News & Events

News

Date: 01/02/2020

Benson was delivered by Janna Sirois, CNM, WHNP, from
Northern Light OB/GYN.
  Nurses from the hospital’s Women & Children’s Unit who were on hand to help with the care of mother and baby were Emily Gardner, Marissa Chasse, and Amy Jackson.  

Presque Isle, Maine (January 1, 2020) — The first two babies born this decade in Aroostook County (and the second and third babies in the State) were welcomed in the early hours of the new year at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle. 

 

The County’s first baby of the new year was born just 11 minutes after the first-born baby in the State, who was born at Maine Medical Center. At this time, details about the baby and family are not available for the public. 

 

Meanwhile, less than one hour later, the second baby of the County was welcomed to the world. Benson Steven Rodney Farley was born at 1:33 a.m. to proud parents Sydney Kinney and Brandon Farley of Washburn.  He weighed in at 6 lbs. 14 oz. and was 20 ½ inches long.

 

Little Benson is a birthday present of sorts to both parents. Brandon’s birthday was Monday, December 30, so when they ended up at the hospital that day, he was hoping for perhaps a shared birthday, but that wasn’t the case.  Despite being in the hospital since Monday, Benson took his time coming into the world, waiting until the new year. He ends up right between his parent’s birthdays…two days after dad’s and two days before mom’s, which is this Friday.

 

“We’re just happy that he’s finally here and that he’s healthy,” says Brandon. As they cuddle with the newborn and check him over, they agree that he has Sydney’s eyes and Brandon’s nose.  Benson is Sydney’s first child and the second for Brandon. 

 

As for plans for the new year, mom and dad say they are just looking forward to going home, loving Benson, and watching him grow – the best and maybe the hardest part of being a parent, according to Brandon.

 

Benson was born at 1:33 a.m. on January 1, 2020 at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital. Proud parents are Sydney Kinney and Brandon Farley of Washburn. He was the second baby born this decade in Aroostook County and appears to have been the third in the State.

Date: 01/03/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (January 3, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle is offering the third of a series of free Community Health Talks on Tuesday, January 7, from 6-7 pm in the hospital’s conference center.

 

Chris Morse, MSW, LCSW, from Northern Lighthouse will be leading a discussion on seasonal depression.  Seasonal depression, often called seasonal effective disorder (SAD) is a depression that occurs each year around the same time, typically in the winter. Approximately half a million people in the United States suffer from SAD, while 10 to 20% may suffer from a more mild form of the “winter blues.”

 

Do you or someone in your family suffer from seasonal depression? Do you want to learn more about it and ways to better cope with it?  Come learn more; share your concerns and get your questions answered.

 

The Community Health Talk is free and open to the public.  No preregistration is necessary.  Simply come to the AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle for the 6 pm talk.  The conference center is located on the second floor of the East Annex.

Date: 01/08/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (January 8, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is encouraging local residents to take a step toward better health with Walk with a Doc, a health program that brings doctors and patients together each month to walk and to chat.

 

Walk with a Doc is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire communities through movement and conversation.  Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has joined the program to bring it to the local community.

 

One of the driving forces to bringing the program to the region is Andrew Lederman, MD, a physiatrist and interventional pain specialist in the Northern Light Orthopedics practice at the hospital.  He was involved with the program when he was chief resident at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

 

“I was able to see first-hand what a big hit it was,” says Dr. Lederman. “This is a wonderful opportunity for providers and patients to interact outside of the clinical setting.  The program ties into health initiatives, but it is unique because providers are right there with you.”

 

According to Dr. Lederman, there are many benefits to the program, for both patients and providers. 

 

“It helps us create a better, more interactive relationship.  It also encourages people to get out and get active. It is much more effective to invite our patients to come walk with us than to just tell them to go to the gym. Interacting socially is a great way to start off a regular exercise program.  We are hoping those who walk with us will make connections with others in the community and begin walking on a regular basis, not just monthly with us,” he explains.

 

Increasing exercise, even moderately, can really make a difference in your health. According to the American Heart Association, walking as little as 30 minutes a day can provide the following benefits:  improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels; help maintain a healthy body weight and lower the risk of obesity; enhance mental well-being; and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

 

This program is free and open to the public. It is intended for people of all ages and physical abilities. The walk will be held at locations that allow people to easily walk at their own pace for whatever distance they choose. Locations will also be wheelchair and stroller accessible.

 

Dr. Lederman will lead the first Walk with a Doc session, which takes place on Tuesday, January 28, from 12-1 pm at the Sargent Family Community Center in Preque Isle.  He will lead a brief talk about the program as well as ways to restore your functional ability and way of life.  This will be followed by a walk around the track. Again, people can walk for as short or long a time as they like at whatever pace they like.

 

To encourage people to continue walking, the hospital will provide free pedometers to those who attend this January 28 session so those without a personal fitness tracker can more easily keep track of their steps.  Other prizes and rewards will be presented as the program progresses through the year.

 

The intent is to have a different provider lead the walk each month with a brief five minute discussion on a health topic related to their area of care.  However, other providers and staff from the hospital will be invited to attend each session as well to take part in the walk and chat with patients.

 

In February, John Raymond, PA-C, from Northern Light Heart and Lung, will lead a discussion on ways to protect your heart, followed by a walk around the Aroostook Center Mall on Tuesday, February 25, from 11 am to 12 pm.  The March Walk with a Doc session will also take place at the mall during those same hours.  David Weed, DO, who heads up Northern Light Sleep Diagnostics, will lead a brief discussion on sleep-related issues prior to the March 31 walk. Details on future months will be announced as the program progresses.

 

Light snacks and water will be provided at each of the Walk with a Doc sessions. Participation is free and pre-registration is not required. Simply stop by and enjoy a walk with local healthcare professionals, who will provide support and answer questions during the walk.

 

“Walk with a Doc is honored to team up with Northern Light AR Gould Hospital. By incorporating this program into the practice, the hospital is demonstrating an exceptional level of care and commitment to their community,” said Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist with Mount Carmel Health Systems in Columbus, Ohio and founder of the Walk with a Doc program. 

Date: 01/16/2020

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in December 2019 were the following:
 
BRADY – A boy, Nathan Andrew Brady, born December 8, to Samantha and Thomas Brady of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Sandrae and Bryan Weymouth of Brownville. Paternal Grandmother is Laura Kelly of Patten.
 
CARON – A girl, Londyn Marie Caron, born December 27, to Paige Beaulieu and Bryan Caron of Chapman. Maternal Grandparents are Susan Beaulieu of Bangor and Chris Dana of Catauba, NC. Paternal Grandparents are Tina and Tibb Caron of Chapman.
 
GILMAN – A girl, Gretchen Louise Gilman, born December 28, to Savannah Flint and Richard Gilman of Masardis. Maternal Grandparents are Karen and Keith Flint of Ashland. Paternal Grandparents are Renee Burby and Steven Gilman of Millinocket.
 
MCGLINN – A boy,Corey William McGlinn, born December 27, to Chelsea Vaillancourt and Cody McGlinn of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Pat and Bill Vaillancourt of Ashland. Paternal Grandparents are Kim and Jerry McGlinn of Mapleton.
 
MONROE – A boy, Charles Michael Monroe, born December 4, to Katrina Bragg and Nicholas Monroe of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Flora Yale of Mapleton and Michael Bragg of Washburn. Paternal Grandparents are Cathy Walker of Lakeland, FL and Michael Monroe of Easton.
 
NICKERSON – A boy, Jasper Clayton Nickerson, born December 30, to Stephaine Nadeau and Joshua Nickerson of Castle Hill. Maternal Grandparents are Marie and Dana Nadeau of Eagle Lake. Paternal Grandparents are Susan and Brent Nickerson of Castle Hill.
 
REED – A girl, Mckinlee Grace Reed, born December 5, to Shanae and Joshua Reed of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Gail and Jerry Burtt of Washburn. Paternal Grandparents are Rose Rodriguez of Presque Isle and Jason Reed of Fort Fairfield.
 
SCHOOLS – Two boys, Parker Lawrence Schools and Barrett Robert Schools, born December 30, to Haleigh and Gregory Schools of Littleton. Maternal Grandparents are Margo and Geoffrey Dyer of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Roberta Fogg of Raymond and Lawrence Schools of Littleton.
 
WHITAKER – A girl, Olivia Kate Whitaker, born December 16, to Elizabeth and Joel Whitaker of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Deb and Ron Kofstad Jr. of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Jen and Dave Whitaker of Presque Isle.
 

Date: 01/23/2020


On hand at the presentation of the Quality Performance Excellence Award to Northern Light AR Gould Hospital for its CHF Clinic were, from left:  Tim Dentry, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Northern Light Health; Dr. Jay Reynolds, vice president and senior physician executive at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital; Kim White, RN, nurse navigator for the CHF clinic at the hospital; John Raymond, PA-C, a cardiology provider and driving force behind the CHF clinic; and Dr. Steven Berkowitz, the former senior vice president and chief physician executive for Northern Light


 

Presque Isle, Maine (January 23, 2020) — To better serve patients, Northern Light AR Gould Hospital created a unique clinic for congestive heart failure (CHF) patients last year. The program has had made a major difference in the quality of life for participants, and its incredible success was recently recognized when the program was named the first-place winner of the Quality Performance Excellence Award presented at Northern Light Health’s second annual Quality Summit.

 

Congestive heart failure is when the heart can’t pump blood normally. It can make a person feel weak, tired, or dizzy.  It can also affect your lungs and make you short of breath. CHF patients can struggle with activities in daily life as well as health issues related to their CHF. 

 

“Heart failure is the number one cause of readmission here and throughout the country,” says John Raymond, PA-C, a provider in the hospital’s cardiology department.  “These patients can be very sick, with multiple medical issues. We wanted to do something for these patients in Aroostook County.”

 

According to Raymond, the national average of hospital readmission for CHF is about 23 percent, while AR Gould’s rate had hit as high as 33% at some points. To change this situation, a series of meetings were held with staff and providers from all of the departments involved in CHF care. The group included cardiologists, nurses, primary care providers, dietitians, pharmacists, hospitals, and cardiac rehab staff.

 

“By all talking it out with each other, we found areas we could improve upon, but the biggest issue was communication. We were all doing great in our own departments, but we needed to improve communication between these departments and between inpatient and outpatient care,” explains Raymond. “When a patient leaves, we need to make sure they are educated and follow through on that education.”

 

The CHF Clinic they developed pulls together all of these resources within the hospital to better guide patients living with CHF.  The clinic follows guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. It includes an organized, interdisciplinary team, a standard education program, and a fine-tuned communication system. Patients are followed after discharge, and the program continues to evolve to meet their needs.

 

A key component is a patient nurse navigator who ensures patients are getting the education they need and that proper follow-up is done. She serves as the link between the patients and their families with providers, home care nurses, inpatient nurses, and others associated with their CHF care. She makes regular calls to check in with patients, checking on their symptoms and answering questions. Raymond equates Kim White, RN, the CHF nurse navigator, to the “quarterback” of the program.

 

The program has grown over the past year to include roughly 200 patients across The County who the team of Northern Light Heart & Lung are following closely.  And statistics prove the clinic has made a difference.  Readmission rates for CHF patients are now averaging only eight to ten percent at the hospital.

 

With this success in mind, the program was nominated for a quality award in competition with programs from across the Northern Light Health system, which includes nine hospitals, a statewide home care and hospice system, continuing care facilities, primary and specialty care practices, and ground and air medical transport services. 

 

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital’s CHF Clinic was one of three finalists for the Quality Performance Excellence Award. After a presentation by the finalists at the Annual Quality Summit, the CHF Clinic was selected as the first-place winner.

 

“While this recognition is appreciated and the statistics are exciting, what really makes a difference for us personally as providers are the stories of the quality of life improvements we hear from our patients,” says Raymond.  “That’s what really matters. We are proud to have made a difference.”

 

Leaders from the hospital and the Heart and Lung practice are now planning to use this model to create a COPD clinic for pulmonary patients in Aroostook County.

Date: 02/03/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (February 3, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will be hosting a free “Healthy Heart” themed event on Friday, February 7, in honor of both Go Red for Women Day and Heart Health Month.  Two days later, on Sunday, February 9, the hospital is partnering with Nordic Heritage Center to offer a free heart-healthy snowshoeing hike.

 

“For Go Red Day on February 7, we will offer a mix of both fun activities and educational information to help people be more aware of heart health concerns that may impact them,” explains Dawn Roberts, community health specialist at the hospital. “Although we hope folks will get into the spirit of the day and wear red, the day is about so much more than that, so we hope folks stop in no matter what color they are wearing.”

 

The hospital will offer free blood pressure and BMI screenings, as well as educational displays about nutrition, tobacco use, physical activity, and more in collaboration with ACAP’s Let’s Go program and SNAP-Ed.  Participants can also join in mini yoga sessions, pick up some heart healthy recipes, have fun at a selfie photo booth, and sign up for door prizes. 

 

The event takes place from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm in the hospital’s conference center and is intended for both the public and AR Gould employees.

 

This education activity will then be followed up with a physical outing on Sunday, February 9, at the Nordic Heritage Center which is being sponsored jointly by Nordic Heritage and the hospital’s Total Wellness Team. 

 

“Since being active is such an important step in your heart health, this seemed like the perfect fit,” says Linda Menard from the hospital, who is leading the hike along with Jamie Guerrette from the Nordic Heritage Center.  “Employees and community members are invited to join us.  We will be hiking less than a mile into a hut where we will stop for a snack and enjoy a fire before hiking back out. If you are a beginner or want to bring your family along, this is an ideal hike to try it out.”

 

Snowshoes are available at the Nordic Heritage Center at no charge for club members or for a small $5 fee for non-members.  The hike itself is free.  The group will depart from the parking lot at 1:00 pm, so people should arrive early to get geared up, particularly those needing to rent equipment. 

 

Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s initiative to increase women’s heart health awareness and to try to affect change to improve women’s health.  Statistics show that cardiovascular diseases continue to be a woman’s greatest health threat.  With February being Heart Health Month, it is the perfect time for both men and women to learn more about their risk for heart disease and the steps that need to be taken to help their hearts.

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: 02/14/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (February 14, 2020) — The free “Healthy Heart” themed event originally planned for Go Red Day on February 7 at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital was postponed due to the winter storm that day. The event is now planned for Friday, February 21, at the hospital.

 

The hospital will offer free blood pressure and BMI screenings, as well as educational displays about nutrition, tobacco use, physical activity, and more in collaboration with ACAP’s Let’s Go program and SNAP-Ed.  Participants can also join in mini yoga sessions, pick up some heart healthy recipes, have fun at a selfie photo booth, and sign up for door prizes. 

 

The event takes place from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm in the hospital’s conference center and is intended for both the public and AR Gould employees.

 

With February being Heart Health Month, it is the perfect time for people to learn more about their risk for heart disease and the steps that need to be taken to help their hearts.

Date: 02/14/2020

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in January 2020 were the following:
 
BOULIER – A boy, Grayden James Boulier, born January 16, to Mariah Cyr and Alex Boulier of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Stephanie Clark of Easton and Shawn Cyr of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Elaine and Bruce Boulier of Blaine.
 
DAMPF – A boy, Grayson Knight Dampf, born January 11, to Nicole and Kaleb Dampf of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Heather Biastre of Limestone, Kellie Drapeau of Tiverton, RI, and Jason Drapeau of Providence RI. Paternal Grandparents are Jane and Karl Dampf of Presque Isle.
 
