News & Events

News

Date: 01/13/2020

ThinkstockPhotos-176961286-masked-girl-(1).jpg(Bangor, Maine) – After monitoring influenza across the country, the CDC indicated recently that the flu is indeed widespread. In response, on Tuesday, January 14, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center will implement temporary precautions for patients, visitors, and staff.
 
“In the past three years, our flu precautions have been successful in decreasing the spread of flu within the facility,” says James Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, senior vice president and senior physician executive, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.
 
All year long, the hospital’s two-person visitor policy protects patients and helps staff ensure there is space to provide care in a quiet, healing environment. During flu season, restrictions are enhanced and include:
  • Visitors must be 12 years or older.
  • Visitors must be free of flu-like symptoms and not have had any exposure to people with fever, cough, chills, etc.
  • If more than two visitors are waiting to see a patient, they may take a seat in the main lobby or in The Maine Café.
Family and friends are encouraged to visit only in groups of two, and to stay home if they are not feeling well. Members of the public coming to the hospital can be expected to be informed of our visitor policy and encouraged to clean their hands.
 
“Our patients have let us know they appreciate the Medical Center taking additional steps to limit visitors during flu season,” continues Dr. Jarvis. “We appreciate everyone working together to keep our hospital a place for healing.”
 
Exceptions to this policy may be made for patients at end of life or in hospice care, and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a nursing manager.

For more information on these safety measures, please visit northernlighthealth.org/emmc-flu.
 

Date: 01/16/2020

Mt. Waldo Plastics, a Frankfort, Maine-based manufacturer of tough, lightweight snow shovels, recently surpassed the $70,000 mark in donations to Champion the Cure Challenge, the region’s only fundraiser that supports local cancer treatment and research at Northern Light Cancer Care.Mt-Waldo.jpg

The 2019 Champion the Cure Challenge Corporate Champion, Mt. Waldo Plastics raises money through sales of their limited edition Pink Snofighter shovel, which is available in stores in Central, Eastern, and Downeast Maine. Two dollars from the purchase of every shovel is donated to Champion the Cure Challenge.

Pictured are Jeni Lloyd, philanthropy officer, major gifts, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Foundation and Mt. Waldo Plastics owners Stacy and Michael Thibodeau with their granddaughter Harper Jacobs.

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About Champion the Cure Challenge

Champion the Cure Challenge began in 2010 to support cancer research at EMMC Cancer Care, now Northern Light Cancer Care. Funds raised stay local to support cancer treatment and research in our communities. In 2019, more than $680,000 was raised, our largest total ever, bringing the 10-year total for the event to more than $5 million.

Date: 01/17/2020

Champion the Cure Challenge, the region’s only event whose proceeds fund local cancer treatment and research, proudly celebrates the individuals, businesses, and organizations that help bring the best treatments to Maine, contribute to future cures, and inspire others to join in the fight to defeat cancer.

Each year, The Challenge recognizes several honorees who are extraordinarily dedicated to the cause. Champion the Cure Challenge is pleased to recognize its 2020 Honorees:

Brenda Farnham, MBA, BSN, RN, OCN, Honorary Chair

Brenda has served as manager of nursing services at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute since 2005. She helped guide the opening and development of the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute, the addition of pediatric oncology and rheumatology services, and the introduction of photopheresis, a specialized treatment option for lymphoma and other conditions. Brenda relentlessly works to improve care for cancer patients and inspires her team to treat each person with skill, compassion, and quality care.

Brewer High School Cheerleaders, Youth Champion

The Brewer High School Cheerleaders create a fun, energetic atmosphere at The Challenge. They cheer on and encourage walkers, runners, and cyclists at the start/finish line and move others at the event to join the celebration of survivors and participants. Led by coach Jennifer Corneil, their cheers and cowbell ringing set the tone for a great day.

D'arcy Main-Boyington, Terry Fox Award

D’arcy’s passion for defeating cancer is fueled by her experience with diagnosis, recovery, and survivorship. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2016, D’arcy pitched the idea of holding a horseback trail ride to benefit The Challenge. She continues to provide leadership for the trail ride, and her perseverance and good nature inspire others to join the effort to improve local cancer treatment and research.

Katahdin Trust Company, Corporate Champion

Champion the Cure Challenge could not succeed without support from the business community, and Katahdin Trust Company is one of the businesses that lead the way. Katahdin Trust goes above and beyond each year by providing financial support and promoting The Challenge through radio ads and sponsoring grateful patient and staff posters. Their employees have contributed countless volunteer hours to help the event run smoothly.

Memorymaker Photography and Nancy O’Connor Photography, Volunteers of the Year

Champion the Cure Challenge is brought to life each year through the pictures taken by a talented team of volunteer photographers. The photos capture the spirit of The Challenge and are used to promote the event, recognize supporters, and inspire participation and support. The passion and commitment of our volunteers of the year are evident in the incredible images that they consistently capture, year after year.

Target, Community Champion

Target helps make Champion the Cure Challenge a family-friendly event for people of all ages through their support of Kidzone, the special area at The Challenge that offers games and prizes just for children. Target has provided thousands of toys and treats to children as well as extensive volunteer support for Kidzone. Their contributions ensure that The Challenge will be an experience that kids and families will always remember.

Date: 01/21/2020

iStock-1071896324-(1).jpgWhat better way to start the new year than with a challenge to be healthier. Beginning this month, and for the next eight months, Northern Light Sports Health athletic trainers are rolling out an initiative with RSU 22, RSU 26, and the Bangor School Department to help increase healthy habits and exercise in high school and middle school students.

The first is a Healthy Hydration Challenge where students sign up and receive a packet to track weekly hydration of water, with the overall goal to increase consumption. They will also receive a free water bottle with ounces marked on the side for easy tracking. Each student who successfully tracks for 60/70 days will get a t-shirt. The next challenge concentrates on nutrition, and the series will be completed with summer conditioning.

“We’re excited to work with the schools and students that have become a part of our athletic training family over the last several years. These challenges are an exciting way to help enrich their knowledge and come away with healthy habits they can continue to use as they get older,” explains JP Stowe, ATC, program manager, Northern Light Sports Health.

The series is a part of the Medical Center’s 2020 Community Health Improvement Plan and leverages athletic trainers, who are already embedded in the schools, to increase healthy habits and physical exercise among our youth.
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Date: 01/28/2020

Whether you love to walk, run, hike, ski, or enjoy any of the other activities Maine has to offer, ankle pain and injuries shouldn’t hold you back. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center now offers total ankle replacement (TAA), and recently successfully performed the first transfibular total ankle replacement in Maine.

Generally ideal candidates for ankle replacement include those who have no significant bony deformity, advanced arthritis, and a lifestyle that is compatible with low impact exercise or work without heavy lifting or running.

Much like a hip or knee replacement, surgeons perform TAA by removing arthritic cartilage and part of the bone from the ankle joint and replacing it with metal and plastic components. This method helps regain motion and results in less stress on other joints of the foot. “The goals of the surgery are to lessen pain, regain range of motion and improve quality of life,” explains Paul Benoit, MD, FAAOS, chief of orthopedics and orthopedic surgeon at Northern Light Orthopedics.
 

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Date: 01/28/2020

NorthernLightWOW_program-children-obesity.jpgBangor, Maine (January 28, 2020) — Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center was awarded a $100,000 grant from the New Balance Foundation (NBF) to support the hospital’s Way to Optimal Weight (WOW) pediatric weight management program. This is the first time WOW has received a grant from the Boston-based foundation that serves as the philanthropic arm to New Balance Athletics. New Balance Athletics operates three manufacturing facilities in Maine employing more than 700 associates and the New Balance Foundation has supported Maine-based non-profits for decades. The grant funds will be used to strengthen WOW’s family-focused care of Maine children and expand their successful telemedicine program to rural and underserved areas of the state.

Obesity is a complex disease process which affects nearly 30% of Maine children and young adults. “Our new partnership with the New Balance Foundation is an exciting opportunity to join forces and fully address childhood obesity through the successful prevention measures currently supported by NBF, as well as the expansion of access to treatment that WOW provides,” says WOW director Valerie O’Hara, DO, ABOM. “A focus of expansion is our TeleWOW services which bring comprehensive specialty care to our more rural communities. By combining the expertise of the New Balance Foundation, including tools developed by the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and our WOW program, we will improve the health of children and families throughout the state.”

WOW provides evidence-based comprehensive interdisciplinary care, led by an American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM), certified pediatric obesity specialist for children, adolescents, and young adults. Patients are referred to WOW by either their primary care provider or other medical specialist. WOW’s phased chronic-care model involves the patient and family with a team to implement individualized treatment protocols that best address the goals and needs of each patient. WOW patients also utilize the New Balance Recreation center at the University of Maine as part of their treatment with one-on-one support of personal trainers.

Date: 01/31/2020

Northern Light Palliative Care is pleased to announce the additional of Kevin Osgood, MD to the Kevin Osgood, MDpractice. A native of Orono, Dr. Osgood is a graduate of the University of Vermont School of Medicine and completed an emergency medicine residency at The Medical College of Georgia. He is board-certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine in emergency medicine as well as hospice and palliative medicine.
 
Palliative care is specialized care for people with serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness, and the goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Dr. Osgood brings a wealth of experience to Northern Light Health, having practiced hospice and palliative medicine at Emory University Hospital and Piedmont Hospital, both in Atlanta. He was most recently employed as a palliative care physician at Prisma Health-Richland and Baptist Hospitals in Columbia, South Carolina, but wanted to return to his home state of Maine to provide exceptional palliative care for patients in our region.
 
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Osgood or to contact the practice, call 207.973.6604. Click HERE to learn more about Northern Light Palliative Care.

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: 02/17/2020

Please join us in welcoming Peter Beaulieu, DO, MPH to Northern Light Vascular Care.

Dr. Beaulieu earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Hobart and William Smith College, his Master in Public Health from Dartmouth Medical School, and his Doctorate degree from University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. Prior to medical school, Dr. Beaulieu served with the United States Marine Corps and fought in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005.

Dr. Beaulieu has completed a Residency in Integrated Vascular Surgery at Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners through Michigan State University.

He specializes in: peripheral vascular disease, both open and endovascular surgery, as well as carotid disease and aortic surgery.

Dr. Beaulieu has returned to Maine to come back to his roots, he grew up on the coast of Maine and looks forward to again being part of this wonderful community. Welcome Dr. Beaulieu!

To contact Northern Light Vascular Care, call 207.973.6670.


 

Date: 03/05/2020

Over the last 15 years, the youth sports culture has changed dramatically. Many parents feel pressure, or are required by sports leagues and coaches, to have their child participate year-round in a sport, but what most don’t realize is that sports specialization is hurting our kids.

“Kids who specialize in one sport account for more than 50% of overuse injuries in young athletes. We want sports to be a healthy and fun thing for kids of all ages, and children who specialize in a sport early are at a greater risk of burnout due to stress, decreased motivation, and lack of enjoyment,” explains JP Stowe, ATC, program manager, Northern Light Sports Health. “With March being National Athletic Training month, giving back to communities off the field is something Northern Light Sports Health is passionate about, and we’re happy to hold these info sessions for parents, coaches, and athletes,” JP adds.

Northern Light Sports Health will hold free community sessions to discuss growing trend and different aspects of sports specialization. The discussion from a sports medicine physician, athletic trainers, and track and field coach Dave Cusano from Colby College, will be the same for each session. Dates and times for the events are:
  • March 5: 6 pm at Hampden Academy
  • March 19: 6 pm at Bangor High School
Light appetizers will be served at each event. For more information or to register visit: northernlighthealth.org/sports.
 
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Date: 03/11/2020

According to the American Sleep Association, as many as 70 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, including insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, snoring, circadian rhythm disorders, and more.
 
That is an alarming number, as sleep is a basic biologic need just like breathing and eating. Long-term effects of not getting enough sleep include poor brain function, heart disease, excessive weight gain, and even shorter life expectancy.
 
This week is National Sleep Awareness Week, a time to elevate the importance of good rest, and promote ways to improve our sleep habits. Northern Light Sleep Diagnostics is sharing information about their services in an effort to educate our community about the need for solid sleep habits, and ways they can help people suffering from sleep disorders.
 
Northern Light Sleep Diagnostics specializes in identifying and treating all types of sleep disorders, using the latest testing technology. They offer both in-house testing at their facility on State Street in Bangor and home study options, and their multidisciplinary team is dedicated to helping people get a good night’s sleep – every night.
 
To learn more about Northern Light Sleep Diagnostics and the services they provide, visit call 207.973.5892 or visit their page HERE.
 

Date: 03/18/2020

Bangor, Maine (March 18, 2020) — Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center announced today that they received notification from Maine CDC that one of their patients who presented at Walk In Care has tested positive for COVID-19. The patient has been following the guidelines for self-isolation and has not needed additional care at our facilities.

“This news confirms what we knew to be true all along, we are not immune to this virus that has already affected so much of the world. We know this is likely the first of many patients we will care for with a positive diagnosis,” commented Rand O’Leary, senior vice president, Northern Light Health, president, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “However, our entire organization has been prepping for today and the days that will follow. As a system, Northern Light Health is well positioned to care for our communities during this challenging time.”

This announcement is an opportunity to reemphasize the following CDC recommendations:
  • If you are sick and need care, call your primary care provider.
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or use hand sanitizer on hands that are visibly clean.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Make a plan to stay home for a period of time; have enough food and extra medicine on hand for an extended period of time.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaners.

You can find additional recommendations and resources on the CDC website.

Date: 03/18/2020

In an effort to streamline testing for COVID-19 virus, Northern Light Health, in conjunction with the City of Bangor, St. Joseph Healthcare, and PCHC are establishing an appointment only drive-up screening site at Bass Park in Bangor. Initially, drive-up testing will be available with a lab order only for patients who meet certain clinical criteria – individuals must call ahead for a phone screening and lab order or be referred by a caregiver at a hospital or medical practice. The site tested a limited number of patients today to assess the setup and is expected to become fully operational on Friday, March 20.

 

“We’re requiring individuals to receive a lab order for drive-up testing so we can provide the safest, most efficient testing possible and because there is strong evidence to suggest that this test is not accurate for people who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19. Someone who has the disease but does not have symptoms is likely to return a negative test,” says James Jarvis, MD, Northern Light Health.

 

Drive-up testing expedites care for all patients, including those who are visiting hospitals and clinics for medical concerns unrelated to COVID-19 virus. This approach to testing also reduces the use of, and potential infection risk associated with putting on and taking off personal protective gear.

 

Individuals who arrive at the testing site after receiving a lab order will complete a brief registration process. Then, a staff member will swab the individual’s nose. Results are returned in approximately two days. Until test results come back, anyone who has COVID-19 virus symptoms should stay home from work, school, and away from other public places.

 

A hotline is being set up for individuals to call for phone screening. Northern Light Health anticipates that it will become available on Friday.

 

By working together, greater Bangor’s healthcare organizations and the city hope to make testing as simple and straightforward as possible.

 

“Northern Light Health is pleased to collaborate with local healthcare organizations and the city on this approach to screening that has worked very well in other states,” adds Dr. Jarvis. “I’m proud of the way that the greater Bangor community has come together to respond during such an uncertain time.”

 

The Bangor site is one of many remote screening sites that Northern Light Health is setting up around Maine. For more information about testing sites at other locations, community members are asked to check their local hospital websites for announcements.

 

For the most up-to-date information, the community is encouraged to visit the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov), the Maine CDC website (www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc), and the Northern Light Health, St. Joseph Hospital, PCHC, and City of Bangor websites.

Date: 04/03/2020

You’ve heard the phrase, “Desperate times call for desperate measures?” In the case of Northern Light Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, it’s more like “Challenging times call for creative measures.”

With so many of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s services and offerings interrupted due to COVID-19, the team at Northern Light Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab is using technology to reach patients in a way that is safe, convenient, secure, and still allows them to receive the exercise and health coaching so necessary for people in rehab. Using Zoom technology, Cardiac Rehab is offering online exercise classes to patients who have access to a home computer or smart phone. Their first round of classes were held on March 27 with several patients, each of whom was appreciative of the efforts to continue to provide this important service.
 
During the class, Sue Dearborn, MS, CCEP, senior exercise physiologist, conducted exercise classes while Eileen Smith Porter, RD, CDE, worked with patients in need of food and nutrition guidance, making sure they’re following recommended diets and providing tips and support.
 
“Although we can’t be together in person, the Rehab staff is checking in on all our patients multiple times per week either by phone or video,” says Laurie LeBlanc, RN WCC, practice manager, Northern Light Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. “We are also screening for food insecurity, ensuring everyone has what they need to remain healthy and well during the pandemic. In cases where food is a concern, Rehab staff are helping to find solutions for patients in need.”
 
This is a perfect of example of how, through creative thinking and tenacity, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is making healthcare work for the people of Maine, even in the face of a public health crisis. To learn more about Northern Light Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, call 973.4600 or visit us HERE.

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: 04/20/2020

Bangor, Maine (April 20, 2020) — Last year, 160 volunteers gave 12,000 hours of service to support patients at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. These thoughtful community members donate their skills in clerical and administrative support; direct patient care and enrichment activities; and support tasks at the hospital on State Street; Northern Light Health Center, Union Street; and Lafayette Family Cancer Institute in Brewer.
 
Volunteers give their time and energy in more than 50 areas, providing companionship and comfort through social activities for rehab patients, pet therapy visits, families waiting in surgical services, checking up on vulnerable individuals living alone, providing resources for cancer patients, and much more. They also support the Maine Café and Gift Shop.
 
“Many of our volunteers are vibrant members of the community whose tremendous contributions not only help fulfill our mission, but greatly enrich the experience of our patients,” explains Stacey Coventry, MSB, director, Volunteer and Community Development Services, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.
 
“Although this year is different, and we are not able to see many of our volunteers face to face, we want to acknowledge their commitment and dedication,” continues Stacey. “To all our volunteers: we offer a hearty thank you. We appreciate all you do, and we look forward to welcoming you back to our facilities.”
 
In response to COVID-19, hundreds of community volunteers have reached out to donate hand-sewn face masks and headbands. The headbands have helped make staff more comfortable for those wearing masks all day, and soon face masks will be provided to community members who come to us for care. To learn more about how to donate these hand-made items, please visit: northernlighthealth.org.
 
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, or if you would like to learn more about the opportunities available, visit https://www.northernlighthealth.org/Locations/Eastern-Maine-Medical-Center/About-Us/Volunteering or contact Stacey at scoventry@northernlight.org or 207.973.7851.
 

Date: 04/29/2020

James_Clarke_MD_FACS-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (April 29, 2020) - Earlier today, Rand O’Leary, Senior Vice President of Northern Light Health and President of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center announced James Clarke, MD, FACS, has accepted the position of Senior Physician Executive and Senior Vice President for the Medical Center.
 
Dr. Clarke joined the organization in 2009 after transitioning from his private surgical practice in New York. Since that time, while continuing to offer surgical care to patients, he has served as Chief of Surgery and Senior Physician Executive for the Medical Center’s Medical Group. Dr. Clarke has been serving in the interim role of Senior Physician Executive since February.
 
“Dr. Clarke is a reflective, thoughtful leader with an ability to approach a challenge from different perspectives, champion the facts, and continue an ever-present focus on what is best for our patients,” shares Rand O’Leary. “His approach has proven to be a calming presence during our response to COVID-19 and will no doubt be extremely valuable as we continue forward,” he adds.
 
Dr. Clarke looks to continue the tradition of caring for those in our region, “I feel blessed to be part of this team as we work together to care for our patients, community, and each other,” he shares.
 

Date: 05/04/2020

We write this letter not only as physicians who care for cancer patients. We write this as mothers and fathers. As wives and husbands. As people with high-risk family members. As friends. As community members. And as colleagues.

We carry a lot of worry around with us these days. We worry for the health of ourselves and our families. We worry for the health of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues. We worry for our community and the significant financial toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on so many of the people we know and respect.

From both a professional and a personal perspective, we worry for the health and safety of our cancer patients, whom we continue to treat every day to help them through not only their cancer journey, but now also the additional anxieties brought on by coronavirus.

There are no words that are adequate to truly express the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on all of us, in so many different ways, both tangible and intangible.

For cancer patients, the stakes are even higher, as data suggest they have a three to five times higher risk of dying from coronavirus than the population at large. The bitter reality is that the very treatments we offer them to treat their cancer often put them at even higher risk of dying from coronavirus.
But what is worrying us more than ever now is that some cancer patients believe that they are not able to receive their treatments during this pandemic.

At Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and at Northern Light Cancer Care in Brewer, we have been working relentlessly since the coronavirus pandemic first reached our community in March 2020 to find a way to continue to treat our cancer patients with minimal delay, while keeping them safe in the process.

Patients who need diagnostic biopsies and/or other diagnostic testing are still able to get those done without delay.

Cancer surgeries are still taking place.

Patients are still being seen in clinic for necessary treatments.

We continue to see patients who, while they may not be on active treatment, still require routine monitoring of their disease. We are connecting with some of these patients in person, while others are being offered appointments by video telehealth or by phone calls. The telehealth visits in particular have been very well received by our cancer patients, who are able to “see” us without having to risk leaving their homes to do so.

It is true that, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, we have made some adjustments in the types of medications that we are giving, and the order in which we give treatments for certain cancers. But we still continue to provide treatment for any and all cancer patients who need treatment for their disease. No necessary surgeries, diagnostic studies, or treatments are being withheld.

It is also true that certain nonessential treatments and imaging/laboratory studies are being postponed for the short term if the risk outweighs the benefit. Services are never withheld if they are essential to a patient’s care.

In this time of heightened anxiety, clear communication is more important than ever. We would strongly encourage any cancer patients with concerns about their treatment plans to contact their oncology providers directly to discuss their concerns.

At Northern Light Health, we remain dedicated to caring for our community’s cancer patients. While the coronavirus pandemic may be changing the way in which we are providing that care, the quality of care we strive to provide remains unchanged. We will, as always, be here for you when you need us.

Humbly yours,

Sigrid E. Berg, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Northern Light Cancer Care

Susan E. O’Connor, MD, FACS
Surgeon, Northern Light Breast Surgery

Nadine P. SantaCruz, MD, MPH
Pediatric Oncologist and Hematologist, Northern Light Pediatric Cancer Care

John J. Swalec, MD
Section Head, Northern Light Radiation Oncology

Brad E. Waddell, MD, FACS
Surgical Oncologist, Northern Light Surgery, and Chief of Surgical Service, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center

Date: 05/08/2020

Currents-Banner-2020-virtual-Square.jpgEach year, thousands of Mainers come together to celebrate, remember, and reflect at Champion the Cure Challenge, the region’s only event whose proceeds fund local cancer patient care and research. In 2020, Champion the Cure Challenge is inviting community members to make their own challenge by going for a special walk, run, bike ride, paddle, horseback trail ride, or by participating in another favorite activity.

“Social distancing may keep us apart physically, but we can still connect virtually to take a stand against cancer,” says Allen L’Italien, RN, executive director, Northern Light Cancer Care/Lafayette Family Cancer Institute. “Patients and families affected by cancer need our support now more than ever. The virtual challenge is a great way to come together to make a difference.”

Participants are encouraged to get creative about how they take the virtual challenge and share their experiences on social media with the hashtag #YouMakeTheChallenge.

“I take the Challenge every year to help people who have been through cancer and for their families and to bring the research that is so important to saving our lives to the Bangor area,” says Gert Nesin, a cancer survivor and Champion the Cure Challenge leadership committee member. “This year, I’m going to take a hike in Baxter State Park.”

Pictures and videos of participants’ experiences will be shared at a virtual celebration on August 15. The virtual celebration will replace the in-person walk/run/cycle, paddle, and horseback trail ride events.

For 2020, in consideration of how COVID-19 has affected individuals, families, and businesses, participants can choose to pay the regular registration fee or register at no cost. For more information and to register, visit www.ctcchallenge.org.
 

Date: 05/13/2020

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center sees members of our community struggling to make ends Food Drive donationsmeet in the face of COVID-19. And, patients who eat well are more likely to heal faster – which is why it’s important to help feed those in need.

During the week of May 3-9, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center held its Masked Heroes Food Drive, inviting employees to bring in non-perishable food items. When patients come in to be seen, care team members screen them for food insecurity to better understand if they have access to food for themselves and their families. If they don’t, the Medical Center offers them a free bag of non-perishable items to take home, as well as information on additional resources available in our community.

Any left-over items are donated to Good Shepherd Food Bank to further support those in our region.
“Serving our community is built into our DNA,” says Chris Shaw, director, Clinical Operations, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “No one should have to go hungry, and once again, our staff asked for the opportunity to help our neighbors by initiating a food drive. It’s so heartwarming to see employees who are already doing so much give a little more of themselves to feed those in need.”

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Auxiliary volunteers stepped up to sort and package the donations. The food from this drive is being delivered to Northern Light Family Medicine and Residency on Union Street; Northern Light Pediatrics on Corporate Drive, and the State Street campus, all in Bangor; Northern Light Primary Care in Hampden, Brewer, Orono, and Bangor; and Northern Light Cancer Care in Brewer.

Photo caption: Chris Shaw, director, Clinical Operations and Susan Nasberg, director, Administration Support Services surrounded by boxes of food donated by Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center employees.

Date: 05/14/2020

The arrival of COVID-19 in our communities has brought with it many challenges, not the least of which is the profound effect is it has taken on each of us personally. To help our employees find a moment of solace and peace during the day, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has set up an Employee Resiliency Room.

On May 11, the Medical Center unveiled a space where employees can drop in and enjoy a moment of respite. In the room, employees can reflect, pick up information about available self-care resources, and take part in quick and easy activities to help relieve stress and connect with their own inner resilience.

In the room, a series of stations are set up, including an inspiration board where employees can take a note they find encouraging and leave a thoughtful note for someone else. They can also visit the snack station, coloring station, and more.

“Everyone has been touched by this experience, and it is important to practice self-care. The idea is to provide our folks with a place they can swing by between patients, appointments, or on a break, and practice mindfulness,” says Rev. Dr. Bernard Richardson, DST, director, Spiritual Care, the team behind the Resiliency Room idea. “Whether it’s an employee involved in the direct care of patients, someone who is trying to balance work with homeschooling their kids, or someone who has faced other struggles due to COVID-19, our hope is that people will find comfort in the Resiliency Room.”

The space will be open from May 11 through June 5 and may be extended for as long as the need continues. Staff are reminded to practice social distancing while visiting the Employee Resiliency Room.

Date: 05/26/2020

Bangor, Maine (May 26, 2020) — Strokes continue to happen, whether there’s a global pandemic or not. In fact, some studies are showing they may be more common in the setting of COVID-19. In the last couple of months across the US, there has been a drop in the number of patients being evaluated for stroke, including at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. This is especially troubling as a quick response by healthcare professionals to treat a stroke can mean the difference between a full life and a debilitated one.

“During the stay-at-home order, patients may have been reluctant to come to the Emergency Department. However, our first job is to keep our patients safe, and enhanced protocols are in place across Northern Light Health to ensure the safest environment for our patients,” explains Roople Unia, MD, interim medical director, Northern Light Stroke Care.

During National Stroke Awareness Month in May, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center reminds everyone to act FAST if they notice the sudden onset of Face drooping, Arm weakness, and Speech difficulty; it is Time to call 911. Keep in mind other stroke symptoms may include sudden vision changes, balance issues, or coordination problems.
 
Early interventions give patients the best chance of stroke recovery. “Mainers are a tough breed, who may not think they need help,” continues Dr. Unia. “We want to encourage patients to come to the Emergency Department immediately by ambulance if they sense possible stroke symptoms, so they will have the best outcomes.” By treating stroke within 4.5 hours of symptom onset, blood supply may return to the brain and the devastating effects of stroke can be minimized, which may mean less paralysis and decreased time spent in rehabilitation.
 
The best possible scenario is decreasing the risk of stroke entirely. The best way to prevent nearly 80% of strokes is by adopting long term lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, eating more fruits and vegetables, quitting smoking, and seeing a primary care provider regularly to manage risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
 
To learn more about stroke information, visit the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. Please contact Northern Light Stroke Care, by calling 207.973.8278.
 

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: 06/30/2020

Bangor, Maine (June 30, 2020) — Sean Barnett, MD, MS, FACS, FAAP has recently joined Northern Light Pediatric Surgery where he will specialize in all aspects of pediatric surgery using minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Barnett performs neonatal surgery, including congenital and colorectal malformations, thoracic surgery, and oncologic surgery.
 
Dr. Barnett earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Human Anatomy from Purdue University, and received his medical education from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton. He completed a general surgical residency and fellowship in Surgical Infectious Disease at University of Minnesota School of Medicine, as well as a fellowship in Pediatric Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.
 
Dr. Barnett is board certified by the American Board of Surgery with special qualifications in Pediatric Surgery and retains a position as Associate Professor of Surgery at Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton.
 
About his philosophy of care, Dr. Barnett says, “I can think of no greater responsibility than to take care of children. I try to be available to explain things to patients and their parents through any means, making sure they understand a diagnosis, and what to expect with surgery, including drawing pictures and diagrams. I recognize that every child and situation is different, and I do everything I can to help put families at ease during one of the most stressful times in their lives.”
 
If you have a child who needs a referral to Northern Light Pediatric Surgery, please have their primary care provider call 207.973.8853.
 

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: 07/06/2020

As with any hospital or medical institution, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center always has the safety our patients as our highest, most important priority. And while we are proud of our focus on safety, we recognize there are always ways to improve and do things better.

Over the past year, the Medical Center has been adopting CUSP, or Comprehensive Unit Safety Program, an approach that is used by healthcare organizations across the country to improve safety. For example, CUSP was used to help drastically reduced hospital-acquired infections nationwide. One such project, called On the CUSP: Stop BSI, reduced central line-associated bloodstream infections in 44 states by 40 percent while saving an estimated 500 lives!

The goal of CUSP is to combine improved teamwork, clinical best practices, and the science of safety to address safety concerns. CUSP provides caregivers with training, resources, and tools to address potential safety issues, and then empowers them to make the grassroots changes necessary to improve patient care.

Several teams at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center are focusing on ensuring lab specimens are taken and processed safely. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Grant 7 Labor and Delivery, and Grant 8 Pediatrics have identified this effort as one of their projects and have implemented a two-nurse verification system to ensure accuracy. All of these departments have seen positive results from their work.

“The great thing about CUSP is that it is entirely staff driven,” says Deb Sanford, MBA, MSN, RN, vice president, Nursing and Patient Care Services. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of our CUSP teams as it relates to patient and staff safety. It will be exciting to see not only what other departments come up with for projects, but the anticipated positive results of those projects.”

WATCH: Northern Light AR Gould CUSP Story

Date: 07/08/2020

Sheep for a Cure, an initiative to join Maple Crest Farm activities, the International Back to Back Wool Challenge, and Maine State Shearing Competition into one event day, recently presented a check for $3,400 to Champion the Cure Challenge, the region’s largest local cancer fundraising event. The donation will support cancer research and patient care at Northern Light Cancer Care.

At the International Back to Back Competition, participants shear the sheep, spin and ply yarn, and knit a long-sleeve sweater, all in one day. Teams use the same sweater pattern and follow the same rules.

The 2020 Maine competition was canceled due to COVID-19, but participants were still able to raise money for Champion the Cure Challenge. Plans are underway for next year’s event on June 16, 2021.

In addition to raising money, Sheep for a Cure increases awareness about sheep and all that they provide to us.

For more information about Sheep for a Cure, visit staceysspinninghaven.com or maplecrestfarm.me. To learn more about Champion the Cure Challenge, visit ctcchallenge.org. 

Date: 07/13/2020

For children who are experiencing a loved one’s breast cancer diagnosis, it can be difficult during the best of circumstances. During this time when social distancing is so important, it can be even harder. The Breast Cancer Advisory Board at Northern Light Cancer Care is building a network of support for families affected by breast cancer and has found a way to grow a little hope... in the form of sunflowers!
 
On Tuesday, July 14, families experiencing breast cancer are encouraged to stop by Northern Light Cancer Care where a team will be handing out seedlings to families interested in planting and growing sunflowers. Patients and their families may stop by Lafayette Family Cancer Institute from 3 to 6 pm, wearing a face covering, to pick up sunflower seedlings to plant at home.
 
“Children with a parent facing cancer have unique challenges, and we feel shared experiences can help these families during difficult times,” explains Michelle Allen, patient and, Breast Cancer Advisory Board member at Northern Light Cancer Care. “Since the virus took hold, all of us are missing our community’s support. We wanted to build a safe, shared activity that would give families something fun to do together, while helping everyone feel more connected.”
 
After the plants grow, participants can share a snapshot of their families with the sunflowers, and the photos will be posted in an online virtual garden for everyone to enjoy.
 
Michelle continues, “Since it isn’t safe for patients who are immunocompromised to gather and plant a real garden together, this virtual activity still allows us to safely connect, in a different way.”
 
Members of the media interested in covering the event and speaking with Breast Cancer Advisory Board members, contact Marketing and Communications by calling 207.973.9530 or emailing emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.
 

Date: 07/21/2020

Northern Light Neurosurgery and Spine is pleased to announce the addition of James MacNutt, DO, FACS to the practice. Dr. MacNutt earned his bachelor’s degree at Holy Cross and his doctorate from University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed a neurosurgery residency at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is thrilled to return to New England after working in Minnesota for the past ten years.

