common payment options continue to be accepted, including credit cards, debit cards, and cash.

This change affects most Northern Light hospitals, health centers, Northern Light Pharmacy, and the cafeterias at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. It does not affect Northern Light Mayo Hospital, Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, and their care sites.

Tap to pay at these locations has been temporarily disabled while our payment vendor configures our terminals to comply with new standards from payment processors. These changes are being made to payment terminals across the country to keep transactions safe and secure and are not specific to Northern Light Health.

Northern Light Health will work with patients on convenient alternative payment options until tap to pay is resumed. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Date: 02/24/2022

Northern Light Health recognizes the value of community partners in navigating through COVID-19 in Annual Report.


Northern Light Health Annual Report 2021Brewer, Maine (February 24, 2022) Northern Light Health released its 2021 Annual Report today. The multimedia report is available in digital and print format and features six videos and accompanying articles that demonstrate the important role that community partnerships played and continue to play in Northern Light Health's efforts to guide our patients, our staff, and our communities through the second year of the global pandemic.

“While the annual report is a vehicle to share our required financial reporting information, charitable giving, and important facts and figures, it's also an important tool to share our story, and we have an above-and-beyond, and often heroic story to tell, thanks to the help of others in our community,” explains Timothy Dentry, MBA, president and CEO, Northern Light Health.

This year's report features stories about the work we are doing with our allies to vaccinate underserved populations across Maine, help businesses adapt and operate during COVID, develop and diversity our workforce, ship needed medical supplies across the world, and address the opioid epidemic and shortage of mental health beds here at home. You will find these stories and more at northernlighthealth.org/annualreport.
 

Date: 02/23/2022

Northern Light Health is pleased to announce that Randy Clark, MBA, will become Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s next president. In this role, Clark will also serve as a Northern Light Health senior vice president. He succeeds Terri Vieira, who retires on April 1, 2022.

Clark has earned a stellar reputation as a leader, colleague, and neighbor of Pittsfield and Sebasticook Valley Hospital. He began his career at the hospital as a controller in 1996, becoming vice president of Finance in 2005 and vice president of Finance and Operations in 2016. In 2021, he expanded his finance role when he also became vice president of Finance for Northern Light Inland Hospital and Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood in Waterville, with Operations added to his Inland role in January 2022.

In making the announcement, Timothy Dentry, MBA, Northern Light Health president, and CEO, said, “Randy has outstanding knowledge of healthcare operations and experience in finance, business development, and patient experience. He knows the hospital and the Sebasticook Valley region. He is well-positioned to lead the organization as it continues to focus on making healthcare work for the people we serve.”

Clark noted, “It’s been a privilege to be part of the team at Sebasticook Valley Hospital for many years, and it’s helped prepare me for this opportunity. We have many ongoing challenges to face with the pandemic and workforce shortages, but I am confident that we are headed in the right direction to keep community-based care strong in Pittsfield. I’m proud that our staff is very engaged, cares deeply about every patient, and is committed to our mission and values.” 

Clark was raised in Madison, Maine. He and his wife have two grown children, a daughter and a son, who live in Maine.

He assumes his new role on April 1, 2022.

Date: 03/01/2022

News from the Maine Hospital Association and the Maine Nursing Coalition

Maine Nursing Action Coalition & Maine Hospital Association report shows shrinking nursing shortage
  
A new report commissioned by the Maine’s Nursing Action Coalition (MeNAC) and the Maine Hospital Association (MHA) shows that Maine continues to make positive progress to improve the state’s shortage of nurses. 
  
In 2021, Maine had a shortage of 2,250 registered nurses (RNs). The adjusted forecast for the year 2025 predicts a shortage of 1,450 RNs, according to the report, conducted by the Cypress Research Group. The improved projected shortage of RNs was mostly driven by an annual increase in the number of early career and newly educated nurses. The report shows that between 2015 and 2021 there has been a dramatic increase in the number of working RNs who are younger than age 35, and 1,000 newly licensed younger RNs have been added to Maine’s workforce. 
  
