Legislature Approves Mayo Merger
Maine Legislature approves merger of Mayo Regional Hospital into Northern Light Health
Late today Governor Mills signed into law legislation passed by the Maine House and Senate that is a significant step forward in plans for Mayo Regional Hospital to merge with Northern Light Health. Mayo, which is owned and governed by a hospital administrative district (HAD 4) needed the law change to merge with Northern Light Health, a private non-profit corporation. The legislation was sponsored by Representative Norman Higgins and co-sponsored by Piscataquis County regional legislators.
“We are grateful that the Maine legislature recognized what we already know to be true—that together we are well equipped to serve people across Piscataquis County and in other rural parts of our state,” explained Michelle Hood, FACHE, Northern Light Health president and CEO. “Small hospitals are finding it increasingly difficult to provide access to quality healthcare in a way that is financially viable; our integrated healthcare system has the infrastructure and resources to help in that regard.”
In April, all thirteen communities that make up Hospital Administrative District #4 (HAD #4) held advisory votes within their towns, allowing residents to weigh in on the potential merger. Twelve of the 13 communities voted in favor of the merger, with more than 80 percent of the total votes being cast in the affirmative.
"The staff at Mayo Regional Hospital has worked hard for more than 40 years to ensure quality care for the people of this region," said Mayo Regional Hospital president and CEO Marie Vienneau. "The passing of the legislation and the governor's signature is the next step toward ensuring that the quality care will continue under the careful leadership of Northern Light Health. There is still work to be done, but we are grateful for the bill sponsor, Rep. Norm Higgins, our entire local delegation, the full legislature, and Governor Mills bringing this merger closer to reality."
Now that the merger has won community and legislative support, the next step will be for Mayo and Northern Light Health to submit a certificate of need application with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Assuming regulatory approval and final approval by the Mayo and Northern Light Health boards this fall, Mayo would become the tenth hospital of Northern Light Health.
Small hospitals are finding it increasingly difficult to provide access to quality healthcare in a way that is financially viable; our integrated healthcare system has the infrastructure and resources to help in that regard.
— Michelle Hood, FACHE, Northern Light Health president and CEO