News & Events

News

Date: 01/16/2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Michelle Hood

Date: 03/02/2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date: 03/03/2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date: 03/16/2020

Effective March 16, 2020 we are restricting visitations within Northern Light Mayo Hospital. All routine visits are being limited until the transmission of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is no longer a threat to our patients, staff, and community. Our patient care philosophy depends greatly on engaging families to be part of the healing process. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we must take extra steps to protect our patients, staff, visitors, and the community.

The decision to restrict visitors was difficult and made only after careful consideration as we witness schools, houses of worship, and other venues restrict gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visiting hours are between 8am and 8pm. Inpatients are allowed two visitors are a time and outpatients are allowed one visitor at a time.

We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed based on the exceptions listed below. Please note, in all cases a visitor will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath). Additionally, children under the age of 12 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.

Exceptions Include:

  • Patients who are at the end-of-life may have more visitors.

  • Patients who are in labor may have one support person and their significant other.

  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor.

  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor.

  • Patients undergoing necessary surgery or procedures may have one visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as possible after the procedure/surgery.

  • Patients who have a necessary appointment at a Mayo hospital-based clinic or medical practice, laboratory, or radiology, as well as those visiting the Emergency Department, may have one person with them.

Visitors allowed must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the Hospital.

Please note that visitors will not be allowed for patients with a pending or positive COVID-19 test.

We appreciate your understanding. Our goal is to protect your loved ones, all patients, and our staff.

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: 11/25/2020

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

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

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

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

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

Date: 12/14/2020

The Lights of Life tree at Northern Light Mayo Hospital 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.

Lights will continue to be available through December 31, 2020. Every light purchased brightens the tree and supports the exceptional care provided by the Northern Light Mayo Hospital. To learn more and purchase a light, please click here.

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: 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: 09/17/2021

Tracy-K-center-wall-photo-with-portrait-and-writing-resized-(1).jpgThere are many reasons why people love living and working in rural Maine. Everything from outdoor activities to tight knit communities can be very appealing. But, when someone is living with a serious medical condition like cancer, accessing high quality treatment can be frustrating and time consuming.
 
Jane Hibbard Merrill knows the harsh realities of managing a cancer diagnosis when living in small-town Maine. A native of Dexter and a resident of Dover-Foxcroft since the early 1960s, Jane, a cancer survivor herself, has supported two close family members as they fought colon cancer.
 
Many years ago, her first husband, Gary, was diagnosed with colon cancer when he was only 37 years old. At the time, he was running the day-to-day operations of Hibbard Nursing Home, which was established by his father, Emery, and mother, Virginia, in 1955. Jane, who is a licensed practical nurse (LPN), also worked at the nursing home.
 
After three years, Gary lost his battle, and Jane took over the management of Hibbard Nursing Home. She successfully oversaw the home’s growth and development—adding wings for more beds and Main Street 223West for assisted living. She retired in 2013 and sold the facility to Rosscare and First Atlantic.
 
She also stayed very busy raising two daughters, Tracy and Melissa. Sadly, at the same age as her father, 37, Tracy received the devastating news that she too had colon cancer. For the next 15 years Tracy sought out experimental and advanced treatments around the country, while raising three children: Aliza, Alex, and Josh. Unfortunately, after many years, treatments and surgeries, Tracy succumbed to the metastasized cancer at age 52.
 
Importantly, while Tracy did travel to receive advanced treatments, she was able to receive her regular chemotherapy treatments locally, at the site of the “old” Mayo Hospital. “When Tracy would receive her chemotherapy treatments, I remember the set-up was not very comfortable or private,” recalls Jane. “Tracy and I felt strongly that a dedicated oncology center located at the hospital would benefit area residents, like Tracy, who needed chemotherapy and other cancer-related services. That’s when I reached out to Dr. McDermott and offered to donate $250,000 to help make a positive change.”
 
Northern Light Mayo Hospital Vice President of Medical Affairs and Senior Physician Executive David McDermott, MD, MPH, CPE, FAAFP, FAAPL comments, “Jane’s contribution helped to give us a unique identity for the oncology/infusion center at Mayo. She was intimately involved in design decisions for the space, bringing the perspective of the patient and family experience to inform our decisions in design and building of the Tracy Hibbard Kasprzak Center.”
 
The Tracy Hibbard Kasprzak Cancer Treatment Center was dedicated on September 23, 2017. The center features patient rooms designed for comfort and privacy during chemotherapy treatments, a transfusion area, telemedicine capability, and private consultation rooms. It has four treatment bays and two exam rooms, each with bedside smart TVs. The treatment center has a comfortable waiting room and a refreshment station.
 
Northern Light Mayo Hospital President Marie Vienneau, FACHE comments,
“We are so grateful for Jane’s generosity. I had the privilege to work side by side with her to plan this center and it has made a measurable difference to care in our region.”
 
There is a certified medical assistant to help with patients as well as other duties. The kitchen provides hot meals and fresh food from the Christine B. Foundation for patients, and dietary consults are offered to the patients to assist them in maintaining a healthy weight and to address any side effects from chemotherapy. Financial assistance and social services are also available as needed.
 
The Center is staffed by oncology certified registered nurses, and an oncologist travels from Northern Light Cancer Care in Brewer to provide monthly oncology consultations for both new and follow up patient visits.
 
Ultimately, Jane’s vision, borne of personal experience and a desire to provide improved experiences for others in Piscataquis County, became a reality that has helped patients and families throughout the region. According to Denise Scuderi, BSN, RN, vice president, Patient Care Services, Northern Light Mayo Hospital, “Jane’s generous donation was the catalyst to spotlight the oncology services that are provided at our community hospital. It was important to Jane that we be able to provide a home-like atmosphere for our patients during their cancer treatment in addition to receiving quality care. This was very important to Jane since the oncology center is in memory of her daughter, Tracy Hibbard Kasprzak, who also trusted us with her care.”
 

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: 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: 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

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: 12/27/2021

Lights of Life invites our community to brighten our holiday tree while honoring and remembering friends, family members, caregivers, and other special people in our lives. Mayo's beautiful holiday tree was illuminated on December 7 in recognition of our 2021 Lights of Life honorees.

Every light reserved for the tree supports the exceptional care provided at Northern Light Mayo Hospital. The Mayo Hospital team is grateful for the community's support of Lights of Life.

We are pleased to recognize our 2021 honorees (current as of 12/26/21):

Orange Lights
In Honor of Zinnia Austin Jordan

Blue Lights
In Honor of All Mayo Staff
In Honor of Hospital Staff
In Memory of Stephen A. Howard
In Honor of Donald and Hedy Lavallee
In Memory of Sally Ramsay
In Memory of Harry B. Rollins

Green Lights
In Memory of William Bisbee
In Memory of Terry Buck
In Memory of William Hesketh
In Memory of Susan Lancaster
In Memory of Howard A. Leland
In Memory of Robert P. McReavy
In Memory of Stephen G. Thibault
In Memory of Michelle L. Zambrano

Red Lights
In Honor of All Who Continue to Work Through the Pandemic
In Memory of Beverly E. Anderson
In Memory of William Bisbee
In Memory of Nola Burleigh
In Honor of Kristina Dumond
In Memory of Carolyn Green
In Memory of Harry L. Greenlaw
In Honor of Healthcare Heroes at Mayo
In Honor of Angela Kelley
In Memory of Jay Love
In Memory of Donald (Dad) Merrill
In Memory of Arthur B. Osgood
In Memory of Gladys Patten
In Memory of Dennis Payson
In Memory of Keith L. Pingree
In Memory of Roger K. Pingree
In Memory of Suzanne Ponkala
In Memory of Elmer Sawtelle
In Honor of Reese Starbird
In Memory of Douglas S. Thibault
In Memory of Robert H. White

White Lights
In Honor of All Cancer Survivors
In Memory of James Cunningham
In Memory of Leona M. Dow
In Memory of Lewis H. Dow
In Memory of Patricia Dyer
In Memory of Stanley Dyer
In Memory of Brian Faulkner
In Memory of Bruce Faulkner
In Memory of Claudette Faulkner
In Memory of Harry Greenlaw
In Memory of Yvonne Hartford
In Memory of Steve Lemar
In Memory of Lisa Mehlhorn
In Memory of George E. Moore
In Honor of Derek G. Quiet
In Memory of Harold D. Quiet
In Memory of Minnie Angel Rhoda
In Memory of Anna Silva
In Honor of Ruth Smallwood
In Honor of Doreen Stanley
In Memory of Hilda M. Sylvia
In Memory of Emile M. Tanguay
In Memory of Gemma G. Tanguay
In Memory of Clifford L. Wiley

Donations:
Bears Den Motel, Restaurant & Tavern
Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union (HQ)

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: 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: 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: 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: 03/31/2022

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: 05/20/2022

Northern Light Mayo Hospital honored a nurse and a certified nursing assistant for excellence in care on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The May 12 recognition was part of several activities held to celebrate staff during National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week.

Vickie-(1).jpgThe Nursing Excellence Award is a public commendation given to a staff nurse who demonstrates exemplary clinical expertise, commitment to Northern Light Mayo Hospital, and continued professional development. This year’s recipient is Vickie Clement, RN, an operating room nurse who has worked at Mayo Hospital for 36 years. A leader among her peers, Vickie is respected as a caring, compassionate, trustworthy nurse who has a strong work ethic and conducts herself with integrity.

“Vickie never misses a beat when it comes to making sure her patients are prepared for surgery. She cares about her community, her patients, and her team and always moves forward with the highest of integrity. Her patients and their families appreciate her care and compassion and say that she shows them the utmost respect, much like a family member,” says Denise Scuderi, BSN, RN, vice president of patient care services, Mayo Hospital. 

Kelly.jpgThe Certified Nursing Assistant Excellence Award is a new recognition given to a CNA who demonstrates exemplary patient care and teamwork and a strong commitment to nursing services at Mayo Hospital. Kelly Cooper, CNA, this year’s award winner, has been a CNA for more than 10 years and currently works on the Medical/Surgical Unit. She is known for being thorough and thoughtful with her care, and never says no to helping with whatever is needed and doing what is best for her patients.

“Kelly was described by a co-worker as ‘The best CNA that has ever and will ever work at Mayo.’ She always keeps her patients clean, turned, and toileted. Her peers feel that she is an invaluable member of the night shift team who always strives to go above and beyond,” adds Scuderi.

Nominations for both awards were submitted by employees. Mayo Hospital congratulates Vickie, Kelly, and every staff member who was nominated for an award.