FARLEY – A boy, Benson Steven Rodney Farley, born January 1, to Sydney Kinney and Brandon Farley of Washburn.
 
FLEWELLING – A boy, Royce Emmett Flewelling, born January 15, to Autumn and Nicholas Flewelling of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Sherry Jandreau of Presque Isle and Douglas Whittaker of Easton. Paternal Grandparents are Valerie and Bruce Flewelling of Easton.
 
KING – A boy, Zachary Michael King, born January 13, to Jasmine King of Mars Hill. Maternal Grandparents are Bobbie Jo Chasse of Westfield and Raymond King of Limestone.
 
SMITH – A boy, Nicholas Vaughn Smith, born January 21, to Maria Rutmann and Leigh Smith of Mapleton. Paternal Grandparents are Diane and Scott Smith of Presque Isle.
 

Date: 02/14/2020


Andrew Lederman, MD, walks and chats with community members during the January Walk with a Doc program.  Walk with a Doc continues in February with John Raymond, PA-C, who will talk about heart health before walking with participants at the mall on February 25.

 

Presque Isle, Maine (February 14, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital kicked-off its new Walk with a Doc program in January.  This is the local offering of an international health program that brings providers and patients together each month to walk and to chat.

 

It was an exciting start of the program, with nearly 40 people taking part. Andrew Lederman, MD, from Northern Light Orthopedics spoke to participants briefly about the benefits of exercising before they took to the track to walk at the Sargent Family Community Center.

 

“It’s all about putting your body in motion, no matter where you are starting from,” he said.  “Even if you walk just one lap, you are taking steps to improve your health.”

 

He and other staff from the hospital then walked the track for about 45 minutes with community members, talking about a range of topics from health to other local interests.  

 

The program continues on Tuesday, February 25, with John Raymond, PA-C, from Northern Light Heart & Lung.  Raymond will talk briefly about heart health and then walk with participants in laps inside the Aroostook Center Mall.  The event takes place from 11am to 12 noon. 

 

According to the American Heart Association, walking as little as 30 minutes a day can: improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels; help maintain a healthy body weight and lower the risk of obesity; enhance mental well-being; and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

 

Walk with a Doc is free and open to the public. It is intended for people of all ages and physical abilities. Participants can walk at their own pace for whatever distance they choose.

 

Other upcoming providers will include:  David Weed, DO, from Sleep Diagnostics on March 31; Jonathan Herland, MD, from Pain Clinic on April 28; Heather Montgomery, FNP, from Walk-In Care on May 26; and Veronica Miksch, PA-C, from Primary Care on June 30. 

 

Light snacks and water will be provided at each of the Walk with a Doc sessions. Participation is free and pre-registration is not required. Simply stop by and enjoy a walk with local healthcare professionals, who will provide support and answer questions during the walk.

 

Date: 02/20/2020

Photos from the Youth and Junior/Adult ski races from last year’s Himie Towle Memorial Frolic.  In addition to these races, this year’s March 7 event will include children’s activities such as sack races and three-legged races, as well as a guided snowshoe hike, fat bike demonstration, a sliding hill, health and wellness displays and more. 

 

Presque Isle, Maine (February 20, 2020) — The Annual Himie Towle Memorial Winter Frolic takes place on Saturday, March 7, at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. New this year will be a host of free family-friendly activities in addition to the traditional skiing events.

 

“While skiing is still a big part of this event, we are excited to bring it back to more of a family event…more like what it was like when our Dad brought us and our friends out for adventures in the snow,” says Steve Towle of Easton.  He and his brothers offer this event each year in memory of their father, Himie Towle, who was an outdoor enthusiast.

 

“Our family grew up with a love of the outdoors, particularly during winter, and what better way to share his legacy than to offer an event like this for the community,” explains Towle.

 

As in the past, the Winter Frolic includes cross country ski events for all ages. Youth races, broken down in various age categories, get started at 11 am.  Lollipops and ribbons will be awarded at the conclusion of each age group.  For teen and adult skiers, there will be a 5K and 10K freestyle race, with a classic track available, starting at 1pm. Unlike previous years, this race will not be divided into age categories.  Medals will be awarded to the top three male and top three female finishers in both distances. The overall winners for the event will be the top male and female skiers in the 10K race.

 

Several new outdoor and indoor activities have also been added this year.  This will include kid’s activities such as sack races and three-legged races. Also slated are sliding, a guided snowshoe hike, a fat bike demonstration, health and wellness displays in the lodge, marshmallows and hot dogs over the fire, and a hot lunch for participants. 

 

The entire event is free and open to the public.  Participants can come take part in whatever portions they choose.  The schedule for the day, which is still subject to change, looks like this:

 

10:00 am – Registration in the Lodge

10 am to 1pm – Educational Displays and Activities in the Lodge

11:00 am – Youth Ski Races and Fun Outside Activities in the Stadium

11:45 am – Youth Awards in front of the Lodge

12:00 pm – Lunch Available for Participants (while supplies last)

12:30 pm – Sliding Hill Opens (bring your own sleds); Fire Pit (warm up and roast some

                              marshmallows or a hot dog)

1:00 pm – Junior/Adult Ski Races (5K or 10K)

1:30 pm – Guided Snowshoe Hike (bring your own or rentals available; free for Nordic

                              members or $5 for non-members)

2:00 pm – Fat Bike Demonstration near the Welcome Center

2:30 pm – Closing and Junior/Adult Ski Awards

 

In addition to these scheduled activities, the trails will be open throughout the day for those who want to snowshoe, ski, or fat bike on their own.

 

While the fun-filled day is being offered for free, donations will be accepted.  The costs for the event itself are covered by the Towle family and Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, sponsor of the event.  However, in the past, registration fees were able to be donated to the Nordic Heritage Center to help with youth programs and upkeep of the trails.  With no registration fees this year, the group is accepting donations in order to still be able to offer funds to support the venue.

 

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is proud to once again sponsor this event for the community, according to Dawn Roberts, community health specialist at the hospital.

 

“We are committed to promoting wellness and healthy lifestyles in our region.  That’s why we commit time and resources to our Fit & Fun program, hosting our own activities as well as collaborating with others, such as the Towles and Nordic Heritage, who are already putting on great events.”

 

To keep up to date on any schedule changes or other updates for Himie Towle Memorial Frolic on Saturday, March 7, please visit the Nordic Heritage Center’s page on Facebook.

Date: 02/24/2020

 

Presque Isle, Maine (February 24, 2019) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle and Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill are once again partnering with MSAD 42 Adult Education to offer a free program to train Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).  Information sessions about the program, CNA duties, and hospital benefits will be held on March 5 in Mars Hill and March 12 in Presque Isle.

 

Both the hospital and the long-term/skilled care facility continue to have a shortage of trained CNAs, and they implemented this program to help “grow our own” according to Odette Lee, RN, coordinator of the program.

 

The program is critical because it allows participants to work full-time and be guaranteed a position after graduation.  It is streamlined and geared towards rapid completion,” explains Lee.

 

Participants have three options for how they want to take part in the program.  For the first two options, the program is free and participants are paid as temporary employees while they are training. The difference between the two is whether they make a one year commitment working full-time or a two-year commitment working part-time at Continuing Care in Mars Hill.  For the third option, participants can pay the tuition for the course and do not have any commitment to work for Northern Light Health after completion.

 

“Being a CNA can be a rewarding career in itself, but it is also a great way to start down the path of becoming a nurse or other healthcare professional,” Lee says.  “You are learning how to work as part of a team, building communications and life skills, and getting exposure to technology such as our computer charting system. Working in healthcare in general is an excellent career today and in the future.”

 

To learn more about the program, two informational sessions are being held: Thursday, March 5, in the Grant Room at Continuing Care in Mars Hill and Thursday, March 12, in the conference center at AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle.  Both are scheduled from 5-6 pm. Anyone interested in potentionally enrolling in the course is encouraged to attend one of these sessions to get their questions answered and pick up an application. 

Date: 03/17/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (March 17, 2020) — For the safety of our patients, families, caregivers, staff, and others in our communities, Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has announced temporary changes to our normal operations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that all who need it receive medical care.
 
“These are not decisions we have made lightly, and we understand that many will be inconvenient for our patients as well as our staff; however, we must take these actions for everyone’s overall protection and to reserve our resources for those that will most need it when COVID-19 reaches our community,” says Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital. 
 
The following is a brief outline of changes that patients and community members should expect effective today (March 17). 
 
Cancellation of All Elective Patient Interactions
All non-essential patient interactions will be deferred for at least the next two weeks.  This includes elective surgeries, wellness visits, certain outpatient specialty care visits, non-essential imaging and lab tests, and other interactions as appropriate.
 
For primary care, we will continue to see patients with acute needs but will be cancelling other appointments, such as annual wellness visits.  The exception to this is pediatric patients age 4 and under.  Northern Light Pediatrics will continue to do wellness visits for infants and toddlers.  All pediatric wellness visits will be scheduled in the morning and sick pediatric patients will be limited to the afternoon.  Physicals and wellness visits for those age 5 and older will be rescheduled. 
 
Patients will be notified if their appointment or procedure is being temporarily cancelled. Those who are not contacted should come to their appointment as scheduled.  Cancelled appointments will be rescheduled once this health crisis is over.   
 
Visitor Policy Changes
·        No visitors will be allowed in the Continuing Care facility in Mars Hill unless it is for a resident at end of life.
·        No visitors will be allowed in the Emergency Department or Walk-In Care unless it is a parent of a pediatric patient or, in the ED, a loved one for a patient at end of life.
·        Only one visitor per patient will be allowed for our inpatient units (Medical/Surgical, Critical Care, Women & Children, Acute Rehabilitation).  That visitor (age 16 or over) must be identified ahead of time and go through the screening process. Visiting hours will be limited to 7am - 7 pm.
·        No visitors will be allowed in the treatment areas of the Dialysis Center or Cancer Care.  Visitors planning to stay in the waiting room will be screened.
·        While we prefer that patients going to one of our outpatient practices or using imaging/ lab services do so unaccompanied, one visitor will be allowed for those who have a true need.
 
Calling Prior to Coming In with Respiratory Symptoms
Those who plan to come to our Walk-In Care or Emergency Department with a respiratory illness, please call first so you can properly be screened without entering the facility. For the emergency department, call 768.4100. For Walk-In Care, call 760.9278.  Please remember to call 9-1-1 if you are having a medical emergency, and alert them to your symptoms.
 
Hospital Access
All visitors must enter AR Gould Hospital through the Levesque (main) entrance or through the Emergency Department entrance. All other entrances will be closed until further notice.  Visitors must check in and present for a brief screening immediately upon entering the building.
 
All public use of the hospital’s facilities, including support group meetings, conferences and other gatherings are canceled or postponed.
 
Drive Up Testing; By Appointment Only
The hospital will be offering a drive through testing option on our campus very soon. Patients must be screened over the phone ahead of time and only those with a referral will be seen.  Details are being finalized and look for more information soon.
 
“We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as we navigate this health crisis. We hope to return things to normal as soon as we can,” says Reynolds.
 

Date: 03/30/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (March 30, 2020) —Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has continued to make changes to polices and patient care protocols in light of the COVID-19 heath crisis.  The most recent of these include the temporary closure and redirected use of its primary care health centers.
 
“We continue to take the steps we need to so we can best protect our patients, staff and community,” says Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital.  “We are also starting to put into place strategies that will help us redirect clinical resources, including our providers, to where they will be most needed in the coming days and weeks.”
 
One part of that plan includes the temporary closing of some health centers and the redirection of select groups of patients to others. 
 
“We are trying to keep patients separated as much as possible between those who are more likely to be contagious and those needing regular provider care for other medical reasons.  By sending them to different locations, we are decreasing their chance of exposure while in our care,” explains Reynolds.  “By temporarily closing our smaller primary care practices, we can move those providers, staff and medical resources to where they are most needed now.”
 
The following is an overview of the temporary changes which patients can expect starting Monday, March 30:
 
North Street Health Center (Presque Isle)
Patients needing acute medical care will continue to be seen at Walk-In Care.  The primary care practice will no longer see any patient by appointment but rather will support Walk-In Care patient needs. The pediatrics practice will see only sick children at this location. Lab work at North Street will be limited only to the sick patients being seen at that location. 
 
Caribou Health Center
This practice will be dedicated to well pediatric visits only. This includes well-child visits for those under the age of five or other pediatric appointment needs other than a sick child. Well-visits for older children will continue to be postponed at this time. Pediatric lab work for these well visits will be done on site.
 
Fort Fairfield Health Center 
All non-potentially contagious adult patients (no fever or associated respiratory
problems) will be seen at this location.  This includes patients with on-going medical conditions, post-hospital discharges, or any scheduled appointments that have not been postponed.  All routine lab work for adults will be done here or at the lab in the hospital.
 
Mars Hill Health Center & Women’s Health Center
These two practices will be temporarily closed.
 
While the hospital and its primary care practices continue to see sick patients daily, all elective surgeries, procedures, and other non-essential patient interactions continue to be postponed.  However, patients will soon see some access improved as efforts for using telehealth between providers and patients gets underway.  Telehealth for some patient appointments will be used when it makes sense to do so.  Telehealth began last week with behavioral health and oncology providers but is in the process of expanding into primary care and other specialty areas.
 
There have also been more changes to the visitor policy at the hospital.  The overall goal is to greatly limit people in and out of the hospital, so visitors are being restricted other than specific exceptions, including, among other things: beginning and end of life, pediatrics, and special needs. For the complete visitor policy, visit the hospital’s website or Facebook page.  All visitors, except patients going to the emergency room, must enter through the hospital’s main entrance and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. 
 
AR Gould Hospital began a drive-up test site last week on the hospital campus.  Due to stricter criteria from Maine CDC on who can be tested, the site has now expanded to also include patient assessments.  Patients with COVID-19 symptoms can be seen, triaged, and potentially tested here. Before coming to the site, patients must first call a statewide screening number (844-489-1822) for an initial phone screening to determine if they need to be seen at this location.
 
“We ask all patients with respiratory symptoms to first call this statewide screening number before coming to any of our facilities. Based on the results of the phone screening, they will be directed on next steps,” says Reynolds.  “Of course, for a medical emergency they should call 9-1-1 but be sure to notify the operator of the respiratory symptoms.”
 
This are just a few of the many steps the hospital has taken at this time to protect our patients, staff, and community, according to Greg LaFrancois, president.
 
“We have worked diligently on surge plans, cross-training hundreds of employees to work in areas for which they are qualified but don’t normally work. We have re-allocated resources from across our organization and even clinical areas within our hospital to best meet the anticipated need in the coming days and weeks.  We are working closely with our three fellow Aroostook County hospitals to ensure we are all ready to care for The County.”
 

Date: 04/07/2020

Now that Aroostook County has our first confirmed COVID-19 patient, we are taking additional steps to further protect our patients, staff, and the community. One of these steps involves further visitor restrictions at our facilities.


No Visitors at Continuing Care in Mars Hill


We continue our policy of no visitors to our residents at Continuing Care (formerly Aroostook Health Center) in Mars Hill. An exception for a resident at end of life may be possible but must be requested on a case by case basis.
 