Board certified in neurosurgery by the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery, Dr. MacNutt specializes in:
•    Degenerative spine conditions, including adult scoliosis
•    Minimally invasive spine surgery
•    Sacroiliac joint fusion
•    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
•    Peripheral nerve disorders – outside brain and spine cord areas
•    Kyphoplasty - bone cement for fractures
•    Brain tumors

If you or someone you know needs a referral to Northern Light Neurosurgery and Spine, please have a primary care provider call 207.973.9949.

MacNutt-James-DO-(1).jpg

Date: 07/22/2020

By 2025, Maine will have a workforce shortage of close to 3,200 nurses. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has developed several strategic initiatives to combat this shortfall. The RN Sponsorship Program is one of them.

Northern Light Health is committed to the advancement of their employees. This program is one of many that are available to help our employees, who are rooted in the community, and in tune to the needs of their patients, reach their full potential.

Bridget Squires, RN, Supplemental Staffing, is the first person to graduate from the Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center RN Sponsorship Program. In this inaugural program, participants attend classes while receiving full time pay and benefits, support from a mentor, and payment for program tuition for up to two years.

One of the many benefits of the RN Sponsorship Program is the ability for participants to advance their experience.  Bridget began her career at the Medical Center as patient observer, then to a CNA and finally now, an RN. She has developed into an extraordinary healthcare professional whose talents add to the nursing team.

Ali Worster, Esq., vice president, Human Resources, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, talks about meeting Bridget for the first time, “When we first met, Bridget was compassionate, dedicated, and radiated a warmth that we knew would have a positive impact on our patients. We are so proud to have her join the ranks of our skilled and devoted nurses.”

For information about the RN Sponsorship Program, please call Stacey Coventry, director of Volunteer and Community Development Services, at 207.973.7851.

Bridget-Squires_edited-(1).JPG


 

Date: 07/22/2020

Approximately half the clients at Northern Light Hearing Care are pediatric patients, and one of the elements of the team’s work is using sound booths for testing. Typically, sound booths are dull, dimly lit, and completely silent, and can be a cold and unwelcoming space, especially for children.

The team recently partnered with Mark McCollough, wildlife biologist and artist, who has painted murals in other areas of the Medical Center. Thanks to Mark, these dull booths were transformed into a magical forest of treehouse adventures!

Jaime Welsey, AuD, audiologist, Northern Light Hearing Care, says, “Treehouses work well for this area because you’re opening the sound booth door into a small space, like you would in a treehouse. Mark’s artwork warms the space, making it inviting and fun.”

Mark says, "I enjoyed creating these whimsical animals: a fox talking to a raccoon with a tin can and string telephone, a raccoon in a hollow tree with headphones, lightning bugs signaling in Morse Code, chickadees, and shooting stars.”











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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: 08/12/2020

Janese Laster, MD has returned to Northern Light Gastroenterology following the completion of aJanese Laster, MD fellowship in bariatric endoscopy at HM University Sanchinarro Hospital in Madrid. Dr. Laster received her undergraduate degree in psychology/pre-medicine from Spelman College in Atlanta and medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston.  She completed both her residency in Internal medicine and fellowship in gastroenterology at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. She then completed the Nestle Clinical Nutrition fellowship as well.  

She is quadruple board certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Obesity medicine, and is a physician nutrition specialist.

Dr. Laster specializes in nutrition, obesity medicine, and bariatric endoscopy and looks forward to using these experiences to bring care to Bangor and the surrounding rural areas of Maine.

To reach Dr. Laster, patients should speak with their primary care physician (PCP) and request a referral to Northern Light Gastroenterology at 207.973.4266.

Date: 08/18/2020

Installing a car seat can be a challenge, but it's important to get the installation right so that the car seat can work properly in a crash.

On Saturday, August 22, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Safe Kids Maine, and Quirk Chevrolet are partnering up to offer free safety checks.

The expert technicians at this car seat safety event will check for recalls and thoroughly evaluate every car seat to ensure they are the right size.

The clinic will take place between 10 am and 1 pm at Quirk Chevrolet, 293 Hogan Road. Face coverings are required and are available on location if needed. Car seat technicians will be wearing gloves and sanitizing between appointments. To ensure time to prepare between checks, appointments are required by visiting MaineSeatCheck.org.

This free car seat inspection event is made possible thanks to the support of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
 
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Date: 08/28/2020

Bakhtier Nurmukhamedov, MD has joined the growing team at Northern Light Neurology. Bakhtier Nurmukhamedov, MD

Dr. Nurmukhamedov received his medical degree and completed an internship in internal medicine at Tashkent Medical Academy, and a residency in internal medicine and neurology at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital. Having just completed his fellowship in epilepsy from Mt. Sinai Hospital, Icahn School of Medicine, Dr. Nurmukhamedov is board certified in neurology and epilepsy from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Nurmukhamedov specializes in epilepsy, seizure disorders, electroencephalogram, general neurology, neurodegenerative disorders, neuromuscular, and non-epileptic neurological disorders.

Through true compassion and respect, he believes that each patient must be at the center of their own individualized care and works to equip his patients and their families with the confidence and knowledge necessary to achieve the best outcome possible. Dr. Nurmukhamedov looks forward to enjoying all Maine has to offer, including hiking, and other outdoor activities. He looks forward to working with our community members to meet their neurological needs.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Nurmukhamedov to Northern Light Health.

Date: 09/04/2020

Northern Light Eye Care is thrilled to welcome George Shafranov, MD to Maine.George Shafranov, MD

Dr. Shafranov is a board-certified ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialist. Prior to joining Northern Light Health, he was in private practice in Connecticut and taught at Yale University as an associate clinical professor. For six years, previous to starting his own practice, Dr. Shafranov was the Director of Glaucoma section and Glaucoma Fellowship at the Department of Ophthalmology at Yale University as an associate professor of ophthalmology.

Dr. Shafranov received his medical degree from First Leningrad Medical School in St. Petersburg, Russia. He completed internship at New York University, and ophthalmology residency at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Dr. Shafranov completed glaucoma fellowship at the University of Louisville.

Working with patients to help them achieve their best possible vision through the treatment of glaucoma and cataract surgery, Dr. Shafranov has contributed to further advancement in the field of glaucoma research by being one of the principal investigators in multiple clinical studies, including national studies, such as Advanced Glaucoma Intervention Study (AGIS) and Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS).

Dr. Shafranov is a co-author of Shields’ Textbook of Glaucoma, 5th edition, and he also co-wrote several other books on glaucoma. He published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals and has been a reviewer for the Journal of Glaucoma, a peer-reviewed publication presenting recent development in diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Dr. Shafranov is a highly sought-after lecturer. He gave numerous lectures on various aspects of glaucoma across the US, at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meetings, Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology in Chile and Puerto Rico, and at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Brazil. He trained many excellent glaucoma surgeons in US and abroad.

He is a member and a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

To make an appointment with Dr. Shafranov, call the team at Northern Light Eye Care at 207.973.8876.

Date: 09/09/2020

Northern Light Rehabilitation is pleased to announce that Mary Macy, MD has joined the team.
Mary Macy, MD
Dr. Macy earned her undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University and her medical degree at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She completed an internship at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, and her Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) residency at Sinai-Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.  She underwent flight surgery training at Naval Aerospace Medical Institute and is currently finishing up a master’s degree in Health Informatics from University of South Florida.

A retired Commander of the US Navy, Dr. Macy’s previous work experience includes positions at Physical Rehabilitation of Southern Maine, North Mississippi Medical Center, and as medical director at Phoebe Putney Inpatient Rehabilitation in Georgia.

She is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and a fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

To reach Dr. Macy and her colleagues at Northern Light Rehabilitation at the Union Street Health Center in Bangor, call 207.973.8998.
 

Date: 09/15/2020

Northern Light Cardiology is pleased to share that Thomas Earl, MD, FACC, FSCAI has joined the Thomas Earl, MD, FACC, FSCAIteam.

Dr. Earl earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Providence College and went on to attend medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University. His extensive post-graduate training includes an internship, residency program, and two fellowships (in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology) at Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Rhode Island Hospital/The Miriam Hospital in Providence.

Dr. Earl’s previous positions include medical director at Cardiac and Vascular Research Center of Northern Michigan and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital. Since 2013, Dr. Earl has been an interventional cardiologist, also at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital.

Dr. Earl is a fellow of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and the American College of Cardiology. His specialties include coronary artery interventions, chronic total occlusion interventions, radial artery catheterization, high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention, consultative cardiology, and clinical research. Dr. Earl has contributed to numerous medical publications and has been an investigator for several clinical research studies.

Dr. Earl is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular disease, and by the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology.

To reach Northern Light Cardiology and Dr. Earl, call 207.275.3800.

Date: 09/17/2020

051Q1422_H-(1).JPGInstalling a car seat can be a challenge, but it's important to get the installation right so that the car seat can work properly in a crash.
 
On Saturday, September 26, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Safe Kids Maine, and Quirk Chevrolet are partnering up to offer free safety checks.
 
The expert technicians at this car seat safety event will check for recalls and thoroughly evaluate every car seat to ensure they are the right size.
 
The clinic will take place between 10 am and 1 pm at Quirk Chevrolet, 293 Hogan Road. Face coverings are required and are available on location if needed. Car seat technicians will be wearing gloves and sanitizing between appointments. To ensure time to prepare between checks, appointments are required by visiting MaineSeatCheck.org.
 
This free car seat inspection event is made possible thanks to the support of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
 
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Date: 09/22/2020

Recently, Eastern Maine Medical Center charge nurse Brock Trepanier, RN joined staff from throughout the hospital in lining the hallways in silence to pay respect to a patient who had a serious illness from which she would not recover. This special gesture honored a patient who was giving the ultimate gift of life: the gift of organ and tissue donation.

The “honor walk” has become a standard way for staff to show appreciation for patients whose heroic, final act is saving and improving the lives of others.

“It’s hard for these families, because often whatever leads up to donation is tragic,” says Brock. “Families may not know who gets the donated organs and how it affects the lives of others, so this is a way to show gratitude and appreciation right up front.”

Families may choose to participate by sharing a few words about their loved one and joining the care team on the walk to the operating room. Honor walks are held with the permission of patients’ families.

“It’s an emotional moment,” adds Brock. “Families are grateful to have other people there to support them and show respect for the patient and their donation of life.”

In 2019, 24 lives were saved by organ donors who gave the ultimate gift of life at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, and more than 1000 lives were enhanced through tissue and cornea donation. Transplant teams throughout New England work with New England Donor Services to procure organs from suitable Medical Center patients, then transplant the organs at transplant centers.

Eastern Maine Medical Center recently unveiled a large banner in the lobby that honors those who improved lives through organ and tissue donation. EMMC was recently recognized by New England Donor Services at the platinum level – the highest level awarded – for the third year in a row for its efforts to educate employees and the community and encourage new registrations to the national organ donor registry.

“Honor walks are a compassionate way to recognize the patient’s special gift and support the family,” says Marc Edelman, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “That’s why we recently made the decision to honor requests for this touching tribute.”

To learn more about the honor walks and explore Eastern Maine Medical Center’s special Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness Week, visit northernlighthealth.org/donatelife.

Date: 09/28/2020

With many people now working remotely or staying at home more often due to COVID-19, Northern Medical Center volunteersLight Eastern Maine Medical Center offers a great opportunity to reconnect and engage with others: join our amazing Volunteer Team!

In 2019, 160 volunteers gave more than 12,000 hours of service to patients and staff. These thoughtful community members donate their skills in clerical and administrative support, direct patient care and enrichment activities, and support tasks at the Medical Center on State Street, the Northern Light Health Center on Union Street in Bangor, and Northern Light Cancer Care in Brewer.

Currently, volunteers are needed in the lab to build COVID-19 testing kits, at Northern Light Cancer Care to help organize our community food pantry, and more. Those interested can view volunteer options at northernlighthealth.org/emmcvolunteer.

“You should see the smiles our volunteers bring to our patients,” says Stacey Coventry, director of volunteer and community development services, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “And our volunteers tell us time and again that they feel such satisfaction from giving back. It’s really a special thing to be a part of, and we couldn’t do what we do without them.”

Anyone interested must be at least 18 years old and will need to complete an application to begin the process. In addition, we interview and conduct a background check, and require volunteers to undergo a health screening to ensure patients and staff are kept safe. We’re also screening everyone who enters the Medical Center, checking temperatures, and providing personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, and other items to lower the threat of infection.

Questions about the Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Volunteer Program may be directed to Katelyn Stoddard, volunteer associate, at 207.973.7850 or at kstoddard@northernlight.org.

Date: 09/29/2020

Bangor-Savings-Bank-1.jpgRepresentatives from Northern Light Cancer Care and Bangor Savings Bank recently came together at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute for a check presentation and celebration of the bank’s $25,000 contribution to the Hair Preservation Campaign.

“We are grateful to Northern Light Health and the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute for leading the campaign to bring breakthrough technology to Maine to support the emotional, mental, and physical journey of those battling cancer,” says Bob Montgomery-Rice, president and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank. “Cancer has affected so many of our lives, and we are glad to provide support for an initiative that will help patients undergoing chemotherapy have access to therapies that can provide them with a better quality of life during treatment.”

The Hair Preservation Campaign, in memory of businesswoman and community leader Robin Ball, will provide access to scalp cooling technology that can reduce hair loss for people who are being treated for cancer. Scalp cooling can help patients feel more like themselves and potentially reduce their stress and anxiety. The money raised will cover the equipment lease and offset the cost of silicone caps for each patient, which are not covered by insurance.

“Bangor Savings Bank has always been a leader in the fight against cancer in our communities,” says Allen L’Italien, RN, executive director, Lafayette Family Cancer Institute. “Their support of the Hair Preservation Campaign continues a legacy of giving that has improved care and quality of life for patients throughout the region. We’re grateful for Bangor Savings Bank’s continuing commitment to making a difference in the lives of the region’s growing cancer population.”

Bangor Savings Bank’s generous donation brings the campaign total to nearly $164,000. To learn more and contribute, please visit northernlighthealth.org/beautifulhair.

Date: 10/13/2020

It was an exciting summer for Northern Light Pediatric Primary care as they welcomed three new providers to their team!
 
  Kate Hentschel, MD, earned her medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and completed her pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She enjoys seeing children of all ages and getting to know the whole family. She has a particular interest in wellness and preventive medicine, including encouraging healthy eating habits and active lifestyles. She also enjoys hiking, exploring new places, and doing jigsaw puzzles.
 
  Yorgo Zahlanie, MD, earned his medical degree from the American University of Beirut, and completed a pediatric residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University and a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He enjoys watching movies, trying different types of foods, hanging out with friends, and walking.
 
  Ann B. Waitt, CPNP, earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Southern Maine in and her Master of Science in nursing from Simmons College. Ann is keenly interested in all aspects of children’s health and wellness, and when she’s not helping families stay healthy, she enjoys staying active, listening to music, knitting and quilting, and spending time with her family.
 


All three providers are accepting new patients! Visit matchme.emmc.org or call 973-7090.
 

Date: 10/13/2020

At Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, our volunteers are invaluable members of our team, Larry Malonebenefitting our patients, staff, and organization. In 2019, 160 volunteers gave an astonishing 12,000 hours of service to support patients and staff.

In honor of these volunteers and their remarkable dedication, the Medical Center has created an award, the Luminary Award, to be presented annually to a person nominated by our employees.

This year, five outstanding volunteers were nominated:
  • Don Libby – 910 volunteer hours
  • Lee White – 1,028 volunteer hours
  • Melody Joliat – 1,428 volunteer hours
  • Larry Malone – 2,803 volunteer hours
  • Herb Skidgel, Sr. – 11,638 volunteer hours

We are pleased to announce that Larry Malone (pictured) has been named the recipient of the inaugural Luminary Award!

Larry began volunteering at Northern Light Rehabilitation after receiving treatment there for a shoulder injury and witnessing the benefits of the program. In his many years there, he accrued nearly 3,000 volunteer hours and touched the lives of everyone who met him. Sadly, Larry passed away earlier this year, but his heart, spirit, and legacy live on. In September, we welcomed Larry’s wife, son, and daughter to the Medical Center to present them with the award, posthumously. They were also informed that the Luminary Award has been named for Larry in perpetuity. From here forward, our highest volunteer honor will be known as the Larry Malone Luminary Award.

Members of the Northern Light Rehabilitation team were also in attendance. “Larry valued his work, his time with us, and the relationships he formed with us beyond measure. He was truly special,” says one staff member. “He showed us that in life, you get as much as you give.”

In addition to presenting the Malone family with the crystal Luminary Award, the Rehab team presented the Malone’s with a plaque that will hang in our Rehab practice waiting room, and they memorialized a bench, where Larry would often sit, inscribed with his name.

In a letter to Rehab employees, Larry once wrote, “I don’t make money here, but I am the richest man around by just having all of you as my friends, and one cannot put a price on friendship. You have given me purpose… a purpose to get up every morning and keep on living.”

“We miss Larry’s smiling face and are forever indebted to him for the time he gave to our patients and staff,” says Stacey Coventry, director, Volunteer and Community Development Services, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “He set a positive example for others and made a difference in peoples’ lives, and for that, we are so pleased to recognize Larry’s legacy with this award named in his honor.”

Date: 10/14/2020

Installing a car seat can be a challenge, but it's important to get the installation right so that the car seat can work properly in a crash.

On Saturday, October 24, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Safe Kids Maine, and Quirk Chevrolet are partnering to offer free safety checks.

The expert technicians at this car seat safety event will check for recalls and thoroughly evaluate every car seat to ensure they are the right size.

The clinic will take place between 10 am and 1 pm at Quirk Chevrolet, 293 Hogan Road. Face coverings are required and are available on location if needed. Car seat technicians will be wearing gloves and sanitizing between appointments. To ensure time to prepare between checks, appointments are required by visiting MaineSeatCheck.org.

This free car seat inspection event is made possible thanks to the support of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
 
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Date: 10/19/2020

What to know about hiking-related injuries
 
It’s that time of the year where Mainers lace up their hiking boots and hit the trails. What’s one of the most useful things a hiker can take along with them? An understanding of what types of injuries are possible, the steps to take in avoiding them, and what to do if such an injury occurs.
 
Types of Hiking Injuries
 
From sprains to tears, there are a variety of injuries that could potentially occur, each ranging from mild to severe. Understanding how these injuries might unfold could be the first step toward preventing them.
  1. A sprained or twisted ankle can occur when the ankle rolls inward or outward. This might happen from walking on slippery surfaces, rocks, uneven terrain, or other hidden trail obstacles.
  2. When stress is placed on fatigued muscles that can no longer absorb shock, the overload of that stress is transferred to the bone, causing a tiny crack or stress fracture in the lower leg or foot.
  3. Those who have experienced a prior injury or have weak or imbalanced muscles may be more susceptible to knee pain and joint inflammation. 
  4. Achilles tendinitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes irritated and inflamed from repetitive stress.
  5. The plantar fascia, a strong band of tissue running from the heel to the toe, is built to absorb stress and strain in the foot. Plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of foot pain, occurs when this band of tissue becomes irritated and inflamed.

Staying Smart on the Trail
 
It pays to be conscious about how you navigate the trail. The next time you're on a hike, keep the following tips in mind as ways to avoid a potential injury to the foot, ankle, or knee.
  1. Every hiker should invest in proper footwear. That means sturdy, think-soled boots or shoes that will provide plenty of protection and absorb the shock in your feet.
  2. Trekking poles can help redistribute some of the stress on your knees and ankles into your shoulders and arms.
  3. You can strengthen your knees and avoid fatigue by regularly exercising the hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calf muscles. Hiking with a knee brace is another way to add external support. 
  4. Be conscious of the type of trails you’re hiking on. Steep downhill treks will place your knees under significantly more stress because the leading knee is forced to absorb even more impact than usual.

In the event of an injury…

Even the most experienced hikers can succumb to an injury. If such an injury takes place, there are several things you can do.
  1. Safely move yourself to a stable spot where you can remove your shoe and sock.
  2. Examine the foot, toes, or ankle. Are there signs of a fracture? Bruises? Cuts? Swelling? Any obvious sudden deformities? These signs can indicate a more serious injury. 
  3. If you suspect a more serious injury, immediately call for medical attention. In the meantime, wrap and elevate the foot and apply an ice pack if you have one.
  4. If you believe you can safely return to your vehicle without medical assistance, make your way back down using a sturdy branch as a crutch or with the support of another hiker.
  5. If the pain intensifies as you make your way down, stop and wait for someone to get help. Proceed to the closest emergency room or urgent care once you reach civilization. 
 
Northern Light Orthopedics will get you back to moving
 
When pain, swelling, or difficulty walking occurs, it’s imperative to seek appropriate treatment. A serious problem will not correct itself, and prolonging diagnosis can result in more pain or irreversible damage. That’s why Northern Light Orthopedics offers all new patients an appointment within two weeks. Through timely practice and by utilizing the latest techniques and technology, patients are back on their feet and into their hiking boots as quickly as possible.
 
We also understand that every patient and their injury is different. As a comprehensive team with the expertise to address all types of pain and injury, Northern Light Orthopedics takes a customized approach so that the individual needs of each patient are met every step of the way, from diagnosis through treatment. 
 
We’ve also evolved the safety measures at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, meaning you can expect a new level of comfort with your orthopedics visit. This includes a reduced number of people allowed in our reception areas, requiring masks or face coverings, and even the option of virtual appointments that you can take from home.
 
If you’re suffering from pain, swelling, or difficulty walking, learn more about Northern Light Orthopedics care by visiting northernlighthealth.org/emmcortho or by calling 973-9980.
 

Date: 10/28/2020

GWTG_TS-ELITE-PLUS_2020_Gold-news-release.jpgOctober 29 is World Stroke Day. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.  

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to announce it has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with The Guidelines®- Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center earned the award, which it has done for the past nine years, by meeting specific quality measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke These measures include the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get with The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said neurologist and interim medical director for Northern Light Stroke Care, Roople Unia, MD. “The tools provided help us track adherence to evidence-based clinical guidelines designed to improve patient outcomes. Additionally, we are using telemedicine in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital to improve access to stroke care for the people of Maine.”

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center also received the Association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Honor Roll Award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat acute ischemic stroke. 

“We are pleased to recognize Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get with The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”
 

Date: 10/28/2020

Callaway-Daniel_LR-(1).jpgNorthern Light Pediatric Cancer Care is excited to welcome oncologist/hematologist Daniel Callaway, MD, MPH, to their team!

Dr. Callaway specializes in:
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Cancers in children and young adults
  • Disorders of white cells and platelets such as neutropenia and ITP
  • Hemophilia, von Willebrand disease,
    and other bleeding disorders
  • Late effects of treatment in childhood cancer survivors
  • Nutritional and hemolytic anemias
  • Sickle cell disease and other hemoglobinopathies

Dr. Callaway earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and received his Master’s in Public Health from Brown University School of Public Health. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Tulane University School of Medicine and a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at Brown University Alpert School of Medicine.

He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

For more information or to schedule a referral call 207.973.7572.
 

Date: 10/30/2020

Recently we celebrated this quarter’s DAISY Awards recipients! These nurses were nominated by their colleagues and family members of patients for the extraordinary care they provide each day.
 
Christy Pugsley, RN, Emergency Department
Christy is an extremely compassionate nurse in our Emergency Department and was nominated by a colleague who says, “I have witnessed Christy spend literally hours on the phone trying to help a patient get set up with Maine Care. She jumped through hoops for this patient and I was almost in tears at her tenacity to help. She has shown this pure will to help others time and time again…”
 
Monique Penney, BSN, RN, Intensive Care Unit
Monique incorporates her patient’s values and beliefs into the care she provides, as evidenced by this nomination from a patient’s family member, “Monique took the time to chat with our family, to learn more about my father. Her professionalism is exemplary. She was gentle, spoke his name, gave us time with him, and was patient with our many questions. Monique takes her nursing to another level with a gentleness and intuitive care that deserves to be recognized. She was a godsend to us when we needed it most. I will always be thankful for both her competent care of my father and her comforting presence with my family.”
 
Amanda Hughes, BSN, RN
, Grant 6 Oncology
Amanda received an award-winning nomination from a patient’s family member highlighting her continued demonstration of caring behaviors. “Our mom was on Comfort Care and Amanda ended up being her last nurse. In that short time, Amanda left a lasting memory with us. She not only cared for my mom with respect, dignity, and compassion, but she also cared for our family's physical and emotional needs. She was a shining light during a very difficult time and is a great example of the care that all nurses should be giving.”

Our nurses’ healing hands and commitment to caring inspire all of us to go above and beyond every day to make healthcare work better for our patients. Learn more about The DAISY Awards by clicking here, or nominate a nurse today.
 
 

Date: 11/02/2020

Did you know…

  • Every 3.3 minutes, someone in the US dies of lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer kills 433 Americans each day. That’s the same number of seats on a 747.
  • Lung cancer kills almost two times as many women as breast cancer and has held that lead for more than 30 years.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month, a time set aside to help raise public awareness about lung cancer, its causes, and available treatments. Despite the alarming statistics stated above, there IS good news!

Early detection is key, and thanks to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Lung Cancer Screening Program, Mainers are able to discover potential issues earlier, resulting in more treatment options, and leading to healthier, better outcomes.

“Our goal is to spread awareness of our program in hopes of enrolling more eligible people at risk for having unrecognized, potentially curable lung cancer,” says John Klemperer, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and director, Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program. “We work to help patients understand the benefits of a lung cancer screening as well as any risks, assist them with insurance questions, and work with the patient and their PCP to ensure they’re receiving appropriate follow up care.”

Living in a rural state, access to convenient screenings can be difficult for many people, and early detection is critically important. Over the past year, the program has partnered with Northern Light hospitals across the state to offer initial lung cancer screenings closer to peoples’ hometowns, including:

  • Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, Presque Isle
  • Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital, Blue Hill
  • Northern Light CA Dean Hospital, Greenville
  • Northern Light Inland Hospital, Waterville
  • Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, Ellsworth
  • Northern Light Mayo Hospital, Dover Foxcroft
  • Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Portland
  • Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, Pittsfield

To be eligible for a lung cancer screening, a person must meet the following criteria as established by Medicare:

  • 55 to 77 years old;
  • A current or former smoker who has quit within the past 15 years;
  • A smoking pack year history of at least 30 pack years (Example: smoked one pack per day for 30 years equals 30 pack years or smoked two packs per day for 15 years equals 30 pack years);
  • Show no signs or symptoms of lung cancer such as shortness of breath, cough, unintended weight loss;
  • Have not used antibiotics in the last 12 weeks to treat a lung infection.

Certain limitations may apply, so it is important for people to speak with their provider to determine whether a screen is covered under their insurance plan. Medicare and most commercial insurances do allow for lung cancer screenings under specific conditions, but it is best to check in advance.

To learn more about the Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program, visit northernlight.org/emmclung or call 207.973.5822.

Date: 11/04/2020

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to introduce Hannah Livingston, FNP-C whoHannah Livingston, C-FNP is a provider with Northern Light Internal Medicine.

Hannah earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from University of Maine in 2015 and her family nurse practitioner degree from the University of Maine in 2020. Hannah is particularly interested in women’s and senior health and has five years of experience in cardiac telemetry as an RN.

Currently accepting new patients at the 302 Husson Avenue practice in Bangor, 947-6141. Hannah believes in empowering her patients to become proactively involved with their own health, through goal setting and education.

When she has some free time, Hannah enjoys taking her motorcycle out for rides in the Maine countryside, practicing her guitar skills, gardening and reading. Her greatest joy is spending time with her 13-year-old daughter.



 

Date: 11/12/2020

Earlier this fall, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center announced that we had upgraded ourDaVinci Xi robotic fleet surgical robots to the very latest model, the DaVinci Xi, offering our patients the most advanced technology available anywhere in the country. Now, we’re pleased to announce we have added a fourth surgical robot to our fleet, making Eastern Maine Medical Center home to the largest surgical robotic program in the State of Maine.

This is great news, not only for patients in need of minimally invasive procedures, but for our surgeons who rely on this innovative system to operate more comfortably and with greater ease. “This technology enables us to provide complex surgeries through tiny incisions,” says Michelle Toder, MD, ABOM, FACS, FASMBS, bariatric surgeon and clinical lead of the Medical Center’s Robotic Steering Committee. “For patients, there is less pain, less bleeding, and quicker recovery time – and that is what we love most of all about our computer-assisted robots.”

Since 2005, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has been a leader in robotic surgery, not only in Maine, but across the country and the world. Designated as the nation's first general and bariatric surgery robotic epicenter by Intuitive, the sole maker of the DaVinci Surgical System, doctors from across the globe often come to robotic epicenters like ours to learn advanced techniques from our expert surgeons.

To learn more about robotic-assisted surgery at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, watch this video.

Date: 11/14/2020

The Lights of Life holiday tree at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute will be illuminated to honor and remember friends, family members, caregivers, and others who have been affected by cancer on Thursday, December 3, 2020.

Community members are invited to purchase lights for the tree to recognize special people in their lives. Every light purchased brightens the tree and supports the exceptional care provided by the Northern Light Cancer Care team.

Six levels of recognition are available, beginning with white lights at $10 and culminating with purple lights at $500. The name of each individual being honored or remembered will be displayed at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute and on Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s website throughout the holiday season. Upon request, Lights of Life cards will be provided for those who purchase lights to send to honorees.

There will not be a public gathering for this year’s event due to COVID-19 precautions. Instead, brief remarks and a video of the twentieth annual tree lighting will be posted to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Facebook page at 5:30 on December 3.

Every dollar raised through Lights of Life will stay local to support cancer care services in Greater Bangor. For more information or to purchase a light, please visit https://northernlighthealth.org/foundation.
 

Date: 11/17/2020

Bangor, Maine (November 17, 2020) — To continue to meet the needs of adults facing cancer in our region, Northern Light Cancer Care in Brewer welcomes four new oncologists/hematologists who will diagnosis and treat cancer and blood disorders.

Shruti_Bhandari_MD_Northern-Light-Cancer-Care-(1).jpgShruti Bhandari, MD has a clinical interest is in solid tumors with a focus on gastroenterological cancer, melanoma, and neuro-oncology. She earned her medical degree from Davao Medical School Foundation in the Philippines. She completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and a Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship at University of Louisville. Dr. Bhandari is board certified in Internal Medicine and eligible for board certification in Medical Oncology and Hematology.

Hilal_Hachem_MD_Northern-Light-Cancer-Care.jpgHilal Hachem, MD has a special interest in breast and gynecologic cancers, solid cancers, as well as both malignant and benign hematologic disorders. Dr. Hachem is excited about bringing leading edge treatments to Northern Light Health patients, such as immunotherapy and other targeted therapies including checkpoint inhibitors for a subset of breast cancer patients, and new clinical trials. He earned his medical degree from The University of Balamand in Beirut, Lebanon. He earned an internship in Internal Medicine from Saint George Hospital University Medical Center in Beirut and completed a residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology, both at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Hachem is board certified in Internal Medicine and eligible for board certification in Medical Oncology and Hematology.

Yelena_Patsiornik_MD_Northern-Light-Cancer-Care.jpgYelena Patsiornik, MD brings a special interest in breast and thoracic oncology to Northern Light Cancer Care. Dr. Patsiornik earned her medical degree from Odessa National Medical University in Ukraine. She completed a residency in internal medicine at Coney Island Hospital and a hematology/medical oncology fellowship at Maimonides Medical Center, both in Brooklyn. Dr. Patsiornik is board certificated in internal, medical oncology, and hematology, and a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Society of Hematology.  

Sriman_Swarup_MD-Northern-Light-Cancer-Care.jpgSriman Swarup, MD has a special interest in thoracic oncology, benign hematology, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and myeloproliferative neoplasms. He earned his medical degree from Grant Medical College in Mumbai. He completed a residency and internship in internal medicine at John H. Stroger Hospital in Chicago and a fellowship at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Dr. Swarup also earned a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare at Texas A&M. Dr. Swarup is also in the process of obtaining a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and eligible for board certification in Medical Oncology and Hematology.

Learn more by visiting northernlighthealth.org/cancer or call 207.973.7478. If you are a member of the media interested in speaking to a cancer expert,  please contact Marketing and Communications by calling 207.973.9530 or emailing emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.
 
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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 northernlighthealth.org

Date: 11/20/2020

Visitor-and-mask-changes_nov2020-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (November 20, 2020) — As COVID-19 cases increase in our community, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center looks to keep our patients, staff, and community safe by further limiting the number of visitors and adjusting masking requirements.

On Tuesday, November 24, visiting hours will be reduced to 12 to 6 pm daily. The majority of patients will be permitted one visitor per patient per day; that visitor must be 18 years or older, remain with the patient for the duration of their visit, and will be asked to keep their mask on at all times, which means no eating or drinking while on campus.

There are unique circumstances when it is important for loved ones to visit patients and those exceptions will be reviewed by nursing leaders. These conditions include:
  • End of life - two visitors at the bedside, up to four visitors daily.
  • Patients who lack capacity or are intubated - one visitor at the bedside, up to two visitors for the duration of the patient’s stay.
  • Pediatric/NICU/PICU patients - up to two parents/guardians/primary caregivers at the bedside for the duration of the patient’s stay.
  • Labor and Delivery patients - one support person at the bedside for the duration of the patient’s stay.

Adult patients coming to the Medical Center campus or one of our outpatient practices for an appointment are encouraged to come alone unless it is necessary for a support person to assist with communication, disruptive behavior, or mobility needs. Outpatient appointments for pediatric patients may have one support person accompany the patient.

Also, patients and visitors are now required to wear a face mask supplied by Northern Light Health while on facility property. Personal face masks will not be permitted.

Patients who think they may have symptoms of COVID-19 and are scheduled for a medical appointment, should call their office first. This is important to prevent the potential spread of the virus to patients and the care teams that are working hard to keep everyone healthy.

If you are a member of the media interested in speaking to someone about these changes, please contact Marketing and Communications by calling 207.973.9530 or emailing emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.

Date: 11/24/2020

Each year, the Breathe Easy Maine initiative honors hospitals across the state who work hard to Breathe Easy Maine Awardpromote a tobacco and smoke-free environment, thereby reducing people’s exposure to secondhand smoke. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is proud to that our facilities are 100% smoke and tobacco-free for the health and safety of our patients, employees, visitors, and the entire community. We’re pleased to be recognized this year at the Platinum Level for the 2020 Tobacco-Free Hospital Gold Star Standards of Excellence – the highest level possible!

Hospitals can achieve the Gold Star Standards of Excellence by adopting policies with comprehensive information and by implementing procedures that support tobacco-free lifestyles. Award levels are based on best practice criteria such as implementing smoke and tobacco-free campus policies, offering annual screenings for tobacco use, and providing referrals and education for tobacco cessation.

“Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of lung cancer, and Maine’s lung cancer rates are among the highest in the nation,” says John Klemperer, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and director, Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program. “Our commitment to helping Mainers achieve their best possible health shows through in the work we do with Breathe Easy Maine, our Lung Cancer Screening Program, and our partnerships with other hospitals that make it easier for people to receive low dose CT scans closer to home.”

Awards are presented each November during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. To learn more about Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Lung Cancer Screening Program, visit northernlight.org/emmclung.

To view the full list of Breathe Easy Maine honorees, visit breatheeasymaine.org

Date: 12/31/2020

GettyImages-501931509-(1).jpgThe Lights of Life tree at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute has been illuminated to honor and remember friends, family members, caregivers, and others who have been affected by cancer. We are pleased to recognize our 2020 honorees: click here for a complete list.

Every light purchased brightened the tree and supports the exceptional care provided by the Northern Light Cancer Care team. Many thanks to everyone who supported Lights of Life.
 

Date: 12/04/2020

Bree Clayton, a senior at Husson University, joined Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Bree Clayton, Husson University studentpatient care team this fall as an intern to design an inpatient care activities program. The goal of her project is to enrich the care experience for older adults during their hospital stay by reducing or preventing confusion and decreasing their length of stay.

She hopes to build an inventory of supplies to equip inpatient departments with materials that can be used by staff and volunteers to improve patients’ cognitive, physical, social, and environmental experience during their hospital stay. Bree has been working with a team of staff, including occupational and physical therapists, the medical Center’s acute rehab activities coordinator, and a nurse manager, in addition to surveying patients to pilot her program on a patient unit.

To help her launch and sustain this project successfully, Bree is reaching out to the community for support.

Based on team input and project research, Bree has identified a list of items essential to implementing her project, including puzzle books, craft items, coloring books, crayons, sensory kits, paints, card games, and more. Given the current surge in COVID-19 cases across the region, the Medical Center is encouraging anyone wishing to donate to ship the items. For convenience, people can order items online and have them shipped directly to: Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Volunteer Services, ATTN: Activities Project, 489 State Street, Bangor, ME 04401.

All items will be appropriately quarantined and disinfected (if necessary) before being distributed.
If her pilot project succeeds, Bree will continue her internship next semester where she will focus on strategies for hospital-wide implementation.

A full wish list of needed items can be found HERE.

Date: 12/08/2020

Scott_Melton_MD_PhD_InfectiousDiseaseCare_News-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (December 8, 2020) — Northern Light Infectious Disease Care is excited to welcome Scott Melton, MD, PhD to treat patients with general infectious diseases. Dr. Melton has a special interest in musculoskeletal infections, Hepatitis C, and other viral liver diseases, and HIV care. He also treats prosthetic, surgical site, and diabetic issues.

Dr. Melton earned his Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from University of Southern Mississippi and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Tulane University. He earned his medical degree from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, where he also completed both an Internal Medicine Residency and Fellowship in Infectious Disease. Dr. Melton is board certified in Internal Medicine, and board eligible in certification for Infectious Diseases.

With a background in teaching, Dr. Melton is data-driven and analytical. During treatment, he looks at the whole person, including all possible components that may affect patients with infectious diseases.

For a referral to Northern Light Infectious Disease Care in Webber East, Suite 412, ask your provider to call 207.973.4377.

Date: 12/09/2020

Nicole_Lebo_MD_NorthernLightEarNoseThroat_OtolaryngologySurgeon-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (December 9, 2020) — Northern Light Ear, Nose, and Throat Care welcomes Nicole Lebo, MD. Dr. Lebo cares for patients with cancer and benign tumors in the head and neck. She specializes in the surgical management of neoplastic diseases, including malignancies of the mouth, throat, sinus, and nose. Dr. Lebo treats skin cancers, thyroid nodules, parathyroid disease, and salivary gland disease. In addition to endoscopic surgery, she performs microvascular reconstruction, also known as free-flaps, and transoral robotic surgery.
 
Dr. Lebo earned her medical doctorate from the University of Ottawa in Ontario. She received a Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. She also holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal. Dr. Lebo is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.
 
If you know someone who could benefit from seeing Dr. Lebo, please contact Northern Light Ear, Nose, and Throat Care at 207.973.9595.

Date: 12/10/2020

Messahel_Ahmen_MD_2020_EM-_DSC6694-High-Res-(1).jpgNorthern Light Surgery and Trauma is pleased to welcome Ahmed Messahel, MD to their practice.

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Messahel earned his degrees from the University of Birmingham Medical School and the University of Liverpool Dental School in the United Kingdom.

He is Board Certified by the Royal College of Surgeons of England (London), and holds the following medical and dental qualifications: BDS, MB ChB, FDSRCS (Eng), MRCS (Eng), FRCS-OMFS (Eng).

Dr. Messahel specializes in the treatment of:

Adult and pediatric facial trauma
  • Midface and mandibular fractures
  • Zygomatic and orbital fractures
  • Facial soft tissue wounds
Adult and pediatric elective oral surgery
  • Impacted adult and pediatric teeth
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Impacted canine teeth
  • Impacted supernumerary/supplemental/ectopic teeth
  • Orthodontic surgical extractions
  • Orthodontic surgical exposure and bonding of teeth
  • Alveolar bone grafting
  • Dental cysts associated with unerupted teeth
  • Oral soft tissue lesions

For more information or to schedule an appointment call 973.4949. 

Date: 12/17/2020

It’s that time of the year where Mainers brush the dust off their ski boots and hit the slopes. But for as popular as snow sports are, they can be just as dangerous. Every year, many will find themselves leaving the mountain with an injured knee, accounting for around one-third of all ski-related injuries. Among the two most frequent are sprains or tears to the medial collateral ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament.
  1. An injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) occurs when the lower leg and foot twist outward, putting immense pressure on the MCL.
  2. An injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is more serious than one to the MCL and might occur after a traumatic twisting or pivoting of the knee.

No one wants to cut their season short on account of an injury. That’s why a few weeks before hitting the slopes, skiers should consistently exercise their quadriceps and hamstring muscles to condition them for heavy use. Doing so is among the top ways to prevent a traumatic knee injury. The following exercises, in particular, should be worked into a routine:
  1. Single leg squats
  2. Double leg squats
  3. Planks and side planks
  4. Wall-sits
  5. Side-to-side skaters
  6. Lunges

As skiers navigate the slopes, there are several things to keep in mind.
  1. Fall correctly. When the body stiffens up, it’s more susceptible to injury. Keep the body loose, draw in the limbs, and move with the momentum of the fall.
  2. Unless it is to avoid an obstacle, do not try and stand back up until you are done sliding from a fall.
  3. Land your jumps on both skis with the knees flexed and your weight forward.
  4. Consider wearing a knee brace that is designed for knee protection. Braces can speed up recovery time if an injury does occur.
  5. Be conscious of how the boots connect to the skis. During a fall, skis should properly separate from the boot. If the ski remains attached during a fall, the leg may twist in a distressing way.
  6. Take breaks between runs. Allow time for rest and rehydration. Injuries are more likely to occur when fatigued.
  7. To avoid overworking the muscles, vary the grade of the slopes you chose throughout the day.

Even the most careful and prepared skiers can succumb to an injury and experience pain, swelling, or difficulty walking. When this occurs, it’s imperative to seek appropriate treatment. A serious problem will not correct itself, and prolonging diagnosis can result in more pain or irreversible damage.
 
Knee pain, regardless of severity, keeps us from doing the things we love and living the life we want to. That’s why Northern Light Orthopedics offers all new patients an appointment within two weeks. Through timely practice and by utilizing the latest techniques and technology, patients are put back on their feet and into their snow boots as quickly as possible.
 
When it comes to knee care, all patients and their injuries are different. As a comprehensive team with the expertise to address all types of pain and injury, Northern Light Orthopedics takes a customized approach so that the individual needs of each patient are met every step of the way.
 
If you’re suffering from knee pain, swelling, or difficulty walking, learn more about Northern Light Orthopedics care by visiting NorthernLightHealth.org/EMMCOrtho or by calling 973-9980.
 

Date: 12/18/2020

Part of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s response to COVID 19 in our community has been to continually scan our environment and adjust as findings warrant. Since December 11, the Medical Center has seen a higher prevalence of COVID 19 positive tests in patients and staff in a certain section of the hospital. As of 5 pm on December 17, 5 patients and 27 staff, some with identified exposure from the community, have tested positive during increased testing in this area. The Medical Center has worked with the MeCDC who will include this in the growing lists of outbreaks throughout our state today.

Because of the trend in this unit, the Medical Center has put several measures into place for the safety of our patients and staff: In addition to the increased testing, a 14-day quarantine is in effect for patients on this floor, including limited visitation.

“What has been confirmed is that, together, we are fighting an enemy that does not play by the rules. This virus moves fast, it is silent to start, and, as the community spread continues to rise, we cannot count on a negative test alone as an assurance of safety. Our healthcare workers continue to show incredible dedication and commitment to caring. We all need to do our part: practice social distancing, wash your hands, and wear a mask. We are very thankful for the promise the arrival of vaccine brings, but understand that this solution, too, will take time. We must stay vigilant together,” says Rand O’Leary, MSA, FACHE, senior vice president, Northern Light Health and president, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Date: 12/21/2020

Visitor-changes-COVID-19-Dec-2020-400x400-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (December 21, 2020) — Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center continually monitors the patient care environment and makes adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety. In response to the surge of COVID-19 throughout our community, shorter visiting hours, 2 - 4 pm daily, will begin on Tuesday, December 22.
 
The majority of adult patients will be permitted one visitor per patient per stay. The visitor will be identified upon admission and is encouraged to be the patient’s spouse or someone that lives with them, to limit exposure. This visitor will remain the same for the duration of the patient’s stay and will be allowed to visit one time per day during visiting hours.
 
There are unique circumstances where visitation may be adjusted, and nursing leaders will review these exceptions. Some circumstances with adjusted visitation include, for example, patients who lack capacity or those who are intubated. Two visitors will be permitted for end of life, pediatric/Neonatal ICU/Pediatric ICU, and trauma patients.
 
Circumstances where visitation will be completely restricted include rooms where patients are undergoing an aerosol generating procedure such as a nebulizer, high flow oxygen, etc., and those under investigation for COVID-19 exposure or those who have tested positive for the virus.
 
Visitors must be healthy; 18 years or older; limit movement in the facility; sign a Contact Tracing Log near the door each time they enter and exit the patient room; remain in the room with the patient they are visiting; and stay masked at all times, which means they may not eat or drink in the patient’s room.
 
“We recognize the importance of hearing from loved ones during the healing process, and we encourage family and friends to connect with patients by phone or video chat,” says Victoria Merry, MBA, system director, Patient Experience and Relations, Northern Light Health. “We know it can be difficult not seeing your loved ones during the holidays, but we do believe these additional measures will keep our patients, visitors, and staff safe, so we can continue to care for all patients in our community.”
 
Adult patients coming for outpatient tests or appointments are encouraged to come alone unless it is necessary for a support person to assist with communication, disruptive behavior, or mobility needs. Outpatient appointments for pediatric patients may have one support person accompany the patient.
 
Everyone entering a Northern Light Health facility will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure, have their temperature taken, and be asked to wear a medical-grade mask supplied by the organization. To expedite screening, staff, patients, and visitors are encouraged to use the Northern Light Health pre-screening tool on their way in the door by visiting northernlighthealth.org/covidcheck and show the result to screeners upon entry.

Date: 12/24/2020

Bangor, Maine (December 24, 2020) – Rung-chi Li, DO, PhD has joined the team at Northern Light Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Li completed his medical education at Touro University – California, his residency in Internal Medicine from The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati and a fellowship in allergy and immunology at the University of Virginia.

Board certified from the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, Dr. Li specializes in identifying, treating, and helping to prevent allergic conditions affecting the immune system.

With extensive scientific training in pharmacology and neuroinflammation, Dr. Li aims to find the correct diagnosis of his patients’ allergies, and develops individualized treatment plans, considering patient preferences, clinical data, and the risks and benefits of therapies. His aim is to provide his patients with knowledge about their allergies and the latest treatment for their care, to sustain a lasting and high-quality life. Welcome aboard, Dr. Li!

For more information or to make an appointment, call Northern Light Allergy and Immunology at 973.6584.
 

Date: 01/04/2021

We’re fortunate to live in a state where outdoor activities are in abundance throughout the entire year. January through March are popular months for snowmobiling in Maine; in 2019, it’s estimated that the snowmobiling industry contributed nearly $459 million to the state’s economy!

To help our friends and neighbors remain safe this snowmobiling season, the team at Northern Light Surgery and Trauma have developed a list of helpful tips to remember:
  • Don’t drink alcohol and ride. Alcohol is a huge contributor to fatal snowmobile crashes. Alcohol use while driving your snowmobile (or any type of motorized machinery), has a negative effect on vision, balance, coordination, and reaction time. Just don’t do it.
  • Don’t ride alone. It’s always fun to have a friend to enjoy adventures with! It’s also helpful if one machine is disabled; you have someone to help.
  • Dress for safety & survival. Always wear a quality Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet and facemask. The helmet is law, by the way! Wear layers of clothing to aid in keeping you warm and dry. Snowmobile suits, gloves, mittens, and boots should cut the wind, repel water, and keep you ventilated.
  • Slow down. Excessive speed is a factor in many accidents! If posted, follow the speed limits and consider slowing down, especially in the dark, and while turning.
  • Keep to the right. Almost every trail is a “two way” trail. Stay to the right, especially on hills and corners. Obey all trail signs, and cross roadways with caution.
  • Stay on the trail. Trespassing on private land is a major complaint from landowners. Venturing off the trail also puts you at greater risk of an accident as there are no markers.
  • Stay off of lakes and rivers. It is safest to avoid riding on lakes and rivers at all times. If you must ride on ice, wear a lifejacket over your outer clothing. Stay on the marked trail and stay off ice that has moving water near or under it, such as on a river. The ice in these areas may be thin and unsafe. Consider keeping an ice safety chart in your pocket and check ice thickness when you are heading out.

Ice Safety
The chart below is a good one to keep handy, however, remember that these thicknesses are mere guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than ice thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

Thin Ice Chart

Follow these helpful safety hints for a winter season that is bound to be fun and full of wintertime adventure. Stay warm and safe and enjoy the ride!

Sources: International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website

Date: 01/08/2021

James H. Urbina, MD joins the team on Husson Avenue at Northern Light Internal Medicine. Dr. Urbina received his medical education at Baylor College of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Baylor College. Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, he specializes in complementary and alternative medicine, complex diagnostic issues, compassionate discussions regarding end of life, and treating the entire patient, and their family, holistically.
 
Dr. Urbina has worked in many practice environments from primary care, inpatient, hospitalist, and the emergency department, and for the last seven years with pediatrics and newborns. He brings a great deal of skill and compassion to the team and feels each and every interaction with the patient is paramount to a successful relationship. When Dr. Urbina is not caring for his patients, he can be found cooking for his family, and enjoying outdoor activities. Welcome aboard, Dr. Urbina!
 
To contact Northern Light Internal Medicine, call 207.947-6141.

Urbina-James_8x10_HR-(1).jpg
 

Date: 01/21/2021

CTCC-it-s-a-new-year-card-1-(1).jpgChampion the Cure Challenge, the region’s only event whose proceeds fund local cancer treatment and research, proudly celebrates the individuals, businesses, and organizations that help bring the best treatments to Maine, contribute to future cures, and inspire others to join in the fight to defeat cancer.

Each year, The Challenge recognizes several honorees who are extraordinarily dedicated to the cause. Champion the Cure Challenge is pleased to recognize its 2021 Honorees:

Allen L’Italien, RN, OCN, Honorary Chair

Allen recently retired from his role as executive director of the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute/Northern Light Cancer Care after a distinguished, decades-long career improving cancer care services for Maine patients. A visionary leader, Allen guided the development of the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute, expanded local cancer research, and ensured access to new treatment options. Allen has been a friend and advocate to The Challenge since the first event was held in 2010.

Marie Stewart-Downing, Mart Lapin (posthumously), and Sienna Probert (posthumously), Terry Fox Award

Marie, a cancer survivor, is a friend, confidante, and mentor to patients and families who have been affected by cancer. Her positive attitude is reassuring to others when they are at their most vulnerable. A contributor to The Challenge through her job, Marie goes above and beyond what’s expected to make the event a success, year after year. Nearly a decade after being diagnosed, Marie continues to be a resource to individuals and families who have been touched by cancer.

Mart, a lawyer and five-time cancer survivor, was well known in our region for his leadership in helping others affected by cancer. He founded the nonprofit Oncology Support Foundation in 2005 to provide assistance with travel, lodging, and food to cancer patients. Mart received the Community Support Award from Northern Light Cancer Care in 2006, was recognized at the Run for Hope, a predecessor to Champion the Cure Challenge, and received the Volunteer Values Award from the American Cancer Society. Survived by his wife Mary, Mart is remembered for his dedication to cancer patients and families, especially those facing financial hardship.

Sienna’s sprit, optimism, and determination inspired everyone around during her battle with a rare form of pediatric cancer. A student at Hampden Academy, Sienna was an avid skier, musician, and animal lover known for her smile, intelligence, and wit. She was a role model who was committed to helping others by improving awareness of her disease and raising money for cancer research and patient care. Sienna’s Champion the Cure Challenge team, Lady Sienna’s Imperial Demon Army, continues to lead the way in supporting local cancer care services in her memory.

Maine Savings Federal Credit Union, Corporate Champion

A Champion the Cure Challenge sponsor for the last decade, Maine Savings Federal Credit Union supports the event in multiple ways every year. Through financial support, participating on the leadership committee, coordinating rest stops, and leading our packet pickup week volunteer efforts, they serve as a powerful example of how other businesses in our community can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.

Healy Chiropractic, Community Champion

Nothing hits the spot after a Champion the Cure Challenge walk, run, or bike ride more than a massage. Healy Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Brewer provides this service at no cost to Challenge survivors and participants year after year. Healy Chiropractic’s support is a model for how dedicated individuals and businesses can support The Challenge in unique and meaningful ways.

Jill Smith, Volunteer of the Year

Jill was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2017 and started her Champion the Cure Challenge team, Jill’s Journey, in 2018. An active member of The Challenge Leadership Committee, Jill devotes countless hours each year to helping the event reach its annual goal. Volunteers play a critical role in the event, and Jill leads the way by offering her time, passion, and expertise to make The Challenge a success.

To register for the 2021 Champion the Cure Challenge, please visit ctcchallenge.org.

Date: 01/28/2021

SWL-Feb-10-Zoom-Info-Session-200x200-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (January 28, 2021) – For those who carry excess weight, it can be hard to reach desired goals, keep up with family and friends, and enjoy life to its fullest. To learn how to experience more energy and increased self-esteem, community members are welcome to join Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s virtual Surgical Weight Loss information session on Wednesday, February 10.

During the free Zoom event from 6 to 7 pm, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss experts will offer an overview of the comprehensive program which includes nutrition, education, physical therapy, professional counseling, surgery, and peer support. Attendees will have the opportunity ask questions and get answers from Michelle Toder, MD, ABOM, FACS, FASMBS, medical director and bariatric surgeon, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss.

For individuals ready to take the next step in their health and learn about this nationally recognized surgical program, consider joining this virtual info session, right from home. Sign up at Northernlighthealth.org/SWL or by calling 207.973.6383.

Date: 01/29/2021

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Each year, Go Red for Womenone 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 visitors to wear red on Friday, February 5 to help raise awareness of heart disease, particularly among women. Several of our facilities will offer free resources to educate people about the signs and symptoms of heart disease, as well as prevention tips.
 
There are definite early warning signs and symptoms of heart attacks. Women can experience all, some, a few, or none of the following symptoms:
  • 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 including healthy recipes, videos, and more, visit northernlighthealth.org/heart-health. For more information about Go Red for Women: northernlighthealth.org/Heart-Health/Wear-Red.

Date: 02/08/2021

New echocardiography (ECHO) stretchers will make a common heart diagnostic procedure at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center more comfortable and patient friendly thanks to a recent gift from Canadian Pacific (CP).

CP recently donated $20,000 to help fund the purchase of the specialized stretchers, which provide extra support and reduce the amount of discomfort that patients feel during echocardiogram procedures. The ECHO stretchers also lower the risk of hand, wrist, arm, and shoulder fatigue and injury for the sonographer, the imaging professional that performs the procedure.

An important tool in the fight against heart disease, echocardiograms use sound waves to identify heart problems and determine the overall health of the heart muscle, especially after a heart attack. Eastern Maine Medical Center performs more than 16,000 echocardiograms each year.

“This generous gift from CP will directly benefit patients who depend on us to provide accurate, timely diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care for heart disease,” says Rand O’Leary, MSA, FACHE, senior vice president, Northern Light Health and president, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “Having the most advanced equipment is more important than ever as our heart care services continue to grow to serve the needs of Mainers. We’re grateful for CP’s support of a service that touches the lives of thousands of Maine families each year.”

“Investing in the communities in which we operate in and through is of vital importance to CP,” says Phil Urmy, CP Roadmaster–La Crosse. “CP is proud to donate $20,000 to purchase two echo stretchers for Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. Our hope is that this will continue to ensure the very best care possible for Bangor and area patients.”

Date: 02/09/2021

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to announce it has selected as the pilot site for a groundbreaking new program in Maine. TeleSANE is a grant-funded telehealth initiative of the Advanced Nursing Education Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program at the University of New England School of Nursing and Population Health.
 
The purpose of TeleSANE is to ensure virtual support for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in Training, or SITs, as they provide medical and forensic care for sexual assault patients who present to the Emergency Department (ED). The program helps the Nurse Examiner in Training gain confidence and competence in providing trauma-informed care and an opportunity to work toward credentialing for the specialty. With the patient’s consent, a credentialed Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) will provide consultation in a virtual space in the patient exam room.
 
The SAFE will:
  • recommend best practices for the medical/forensic care of the survivor,
  • offer guidance on photo documentation or evidence collection,
  • speak to any questions the Nurse Examiner in Training may have,
  • debrief with the SIT, and
  • support the patient.

The goal is to have on-call consultant coverage from 6 am to 11 pm, seven days a week in the ED.
 
Eight nurses in the Medical Center’s Emergency Department are Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in Training, and some are very close to becoming a credentialed forensic nurse examiners, while others have recently committed to this nursing specialty. We are pleased and honored to support them in this important endeavor.

Date: 02/15/2021

Welcome_Anna_MD_200-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (February 15, 2021) — Recently a new obesity medicine physician joined Northern Light Medical Weight Management, Anna Welcome, MD, FACOG, FOMA, ABOM.

Dr. Welcome participated in a pre-med program at University of North Carolina at Wilmington and earned her medical degree from East Carolina University - Brody School of Medicine in North Carolina. Dr. Welcome completed an Internship and Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology from the University of Rochester - Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital in New York.

Board certified in both Obesity Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Welcome specializes in truly understanding the unique challenges patients with obesity face and partners with patients to manage their individualized weight loss plans. Dr. Welcome believes patients should have all the tools at their disposal to help them feel better, to reach their weight goals, and live healthier lives.
 
For a referral to Northern Light Medical Weight Management (formerly Non-Surgical Weight Loss), please call 275.4440 or visit northernlighthealth.org/Medical-Weight-Management.

Date: 02/15/2021

The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) presented a check for $136,716.82 to Maine’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) on Friday, February 12 to support lifesaving and highly specialized medical care for Maine kids. The donation includes money raised at the PLC’s 2020 Log A Load for Kids events, which set a record for fundraising during one of the logging industry’s most challenging years.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, one of the state’s two Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, is grateful for Log A Load for Kids’ support of advanced therapies, medical equipment, staff training, and other critical pediatric care needs.

“Every day, our pediatric team is a lifeline for the sickest and most vulnerable infants, children, and adolescents in Maine,” says Jeremy Yardley, MD, FAAP, pediatric hospitalist and chief of pediatrics, Eastern Maine Medical Center. “The Maine logging industry is with us every step of the way, helping to fund tools and training that save lives and make every patient and family’s experience more comfortable. In the middle of a pandemic, the logging industry continues to show what a meaningful difference can be made when we come together for Maine kids.”

The PLC raises money for CMN Hospitals at their annual Log A Load for Kids Golf Tournament in Lincoln, at a yearly auction, which was held virtually in 2020 due to the pandemic, and through generous donations from PLC members and other supporters.

“It is frankly amazing that in the most difficult year Maine’s logging industry has ever faced, and despite the challenges of holding events, PLC members, supporters, friends and families have rallied to raise a new record amount for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” says Dana Doran, executive director, Professional Logging Contractors of Maine. “This group should be very proud of this accomplishment and it means a lot that even though in 2020 we were not able to be together in the same way we have been in previous years, we were still together in this effort.”

Every dollar raised for CMN Hospitals in our state stays in our communities to help Maine kids. At Eastern Maine Medical Center, CMN Hospitals has recently funded medical equipment including a pocket ultrasound machine, scales for pediatric telehealth, and pediatric endoscopes; patient comfort items; infant and child safety initiatives including sleep sacks and a car seat safety check program; and advanced training for staff.
 
According to Doran, it’s no surprise that the logging industry, with a deeply rooted passion for supporting Maine kids, exceeded all prior annual fundraising efforts, even during a pandemic.
“Every individual, business, and organization that stepped up to participate in this effort is dealing with unprecedented challenges because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” adds Doran. “Yet this group always comes through for the Log A Load cause and the kids because we know that whatever challenges we face, these children and their families are facing far bigger challenges and they need our help.”

Date: 02/23/2021

Currents-710x200.png
At Nothern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, We work among some of the best nurses out there, so let’s congratulate this quarter’s DAISY Award recipients!

Michelle Campbell, BSN, RN, Grant 4, was nominated by a patient’s family member who says, “Michelle is awesome, she was such a breath of fresh air during a difficult time. When Michelle entered the room, it was like a beacon of hope piercing through a heavy fog and immediately we felt as though the rescue party was arriving.”

Ashley McFarland, RN, Grant 5, and was nominated by a grateful patient who says, “She is the best nurse I’ve ever had…she’s kind, listens, and is very attentive. She goes above and beyond. If I had my choice, I wouldn’t have anyone else care for me.”

Stephanie Moore, RN, Northern Light Primary Care, Brewer, was nominated by a colleague who said, “She can light up an entire room. She’s kind, amazing, and she loves all of her patients. She’s always helping others even if she doesn’t have to…I only hope someday I can be like her.”

Brooke Whitley, RN, Merritt 3, was nominated for this award by a thankful family member of a patient who said, “We came to consider Brooke a true friend in a time of great difficulty. She was tender and gentle in her words and manner. Her warm and genuine demeanor was soothing. She had a wonderful and uplifting sense of humor.”

Congratulations and thank you to these nurses who go above and beyond. Our nurses’ healing hands and commitment to caring inspire all of us to go above and beyond every day to make healthcare work better for our patients! Learn more about the DAISY Award and nominate a nurse today at northernlighthealth.org/emmcdaisy
 

Date: 02/23/2021

People are encouraged to visit northernlighthealth.org/covidvolunteers and sign up
 
For anyone who has been sitting on the sidelines waiting for a way to support healthcare workers and make a difference in our community during COVID 19, now’s their chance to move from the sidelines to the frontlines!
 
Northern Light Health is seeking volunteers from across Maine to volunteer their time at one or more of our Community Vaccine Clinics in a variety of roles, both clinical and non-clinical. We are actively recruiting athletic teams, service organization members, workplace teams, retirees, and more, who would be interested in helping to protect our communities and our neighbors against COVID-19.
 
“Supporting the Mass Vaccination Clinics at the Cross Center through volunteer service is a great opportunity for people to make a direct and positive impact on the community during this global pandemic,” says Stacey Coventry, director, Volunteer and Community Development Services, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “In addition to dozens of healthcare workers and leaders, each of our Bangor clinics is supported by more than 70 volunteers helping in a variety of roles. To date, volunteers have already donated more than 2,500 hours of service to this amazing community effort. The ongoing success and sustainability of these clinics truly requires a village.” 
 
There are a variety of both clinical and non-clinical roles from COVID symptom screeners, line traffic managers, appointment validators, check-in staff, pharmacy techs, clinical observers, and more. Clinics are operating several days a week and volunteers are needed for four to eight hour shifts during every clinic.
 
Community volunteers will need to register, complete a quick online orientation, and pass a background check. Anyone with a clinical background will need to have an active license in good standing and provide their licensure information for verification. All approved volunteers will receive the training and education necessary to serve in their assigned role.
 
Becoming a community clinic volunteer is a great team-building activity for businesses and a fun way to safely gather for a good cause!
 
Anyone interested can register today at northernlighthealth.org/covidvolunteers and become a Community Vaccination Clinic Volunteer. Let’s stand together to stop the spread of COVID-19!

Date: 03/03/2021

Tyler_Bernaiche_MD_NorthernLightSurgery-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (March 3, 2021) — Tyler Bernaiche, MD, grew up in Maine and has returned to share his skills as a colorectal surgeon with patients from Bangor to Presque Isle.

Dr. Bernaiche specializes in evaluating and managing general and complex colon, rectal, and anal cancer and other concerns, including abscesses, cysts, diverticulitis, fistulas, hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, pilonidal disease, and rectal prolapse. He treats fecal incontinence using sacral nerve stimulation and is trained in using leading edge minimally invasive robotic surgical techniques available at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Dr. Bernaiche received his medical education at Tufts/Maine Medical Center School of Medicine, in Boston and Portland. He earned a residency in general surgery at Inova Fairfax Medical Center in Virginia, and a colorectal surgery fellowship at Creighton University in Omaha. Dr. Bernaiche is certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery.
 
Dr. Bernaiche explains, “I look forward to helping Maine patients get the care and treatment they need for colorectal concerns, and ensure their continuity of care, by working with primary and specialty care providers throughout the state. For me, this is a chance to improve access to healthcare for my friends, family, and neighbors.”

Dr. Bernaiche will share his time between Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and Northern Light AR Gould. Patients interested in a referral to see Dr. Bernaiche at Northern Light Surgery, located at Webber East, Suite 330, Bangor, should have their primary care provider call 207.973.8881.

Date: 03/05/2021

Northern Light Gastroenterology is happy to announce that two new accomplished providers, Ted James, MD, MSc (top right) and Andrew Sanderson, MD, MPH, FASGE (bottom right) have joined the team.

Dr. James will provide patients treatment for conditions of the liver, pancreas, and bile duct, as well as Ted James, MD, MScproviding complex endoscopy including treatments for Barrett's esophagus. A graduate of Medical University of South Carolina, Dr. James completed his internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and a fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also holds a master’s degree in clinical research from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he was a clinical instructor in the department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Dr. James is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Hepatology. He is a member of several professional organizations including American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American College of Gastroenterology, and American College of Physicians.  He has a professional interest in medical education and is part-time faculty at the University of New England.

Dr. Sanderson has officially joined the practice as an employed physician, having treated Northern Andrew Sanderson, MD, MPH, FASGELight Gastroenterology patients as locum tenen since the spring of 2020.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, and his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He then went on to earning his Master of Public Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Sanderson completed fellowships in Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science/King-Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, and in Interventional Endoscopy at UCLA Los Angeles County Harbor/UCLA Medical Center. Additionally, he completed a Postdoctoral Research and Health Policy fellowships at Harvard Medical School. He is also an Associate Professor – Adjunct at Howard University Graduate School in their Master of Public Health Program.
 
Since 2016, Dr. Sanderson was employed with Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group in Maryland since 2016. He specializes in colorectal cancer screening, liver disease, and pancreatic and biliary disease.