Nurses in Maine are also at full employment with only 1.9% of nurses unemployed. The Cypress report notes that the number of nurses between the ages of 45 to 64 decreased in size as was originally projected. 
  
All of this is in contrast to an earlier report conducted in 2015. In 2015, MeNAC announced that Maine’s nursing workforce shortage was projected to be 3,200 RNs by 2025. Nursing leaders, nursing education programs, and hospitals worked together to support nursing programs to expand student capacity. In October of 2018, this coalition announced that Maine’s nursing education programs had begun to increase the number of nursing graduates, reducing the projected shortage to 2,700 RNs by 2025.
  
While Maine is still projected to have a shortage of RNs by 2025, reducing the projected shortage from 3,200 to 1,450 represents a tremendous partnership between nursing leaders both in practice and academia to maximize nursing student capacity in all of Maine’s nursing education programs, said, Lisa Harvey-McPherson, RN, a member of MeNAC, and Steven Michaud, president of MHA. 
  
Nursing Action Coalitions began through a partnership between AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These coalitions were formed in every state and Washington, D.C. to carry out the work of the Campaign for the Future of Nursing at the local, regional and state levels. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released a report titled: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, with the purpose of making recommendations for an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing. One of the recommendations focused on improving the effectiveness of nursing workforce, planning, and policy making with better data collection. MeNAC has focused its work on Maine’s nursing workforce data.
  
MeNAC and MHA want to thank Patricia Cirillo, president of the Cypress Research Group for her work to update the nursing workforce forecast. 
  
The full report can be viewed at http://www.themha.org/policy-advocacy/Issues/Workforce/2022Nurse-Forecast-Report.aspx.

Date: 03/08/2022

Northern Light Health becomes first company in Maine to invest in NextGen Health Residency

Brewer, Maine (March 8, 2022) -
 Northern Light Health has taken a large step forward in investing in Maine’s future by becoming the first company in the state to partner in the NextGen Health Residency, a program of the Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland, Maine. The NextGen Health Residency is designed to support first-time entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups with high-growth ideas that have the potential to fundamentally alter the way we live and work.

This innovative arrangement will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with a real-time look at the healthcare industry, a promising path for career progression, assistance with developing new skills, continuous learning opportunities, and the ability to be a part of solving some of the industry’s most challenging problems. Tim Dentry, president and CEO, Northern Light Health shared, “Northern Light Health is thrilled to take this leading step with the NextGen Health Residency. Not only are we helping to invest in the future of young, cutting-edge researchers and entrepreneurs, this is a win for all of Maine with the potential to catalyze economic growth, mobility, and opportunity throughout the region.”

Through this arrangement, Northern Light Health will make a $500,000 annual commitment for the next three years to the NextGen Health Residency as well as provide access to leading experts in the industry, mentorship, and a first-hand look at healthcare today. In turn, the program will design and initiate research, innovation, and other initiatives consistent with the strategies of Northern Light Health.

Benjamin Chesler, associate director of Entrepreneurship at The Roux Institute says, “We could not be more thrilled to have Northern Light as a Founding Partner in our NextGen Health Residency. As one of the premier health systems in Maine, their participation will help us attract some of the top entrepreneurs building the next generation of healthcare-focused companies.”

Dentry added, “By working together, we are actively creating more possibility through ideas yet to be realized, making our home state an attractive place to live and work. It’s another way we are living up to our promise to make healthcare work for Maine.”

For more on Northeastern University’s Roux Institute, visit https://roux.northeastern.edu/.

Date: 03/23/2022

McLean Hospital, Northern Light Acadia Hospital, NAMI-Maine & Bangor International Airport aim to boost mental health awareness

Inspirational photo exhibit shines a light on Mainers living with mental illness

Bangor, Maine—McLean Hospital,029A2098.jpg located just outside of Boston, Bangor International Airport (BGR), NAMI-Maine, and Northern Light Acadia Hospital are bringing an inspirational exhibit highlighting stories of people living with mental illness to Maine. The goal of the exhibit, which was formally unveiled on Monday, April 4, is to increase awareness and reduce the stigma that is too often associated with depression, anxiety, substance use, and other mental illnesses.