No Visitors at AR Gould Hospital with Limited Exceptions


On the whole, visitors will no longer be allowed at the hospital. There are a few special exceptions:
• Two visitors for compassionate care for end of life
• One partner or support person for an Obstetrics patient
• One parent or guardian for a minor patient
• One visitor for special or unique situations, such as if a patient is incapacitated in decision making, has altered mental status, or has cognitive challenges Patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. We will be offering the option for patients and families to connect via Zoom.


No Visitors at Outpatient Offices with Limited Exceptions


Visitors are no longer allowed to accompany patients at our outpatient offices with a few special exceptions:
• Pediatrics - One parent/guardian with the minor patient
• Oncology - One visitor when there is a visit for a new diagnosis
• Eye Care - Drivers that are needed will be called to come in when the patient is ready to leave
• Obstetrics - One visitor with first ultrasound, anatomy or emergent ultrasound(s)
• One visitor with the patient in any practice if the patient needs assistance due to cognitive impairment
Connecting Through Technology
We encourage all patients and their families to use communication tools such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Snapchat, and WhatsApp to remain connected.

Thank You! We understand that family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being, and we do not take this step lightly. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community.

Thank you for understanding.

Date: 04/22/2020


Speech therapist Sydney Humphrey connects with patient Jacob Ala during a telehealth session.


Presque Isle, Maine (April 22, 2020) — The COVID-19 crisis has brought a lot of changes to our community and across the nation.  Even before it was classified as a pandemic, healthcare facilities such as Northern Light AR Gould Hospital were putting steps in place to best protect their patients, staff, and communities from this virus.

 

While these steps have protected people as intended, patients have not had the normal access they have come to depend on to their healthcare professionals.  Thanks to improved technology, access between providers and patients is available once again.

 

“While telehealth has been an option for a while, it was not widely used in the outpatient setting, due both to certain restrictions that were cumbersome as well as the lack of coverage by both private and government insurers,” explains Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at AR Gould Hospital.  “With the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, these issues have been, at least temporarily, addressed.  It has allowed healthcare facilities such as ours to fast-track this service for patients.”

 

While some of these telehealth services are being offered in areas that you might expect, such as behavioral health, others are thriving in unexpected areas.  One of these areas at AR Gould Hospital is the Therapy and Rehabilitation Department, which offers physical, occupational, and speech therapy to both inpatients and outpatients.

 

Creativity is the key to success with using telehealth in the therapy world, according to Sydney Humphrey, MA, CCC-SLP.  “Telehealth is a unique opportunity for therapists to see patients in their home environment and provide activities and resources to help with the carry-over of our goals outside of a controlled therapy environment.”

 

Having that opportunity for services has been a win for patients and their families. 

Speech therapist Sydney Humphrey and her young patient, Jacob Ala, read a story together as one of their interactive activities during a telehealth session. 

 

Charlotte and Brad Ala are the parents of five-year-old Jacob, who is getting speech therapy from Humphrey to help with articulation.  “Knowing how much practice it takes for a new skill to become automatic, having a long break in services was very concerning,” says Charlotte.  She admits she was a little hesitant at first about using telehealth, particularly because of her son’s age, but is now glad they moved forward with it.

 

“It has been amazing! Jacob is excited each week to see his therapist. The warm and welcoming environment that we were so accustomed to at the hospital has continued with telehealth. His therapist goes above and beyond to make each session engaging while focusing on his goals. It has been wonderful to watch Jacob maintain not only prior learned skills but also build new ones. Each session is personalized to his individual needs in a fun and motivating way,” explains Charlotte.

 

“Telehealth has prevented a regression in skills and has allowed me as a parent to continue to be actively involved in my child’s treatment. His therapist works closely with us, just as she would in the hospital setting, and is constantly offering suggestions or ideas for things to try at home.”

 

As important as this reconnection is to patients, it is also important to the therapists.

 

“Many therapists are natural-born ‘helpers,’ so being unable to see our patients during a scary, and somewhat chaotic time was really difficult. We create such strong relationships and bonds with our patients—not being able to see them or address their needs weighed heavily on my heart and mind,” says Humphrey.

 

That sentiment was echoed by Jacob as well.  “I love playing my games with Miss Sydney.  We have fun! I like that I get to see her, I missed her,” he says.

 

Humphrey has been able to put her telehealth experience to good use to help others across the Northern Light Health system connect with their patients as well. She recently led a Zoom training session with other rehab managers and therapists to provide tips on how to use Zoom technology as well as how to integrate interactive therapy activities.

 

She sees telehealth as a valuable resource that will only continue to grow even after the COVID-19 crisis. 

 

“We have patients who would benefit from this service due to geographical barriers, weather, and transportation concerns. I think our success in getting our program going within a matter of weeks shows that we can continue to expand and grow it further,” she says.

 

In addition to behavioral health and rehabilitation therapy, AR Gould Hospital is also currently offering outpatient telehealth in primary care, pediatrics, and cardiology when appropriate. Telehealth for dietitian visits will soon be available, and the hospital is working on telehealth opportunities in other specialty areas as well.  These services are offered via a secure, HIPAA-compliant Zoom application or over the telephone.

 

Northern Light Health has established a dedicated help desk line for patients who are having issues using Zoom for a telehealth appointment.  Patients can receive technical assistance over the phone by calling 1-833-217-9640.  Patients who are interested in setting up a telehealth appointment can reach out to their provider’s office or use the patient portal to do so.

 

AR Gould Hospital is currently seeing about 200 patients a day via telehealth. Understandably, it is not appropriate for all patients, and even for those who it could work for, access to technology may be a barrier.  However, for many, it has been a blessing…one that will continue to grow as more services adopt the telehealth model. 

Date: 05/11/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (May 11, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has slowly begun to expand many of its services that have been delayed or restricted in the past several weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis.  This expansion of care is being done in a planned, deliberate way, with strict guidelines to keep people safe.  

 

“During this crisis, we took the steps necessary to best protect our patients, our staff, and our community by postponing all elective or non-urgent patient interactions, such as elective surgeries, well-patient visits, and certain imaging tests,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital.  “While the COVID-19 crisis is not over, we know many of our patients cannot continue to wait for care. Medical needs that could wait two months ago are not something that can wait indefinitely. Patients need access to the high-quality care they depend on.”

 

Some practices and services began the process of reaching out to patients last week to reschedule appointments that had been postponed due to COVID-19.  Others will begin doing so in the coming days and weeks as the hospital takes a phased approach for safely expanding access to care.

 

The Mars Hill Health Center and the Women’s Health Center, two primary care practices that have been closed for several weeks, will reopen on Monday, May 18.  The Caribou Health Center, which had temporarily only been seeing pediatric patients, will also begin seeing adult patients again on May 18.  Providers and staff who had been deployed to other areas will be returning to these centers as well as to their normal duties at the primary care practices in Fort Fairfield and Presque Isle, which have remained open. 

 

There will be no expanded hours at any of the practices at this time. Drop in service for lab work will continue to be provided only at the hospital or the Fort Fairfield Health Center.  Lab work at the other locations will be provided by appointment only.

 

While all five primary care practices will once again be open, patients with fever and shortness of breath will continue to be seen only at North Street in Presque Isle, either in the primary care practice or at the Walk-In Care clinic.  Additionally, the Pediatrics practice at North Street will reserve the morning for well-children needs and will see “sick” children in the afternoon.  These steps are to try to limit the exposure of patients to those who are potentially contagious.

 

Walk-In Care at North Street remains open daily from 8am to 8pm for all patients who need immediate care or don’t have a designated primary care provider.  This includes patients with or without a fever or respiratory symptoms.

 

Additional safety protocols at all Northern Light AR Gould facilities include:

 

·        Universal Masking – All employees, patients, and visitors must wear a mask or face covering.

·        Screenings – Patients and visitors are screened for suspicious symptoms, travel history, and other considerations.

·        Restricted Visitation – Our facilities remain closed to visitors other than those with identified exceptions.

·        Social Distancing – Our waiting rooms have been arranged to accommodate for social distancing, and whenever possible patients will be brought directly to a treatment room rather than to a waiting room. At some locations, patients may be asked to wait in their vehicle until staff ask them to come inside.

·        Disinfection – We have increased the frequency of disinfection of surfaces, equipment, treatment rooms, and common areas.

·        Telehealth – From primary care to specialty care, telehealth visits will continue to be offered so patients can get the care and guidance they need without leaving home.

Date: 05/12/2020

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in February and March 2020 were the following:
 
FEBRUARY
 
ANDERSON – A boy, Samson Ellery, born February 21, to Jessica Argraves and Albert Anderson of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is Alicia Burby of Bangor.
 
BORDEN – A boy, Ezra James Borden, born February 19, to Marisa and James Borden of Fort Fairfield. Maternal Grandparents are Terry and Mark Palmer of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is Carole Dinatale of Mapleton.
 
COREY – A boy, Colt Melvin John Corey, born February 1, to Shelby Suitter and Wyatt Corey of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Rebecca Boyce and Matthew Suitter of Houlton. Paternal Grandparents are Lynn Willette of Mars Hills and Melvin Corey of Robinson.
 
MONTES – A boy, Angel Maneul Montes, born February 18, to Amanda Rakes and Angel Montes of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is Joanne Kawalaisky of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Carmen and Ben Lopez of Madawaska.
 
PUTNAM – A girl, Charlee Sue Putnam, born February 12, to Jaci and Houston Putnam of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Jodi Corneil of Ashland and Chad Deabay of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Karen and Collen Putnam of Mapleton.
 
WRIGHT – A boy, Luke James Wright, born February 20, to Samantha Ofria of Presque Isle and Tyler Wright of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Rebecca Smith and William Ofria of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Tara King of Caribou and John Wright of Presque Isle.
 
MARCH
 
ANTHONY – A boy, Brayden Joseph Anthony, born March 17, to Sara Ouellette and William Anthony of Bridgewater.
 
COREY – A girl, Victoria Kasal Corey, born March 7, to Stefanie Corey of Hope Mills, NC and Brandon Corey of Washburn. Maternal Grandparents are Bettina and Jeff Kasel of Whiteville, NC. Paternal Grandparents are Lori Bevins of Ashland and Mike Corey of Washburn.
 
CRAWFORD – A girl, Lilith Shardae Lynne Crawford, born March 8, to Katelynn Montgomery and Zakory Crawford of Masardis.
 
DUPUIS – A girl, Adeline-Rose Marie Dupuis, born March 17, to Nicole-Rose Theriault and Isaiah Dupuis of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Kim and Paul Theriault of Mapleton. Paternal Grandparents are Renee Tucker and Gary Halley of Presque Isle and James Croxen of Centerville.
 
EASTMAN – A girl, Allison Julie Eastman, born March 25, to Ashlee Labbe and Timothy Eastman of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Joyce Eastman of Mapleton and David Eastman of Mulberry, FL. Paternal Grandparents are Rhonda and Billy Labbe of Ashland.
 
FARLEY – A boy, Weston Scott Farley, born March 19, to Ciara Campbell and Tyler Farley of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Kimberly Campbell and Scott Cote of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Bobbi-Jo and John Woods of Houlton.
 
FLANNERY – A boy, Miles Jameson Flannery, born March 23, to Nicole Adams and Cody Flannery of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Robin Parady of Alton and Patrick Ballard of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Vicki and Will Flannery of Presque Isle.
 
GOODINE – A girl, Everleigh Elizabeth Goodine, born March 9, to Erin Ireland and Spencer Goodine of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Michele Carney and Kenneth Ireland of Ashland. Patenal Grandmother is Jacqueline Goodine of Presque Isle.
 
SALCH – A girl, Amelia Matilda Salch, born March 7, to Mary-Helena and Mathew Salch of Westfield. Maternal Grandparents are Donna and Tom McInerney of Malden, MA. Paternal Grandparents are Linda and Raymond Salch of Caribou.
 
TUTTLE – A boy, Tanner Michael Albert Tuttle, born March 13, to Amanda Albert and Travis Tuttle of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is Kelly Tuttle of Ashland.
 
TWEEDIE – A boy Mitchell Andrew Tweedie, born March 25, to Miranda and Andrew Tweedie of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Linda and Gilbert Morin of Blaine and Ralph Levesque Sr. of Blaine. Paternal Grandparents are Julie and Joe Tweedie of Blaine.
 
TWEEDIE – A boy, Theodore River Tweedie, born March 13, to Elizabeth and Jeremy Tweedie of Blaine. Maternal Grandparents are Constance and Roger Gagnon of Washburn. Paternal Grandparents are Susan and Michael Tweedie of Blaine.
 
WINSLOW – A boy, Gene Clarence Winslow, born March 26, to Alisha Keegan and Gene Winslow of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Donna and CK Keegan of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Gloria and Victor Winslow of Mapleton.
 
 

Date: 06/09/2020

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in April and May 2020 were the following:
 
APRIL
 
CYR – A boy, David James Cyr, born April 1, to Tayra Saucier and Ryan Cyr of Ashland. Maternal Grandparents are Stacy Durrell and Conrad Saucier of Derby Center, VT. Paternal Grandparents are Samantha and Roland Thibodeau Jr. of Caribou.
 
DALBECK – A girl, Savannah Jean Dalebeck, born April 29, to Alicia Dalbeck of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is Barbara Dalbeck of Presque Isle.
 
JOHNSON – A boy, Lochlan Joseph Scott Johnson, born April 25, to Chelsie Higgins Johnson and Peter Johnson of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are the late Holly Higgins and Kevin Higgins of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Mary Jane and Boyd Johnson of Crouseville
 
LYNDS – A boy, Kane Andrew Lynds, born April 1, to Damie and Andrew Lynds of Littleton. Maternal Grandparents are Sherri and Warren Cushman of Mars Hill. Paternal Grandparents are Alyson and Andrew Lynds of Monticello.
 
MANDEVILLE-SPERRY – A boy, James Robert Mandeville-Sperry, born April 14, to Jillian Mandeville and Jacob Sperry of Wade. Maternal Grandparents are Nancy and Duane Mandeville of Perham. Paternal Grandparents are Rhonda Maier of Limestone and Joseph Sperry of Caribou.
 
TROMBLEY – A boy, Benjamin Lee Trombley, born April 29, to Lindsay and Steve Trombley Jr of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Stacey and Joe Michaud of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Dara Trombley and Gene Michaud of Presque Isle and Steve Trombley Sr. of Fort Fairfield.
 
 
MAY
 
CLARK – A boy, Knox Russell Clark, born May 11, to Kassie and Tyler Clark of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Sally and Patrick Lovley of Easton. Paternal Grandparents are Loretta and Russell Clark of Mapleton.
 
DURAND – A girl, Raven Jade Durand, born May 27, to Kaitlyn Henderson and Cody Durand of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Leisa and Robert Henderson of Ashland. Paternal Grandparents are Jennifer and Jason Durand of Ashland.
 
 
EVENS – Two girls, Sophia Grace and Alivia Quinn Evens, born May 10, to Brittany Ayotte and Shane Evens of Fort Fairfield. Maternal Grandparents are Nicole Mullen of Presque Isle and Troy Ayotte of Westfield. Paternal Grandparents are Paula Evens of Fort Fairfield and Larry Evens of Presque Isle.
 
KELLY – A girl, Talula Sue Kelly, born May 7, to Rhiannon Dyer and Christian Kelly of Westfield. Maternal Grandparents are Cathy and Stu Craig of Mars Hill. Paternal Grandparents are Andrea and Ken Kelly of Mars Hill.
 
KILCOLLINS – A girl, Khloe May Kilcollins, born May 1, to Katelin Ouellette and Brock Kilcollins of Fort Fairfield. Maternal Grandparents are Melissa and Garry Ouellette of Woodland. Paternal Grandparents are Jane McCall of Caribou and Robert Kilcollins of Fort Fairfield.
 
POWERS – A girl, Olivia Ann Powers, born May 25, to Haley and Brian Powers of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Ann Jepson of Woodland and Brent Jepson of New Sweden. Paternal Grandparents are Mary and Paul Powers of Woodland.
 
SHEMKOVITZ – A girl, Logan Paige Shemkovitz, born May 7, to Kris and Greg Shemkovitz of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Holly Bradley of Westfield and Keith Churchill of Sanford. Paternal Grandparents are Lynne Willette of Castle Hill and Dave Shemkovitz of Presque Isle.
 
WHITE – A girl, Elizabeth Cora White, born May 20, to Jennifer Gillis-White and Justin White of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Susan MacAlpine-Gillis and Paul Gillis of Halifax, NS. Paternal Grandparents are Janet and William White of Halifax, NS.
 

Date: 06/11/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (June 11, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has continued to expand the availability of patient care in recent weeks with strict guidelines to keep people safe. As the hospital continues down the path to the “new normal,” limited visitors will now be allowed for hospital inpatients beginning on Thursday, June 11.

 

“We have been ‘reopening’ our services carefully over several weeks now,” said President Greg LaFrancois.  “We are now back to offering our full array of services, although it does look different than it did in the past.”

 

Some of those differences include universal masking; screenings of patients and visitors, including temperature checks; physical distancing in waiting rooms; and increasing the frequency of disinfection of surfaces and equipment. 

 

“These extra safety precautions may mean fewer appointments for a provider in a given day, which can slightly delay access in some cases,” explained Jay Reynolds, MD, the hospital’s senior physician executive.  “We are busily rescheduling all of our patients whose care was delayed due to COVID over the past few months.”

 

The hospital is also revising its visitor policy.  Starting on Thursday, June 11, all admitted patients in the hospital can once again have visitors.  At this time, visitors will be limited to one a day per patient during the hours of 3:00-6:00 pm; however, the designated person can change each day.  The one exception will be visitors to the Women & Children’s Unit, which for now will remain at only one designated visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay since this unit includes the hospital’s most vulnerable patients.

 

Other than some specific exceptions, the hospital continues to restrict visitors in the Emergency Department, Continuing Care in Mars Hill, and outpatient clinical practices. Exceptions include the parent or guardian of a minor, a person to accompany a patient with special needs, a visitor with an OB patient during ultrasounds, and a visitor with a cancer patient for a new diagnosis.

 

“We understand the valuable role family and friends play in a patient’s recovery and are doing all we can to safely reintroduce visitors at the hospital.  We want to do this in a phased approach to ensure the safety of all involved,” said Dr. Reynolds. “We have been using technology to keep our patients and residents connected to family, and we will continue to offer that option as well.”

 

 “Due to the vigilance of the community, the curve was flattened in our region, preventing the surge that was originally anticipated.  We remain prepared to care for COVID patients if called upon to do so,” explained LaFrancois.

 

He points out that hospitals have always provided care while infections existed in our community. Today is no different.  

 

“Each new change in our community causes our hospital to adjust care delivery as necessary. COVID will cause us to make permanent adjustments to our care delivery model, but access to care and the quality of that care will not be negatively impacted,” stated LaFrancois. “In fact, we are stronger for the experience.”

 

One of the ways the hospital has become stronger is through the use of telemedicine. Several roadblocks at the national level for this kind of service were removed during the pandemic. Patients will benefit in the future as telehealth services grow.

Date: 06/15/2020

With the need for daily COVID screening of thousands of employees, patients and visitors across the state, Northern Light Health has created a tool to make the process quicker and easier for everyone. 

 

Due to COVID, all those who enter a Northern Light Health facility must go through a screening process, which includes answering a series of questions and having temperatures taken. This is true of employees, patients, vendors, and visitors. The pre-screening tool is a website that employees, patients, and visitors can open on a smartphone or other mobile device before coming to the hospital or clinical practice. 

 

“This is an incredible resource, and we are excited to make it available to those entering our facilities,” said Greg LaFrancois, president of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.  “By using this tool, people save time at the screening stations, moving through more quickly to get to their appointments or person they are visiting.  This also lets people answer screening questions in the privacy of their home or vehicle, without concern of others hearing their responses.  Most importantly, it lets people know if there is a reason that they can’t be allowed in the facility, saving them a trip only to get turned away.”

 

Based on answers to two simple questions—one regarding symptoms and the other regarding potential exposure to someone with COVID—users of the prescreening tool will get a green or red result. 

 

A green result means the person has already passed the screening questions and can head to the hospital or clinical practice. Upon arrival, after sanitizing their hands, they can show their green result at the check in point and move immediately to the final screening requirement of having their temperature taken.

 

A red result means the person should not come to the facility. While this does not mean the individual has COVID, it indicates they are at risk for having it.  Those who get a red screen are asked to stay home and self-isolate. They can also call their primary care provider or the statewide COVID screening line (844-489-1822) to speak to someone about their results.

 

The site, created by the Northern Light Health Digital Services team, was rolled out in recent weeks to the more than 12,000 employees that work for the healthcare system. It has proved successful and is now being offered to patients and visitors.  This public access was launched Friday, June 12 at AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle and should be launched at other Northern Light Health sites in coming days. 

 

“We have been able to help support the effort of our front-line staff in many ways throughout COVID-19. Often those are areas where we would not directly interact with patients as they are coming through the door of one of our facilities. This project allowed us that opportunity and we are excited to be able to do that,” said Craig Wyatt, director digital services for Northern Light Health.

 

LaFrancois credits the team with making this tool very simple and easy to use. 

 

“We even have a QR code available on posters and cards that are being handed out when people visit us.  This card has the website for those who want to type it in, or they can just scan the QR code with the camera on their smartphone to get direct access.  Once they are on the site, they can easily add it to favorites or add it to their home screen to make it even easier to access the next time they visit us.”

 

All who enter Northern Light Health facilities are reminded that in addition to this screening process, they must wear a mask or face covering.  Patients and visitors who do not have one with them will be provided one.

 

Next steps will include offering this service to businesses through Northern Light Work Health.

Watch the video below:




 

Date: 07/01/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (July 1, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is pleased to announce that visiting hours at the hospital will be expanded to 10am to 6 pm starting Thursday, July 2.

 

“COVID precautions led to many changes in our policies and procedures, but we are continuing to evaluate and adjust as we can to evolving circumstances. We have been ‘reopening’ our services carefully over several weeks now and all has gone well,” said President Greg LaFrancois. “We are confident in extending visiting hours because visitors have been respectful of our policies and the needs of our patients.  We were able to keep everyone safe.” 

 

These extended hours, of 10 am to 6 pm, are for patients in the hospital’s Medical/ Surgical, Acute Rehabilitation, and Specialty Intensive Care units.  Visitors continue to be limited to one person per day for a patient, although who that one designate person is can change daily.  The Women and Children’s Unit visitor policy has not changed. One designated visitor for each expectant mother or pediatric patient can stay for the duration of the patient’s hospitalization.

 

Other than some specific exceptions, the hospital continues to restrict visitors in the Emergency Department, Continuing Care in Mars Hill, and outpatient clinical practices. Exceptions include the parent or guardian of a minor, a person to accompany a patient with special needs, a visitor with an OB patient during ultrasounds, and a visitor with a cancer patient for a new diagnosis.

 

“We are also evaluating the possibility of allowing outside visits at Continuing Care in Mars Hill.  These are our most vulnerable residents and we really must move slowly,” said LaFrancois.

 

 “We understand the valuable role family and friends play in a patient’s recovery and are doing all we can to safely reintroduce visitors at the hospital.  We continue to do this in a phased approach to ensure the safety of all involved,” said Dr. Jay Reynolds, Senior Physician Executive. “We have been using technology to keep our patients and residents connected to family, and we will continue to offer that option as well.”

 

Visitors at any of AR Gould’s facilities must wear a mask, including in a patient’s room;  be screened upon arrival, including temperature checks; and physical distancing. 

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: 07/07/2020


Liz and Brian Farley grieve the loss of their daughter, Maeve, whose heart stopped beating just weeks before she was due to be born. The couple, with the support of friends, family, and community members, established the
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Fund in her memory to support other families going through this kind of loss.



Presque Isle, Maine – (July 7, 2020) – Families mourning the loss of a stillborn infant can grieve together longer thanks to Northern Light AR Gould Hospital’s new CuddleCot, a small cooling device that extends the length of time that parents can spend with their baby.

“This special bassinet provides the precious time that families experiencing a loss need to bond and grieve,” says Amy Jackson, nursing manager, Women & Children’s Unit. “People process grief in different ways, and there is no definite timeframe. The Cuddle Cot allows for longer periods of time, when needed.”

The device gives parents more time to take photographs if they desire, bring family in to grieve, and say goodbye without feeling rushed.

The CuddleCot was purchased with funds from the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Fund started by Liz and Brian Farley in memory of their daughter, Maeve. At 36 weeks—just four weeks before Liz’s due date—Maeve’s heart stopped beating.

“There’s so much shock and sadness right at that moment, and you kind of just go through the motions,” says Liz.

Liz, Brian, and their family were only able to have Maeve by their side for a few hours. Days later, Brian discovered that a CuddleCot could have given them more time with Maeve and could help other families that grieve a loss. Liz and Brian established a fund to raise money for a CuddleCot at AR Gould Hospital. Friends, family, and community members contributed to a fund, which also supports other needs that result from an infant loss.

“The financial burden of needed counseling, the funeral, photography, or other expenses can weigh heavy on a family experiencing the loss of a child,” says Amy. “Having this fund available to families means they may have less to worry about while processing their grief. We are very grateful for the opportunity to honor Maeve in a way that will help others.”

Donations to the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Fund are welcome. To contribute, please click here or visit northernlighthealth.org/foundation and select “Make a Gift” then “Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.”

Date: 07/16/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (July 16, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould announced on July 14 that a healthcare worker in its Continuing Care facility in Mars Hill had tested positive for COVID-19.  Fortunately, the worker had followed all facility protocols including screening and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) on each shift.

 

Upon notice of the employee’s positive test result, immediate action was taken to test all residents and employees in that facility.  A total of 198 staff and residents were swabbed on Tuesday afternoon and evening, and all results have come back as negative.  Three additional employee tests are still pending.

 

“The fact that the virus did not spread demonstrates the efficacy of start-of-shift screening, PPE, universal masking and other safety protocols,” said Greg LaFrancois, hospital president. 

 

The hospital is now working with the Maine CDC to determine which employees and residents may need to be tested a second time in a few days. 

 

“Contact tracing is being done to determine any other individuals who may have been in contact with this person outside of our facility; however, we expect that number to be minimal,” explained LaFrancois. 

 

Based on CDC guidelines, those who think they may have had a secondary exposure (a person who has had contact with someone from the facility, but not the infected individual), do not need to get tested unless they should develop symptoms.  They do not need to quarantine, although they should use safety precautions, such as masking, hand hygiene, and physical distancing from others.

 

“I am grateful to the community for its continued support, Northern Light Laboratory for their immediate action, and the leaders and staff of Continuing Care in Mars Hill for keeping everyone safe,” said LaFrancois.

Date: 07/20/2020

Several staff members from Northern Light Medical Transport and some of the donors who supported the efforts to purchase a new critical care transport ambulance recently gathered to celebrate the vehicle’s arrival. Taking part were, from left:  Steve St. Pierre from KeyBank; Travis Norsworthy, manager of the hospital’s medical transport service; Matt Doyen, donor; Walter Mosher, paramedic; Mike Umphrey, ambulance driver; Ryan Ellsworth from The County Federal Credit Union; Dr. Roger Pelli, the hospital’s chief medical information officer; Barbara Ireland, director of emergency services; Daryl and Heidi Abbotoni, donors; Greg LaFrancois, hospital president; Warren Grass, paramedic; and Darrell Spooner, RN.



Presque Isle, Maine (July 20, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is pleased to announce the arrival of its new critical care transport ambulance, which was completely funded by donations. The vehicle will be used to take critically ill or injured patients from anywhere in The County to larger healthcare facilities downstate or even Boston.

 

“This ambulance is going to allow us to get people safely to a higher level of care when they need it,” Greg LaFrancois, president of AR Gould Hospital, said at a recent event to thank donors to the project. “It allows us to enjoy the rural life that we want to live while still being able to have safe access to critical care.”

 

The words “A Gift from Our Generous Community” are emblazoned on the side of the vehicle to honor the many people and organizations that contributed to the fundraising effort.

 

Top donors include an anonymous individual in memory of Marion Miller Chase, the Mautz children in memory of Cait, The County Federal Credit Union, and Northern Light AR Gould Medical Staff. Generous support was also given by three foundations: Davis Family Foundation, Lucia P. Fulton Foundation, and Fisher Charitable Foundation.

 

“We are extremely happy to make a contribution, on behalf of our membership, to this very essential critical care transport vehicle,” stated Ryan Ellsworth, President and CEO of The County Federal Credit Union. “We all love living in rural northern Maine for the way of life it provides all of us. On the occasions when we need to transport patients to a more advanced specialty of health care service, we simply need to have reliable transportation that is specifically designed for those acute patients to get there safely.”

The critical care transport team is thrilled to have the new vehicle to work and provide patient care in.

 

“This makes a huge difference in how we can take care of the community,” said team member Darrell Spooner, RN. He noted that the ambulance has many features including increased size for additional staff to help care for critical patients, extra storage for specialized equipment needed for such patients, and a state-of-the-art suspension system to provide a smoother ride.

 

Matt Doyen of Mapleton, who assisted in the fundraising campaign after needing transport to Boston several times due to health issues, said he remembers feeling all the bumps in the road in the old ambulance.

 

“It’s a long ride,” he noted but praised the team who cared for him. “Even though I was in pain, the team always did a really good job keeping me as comfortable as possible.”

 

LaFrancois echoed these sentiments.

 

“We had the skilled people, but we did not have the resources to really deliver for The County,” he said. “I want to thank the community for coming together and making it possible for us to bring this resource here.”

Date: 07/24/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (July 24, 2020) — The results of the second round of COVID-19 testing at Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill are in, and no additional cases were detected.  The testing was done after one worker at the facility tested positive for COVID.

 

About 200 residents and employees were tested by the hospital on July 14 in rapid response to the positive test of a worker who became symptomatic. All those tested were negative for the first round of tests, and following CDC protocol, a second round of tests were conducted on July 21.  All again remain negative.

 

“This is truly a testament to the importance of hand hygiene, masking and the appropriate use of other personal protective equipment as needed,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital.  “It also shows that the many safety protocols we have in place are successful for protecting our residents, patients, and staff.”

 

One of those safety steps is a screening anytime anyone enters one of AR Gould’s facilities; this includes daily screenings of all employees. The screening includes basic questions and a temperature check. It is due to this aggressive screening process that the worker’s symptoms were quickly identified and the individual received a COVID test before being able to return to work. 

 

“The screening process was key in identifying the issue quickly, and then thanks to masking and PPE, no one this individual cared for or worked with before being diagnosed has gotten the virus,” said Reynolds.

 

Now that residents and employees are cleared, the facility has gone back to “COVID-normal” procedures.  This means, among other things, that they are once again accepting new patients, as well as discharging patients who are ready to go home or to move to a facility closer to home. 

 

Continuing Care remains closed for visitors other than end-of-life circumstances.  However, the facility is working diligently to introduce opportunities for in-person outdoor visits.  This step was initially to begin earlier this month but was postponed due to the positive COVID case.  More information will be released on this in coming days.

 

“In a time when some are questioning the value of masking, this underscores how effective it can be when all are doing it,” reminded Reynolds.  Other key safety tips include proper hand hygiene (washing with soap and hot water or sanitizing) and keeping a physical distance of six feet from others whenever possible.

 

Date: 07/27/2020

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in June 2020 were the following:
 
DAY – A boy, Beckett Alfred Day, born June 23 to Emily and Brian Day of Presque Isle.
 
DUBOIS – A girl, Brielle Lenora Dubois, born June 25, to Blair and Justin Dubois of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Louise Rushinol and Roger McDonald of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Nora and Ken Saucier of Fort Fairfield.
 
FARKAS – A girl, Rosemary Lynn Farkas, born June 30, to Abigail and Matthew Farkas II of Bridgewater. Maternal Grandparents are Tracy Boyce of Bridgewater and Adrian Boyce of Houlton. Paternal Grandparents Brenda and Matthew Farkas of Bellows Falls, VT.
 
HEMPHILL – A boy, Roland Samuel Hemphill, born June 1, to Alexandra and Garrett Hemphill of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Barbara and Stuart Lambert of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Kimberly and Gregory Hemphill of Presque Isle.
 
RAMSEY – A boy, Sutton Lee-Eric Ramsey, born June 4, to Kirstie and Robert Ramsey of Presque Isle.
 
SMYTH – A girl, Savanah Shae Smyth, born June 23, to Hana Plourde and Donald Smyth of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Kerri Plourde of Presque Isle and Scott Plourde of Caribou. Paternal Grandparents are Kathy Holton and David Smyth Sr. of Fort Fairfield.
 
SOUCY – A girl, Hadley Lynn Soucy, born June 2, to Morgan and Joseph Soucy of Fort Kent. Maternal Grandparents are Jane and Philip Dubois of Eagle Lake. Paternal Grandparents are Linda and Dale Soucy of Fort Kent.
 
TEBBETTS – A boy, Julian Ulysses Tebbetts, born June 6, to Juliana and John Tebbetts of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Hildagarda Mkenda and Richard Kitwika of Arusha, Tanzania. Paternal Grandparents are Martha Gaithwaite and John Tebbetts of Gorham.
 
TUCKER – A boy, Liam Grayson Tucker, born June 8, to Nikki and Gary Tucker of Houlton. Maternal Grandparents are Violet and Roger Simon of Danforth. Paternal Grandparents are Crystal and David Tucker Sr. of Houlton.

Date: 08/05/2020

Mars Hill, Maine (August 8, 2020) —Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill will begin outside family visitation on Thursday, August 6. 

 

“We are thrilled to be able to offer the opportunity for families to come and visit their loved one,” said Kelly Lundeen, director of the facility.  “This has been such a challenging time for our residents and their families, and we are doing all we can to help them reconnect in a safe way.”

 

For now, as a trial period, outdoor visits will be available by appointment only during limited hours on Monday – Friday.  Families (up to two people over the age of 10) can visit a loved one for 20 minutes.  At this point, each block of time will be reserved for one family only. Visits will be weather dependent.

 

“To make this successful, it will be important that all involved follow the safety guidelines we have in place. Our residents are at high risk by nature of their age, their overall health, and living in a congregate care environment.  We won’t be able to continue to allow visits if we can’t do so in a safe manner,” explained Lundeen.

 

Safety steps include: arriving only at the appointed time; being screened upon arrival; sanitizing hands; wearing a mask (both residents and visitors) that cannot be removed during the visit; maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet; and not bringing in food or gifts.

 

Lundeen notes that staff will be available during the visits to assist as needed with any tools that may be needed to help visitors and their loved ones hear each other through masks and distance.

 

“For those who might not be able to come in person right now, either because they are not feeling well or have traveled out of state recently, we encourage you to take advantage of other alternatives for staying in touch,” said Lundeen. “We have cell phones and iPads for our residents to use who do not have their own.  Calls, FaceTime, and Zoom are all great technical options for staying in touch.  We have staff who will help residents who are not technically savvy get connected.  Window visits are another option.  You can be outside of the facility and view your loved one through the window while talking on the phone.”

 

Appointments for visits can be made by contacting Vicki, activities coordinator, at 768-4964.

Date: 09/10/2020

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in July and August 2020 were the following:
 
JULY
 
BERNIER – A boy, Wesley Paul Bernier, born July 3, to Taylor and Eric Bernier of St. David. Maternal Grandparents are Lise and Gary Pelletier of Madawaska. Paternal Grandparents are Andrea and Daniel Bernier of Frenchville.
 
BROWN – A girl, Stacia Alaina Brown, born July 22, to Sarah and Eric Brown of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Mary and Craig McGlinn of Woodland. Paternal Grandparents are Charlene and Chuck Brown of Caribou.
 
CHENEY – A girl, Marian Jean Cheney, born July 30, to Alexandrea and Joshua Cheney of Wade. Paternal Grandparents are Sylvia and Bob Buob of Chapman. Paternal Grandparents are Shari and David Cheney of Castle Hill.
 
CROUSE – A girl, Brynlee Lynne Crouse, born July 22, to Katelyn York and Hunter Crouse of Blaine. Maternal Grandparents are Chrystal York of Mars Hill and Acil York of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Amanda and Matthew Crouse of Blaine.
 
CYR – A boy, Elliott Joshua Cyr, born July 26, to Emily Lee and Jacob Cyr of Presque Isle.
 
GETCHELL – A girl, Isabelle Kate Getchell, born July 23 to Chelsea and Brandon Getchell of Perham. Maternal Grandparents are Nicola and John McNally of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Louanne Langley of Presque Isle and Rick and Tammy Getchell of VT.
 
HUTCHSINSON – A girl, Charlotte Adalyn Hutchinson, born July 29, to Haley and Riley Hutchinson of Linneus. Maternal Grandparents are Amy and Dean Gardiner of Hodgdon. Paternal Grandparents are Cari Gibson and Adam Hutchinson of Linneus.
 
IRELAND – A girl, Kinsley Grace Ireland, born July 24, to Sadie and Adrien Ireland of Houlton. Maternal Grandparents are Sharon Cameron of Oakfield and Steven Chabot of Fort Kent. Paternal Grandparents are Jen Smith of Oakfield and Shawn Ireland of Houlton.
 
McMANN  - A girl, Anastasyah Rose McMann, born July 27, to Elianna Bonner and Bradley McMann of Limestone. Maternal Grandparents are Andrea Ordway of Phoenix, AZ and Kevin Bonner of San Diego, CA. Paternal Grandparents are Renee McMann of Limestone and Joesph McMann of Fort Fairfield.
 
NASON – A girl, Wynter Isabella Ivy Nason, born July 24, to Alexandria Neher and Joshua Nason of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Gail and John Neher of Cary Plantation.
 
PHILBROOK – A boy, Braylon Morgan Miles Philbrook, born July 27, to Kiona Philbrook of Caribou.
 
QUINT – A boy, Colson Andrew Quint, born July 9, to Samantha and Logan Quint of Hodgdon. Maternal Grandparents are Carrie and Jimmer Palmer of Linneus. Paternal Grandparents are Bonnie and Andy Quint of Hodgdon.
 
WHITE – A girl, Hadleigh Elizabeth White, born July 6, to Lauren Antworth and Kody White of Bridgewater. Maternal Grandparents are Helena Antworth of Bridgewater and Rick Antworth Sr. of Blaine. Paternal Grandparents are Molly Nickerson of Bridgewater and Gary White Sr. of Blaine.
 
AUGUST
 
BLAISDELL – A girl, Ava Laine Blaisdell, born August 7, to Jade and Richard Blaisdell of Connor Township. Maternal Grandfater is Ryan McConnell of Grand Falls, New Brunswick. Paternal Grandparents are Jodi and Robert Blaisdell of Conner Township.
 
CAMPBELL – A boy, Colton Richard Campbell, born August 13, to Jessica and Daniel Campbell of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Tammy Clavette of Caribou and James Henderson of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparent are Martha Poirier of Caribou and Eugene Campbell of Fort Fairfield.
 
CARMICHAEL – A girl, Evalynne Crow Carmichael, born August 31, to Monica White and Jacob Carmichael of Houlton. Paternal Grandparents are Spring White of Houlton and Robert White of Hartland. Paternal Grandparents are Bobbie Winslow of Hodgdon and Rodney Carmichael of Littleton.
 
CARNEY – A boy, Cyrus Matthew Carney, born August 13, to Miranda Donovan and Matthew Carney of Masardis. Maternal Grandparents are Tammy Donovan of Ashland and Mikeal Donovan of Masardis. Paternal Grandparents are Peggy and Ricky Carney of Mapleton.
 
CARVELL – A girl, Layla Marie Carvell, born August 14, to Hilary and Mark Carvell of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Jan Hedrich of Presque Isle and Aaron Harvey of Glenburn. Paternal Grandparents are Barbara and Robert Carvell of Presque Isle.
 
DOW – A girl, Natalie Marie Dow, born August 23, to Alica and Brandon Dow of Merrill. Maternal Grandparents are Donna and Doug Rockwell of New Limerick. Paternal Grandparents are Emily and Reggie Dow of Linneus.
 
DUPERRY – A girl, Caleigh Mae Duperry, born August 20, to Brandy Duperry and Joshua Burby of Ashland. Maternal Grandfather is Robert Duperry of Masardis. Paternal Grandparents are Elaine Cameron and Robbie Burby Sr. of Ashland.
 
GANTNIER – A girl, Phoebe Dylan Gantnier, born August 6, to Beverly Burby and James Gantnier II of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Rose Gantnier of Morrow Plantation and Frank Betschner of Smyrna. Paternal Grandparents are Samantha Allen and James Gantnier of Sherman.
 
HARSHMAN – A girl, Freya Lily Harshman, born August 25 to Ashley Harshman of Ashland. Maternal Grandparents are Gloria and Steven Hedgpeth of Ashland.
 
HARTMAN – A boy, Devon Adam Hartman, born August 21, to Angela and Carson Hartman of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Robin and Randy Norsworthy of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Paula Charette of Fort Kent and Hugh Hartman Jr. of Saco.
 
NADEAU – A girl, Gracie Catherine Nadeau, born August 11, to Kayla and Charles Nadeau of St. John. Maternal Grandparents are Rachel Corriveau of Frenchville and Ronald Corriveau of Saint Agatha. Paternal Grandparents are Leisa and Mike Nadeau of Saint Francis.
 
SUITTER-LETARTE – A girl, Ember Lyn Letarte-Suitter, born August 8, to Sheryl Letarte and Jonathan Suitter of Fort Fairfield. Maternal Grandparents are Cathy and Keith Letarte of Fort Fairfield. Paternal Grandparents are Dawn and Basil Suitter of West Enfield.
 

Date: 09/11/2020


A staff member from Northern Light AR Gould Hospital delivers a flu shot during last year’s Flu Shot Clinic in Fort Fairfield.  The hospital will again be offering free drive up flu shot clinics in Presque Isle, Caribou, Fort Fairfield, and Mars Hill this year.  Hospital officials say that this year it is more important than ever that people get their flu shot.

 

Presque Isle, Maine (September 11, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will be offering a series of free drive up flu shot clinics for adults in October. A free pediatric flu shot clinic for children age six months to 18 years old is also planned.

 

“While COVID-19 is still present in our communities, it is more important than ever that people get their flu shot,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, Senior Physician Executive at the hospital.  “For one thing, having your flu shot will lessen the chances of you getting both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, something that could make your illness worse than it might traditionally have been.  It’s also a matter of convenience.  COVID-19 and influenza symptoms are similar.  Having your flu shot will decrease your chances of needing to have a COVID-19 swab and to be quarantined while waiting for a result during flu season.”

 

Although the hospital has had to cancel its Fall Health Fair due to safety concerns related to COVID-19, it has added an additional drive up flu shot clinic in Presque Isle for people who might normally get their flu shot during the Health Fair.  All adult Flu Shot Clinics will be drive up only for added safety and convenience of participants.  The pediatric clinic will be held at Northern Light Pediatrics on North Street with strict safety protocols in place. 

 

“We are committed to the health and wellness of our community, which is why we offer these flu shot clinics at no charge,” said Dr. Reynolds. 

 

The schedule for the Adult Flu Shot Clinics will be:

 

Mars Hill:  Thursday, October 8, 4 pm – 6 pm

In the parking lot of Central Aroostook High School – 26 Pleasant Street

 

Caribou:  Saturday, October 10, 9 am – 12 pm

In the parking lot of NL Caribou Health Center – 118 Bennett Drive

 

Fort Fairfield:  Saturday, October 10, 1 pm – 3 pm

In the parking lot of NL Fort Fairfield Health Center – 23 High Street

 

Presque Isle:  Saturdays, October 17 & 31, 9 am – 12 pm

In the parking lot of NL AR Gould Hospital – 140 Academy Street

 

Both regular and high dose flu shots will be available at these clinics. Those coming to one of these clinics for their flu shot must be at least 18 years of age and wear a face covering. Wearing a short sleeved shirt is also recommended for easier access for receiving the shot.  Anyone who is not feeling well or experiencing any COVID symptoms is asked to not come to a clinic that day but rather wait until they are feeling better.

 

The Pediatric Flu Shot Clinic will be:

 

Saturday, October 24, 9 am – 1 pm

Northern Light Pediatrics, North Street Healthcare, 23 North Street

 

Due to safety guidelines, all who enter the building will go through a COVID-19 screening, including a temperature check, and everyone over the age of two must wear a mask. For families with only one or two children, we ask that only one adult bring them; for those with three or more children, two adults are welcome.  A limited number of people will be allowed in the building at one time per CDC guidelines, so some people may be asked to wait outside or in their vehicle until they are able to enter.  Just as with the adult clinics, we ask that if your child is not feeling well or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms that you not attend the clinic on this day.

 

“With the expectation of higher numbers of people getting their children vaccinated this year and the delay that safety protocols may cause in the process, we are encouraging parents to have their children receive their flu shot in school if that is an option,” said Paula Daigle, manager of the pediatrics practice.  “We welcome all who come to our clinic and just ask that you be patient and anticipate longer than usual delays.”

 

According to Dr. Reynolds, “Getting a flu vaccine and using proper hand hygiene are the two most important things you can do to protect yourself from the flu. Any side effects of the flu shot are minor and last a very short time. Contrary to what some believe, you cannot get the flu as a result of getting vaccinated.”

Date: 09/21/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (September 17, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has received a two-year grant from the Maine Cancer Foundation to help increase the number of colorectal screenings in the region.

 

This “Removing Stigma and Barriers: Increasing Colorectal Screening in Aroostook County” grant provides $70,710 to strengthen the hospital’s internal practices to identify and motivate patients to visit primary care providers, support providers and staff to screen for barriers to colorectal screening, educate patients about the importance of screening, and train staff to follow-up and remind patients about upcoming colorectal screening appointments. 

 

A limited number of free non-invasive, simple to use stool screening (FIT) tests for underinsured or uninsured patients will also be available through the grant. These allow individuals to take a stool sample at home and send it to a lab for testing. The cost of both the test and the lab work is covered by the grant.

 

The availability of early detection screenings and follow-up services for all Maine residents is one of six goals identified by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Maine Cancer Plan 2016-2020.  Reduction of late-stage diagnosis of colorectal cancer has been identified as a high priority for the state. 

 

According to the Maine 2018 Annual Report on Cancer, the colorectal cancer incidence rate per 100,000 population (using data from 2015) was 44.1% in Aroostook County, significantly higher than the rates in Maine (35.7%) and in the U.S (38.1%). This report also shows that colorectal cancer is the fifth leading cause of new cancer cases.  Colorectal cancer incidence rates are significantly higher for women in Aroostook county (46.1%) as compared to women in Maine (33.6%).

 

The grant project will also help reduce barriers for community members without a primary care physician (PCP) to both connect to a practice and receive a colorectal screening. Having a regular primary care provider has a positive impact on a person’s long-term health.

 

“Aroostook County is home to some of the oldest and least healthy people in Maine,” said Dawn Roberts, Community Health Specialist, who is heading up this grant project.  “Screening for early detection of cancer as well as regular access to a primary care provider are both critically important for our region.“

 

AR Gould Hospital is partnering with the Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) with this project. Individuals who are found to have barriers to healthcare will be referred to ACAP for assistance. They will be offered a voucher for a free stool screening FBOT/FIT test as an incentive to see a provider and aided in scheduling an appointment with a PCP to complete the screening follow-up. Uninsured/underinsured patients that have a positive FOBT/FIT and require a diagnostic colonoscopy will receive ACAP assistance to access to Insurance and will be connected to the hospital’s patient services for care navigation.

 

 

###

 

 

About the Maine Cancer Foundation Grant

Maine Cancer Foundation’s grant is offered as part of their ongoing Challenge Cancer 2020 initiative, aimed at reducing cancer incidence and mortality in Maine. They have awarded over $11 million since 2015 in support of this initiative, focused on prevention, early detection and screening, and access to care for all Mainers. To learn more about Maine Cancer Foundation, visit www.mainecancer.org, or contact Katelyn Michaud, katelyn@mainecancer.org, 207.773.2533.

 

Date: 09/22/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (September 22, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has been providing drive up COVID-19 testing since March of this year. For most of that time, the testing has been done in the parking lot at the hospital’s North Street Healthcare Center.  Tomorrow (Wednesday, September 23), the testing site will return to AR Gould Hospital on Academy Street.

 

“With dropping temperatures and winter on the horizon, it is time to move our testing under cover,” explained Greg LaFrancois, president.  “We will have staff in our medical transport garage, which has bay doors on both sides of the building. We will route traffic onto campus and into one door, where they will be swabbed, and then they will exit through the second door.”

 

Offering shelter for the testing is for the comfort of both the patients and the staff who work at the test site.  At this time, testing hours will stay the same, from 9 am to 1 pm, seven days a week (with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas).  Hours are subject to change in the future based on community need.

Date: 09/23/2020

High school students learn suturing techniques from Roger Casady, MD, a general surgeon at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, during the first session of the Aroostook Career Exploration program held in June 2019.  Year two of the program gets underway this fall and students are being sought to take part.


Presque Isle, Maine (September 23, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is pleased to announce that the second year of the Aroostook Career Exploration (ACE) program will be getting underway this fall.  High school students are currently being sought to take part.

 

“We launched this program last year at this time and had a strong start.  More than 25 local high school students took part in one of our first two hands-on sessions here at the hospital,” said Daryl Boucher, vice president of operations and one of the creators of the ACE program.  “Unfortunately, our next two sessions had to be canceled due to the on-going COVID-19 health crisis.  We are looking at new, re-imagined ways to offer the program in the coming year in a way that safeguards both the students and those who work or receive care in our hospital.”

 

ACE is a unique, multi-session, multi-year program designed to give students in-depth opportunities that grow and expand as the students gets older and closer to college and the job market.  It replaced Survivor Aroostook camp, a one-week summer camp that the hospital had offered each June.

 

ACE is all about career awareness, career exploration, and career development, according to Boucher.  “Students will get a real feel for whether or not the careers they are exploring are right for them and get the chance to network with professionals who work in these careers every day. They will see the technology being used, hear about emerging trends, and learn what it takes to get into college in that specific career.”

 

While the details are still being finalized for a safe way to offer the program in the current COVID-19 environment, the hospital is committed to keeping this valuable resource for students available. 

 

“Healthcare workers are needed now more than ever, and we will continue this and other programs we have initiated to ‘grow our own’ workforce in the future,” Boucher said.

 

ACE is based on a wide range of healthcare careers.  When people consider careers in healthcare, they most often think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, imaging technicians or lab workers, but hospitals also employ accountants, financial counselors, housekeepers, cooks, administrative assistants, engineers, experts in the trades and so much more.   
 

Aroostook Career Exploration program participants also get the chance to learn more about non-clinical career opportunities in healthcare.  Above, Timothy Cormier, master plumber at AR Gould Hospital, taught students some basics about installing and repairing toilets as part of an ACE session held in January 2020.

 

The cost is only $25 for the entire year, and this one-time annual fee allows students to take part in any or all of the sessions as their schedules and interests allow.

 

“The idea is to keep this program affordable and accessible to all students and to provide as much experience for them as possible as they explore their career interests,” said Boucher. 

 

AR Gould Hospital will provide college scholarships to those who successfully complete the Aroostook Career Exploration program.  Scholarships will be funded with donations from the medical staff, the leadership team and other staff, and the Northern Light AR Gould Foundation.

 

“Due to safety protocols in the local schools, we cannot present to students directly as we have in the past, so we are reaching out to let parents know about this opportunity,” said Boucher. “We are also creating a video that will run on Facebook and share with local schools to help make people aware of this opportunity.”

 

Those interested in taking part in Aroostook Career Exploration and encouraged to learn more or register online at www.northernlighthealth.org/ACE.  To ask questions or request information to be sent to you, please call 207.768.4172.

 

Date: 10/30/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (October 30, 2020) — Screening for COVID-19 symptoms before anyone enters a facility is a key step in protecting the people who visit or work in that location.  This is particularly vital at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

 

“We know that our screening questions can seem a bit tedious or time consuming to people. As the pandemic has evolved, the list of symptoms has lengthened and people’s patience and diligence have seemed to shorten,” says Julie Tutt, manager of infection prevention at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.  “This makes for a bad combination, and we are seeing more and more people who declare they have no symptoms at our screening stations, but once they get to their provider’s office, they raise health concerns that include some of these very symptoms.”

 

There may be multiple reasons for this, according to Tutt.  Sometimes people are just in a hurry and are trying to get to their appointment on time, so they are trying to rush the process without actually paying attention to the symptoms. Others may be concerned that if they admit they have a symptom that they won’t get into their appointment. 

 

“While many may think it is no big deal to disregard the symptoms check during the screening process, it really IS a big deal,” stresses Tutt.  “We understand that often someone’s medical condition may lead to that person having some of the COVID-19-like symptoms.  Having symptoms won’t keep you from your appointment; however, it will allow us to triage and treat accordingly to keep that patient, other patients in the practice, and our staff as safe as possible.”

 

As we are starting to see more positive COVID-19 cases in Aroostook County and as we enter the season for other respiratory disorders as well, it is important that people know what COVID-19 symptoms are so they can self-monitor. It is also essential that they answer screening questions honestly at any buildings they are entering that are screening, particularly the hospital and providers’ offices.

 

Symptoms for COVID-19 now include:  a new or worsening cough; a fever; chills; muscle pain; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; a sore throat; loss of taste or smell; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; runny nose or congestion; headache; and fatigue.

 

“We encourage people to keep these symptoms in mind before they ever leave their home, whether it be for grocery shopping or to see their provider,” says Tutt. 

 

Healthcare workers are on the front lines in the battle of COVID-19.  Numbers in Maine and throughout the country show how high the incidence of positive cases is for those in the healthcare field. 

 

“If we don’t accurately know a patient coming in to see us has COVID symptoms, we cannot be properly prepared.  Yes, we have a mask and eye protection on for every patient we see, but for someone with symptoms, we may need further protection or to use a negative pressure room,” explains Renee Fournier, DO, a pediatrician at AR Gould.  “If a provider or other member of the care team gets sick, that means we are not available to treat patients for at least two weeks, meaning our practice can’t see as many patients at a time when we are needed more than ever.”

 

“We screen every single person who enters one of our facilities, whether that is an employee, a patient, a visitor, or a vendor, but that screening is only effective if people take the time to really consider the symptom list and whether or not any are applicable to them,” says Tutt.  “We know this works when done appropriately. We saw this first-hand with our employee who tested positive for COVID in July.  Because this individual was screened out and tested so promptly, exposure was limited and no other employees or residents became positive.”

 

Those with symptoms who are concerned that they could possibly have COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out to their primary care provider.  People may also visit our website at www.northernlighthealth.org/testing to arrange a test. They should be sure to select the appropriate option, symptomatic or non-symptomatic, when making the request. 

Date: 11/04/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (November 4, 2020) — Volunteers help patients and staff in a variety of ways at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.  That role had to be curtailed during COVID-19 as the hospital put the volunteer program on hold for the safety of the older volunteers that have been the backbone of the program.  Now, the volunteer program is gearing back up, and more volunteers are needed.

 

“Our team is looking to grow by adding more of the compassionate individuals who share their time and talents,” says Dawn Roberts, coordinator of volunteer services.  “We have several opportunities for those who want to volunteer and make a difference.  Hours are flexible, and we will work around your schedule.”

 

The hospital has strict safety protocols in place to protect all who enter its facilities. This includes mandatory masking for everyone; hand hygiene protocols; screenings upon entrance, including a temperature check; and maintaining physical distancing.  Those who interact with patients in any capacity also wear eye protection.

 

“We are confident it is safe for volunteers to once again be in our facilities,” says Roberts.  “We will only place people in roles that they are comfortable in. While some of volunteer opportunities are working directly with patients, others are behind the scenes with no patient interaction required.”

 

Needs include volunteers to greet patients and visitors upon arrival, to run errands, to provide office assistance, to transport patients to appointments within the hospital, to provide activities or interactions with rehabilitation patients, and more.

 

“In addition to making an immeasurable difference in the lives of others, volunteering is one of the best ways to increase your social interaction as you meet new people and learn new skills. It can help you gain a great sense of purpose while boosting your self-confidence,” explains Roberts. “Please consider sharing some of your time with us.”

 

If you or someone you know has free time and is looking for a volunteer opportunity, please consider the volunteer program at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital. Contact Dawn Roberts at 768-4248 or droberts@northernlight.org to learn more or request an application.

Date: 11/05/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (November 5, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital offered five adult and one pediatric flu shot clinic during the month of October to help ensure community members had easy, free access to a flu shot. More than 1,000 adults and nearly 240 children took part in these opportunities.

 

“In a year when flu shots are more important than ever, we were thrilled to see high turnouts for these free clinics,” said Julie Tutt, RN, manager of quality and infection prevention at the hospital.  “We were pleased to hear some people saying that this was the first time they were getting a flu shot, or the first time in many years to do so.”

 

A total of 1,005 adults took part in the adult drive-up clinics, getting a free regular or high dose shot without even needing to get out of their vehicle.  Numbers by community clinics were:  Presque Isle, 464 (total from two clinics); Caribou, 200; Fort Fairfield, 181; and Mars Hill, 160.  A total of 233 children received their flu shots at Northern Light Pediatrics in Presque Isle.

 

“We can’t stress enough the importance of having your flu shot.  It is the single most important thing you can do to try to prevent getting the flu.  With COVID-19 ramping back up, we want to do all we can to lessen the possibility of people getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which could have some pretty dire results,” explains Tutt.

 

For those who have not yet had a flu shot, it is not too late.  “While our free flu shot clinics have ended for the season, community members can still get a flu shot from their primary care office or from one of the local retail pharmacies,” says Tutt.

 

Tutt reminds people that other steps to lessen chances of getting the flu are the same steps that are protecting us from COVID-19: using proper hand hygiene, staying six feet apart, wearing a mask, and staying home when you are not feeling well.

Date: 11/12/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (November 12, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will offer its next Walk with a Doc session on Friday, November 20, from 12-1 pm at the Aroostook Center Mall.  This month’s featured guest will be Jennifer Smith, RN, the hospital’s diabetes educator.

 

“Diabetes and prediabetes are major health issues in Aroostook County and in Maine,” says Smith.  “It is a major cause of many serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and more. It is the seventh leading cause of death in Maine.  But the good news is research has shown that even modest lifestyle changes can make a difference.”

 

Community members are invited to come hear more on this topic and take part in a brief walk with Smith during the noontime event.  She will also be providing tips on how people with diabetes can stay on track during the upcoming holidays.

 

AR Gould Hospital began offering the national Walk with a Doc program locally in January, but the program was sidelined in March due to COVID-19 precautions.  A couple of virtual video options were offered before getting back underway in July with an outside offering following CDC safety guidelines. Last month, the program transitioned to the Aroostook Center Mall to offer a warmer venue with space to keep participants physically distanced. 

 

Walk with a Doc is free and open to the public. It is intended for people of all ages and physical abilities. Participants can walk at their own pace for whatever distance they choose. Masks are required, and one will be provided for anyone who arrives without one.

Date: 11/18/2020

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital recently kicked off its 2020 Lights of Life program, an opportunity for the community to honor and remember friends, family members, caregivers, and others who have been affected by cancer. Every dollar raised through Lights of Life will stay local to support cancer care services in Aroostook County.

Six levels of recognition are available, beginning with white lights at $10 and culminating with the star, which recognizes a single special individual or family. The name of each individual being honored or remembered will be displayed at AR Gould Hospital and displayed on the hospital website throughout the holiday season. Upon request, Lights of Life cards will be provided for those who purchase lights to send to honorees.

For more information or to purchase a light, please click here: https://northernlighthealth.org/ARGouldLOL.  

Date: 12/01/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (December 1, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has tightened its visitation policy at the hospital and stopped inside in-person visits at its Continuing Care facility in Mars Hill.  This change is effective Wednesday, December 2, and due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in our community.

 

The elimination of inside, in-person visits at Northern Light Continuing Care are directed by state guidelines relating to the new number of positive COVID-19 cases in the central Aroostook region in the past 28 days.  This increase in community spread has moved the designation for the nursing home from “low” risk to “moderate” risk, which requires that in-person visits stop.

 

“The state of Maine has a solid set of guidelines for nursing homes tied to infection rates in surrounding communities. Recent increases in infection rates triggered these changes,” said Greg LaFrancois, hospital president. “We do not have any positive cases in our Mars Hill facility, and we are proud of our staff’s passion for maintaining a safe environment for our residents.”

 

Other changes in the visitor policy surround inpatient visitors at AR Gould Hospital.  Most significantly, visiting hours in all inpatient hospital areas other than the Women & Children’s Unit, are being reduced to six hours each day. Visiting hours will be Noon to 6 pm Monday through Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on weekends. Visitors in those areas remain limited to one per day; however, with the new changes, that visitor can no longer leave and return during the same day. Once the visitor leaves the facility, they will not be able to reenter.

 

For the Women and Children’s Unit, one visitor can accompany an obstetrics patient; the visitor should plan to stay in the patient’s room for the duration of her hospital stay.  Pediatric patients may always have a parent or guardian with them; a total of two visitors (one at a time) are allowed, so that one can be with the child during the day and the other during the night. 

 

Visitors continue to be restricted from the Emergency Department, Day Surgery, and the Dialysis Center, other than specific identified exceptions.  Visitors are also restricted in all outpatient practices, unless it is a parent accompanying a minor child, an individual assisting a patient with special needs, an oncology patient getting a new diagnosis, or an obstetrics patient having an ultrasound.

 

All visitors at any AR Gould facility must wear a medical-grade mask which will be provided by the hospital for the duration of their visit, even when in a patient’s room. Visitors must also be screened upon arrival, including a temperature check; hand sanitize; and following six-feet physical distancing guidelines. 

 

Date: 12/03/2020

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in September and October 2020 were the following:
 
September
 
BERNARD – A girl, Adrienne Kim Bernard, born September 16, to Stephaine and Noah Bernard of Easton. Maternal Grandparents are the late Kim Hammond and Doug Hammond of Easton. Paternal Grandparents are Joan and Sean Bernard of Fort Fairfield.
 
CHANDLER – A boy, Weldon Chase Chandler, born September 4, to Lyndsay White and Chase Chandler of Wasburn.
 
CHASSE-PELLETIER – A girl, Mackenzie Hope Pelletier-Chasse, born September 7, to Emma Pelletier and Jonathan Chasse of Fort Kent. Maternal Grandparents are Josie and Louie Pelletier III of Allagash. Paternal Grandparents are Brenda and James Chasse of Van Buren.
 
COLLIN – A boy, Bryce Thomas Collin, born September 8, to Samantha Zinus and Shawn Collin of Madawaska. Maternal Grandparents are Candy and Jay Young of Manchester, NH. Paternal Grandparents are Micheline and Donald Collin of Saco.
 
CYR – A boy, Malachi Louis Cyr, born September 12, to Tabatha and Mark Cyr of Chapman. Maternal Grandparents are Allison Moreau and David Gordon of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Heidi Hosea of Washburn and Mark Cyr Sr. of Chapman.
 
DUDLEY – A girl, Ellowyn Grace Dudley, born September 17, to Samantha Boulier and Hunter Dudley of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Rachel and Gordie Boulier of Easton. Paternal Grandparents are Tabitha and Alan Dudley of Easton.
 
GOULD – A girl, Gracie Adaline Gould, born September 16, to Lacey Marie Stitham and Joseph Gould of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Amy and Timothy Bradsteet of Mars Hill. Paternal Grandparents are Amy Carmicheal of Littleton and Joseph Gould of Worchester, MA.
 
JONES- McCLUSKEY – A boy, Kaicynn Edward Jones-McCluskey, born September 21 to Skylar Jones and Tyler McCluskey of Houlton. Maternal Grandparents are Joanne Jones-Carmichael and John Jones of Monticello. Paternal Grandparents are Janice and Mike McCluskey of Island Falls.
 
SHELDON – A girl, Aniya Fay Sheldon, born September 8, to Amanda and Robert Sheldon of Caribou. Maternal Grandmother is Gloria Bouykin of Caribou. Paternal Grandmother is Penny Sheldon of Rumford.
 
 
UMPHREY – A girl, Leah Marie Umphrey, born September 15, to Erika and Adam Umphrey of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Karen Jackson and Mark Mongeau of Manville, NJ. Paternal Grandparents are Connie and Rob Devany of Easton.
 
October
 
NEMER – A boy, Beckett Joseph Nemer, born October 12, to Amber and Carl Nemer of Ashland. Paternal Grandparents are Sheila and Bill Nemer of Ashland.
 
PHILLIPS – A boy, Jesse Paul Phillips, born October 27, to Toria Tarbox and Matthew Phillips of Presque Isle.
 
ROSSIGNOL-BROWN – A girl, Aiyanna Lynn Rossignol Brown, born October 14, to Cassandra Rossignol and Matthew Brown of Fort Fairfield. Maternal Grandmother is Lynn Rossignol of Enfield, CT. Paternal Grandparents are Tracey Ackerson-Westin of Woodland and Keith Brown of Caribou.
 
SOUCY – A boy, Marshall Michael Soucy, born October 1, to Morgan and Michael Soucy of Winterville PLT.
 
WALKER – A girl, Addison Grace Walker, born October 19, to Morgan and Garret Walker of Portage Lake. Maternal Grandparents are Felicia Porter of Skowhegan and Kenneth Morton of Rockport. Paternal Grandparents are Cindy Tardie of Portage Lake and Hazen Walker of Bucksport.
 
WINIARSKI – A boy, Oliver Joseph Winiarski, born October 27, to Beth and Kenneth Winiarski of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Peggy Gilmer of Presque Isle and Terry Gilmer of Caribou. Paternal Grandparents are Karen Winiarski of Presque Isle and Ken Winiarski of Brookton.
 
 

Date: 12/10/2020

View a list of our 2020 Lights of Life honorees.


Presque Isle, Maine (December 10, 2020) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital recently kicked off its 2020 Lights of Life program, an opportunity for the community to honor and remember friends, family members, caregivers, and others who have been affected by cancer. Every dollar raised through Lights of Life will stay local to support cancer care services in Aroostook County.
 

Over the years, the Lights of Life campaign has raised funds to support both patient needs and equipment needs at Northern Light Cancer Care (formerly Aroostook Cancer Care) in Presque Isle, according to manager Brenda Baker.

 

“Patients are very appreciative of the assistance we are able to offer them through the support of efforts like this, particularly help with travel.  Travel to and from their appointments can be costly and difficult for patients to work into their budgets.  Many are already operating on limited income so to throw this in is devastating in many ways.” 

 

Six levels of recognition are available:  white light, $10; red light, $25; green light, $50; blue light, $100; orange light, $250; and purple light, $500.  The name of each individual being honored or remembered will be displayed at AR Gould Hospital and displayed on the hospital website throughout the holiday season. Upon request, Lights of Life cards will be provided for those who purchase lights to send to honorees.

 

One star is also sold annually to recognizes a single special individual or family. This year’s star has been purchased in memory of Albert Billings of Westfield.  The star was purchased in his loving memory by Lynn, Shawn, Kristen & Dacota Dube of Washburn.

 

“My family is honored to purchase the star in memory of my dad,” says daughter Lynn Dube.  “Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer nearly two years ago.  With that diagnosis came many trips to Bangor and Portland.  A year ago, mom was also diagnosed with cancer, requiring even more trips.  The patient assistance fund at Cancer Care helped them with covering some of the expenses that go along with getting to those appointments.  Access to those funds gave both of them peace of mind knowing that they could afford to get to those appointments and that their treatment would not suffer.” 

 

Lynn and her family are also appreciative of the great care that her parents have received locally.  “The care that the staff and providers gave to both dad and mom is beyond comprehension.  When first diagnosed, we walked into Cancer Care scared, not knowing what the future would hold.  After that first appointment, we walked out as a member of a family.”
 

Sadly, Billings lost his battle with cancer on September 4th of this year. 

 

“The purchase of this star is our way of giving back to the area that helped my parents in hopes that other families can have the same wonderful experience that we had,” said Lynn. 

 

For more information on purchasing a light in memory or honor of a loved one or a caregiver, please visit https://northernlighthealth.org/ARGouldLOL.  Lights of Life donations will be accepted through the end of the year.

Date: 12/16/2020

Presque Isle, Maine (December 15, 2020) — For the safety of both patients and staff, Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has announced the return to a “no visitor” policy other than identified exceptions. This begins on Thursday, December 17.

 

“We have not made this decision lightly, and we understand it may not be popular, especially during this holiday season. However, the safety of our staff and patients must come first,” says Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive. “We are in a surge situation which is due in part to the decisions people are making in the community regarding masking, physical distancing, and avoiding gatherings. As we head into another holiday event that will likely draw people together, whether ill-advised or not, we must take the steps needed to try to keep COVID-19 community spread out of our facilities.”

 

With this visitor policy change, no visitors will be allowed for inpatients at the hospital.  The only identified exceptions to this are for pediatric patients, laboring mothers, patients with special needs, or patients at end-of-life.

 

Visitors had already been restricted in the Emergency Department, Day Surgery Department, Dialysis Center, Cancer Care practice, and all outpatient practices.  Those restrictions remain in place. There are limited identified exceptions, particularly for children and patients with special needs, but overall, patients should not plan to have people accompany them for appointments or procedures at the hospital or any of AR Gould patient practices. Questions regarding exceptions can be directed to the specific practice or department to which a patient is going. 

 

Visitors in Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill were also recently ended. 

 

“When community numbers were low and with no COVID-19 positive residents, we were able to offer first outside in-person visits and later inside in-person visits with strict safety protocols in place.  However, with the spike in numbers in the region, our Continuing Care facility escalated from low to moderate risk, ending those visits earlier this month. It has since escalated to high risk, again due to the increased community spread of COVID-19 in our region,” explains Dr. Reynolds.  The nursing home continues to have no positive COVID-19 residents.

 

Staff at both AR Gould Hospital and Continuing Care are making other options available for patients or residents to connect with loved ones. These options include phone calls and use of FaceTime, Zoom, and other technology. Devices and hands-on assistance will be provided as needed.  

Date: 01/02/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (January 2, 2021) — The first baby born in 2021 at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle was delivered at 6:09 pm on January 1.  William Oryn Duffy is the first-born son of April and Bill Duffy of Houlton. 

 

Little William was 8 lbs. and 12 oz. and was 21 ½ inches long.  Like all babies, he was born according to his own timetable and wasn’t to be rushed.  He was a week overdue and, even after being induced for a second time in that week, still took a day and a half of labor before joining the world in 2021.

 

While mom and dad have been a couple for a few years, they officially tied the knot in the Caribbean in February of 2020, just beating out the disruption of COVID-19 and travel restrictions.  They found out they were expecting around Easter and very fittingly made the announcement to family of their exciting news on Mother’s Day.

 

Being pregnant during COVID has made this experience a scarier than the norm for a first-time mom, particularly during the end of the pregnancy when Aroostook County was seeing a spike in cases. 

 

“We kept our bubble very small, mostly just the two of us,” says April.  “As much as we wanted to share this experience with everyone, we needed to be safe.”  Keeping that same small bubble is the plan when they get discharged from the hospital as well.  

 

“While 2020 was hard in some ways, it was still a great year for us.  We got married, got pregnant, had our health, and didn’t have anyone close to us get sick with COVID, so we really can’t complain.  We are hopeful for 2021 that there is now a light at the end of the tunnel,” April says.  And what better symbol of that light than the birth of their son.

 

William was delivered by Mary Hamilton, CNM, from Northern Light OB/GYN.  Nurses from the hospital’s Women & Children’s Unit who took care of mom and baby during the delivery were Marissa Chasse, RN and Gail Burtt, RN.   

 

“This has been an amazing experience.  I couldn’t have asked for better nurses, and Mary Hamilton was just wonderful.  One of the reasons I chose to come to AR Gould was for the mid-wife experience, and it was certainly the right choice for us. We couldn’t be happier.”
 


The team from Northern Light AR Gould Hospital presented a gift basket to the Duffy family in honor of having the New Year baby for 2021.  Helping to present the gift were nurses Gail Burtt, RN and Marissa Chasse, RN, who both took care of mom and baby during the January 1 delivery.


 

Date: 01/06/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (January 6, 2021) – Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is honored to receive a $10,000 donation in memory of Alex Silver from his daughter Beverly Silver Bachrach.  The gift was directed to the hospital’s campaign to upgrade and expand its cardiac telemonitoring capabilities, as Silver benefitted from cardiac services at AR Gould during his lifetime.


“The hospital saved my dad's life when he had his first heart attack at a young age,” Bachrach said. “I thought how fitting to remember my father in the town where he was a successful businessman and a place where he was active and enjoyed life.”

 

Originally from Orono, Silver moved north in 1934 to open a branch of the family’s cattle business in the County.  He later went into the car business, opening Silver’s Garage in 1950. He owned this Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge and Jeep dealership on the Houlton Road, now Percy’s Auto Sales, until his retirement in 1986.

 

Silver and his wife, Edith, lived in Presque Isle for 45 years, raising their children and becoming very involved in the community.  Silver was a member of the Rotary Club, Elks Club and the Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce, even donating part of the land the Chamber building sits on. He also helped build the Aroostook Hebrew Community Center for the County’s Jewish community. 

 

He was a very active member of AR Gould Hospital’s board of directors because he felt the hospital was so important to the County.

 

“My father worked diligently to make the hospital one of the best in the state,” Bachrach said. “He felt everyone deserved the best healthcare possible.”

 

His wife, Edith, felt the same and volunteered at the hospital as part of her many community service roles.

 

In retirement, the Silvers moved to South Florida to enjoy their golden years. Silver passed away in 1993, and Edith, in 2001.  The Silver’s children have all left the County as well, but Bachrach, who now lives in Florida, has a special place in her heart for the area.

 

“This is where I was born and raised, where I was educated and formed friendships that continue to this day,” Bachrach said. “Presque Isle and small-town living formed my values.”

 

Bachrach’s gift is the first major contribution to the cardiac telemonitoring campaign, which aims to raise $240,000.

 

The monitoring system saves lives and helps hospital staff provide better patient care.

“The system warns me that something is wrong before the patient even knows there is a problem,” said Linsley E. Hews, RN. “Cardiac telemonitoring is one of the first lines of defense in providing the best care for our patients.”

 

For more information on the cardiac telemonitoring campaign, please visit 
https://northernlighthealth.org/cardiacmonitoring

Date: 01/08/2021

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in November and December 2020 were the following:
 
November
 
CHANDLER – A girl, Teagyn Rayne Chandler, born November 5, to Catelyn Coulombe and Logan Chandler of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Stephaine Henthorn and Jarad Carney of Ashland. Paternal Grandparents are Kathy and Kyle Chandler of Mapleton.
 
CHARTIER – A girl, Addilyn Joy Chartier, born November 16, to Tasha Tompkins-Chartier and Adam Chartier of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Tina Tompkins and John Thyng of Mapleton. Paterna Grandmother is Lorie McCarthy of Caribou.
 
CONE – A girl, Opal Mae Cone, born November 9, to Kylie Paradis and Jedidiah Cone of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Rhonda and Billy Labbe of Mapleton. Paternal Grandparents are Heather Schoenhardt and Michael Latronica of Washburn.
 
DAMBOISE – A boy, Lennon Ellis Damboise, born November 1, to Megan and Kyle Damboise of Connor TWP.
 
DROST – A girl, Shay Hazel Drost, born November 17, to Brittanee and Tyler Drost of Blaine. Maternal Grandparents are Lisa McPherson of Blaine and Bruce Blodget of Easton. Paternal Grandparents are Joy Duncan and Dale Drost of Presque Isle.
 
KINGSBURY – A girl, Emberleigh Rose Kingsbury, born November 6, to Bailee and Dane Kingsbury of Bridgewater. Maternal Grandparents are Lauralee Hopkins of Blaine and Troy Durost of Mars Hill. Paternal Grandparents are Duska and Shane Kingsbury of Mars Hill.
 
HERSEY – A girl, Megan Lynn Hersey, born November 9, to Melissa and Michael Hersey of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Aline and Robert Brissette of Caribou. Paternal Grandparents are Betty and Kirk Hersey of Caribou.
 
THERIAULT – A boy, Geo Charles Sylvio Theriault, born November 3, to Takayla Nay and Trevor Theriault of Limestone. Maternal Grandparents are Sarah Plummer of Perham and Jeremy Nay of Oxford.
 
TURNER – A girl, Riyah Jade Turner, born November 6, to Alexis Carney and Justin Turner of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Alisa and Justin Carney of Washburn.
 
 
 
 
December
 
CARROLL – A boy, Lawrence James Carroll, born December 4, to Stacey and Joseph Carroll of Washburn. Maternal Grandparents are Revily Fulton and Larry Good of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandmother is Linda Carroll of Presque Isle.
 
CAUDILL – A girl, Nohea Michelle Nalani Caudill, born December 15, to Justine and Deion Caudill. Maternal Grandparents are Jolani and Nolan Napalapalai. Paternal Grandmother is Cheri Caudill.
 
COLLIN – A boy, Knox Griffin Collin, born December 31, to Lacey and Tony Collin of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Michelle and Albert Martin of Fort Kent. Paternal Grandmother is Lisa Nadeau of Madawaska.
 
DOYLE – A boy, Maverick Wallace Doyle, born December 5, to Danielle Doyle of Houlton. Maternal Grandparents are Donna Barton of Linneus and Robert Doyle of Litchfield, CT.
 
FOURNIER – A boy, Blake Michael Fournier, born December 14, to Julia Violette and Elia Fournier of Madawaska. Maternal Grandparents are Sue and the late Michael Violette of Madawaska. Paternal Grandparents are Ann Pelletier and Larry Fournier of Madawaska.
 
HEBERT – A girl, Lily Diann Hebert, born December 12, to Tia Dee and Trevor Hebert of Fort Kent. Maternal Grandparents are Diann Dee-Dobson of Washburn and Roger Dee of Grandfalls, NB. Paternal Grandparents are Tammy and Kenneth Hebert of Frenchville.
 
JOHNSTON – A boy, Dreamer John-Sam Johnston, born December 17, to Kylie Oliveria and Brandon Johnston of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Sharon and Mark Oliveria of Mars Hill. Paternal Grandparents Beatrice and Colin Campbell of Caribou.
 
LAWRENCE – A boy, Logan John Lawrence, born December 31, to Rae Lynn Brewer and Derick Lawrence of Blaine. Maternal Grandparents are Robin and Ronnie Brewer of Blaine. Paternal Grandparents are Annette and Dean Lawrence of Blaine.
 
NAVEED – A girl Mirha Naveed, born December 13, born to Fnu Naima and Naveed Jan of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is Mashroof of Gilgit, Pakistan. Paternal Grandparents are Mahi Alam and Kaka Jan of Gilgit, Pakistan.
 
SMITH – A boy, Rhett Joshua Smith, born December 22, to Makayla Crandall and Jared Smith of Houlton.
 
SPARKS – A girl, Ivy Rose Sparks, born December 12, to Harley Curtis and Duayn Sparks of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are April and Max Curtis of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Kelly and James Sparks of Woodland.
 
VOISINE – A boy, Roman Tyler Voisine, born December 18, to Autumn Parady and Nathan Voisine of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Michelle Manning and Randy Parady of Fort Fairfied. Paternal Grandparents are Shelly and Ross Wortman of Fort Fairfield.
 
TARBOX – A girl, Everleigh Ann Ruest-Tarbox, born December 11, to Courtney Ruest and Nathenial Tarbox of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Tina Ruest and Mike Stevens of Washburn. Paternal Grandparents are Rena and Lucas Tarbox of Wasburn.
 
WEEKS – A girl, Emmalyn Grace Weeks, born December 9, to Andrea and Nathanial Weeks of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Lisa Thompson of Elgin, SC and Kevin Day of Huntsville, AL. Paternal Grandparents are Debi and David Weeks of Hudson.
 

Date: 01/21/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (January 21, 2021) — Officials at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital are excited to announce that a new Walk-In Care service will open in Caribou on Monday, February 1.  The service will offer non-emergency care to patients daily from noon to 8 pm with no appointment needed.

 

“We have been offering Walk-In Care in Presque Isle for a number of years now and found it to be a vital resource for people to better access care when they need it,” says Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital. “Walk-In Care can be a more convenient, more affordable option than a trip to the emergency room when an illness or injury happens outside of office hours or if you do not have a primary care provider.”

 

Primary care is the first choice for regular healthcare needs, since it builds a relationship between the patient and provider, and emergency care is certainly the best choice for serious illness or injury, according to Reynolds.  However, there is a gap between these two vital services.  That is where Walk-In Care comes in.

 

A patient may not be able to get into their primary care provider in a time frame that works for them, either because there are no open appointments or because a time that is available is not compatible with the patient’s schedule. A trip to the emergency room can be time consuming and more expensive, often making it a poor option for something simple like an ear infection.  

 

“Walk-In Care is just that…people are able to walk in for the care they need with no appointment, at the time that is convenient for them.  We welcome people of all ages,” explains Reynolds.  

 

To meet the need for such a service in the Caribou area as well, the hospital has added Walk-In Care at its Northern Light Health Center in Caribou, located at 118 Bennett Drive.  Once it opens on February 1, 2021, the site will be open daily from 12 noon to 8 pm. It will only be closed on the days of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Like the Presque Isle clinic, Walk-In Care in Caribou will be open to all patients, regardless of who their primary care provider is.  It will be staffed by providers who work in the Presque Isle clinic as well as in the Emergency Department of AR Gould Hospital.

Date: 01/22/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (January 22, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will kick-off its first community vaccine clinics next week for people age 70 or older in collaboration with Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle. Day-long clinics will be held on Wednesday, January 27, and Friday, January 29, resulting in 840 people in this age category getting their first dose of vaccine.

 

“We are excited to be moving into this category of community vaccinations,” said Greg LaFrancois, hospital president.  “We have been vaccinating our own workers and other healthcare providers in the community for a few weeks now, and it is rewarding to now have the go ahead from the Maine CDC to start vaccinating the elderly in our community.”

 

To be able to make these clinics a reality, the hospital needed a community partner, and they did not have to look far to make that happen. 

 

“Northern Maine Community College has been an incredible partner for us during this entire pandemic. Tim Crowley and his team stepped up time and time again to help us in numerous ways.  And when we made this ask, they were once again quick to give us, and our community, the support that was needed,” said LaFrancois.

 

The College will be opening their campus facilities for the location of the community clinics, which will take place in the Wellness Center and gymnasium. NMCC healthcare students will also be helping in the clinics.

 

“We’re ready to support the hospital every way we can,” stated NMCC President Timothy Crowley. “Community health is one of our priorities, and our gymnasium and wellness center will be put to good use in the coming months. Our nursing faculty and the Nursing and Allied Health students have been working with the local hospitals since the beginning of the pandemic and are ready for the next phase of this challenge.”

 

Individuals must preregister to take part in a vaccination clinic. Due to the high demand as well as the logistics around handling the vaccines, walk-ins cannot be accommodated.  While the registration slots for next week’s clinics are all full, more clinics will be added on a weekly basis.  Each Monday, after learning of their vaccine allotment for the week, the hospital will open new clinics based on that information.  The hope is to hold at least one clinic each week, but vaccine availability will determine how they can proceed.

 

For these first two clinics, registration was available on-line only, and the 840 spots filled in just a couple of hours. Work is underway to add a telephone registration option as well for those who do not have internet access.  That phone option is anticipated to be launched before new clinics are added; however, online registration will still be the fastest, preferred way to register.

 

Improvements have also already been made on the online registration site. When it first launched, many people found they got through the entire registration process only to learn no appointments were available.  Availability of slots by vaccination location will now be posted for people to see before they start to register. And once they start, the time slot they select will be held for them while they continue through the registation process. 

When preparing to register, whether by phone or online, people should be prepared with the following:  social security number, insurance or Medicare information, and the name and phone number for an emergency contact person. The vaccine itself is free but a small charge to cover the cost of administration will be billed to people’s insurance.  

 

At this time, community clinics will be for those 70 or over only.  The Maine CDC is in the process of determining a matrix for medical conditions that may make a person under age 70 at higher risk for complications associated with COVID-19. Once that information is finalized and the CDC gives the go-ahead, clinics will be expanded to offer vaccines to this group as well. The time frame for when that may happen is not known at this point.

 

Community members are encouraged to look at the hospital’s website each Monday to learn about clinics that may be scheduled for the week:  www.northernlighthealth.org/Resources/COVID-19

 

Since two clinics are already scheduled for next week, no new clinics are anticipated to be added on Monday, January 25. The next update should be on Monday, February 1.

 

“We ask that individuals not call their primary care office or the hospital to try to register. The only option for registering at this time is online. As soon as a call center is ready to handle telephone registrations, we will be posting that number for the public. People cannot register through their provider’s office or directly through the hospital.

 

Date: 02/18/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (February 18, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle is partnering with MSAD 1 Adult and Community Education to offer a unique program to train Medical Assistants (MAs).  An information session about the program, job duties, and hospital benefits will be held on Wednesday, March 3, from 4-5 pm at the hospital.

 

Similar to the ongoing CNA program offered by the hospital, participants in this MA program will be hired by the hospital and paid a wage while they complete the part-time, 14-week training program. The cost of the course, including all supplies, is also covered by the hospital. In return for this paid training, successful graduates commit to a job within one of AR Gould Hospital’s medical group offices for a set period of time.

 

“Just as we have been seeing an on-going shortage with nurses and CNAs, we are also in great need of MAs,” says Daryl Boucher, VP of Operations at the hospital.  “We have been excited to offer programs such as this one that help us ‘grow our own’ workforce.”

 

MAs are an essential part of the patient care team, working alongside providers mainly in outpatient settings such as medical offices and clinics.  They perform both clinical and administrative duties, such as welcoming patients, updating patient medical records, taking medical histories, taking blood pressures and temperatures, assisting the provider during exams, collecting lab specimens, and more.

 

This unique MA training program will include a combination of classroom learning, labs, and clinical rotations.  Curriculum is provided by the Academy of Medical Professionals, and students will be able to sit for a certification exam to become a certified MA at the end of the program.

 

“This training is the perfect opportunity for anyone interested in starting a career in healthcare.  There are always openings for MA staff, with many different types of practices to choose from.  Becoming an MA can also be a pathway into more advanced healthcare careers,” explains Ryan Morneault, clinical educator and leader of the MA training program.  “Working in healthcare in general is an excellent career today and in the future.”

 

It is a “win-win” for both the hospital and the students, according to Morneault.  “Students get paid while learning, don’t have a big student debt when they are done, and are guaranteed a job upon successful completion of the program. From the hospital perspective, we are getting needed, trained employees and building relationships with high-quality workers that will be with us for at least two years and hopefully longer.”

 

To learn more about the program and pick up an application, please join us at 4 pm on Wednesday, March 3, in the conference center at AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle. 

Date: 03/10/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (March 10, 2021) — Registration for Northern Light AR Gould Hospital’s Community COVID Vaccination Clinic is now open for the staff at local schools and for licensed day care providers of any age. Clinic spots are available on both Friday, March 12, and Tuesday, March 16. Clinics continue to also be open for all people age 60 or older.

 

Anyone who works for a local school department, no matter what their role, or for a licensed day care provider is eligible for this statewide age exception.  However, individuals under the age of 60 must bring an official identification from their employer that proves they do in fact qualify. 

 

Individuals can register at covid.northernlighthealth.org or by calling 207-204-8551. The Aroostook Agency on Aging also continues to serve as a resource for senior citizens and can be reached at 1-800-439-1789.

Date: 03/10/2021

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in January and February 2021 were the following:
 
January
ADAMS – A girl, Olivia Catherine Adams, born January 30, to Melanie Donahue and Christopher Adams of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Lisa Hardy and Tim Donahue of Houlton. Paternal Grandparents are Lynne Adams of Boston, MA and Dale Adams of Caribou.
 
CLARK – A girl, Gwyneth Avery Clark, born January 18, to Megan and Zachary Clark of Mars Hill. Maternal Grandmother is Rachel Corson of Richmond. Paternal Grandparents are Cheryl and Robert Clark of Easton.
 
CYR – A girl, Kacie Lynn Cyr, born January 28, to Katelynn Tardie-Cyr and Devin Cyr of Fort Fairfield. Maternal Grandparents are Sonya Tardie-Bubar and Brian Bubar of Fort Fairfield. Paternal Grandparents are JodyLynn McNeal and Kirk Cyr of Caribou.
 
DUFFY – A boy, William Oryn Duffy, born January 1, to April and William Duffy, Jr. of Houlton. Maternal Grandparents are Sonya and Malcolm Nesbitt of Hodgdon. Paternal Grandparents are Rebecca Anderson of Frankfort and William Duffy, Sr. of Hudson.
 
FOISY – A boy, Lincoln Kirk Foisy, born January 18, to Mallery Lopez-Foisy and Todd Foisy of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Sue and Kirk Terrell of Blaine. Paternal Grandparents are Susan and William Foisy of Red Lodge, MT.
 
HORAN – A boy, Dante Alexander Horan, born January 5, to Tessa O’Donnell and Christian Horan-Daniels of Limestone. Maternal Grandparents are Christine and Donald O’Donnell of Houlton. Paternal Grandparents are Sandra and Craig Martin of Connor TWP.
 
HUMPHREY – A girl, Caroline Charlotte Humphrey, born January 13, to Sydney and Cody Humphrey of Easton. Maternal Grandparents are Ellen and Norman Trask of Easton. Paternal Grandparents are Pam and Lonnie Humphrey of New Gloucester.
 
JACKSON – A girl, Kaydence Mary Jackson, born January 16, to Linda Cobb of Presque Isle and Clay Jackson of St. Francis. Maternal Grandparents are Marianne Cobb of Ashland and the late Ronald Cobb. Paternal Grandparents are Mary and Clayton Jackson of Allagash.
 
NICHOLS – A girl, Avril Leigh Nichols, born January 18, to Dayanaira Tompkins and Adam Nichols of Bridgewater. Maternal Grandparents are Riqui Tompkins and Carl Sharp of Castle Hill. Paternal Grandparents are Lori Pringle of Weston and John Nichols of Monticello.
 
ROSSIGNOL – A boy, Jaxson Wyatt Rossignol, born January 8, to Jennifer and Scott Rossignol of Hodgdon. Maternal Grandmother is Judy Violette of Caribou. Paternal Grandparents are Donna and Timothy Rossignol of Caribou.
 
STILES – A girl, Jadeyn Ireland Stiles, born January 22, to Kailee and Joe Stiles of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Lorie and Jack Ireland of Mapleton. Paternal Grandparents are Shelby and Jeb Stiles of Blaine.
 
WALTON – A boy, Phoenix Morpheus Walton, born January 4, to Stacey and Craig Walton of Presque Isle.
 
WILEY – A boy, Daxton Micah Wiley, born January 12, to Morgan and Micah Wiley of Houlton. Maternal Grandparents are Gail and William Livezey of Sherman. Paternal Grandparents are Loreen and Larry Wiley of Hodgdon.
 
 
February
CRAFT – A girl, Ramsi Taylor Craft, born February 11, to Erin Hankamer and Christopher Craft of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is Robin Rich of Rochester, NH. Paternal Grandmother is Teresa Bonville of Presque Isle.
 
GIBERSON – A girl, