Health

Local health organizations reaffirm partnership

BERLIN — Last month, the board of directors of Androscoggin Valley Hospital and Coos County Family Health Services voted to extend and expand their long-standing formal partnership.

“Given the role that our organizations play in the community, our continued collaboration is crucial to the well-being and prosperity of area residents,”said Donna Goodrich and Joan Merrill, respective board chairpersons of Androscoggin Valley Hospital and Coos County Family Health Services. “This formal agreement reinforces our commitment to the mission of ensuring that area residents have access to a broad range of primary, specialty and acute care services for years to come.”

During the past 14 years, this collaboration has supported the work of both organizations and has made it possible to expand the services available in the community to include dental care, behavioral health, pharmacy assistance and weekend clinics.

The agreement also establishes a new vehicle to support the health and wellbeing of area residents through the creation of a Community Investment Fund. The fund will develop and support initiatives designed to address the social determinants of health.

“We know that there are many issues — transportation, access to food and medicine, and loneliness, to name a few — that can have a direct bearing on a person’s health. The Community Investment Fund will take aim at issues like these that are outside the traditional focus of medicine, but that are nonetheless critical to our health and well-being. Our organizations are excited to begin this new endeavor, and welcome other groups who would like to join us in this effort,” said Mike Peterson, Androscoggin Valley Hospital president and Ken Gordon, Coos County Family Health Services chief executive officer.

For more information about this ongoing collaboration, contact James Patry, Androscoggin Valley Hospital senior director, patient experience and marketing, at (603) 326-5606.

CGBA Photo 6 22 17Pictured from the left, Ken Gordon, chief executive officer, Coos County Family Health Services; Joan Merrill, board chairperson, Coos County Family Health Services; Donna Goodrich, board chairperson, AVH; Michael Peterson, FACHE, president, AVH. (COURTESY PHOTO)

 

Memorial Hospital Board votes to take MaineHealth unification concept to local community

NORTH CONWAY — Memorial Hospital’s Board of Trustees voted to move forward to bring to the public the concept of Memorial being part of a unified MaineHealth with a single consolidated governance model. Memorial now joins other MaineHealth member organizations in doing so.

While Memorial plans to hold a community forum on the topic in October, the board plans to continue its ongoing due diligence process which began in 2016. Board President Laura Jawitz stated, “This is still a work in progress. We want to run this along a parallel path to give us time to do additional financial modeling.”

Jawitz continued, “Before any final decisions are made, we need to hear from our community stakeholders. We believe we’ve found a balance that allows us to leverage our system resources to deliver care across our service area while maintaining significant local decision making, and we want to engage our community on that plan.”

President and CEO Scott McKinnon added, “Our board takes this process very seriously. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of trustees who have the best interests at heart for the health of our community.”

The proposal under discussion would create a single, system-wide board of trustees for MaineHealth. It would also leave in place local boards that would retain significant responsibility for the hospital services and other care delivered in local communities.

Memorial is different than other MaineHealth members in that it is located in New Hampshire. This is important in that the regulatory oversight is much different in New Hampshire than in Maine. If the board decides to proceed with the unification process, the N.H. Charitable Trust will review the proposed change to the hospital’s governance structure.

The inability to deploy resources across the system has become a significant problem for MaineHealth’s community hospitals such as Memorial in recent years, which is under increasing financial pressure because of changes in the way health care is being delivered.

“The good news,” said Bill Caron, president of MaineHealth, “is that, overall, MaineHealth is in strong financial shape. We believe that MaineHealth is positioned, as a system, to deliver the right care in the right place at the right time for all our patients.”

Still, while unifying MaineHealth members under a single budget overseen by a system board of trustees will strengthen local health services and help preserve community hospitals, the proposal has stirred thoughtful discussion with Memorial Hospital’s board members. The new structure being considered leaves in place a strong role for local boards and includes safeguards aimed at making sure communities will continue to receive the services they need.

The governance proposal under consideration includes local oversight of care quality and the credentialing of doctors and other providers, a continued relationship with local donors, a defined role in the budget and planning process and oversight of community health initiatives. The proposal also guarantees local representation on the system board for at least the first five years and requires any significant changes in local services be approved by 67 percent of the system board’s members.

Memorial’s community forum will be scheduled for October with details to follow. For more information about MaineHealth’s unification dialogue visit www.mainehealth.org/about/unification.

 

Auxiliary golf tournament raises $15,500 to support Weeks Medical Center

LANCASTER — Weeks Medical Center Auxiliary held its 28th annual golf scramble on June 3 at the Maplewood Country Club in Bethlehem.

More than 107 participants from the surrounding communities competed in a day of golf, lunch, raffles, prizes, and an auction to raise money in support of Weeks Medical Center. The scramble raised $15,500, which was donated to the hospital for the purchase of a GildeScope video laryngoscope for use in the emergency department. The GlideScope provides rapid first-pass intubation for improved patient care and lowers risks of complications.

Several flight sponsors contributed to the scramble, including Beattie Enterprises Inc., Daniel Hebert Inc., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire, Sean Tracey Associates, and Sulloway and Hollis.

The Weeks Medical Center Auxiliary was founded in 1920 and has served as a non-profit volunteer organization to benefit Weeks Medical Center and the surrounding communities through fundraising, service, education and health-related programs. Auxiliary efforts have raised more than $465,000 for the hospital.

“Every year the Weeks Auxiliary Golf Scramble offers a fun way for local residents to support their community and Weeks Medical Center,” said Margo Cliche, volunteer services manager and auxiliary member. “While the weather wasn’t perfect this year, everyone played through and helped us raise much needed funds. A special thank you to our flight sponsors as well as our many hole sponsors, donors and golfers who contribute to supporting Weeks Medical Center. A big thanks to our host, the Maplewood Country Club, and to the Weeks Medical Center Volunteer Department, management team, and staff for their continued support along with the many auxiliary members and volunteers, especially the tournament committee members, who contribute so much to the success of the scramble.”

For more information about the Weeks auxiliary or volunteer services at Weeks Medical Center, visit WeeksMedical.org or call (603) 788-5221.

A Flight Scramble WinnersPictured from the left were first place winners of A Flight, PGA (Pathetic Golfers Assoc.) with Tucker Clark, Jeff Gilman, Griffin Gilman and Keith Young. In second place DHI Duffers with Chris Hebert, Scott Welsh, Jerry McGee and Jon Brown. In third place, The Wedgies with Dave Atkinson, Carl Ramsdell, Dan Chancey and Scott Conroy. (COURTESY PHOTO)

B Flight Scramble WinnersPictured from the left were first place winners of B Flight, AB Ball Busters with Roger Emery, Bob Snowman, Allen Bouthillier and Kyle Bouthillier. In second place Dimpled Balls with Pete Morey, Tim Haskins, Jack Putney and John Platt. In third place Struck by Whitening with Bernd Webster, Nicholas Weber, Christopher Weber and John Blakslee. (COURTESY PHOTO)

C Flight Scramble WinnersPictured from the left were first place winners of C Flight, Into the Woods with William Jewell, Stacey Jewell, William Perkins Jr. and William Perkins III. In second place, Shankendrinkers with Eric Brault, Andy Cliche, Richard Brooks, Terry Bedell and Andre Brasseur. In third place Mini Drivers with Rich Kardell, Viggo Kardell, Hidalgo Kardell and Brenda D’Amour. (COURTESY PHOTO)

 

Cutline: Golf Ball Drop

White Mountain Rotary is currently selling Golf Ball Drop raffle tickets to support the organization's commitment to area youth through scholarships and educational programs. This year's Drop will be held at Androscoggin Valley Country Club in Gorham (all are welcome to witness this fun event) at 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 26. A number of golf balls will be hoisted over the course's 18th green near the roadside. The three winning balls will be the ones which land in the cup and/or the end up closest to the cup. The first place winner will receive $500; second place $250; third place $100. Tickets are available for purchase from any White Mountain Rotary member. For information or a ticket, call (603) 723-8095 or (603) 723-9502. Tickets are $5 each; 3 for $10; 7 for $20. White Mountain Rotary meetings are held Thursdays at noon at Yokohama Restaurant in Gorham. Stop by and be our guest!

GolfballdropPictured from the left is Rotarian Guy Lopez, Asplundh's Frank Bundle, Rotarians Dawn Cross, Liz LePera, Al Morrissette and Amy Lurvey. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Same day appointments

COLEBROOK — As part of its continuing mission to provide health care services to North Country residents and visitors, Indian Stream Health Center has unveiled a two-phase approach to expand access. Starting July 7, the Center is expanding hours in both its Colebrook and Canaan, Vt., locations and is offering same day appointments.

“The community need is certainly there,” said Jonathan Brown, CEO of Indian Stream Health Center. “The need for health care services is not confined to the ‘9-5’ business day so we felt it was important to extend our hours to support busy individuals and families. We’re also pleased to provide the option of same day appointments — even for those new to our practices.”

The new office hours are as follows:

Colebrook: Monday - Friday: 7 a.m.–7 p.m. and Saturday: 8 a.m.–noon.

Cannan, Vt. location: Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

“Both initiatives are a key step forward,” said David Amin, M.D., chief health officer at the health center. “We are pleased to offer this new access to those we serve as well as to new patients and visitors to the area.”

Amin went on to explain that adding the same day appointments meets a community need for quality, cost-effective care. “Far too often, those needing to see a medical provider outside of regular office hours wind up in a local hospital emergency department, even if their condition is not life-threatening. By offering same day appointments, we’re providing people with the option of lower cost care without the potentially longer wait of an emergency department.”

“As a practicing emergency department physician, I can say with certainty that for a life-threatening issue, emergency or trauma care, the emergency department is the best place to treat severe conditions. But if your issue is a sprain or strain, cold or flu, a child with an ear ache or other minor issues, a same-day appointment can have you treated sooner and with a smaller co-pay.”

Adding another layer of patient convenience, Indian Stream Health Center’s Colebrook location also houses a full- service pharmacy on its lower level. Staffed by experienced professionals, the pharmacy offers a drive-through window and is a certified 340B provider (drug discount program for those in need). “We’re pleased to be able to have the pharmacy as part of our campus,” said Mr. Brown. “It is available to our patients and the general public.”

“We strongly feel that these important steps will help support a healthier community.”

To learn more about Indian Stream Health Center, call (603) 237-8336 or visit www.indianstream.org.