The Bangor exhibit is part ofAcadia employees at the unveiling ceremony Deconstructing Stigma: Changing Attitudes About Mental Health, McLean’s international mental health awareness campaign, featuring compelling portraits of courageous people who volunteer to share their stories with the hope of changing how people living with mental illness are viewed. Deconstructing Stigma initially launched in 2016 with a large installation at Boston Logan International Airport.  Since then, McLean has partnered with airports and other public venues worldwide to feature volunteers who share their stories about their experiences living with mental illness. The Bangor exhibit features several volunteers from Maine and was done in collaboration with Northern Light Acadia Hospital and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Maine.

“We are excited to bring Deconstructing Stigma to Maine and are grateful to the Bangor International Airport and our advocacy partners for supporting our efforts to heighten awareness and spark conversation about mental health,” said Scott O’Brien, director of Education Outreach for McLean Hospital. “Most of all, however, I want to express our deepest thanks to the volunteers of Deconstructing Stigma who have bravely shared their personal stories in hopes of helping others.”

The Strength of Storytelling

After witnessing a tragic event while at work, Ron began to struggle with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

“I’d start crying at bedtime, I’d start crying before I went to work. I’d explode at home and start yelling. I was in a hard spot emotionally,” explained Ron.

In time, Ron reached out for help, confiding in trusted colleagues. He was able to take time off from work, get treatment, and today is in a much better place.

Ron volunteered to be part of Deconstructing Stigma because he wants to encourage people who may be facing depression and PTSD to reach out for help. He also has a special plea for those who work in high-stress jobs to pay attention to their co-workers and look for signs of trouble.

“Stories like Ron’s are important to share because far too many people are afraid to speak up. Thankfully, Ron recognized he needed help and reached out,” said BGR Director Tony Caruso. “Thousands of people come through the airport each year. By providing space in our facility for Deconstructing Stigma, we hope Ron’s story and the others that now adorn our walls will raise awareness, provide support, and encourage our friends, family, and neighbors to seek help when they need it.”

McLean is honored to have local collaborators, including Northern Light Acadia Hospital and NAMI Maine. These two organizations are dedicated to providing mental health support to individuals and families throughout Maine.

“Acadia Hospital prides itself on maintaining strong partnerships to address the behavioral health needs of Maine people, and this is just the latest example,” said Scott Oxley, MBA, president, Northern Light Acadia Hospital and senior vice president, Northern Light Health. “We are tremendously proud to join forces with our colleagues at McLean Hospital, NAMI Maine, and our friends at Bangor International Airport to raise our voices in unison against stigma associated with mental health. We salute all of those featured on this moving display for courageously sharing their stories which hopefully inspire others to do the same.”

To learn more about mental health resources in Maine, visit the Deconstructing Stigma website.

Date: 03/31/2022

Brewer, Maine (May 31, 2022) - At Northern Light Health, care does not end at the bedside or in our practices. Whether it’s in Portland at Northern Light Mercy Hospital or in Aroostook County at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, Northern Light Health is committed to delivering care focused on the needs of each person and our communities. Addressing substance and opioid use; improving access to food, housing, and transportation; and ensuring equitable access to preventive vaccines for our vulnerable neighbors are among the many ways the health system is investing in our communities to address identified health needs throughout the state. During fiscal year 2021 (October 2020 – September 2021), Northern Light Health and its members provided $270,979,467 in community benefit throughout the state.
 
“We are committed to making healthcare work for each individual, and this means ensuring all community members have access to necessary resources. Through the pursuit of innovative community-based solutions and with the help of our community partners, we are addressing our toughest health challenges and reaching patients where they already are,” explains Doug Michael, associate vice president and chief community health officer, Northern Light Health. “Through free community classes, health education programs, transportation initiatives, and so much more, we are making care easier and more accessible for Mainers. This is our promise to our patients, families, and communities we serve.”
 
Northern Light Health members provide a wide range of free or reduced-cost programs and services to those who are sick, injured, or disabled. These community benefits are designed to improve the health of our communities and increase access to healthcare in response to identified community health needs.
 
The Northern Light Health Community Benefit Report is categorized by nonprofit members to easily see how Northern Light Health is working to target each region’s unique needs. The report is available on the Northern Light Health website at FY21-Community-Benefit-Report.pdf.aspx (northernlighthealth.org).
 

Date: 04/20/2022

Northern Light Health is pleased to announce that Tricia Mercer will become the next president of Northern Light Inland Hospital and Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood. In this role, Mercer will also serve as a Northern Light senior vice president. She will succeed Terri Vieira, who retired earlier this month.

Tim Dentry, Northern Light Health’s president and CEO said, “Tricia has excellent healthcare experience and we’re excited that she is already part of the Northern Light team, having served as associate vice president of our Medical Group Operations since 2019. She has had great success with improving access to care, enhancing provider engagement, and she is a proud Mainer who is dedicated to community involvement.”

Dentry continued, “Tricia’s background shows her core commitment to helping people. Previously, she was executive director of the Medical Group at Saratoga Hospital in New York and division administrator at UPMC-Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. She was an adjunct professor of healthcare management, a president and CEO of a medical billing company, and is a proud Navy veteran.”

Mercer shared, “I look forward to joining the Inland/Lakewood family and continuing to help Northern Light meet its mission to improve the health of the people and communities we serve. I recognize and value the caring culture we have, and I’m proud of how staff go above and beyond to make healthcare work for our patients and residents every day. I can’t wait to be part of Inland and Lakewood’s bright future and help contribute to the vitality of the greater Waterville area.” 

Mercer is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and earned an MBA in Healthcare Management. She is a graduate of Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft where she grew up and her parents still live today. She and her fiancé have five children.

Mercer begins her new role on May 9.

Inland Hospital and Lakewood are located in Waterville. They are part of Northern Light Health, an integrated health delivery system serving Maine with more than 12,000 team members across the state. For more information about locations and services, visit www.northernlighthealth.org.

Date: 05/04/2022

IMG_6810-(1).JPGOn May 4, CA Dean and Northern Light Health leaders and staff gathered with donors, local and regional officials, and community members to celebrate the start of construction on the Moosehead Lake Region’s new hospital.

“Today we reflect on our roots in the booming lumber industry of a century ago while focusing on the future of healthcare in our region, anchored by a modern, patient and family-focused hospital that will serve our community for decades to come. We’ve been anticipating the start of construction for a long time, and now, the day is finally here,” says Marie Vienneau, FACHE, president, CA Dean Hospital and senior vice president, Northern Light Health.

The new main hospital building will house five private rooms with acute/swing beds, a 24/7 emergency department, and imaging and lab services. A new, separate ambulance station and an FAA-approved helipad will also be built. The existing East Wing will be renovated to house 10 private rooms with swing beds. The design and technological capabilities of the hospital will streamline care provided by the CA Dean team and provide rapid access to experts in Bangor and beyond, when needed.

IMG_6760.JPG“The new hospital will provide us with better tools and a modern space that meets today’s standards of care. The best part is the long-term commitment it represents for our patients, communities, and staff. We know that CA Dean will be here today, tomorrow, and far into the future,” says Joseph Babbitt, MD, a CA Dean physician and Chief of the Medical Staff.

More than $6.2 million of the $23.1 million project is supported by philanthropy through the Preserving the Promise capital campaign, which was completed in just ten months. Hundreds of individuals, local businesses, foundations, and CA Dean team members donated to the campaign, including the late philanthropist Dr. Peter Buck, who provided $4 million in support. Both the new main hospital building and the ambulance station will be named in honor of the Buck Family.

“We’re grateful for Dr. Buck’s extraordinary generosity, and thankful to every person who contributed to the campaign. We would not be here today celebrating this special moment without an engaged community that understands how important this hospital is to our region. Their support will touch the lives of year-round and seasonal residents and visitors to our beautiful corner of the world for decades to come,” adds Vienneau.

Sitework is now underway at the CA Dean campus. The new hospital is expected to open in the summer of 2023, and renovations to the East Wing and site demolition will be complete in 2024. WBRC, Inc. is the project architect and Dunbar & Brawn is the general contractor.

For more information and to stay up to date on CA Dean’s hospital project, please visit NorthernLight.org/CADeanPromise.

Date: 03/23/2017

Savvy New Analytics Offer EMHS Advanced Planning Capabilities

Just think about the amount of data we routinely generate and collect on ourselves. We track how much we sleep or exercise, what we spend in a month on groceries, how many grams of sugar we consume in a day (especially when we sneak a cookie at lunch), to even our spiritual well-being—it can all be categorized, measured, shared, and displayed. We create a digital reflection of ourselves that reveals the reality between our perceived and our actual behaviors. However, the data also gives us an opportunity to course correct if we veer off the path to our better selves. Similarly, organizations like EMHS greatly benefit from tracking and marrying all its self-generated data to more clearly understand how we deliver care. What if using our data could improve the patient experience, help managers staff smarter, predict patient volume, or test the viability of a new service for our patients, like tele-primary care? That’s exactly where we are headed.

infographic of Allscripts EPSi Future State regarding EPSi Productivity, EPSi Net Revenue Modeling, EPSI Forecasting, and EPSi Cost AccountingIf you are responsible for a department budget, you’ve likely worked with the EMHS Financial Planning and Decision Support team led by manager, Randy Albert. This team is responsible for the system budget coordination, consolidation, reporting, and tracking, but that is only a portion of what they can (and will) provide for you.

Allscripts EPSi, where budgets are built, will be enhanced with other complimentary EPSi platforms in the coming months to ultimately create a suite of integrated analytics. “These new platforms (described in the column to the right) will pull together data from places like the general ledger, payroll, accounts payable, API (time and attendance), billing, electronic medical records, payer contracts, and will even integrate quality and patient safety benchmarks to help us better understand how our clinical data ties in with our cost and quality,” explains Randy.

The result will mean real-time, operational and financial statistics consistently defined and reported from all EMHS members, and displayed through user-friendly dashboards and customizable reports for leaders at all levels across the system. This data will enable users to view cost, productivity, and other key measurements about their department by diagnosis code, payer, specialty, and a variety of other data fields.

Tony Filer, EMHS senior vice president and chief financial officer explains, “We only have so much control over external influences and the changing regulatory environment affecting our industry. To bring high quality, affordable care to our patients means being more nimble in the decision making process and perfecting our day-to-day operations. With the enhancements to EPSi, we will better understand if we are staffing correctly, operating cost-effectively, optimizing financial performance, and achieving our strategic goals.”

In the near future, all leaders with access to EPSi will have a dashboard view of their departments for which they already have access. These users will see financial ratios, key performance indicators, financial performance, productivity, and more. No training will be necessary to view the dashboard going forward, as it will automatically appear on the opening screen of the EPSi web application. The EMHS Financial Planning and Decision Support team will be ready to assist leaders with understanding the data and help leverage this new information in the decision making process.

Randy’s sense of relief that these tool are nearly ready to launch is tangible—getting to this point has been a journey. “Creating these new analytic tools required a lot of work and perseverance. The staff of EMHS Financial Planning and Decision Support, EMHS IS Integration and Data Management, and EMMC Financial Planning brought this project from idea to reality. Their complete support of, and dedication to this project, has made all of the difference—this has truly been a team effort.”

Tim Dentry, EMHS senior vice president and chief operating officer knows this data will help shape our improvement priorities for the future. “Making smart decisions about department operations, or an entire healthsystem, requires a panoramic view—seeing how the parts (labor, supplies, patient demand, etc.) fit together to get the big picture. With these tools in place, we enable the organization to better meet the challenging financial environment of healthcare today and to prepare for the future.

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