Referrals to both Dr. James and Dr. Sanderson may be made by calling Northern Light Gastroenterology at 207.973.4266.

Date: 03/08/2021

The airwaves in eastern and northern Maine will be full of miracles on Thursday, March 11 because of the Townsquare Media’s Cares for Kids Radiothon, a fundraiser to support Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Children’s Services. Local radio personalities from Bangor and Presque Isle’s Townsquare Media stations will share stories of courage and inspiration from local kids, their families, and Medical Center staff. Listeners will be invited to donate and show their support for the highly specialized children’s care Eastern Maine Medical Center provides for years to come. Donations can be made by calling 973-4559, by texting MAINEKIDS to 51555, or online at miraclesinmane.org.
 
The radiothon will air in Bangor on Z 107.3 (7-11 am), I-95 FM (11am-3pm), and Q 106.5 (3-7 pm), and in Presque Isle on The Rock 101.9 (7-11 am), Q 96.1 (11 am-3pm), and Big Country 96.9 (3-7 pm). 

The radiothon is just another way that our community helps to fund the specialty pediatric care that’s available at the Medical Center and nowhere else in eastern and northern Maine. All the funds raised will stay right here in Maine to make sure the 50,000 kids who count on the care we provide have access to it today, tomorrow, and in all the better days ahead.

For more information visit: miraclesinmaine.org.

Date: 03/08/2021

It’s March at last, and already, the days are getting longer and soon, the sun will be shining brighter! With the longer, warmer days fast approaching, more of us will be outside enjoying all that Maine has to offer. People walking, riding bicycles, and motorcycles will suddenly appear around us, so it is important to be aware of our surroundings, share the roadway and sidewalks, and put our cell phones away – distracted activity can cause accidents for everyone.

To increase safety while walking:

Be alert, look, and listen
  • Look all ways for traffic and other hazards.
  • Use both your eyes and ears to watch for cars, trucks, and bicycles.
Be seen, day or night
  • Wear brightly colored, light-colored clothes for added visibility.
  • Watch for cars pulling out of driveways, alleys, or blocking driveways.
  • Carry a flashlight or wear blinking lights after dark.
  • Add reflective gear for additional safety.
Consider your walking route
  • Use a sidewalk whenever you can. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Walk facing the traffic flow.
  • Plan a safe walking route.
Cross with care
  • Before crossing the road, stop, look left, look right, and look left again, before crossing the road.
  • Cross at a crosswalk whenever you can.
  • At traffic lights, wait for the WALK sign to light up, and then look left, and right, and left again before crossing.
  • Watch for turning cars at all intersections, even if the walk signal it lit.
  • “Wait, Watch, and Wave” – be certain to wait until all cars have stopped in all lanes, and the drivers have seen you before you cross.

For increased safety while riding your bicycle:

Wear your helmet the right way that fits properlySpringtime safety tips
  • Make sure your helmet fits correctly. It should be level and snug. If it slides around, you need to insert thicker pads.
  • EYES: you should be able to see the very edge of your helmet when you look up past your eyebrows
  • EARS: the straps should meet right under your ear lobes to form a Y
  • MOUTH: the strap should be loose enough so you can breathe and insert a finger between the buckle and your skin, but tight enough that if you drop your jaw you can feel the helmet pull down on the top of your head.
Dress bright for safety
  • Wear light or bright colored clothing.
  • Tuck in shoelaces or other strings/cords so they don’t dangle – they may get caught in the moving parts of your bicycle or motorcycle.
  • Wear snug clothing as baggy clothing can also get caught in moving parts.
  • Add reflective gear for additional safety.
  • NEVER wear headphones while riding a bicycle.
Obey the Rules of the Road
  • Ride on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic.
  • Ride single file.
  • Obey traffic signs, signals, and laws.
  • Look back and signal before turning.
  • Yield to people walking.
  • Use lights if riding at night.
  • Always stop at the end of your driveway – look left, right, and then left again before entering the road.
  • If you feel unsafe, you can always walk beside your bicycle while pushing it.

When riding a motorcycle, riders are urged to be alert, make themselves visible, wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant motorcycle helmet, and always ride sober. In addition, make sure your motorcycle is in good working condition, never ride while using a cell phone, and know your local traffic laws.

For drivers of cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles, be aware, avoid distractions, and put your cell phone away! Remember, Maine law require hands-free phone calls only. Always be watching for what or who is around the next corner.

Be safe, and bring on the warmer weather! And remember, should an emergency ever occur, the team at Northern Light Surgery and Trauma is standing by, prepared and ready to care for our entire community.

Source: Bicycle Coalition of Maine

Date: 03/10/2021

Since providers began screening patients for food insecurity at their medical appointments in the summer of 2020, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has seen the need for access to healthy food skyrocket. Through the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program, primary care offices and specialty clinics, including Northern Light Cancer Care, have screened more than 38,000 people, identified 1,540 patients as food insecure, and connected nearly 800 patients and their families with free healthy and nutritious food.

Now, thanks to an unrestricted grant from Good Shepherd Food Bank, the Medical Center will be able to screen and assist even more people facing food insecurity. As part of the Food Bank’s program, funds were awarded to hunger-relief organizations across Maine; the Medical Center received $11,000 to help stock its food cupboards with much needed non-perishable food and supplies.

“We know many families and individuals are having to make difficult decisions about whether to buy food or other necessary household items, like heating oil and medications,” says Rand O’Leary, MSA, FACHE, Senior Vice President, Northern Light Health and President, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “These funds from Good Shepherd Food Bank will go a long way in supplementing the donations our employees have been making for the past several months, and we are so grateful for their partnership.”

Good Shepherd Food Bank recently announced an investment of $1.5 million in 417 organizations throughout the state working to end hunger in Maine. Awards ranged from $500 to more than $20,000 with an average grant amount of $3,570.

Since launching Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center employees have held a series of food drives to help stock the food pantries, donating nearly 2,275 pounds of food and raising more than $2,300 to help sustain the program. They are planning another employee drive for donations later in March.

To learn more about the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors Food Insecurity Program, visit northernlighthealth.org/emmcfood.

Date: 03/11/2021

Bangor, Maine (March 11, 2021) – Nurses who pursue certifications bring special expertise and knowledge to patients at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. On March 19, 2021, these individuals will be recognized for their unique contributions on Certified Nurses Day, March 19, 2021. 

Certification validates a nurse’s specialty knowledge for practice in a defined functional or clinical area of nursing. In addition, certification benefits patients and their families, validating that the nurses caring for them have demonstrated experience, knowledge, and skills in the complex specialties of critical or progressive care.

Deborah Sanford, MBA, MSN, RN, vice president of Nursing and Patient Care Services, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center says, “I am proud of the number of nurses at the Medical Center who are dedicated to the profession and their professional development.  Their unwavering persistence to achieve and maintain certification shows their passion and commitment to our medical center and the care of our patients.”

According to data collected by the American Board of Nursing Specialties in 2020, more than 1 million nurses in the United States and Canada hold certifications. These certifications are granted by 44 certifying organizations and represent 148 different credentials.

Certified Nurses Day is an annual worldwide event dedicated to celebrating certification to ensure high standards of patient care and safety. Initially proposed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the day honors the birthday of the late Margretta “Greta” Madden Styles, an international pioneer of nursing certification who designed the first comprehensive study of nurse credentialing.

Note: Media wishing to speak with a certified nurse or nurse leader at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center are welcome to contact the office of Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or at emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.

Date: 03/15/2021

March 14-20 is designated as National Sleep Awareness Week, which spotlights the importance of sleep in our daily lives and encourages people to learn about habits, practices, and routines that improve our quality of sleep and, therefore, overall health.

Held annually at the start of Daylight Saving Time when most Americans lose an hour of sleep, the time change is a reminder for individuals to make beneficial adjustments in sleep routines in an effort to improve sleep health. Sleep Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation.

“Getting enough sleep is key to feeling well rested,” says Thomas Rajan, MD, FCCP, lead physician, Northern Light Sleep Diagnostics. “Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should strive for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and folks 65 and older should make sure they’re sleeping seven to eight hours a night to ensure proper rest, which contributes to a healthy body and mind.”

For anyone who frequently feels tired during the day, there are measures one can take to ensure a better night’s rest, including maintaining a comfortable bedroom temperature, minimizing exposure to noise and natural light while you sleep, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, as well as screen time. A comfortable mattress, supportive pillow, and breathable sheets also go a long way.

To learn more about Northern Light Sleep Diagnostics and ways the team can help anyone suffering from lack of sleep due to narcolepsy, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), insomnia, and more, call 207.973.5892 or visit northernlighthealth.org/emmcsleep.

Date: 03/16/2021

SWL-March-23-Zoom-Info-Session-200x200-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (March 16, 2021) – Anyone who has struggled with their weight for years knows it can be discouraging. When diet and exercise alone doesn’t work, the team at Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss can help.

Patients in the comprehensive program receive much more than surgery. They learn about nutrition and get support and guidance through physical therapy, professional counseling, and peer support. They experience more energy and increased self-esteem, and not only reach their weight goals, but are able to participate in activities with their families and enjoy fuller lives. 

To learn more about surgical weight loss at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, community members may register to join a virtual information session on Tuesday, March 23.

During the free Zoom event from 6 to 7 pm, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss experts offer an overview of the program, and attendees will have the opportunity ask questions and get answers from Matthew Sharbaugh, DO, bariatric surgeon, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss.

For those ready to take the next step in their weight loss journey and learn about this nationally recognized surgical program that has been helping patients improve their lives for more than 30 years, consider joining this virtual info session.

Register online at Northernlighthealth.org/SWL or by calling 207.973.6383.
 

Date: 03/18/2021

Installing a car seat can be a challenge, but it's important to get the installation right so that the car seat can work properly in a crash.

On Saturday, March 27, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Safe Kids Maine, and Quirk Chevrolet are partnering up to offer free safety checks.

The expert technicians at this car seat safety event will check for recalls and thoroughly evaluate every car seat to ensure they are the right size.

The clinic will take place between 10 am and 1 pm at Quirk Chevrolet, 293 Hogan Road. Face coverings are required and are available on location if needed. Car seat technicians will be wearing gloves and sanitizing between appointments. To ensure time to prepare between checks, appointments are required by visiting MaineSeatCheck.org.

This free car seat inspection event is made possible thanks to the support of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
 
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Date: 03/18/2021

Champion the Cure Challenge, the region’s only event whose proceeds fund local cancer research and patient care, is holding a virtual kickoff for anyone in the community who may be interested in starting or joining a team.

The kickoff, scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 6:30 p.m., will be held through Zoom. The event will include inspirational survivor stories, fundraising tips from team captains, a walkthrough of the tools available to help team captains reach their goals, and a chance to win Champion the Cure Challenge prize packs.

Funds raised at Champion the Cure Challenge stay local to support care provided to patients at Northern Light Cancer Care and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. Recently, Challenge funds were used to ensure access to groundbreaking clinical trials and make new technology that can reduce hair loss during chemotherapy more affordable for patients. Champion the Cure Challenge sponsors and participants have raised more than $5.25 million since 2010.

No registration is necessary for the kickoff. For information on how to participate in the kickoff, please visit ctcchallenge.org or facebook.com/CTCChallenge.

Date: 03/19/2021

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to introduce Claire Faggons, MD to theClaire Faggons, MD Northern Light Women’s Health family.

Dr. Faggons earned her Bachelor of Science in Arts in African Studies and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She earned her Medical Degree from the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

In addition, Dr. Faggons has completed an Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency at Tulane University Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.  

Dr. Faggons specializes in the following: Personalized comprehensive, quality obstetric and gynecologic care; routine and high-risk obstetric care; gynecological surgery; infertility; menopausal management; non-stress test; Pap smears; pre-conceptual counseling; and women’s wellness.

She is currently accepting new patients at Webber Building West, Suite 141, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. You can reach the practice by calling 973-4670.

When she has some free time, Dr. Faggons enjoys cooking and baking for her family, and hiking with them. She also keeps up with medical journals and usually has a good mystery novel in the works.

Date: 03/30/2021

When it comes to diagnosing colon or rectal cancer, the sooner the better as it’s highly treatable if detected early. However, during the last year across the US, screenings for colorectal cancer are significantly down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Delayed screenings inevitably mean delayed diagnoses. With enhanced infection prevention protocols in place, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is available to help patients safely receive care. Beginning at age 45, patients are encouraged to begin talking to their primary care provider about scheduling a colorectal screening. For older patients, or high-risk patients, remember to take the initiative to restart the conversation.

“Patients with early stage colon or rectal cancer often do not feel pain,” explains Ted James, MD, Northern Light Gastroenterology. “In fact, the most common symptom of colorectal cancer is no symptom at all—that’s why screenings are so vitally important.”

During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, consider risk factors, including age, family history, and other conditions that may increase the risk of developing the disease, and discuss what screening options may be available.

“Screenings don’t always mean you must have a colonoscopy,” continues Dr. James. “For some patients, other screening tests may be recommended that require less preparation and produce very accurate results.”

Patients with symptoms of fatigue, abdominal discomfort, changes in stool, including bleeding, and unexplained weight loss, should talk to their doctor immediately about being screened for colorectal cancer. Remember, early detection and treatment can save lives.

To support community members’ colorectal health needs, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has a team of experts available, including gastroenterologists, oncologists, fellowship trained surgical oncologists, and colorectal surgeons. Patients are encouraged to ask their primary care provider for a referral for a colorectal screening by calling 207.973.4266.

Date: 04/02/2021

In recent years, the Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program has seen exceptional growth, which is good news considering Maine has one of the highest lung cancer rates of any state in the nation – a full 30% higher than the national average.
 
Understanding the need for increased education about screenings for Mainers, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is holding a free virtual information session to explain the screening process, eligibility criteria, and more. The event, on Thursday, April 8 at 6 pm, is open to community members who are welcome to register online at northernlight.org/emmclung.
 
Recently, new eligibility requirements for anyone interested in being screened for lung cancer were released. Individuals may qualify for a screening if:
  • You are between 50 and 80 years of age;
  • You are a current, heavy smoker or former smoker within the last 15 years;
  • You are currently healthy, showing no signs or symptoms of lung cancer;
  • You have a history of smoking the equivalent of at least one pack per day for 20 years.
To make the initial screening process more convenient for people in rural areas who may be at risk of lung cancer, the Medical Center has partnered with other Northern Light member organizations so patients may have their low-dose CT scan closer to home. These include Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, Presque Isle; Northern Light CA Dean Hospital, Greenville; Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital, Blue Hill; Northern Light Inland Hospital, Waterville; Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, Ellsworth; Northern Light Mayo Hospital, Dover Foxcroft; Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Portland; Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, Pittsfield.

To learn more about the Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program and to register for the virtual info session, visit northernlight.org/emmclung or call 207.973.5822.

Date: 04/08/2021

 It’s not unusual for Steve Cole to catch more than 275 fish on Moosehead Lake over the course of a summer. An avid fisherman, Steve enjoys the thrill of reeling in a nice brookie, lake trout, or landlocked salmon. This year, he’s fishing with a greater purpose in mind: to fight cancer in our communities, and he’s inviting other anglers to join him.

Reel for a Cure is a spring and summer-long virtual fishing tournament that supports Champion the Cure Challenge, the region’s largest cancer fundraiser. Steve organized a trial run of Reel for a Cure in 2020, and he hopes to expand participation for 2021. Steve was inspired to start the event in memory of his wife and her journey with cancer.

“My wife was diagnosed with cancer and spent four years receiving treatment at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute,” he says. “We knew what the outcome was going to be, unfortunately, but the care was wonderful. Both of us saw the need to support the facility in Brewer.”

Anglers can participate individually or form a team. Participants decide how much to donate for each fish landed during the season; the suggested pledge is between one and five dollars per fish. Steve, now retired, plans to spend most of his summer fishing on Moosehead Lake, but others may choose to drop a line in their favorite local fishing holes.

“You can choose to fish your favorite waters, wherever they are in Maine,” he says. “It could be a river, pond, or anywhere you can catch fish out of your boat or canoe. You’ll be making a difference with every fish you catch.”

Reel for a Cure began on April 1 and continues through Labor Day. Anglers are encouraged to post pictures to the Champion the Cure Challenge participant pages throughout the summer. Trophies will be awarded to the three teams that raise the most money.

Every dollar raised will fund Northern Light Cancer Care research and patient care in Brewer. Recently, Champion the Cure Challenge funds were used to ensure access to groundbreaking clinical trials and make new technology that can reduce hair loss during chemotherapy more affordable for patients. Champion the Cure Challenge sponsors and participants have raised more than $5.25 million since 2010.

To register for Reel for a Cure, visit ctcchallenge.org, select “paddle,” choose “register” for an individual registration or “team options” to start a team, and select “Reel for a Cure” as the participant type. Visitors to the website may also learn more about and register for the Champion the Cure Challenge walk/run/cycle, paddle, and horse trail ride events.

Date: 04/08/2021

One in five Mainers have experienced sexual assault at some point in their lifetime. Each year 14,000 Mainers will experience sexual violence. You can be part of the solution in helping build awareness and combat sexual assault in our communities. Rape Response Services is the advocacy service for Penobscot and Piscataquis counties promoting prevention and providing hope and support to those affected by sexual violence. This month, Rape Response is featuring educational sessions regarding sexual assault awareness, one of which is Teal Talks: Facebook Live events every Thursday afternoon.
 
On April 1, the Teal Talk featured Danielle Coutu, RN, SAFE-A, staff nurse, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Emergency Department, and a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE). Dani highlighted the services available to sexual assault survivors in a healthcare setting, the role of the forensic examiner, and the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration and action.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has two credentialed Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners and six in-training, all of whom provide trauma-informed best practices to survivors that present to our ED. These nurses are not only trained to care for sexual assault patients, but those experiencing domestic violence, trafficking, child, and elder abuse. 

Questions about SAAM and/or forensic nursing may be directed to Rebecca George, RN, BSN, CEN, SITSAFE program coordinator, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, at rmgeorge@northernlight.org.
 
If you have experienced sexual violence, the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault offers support through a free and private helpline, available 24/7. Call 1.800.871.7741 for assistance.

Date: 04/12/2021

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to announce that our expert heart team is offering lead replacement procedures to patients who have been fitted with a heart device, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Previously, patients in Eastern, Central, Northern, and Downeast Maine would have had to travel to Southern Maine or farther to have this procedure performed.
 
ICD devices are fitted with special wires, known as leads, that are used to deliver energy from the implanted device to the patient’s heart, helping to control irregular heartbeat or heart rhythm disorders. Occasionally, these leads fail for a variety of reasons. The lead itself could become damaged or work less effectively over time due to stress from scar tissue or other bodily constraints. Other times, the device and leads become infected, triggering illness that may require full device extraction as a cure. In any of these instances, it is important for the leads to be extracted and replaced to keep patients safe and restore a normal heartbeat.
 
“Patients with infected or failing leads are typically faced with the option of either abandoning the malfunctioning system, if appropriate, or traveling to a larger city to have their device extracted, because we did not previously offer the service,” says Spyridon Akrivakis, MD, FACC, FHRS, electrophysiologist, Northern Light Cardiology. “Now, we can safely care for these patients here in Bangor, saving them valuable travel time and ensuring they’re receiving the care they need, as conveniently as possible.”
 
The procedure requires a multidisciplinary approach, with an electrophysiologist performing the extraction, and a heart surgeon standing by to assist as needed.
 
The team at Northern Light Cardiology is ready to help patients with this procedure with a referral by their primary care provider. To learn more and to reach Northern Light Cardiology, call 207.275.3800.

Date: 04/16/2021

 Installing a car seat can be a challenge, but it's important to get the installation right so that the car seat can work properly in a crash.

On Saturday, April 24, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Safe Kids Maine, and Quirk Chevrolet are partnering up to offer free safety checks.

The expert technicians at this car seat safety event will check for recalls and thoroughly evaluate every car seat to ensure they are the right size.

The clinic will take place between 10 am and 1 pm at Quirk Chevrolet, 293 Hogan Road. Face coverings are required and are available on location if needed. Car seat technicians will be wearing gloves and sanitizing between appointments. To ensure time to prepare between checks, appointments are required by visiting MaineSeatCheck.org.

This free car seat inspection event is made possible thanks to the support of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
 

Date: 04/21/2021

Theodore_Curtis_MD_Northern-Light-Eye-Care-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (April 21, 2021) — Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to welcome new pediatric ophthalmologist, Theodore Curtis, MD. Dr. Curtis returns to Maine to specialize in all aspects of children’s eye disease, including medical and surgical treatment for vision problems, tearing, crossed eyes, inflammatory eye diseases, diabetic eye conditions, congenital eye conditions, and eye misalignment for both children and adults.

Dr. Curtis grew up in Eddington, Maine, attended John Bapst High School, and studied pre-med at the University of Maine in Orono. He says, “I am excited to join the growing and active pediatric practices at Northern Light Health. I wanted to return to my hometown to serve the community and provide specialized pediatric eye care in as stress-free and enjoyable environment as possible.”
 
Dr. Curtis received his medical education at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Hershey. He completed a residency in ophthalmology at University of Colorado, an internship at Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, and a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University. He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
 
Dr. Curtis will also provide specialty eye care for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and children on Grant 8 Pediatrics at the Medical Center in Bangor.

If you know of a pediatric patient in need of a referral to Northern Light Eye Care, located at the Northern Light Health Center, 885 Union Street, Suite 120 in Bangor, please call 207.973.8876.

Date: 04/28/2021

We know our nursing students are an investment in the future of this extremely important profession and our organization. Nursing students who are embraced by leaders and team members throughout their clinical rotations are more likely to accept their first position at the hospital. Due to the national nursing shortage, new graduate nurses have ample career opportunities when they graduate and, by working together with the University of Maine, we know we are building stronger nurses.
 
University of Maine Nursing students have expressed positive satisfaction from their experiences as students at our Medical Center throughout the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the UMaine School of Nursing has appreciated the leadership and nurses’ commitment to students.
 
The School of Nursing also values the recognition that safe, compassionate nurses who provide evidence-based care must start somewhere--all nurses were students once. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center welcomed nursing students during one of the most challenging health crises of our lifetime and also filled in the clinical training gaps when other organizations have been unable to do so.
 
Our commitment to nursing students is a promise to focus on patient safety and provide patient-centered care. Without students, there are no future nurses. Let’s hear from a few students about the partnership and their experiences this year. 
 
Courtney Benson spent time in our ICU and says the best part of her partnership was the ability to hone clinical nursing skills in preparation for future work as a registered nurse. She says, “I have learned so much about critical care nursing over the course of my partnership. I have been able to network with so many different individuals throughout the last three months, and this partnership has allowed me the opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of bedside nursing.”
 
Ashley Ouellette trained on Grant 8 Pediatrics and recalls her experience truly feeling like she was part of the team. She says, “Everyone is so helpful and encouraging, I have already had so many new experiences and developed new relationships during the short time I have been here. I am looking forward to what the second half of my partnership holds.”
 
And finally, Jane Stevens was with the team in the Emergency Department and feels the partnership has given her the ability to become more confident in patient care and overall nursing skills, as well as the opportunity to feel more prepared as she transitions from a student to a nurse.
 
Congratulations to these budding nurses and thank you to the leaders and Medical Center for helping create the future of nursing!
 

Date: 04/28/2021

Robert-and-Madonna.jpgMadonna Arsenault remembers the moment when her father, Robert Arsenault, Sr., began to give serious consideration to a kidney transplant. It was at one of his medical appointments, after he was told that his kidney function had declined to 13 percent.

“I said to the doctor, ‘why can’t I give him one of my kidneys?’ The doctor put his hands up in the air and said, ‘why not?’”

Together, Madonna and Robert decided to move forward, a decision that gave Robert four more years to make memories with his family, including his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“The decision brought so much joy,” says Madonna. “It’s really hard to describe it, but it brought our family closer together. And even now, three years since Dad died, he’s part of every conversation when our family gets together.”

Madonna sometimes shares her experience as a living donor with families in her role as a volunteer Chaplain at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. As a valued member of the care team, her perspective is helpful for families who are facing decisions about organ donation.

“If they’re open to it, I tell them I’m an organ donor myself,” she says. “I’m able to share how it can make a difference in other people’s lives, even if my situation was different from what families of deceased donors face.”

While Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center does not perform transplants, the organization actively supports organ, tissue, and eye donation. Transplant teams throughout New England work with New England Donor Services to procure organs from suitable Medical Center patients, then transplant the organs at transplant centers. In 2020, 36 lives were saved by organ donors who gave the ultimate gift of life at the Medical Center, and more than 1000 lives were enhanced through tissue and cornea donation.

Madonna notes that becoming an organ donor is a lifechanging decision, and potential donors and their families should ask lots of questions to their provider team and consider talking to others who have donated.

“Explore the topic with the medical team,” she adds. “Learn all you can, and ask ‘what’s the process for me or my family member?’ You could be part of the solution for someone who doesn’t have to die.”

Each April, the Medical Center honors donors and their families, transplant recipients, and those who continue to wait during Donate Life Month. To become informed about living and deceased donation and decide if joining the organ donor registry is right for you, visit http://www.northernlighthealth.org/donatelife.

Date: 04/29/2021

In March, employees of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center participated in the latest in a series of food drives for their Neighbors Feeding Neighbors food insecurity program. The “March for Hunger Food Drive” sought to collect both non-perishable food and toiletry items for patients and employees in need.
 
Through employees’ generosity, the hospital collected more than 1,300 pounds of food. Sorted into 70 boxes, each box contained enough food for a small family to access three meals, including pasta, vegetables, and fruit. In addition, cash donations to support future food purchases were collected from employees totaling $1,275!
 
Studies have repeatedly shown that lack of food can have a damaging effect on public health. Food insecurity prevents far too many people from consuming a balanced diet, which in turn increases their risk for chronic disease and mental illness. Since launching the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program in August 2020, medical practices have screened more than 72,000 individuals for food insecurity, identifying more than 2,200 who are unsure where their next meal would come from, providing in excess of 1,200 bags of food. Indeed, the power of the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program is being felt across the region.
 
To learn more about Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s food insecurity program, visit northernlighthealth.org/emmcfood. Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation is welcome to do so by visiting northernlighthealth.org/foundation and under Designation, choose “Food Insecurity Program”.

Date: 05/13/2021

Bangor, Maine (May 13, 2021) — Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center celebrates its’ thoughtful, caring, and talented employees. During National Hospital Week, in a ceremony on May 13, the Medical Center recognized recipients of 12 awards, including seven Caring Spirit Awards, two Sunshine Awards, and three Daisy Awards.

Congratulations to these employees who received Caring Spirit Awards honoring their commitment to patients, families, visitors, and coworkers while demonstrating caring behaviors:
  • Denisa Brozman, MD, PhD, Hospitalist, received the Overall Caring Spirit Award
  • Lindsey Bradley, RN, Emergency Department, received the Seeing the Individual Caring Spirit Award
  • Joe Harkins, PA-C, Gastroenterology, received the Making Access Easy Caring Spirit Award
  • Darleen McLaughlin-McGarrigle, RN, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, received the Guiding the Way Caring Spirit Award
  • Zachary Schmidt, CNA, Merritt 3, received the Rookie Caring Spirit Award
  • Brad Waddell, MD, FACS, Chief of Surgery, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and Surgeon, Northern Light Surgical Specialists, received the Raising Quality Caring Spirit Award
  • The Team Caring Spirit Award was given to the Medical Center’s COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Team:
    • Marybeth Boudreau, PharmD, DCPS, BCCCP, Director of Pharmacy Residency and Interim Clinical Manager
    • Robert Cattan, RPh, NCTTP, Clinical Pharmacist
    • Lorrell Clements, Administrative Assistant II, Inpatient Pharmacy
    • Stacey Coventry, Director, Volunteer Services
    • Whitney Jandreau, PharmD, BCPS, Clinical Pharmacist Specialist
    • Jordan Lorenz, Intern, Volunteer Services
    • Mark Severance, CHFM, MBA, Director, Facilities
    • Katelyn Stoddard, Volunteer Coordinator, Volunteer Services
Also featured on the wall are Daisy Award recipients, honoring outstanding registered nurses and Sunshine Award recipients, recognizing remarkable certified nursing assistants. Congratulations to:
  • Ng Christopher, BSN, RN, Acute Rehab
  • Chris Gerry, RN, Cardiac Care Unit
  • Rena Schaefer, RN, Labor and Delivery
  • Kathleen Stewart, CNA, ICU and Pediatric ICU
  • Robin Woodard, CNA, OB/Gyn

Date: 05/14/2021

Bangor, Maine (May 14, 2021) – The past week has been full of celebrations at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. Teams commemorated National Hospital Week which included the celebration of Nurses Day; the unveiling of an updated employee recognition display, with several staff highlighted for their unwavering commitments; delicious food from recipes submitted by employees; and more.
 
There is one final event: on Saturday, May 15, Medical Center employees will wrap up Hospital Week by giving back to the community through the Chapin Park spring clean-up event. Employees will be at Chapin Park, located behind Northern Light Pharmacy on State Street in Bangor, from 10 am to 1 pm on Saturday, removing trash, raking lawns, and planting flowers. Members of the public are welcome to join this public service activity and may sign up to help by contacting Ciel Merk at 207.973.9357 or email mamerk@northernlight.org.
 
A rain date is planned for Saturday, May 22.
 
Note: Media wishing to visit the park clean up and to speak with a member of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center are welcome to contact the office of Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or at emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org by Friday at 2 pm.
 

Date: 05/14/2021

Northern Light Pediatric Specialty Care is pleased to share that a new pediatric cardiologist has joinedKirsten Graff, MD the team, Kirsten Graff, MD.

Dr. Graff comes to Maine by way of South Carolina where she completed fellowships in both Pediatric Cardiology and Advanced Imaging at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She earned her medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem and completed her residency at University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Dr. Graff also holds an undergraduate degree in Government and Economics from Dartmouth College.

Dr. Graff has a long-held passion for treating children of all ages, with a goal of helping families navigate the diagnosis, treatment, and management of congenital or acquired cardiac disease with mutual understanding and respect. Her clinical interests include early diagnosis of congenital heart disease in the fetus, understanding complex anatomy using pediatric cardiac CT, and obtaining anatomical and functional data from cardiac MRI.

Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Graff is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and American Society of Echocardiography.

Dr. Graff and her family love the great outdoors, so it makes sense they would land in Maine. Her hobbies include hiking, boating, and kayaking, and Dr. Graff looks forward to exploring their new home state with her family.

To reach Dr. Graff or for a referral to Northern Light Pediatric Specialty Care, call 207.973.8885.

Date: 05/18/2021

If you or someone you know has noticed a new bulge or lump around your belly button or in your groin area, there’s a chance it may be a hernia – a weakness or defect in the wall of the abdomen or diaphragm.
 
To help community members better understand hernias, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is holding a FREE virtual information session on Thursday, May 20. The event will start at 6 pm and will feature a presentation by leading surgeons from Northern Light Surgical Specialists. Anyone interested in learning more about hernias and how minimally invasive procedures can bring relief from pain and symptoms is welcome to attend. Register to attend at northernlight.org/emmchernia or call 207.973.5077.
 
Hernias are common and are nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, it’s estimated that five percent of the US population suffers from some form of hernia. At Northern Light Surgical Specialists, our experienced surgical team offers the newest techniques for treating all types of hernias, including minimally invasive (laparoscopic) and robotic surgical procedures. This combination of surgical expertise and advanced technology allows patients to achieve the most durable repair with the least amount of discomfort and fastest recovery.
 
Learn more at 6 pm on Thursday, May 20 via Zoom. Register at northernlight.org/emmchernia.

Date: 05/18/2021

Did you know that 9 out of 10 car seats are used incorrectly? Installing a car seat can be a challenge, but it's important to get the installation right so that the car seat can work properly in a crash.

On Saturday, May 29, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Safe Kids Maine, and Quirk Chevrolet are partnering up to offer free safety checks.

The expert technicians at this car seat safety event will check for recalls and thoroughly evaluate every car seat to ensure they are the right size.

The clinic will take place between 10 am and 1 pm at Quirk Chevrolet, 293 Hogan Road. Face coverings are required and are available on location if needed. Car seat technicians will be wearing gloves and sanitizing between appointments. To ensure time to prepare between checks, appointments are required by visiting MaineSeatCheck.org.

This free car seat inspection event is made possible thanks to the support of Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Children's Miracle Network Hospitals’ program.
 

Date: 05/24/2021

ResearchExpo21_200x200-(1).jpgFifteen months after COVID-19 struck Maine, teams are beginning to share their research findings about the infectious disease. The Northern Light Research Expo, presented by the Clinical Research Center at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, will share important research discoveries, and open up discussions about COVID-19 at a virtual expo on Wednesday, May 26.
 
Participants will engage with speakers and interact with a panel discussion to learn more about the health effects of social isolation in older adults, lessons learned from a year of living with COVID-19, and more. The event also offers continuing educational credits for participants.
 
Members of the media interested in speaking with a clinical research presenter may coordinate an interview with Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.
 
