Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Northern Light CA Dean building a new hospital?
The current hospital building has served our communities well for generations, but it is now costly to maintain and requires frequent repairs. It is not sustainable as a full-service hospital for the long-term—if we don’t have a plan to replace the building, inpatient and emergency care in our region will eventually be at risk. We’ve heard from patients and families, community leaders, business owners and others over the years who recognize the need to replace the facility. Now, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make this new hospital a reality for everyone in our communities.
Will services be added or lost?
Included in the project are five acute/swing beds and 10 swing nursing facility beds; 24/7 emergency department; imaging; lab; a new, separate ambulance garage; and an FAA-approved helipad—all the core services our community has come to expect from CA Dean Hospital, provided in a facility that’s built for how healthcare is delivered today. A modern facility will maximize patient safety and comfort.
Will the emergency room stay open?
Yes. The CA Dean Emergency Department is a lifeline for year-round and seasonal residents and visitors who snowmobile, ATV, hike, boat, hunt, and fish in the region. If our hospital didn’t exist, it could take more than two hours to get to the closest emergency department from deep within Maine’s north woods. From Greenville, the next closest hospital is 45 minutes away in the best weather.
Why will there only be 5 beds, when the hospital is currently licensed for 25 beds?
While CA Dean Hospital is licensed for 25 beds, we do not maintain that many beds. The current acute average daily census (which does not include skilled unit patients) is 3.25. Looking forward, patients will spend less time in the hospital as services continue to shift to outpatient care, which means that our census may decrease further. We anticipate that the new building will serve our communities’ inpatient care needs long into the future, though we will maintain our 25-bed license to ensure flexibility.
Who is paying for this project?
There are several funding sources for this project, including the Moosehead Legacy: Preserving a Promise capital campaign, planned gifts that have already been made, and support from Northern Light Health. A generous $3.5 million gift made by the late Peter Buck and support from more than 250 businesses, individuals, employees, foundation, and grateful patients brought the capital campaign to completion in January 2022, fewer than 10 months after it began.
What will happen to the existing buildings?
The main hospital building, the dentist office, and the administration building will be removed. The East Wing will be attached to the new facility and will contain patient rooms. The medical office building will remain in service.
Will employees lose their jobs?
We anticipate only minor changes to the number of people we employ, and any eliminated positions will occur through attrition.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the plan for the hospital?
The pandemic has reinforced the importance of having a hospital in our community to coordinate testing, vaccination, and COVID-19 treatment. The value of having long term care, emergency care, and transport services close to home is significant. Now more than ever, our community hospital is essential for our region.