 

Date: 05/24/2021

Bangor, Maine (May 19, 2021) - May is National Stroke Awareness Month and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is making important strides in stroke treatment by providing 24/7 neurological assessments, advanced imaging technology (including vascular and perfusion imaging), and thrombolytic medicine also known as clot busters.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center now also offers endovascular services such as mechanical thrombectomy. A thrombectomy is an innovative surgical procedure used to remove blood clots from arteries and veins. Blood clots can disrupt the normal flow of blood to a part of the body, causing life-threatening conditions such as an acute stroke. "Our multidisciplinary team provides patient care from stroke prevention to rehabilitation," shares Tarek Wazzan, MD, interim medical director, Northern Light Stroke Care.  

The main symptoms of a stroke are (BEFAST) sudden onset of Balance difficulties, Eye or trouble with vision, Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech or swallowing difficulties, and Time to call 911. If people quickly seek help, they could receive treatment to minimize the effects of a stroke.

"It's important that people quickly recognize stroke symptoms and call 911. Our emergency department stroke team will be ready for you." shares Angela Wheelden, BSN, RN, SCRN, program manager, Northern Light Stroke Care.

"Northern Light Health is committed to providing the best stroke care. The new addition of neuroendovascular services is a key part of the goal to improve the lives and outcomes of our stroke patients who trust us with their care," explains Rudy Marciano, MD, endovascular neurosurgeon, Northern Light Neurosurgery and Spine. "The addition of mechanical thrombectomy and neuroendovascular aneurysm treatment capabilities offers patients state of the art stroke treatments right here in Maine."  

 According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the US suffers a stroke every 40 seconds.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is a recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get with The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized guidelines.

The Medical Center earned the award, which it has done for the past nine years, by meeting specific quality measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke. These measures include the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines to speed recovery and reduce death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients receive education on managing their health, getting a follow-up visit scheduled, and other care transition interventions.

 

Date: 05/26/2021

Bangor, Maine (May 25, 2021) — By 2025, Maine will have a workforce shortage of nearly 3,200 nurses. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has developed several strategic initiatives to combat this shortfall. The RN Sponsorship Program is one of them.Campfire_RN-Sponsorship-program-(1).jpg

Northern Light Health is committed to the advancement of its employees, and this program is one of many available to help employees advance in their career. This program allows participants to be paid while they go to class. Returning to school can feel impossible, so this program was developed to support students while they pursue nursing careers. The RN Sponsorship Program recently netted nine new graduates, the highest number yet for one season!

Kateryna Bagrii, RN, Merritt 3, is one of the nine and says, “The RN Sponsorship Program exceeded my expectations! It was important to me, as a person from the opposite side of the world and never having seen an American healthcare setting, to have this priceless experience. It added a great level of confidence to me. Going through nursing school during the COVID-19 pandemic, having most classes online, and being deprived of in-person communication was incredibly difficult, and this program was a miraculous window of light for me.”

“These nurses are an essential piece of our future, and we are so proud of each and every one of them,” says Ali Worster, Esq., vice president, Human Resources and Patient Experience, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “The time, commitment, and passion we have witnessed in these grads, and all those involved in the program, reflects our mission to deliver high quality and compassionate care to our community in the years to come.”

For information about the RN Sponsorship Program, which is open and accepting applications now until June 8, please call Stacey Coventry, director of Volunteer and Community Development Services, at 207.973.7851.
 

Date: 06/02/2021

As an increasing number of community members get vaccinated for COVID-19 across the state, and rates of infection begin to decrease, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is adjusting its visiting hours to 10 am to 4 pm beginning June 2, 2021.

Most patients will continue to be permitted one visitor per day. Visitors must be 18+, in good health, free from COVID-19 symptoms, and pass the screening at our the Main Entrance. Visitors are asked to limit movement in the facility, remain masked at all times, and may not eat or drink in the patient’s room.

There are times when having a visitor or family member present beyond standard visiting hours is crucial, and some exceptions in place include labor and delivery, pediatric patients, surgical/procedural patients, end-of-life, and trauma.

Although masking mandates have been lifted in many areas across the state, to keep everyone safe, Northern Light Health continues to require masking within our facilities.

As COVID-19 cases change in our community, the Medical Center will continue to make adjustments to its policies to ensure everyone’s safety.
 

Date: 06/15/2021

summer-nurse-externs-400x400-(1).jpgSupporting future nurses starts before graduation. For the past five years, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has welcomed future nurses, all registered CNAs entering their senior year of nursing school, to apply for a nurse externship. For ten weeks each summer, 20 externs selected from a pool of applicants, spend time at the Medical Center advancing their nursing skills.

These students build clinical skills, advance their critical thinking abilities, and improve time management capabilities. They walk in the shoes of nurses on different patient units to experience workflow; interact with patients, families, physicians, and other team members; and develop collaborative relationships with multidisciplinary teams. They participate in group projects with other members of the healthcare team to accomplish a common goal and develop their leadership skills.

“We are excited to partner with students in our community to offer this program. These externs are passionate about nursing and eager to experience the role of the nurse in a variety of clinical settings,” says Sandy Benton, MSN, RN, CCRN, manager, Nursing and Clinical Education.

Members of the media interested in speaking with one of this year’s nurse externs, please reach out to Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.

Date: 06/16/2021

The team at Northern Light Surgery and Trauma have developed a list of helpful tips to keep kids of all ages safe during these carefree but busy days of summer.
 
Bug bites and insect safety
With summer comes those pesky little flying, biting critters, the dreaded mosquito! Ways to minimize attracting them to snack on you include:
  • Avoid use of scented soaps, perfume, or hairspray.
  • Avoid areas where insects like to nest, such as stagnate pools of water or gardens where flowers are in bloom, and don’t wear bright colors or flowery patterns.
  • Make sure the screens in your home are tightly fitted and holes are patched or repaired.
  • Sunscreen/insect repellent combination products should not be used. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours, where insect repellent should not. If you are in an area with high mosquito population, consider using insect repellent containing DEET to aid in prevention of insect-related disease (Note: American Association of Pediatrics and the CDC DO NOT recommend using DEET on children under 2 months of age).
  • Children should wash the repellent off when they come inside from playing.
  • When outside in the evenings or other times when there are a lot of mosquito’s present, wear long sleeved shirts, pants, and socks to prevent bites, wear hats and pants tucked into socks to protect against ticks when walking in the woods, high grass, or bushes. Check hair and skin for ticks at the end of the day.

Lawn mower safety
  • Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go. Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.
  • Make sure that sturdy shoes are worn while mowing.
  • Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins. Anyone using a mower should always wear hearing and eye protection.
  • Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
  • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.
  • Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Keep children out of the yard while mowing.
  • Drive up and down slopes, not across to prevent mower rollover.
  • Keep guards, shields, switches, and safety devices in proper working order at all times.
  • If children must be in the vicinity of running lawnmowers, they should wear polycarbonate protective eye wear at all times. ​

Bicycle safety
A helmet protects you from serious injury and should always be worn at all times. Wearing a helmet also sets a good example for children who ride bikes.
 
Wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many injuries happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets. Children learn best by observing you. Set the example: Whenever you ride, put on your helmet.
  • When purchasing a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard.
  • A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head and covers the forehead, not tipped forward or backwards. The strap should be securely fastened with about 2 fingers able to fit between chin and strap. The helmet should be snug on the head, but not overly tight. Skin should move with the helmet when moved side to side. If needed, the helmet's sizing pads can help improve the fit.
  • Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike without training wheels until he or she is ready. Consider your child's coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for hand brakes. Consider a balance bike with no pedals for young children to learn riding skills.
  • Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitted bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new one. Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to "grow into." Oversized bikes are especially dangerous. ​
  • Your child should ride on the right, facing the same direction as traffic, and should be taught to obey all stop signs and other traffic control devices. Children should never ride at night.

Follow these simple, common-sense tips from Northern Light Surgery and Trauma for a summer full of sun, fun, and memories. Stay safe!
 
The information contained here should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your provider may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Date: 06/23/2021

Northern Light Health is offering pop-up vaccination clinics at two Bangor Pride events to help address vaccine hesitancy and healthcare disparities among the LGBTQ+ community.

Research shows that sexual and gender minorities and people of color are more vulnerable to becoming infected with the coronavirus and are more likely to have underlying conditions that could make them severely ill if they were to contract COVID-19. In addition, one’s personal experiences and history of discrimination in healthcare settings also influence COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. That is why Northern Light Health is committed to addressing healthcare disparities.

As the “Health Equity Champion” of this year’s Bangor Pride events, Northern Light Health is proud to offer these pop-up clinics as one way to address vaccine hesitancy. The organization will provide the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at no cost to the patient. The vaccine is available to any members of the community 18 years or older. No pre-registration is required; however, Northern Light Health suggests that those wishing to be vaccinated bring their insurance identification card if they have one.

What we know:

  • A study published in the journal Vaccines showed that 1,350 men and transgender women who predominantly identified as gay or bisexual reported how likely they would be to get a COVID‐19 vaccine. The study found that sexual and gender minority populations are particularly vulnerable to poor COVID-19 outcomes and are more likely to experience stigma and medical mistrust that may impact COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.
  • Vaccine hesitancy can stem, in part, from pre-existing mistrust in the medical establishment. Increased medical distrust and social concerns were significantly associated with lower rates of vaccine acceptance.

Event information:

Bangor Drive-In Takeover at the Bangor Drive-In
Friday, June 25, doors open at 7 pm; both movies begin at 8:30 pm
Northern Light Health will provide the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine from 7 pm – through the end of the event.
Find the event on Facebook 

Bangor Pride Stationary Parade at the Hollywood Casino Racetrack in Bangor.
Saturday, June 26, from 12 – 4 pm.
Northern Light Health will provide the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine from 12 – 4 pm through the end of the event.

Learn more about the event on Facebook

Date: 06/23/2021

Paul Jurgens, MD, family medicine physician for Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, enjoys getting to know his patients. “I feel that developing a good relationship based on trust is not only beneficial to me as the healthcare provider, but helps my patients feel comfortable in sharing important aspects of their health and life in general,” he observes. 
 

Over time, Dr. Jurgens has noticed some things that help make the first meeting with a new provider productive and satisfying. Below are tips he’d like to share with anyone who is preparing to meet for the first time with a new provider – 
 

Tip 1

Use the establishing visit effectively. Be prepared to share your history and personal experiences so the provider gets to know you. This is a great way to make sure the provider has a good, holistic sense of who you are as a person. 

Tip 2

Develop a list of goals, regarding your health and other important parts of your life, to share with the provider. 

Tip 3

Develop a list of questions to ask your provider. What is their area of specialty? What is their wellness philosophy? How do they like to work with their patients? Pay attention to how the provider answers the questions you present. Do they listen well? Seem interested in getting to know you? Do you think they will make a good healthcare partner for you? 

Tip 4

If you are taking any prescriptions, bring those with you to your visit. This can help the provider understand your current medications. Also be prepared to share what you take for over the counter medications and supplements (aspirin, vitamins, herbal products, etc.). 

Tip 5

Be prepared to talk about your advanced care plan. That is, items like power of attorney, advanced directives, organ donations, and living will. 

As your guide to a healthier life, Northern Light Health provides the highest quality preventive medicine and primary care for adults, children, and seniors. Our 65 locations throughout Maine are convenient to almost everyone and our providers are ready to help you. Your best way to better health for routine care as well as sick visits like flu or other illnesses is to have a primary care provider relationship. We’re here for you. To learn more, go to:

matchme.emmc.org.
 

Date: 06/28/2021

As the number of Mainers vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to expand and cases decrease, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center continues to respond to the pandemic in real time based upon the needs of the community. The Medical Center has announced the following changes to two COVID-19-related services effective July 1, 2021:
 
Community Vaccination Clinic at Union Street, Bangor Health Center to relocate
The vaccination clinic currently located at Northern Light Health Center, 915 Union Street in Bangor will be relocating within the same building to Northern Light Pharmacy-Westgate, effective July 1. Northern Light Pharmacy-Westgate’s hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm and closed on Saturday and Sunday.
 
“Swab and Go” testing site near the Bangor Airport 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, the Swab and Go testing site located near Bangor International Airport will close with its last day of testing being June 30, 2021. Individuals in need of COVID-19 testing should select one of the following options:
  • Public/Patients:
    • Symptomatic patients or those with known exposure to COVID-19 – Contact your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or visit Northern Light Walk-In Care at Northern Light Health Center, 915 Union Street, Suite 4, Bangor
    • Pre-medical procedure testing – Visit Northern Light Drawing Station at the Medical Center, 417 State Street, 110 Webber East, Bangor; Northern Light Health Center, 925 Union Street, Suite 4, Bangor; or Northern Light Pharmacy, 210 State Street, Bangor (evenings and weekends)
    • Patients showing no symptoms or known exposure – Visit Northern Light Pharmacy, 210 State Street, Bangor.
 
  • Northern Light Health employees (MUST complete the online screening form prior to taking these steps):
    • Symptomatic employees – Contact your primary care provider or visit Northern Light Walk-In Care at Northern Light Health Center, 915 Union Street, Suite 4, Bangor.
    • Employees showing no symptoms – Visit Northern Light Drawing Station at the Medical Center, 417 State Street, 110 Webber East; Drawing Station at Northern Light Health Center, 925 Union Street, Suite 4, Bangor; or Northern Light Pharmacy, 210 State Street, Bangor (evenings and weekends).
 
Employees should refer to their organization’s internal intranet site for additional guidance.
 
“The closure of the Swab and Go site and relocation of our vaccination clinic are two more signs that vaccines work and, together, we have all been taking the important steps to move closer to a pre-COVID-19 way of life,” says Rand O’Leary, MSA, FACHE, senior vice president, Northern Light Health and president, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “We have learned a lot about COVID-19 over the past 16 months and know that with appropriate safety measures in the healthcare setting, such as masking, COVID-19 testing can be done safely in the office or pharmacy setting. In addition, we look forward to vaccinating more and more of our friends and neighbors over the coming months at our pharmacies and family practice locations.”
 
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 to help address outbreaks.
 
All COVID-19 testing locations, vaccination sites, and additional information can be found northernlighthealth.org/Resources/COVID-19.

Date: 06/28/2021

Sinclair-(1).jpgGreat strides are being made in the fight against cancer right here in Maine, with many patients living longer with a higher quality of life. On Wednesday, July 14 at 5:30 pm via Zoom, Northern Light Cancer Care oncologist and medical director of research Sarah Sinclair, DO, will share the latest information about a new era of personalized medicine that is bringing the latest cures to Maine thanks to Northern Light Cancer Care’s research collaborations with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, the Jackson Lab, and others.

“Each year, developments in cancer research provide us with new tools to provide the highest level of care close to home,” says Dr. Sinclair. “Thanks to our research partnerships, we’re able to continue to bring the most promising advancements in cancer treatment to Maine.”

This virtual Zoom session will be hosted by the Northeast Harbor Library. Dr. Sinclair’s engaging presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. Anyone interested in learning more about the strides being made in cancer treatment and research is welcome to attend from any internet connected device. There is no cost to attend.

To register for this event and receive a link to the Zoom session, please click here or call the Northern Light Health Foundation at 973.5055.
 

Date: 07/01/2021

With Independence Day coming up this weekend, fireworks will certainly play a role in celebrations with family and friends.
 
Injuries by fireworks increase around the Fourth of July, to an average of 240 people per day visiting Emergency Departments across the US. The most common injuries occur to the hands (36%), eyes (19%), and face/head (19%). Most are minor, but these injuries can be severe, resulting in the loss of fingers and even vision.
 
“Small children love to hold sparklers; however, it is important for parents to know that sparklers burn at a very high temperature, and often children will hold them close leading to sparks on their clothing, face, or hands. A safer alternative for small children are glow sticks, which are still fun and pose a much less risk of injury,” explains Anna Moses, BSN, RN, CCRN, CEN, TCRN, trauma nurse coordinator, Northern Light Surgery and Trauma.
 
So how can families and friends play it safe with fireworks? Consider the following:
  • Make sure they are legal in your city or town
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a designated fireworks shooter or attendant
  • Make sure your firing area is clear – away from trees, houses, etc.
  • Keep small children away from the firing area
  • Wear eye protection
  • Follow instructions on the fireworks’ packaging
  • Keep a water source close by
  • If fireworks do not initially ignite, do not attempt to relight them. Instead, soak with water and dispose of them safely.
  • Light one at a time, and move away immediately after lighting
  • Never point fireworks at another person.

 Have a safe, happy, and fun Fourth of July!

Date: 07/01/2021

As a surgeon working for Northern Light Surgical Specialists Daniel Hetherman, MD performs general surgery with a focus on minimally invasive and robotic procedures. One of the most common procedures involves hernia repair.

But what exactly is a hernia, and what are the symptoms? “There are different kinds of hernias, but in general a hernia is a gap in the muscles of the belly wall. Problems occur when abdominal contents, like abdominal fat, push through the gap and cause symptoms,” explains Dr. Hetherman.

The most common symptom is a bulge or lump in the groin or the umbilical region. This can cause pain or discomfort. Sometimes the symptoms are worse with activities such as lifting, straining, sneezing, or coughing.

A few of the common types of hernias –

·       The most common type of hernia in men are called inguinal hernias. An inguinal hernia is located in the groin area.

·       Another common type of hernia for both men and women is the umbilical hernia, near or in the belly button.

So, if you notice a small bulge in your abdominal area that feels uncomfortable or even painful when you do certain activities, your first step towards solving the problem is to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. Most hernias can be diagnosed with a simple physical exam.

If there is a hernia present, the primary care provider will make a referral to a surgeon like Dr. Hetherman for hernia repair.

The bad news is that a hernia in an adult cannot heal on its own. If not repaired, the hernia can become larger and more painful. The good news is that hernias CAN usually be repaired. The primary methods are open surgery or minimally invasive surgery.

“Incredibly, minimally invasive surgery is done through small incisions to allow for a faster return to normal activity. Oftentimes, we can utilize robotic technology that is controlled by the surgeon performing the procedure,” states Dr. Hetherman, who graduated from the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.

In fact, most hernia operations are performed as simple day surgery, where a patient doesn’t have to spend any time in the hospital and will be able to return to normal activity after only a few weeks.

Your primary care provider can refer you to Northern Light Surgical Specialists for outpatient hernia surgery, so don’t hesitate to take the steps necessary to repair your hernia and get back to feeling pain free and healthy!

For more information go to northernlighthealth.org/hernia.

Date: 07/02/2021

As vaccinations increase across the state and cases of COVID-19 continue to drop, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to announce visitation hours are expanding. Beginning Monday, July 5, most patients may have two loved ones visit between 9 am and 8 pm.
 
Visitors who are 18+ and meet screening requirements, are permitted to visit, provided space allows for safe distancing in patient rooms, in the following instances:
  • Adult inpatients: Two visitors permitted at a time from 9 am to 8 pm.
  • Emergency Department and Surgery/Procedure: Patient is permitted one escort for the duration of their stay. The escort is permitted to leave the Medical Center one time each day and return.
  • Labor and Delivery: Two visitors permitted 24/7 during the labor process. Once the baby delivers, one support person may stay 24/7 and a second person may visit 9 am to 8 pm daily.
  • Pediatric/NICU; end-of-life; patients who require additional support for communication, or behavioral health: Two visitors permitted at a time 24/7.
  • Trauma: While in the Emergency Department, two visitors permitted at a time 24/7.

masked-driver-200-(2).jpgVisitors must check in and out with screening staff and remain masked at all times while at the Medical Center, following the guidelines of the state and federal CDC, which require masking by all individuals in healthcare facilities, regardless of vaccination status. This masking requirement means visitors may not eat or drink while in patient rooms or other patient care areas.
 
Patients with outpatient appointments are still encouraged to come alone unless it is necessary for a support person to assist with communication, disruptive behavior, or mobility needs. For pediatric outpatient appointments, up to two parents/guardians/primary caregivers are permitted to accompany the patient to the appointment.
 
There are times when having additional loved ones present beyond standard visiting hours is crucial, and exceptions to these visiting changes will be reviewed by leaders on a case by case basis.
 
Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center monitors COVID-19 changes in the community, and will continue to adjust its policies to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and visitors.

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: 07/12/2021

Northern Light Gastroenterology is happy to share news of another provider joining their ranks toPearl Princess Uy, MD care for patients in need of their services. Please join us in welcoming Pearl Princess Uy, MD to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Dr. Uy received her medical degree from University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines and went on to complete a residency in internal medicine from University of Connecticut School of Medicine and a fellowship in Gastroenterology at Augusta University in Georgia. Dr. Uy also earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Silliman University in the Philippines.

Dr. Uy has several clinical interests, including treatment of esophageal diseases (particularly reflux), Barrett’s esophagus, radiofrequency ablation, and colorectal cancer screening. She looks forward to working with her patients to achieve their optimal health.

Fluent in English and Tagalog, Dr. Uy enjoys traveling, watching sports, and trying new cuisine in her spare time. She is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association and the American College of Physicians.

Welcome aboard, Dr. Uy!

Date: 07/20/2021

For some Mainers, summertime means getting outdoors and enjoying all the adventures Maine has to offer. Maine has many rivers and lakes, and the most extensive coastline in the continental United States, so paddling sports are a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether you enjoy canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding or white-water rafting, it’s always best to be mindful to stay healthy and have the most fun possible!

Jacob Powell, ATC, is an athletic trainer with Northern Light Sports Health. He’s taken some time to share great information to help you be prepared and ready to get on the water this season.

According to Jacob, “While there are many things to take into consideration when staying safe on the water, muscle and joint injuries are the most common kinds of issues associated with paddling.”

Types of injuries:

  • Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common type associated with paddling sports. Shoulder, neck, and lower back occur most often.

    • Tendonitis is a frequent injury in paddlers and occurs towards the end of a season when the repetitive movements have happened excessively over a long period of time. This injury is common in the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Tendinitis is characterized by inflammation and irritation of the tendons that surround those joints and can cause pain with activity, tenderness, and decreased motion and strength.

    • Paddling induced lower back pain is often referred to as “yak back” in the sport. This can be caused by improper form, overuse, or a seat that isn’t fitted correctly in a kayak.

    • Muscle strains and joint sprains around the shoulder, elbow, and wrist can occur when an excessive force is used in paddling when fighting currents or rough conditions. The paddler may feel or hear a pop or crack, have increased pain with activity, feelings of instability, and a decrease in motion and strength. 

Treatment of injuries:

  • If an injury occurs while boating, discontinue activity immediately and seek medical attention. A proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional is critical to determine any needed treatment or intervention. 

    • For any soft tissue injuries, treat with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method initially and seek medical advice.

    • Do not resume activity until fully recovered from your injury.

“Being outdoors in nature it’s easy to underestimate the potential risks,” states Jacob. “That’s why it’s so important to ‘Be aware and prepare.’”

Tips:

  • Be realistic when planning your outing and assess your physical conditioning before heading out on a paddling adventure. If you have been stretching and working out on a regular basis, you will be able to avoid injury much better than if you have been sedentary and decide to go on a five-mile paddle.

  • Prior to paddling, be sure to stretch; especially your wrists, shoulders, neck and back.

  • ALWAYS wear a lifejacket or PFD (personal floatation device).

  • Stay calm and stable while in a boat.

  • When entering a canoe/kayak, you should:

    • Keep weight centered and low.

    • Use both hands on the sides of the boat for balance.

    • Be mindful of other larger boats as their wakes increase the risk of your boat capsizing.

    • Do not lean or stretch out to grab items that have fallen overboard, use your oar or paddle to retrieve it.

    • ALWAYS maintain three-points of contact for added stability.

  • Take a hands-on training course to get familiar with navigating a canoe or kayak. 

  • Try and avoid kayaking or canoeing alone; use the “buddy system” whenever possible. If unable, at least let someone know your plan: where you are going, what you will be doing, how long you will be gone.

  • Be sure to take and drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lead to muscle spasms and increased chance of injury.

Getting on the water is a great way to see the beauty of Maine. From canoe trips to rafting adventures, there are memories just waiting to be made. Staying safe and healthy through knowledge and preparation will help make sure your outing a successful one.

Northern Light Sports Health is here to help you not only stay healthy but recover quickly if you do get injured. No matter your age or ability, whenever an injury or illness occurs, we provide complete evaluation and care - fast. We’ll work with you to create a plan that gets you back to the activities you want to do, and to recover safely.

Learn more at: Sports Health - Northern Light Health.

Date: 07/21/2021

We are pleased to introduce Beth Salyer, MD to the Northern Light Women’s Health family.

Dr. Salyer earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Colby College. An Army veteran, she earned her Doctorate in Medicine from the Uniformed Services University.

In addition, Dr. Salyer has completed an Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency at New Hanover Regional Medical Center (Coastal AHEC) Wilmington, North Carolina and is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Salyer specializes in the following: Low and high-risk pregnancy and delivery, abnormal uterine bleeding, menstrual irregularities, adolescent and perimenopausal health, minimally invasive surgery (including Davinci robot-assisted), and non-narcotic management of pelvic pain. 

She is currently accepting new patients at Webber Building West, Suite 141, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

In her free time Dr. Salyer enjoys many outdoor activities, such as running, walking, hiking, and fly fishing. She is also an avid reader and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Date: 07/21/2021

Bangor, Maine (July 20, 2021) – The Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, and its team, serves to improve the delivery of healthcare related to infectious diseases and use of antimicrobials at Northern Light Health through an array of services. These include expert support and consultation to care teams, updating hospital policies, staff and community education, and public health initiatives.

Part of antimicrobial stewardship means ensuring the appropriate use of antibiotics. This is important not only to the individual patient, who can avoid unwanted side effects and consequences, but also to the population as a whole to prevent the rise of drug-resistant organisms which cause significant threats to public health.

The efforts from the Antimicrobial Stewardship team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center recently paid off when they received an accreditation as a Stewardship Center of Excellence from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The designation recognizes healthcare facilities that implement and maintain highly effective Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs.

Rebekah Gass, MD, lead physician, Infection Disease and co-director, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, says, “This designation is reflective of the expertise available at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, and our commitment to maintaining the highest quality of patient care. The bottom line is that antimicrobial stewardship improves patient outcomes and safeguards our community.”

To become a Center of Excellence, this dedicated team not only had to demonstrate that the Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality care in the use of antibiotics, but also implement incremental and lasting change at the organization.

“Antimicrobial Stewardship is not so much one specific thing as it is a culture,” explains Kyle Massey, PharmD, BCIDP, Infectious Diseases pharmacist, and co-director, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. “Globally, we’ve moved away from the culture of ‘just in case’ use of antibiotics to one where we know using fewer antibiotics, shorter durations of antibiotics, and earlier transitions to oral antibiotics lead to better outcomes for our patients.”
 

Date: 07/22/2021

Bangor, Maine (July 22, 2021) – The Inpatient Activity program came to life to help improve patients’ experiences and, hopefully, momentarily … take their mind off what brought them to the hospital. This program allows staff to truly connect with patients and spend quality time with them, through activities such as telling stories, playing games, painting, doing crafts, and more.

Each morning, Bree Clayton, adult life specialist, reviews the patients on the unit and comes up with a plan. Some patients like someone to keep them company, and they go to “Enrichment” with our student volunteers. Others may be anxious, depressed, confused, or experiencing delirium. Bree designs activities specifically to help improve the experience for these patients.

“The patients appreciate this program more than words can describe,” says Bree. “I’ve had patients in tears when I first walk in and laughing by the time I leave. It’s not just patients who appreciate this program. Family members have had nothing but kind words for my team when they come in and see their loved ones interacting with the program. We offer patients a chance to be somewhere else for a moment and focus on the life they still have ahead of them.”

This program has seen patients with confusion and lost hope become engaged and happy; patients with anger challenges become artists and interested in activities which leads to a healthier life. Patients who are engaged have better outcomes when they leave, and this program will no doubt help with that.
 

Date: 08/03/2021

northern-light_eastern-maine-medical-center-visitation-changes-aug-4-2021-(1).jpgAs cases of COVID-19 increase across the state due to the Delta variant, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center continues to review visitation policy and adjust to ensure everyone's safety.

Beginning Wednesday, August 4, most patients may have two loved ones visit per day between 9 am and 8 pm.

Changes beginning on August 4 include:
  • Adult inpatients: Two visitors per patient per day are permitted.
  • End-of-Life: Four visitors per patient, per day with two at the bedside at a time.
  • Trauma: Patient is permitted one escort while in this service area. The escort is permitted to leave the Medical Center one time each day and return.
Visitation remains unchanged in the following instances:
  • Emergency Department, Surgery/Procedure: Patient is permitted one escort while in these service areas. The escort is permitted to leave the Medical Center one time each day and return
  • Labor and Delivery: Two visitors permitted 24/7 during the labor process. Once the baby delivers, one support person may stay 24/7 and a second person may visit 9 am to 8 pm daily.
  • Outpatient appointments: Adult patients are still encouraged to come alone unless it is necessary for a support person to assist with communication, disruptive behavior, or mobility needs. For pediatric outpatient appointments, up to two parents/guardians/primary caregivers may accompany the patient.
  • Pediatric/NICU; patients who require additional support for communication, or behavioral health: Two visitors permitted at a time 24/7.
Visitors must be 18+ and meet screening requirements. Masking remains required at all times while at the Medical Center, regardless of vaccination status, following the CDC guidelines for the safety of all individuals in healthcare facilities. This means visitors may not eat or drink while in patient rooms or other patient care areas.

There are times when having additional loved ones present beyond standard visiting hours is crucial, and exceptions to these visiting changes will be reviewed by leaders on a case by case basis.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center continues to monitors COVID-19 changes in the community, and will adjust its policies to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and visitors.

Date: 08/16/2021

Bangor, Maine (August 16, 2021) – Nicole M. Mollica, RDMS, RVT, RMSKS is one of 26 in the US, and one of 29 in the entire world, who have passed a certain combination of ultrasound registries.

The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) administers examinations and awards credentials for ultrasound. ARDMS empowers sonographers to provide exceptional patient care through rigorous assessments and continual learning. To earn their credential(s), sonographers must first meet specific prerequisite and eligibility requirements. Certification distinguishes them as an expert in their field and demonstrates that they have the cutting-edge knowledge and skills needed to provide top care to our patients.

Nicole has taken the initiative to study, take, and pass additional registries to better prepare herself for caring for our patients. These include abdomen, breast, OB/GYN, pediatric, vascular, musculoskeletal.
Nicole’s leader, Lori Strout, RN, manager, Imaging, says, “From day one, Nicole set her standard high. She has not let any opportunity slip by her to improve herself and what she has to offer the Medical Center and our patients. She generously shares her knowledge with peers and students. Her initiative demonstrates the model of excellence we encourage and support in our Medical Imaging family--we are so proud!”

Nicole-map-2.jpg
 

Date: 08/18/2021

Bangor, Maine (August 18, 2021) – Each year, approximately 60,000 children are treated in emergency departments across the country because of medicines, or vitamins, not being stored properly and children getting into them, or after dosing errors occur. After ensuring that your children get the right amount of medicine, it’s just as important to make sure all medicines in your home are kept in a safe storage location. For parents and guardians, the top things you can do to property store medications are:
  • Store in locked cabinets--not in reachable areas
  • Make sure safety caps are placed on the medication bottles appropriately.
  • Remind guests, babysitters, or visiting family members to put their medications away when they are staying with you.
  • When you travel, be sure to tuck medications away. Most hotel rooms have passcode protected safes, or high cabinets for storage.
Thinking of these simple tips could avoid a trip to the Emergency Department with your precious family member.GettyImages-108225714-(1).jpg
Visit these helpful informational websites on this topic:
https://www.cdc.gov/patientsafety/features/safe-medicine-children.html
https://www.upandaway.org/
http://ConsumerMedSafety.org
If an emergency occurs, call Poison Control at 800-222-1222 or text POISON to 797979 to automatically save this number in your cell phone.
 

Date: 08/18/2021

Bangor, Maine  – The team at Northern Light Neurosurgery and Spine is pleased to announce the addition of a new surgeon, Kutluay Uluc, MD. Dr. Uluc earned his Doctorate degree from Istanbul University, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine in Turkey, and completed a Neurologic Surgery Residency at the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin Hospital. He completed one-year Skull Base Surgery, one-year medical Neuro-Oncology, and two-year Interventional Neuro-Radiology fellowships in Oregon Health and Science University.
 
Dr. Uluc joins the team specializing in the following:
  • Brain tumors
  • Skull Base Surgery
  • Interventional Neuroradiology
  • Neuro-Oncology
  • Vascular malformations of brain and spine
  • Cavernomas
  • Aneurysms
 
To reach Dr. Uluc, or for a referral to Northern Light Neurosurgery and Spine, please call 207.973.9949.
 

Date: 08/20/2021

Al-Ameri-Samer_8x10_HR-(1).jpgNorthern Light Internal Medicine, Husson Avenue has responded to the growing need for quality, compassionate care focused on the well-being of every individual by expanding its provider team. The practice is pleased to add Samer Al-Ameri, MD to its team of seven providers.

Dr. Al-Ameri earned his medical degree from Saba University School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Al-Ameri is board eligible in internal medicine.

Dr. Al-Ameri’s areas of focus are preventive medicine, chronic disease management, and patient education and advocacy.

“My approach to medicine is to provide patient-centered care that is customized to each person’s unique needs,” he says. “I encourage my patients to be proactive members of their healthcare team.”

A speaker of four languages, Dr. Al-Ameri is looking forward to all that Maine has to offer, especially our state’s natural beauty. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, traveling, and reading.

Date: 08/23/2021

northern-light_eastern-maine-medical-center-visitation-changes-aug-4-2021-(1).jpg
As COVID-19 cases rise across the state, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center adjusts its visitation policy to ensure the safety of patients, visitors, and staff. Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, August 24, most patients may have one loved one visit per day between 2 and 7 pm.

Visitation changes beginning on August 24 include: 
  • Adult inpatients: One visitor per patient per day is permitted from 2 to 7 pm.
  • Labor and Delivery: One support person is permitted 24/7.
  • Patients who require additional support for communication or behavioral health: One visitor is permitted at a time 24/7. Up to two people in a 24-hour period.
 
Visitation remains unchanged in the following instances: 
  • Emergency Department, Surgery/Procedure: Patient is permitted one escort for the time while in these service areas. The escort is permitted to leave the Medical Center one time each day and return.
  • End-of-Life: Four visitors per patient, per day with two at the bedside at a time.
  • Outpatient appointments: Adult patients are still encouraged to come alone unless it is necessary for a support person to assist with communication, disruptive behavior, or mobility needs. For pediatric outpatient appointments, up to two parents/guardians/primary caregivers may accompany the patient.
  • Pediatric/NICU: Two parents/guardians, per patient, per day 24/7.
  • Trauma: Patient is permitted one escort for the time while in the service area. The escort is permitted to leave the Medical Center one time each day and return.
As a reminder, all visitors must be 18+, meet screening requirements, and remain masked at all times while at the Medical Center, regardless of vaccination status, following the CDC guidelines for the safety of all individuals in healthcare facilities. This means visitors may not eat or drink while in patient rooms or other patient care areas and must use public restrooms in the facility. Masks must cover the nose and mouth at all times.

There are times when having additional loved ones present beyond standard visiting hours is crucial, and exceptions to these visiting changes will be reviewed by leaders on a case by case basis.

Date: 08/24/2021

Bangor, Maine (August 24, 2021) – As healthcare professionals, the team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center promises to treat all with compassion, dignity, and respect no matter race, sexual orientation, background, or social standing. While progress toward true social and medical justice in our society will take time, the Medical Center has made tremendous strides in that work, and given great attention to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.

Recently, a patient came to us with an idea that we really liked and knew could make a great impact on our patient’s, staff and community. That idea has grown into a pilot program at EMMC. Starting this week, we began making pronoun buttons available at both the main hospital entrance and the entrance to the Emergency Department. The idea is that patients, community members, and staff have the option to choose a button to wear that displays their preferred pronouns. When cisgender people present pronouns, it normalizes it for everyone and protects trans and gender diverse people when they show their pronouns. Having pronouns displayed signals you as an LGBTQIA+ ally.

Sarah Joy, director, Patient Experience, says, “Listening to the voice of our patients is key to building a trusting healthcare relationship. When they come to us with a suggestion for how we can improve our care delivery, it is incredibly rewarding to see our teams jump into action and deliver a result that makes our patients feel seen and heard. Using someone’s desired gender pronouns is one of the main ways to show respect for their identity. It is incredibly rewarding to be part of an organization that celebrates and encourages all people.”


 

Date: 08/30/2021

Northern Light Plastic and Hand welcomes new surgeon
 

Bangor, Maine (August 30, 2021) – The team at Northern Light Plastic and Hand at Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to announce the addition of a new plastic and hand surgeon, Ronald Bogdasarian, MD. Dr. Bogdasarian completed his medical education at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, and an integrated plastic surgery residency at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
 
He is board eligible for the American Board of Plastic Surgery and specializes in reconstructive, cosmetic, and hand surgery. His clinical interests are in hand surgery, reconstruction after trauma, breast surgery, removal of cancerous tumors, facial reconstruction, body contouring, cosmetics, and microsurgery. In his words, “The best healthcare is delivered as a team with a fully informed and educated patient. It is my pledge to prepare for all my patient’s individual needs and to maintain a close relationship with them, during their healthcare journey”
 
To reach Dr. Bogdasarian, or for a referral to Northern Light Plastic and Hand, please call 207.973.9950.


 

Date: 08/30/2021

Please join us in welcoming Kate Worcester, PA-C to Northern Light Cardiology. Kate earned her Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Maine, Orono followed by her Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of New England, Biddeford. Kate brings 15 years of inpatient internal medicine and general surgery experience to our organization and was most recently employed as a Physician Assistant in Outpatient Internal Medicine and General Surgery at Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor.

Board certified with the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, MaineWorcester-Kate_8x12.jpg Association of Physician Assistants, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Kate has a strong background in complicated co-morbid conditions, specifically involving pulmonology and cardiology.

When she’s not caring for her patients, you can find her gardening, hitting the links for a round of golf, or watching her son play basketball. Welcome aboard, Kate!
 

Date: 09/02/2021

As part of Penquis’ “We’ve got your back” program, the Medical Center put a call out to employees, asking for donations of new backpacks and school supplies. The staff responded by donating more than 112 backpacks, most with a variety of school supplies inside.

This program gets important tools to kids who need them most. Collecting backpacks and school supplies for children in need will help children in the community start their school year off on the right foot. Campfire-800x400-backpack-program-united-way-(1).jpg

Ali Worster, Esq., vice president, Human Resource and Patient Experience, says, “We are so proud to participate in this program with these great community partners. As a mother of three, I know firsthand how important it is for our students to have what they need to excel. I thank each and every one of our staff members who made a generous donation!”

For more information about this program, including information on how you can donate, please visit www.unitedwayem.org/fill-the-bus/
 
 

Date: 09/07/2021

Northern Light Pediatric Inpatient Care welcomes new provider
 
Bangor, Maine (September 7, 2021) – Welcome Philip Cook, DO to Northern Pediatric Inpatient Care. Dr. Cook earned his Bachelor’s in Medical Biology at the University of New England in Biddeford, followed by his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, also in Biddeford. He completed a Pediatric residency at Bernard and Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.

Dr. Cook has most recently been employed as a pediatric hospitalist and assistant professor of Pediatrics at Albany Medical College in New York and specializes in the care of hospitalized pediatric patients with a particular interest in quality improvement, safety, and pediatric sedation. Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Cook’s main goal is the health and comfort of the children in his care. He works hard to ensure they are at ease, which helps promote physical and mental wellness. Welcome aboard, Dr. Cook.
Cook-Phillip_8x12.jpg
 

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: 09/09/2021

Edwards-Sarah_8x10_HR.jpgNorthern Light Women’s Health is excited to welcome Sarah Edwards, DO, to their team! Her goal is to provide every patient with personalized care, giving them evidence-based options and confidence to make well informed decisions about their own health and well-being.

Dr. Edwards earned her medical degree at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Wellspan York Hospital. She is board eligible in obstetrics and gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Edwards specializes in:
  • Routine prenatal care
  • High and low risk obstetrics
  • Infertility
  • Contraception
  • Full spectrum of well-woman care from adolescence to menopause
  • Surgical and non-surgical management of gynecologic conditions including:
    • Surgical sterilizations
    •  Fibroids
    •  Pelvic pain
    •  Incontinence
    • Abnormal uterine bleeding
For an appointment with Dr. Edwards call 207.973.4670

Date: 09/20/2021

Bangor, Maine (September 20, 2021) – You may not have heard the term apheresis before, but this blood filtering treatment is transforming lives for those who need it. The therapeutic apheresis program at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is growing, with 300% more procedures compared to 2017, with upwards of 487 performed so far just this year.
 
Therapeutic apheresis is used to treat neuromuscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, and chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy; metabolic disorders such as certain types of encephalopathy and extremely high triglyceride levels; hematologic disorders such as sickle cell anemia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, and certain parasitic infections. This treatment may also be used for patients with leukemia with life-threatening elevated white blood cell counts.
 
“We see the difference apheresis treatment makes in the quality of life for our patients,” says Kael Mikesell, DO, medical director, Patient Blood Management. “We have patients that need a specific kind of apheresis treatment and our team supports them by researching and learning new treatment protocols in response to their needs. The dedication to enhancing our apheresis program shows in its growth, making us better equipped to serve patients throughout the northern two-thirds of our state.”
 
Amy Brasslett is a patient whose diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder called myasthenia gravis was life changing. She says, “I went from being a very active Mom and nurse to a patient with a chronic illness. I went from hiking and working full time, to struggling to walk, chew my food, and sometimes breathe. I started plasmapheresis as an inpatient, and continued with routine treatments as an outpatient, three times a week monthly for a year. My physical therapist noticed the improvement right away. I was finally able to make progress, and, over time, I have become almost symptom free.”

Tuesday, September 21, is Apheresis Awareness Day, and the team at the Medical Center will highlight their areas of specialty by presenting two online educational sessions for staff interested in learning more about the treatment. During the Zoom session, the team will provide an overview of the state-of-the-art equipment, customized plans, and the process of safely filtering blood while monitoring for necessary transfusions.
 
To learn more about therapeutic apheresis, visit northernlighthealth.org/EMMCApheresis or call 207.973.8606 and the apheresis team will can answer questions and help individuals schedule a referral for treatment.

Date: 09/27/2021

Bangor, Maine (September 27, 2021) – The team at Northern Light Urology is pleased to announce the arrival of two new providers, Marisa Gray, MD, and Laura Leddy, MD.
 
Dr. Gray completed her medical education at the University of North Carolina, and her Urology residency at the University of Virginia. Her clinical interests include male sexual health, Peyronie’s disease, robotic urologic procedures, scrotal and testicular complaints, and kidney cancer. Dr. Gray strives to provide compassionate care for her patients and community.
 
Dr. Leddy earned her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville and completed her Urology residency and fellowship in Trauma and Reconstructive Urology at the University of Washington in Seattle. She specializes in genitourinary reconstruction including urethral stricture, urinary incontinence, and diversion, rectourethral fistula, erectile dysfunction, and voiding dysfunction. Dr Leddy believes in listening to each person’s individual goals to work together to develop a plan for their urologic reconstruction that improves quality of life.
 
To reach Northern Light Urology, please call 207.947.0469. Below, Dr. Gray on the left and Dr. Leddy on the right.
Gray-Marisa_8x10_HR.jpgLeddy-Laura_8x10_HR.jpg

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: 09/28/2021

Mark-Abel-MD-200-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (September 28, 2021) — Infectious disease is a popular topic these days and to meet the community need for expertise, Northern Light Infectious Disease Care expands to welcome Mark Abel, MD, MPH to the team. He treats a wide variety of infectious diseases, with a special interest in infectious disease prevention, epidemiology, and public health.

Dr. Abel earned his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and a fellowship in Infectious Disease and Preventive Medicine at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital – Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH.
 
An interest in public health led Dr. Abel to earn a Master of Public Health from Dartmouth College, helping to shape his philosophy as an advocate for optimum health for his community. Dr. Abel is board certified in Internal Medicine by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and board eligible in both Infectious Disease and Preventive Medicine.
 
Dr. Abel is seeing patients at 417 State Street, Suite 200, Webber East. For a referral, please call 207. 973.4377.

Date: 10/06/2021

Booster-Clinic-Union-St-Web-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (October 6, 2021) – As the number of Mainers vaccinated against COVID-19 rises, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center continues to respond to the needs of the community. The Medical Center will launch a public clinic on Thursday, October 7 for those eligible to receive the Pfizer booster. The clinic will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 4 pm at Northern Light Health Center, Union Street in Bangor.
 
Boosters are recommended for those people who received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago (April 2021) and are 65 or over, who live in long-term care facilities, or are between 50 and 64 years old with underlying medical conditions. Also eligible are those 18 years or over with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of exposure at work, such as first responders, healthcare workers, teachers, and day care workers. People who meet these criteria should talk with their healthcare providers to ensure the booster is right for them.
 
Individuals who received either the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are not eligible for the Pfizer booster.
 
Registration is required to receive a booster vaccine. For more information or to sign up for an appointment, visit NorthernLightHealth.org/COVID or by calling 207.204.8551. Registered patients are reminded to bring their COVID-19 vaccination card to the appointment.

Date: 10/11/2021

Bangor, Maine (October 5, 2021) – Northern Light Health is now using advanced technology to identify, screen, and support more patients with lung cancer throughout the state of Maine. Lung Cancer accounts for 25 percent of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and causes more deaths than the next three cancers combined. Maine’s lung cancer rates are 30% higher than the national average, and 75% of lung cancer cases diagnosed in Maine are detected too late and, as a result, are less likely to be curable. However, lung cancer screening rates remain some of the lowest. By using advanced technology Northern Light Health is now able to automatically identify patients at a higher risk of lung cancer and notify these patients that they should be screened. Increased screenings rates result in increased early detection improving the 5-year survival rate from 6 percent to 57.5 percent according to the American Lung Association.
 
Amy McClary, RN BSN, lung cancer screening nurse navigator, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center says, “Northern Light Health is excited to use this new technology to support our lung cancer screening patients and providers. We look forward to the in-depth analytics it will provide to help us better understand our opportunities for improvement so we can continue to meet the needs of the communities we serve.”
 
Northern Light Health’s investment in state-of-the-art lung cancer screening technology is a further commitment to improve population health in Maine through lung cancer education, eligibility identification, lung cancer screening outreach programs, and a more effective and efficient lung cancer screening program.
 
To speak to Amy, please contact Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or emmcmediarequest.northernlight.org 
 

Date: 10/12/2021

Cleary-Alisia_8x10_HR.jpgBangor, Maine (October 12, 2021) — Northern Light Primary Care in Hampden is pleased to introduce Alisa Cleary, DO, to the practice.
 
Dr. Cleary earned her Doctorate in Medicine from Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine and performed her residency at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Family Medicine.
 
She specializes in family medicine and addiction medicine and is interested in general primary care for all ages, musculoskeletal conditions, and addiction disorders.
 
Dr. Cleary enjoys working with her patients to help them achieve their best health. “I understand that each patient is a unique individual, and I am interested in their stories.  I like to listen and incorporate wellness, exercise and lifestyle changes in the care of my patients.”
 
When she’s not working, Dr. Cleary enjoys exercise/strength training, gardening, and reading.
 
She is currently accepting new patients at 7 Main Road North in Hampden. You can reach the practice by calling 862-9400.
 

Date: 10/15/2021

William-Bassett-MD-pediatric-orthopedic-surgeon200-(1).jpgNorthern Light Pediatric Orthopedics is pleased to announce that William Bassett, MD, has joined the team, the only fellowship-trained surgeon in the state performing complex pediatric orthopedic surgery. Dr. Bassett treats benign bone tumors, club feet, foot reconstruction, fracture care, hip dysplasia, leg length discrepancy, lower extremity deformity, scoliosis, and slipped capital femoral epiphysis.
           
Dr. Bassett earned his medical education from Drexel College of Medicine, completed a residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Orthopedic Residency, and a fellowship in Pediatric Orthopedics and Scoliosis at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
 
Dr. Bassett is proud to provide subspecialized surgical care to patients throughout Maine. He says, “My goal as a pediatric orthopedist is to help children retain and regain their childhood by enabling families to take part in activities that they enjoy, while improving patients’ overall quality of life. I help families understand complex problems while providing realistic and attainable goals.”
 
A member associate of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and American Orthopedic Association, Dr. Bassett is eligible for certification by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
 
Dr. Bassett treats patients at both Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and at Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville. For a referral to see Dr. Bassett in Bangor, please call 207.973.9570, or call 207.861.7862 for an appointment in Waterville.

Date: 10/20/2021

Carrying excess weight can be hard on the joints, making it difficult to take part in activities and enjoy life to its fullest. Community members interested in learning how to improve their energy, self-esteem, and happiness are welcome to join Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s virtual Surgical Weight Loss information session on Tuesday, October 26.

During the free Zoom event from 6 to 7 pm, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss experts will offer an overview of the comprehensive program which includes nutrition, education, physical therapy, professional counseling, surgery, and peer support.

Toder-Michelle_200x200.jpgAttendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from Michelle Toder, MD, FACS, medical director and bariatric surgeon, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss.

Individuals ready to take the next step in their health and learn about this nationally recognized surgical program are invited to join the virtual info session right from home. Sign up at Northernlighthealth.org/SWL or by calling 207.973.6383.

Date: 10/26/2021

Osteoporosis is responsible for more than a staggering two million fractures each year, that is one fracture every three seconds! The health of your bones is increasingly important as you age. Older adults often have bone loss or a low bone density that makes the bones weaker, and this can lead to an increased risk of fractures. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation up to 50% of all women and 25% of men over the age of 50 years will sustain a fragility fracture, which result from low energy trauma, such as a fall from standing height or less, and would otherwise not be expected to result in a fracture. Studies show that patients who have had a fragility fracture are two to four times more likely to experience another fracture than those who have never had a fracture. Yet, 80% of Medicare patients do not receive recommended osteoporosis care following a fragility fracture.

Northern Light Orthopedics at Eastern Maine Medical Center was recently recognized as a Star Performer by the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone program, which helps provide secondary (after fracture) osteoporosis care to prevent future fractures, pain and suffering, and cost that comes with these injuries. This Star Performer achievement is reserved only for institutions that perform the highest level of bone health care after a fragility fracture to prevent future fractures.

The Northern Light Orthopedics Bone Health program achieved a 100% compliance rate of the ten Own the Bone prevention measures, including: educating patients on the importance of Calcium and Vitamin D, physical activity, falls prevention, limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking; recommending and initiating bone mineral density testing; discussing pharmacotherapy and treatment (when applicable); and providing written communication to the patient and their primary care provider regarding specific risk factors and treatment recommendations.

“Through our participation in Own the Bone and recognition as an Own the Bone Star Performer, this team has demonstrated a commitment to helping patients understand their risk for future fractures and the steps they can take to prevent them,” explains Kathy Forti-Gallant, DNP, FNP-C, RNFA, Northern Light Orthopedics. Northern Light Orthopedics Bone Health program also provides primary (before fracture) osteoporosis care, as are several other primary care practices in the area through Northern Light Health. Other practices such as rheumatology and endocrinology are collaborating on these efforts, which are key to building this program for our community.

To learn more about our Bone Health program call 973.9980 or discuss with your primary care provider.

 

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Date: 10/27/2021

Campfire-Inland-patient-(1).jpgWe are excited to tell you about a wonderful collaboration between the Medical Center and another member hospital, Northern Light Inland Hospital. It’s all about caring staff, advanced technology and making healthcare work for our patients, meeting them where they are and when they’re ready.
 
Amy McClary, RN BSN, lung cancer screening nurse navigator, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center received a referral from an Inland Hospital provider for one of their patients in need of a lung cancer screening. Amy called the patient, ensured the patient met the screening criteria, and asked if the patient was interested in the program – which the patient was!  
 
Amy then offered the patient a virtual or an in-office appointment. Unfortunately, neither would work for the patient. Not wanting to lose the opportunity to help this patient, Amy began to research other options by calling her contacts at Inland Hospital. She connected with the practice manager and arranged that the patient to go to the primary care provider’s office. The patient was able to complete the virtual appointment and was extremely happy that we took the extra steps to figure out how to be “seen” without the patient having to leave the community.
 
This success story shows the passion of our staff and the strength of our technology. Thanks, Amy, for never giving up!
 
 

Date: 10/29/2021

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center recognizes World Stroke Day, earns national recognition for efforts to improve stroke treatment

GWTG_TS-TT2D-PLUS_2021_Gold_4C-(1).jpgOctober 29 is World Stroke Day. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a primary cause of adult disability in the United States. Fast access to treatment saves lives and improves recovery.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, which was recently reaccredited by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, is pleased to announce it has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®- Stroke Gold Plus with Honor Roll Quality Achievement Award, as well as the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll. The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognizes the Medical Center for its continued success in using the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke, Target: StrokeSM and Target: Type 2 DiabetesSM programs.

“Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to helping our patients have the best possible chance of survival after a stroke,” said Interim Stroke Medical Director Tarek Wazzan, MD neurologist - stroke specialist. “Get With The Guidelines-Stroke makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis to improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

Each year program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

“We are pleased to recognize Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and executive vice chair of Neurology, director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get with The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

Warning signs of a stroke include:

  • Sudden, severe, otherwise unexplainable headache
  • Sudden numbness of weakness in the face or limbs, often on only one side of the body
  • Sudden speech difficulties (speaking or understanding)
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden vision problems
  • Sudden dizziness or problems with balance, coordination, or walking

Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know experiences any of the warning signs.

Date: 11/02/2021

The Lights of Life holiday trees at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute and Northern Light Acadia Hospital will be illuminated in early December to recognize special individuals who have touched the lives of families in our communities.

Community members are invited to purchase lights for the trees to honor and remember special people in their lives.

The Lafayette Family Cancer Institute tree will recognize friends, family members, caregivers, and others who have been affected by cancer. Every light purchased will brighten the tree and support the exceptional care provided by the Northern Light Cancer Care team.

The Acadia Hospital tree will be illuminated in recognition of all who have been affected by mental illness and substance use disorder, including those who are overcoming their challenges and those who have been lost. Proceeds will support the high quality, compassionate behavioral healthcare provided at Acadia Hospital. The 2021 Lights of Life ceremony will be the first tree lighting ceremony to be held at the hospital.

Six levels of recognition are available, beginning with white lights at $10 and culminating with purple lights at $500. The star on top of the tree can also be purchased. Upon request, Lights of Life cards will be provided for those who purchase lights to send to honorees.

There will not be public gatherings for this year’s events due to COVID-19 precautions. Instead, brief remarks and a video of the Acadia Hospital tree lighting will be available on Northern Light Acadia Hospital’s Facebook page on Thursday, December 2 after 6 pm. The Lafayette Family Cancer Institute tree lighting will be posted to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Facebook page at 5:30 pm on December 9.

Every dollar raised through Lights of Life will stay local to support care offered by Northern Light Health. For more information or to purchase a light, please visit http://northernlighthealth.org/AcadiaLights (Acadia Hospital) or http://northernlighthealth.org/EMMCLights (Cancer Care). 

Date: 11/03/2021

Did you know…
  • Every 3.3 minutes someone in the US dies of lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer kills 433 Americans each day. To put this in perspective, that’s the same number of seats on a 747 airliner.
  • Lung cancer kills almost two times as many women as breast cancer and has held that position for more than 30 years.
  • Maine lung cancer rates are 30% higher than the national average.
  • Nine million Americans are eligible for screening, but only 3% of eligible patients are screened.
  • The five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer is approximately 5%.
  • 75% of lung cancers detected last fiscal year from a lung cancer screening CT were early stage
    lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer screening, with a low dose CT scan, is designed to detect cancers at an early, potentially curable stage when patients have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and despite these alarming statistics, there IS good news!
Early detection is key, and, thanks to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Lung Cancer Screening Program, Mainers can discover potential issues earlier, resulting in more treatment options and better outcomes. Essentially, patients without symptoms are detecting cancer earlier and living longer because of these screenings. In fact, in 2021, out of 2,700 patients screened, 27 patients began receiving treatment for lung cancer after it was detected through the Program.

“Our goal is to spread awareness of our Program in hopes of enrolling more eligible people who may be at risk of having unrecognized, potentially curable lung cancer,” says John Klemperer, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and director, Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program. “We work to help patients understand the benefits of a lung cancer screening, assist them with insurance questions, and ensure they’re receiving appropriate follow up care.”

Since its beginning, the program at the Medical Center in Bangor has partnered with hospitals across Northern Light Health to offer initial lung cancer screenings at these member hospitals:
  • Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, Presque Isle
  • Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital, Blue Hill
  • Northern Light CA Dean Hospital, Greenville
  • Northern Light Inland Hospital, Waterville
  • Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, Ellsworth
  • Northern Light Mayo Hospital, Dover Foxcroft
  • Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Portland
  • Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, Pittsfield
Anyone who thinks they may be at risk of lung cancer should speak with their primary care provider and find out if a local screening option is available and covered by their insurance plan. 

To learn more about the Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program, visit northernlight.org/emmclung or call 207.973.5822.
 

Date: 11/04/2021

Bangor, Maine (November 4, 2021) – Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center announced today continued investment in its team members by establishing a $17 an hour minimum wage and other wage adjustments estimated to benefit nearly 2,000 employees.

“We continually evaluate our internal resource needs, the market conditions, and hiring trends. Though we are facing unprecedented financial challenges, we believe it is imperative we invest in the retention of our staff, and continued recruitment of our workforce,” says Rand O’Leary, MSA, FACHE, senior vice president of Northern Light Health and president of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

These enhancements are expected to positively impact recruitment and retention in key areas of patient care delivery. For instance, the starting wage for certified nursing assistants will move to $19 under the new plan and registered/certified medical assistant starting wages will bump to $20.27.
 
Overall, the plan is estimated to add $6 million in first year expenses. “This is an investment we believe is warranted and vital to the continued delivery of our mission. The pandemic has highlighted how crucial our healthcare workforce is to meeting the needs of our community. Our staff is dedicated to caring for our patients, and we’re steadfast in our resolve to ensure they are well compensated for their talents and passion,” O’Leary adds.

Date: 11/09/2021

Bangor, Maine (November 9, 2021) – To brighten the days of patients, visitors, and staff, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center recently launched the Care Cart Program.
The Care Cart is filled with snacks and treats for staff to enjoy, as well as a variety of comfort items and activities to enrich the experience for patients and visitors during their hospital stay. It is completely volunteer-driven and rounds through the hospital on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Hospital staff may also volunteer their time to round with the Cart on other days.
To align with infection prevention standards, the Cart does not enter patient rooms. Instead, patients and visitors can choose items from a menu, which the rounding volunteer then delivers to them. Patients are also offered a feedback card to suggest items to customize the Cart.
Anyone who would like to help support the program can do so by donating commonly requested items to stock the Care Cart. The most popular items requested by patients and visitors are:
  • Variety packs of colored pencils, colored markers, and crayons
  • Art paper
  • Activity books
  • Card games
  • Stress balls
  • Eye masks
  • Over-the-ear headphones
New, unused donations can be shipped directly to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, ATTN: Volunteer Services, 489 State St, Bangor, ME 04401. Community Members may also help support the Care Cart by applying to become a volunteer. For more information, visit our volunteer page online.
 
Note: Media wishing to speak with a member of Volunteer Services or Patient Experience are welcome to contact Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or at emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.

Date: 11/12/2021

heartburn-information-session-Nov18-2021-200-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (November 12, 2021) – Up to 30 percent of adults in the US experience acid reflux, or heartburn, every week. Although nearly everyone will experience heartburn at some point in their life, there may be a bigger issue if it means avoiding favorite foods, waking up at night, and taking medications to stop heartburn symptoms.

To improve quality of life, individuals may need to consider addressing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, hiatal hernia, and esophageal symptoms. To learn more about how minimally-invasive robotic assisted surgery may help treat heartburn, register today to attend an information session on Thursday, November 18, from 6 to 7 pm. 

Hetherman-headshot.jpgDuring the free Zoom information session, Daniel Hetherman, MD, surgeon, Northern Light Surgical Specialists, will explain how patients referred by their primary care provider to the Heartburn Program at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center may be able to live a life without heartburn or taking daily prescriptions for heartburn symptoms. Individuals who register can log on to the info session to learn more and get answers to their questions directly from Dr. Hetherman.
 
Registration is available online at NorthernLight.org/EMMCHeartburn or by calling 207.973.5077.

Date: 11/16/2021

Bangor, Maine (November 16, 2021) - Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for approximately 30% of all cancer deaths. While fewer people are smoking cigarettes and smoking rates have drastically dropped in the country during the past several decades, an estimated 34.2 million people in the US still smoke. For this year’s Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 18, the American Cancer Society (ACS) is reminding people who smoke to use this day to consider committing to a tobacco-free and smoke-free life year-round, especially people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The ACS has hosted the Great American Smokeout since 1976 as a public awareness event to encourage people to quit smoking. It is held annually on the third Thursday of November. 

Smoking rates in the US declined from 42% in 1965 to 13.7% in 2018, but the gains are inconsistent, and some groups continue to smoke, or smoke more heavily than others. Each year, more than 55% of people in the US who smoke, try to quit. However, only about 7% who try to quit succeed, in part because of lack of access to smoking cessation resources and support. While quitting smoking can be difficult, people can increase their chances of success if they have a plan, including nicotine replacement therapy, or other FDA-approved medications and counseling.

Amy McClary, RN BSN, nurse navigator, Lung Cancer Screening Program, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, says “the Great American Smokeout is a good time to quit smoking, or make a plan to quit smoking. We know that once a person quits, the benefits are almost instantaneous. Within 20 minutes of quitting a person’s heart rate and blood pressure go back to the normal limits. If you are wanting to quit, or are ready to quit, there are resources available. Reach out to your healthcare provider today, or contact the Maine Quit Link at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for more resources and support.”

It’s never too late to quit. For more information and support visit cancer.org.

To learn more about the Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program, visit northernlight.org/emmclung or call 207.973.5822. 
 

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: 11/18/2021

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

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: 11/22/2021

Just days away from Thanksgiving and we have so much to be thankful for. The cardiovascular team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center started a project in March that they are very thankful for: construction on a new heart catheterization lab. This project was made possible thanks to an anonymous donation of $2.5 million dollars. This renovation increases capacity and equips the space to meet the growing cardiology needs in our region.

The Cardiology team welcomed their first patient on November 16, only a few short months after the project began. The new cath lab will see up to six patients per day for diagnostic and stenting procedures.

The new space improves access and advances image quality and technology, which provides physicians with top-notch tools to diagnose heart conditions. Jennifer Modery, BS, RT(R), manager, Northern Light Interventional Services says, “This donation is an amazing gift for our community. We can now provide patients with the latest diagnostic cardiac technology close to home. We could not be more pleased by this generous contribution!”

The Medical Center teams are grateful to all who made this happen, and to the anonymous donor. This addition will help Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center continue to meet the healthcare needs of the community well into the future.
 
Note: Media wishing to speak with a member of Northern Light Cardiology are welcome to contact Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.

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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: 12/01/2021

Spend some time on the road and you might spot a truck painted with a giant pink ribbon, the words “Trucking for a Cure,” and a Pottle’s Transportation logo. Every mile that this truck has racked up hauling loads throughout the Northeast has raised awareness and supported local cancer care.

Recently, Pottle’s Transportation donated one and a half cents for each of the truck’s 395,527 miles to Northern Light Cancer Care. The total amount of Pottle’s gift was $5,932.91.

“Cancer awareness is near and dear to the Pottle’s family,” says Chelsea Pottle Demmons, vice president, Pottle’s Transportation. “Many of our employees and their families have been affected by cancer. Supporting this cause makes us feel like we’re really making a difference as a company.”

The breast cancer awareness truck was initially part of the company fleet but has been owned by Kathy Wildes, a Pottle’s owner-operator, since 2019.

Pottle’s donation will stay local to support cancer care services provided at Northern Light Cancer Care in Brewer. The gift builds on a legacy of support for local cancer care services that began when the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute first opened in 2009. A room in the building is dedicated in memory of Betty Modery, the result of a special gift made to the facility by her children Barry Pottle, president of Pottle’s Transportation, and Cindy Nightingale, payroll manager.

“We are incredibly grateful for Pottle’s support,” says Donna Boehm, MSN, MPH, RN, associate vice president, Oncology Services. “With our community’s support, we’re able to ensure that the level of care that our patients deserve is available close to home.”

Family owned and operated since it was founded in 1962, Pottle’s is based in Hermon and has other terminals in Allentown and Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Pottle’s has 250 team members, including 64 owner-operators. The company primarily serves the Northeast.

Pictured at a recent check presentation are, from left to right, are: Donna Boehm, MSN, MPH, RN, associate vice president, Oncology Services, Northern Light Cancer Care; Cindy Nightingale, payroll manager, Pottle’s; Chelsea Pottle Demmons, vice president, Pottle’s; Kathy Wildes, Pottle’s owner-operator; Suzanne Pottle; and Jeni Lloyd, philanthropy officer, major gifts, Northern Light Health Foundation.

Date: 12/28/2021

Lights of Life invites our community to honor and remember friends, family members, caregivers, and other special people in our lives who have been affected by cancer. The names of individuals who are honored with a light are listed below and will be on display at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute throughout the holiday season.

Every light supports the exceptional care provided at Northern Light Cancer Care. The Cancer Care team is grateful for the community's support of Lights of Life.

We are pleased to recognize our 2021 honorees (final update on 1.3.22):

Stars
In Memory of Donald Dysart
In Honor of Kleczyk Family
In Honor of Strout Family
In Memory of Bob Tufts

Purple Lights
In Honor of All Kids Receiving Care
In Memory of Allen, Ruth, Gwen and Carolyn
In Memory of Michael Eremita
In Memory of Terry Fournier
In Honor of Cathy Gero
In Memory of Jeanette (Jan) Grindle
In Honor of Ramsey Lafayette

Orange Lights
In Memory of Bette L. Grant
In Memory of Judson M. Grant
In Memory of Valerie Malikowski
In Memory of Rita and Arthur Qualey
In Memory of Anita Sargent Leonard
In Memory of Jeanette Settele
In Honor of David Sewall
In Honor of Carlene Thibeault

Blue Lights
In Honor of All Cancer Patients and Survivors
In Memory of Anonymous
In Memory of Roberta L. Arsenault
In Memory of Peg and Bill Bennett
In Memory of Ann B. Bissell
In Memory of Richard M. Bissell, Jr.
In Honor of John Boehm
In Memory of Patrick Bouchard
In Memory of Elizabeth Murphy Briggs
In Memory of Georgette Briggs
In Memory of Sean P. Casey
In Memory of Collin D. Clement
In Memory of Carol and Danny Cummings
In Memory of Ernest H. Davenport
In Memory of Albert and Ruth Davidson
In Memory of Alice R. Day
In Honor of Kristeena DiPasquale
In Memory of Joan Dumont
In Honor of Karen Erdley
In Memory of Terrance Fournier
In Memory of Terrance Fournier
In Memory of Herbert L. Fowle, Jr.
In Memory of Ramona Gallant
In Honor of Tina Gallant
In Memory of Sheila Gilman
In Memory of Donald Goss
In Memory of William Hanscom
In Memory of H. David Harmoning
In Memory of Mary Hermann
In Memory of Tracy Hibbard Kasprzak
In Honor of Aaron Johnson
In Memory of Rebecca Johnston
In Memory of Carolyn King
In Memory of Dave Kluzak
In Memory of Mart Lapin
In Memory of Alice P. Logan
In Memory of Pamela and Kenneth MacLeod
In Memory of Valerie Malikowski
In Memory of Valerie Malikowski
In Memory of Virginia C. Martel
In Memory of Albert E. Martel, Jr.
In Memory of Judy McClay
In Memory of Jacquelyn McKinney-Hutchinson
In Honor of Frank C. Morgan
In Memory of Jonathan Mullis
In Memory of Jonathan Mullis
In Memory of Norris Nickerson
In Memory of Irma Parent
In Memory of Claire and Edward Porter, M.D.
In Memory of Proulx
In Memory of Barbara Roach, RN
In Memory of Karen Rupert
In Honor of Michael San Antonio
In Memory of Guy Schrag
In Memory of Rick Schrage
In Memory of Kathy F. Small
In Memory of Amaryl R. Smith
In Honor of Staff of LFCI
In Memory of Robert Tapley
In Honor of Carlene Thibeault
In Memory of Tom Thompson
In Memory of Blake Vaillancourt
In Memory of Brandon Washburn
In Honor of Grayson Wentworth
In Honor of Keith Young

Green Lights
In Memory of Arthur S. Allen
In Honor of Maria Baeza
In Honor of Jennifer Bagley
In Memory of Albert "Butch" Baranek
In Memory of Jocelyne Baranek
In Memory of Jennifer Bechard
In Memory of Paul S. Blouin
In Memory of Kelly Cassum
In Memory of Cary Comer
In Memory of Roy Corbin
In Memory of Bernie Corneil
In Memory of Joan Crosby
In Honor of Dad, Margot, Bryan, Linda, Kristina, Kate
In Memory of Dr. Shirley Dearborn
In Memory of Vance E. Dearborn
In Memory of Donald J. Ellioitt
In Honor of Phil Getchell
In Memory of Steve Giles
In Memory of Martha Grant
In Memory of Roger L. Howes
In Memory of Mark Keogh
In Memory of Everett Lancaster
In Memory of Laurence and Mary Leavitt
In Memory of Howard A. Leland
In Memory of Louis D. Lindsay
In Honor of Everett Maddocks
In Memory of Valerie Malikowski
In Memory of Valerie Malikowski
In Memory of Robert L. Marquis
In Memory of Alice McInnis
In Memory of James F. Michaud, Sr.
In Honor of Alexandria Morgan
In Honor of Cyrus Morgan
In Memory of Frank Morgan
In Memory of Jonathan Mullis
In Memory of Jonathan Mullis
In Memory of G. P. O'Halloran
In Memory of Jarvis Taylor Oliver
In Memory of Jarvis Taylor Oliver
In Memory of Allan E. Ott
In Memory of Steve Pelkey
In Memory of Vance Pineo, Sr.
In Memory of Daniel Powell
In Memory of Ronald "Moose" Richards
In Memory of Paul Rouleau
In Honor of Megan Austin Schanz
In Memory of Elaine Scott
In Memory of Nora Sherbinski
In Memory of Walter Shorey
In Honor of Barbara C. Smith
In Honor of Colleen Story
In Honor of Bob, Lindy, Lani and Suzi Stratton
In Honor of Gerald Swett
In Honor of Dylan R. Thibodeau
In Memory of Lester and Joyce Thibodeau
In Memory of Richard F. Thompson, Sr.
In Honor of Rick Tillson
In Honor of Brooke Turner-Cyr
In Memory of Patricia Varney
In Honor of Lynne Veinote
In Memory of Brandon Washburn
In Memory of Debbie Wheeler
In Memory of Laurie Leigh Wile

Red Lights
In Memory of Lawrence C. Adams
In Memory of Walter Aldus
In Honor of All Who Are Working Through the Pandemic
In Memory of William W. Anderson
In Memory of Brenda L. Andrews
In Memory of Anonymous
In Memory of Anonymous
In Memory of Martin H. Arsenault
In Honor of Beth Bailey
In Memory of Jesse Baker
In Memory of John Baker
In Memory of Rebecca Bates Genest
In Memory of Lloyd Beath
In Honor of Alec Beeson
In Memory of Lester Bell
In Memory of Avaline Bickmore
In Memory of Eleanor Blackwell
In Memory of Clinton Bogart, Sr.
In Memory of Richard and Frances Boone
In Memory of Donald E. Bowen
In Honor of Jeffrey Bridge
In Honor of Annicka Bristol
In Memory of Maria Brountas
In Memory of Delmar Brown
In Honor of Jane Brown
In Memory of Cary Burlock
In Memory of Neil J. Calder
In Honor of Cancer Care Staff
In Memory of Rosemary Canney
In Memory of Bill Carkner
In Memory of Marion Carrier
In Memory of Victor Carrier
In Memory of Anthony Ciulla
In Memory of Anthony Ciulla
In Memory of Linda Clark
In Honor of Maryanne Clark
In Memory of Terry Clark
In Memory of Phyllis Clement
In Memory of Phyllis Clement
In Memory of Dana L. Cole, Sr.
In Honor of Rita Collins
In Memory of Dave Comiskey
In Memory of Betty Cormier
In Memory of Betty Cormier
In Memory of Margaret Cormier
In Memory of James Cowan
In Honor of Taryn Cowan
In Memory of Michael E. Craig
In Honor of Kenton Crosby
In Memory of Dale Curry
In Honor of Bob Dalbert
In Honor of Kathy Dalbert
In Memory of Elizabeth Kenny Day
In Memory of G. Steven Day
In Memory of Mr. and Mrs. George S. Day
In Honor of June Doody
In Memory of Stacia Dowd
In Memory of Barbara Eames
In Memory of Michele Emerson
In Honor of Lee Emery
In Honor of Marilyn Eremita
In Memory of Michael Eremita
In Memory of Wallace Evans
In Memory of Dana Fickett
In Memory of Charlotte Fish
In Memory of Charlotte Fish
In Memory of Kathy Ford
In Memory of Terrence Fournier, MD
In Memory of Claris Frost
In Memory of Velma Gallagher
In Memory of Chris Gaudet
In Memory of Gene Gellman
In Memory of Elizabeth Giard
In Memory of Herbert Giard
In Memory of Cleo R. Gilbert
In Memory of Wanda L. Gilfillan
In Memory of Matthew Gilman
In Memory of Geneva Ginn
In Memory of Leon Ginn
In Memory of Joyce Gove
In Memory of Margaret (Peggy) Grant
In Memory of Dwight Guptill
In Memory of Faye Guptill
In Memory of Robert C. Hagerthy
In Memory of Patricia Hanson
In Memory of Wayne and Colleen Harper
In Memory of Wayne and Colleen Harper
In Memory of F. Marjorie Hedlund
In Honor of Felix J. Hernandez
In Honor of Nicholas Hernandez
In Memory of Donna Holyoke
In Memory of Darlene Hoxie
In Memory of Lewis and Geneva Inman
In Memory of Julia Jacobs
In Honor of Dr. James Jarvis
In Memory of Ronald King
In Memory of Earl C. Knight
In Memory of Lorna Ladd
In Memory of Paul Lapierre
In Honor of Susan LeVasseur
In Memory of Arthur Libby
In Memory of Vicki Lincoln
In Memory of Ralph Longstaff
In Honor of Karen E. Lord
In Memory of Loved Ones
In Memory of Russ Lufkin
In Memory of Marvin Lundin
In Memory of John Lusignan
In Memory of Sharon MacLeod
In Memory of Theresa MacPhee
In Honor of Jane Mahon
In Memory of Valerie Malikowski
In Memory of Paula Marlo
In Memory of Richie Masse
In Memory of Rodney Wayne McElroy
In Memory of Rebecca McKay
In Memory of Barbara McKenney
In Memory of Donna McKenney
In Memory of Carole Berry McLeod
In Honor of Joan Michaud
In Memory of Gloria Miller
In Honor of Paul Miller
In Honor of Peggy Miller
In Memory of Joyce Mooney
In Honor of Ricci More
In Honor of Ronald Morgan
In Memory of William Morgan
In Honor of Michael Morrison
In Memory of Jonathan Mullis
In Memory of Jonathan Mullis
In Memory of Anjie Murphy
In Memory of Norman J. Mylen
In Memory of Marlene Nightingale
In Memory of Don Norwood
In Memory of Timothy O'Donnell
In Honor of Charlotte O'Leary
In Memory of Susan Ortiz
In Memory of Philip & Priscilla Osberg
In Memory of Belinda Palmer
In Memory of George and Helen Peabody
In Memory of Raish Peavey Haskell
In Memory of Michael Pelkey
In Honor of Etta Penney
In Honor of Perrone Family Women
In Memory of Violet S. Peters
In Memory of Frederick V. Peters, Jr.
In Memory of Thelma S. Pierce
In Memory of Donna Lee Prescott
In Honor of Kenneth E. Prescott
In Memory of Mark Prescott
In Honor of Libbie Prue
In Memory of Michelle Ray
In Memory of Michelle Ray
In Memory of John Remick
In Memory of Richard Richards
In Memory of Margaret Roberts
In Memory of Margaret Roberts
In Memory of Alice D. Robinson
In Memory of Karen Rupert
In Memory of Sonja D. Sawyer
In Memory of Gene Schanz
In Memory of Elaine Scott
In Honor of Gary Scott
In Honor of Donna and John Shea
In Honor of Kathy Shepard
In Memory of Norma Shorey
In Honor of Erin Simmons
In Memory of JoAnn Smart
In Memory of Doug Smith
In Memory of Nicholas R. Smith
In Honor of Kara Smythe
In Honor of Jeff Stefanik
In Memory of Clay Stevens
In Memory of Leona Reidy and Kathy Stone
In Memory of Colleen Story
In Memory of Shauna Stratton Meier
In Memory of Robert Strout
In Memory of Melanie Strout Randall
In Memory of Patti M. Sweeney
In Memory of Peter Swett
In Memory of Gladys Sylvester
In Honor of Hope Talieh
In Memory of Bob Tapley
In Memory of Gary Tennant
In Memory of Vicky Tennant
In Honor of Anne Teoli
In Honor of Jim Thompson
In Memory of Marion Thompson
In Memory of William Thompson
In Memory of Richard F. Thompson, Sr.
In Memory of Terry Toole
In Memory of Timothy W. Tower
In Memory of Anthony E. Vitolo
In Honor of Joel Voisine
In Memory of Mary Waite
In Honor of Lisa Ware
In Memory of Peggy Webber
In Honor of Cindi Wickett
In Memory of John J. Wiley
In Memory of Arthur Wilson
In Memory of Gaylen Woodman

White Lights
In Memory of Ida Ambrose
In Honor of Anonymous
In Memory of Roberta Arsenault
In Memory of Aunt Nonie
In Memory of Aunt Yvonne
In Memory of Priscilla Ayer
In Memory of Evelyn Bailey
In Honor of Donald Baker
In Memory of Sonya Barclay
In Memory of Beryl Bas
In Honor of Jon Bates
In Honor of Vilia Bates
In Memory of Lester Bean
In Memory of Roberta Bean
In Honor of Alec Beeson
In Memory of Bettianne
In Memory of Mildred Bishop
In Honor of Frances Bowen
In Memory of Charles Bower
In Memory of Chester and Mary Bower
In Memory of Raymond Bower
In Memory of Myra Boyer
In Honor of Wendy J. Bradford
In Honor of Peggy Braley
In Memory of Georgette Briggs
In Memory of Georgette Briggs
In Memory of Georgette Briggs
In Memory of Georgette Briggs
In Memory of Georgette Briggs
In Memory of Albert Warren Brown
In Memory of Dorothy Diana Brown
In Honor of Natalie Brown
In Memory of Hazel Bryant
In Memory of Eloise Bryer
In Honor of Sonia B. Bunt
In Honor of Robert Bunt, II
In Memory of Brian Burt
In Memory of Elizabeth Butterfield
In Memory of John C.
In Memory of Anthony Cacace
In Memory of Beryl Ann Campbell
In Memory of Dorothy Campbell
In Memory of Shirley Campbell
In Memory of Shirley N. Campbell
In Memory of Patricia Campbell Gagner
In Memory of Betty Carpenteri
In Memory of Harry Carpenteri
In Memory of Rebecca Jane Carr
In Memory of Eleanor Carter
In Memory of Gayla Cassidy
In Honor of Taylor Francey Chaput
In Memory of Gordon Chase
In Memory of Dr. Sidney Chason
In Honor of Bob Chasse
In Memory of John L. Clark
In Memory of Shirley Clark
In Memory of Loren H. Clarke
In Honor of Trudy Jordan Clarke
In Memory of Parker Clements
In Memory of Judy Coffin
In Memory of Derryl Colford
In Memory of Lena Colford
In Honor of Michael Collinsworth
In Honor of Priscilla Collinsworth
In Memory of Amy Conary
In Memory of Karianne Conley and Lexi Conley
In Memory of Theodore (Ted) Conley and Michael Conley, Sr.
In Memory of Kathleen D. Connelly
In Memory of Willow G. Connelly
In Honor of Kris Cook
In Memory of Allen Cratty
In Honor of Shannon Crean
In Memory of Sheila M. Crowley
In Memory of Brenden Cunningham
In Memory of Eleanor Curtis
In Honor of Katie Curtis
In Memory of Roberta Cyr
In Memory of Louise "Wee Wee" Dall
In Memory of Gretchen Damboise
In Memory of Penny Damboise
In Memory of Bertha Dauphinee
In Memory of Thomas Dauphinee
In Memory of Tom Davis
In Memory of Warren Davis
In Memory of Debbie
In Memory of Susan Delano
In Memory of Byron Delano, Sr.
In Honor of Keri Denis
In Memory of Howard J. Devaney, Jr.
In Memory of William Dorrity
In Memory of George Doughty
In Memory of Jerry Douglas
In Honor of Robert Downs
In Memory of Sarah Dubay
In Honor of Brayson Dunton
In Memory of Kim Elliott
In Memory of Barbara and John Elward
In Memory of Michelle Falone
In Memory of Michelle Falone
In Memory of Claudette Faulkner
In Honor of Vicky Fisher
In Memory of William "Bill" Fitzpatrick
In Memory of Terrance Fournier
In Honor of Debra L. Frost
In Memory of Randy Frost
In Honor of Cara Fuller
In Honor of Tim Furrow
In Honor of Tim Furrow
In Memory of Jeff Gagner
In Memory of Willard Gagnon
In Memory of Katherine Geary
In Memory of Carrole P. Gerow
In Honor of Dallas Gerow
In Honor of Benjamin Getchell
In Memory of Matthew H. Gilman
In Memory of Bobby Girvan
In Memory of Karen Girvan
In Memory of Walter Goding
In Memory of John Gomes
In Honor of Kathie Gomes
In Memory of Carlene L. Goodwin
In Memory of Jane Goodwin
In Honor of Terry Goodwin
In Memory of Erland Goodwin, Jr.
In Memory of Ellie Gray
In Memory of Rita Grenier
In Honor of Fran Griffin
In Memory of Sandra S. Griffin
In Honor of Julie Grindle
In Honor of Alvin Hall
In Memory of Bobbie J. Hall
In Honor of Beverly Hanington
In Honor of Willard Hanington
In Memory of Shirley Hanna
In Memory of Jeannie Harris
In Honor of Joyce A. Harris
In Honor of Richard Harris
In Memory of Larry Harris, Sr.
In Memory of Rosemary Haskell
In Memory of Alexander Leroy Hathaway
In Memory of Thomas Hayden
In Memory of Herbert Haynes
In Honor of Nick Hernandez
In Memory of Andrew Hewett
In Memory of John Hewett
In Memory of Lou Hill
In Honor of Peter Honey
In Memory of Barbara Hughes
In Memory of Cassie Hypio
In Memory of Ralph Jewett
In Honor of Heidi Johnston
In Memory of Meiling Johnston
In Memory of Patrick Johnston
In Memory of Ray K.
In Memory of Joseph F. Kacer, Sr.
In Memory of Josephine Kiah
In Memory of Robert Kiah, Jr.
In Honor of Jennie Kilby
In Honor of Karen Kilby
In Memory of Barbara and Lawrence King
In Memory of D. Ryan King
In Memory of Wanda Knights
In Memory of Steve Kruzelak
In Honor of Milissa Lalonde
In Memory of Carroll Lamson
In Memory of Polly Lamson
In Memory of Mart Lapin
In Honor of Lois Latour
In Memory of Sharon Lauer Conner
In Honor of Gary Leighton
In Memory of Steve Leighton
In Memory of Estelle Levesque
In Memory of Roger Lewis
In Honor of Laura Libby
In Memory of Joel Linn
In Honor of Jeni Lloyd
In Honor of Karen E. Lord
In Memory of Lorraine
In Memory of Melinda Lundin
In Honor of Cole Lundquist
In Memory of Austin Lyford
In Memory of Wanda Lyford
In Honor of Susan MacDonald
In Memory of Pat Marquis
In Memory of Jack Marshall
In Memory of Beatrice Mayhew
In Memory of Beatrice Mayhew
In Memory of Jack McClay
In Memory of Judy McClay
In Memory of Ed McCorrison
In Memory of Patricia McCorrison
In Honor of Tina McFarlin-Gallant
In Honor of Susan McGarry
In Memory of Ronald McLeod
In Memory of Ray V. McManis
In Memory of Mary Ann McNamara Watson
In Memory of Kevin McShane
In Honor of Lynn Merry
In Memory of Clifton and Rebecca Miles
In Honor of Jo Ellen Millett
In Memory of Charles (Bud) Mitchell
In Honor of Larry Mobraaten
In Memory of Gerald F. Montpetit
In Memory of Adrienne Morgan
In Memory of Frank C. Morgan
In Honor of Peggy Morse
In Memory of Robert and Jean Mosher
In Memory of Jonathan Mullis
In Honor of Joseph Murphy
In Memory of Margie Nankervais
In Memory of Janet L. Neubig
In Honor of Margaret Nevin
In Memory of Francis Newport
In Honor of Jennifer O'Neill
In Honor of Cyndi Pasquine
In Honor of Paul Pasquine
In Memory of Paul Paydas
In Memory of Harry C. Perkins
In Memory of Joanne Peters
In Honor of Patricia Phillips
In Memory of Jeannette Picard
In Memory of Suzanne Ponkala
In Memory of Erica Ponkala Bary
In Memory of Cecil C. Porter
In Memory of Elinor Porter
In Memory of Marie Pottle
In Memory of Emelia Poulin
In Honor of Nancy Preble
In Memory of Donna L. Prescott
In Honor of Cheryl Ramsay
In Honor of Julie Rayment Misenheimer
In Honor of Laura Reed
In Honor of Becka Reynolds
In Memory of Danny Reynolds
In Honor of Jean Rhodes Ward
In Honor of Gail Rice
In Memory of Diane Richard
In Memory of Aaron Ricker
In Memory of Bernard Ricker
In Honor of Kami Rivera
In Memory of Jerral (Robie) Robinson
In Honor of Christine Roby
In Memory of Charlene Rolfe
In Honor of Ross S. Rolfe
In Memory of Gabby Sherman
In Memory of Gabby Sherman
In Memory of Gabby Sherman
In Memory of Gabby Sherman
In Memory of Gabby Sherman
In Memory of Mr. and Mrs. Cody Sherman
In Memory of Betty Snivley
In Memory of David C. Spruce
In Memory of James Steele
In Memory of Linda Stoddard
In Honor of Colleen Story
In Honor of Gerald Swett
In Memory of Marjorie Tammaro
In Honor of Tammie
In Honor of Lisa Taylor
In Honor of Mary Ellen Thomas
In Honor of Paula B. Thomas
In Memory of Adonna Thompson
In Memory of David M. Thompson
In Honor of Patricia Thompson
In Memory of Richard Thompson, Sr.
In Memory of Karlee Renee Thornton
In Memory of Milton H. Thornton
In Memory of Thelma Thornton
In Memory of Cornell Thurlow
In Memory of Tinker
In Honor of Barbara Turner
In Memory of Dean Tuttle
In Memory of Stephen Tuttle
In Memory of Uncle Mac
In Memory of Beth Valvo
In Memory of Karen van Allsburg
In Honor of Lynne Veinote
In Honor of Joel A. Voisine
In Memory of Barbara Walker
In Memory of Frank Walker
In Memory of Albert Warren
In Memory of Cristy Warstler
In Memory of Brandon Washburn
In Memory of Brandon Washburn
In Memory of Dan Watt
In Honor of Allyson Welsh
In Memory of Bruno White
In Memory of Joyce White
In Memory of Joyce White
In Memory of Joyce White
In Memory of Vance White
In Memory of Anne Williamson
In Honor of Bette A. Winchenbach
In Memory of Maynard A. Winchenbach
In Memory of Jane Withee Hardy, RN
In Memory of Tom Witherly
In Memory of Debbie Wood
In Honor of Ryan Woodward
  Linda K. Cotter

Donations:
Constance B. Clements
Kenneth U. Day
Raymond H. Graunke
Susan B. Hall
Sheila L. Kuchinski
Means Wealth Management
Lynn E. Soucy
Richard S. Williams

Date: 12/09/2021

Bangor, Maine (December 6, 2021)—The Emergency Care team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has a new tool to help patients who receive a COVID-19 diagnosis but are able to be safely discharged from the Emergency Department.

Upon leaving the Emergency Department (ED), each patient diagnosed with COVID-19 receives a COVID-19 Support Kit to help provide information, comfort, and support during their recovery. The kit contains a pulse oximeter to monitor blood oxygen levels, a thermometer, masks, and hand sanitizer to minimize viral spread as the patient quarantines at home. Also included in this kit is a log for patients to monitor their body temperature and blood oxygen levels, with comprehensive instructions on how to use the equipment and what to do if their symptoms worsen or their results are out of range.

In addition to the kit, within two days of discharge, each patient receives a call from a nurse at the Medical Center who checks in and answers any questions they may have. Depending on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, a nurse will continue to follow up at regular intervals to monitor their recovery.

The Support Kit program is an effective way to help manage disease with an unpredictable progression like COVID-19. With the kit and regular contact from a skilled nurse, patients can access support from their homes, many times decreasing their need for additional emergency care. The kits are also intended to reduce patient anxiety by giving them the tools to monitor their vital signs as they quarantine.

Tiffany Tscherne, RN, DNP, FACHE, associate vice president, Northern Light Emergency Department, says the kits help provide peace of mind for patients. “This is a disease that is leaving so many feeling powerless and fearful for what the future holds once they are given the COVID-19 diagnosis in the ED,” she says. “The COVID support kits help combat this hopeless feeling. They leave the ED knowing they are not alone because they walk out knowing we are going to call to support them and be with them every step of the way.”

To date, the Medical Center has distributed more than 250 kits since launching in September.

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: 12/13/2021

Elizabeth-Stephens-DO-FAAP-Northern-Light-Pediatric-Cancer-Care200-(1).jpgElizabeth Stephens, DO, FAAP, who specializes in pediatric cancer care, clotting disorders, and cancer survivorship, has joined the team at Northern Light Pediatric Cancer Care in Brewer.
Dr. Stephens earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from The University of Akron in Ohio and her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania. She completed her Pediatrics Residency at Inova Children’s Hospital in Virginia and her Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

Dr. Stephens joins the team caring for newborns, children, adolescents, young adults, and their families affected by cancer. She says, “I want to provide evidence based, compassionate, collaborative care to our young patients. I want patients and families to advocate for themselves and feel confident in the choices we make together about their care.”

Dr. Stephens is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is board eligible in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.

For a referral to see a pediatric cancer care provider, please ask a primary care provider to call 207-973-7572.

Date: 12/14/2021

Tyler_Bernaiche_MD_NorthernLightSurgery-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (December 14, 2021) – Tyler Bernaiche, MD, colorectal surgeon, Northern Light Surgical Specialists, is the first surgeon in Maine to complete a robotic transanal operation. The procedure, which removes polyps and some early-stage cancers from areas of the rectum which cannot be accessed during a colonoscopy, uses a robotic camera and instruments to find the growth, remove it, and stitch it closed all in one to two hours. The surgery requires no external incisions, which means less risk of infection and other complications. It causes minimal discomfort, reducing the need for narcotic pain medications during recovery.

Dr. Bernaiche, who has completed two robotic transanal operations so far, explains, “The success of these procedures highlights the robotic expertise available at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. We can quickly and completely remove some early-stage rectal cancers as well as difficult pre-cancerous polyps in the least invasive way possible, without the need for external incisions or several days in the hospital to recover. Most patients will go home the same day as the procedure.”

The traditional method of removing rectal cancers requires the surgeon to make multiple incisions through the abdomen to remove some or all of the rectum, a surgery that takes five hours or more, leaving internal and external wounds that require treatment, pain medication, and several days of recovery in the hospital. The traditional surgery is also associated with risks of serious complications including changes in the patient’s bowel, urinary, and sexual function, as well as the risk of requiring a temporary or permanent colostomy bag.

“We are so pleased to offer this minimally invasive option to patients in Maine,” Dr. Bernaiche continues. “It means our neighbors who may be concerned about early-stage colorectal cancer don’t have to travel out of state for safe, innovative, high-quality care.”

Date: 12/17/2021

Night-of-Reflection-200x200-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (December 17, 2021) – A Night of Reflection on Monday, December 20 at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center will bring a sparkling light display and healing ceremony to staff, current patients, and families.

Participants are invited to share a moment of personal peace to acknowledge and honor the challenges faced during the pandemic, while ceremonially placing luminary lanterns they decorated within a holiday light display during a poignant program with inspirational music, readings, and speakers.
“Our staff members are resilient, though they may carry invisible burdens; each day they continue to be there to care for our patients and families,” says Rand O’Leary, MSA, FACHE, senior vice president, Northern Light Health and president, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “We hope this event will bring some light to us all as we near the shortest day of year.”

The event will conclude with a memorial tree lighting in honor of those we’ve lost, followed by uplifting music, hot cocoa, and socially distanced mingling.

All participants will remain masked during the event, which will be held outside on the Medical Center’s State Street campus.

Members of the media interested in covering this event may contact Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.
 

Date: 01/04/2022

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to introduce Todd Heaton, MD, MPH to the Northern Light Pediatric Surgery family.
 
Dr. Heaton graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and earned his Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Heaton completed his general surgery and pediatric surgery residencies at the University of Michigan. During his general surgery residency, he also completed a pediatric surgery research fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
 
Since completing his training eight years ago, Dr. Heaton has been practicing in New York City at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. While there, he took time to obtain a Master of Public Health in Clinical Effectiveness from the Harvard school of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.
 
Dr. Heaton specializes in the following: General pediatric surgery, pediatric surgical oncology, complex minimally invasive pediatric surgery, and fluorescent and ultrasound guided procedures.                                                                                                      
 

Date: 01/10/2022

Northern Light Health will reopen the vaccine clinic site at the Northern Light Health Center, 885 Union Street in Bangor on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 for primary series vaccinations and booster doses. Pfizer vaccine will be offered for individuals age 12 and older. Registration is required; instructions are listed below.
 
During the holiday season, Northern Light Health provided 1,065 vaccinations at this clinic and is prepared to help meet the demand for vaccines in the community in the coming weeks. In addition, Northern Light Home Care & Hospice is hosting a series of clinics at the Maine Mall in South Portland. Future dates will be announced as they become available. Vaccines are also offered at Northern Light health centers and other locations across Maine.

Northern Light Health Vaccine Registration
Online registration for vaccines is available effective immediately on our Northern Light Health vaccine scheduling tool. Eligible community members may schedule appointments 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: 01/10/2022

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to introduce Manpreet Kaur Arora, MD to Northern Light Internal Medicine.
 
Dr. Arora graduated from Government Medical College, Amritsar, India. In addition, Dr. Arora completed her internal medicine residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Arora seeks to understand the context of illness and see every patient as an opportunity to prevent disease and provide health education. Her goal is to partner with her patients to make the best choices possible for their health.
 
In her free time, Dr. Arora enjoys travelling, cooking and being in the great outdoors.
 
She is currently accepting new patients at the 302 Husson Avenue practice in Bangor, 207-947-6141.
 

Date: 01/10/2022

Visitor-changes-COVID-19-jan-11-22-400x400-(1).jpgNorthern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center continually monitors the patient care environment and makes adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety. In response to the surge of COVID-19 throughout the state and country, beginning Tuesday, January 11, visiting hours will shift to 2 to 4 pm daily.

The majority of adult inpatients will be permitted one visitor per stay between 2 and 4 pm daily. To limit exposure, it is recommended that the visitor is the patient’s spouse or someone who lives with them. This visitor will remain the same for the duration of the patient’s stay.

Another adjustment includes restricting visitors in the Emergency Department (ED). Visitors are permitted only for patients who are unable to advocate for themselves or require a legal guardian. If a patient qualifies for a visitor, one support person is permitted 24 hours a day.

“Keeping our patients, visitors, and staff safe is our top priority. This change in visitation is necessary so we can continue to care for all patients in our community,” says Sarah E.D. Joy, SHRM-SCP, director, Patient Experience, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “Hearing from loved ones during the healing process is important and we recognize this change in visitation will be difficult. We encourage patients in the hospital to connect with family and friends by phone or video chat.”

There are circumstances where visitation may be adjusted, based on the medical needs of the patient. All requests for exception will be reviewed by nursing leadership. For additional information and specific conditions of visitation, see northernlighthealth.org/EMMCvisitors.

Patients who would like to use a communication device during their stay to connect with family or friends may call Patient Experience at 207-973-8110.

Adult patients coming for outpatient tests or appointments are encouraged to come alone unless it is necessary for a support person to assist with communication, disruptive behavior, or mobility needs.

utpatient appointments for pediatric patients may have two parents/guardians/primary caregivers.
Visitors must not show any signs of illness; be 18 years or older; meet screening requirements; and stay masked at all times, which means they may not eat or drink in the patient’s room.

To expedite COVID-19 screening at Northern Light Health entrances, individuals are encouraged to use the pre-screening tool online at northernlighthealth.org/covidcheck and show the result to screeners upon entry.

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: 01/24/2022

Bangor, Maine (January 24, 2022) - A “regular” of Northern Light Cardiac Rehabilitation attributes the program to his success after two cardiac events, thirty years apart. Peter Boucher, a Cardiac Rehab graduate from Hampden, is 74 years old, and has been an active member of his community his whole life. Things changed for Peter at the age of 42, when he had his first heart attack. That was the first time he entered the Cardiac Rehab program, and when his life began to shift for the better. After two more cardiac events, Peter is living the life he knew he could, all because of the Cardiac Rehab program at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. Patients who attend Cardiac Rehab have:
  • 20-47% lower risk of death and 31% lower risk of heart attack than cardiac event survivors who didn’t participate in rehab
  • a reduced rate of having a second, non-fatal heart attack
  • reduced hospitalizations
  • reduced symptoms such as angina, shortness of breath, and fatigue
  • increased exercise performance
  • increased knowledge about cardiac disease and its management
  • improved health-related quality of life

Cardiac Rehab is a customized outpatient program of exercise and education. It’s designed to help improve a patient’s health and recover from a heart attack, other forms of heart disease, or surgery to treat heart valve problems.

Despite advances in modern medicine, heart disease is the number one killer in America. If a community member has a recent cardiac event or diagnosis, the best way to recuperate is through a rehabilitation program that combines monitored exercise and healthy lifestyle education programming. Northern Light Cardiac Rehab can provide the support needed for a successful recovery and a life of healthy living.

In Peter’s words, the team is fabulous, and on top of everything, always! “If you’ve had a heart attack, do the rehab program, it is there for you and the rest of your life will thank you.”

To learn more about the Northern Light Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, talk to your primary or specialty care provider, visit northernlighthealth.org/emmc-cardiacrehab or call 207.973.4600.

Campfire-Pete-and-Lila-(1).jpg

Date: 01/25/2022

CTCC-honorees.jpgChampion the Cure Challenge, the region’s only event whose proceeds fund local cancer treatment and research, proudly celebrates the individuals, businesses, and organizations that help bring the best treatments to Maine, contribute to future cures, and inspire others to join in the fight to defeat cancer. Since the first event in 2010, Champion the Cure Challenge has raised more than $5.5 million to benefit patient care and research at Northern Light Cancer Care and the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute.

Each year, The Challenge recognizes several honorees who are extraordinarily dedicated to the cause. Champion the Cure Challenge is pleased to recognize its 2022 Honorees:

Anita Peavey Haskell, Honorary Chair

Anita’s support for pediatric cancer care is inspired by her son Raish, who passed away at the age of four from cancer. Over the years, her dedication to improving care for child and adolescent cancer patients in Maine has been unparalleled. While Anita’s commitment to regional cancer care has taken many forms, she and her husband Leon’s generosity notably led the way in creating The Raish Peavey Haskell Children’s Cancer and Treatment Center located at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute.

Clayton Cole and Kim White, Terry Fox Award

Clayton, a cancer survivor, energizes the region’s paddling community to come together to support Maine-based cancer treatment and research. The driving force behind the Champion the Cure Challenge paddle event on the Penobscot River, Clayton successfully promotes the cause, plans the routes, and coordinates event day activities.

Kim, honored posthumously, inspired other survivors as she approached her cancer journey with determination and courage. With friends, families, and co-workers by her side every step of the way, Kim lived life like there was no tomorrow. An active Challenge participant, Kim provided guidance, raised funds, and promoted the event. Kim’s family, friends, as well as her co-workers at Darling’s Auto Group take The Challenge in her memory.

Nikki More, Employee Champion

An Information Systems employee at Northern Light Health and owner of Humble Sight Photography, Nikki captures the energy and spirit of The Challenge each year as a volunteer photographer. Her knack for getting the right photo at the right time helps to promote the event, recognize survivors and supporters, and encourage other employees to get involved.

Osborne Media, Corporate Champion

A Bangor-based creative agency, Osborne Media lends their talent for storytelling to The Challenge to motivate families, survivors, businesses, and others to join the fight against cancer in Maine. The Osborne team’s incredible videos capture the emotion of the event and remind everyone involved how taking The Challenge affects the lives of survivors and families.

Peggy Brown, Volunteer of the Year

Peggy, a longtime employee of presenting sponsor Lafayette Hotels, is tireless in her commitment to making The Challenge a success. Often behind the scenes but always appreciated, Peggy manages a rest stop on the cycle route, helps with signage, and is willing to assist with anything that is needed to make The Challenge a success.

Fishing for a Cure, Community Champion

Year after year, team Fishing for a Cure sets the bar high for participation and fundraising for other teams to follow. Fishing for a Cure celebrates the life of Brandon Washburn, who started the team to give back as he battled cancer with strength and courage until he passed away at the age of 25. Brandon’s memory lives on through the impact that Fishing for a Cure makes in the lives of Northern Light Cancer Care patients.

Boy Scouts Troop 1 Brewer, Youth Champion

For the Boy Scouts Troop 1 Brewer, the real work begins after the last Champion the Cure Challenge participants have left the Brewer walk/run/cycle event site. The youth in Troop 1 generously volunteer their time to clean up and organize the event site with a great attitude and attention to detail. Leading by example, the Boy Scouts show that Mainers of all ages can make a difference in the fight against cancer.
 
This year’s Champion the Cure Challenge events are scheduled for August and September of 2022. To learn more and register for this year’s Champion the Cure Challenge, please visit ctcchallenge.org.

Date: 01/27/2022

Has someone close to you been affected by cancer? Do you want to help bring more lifesaving cancer research and patient care to Maine? The community is invited to join Champion the Cure Challenge for a special virtual kickoff on Tuesday, February 8 at 6 pm to learn about opportunities to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.

The kickoff is open to everyone, including those who have not previously participated in Champion the Cure Challenge. The kickoff will include inspirational survivor stories, fundraising tips, a walkthrough of fundraising tools, and a chance to win some special prizes courtesy of Mt. Waldo Plastics.

Champion the Cure Challenge is the region’s only event whose proceeds fund local cancer research and patient care. Funds raised stay local to support care at Northern Light Cancer Care and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. Recently, Challenge funds were used to fund local cancer research, reduce the effects of cancer treatment, and support care for child and adolescent patients.

Champion the Cure Challenge participation options include the walk/run/cycle event in Brewer in August, the paddling event on the Penobscot River in Brewer in September, and the horse trail ride in Corinna, also in September.

For more information and to obtain the link to attend the kickoff, please visit ctcchallenge.org or facebook.com/CTCChallenge.

Date: 01/28/2022

Northern Light Pediatric Cardiology is pleased to welcome Daniel Gruenstein, MD to its experienced team of providers. Dr. Gruenstein provides acquired heart disease care for children and adolescents and congenital heart services for adults and children of all ages.

Not a stranger to Maine, Dr. Gruenstein attended summer camp in Maine as a kid and spent his college summers in the Pine Tree State serving as a camp counselor.

Dr. Gruenstein has many years of experience treating complex, high acuity patients, engaging in research, and training the next generation of cardiologists. He earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and completed a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Prior to arriving in Maine, he served as associate professor at the University of Chicago.

In the next phase of his career, Dr. Gruenstein looks forward to helping patients and families navigate their journey through evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment in the outpatient setting.

“My goal every time I walk into a child’s patient room is to treat them as I’d like my own children treated,” he says. “Establishing that trusting relationship with parents and families immediately is so important. If I can achieve that in the first visit, there’s a level of trust going forward that makes all the difference.”

While his practice is largely focused on children and adolescents, Dr. Gruenstein treats adults with congenital heart disease. He is the only physician north of Portland certified in Adult Congenital Heart Disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine.  

For more information and to learn how to schedule an appointment, please call 207.973.8885.

Date: 01/28/2022

web-closure-square-(1).jpgNorthern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Swab ‘n Go COVID-19 test site off Godfrey Blvd near the Bangor International Airport will be closed on Saturday, January 29. This temporary closure keeps patients and staff safe, as wind and snow will make travel difficult.

The COVID-19 test site will reopen Sunday, January 30 to offer self-collection, which means patients swab themselves, and an accompanying adult can swab young patients.

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: 02/03/2022

Banner-Jan.jpgCongratulation to our latest DAISY Award Recipients! 

Dawn Andrews, RN, who is one of our wonderful labor and delivery nurses, was nominated for this award by a thankful mom who said, “Dawn stepped up to the plate and made sure all our questions were answered regarding our daughter's condition. She went above and beyond her call of duty to ensure that we got the best care while she was on staff. She was a blessing during our stay, and we couldn't have asked for a better nurse.”

Congratulations and thank you Dawn, for proving how caring and compassion has a lasting effect on our patients and their families.

Suzanne Chasse Davis, RN, who works at Northern Light Cancer Care! She was nominated by a colleague who said, “Suzanne cares for some of the patients from Dana Farber who are awaiting an oncology appointment with a new physician. She works as a "gel" between the two teams, ensuring continuity of care. She cares deeply for cancer patients and works to address concerns that may require her to go the extra mile.”

Please join us in congratulating Suzanne for receiving the DAISY Award for extraordinary nurses!

Our nurses’ healing hands and commitment to caring inspire all of us to go above and beyond every day to make healthcare work better for our patients! Learn more about the DAISY Award and nominate a nurse today at northernlighthealth.org/emmcdaisy.
 

Date: 02/15/2022

Visitation-changes-Feb-16-200x200-(1).jpgNorthern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to expand visiting hours to one visitor per day between 10 am and 8 pm beginning Wednesday, February 16.

“We know seeing loved ones can help patients heal, and we are pleased to be able to give more time to visit,” says Sarah Joy, SHRM-SCP, director, Patient Experience, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “We would like to thank our community members for their patience and understanding with visitation changes throughout the pandemic.”

Visitors must be over 18, in good health, free from COVID-19 symptoms, and pass the screening at the Main Entrance. Visitors are required to remain masked at all times, which means they may not eat or drink in the patient’s room.

Updated visitation conditions include:
  • Adult Inpatients: One visitor is permitted per day between 10 am and 8 pm.
  • Emergency Department (ED): All visitors are asked to wait outside the Medical Center until the patient has been assigned a room in the main ED. Once a patient has received a negative COVID-19 test result and is assigned to an ED room, they may have one visitor.
  • End of Life: Two visitors at a time are permitted at the bedside 24 hours a day, up to four visitors per day.
  • Labor and Delivery: One support person permitted 24 hours a day, support persons may not change during the stay.
  • Pediatric/NICU: Two parents or guardians per patient per stay permitted 24 hours a day.
  • Surgery/Procedure: One escort permitted while in these service areas. The escort is permitted to leave the Medical Center and return one time each day.
Alternative accommodations may be available if there are times when having a visitor or family member present beyond standard visiting hours is medically necessary.

Visitation for patients with COVID-19 symptoms remains restricted.

As rates of COVID-19 transmission change in the community, the Medical Center will continue to make adjustments to its policies to ensure everyone’s safety.

To review updated visitation, please see northernlighthealth.org/EMMCvisitors.
 

Date: 02/15/2022

Welcome-Walk-01-(1).jpgTwo US Department of Defense teams consisting of military medical personnel arrived at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center on Tuesday, February 15 to provide support to patients and staff.
 
The two teams of 35 total personnel include doctors, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and respiratory technicians. They are scheduled to assist the Medical Center until the middle of March, joining hospital staff to provide care for patients with COVID-19 and other serious medical issues.
 
Medical Center staff greeted the teams with a Welcome Walk in the Main Lobby upon their arrival Tuesday.
 

Date: 02/21/2022

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to introduce Sandra Ilaka-Chibuluzo, MD to Northern Light Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes.

Dr. Ilaka-Chibuluzo earned her Doctorate in Medicine from the St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies. In addition, Dr. Ilaka-Chibuluzo completed her pediatric residency and served her pediatric endocrinology fellowship at NYU Langone Hospital. 

She holds certifications from the American Board of Pediatrics in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology.

Dr. Ilaka-Chibuluzo specializes in pediatric endocrine disorders with a special interest in diabetes and metabolism, lipid metabolism, obesity, growth disorders, thyroid disorders, adrenal dysfunction, disorders of puberty, disorders of bone metabolism, disorders of sexual development, gender dysphoria, and menstrual irregularities.

As an endocrinologist working with young patients and their families, Dr. Ilaka-Chibuluzo treats her patients with the dedication and commitment that she would invest in those closest to her. Her passion for putting her patients first and providing quality healthcare defines her practice.

Northern Light Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes is located at 133 Corporate Drive, Northern Light Health Center, in Bangor. For more information or to schedule a referral, please call 275.4201.

Date: 02/22/2022

Over two million Americans are eligible for cardiac rehabilitation after a heart procedure, yet enrollment is low, ranging from 10-34% participation rate nationally. Those who attend 36 sessions of cardiac rehabilitation, have a 47% lower risk of cardiac-related death, and a 31% lower risk of heart attack then those who did not. While the average age of bypass patients is 68.5 years, we know that heart disease can strike much younger, and that the benefits of cardiac rehab can have a great impact on that younger population. Yet only approximately 10% of eligible rehab patients between the ages of 40 – 50 years participate in rehab. If they knew Alex’s story, maybe more would.

At only 42 years of age, Alex Denham was diagnosed with heart disease. After undergoing a successful quadruple cardiac bypass surgery, Alex completed cardiac rehab with Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

The progress since his surgery is a true testament to the power of a positive attitude and the importance of following the experts’ post-surgical instructions, including attending cardiac rehabilitation. “Cardiac rehab was an extension of the incredible patient experience I had during my medical journey,” says Alex. “I spent 36 sessions in rehab, and the team demonstrated a level of patience and caring that far exceeded my expectations.”

Thanks to the skills and conditioning he gained during cardiac rehab, Alex was able to fulfill a promise to his son by taking him skiing at Sugarloaf a little over three months after surgery. The duo also climbed Mt. Katahdin in June, five months after Alex’s surgery. Alex says, “Cardiac rehabilitation was critical to my success on the road to recovery, and I encourage anyone facing heart surgery to take full advantage of this terrific program.”

To learn more about the Northern Light Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, talk to a primary or specialty care provider, visit northernlighthealth.org/emmc-cardiacrehab or call 207.973.4600.

 

Date: 02/28/2022

Northern Light Surgery and Trauma is pleased to welcome surgeon Avian Chang, MD.

Dr. Chang earned his Doctorate in Medicine from St. John’s Medical College. In addition, he completed his general surgery internship and residency at Easton Hospital. Dr. Chang also completed a fellowship in surgical critical care at Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

He holds certifications from the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. Dr. Chang specializes in the management of patients with multi-system traumatic injuries, those who need emergency general surgical services, and the management of critically ill surgical patients in the ICU.

He believes in looking at each patient as if they were his own family member, treating them with dedication, empathy, and attention. When he’s not performing surgeries, Dr. Chang enjoys reading, listening to music, and watching movies. Maine has introduced him to the peace and calm that comes from spending time in nature. He also enjoys travel and trying new cuisine.

Northern Light Surgery and Trauma is located at 417 State St, Suite 340 Webber West, Bangor. The practice can be reached at: 973-4949.

Date: 02/23/2022

Maxine_Miller_MD-NorthernLightSurgicalSpecialists-sq-(1).jpgNorthern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pleased to welcome Maxine Miller, MD. As a colorectal surgeon, Maxine Miller, MD performs robotic procedures for anal, colon, and rectal cancers, as well as abdominal colorectal disease. She uses minimally invasive techniques to treat complex anorectal disorders and pelvic floor dysfunction.

After receiving her medical education at Saba University School of Medicine in Massachusetts, Dr. Miller earned a residency and internship in general surgery, as well as a fellowship in colorectal surgery from Louisiana State University, New Orleans. Dr. Miller is board certified in General Surgery by the American Board of Surgery and in Colon and Rectal Surgery by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

Dr. Miller works closely with primary care providers throughout the state to help find solutions for patients’ health concerns. She explains, “I try to connect with patients to understand what is going on in their lives and how their disorder is affecting them and their family. I want my patients to know that I will walk the path with them, whatever their treatment plan to help them feel better and get where they want to be in life.”

Patients interested in a referral to see Dr. Miller at Northern Light Surgical Specialists located at Webber East, Suite 330, Bangor, are encouraged to ask their primary care provider to call 207.973.8881.

Date: 03/01/2022

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center was recently awarded $50,000 from The Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation and $40,000 from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to support a pilot Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Program to provide training for the Family Medicine Residency Program residents and other Medical Center providers.

POCUS is portable technology that can be used in several different care settings. With many of our family medicine residents working in rural, resource constrained, or critical access hospitals after their training, harnessing POCUS skills can reduce unnecessary transport to larger hospitals, keeping patients closer to home whenever possible. The technology can also lessen the cost of healthcare by decreasing the need for more expensive PET scans, MRIs, or x-rays with the added benefit of also reducing radiation exposure for patients.

“This portable ultrasound means that a machine that used to take up a whole room, can now fit in a provider’s pocket with images viewable on a screen the size of an iPhone. These portable Point of Care Ultrasound devices can be used at the bedside in a variety of patient care settings including home care, emergency transport, inpatient, and primary care offices,” explains Sarah Irving, MD, FAAFP, Residency Program Director, Northern Light Family Medicine Residency Program. “It complements patient history documenting and physical exam skills to speed up accurate diagnosis, decrease length of stay. We are grateful that this grant allows our providers and patients to benefit from this state-of-the-art technology.”

The Gloria C. Mackenzie Foundation, is dedicated to awarding grants that will advance educational opportunities aimed at fostering our specific goals that contribute to and support strong economic development in the state of Maine.

The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation strengthens and supports Maine communities drawing upon the values and spirituality of the founders.

Date: 03/02/2022

Free info session on Tuesday, March 8

SWL-Zoom-Info-Session-200x200-(1).jpgObesity is a real health concern. Individuals who struggle with weight-related issues are at a higher risk of severe illness, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

The Centers for Disease Control tracks the rate of obesity by state and estimates more than 30% of Maine adults struggle with the issue. The repercussions of obesity also hit patients in the wallet; studies show the annual cost of treating obesity is about $1,400 per person higher than for those at a healthy weight. Studies show that patients with obesity may delay routine healthcare, postponing treatment of preventable illnesses. There is hope, however.

“Patients who are truly ready to change their lives by joining our program can be transformed,” says Michelle Toder, MD, FACS, medical director and bariatric surgeon, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss. “Many not only lose the weight, but many go off their medications by putting high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes into remission. Patients have reported being energized, having higher self-esteem, and living a better quality of life.”

To help community members address solutions for weight related issues, a free surgical weight loss information session is being offered on Tuesday, March 8 by Zoom. From 6 to 7 pm, Dr. Toder will offer an overview of the program, which includes nutrition, education, physical therapy, support, and information about robotically assisted surgery. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and get a better understanding of the criteria for the program.

To take part in this information session, community members may register by visiting NorthernLightHealth.org/SWL or by calling 207.973.6383.

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: 03/16/2022

Bangor, Maine (March 15, 2022)

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center recognizes the exceptional contributions of certified nurses on Certified Nurses Day, March 19, and every day. This day is an opportunity to identify the entire team of certified nurses for their professionalism, leadership, and commitment to excellence in patient care. This is an annual, worldwide event dedicated to celebrating nursing certifications to ensure high standards of patient care and safety.

Board certification of nurses plays an important role in the assurance of high standards of care for patients and their loved ones. Nursing, like healthcare in general, has become increasingly complex. While a registered nurse license provides entry to general nursing practice, the knowledge-intensive requirements of modern nursing require extensive education, as well as a strong personal commitment to excellence.

Deborah Sanford, MBA, MSN, RN, vice president of Nursing and Patient Care Services says, “Certifications benefit our patients and their families in many different ways. Patients can rest assured that they will receive the excellent care they’ve come to expect, knowing that the nurses caring for them demonstrate advanced experience, knowledge, and skills. I am truly proud of each certified nurse we have working throughout Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. They make us a strong and able team and contribute to advancing the safety and quality of patient care.”

The Medical Center encourages national board certification for all its nurses. There are many nursing certification specialties, such as medical-surgical, pediatric, pain management, cardiovascular, oncology, hospice, case management, emergency nursing, critical care, and many others.

Please join Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in honoring these hardworking, dedicated nurses for their professionalism and a job well done.
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Date: 03/16/2022

Bangor, Maine (March 16, 2022) - Maine lung cancer rates are 30% higher than the national average. Nine million Americans are eligible for screening, but only 3% of eligible patients are screened. Lung cancer screenings with low dose CT scans are designed to detect cancers at an early, potentially curable stage when patients have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer.

Thanks to Northern Light Health’s Lung Cancer Screening Program, Mainers can discover potential issues earlier, resulting in more treatment options and better outcomes. This is the case for Corinth resident Doug Hackett.

For three years, Doug’s annual lung cancer screenings came back negative. Then late last year, his primary care provider referred him to the Northern Light Health’s Lung Cancer Screening Program. He was scanned, and the results were positive. The team referred Doug to a surgeon, resulting in a successful surgery. Today he is back to playing with his granddaughters, cancer-free. He will receive scans twice a year for two years, and annually after that, but if he hadn’t kept up with his screenings, his cancer could have gone untreated.

Doug shares, “If I can encourage even one person to get the screening, and maybe save one life, this will all be for good. I tell my story because I want others to know that screenings save lives and the staff here at the hospital are fantastic! They are knowledgeable and kind and I cannot begin to say enough about them.”

Amy McClary, RN, BSN, lung cancer screening nurse navigator, Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program, says, “Doug’s story highlights the importance of adhering to annual screening exams. Lung cancer can develop at any time and most patients do not have symptoms until an advanced stage. I am so happy that Doug is doing well and back doing the things he enjoys in life.”

Anyone who thinks they may be at risk of lung cancer should speak with their primary care provider and find out if a local screening option is available and covered by their insurance plan. To learn more about the Northern Light Lung Cancer Screening Program, visit northernlight.org/emmclung or call 207.973.5822.
 

Date: 03/22/2022

Know your numbers.

Do you know your cholesterol numbers, the difference between good and bad cholesterol, how to regulate your cholesterol, and why it is so important? What about lipids? What are they, and why should you be educated about the advantages and disadvantages of lipids?

Community members are invited to attend a free, one-hour information session with Anas Mansour, MD, cardiologist, Northern Light Cardiology, about lipid and cholesterol management on Tuesday, March 29 at 12 pm.

During this virtual session, attendees will learn what lipids are, and why they are important to heart health. Dr. Mansour will also explain why it’s important to keep an eye on cholesterol numbers and the warning signs of high cholesterol.

Dr. Mansour says, “It is far too easy to move through life, eating what we want, when we want and not thinking about your heart until it’s too late. This session will provide some quick, easy habits and routines you can start that will help you in the long run. I look forward to addressing your questions and getting a dialogue going to help you live a healthy life!”

Dr. Mansour received his medical education at the University of Jordan Medical School, and completed residencies at National Health Service, United Kingdom, Oxford and East Anglia Deaneries, and Riverside Medical Hospital, Ohio. Dr. Mansour also completed a fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh.

Register to join the event by Zoom by visiting northernlighthealth.org/HeartCareInfoSession or calling 207.275.3802.
 

Date: 03/25/2022

Bangor, Maine (March 25, 2022) — Qurat-ul-ain Jelani, MD, FACC joins the growing team at Northern Light Cardiology as an interventional cardiologist.

Dr. Jelani specializes in interventional cardiology and cardiovascular medicine, and received her medical education at Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, Pakistan. She completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, Saint Raphael Campus. Fellowship trained in cardiovascular, peripheral vascular, and interventional medicine from Yale School of Medicine, she is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine from The American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Jelani prides herself in treating the whole patient, not just the disease, and works to ensure her patients know they can talk to her about anything. For more information or to contact Dr. Jelani, please call 207-275-3800.
 

Date: 03/29/2022

During Women’s History Month

Historically, surgical suites across the US are predominantly staffed by male surgeons, and slowly the gender balance is changing. In recent years, about 40% of new surgeons hired at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center have been women. In the past year, 62% of surgeons who joined a practice at the Medical Center are women.

Women represent four of seven critical care/trauma surgeons on staff at Northern Light Surgery and Trauma and three of five orthopedic surgeons at Northern Light Orthopedics. “I think people are still surprised to see female orthopedic surgeons,” says Jessica Aronowitz, MD, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder surgery at Northern Light Orthopedics, a specialty that nationally has less than 10% of practicing orthopedic surgeons who are female. “I have been pleasantly surprised, however, by the number of patients who seek out a surgeon who is female or are very happy about having me in charge of their care.”

Some factors create challenges for women who chose the path of becoming a surgeon, including lack of female mentors. Recognizing the critical role mentors play guiding medical students in their careers, programs across the US are trying to improve gender equity. The Association of American Medical Colleges reports full-time women faculty in medical institutions has continued to rise since 2009 and is now at 41%.

“It is possible to have work/life balance that allows for spouses, families, pets, outside passions, and a great surgical career,” says Michelle Toder, MD, ABOM, FACS, FASMBS, medical director, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss and co-director, Northern Light Medical Weight Management. “Being female should not be seen as a barrier to following your professional dreams.”

As a practicing surgeon for 25 years, Dr. Toder says, “I have had a very rewarding career as a surgeon. I have great institutional support and feel welcomed and appreciated by the community as a surgeon who happens to be female.”

During Women’s History Month, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center thanks surgeons who are women that care for patients in this community, and for paving the way as role models for the next generation of surgeons.

 

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: 04/18/2022

Bangor, Maine (April 18, 2022) – Each April, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center celebrates National Volunteer Week to recognize the important role volunteers play in our community. This year, the week of April 17 through 23 is a time to applaud the contribution volunteers make at the Medical Center.
 
More than 170 volunteers contributed 17,777 hours of service to support patients at the Medical Center in Fiscal Year 2021. Volunteers give their time and energy in more than 58 areas, such as providing companionship and comfort through social activities for patients, offering pet therapy visits, checking up on vulnerable individuals living alone, providing resources for patients with cancer, and many more activities.
 
“Our volunteers share their love and passion to enrich the lives of patients during their stay and help support our staff,” says Stacey Coventry, MSB, director, Volunteer and Community Development Services, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “They are incredibly compassionate and vibrant members of the community whose contributions make a huge difference.”
 
Last year, 925 volunteers worked alongside healthcare workers by providing much needed support in the Medical Center’s COVID-19 response. With their help, more than 100,000 members of the community were vaccinated.
 
Members of the media interested in speaking with Volunteer Services may contact Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.
 

Date: 04/21/2022

Ninety percent of adults support organ donation, but only sixty percent have joined the organ and tissue donation registry, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services survey. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is trying to close the gap during Donate Life Month, a time to honor those who have made the generous gift of organ and tissue donation, celebrate those who have received transplants, and encourage Mainers to consider joining the registry.

About 100,000 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S., and more than 6,800 of them live in New England.

Throughout the month of April, Eastern Maine Medical Center invites community members to learn about organ and tissue donation and register their decision to be a donor.

Activities happening this month include:

Flag raising and celebration

Eastern Maine Medical Center celebrated Donate Life Month by raising a flag for those who have given the gift of hope and life. Watch a video of the flag raising on the Eastern Maine Medical Center Facebook page.

Small blue and green flags are on display in the Medical Center lobby throughout the month, representing the more than 6,800 people in New England who are waiting for a transplant.

Blue and Green Day

The community is invited to wear blue and green, the Donate Life colors, on Friday, April 22 in support of organ and tissue donation. Show your commitment by taking a photo and posting it to the Eastern Maine Medical Center Facebook page.

All month long

Registration tables with information about organ and tissue donation and instructions on how to join the donor registry have been set up in the hospital lobby and the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute. Staff will be on hand to answer questions from patients, visitors, volunteers, and employees several times during the month.

Anyone interested in organ and tissue donation is encouraged to view inspirational stories, facts about donation, and more on a special Donate Life Month website.

Date: 04/26/2022

Bangor, Maine (April 26, 2022) – When weight loss surgery is mentioned, most people think of gastric bypass but, in recent years, the sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve, has surpassed gastric bypass as the most commonly performed bariatric procedure in the nation. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, gastric sleeve accounts for nearly 60% of bariatric surgeries performed in the US today.
 
What are the benefits of the various kinds of weight loss surgery? What are the qualifications for the procedure? Can surgery help other conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea? 
 
Matthew_Sharbaugh_DO_200.jpgThese questions and more will be addressed at a free information session on Wednesday, April 27 from 6 to 7 pm with Matthew Sharbaugh, DO, bariatric surgeon, Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss. Dr. Sharbaugh will highlight the various procedures available for weight loss, as well as provide an overview of the comprehensive program that has helps patients see the success they are looking for.
 
Community members can learn about the various aspects of this nationally recognized surgical program, including guidance in nutrition, physical therapy, professional counseling, and peer support. Attendees will also learn about the team focused on helping individuals reach their weight goals and enjoy more fulfilling lives.
 
Individuals may register for this free Zoom by visiting Northernlighthealth.org/SWL or by calling 207.973.6383. Attendees will have the opportunity ask questions and get answers from Dr. Sharbaugh.
 
Those ready to take the next step in their weight loss journey and learn about this program that has been helping patients improve their lives for more than 50 years are encouraged to join this virtual info session.
 

Date: 04/28/2022

Patients with chronic acid reflux are not only uncomfortable, but they may also be at risk for Barrett’s Esophagus (BE), a condition that occurs when stomach acid damages the esophagus, causing lesions that may lead to cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate of esophageal cancer with early detection is 20%. That number drops to a startling 5% when found in late stages, so early detection is key.

Uy-Pearl_72-dpi.jpg“As April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness month, we would like to shine a light on the importance of screenings for BE,” says Pearl Uy, MD, gastroenterologist, Northern Light Gastroenterology. “If damage is found during an upper endoscopy, an innovative procedure called radiofrequency ablation can treat the damage and reduce the risk of cancer. When we can improve the odds of patients developing cancer, we can give hope to our patients and help them live longer lives.”

Patients most at risk of developing esophageal cancer have gastroesophageal reflux disease and three or more of the following markers: male, 50 or more years old, tobacco smoker, obesity, and a family history of BE, or a close relative with esophageal cancer. In fact, half of the deaths from esophageal cancer in the US are associated with cigarette smoking, and a third with obesity.

Dr. Uy is available to help patients who are already diagnosed with BE with precancerous abnormalities. Primary care providers may make a referral for an upper endoscopy with radiofrequency ablation with Northern Light Gastroenterology in Bangor by calling 207.973.4266.

Date: 04/30/2022

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center was honored to be designated the recipient of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust’s Casual for a Cause employee-led campaign contributions from last quarter.

Jack Frost, VP, director of community giving for Bar Harbor Bank & Trust explains, “Our employees in Maine selected Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center for this donation based upon the passion and dedication the organization has to advancing philanthropy for cancer research and enhancing patients’ care through the Champion the Cure Challenge fundraiser.”

Each year, the Champion the Cure Challenge brings together thousands of people in our communities who believe that Maine people deserve to have the very best cancer care available as close to home as possible. Champion the Cure Challenge is the only event in our region that funds local cancer research and enhances patients’ care and their experience fighting cancer. Participants can run, walk, cycle, paddle, trail ride, participate virtually and even fish in honor memory of someone close to them.

“We are very grateful to Bar Harbor Bank & Trust for including us in their Casual for a Cause campaign. Not only will the funds support cancer patients right here in Maine, but the quarter-long initiative also provided Champion the Cure Challenge with enhanced visibility among Bar Harbor Bank & Trust employees and clients. We are appreciative of all their efforts and look forward to cheering their team on at the Champion the Cure Challenge this August,” says Terry Leahy, director for oncology operations at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

For more information or to register for Champion the Cure Challenge please visit www.ctcchallenge.org.
 

Date: 05/10/2022

heart-hands-hospital-week-media-release-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (May 10, 2022) — Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is celebrating National Hospital Week May 9 to 13 with more than 40 events, activities, food, and fun. The week is filled with awards, education, and community service opportunities.

On Thursday, May 12, nurses may take part in a brief Blessing of the Hands ceremony with nursing leaders and chaplains. Nurses’ hands heal, comfort, and care for patients and their families; this event gives nurses a moment to breathe, renew, and take a blessing to revisit in the future.

To bring some fun in during Hospital Week, teams are encouraged to participate in various Spirit Days by wearing crazy socks, sporting a wacky hairstyle, wearing a team color, and adding little extra sparkle to their outfits. There are games to play, prizes to win, and two special meals submitted by staff members served up in the Maine Café. Teams have also created Brag Booths to share their departments accomplishments! The week culminates in an unveiling of the Employee Recognition Wall showcasing the Medical Center’s annual award recipients.
 
Members of the media interested in covering the Blessing of the Hands on May 12 at 12:30 pm outside the Medical Center (weather permitting) may contact the Marketing and Communications team by calling our media line at 207.973.9530 or by email at emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.

Look for an award recipient announcement coming out Friday, May 13.

Date: 05/16/2022

EMMC-Hernia-Info-Session-(1).jpgBangor, Maine (May 16, 2022) – If there’s a new bulge or lump around your belly button or groin area, there’s a chance it might be a hernia – a weakness or defect in the wall of the abdomen or diaphragm.

In the US, about 10% of individuals will develop a hernia during their lifetime, and about one million hernias are repaired each year. They can be uncomfortable, but specialized surgeons at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center are skilled at advanced hernia repair that brings patients relief.

To help community members learn more about how minimally invasive, robotic-assisted procedures can help patients with hernia pain and symptoms, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is holding a FREE virtual information session on Thursday, May 19. The event will start at 6 pm and feature a presentation by Matthew Sharbaugh, DO, surgeon, Northern Light Surgical Specialists.

Registration is required. Community members are encouraged to register by visiting NorthernLight.org/EMMCHernia or calling 207.973.5077.

Date: 05/13/2022

Bangor, Maine (May 13, 2022) — Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center celebrates its’ thoughtful, caring, and talented employees. During National Hospital Week, in a ceremony on May 13, the Medical Center recognized recipients of 13 awards, including seven Caring Spirit Awards, four DAISY Awards, and two SUNSHINE Awards.

Congratulations to these individuals who received Caring Spirit Awards honoring their commitment to patients, families, visitors, and coworkers while demonstrating caring behaviors:
  • Caring Spirit Overall - Highest Award - Dawn Andrews, RN, CCE
  • Rookie Caring Spirit Overall - New hire in first year of employment - Cassidy Parady, BSN, RN  
  • Caring Spirit – Guiding the Way - Kim Moreau, BSN, RN
  • Caring Spirit – Seeing the Individual - Chris Luthin 
  • Caring Spirit – Raising Quality - Shannon Jagger, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, CPPS
  • Caring Spirit – Making Access Easy - Taylor Desmond, RT (R)
  • Caring Spirit – Team - Swab and Go
    • Christa Balmas, RN
    • Lorri Cameron-Dow, RN
    • Shelley Ryan, RN
    • Tammy Violette, BSN, RN
This year, a new DAISY Nurse Leader Award was added. Congratulations to Lisa Dorr, BSN, RN for being the inaugural recipient. Also recognized this week were DAISY Award recipients, honoring outstanding registered nurses. Congratulations to: Ruth Dow, RN, Morgan Russell, BSN, RN, and Ashley Wilcox, BSN, RNC-NIC. Congratulations to SUNSHINE Award recipients, recognizing remarkable certified nursing assistants: Grace Jordan, CNA, and Starsha Rizzo, CNA.
 
Members of the media interested in speaking with award recipients and leaders may coordinate an interview with Marketing and Communications at 207.973.9530 or emmcmediarequest@northernlight.org.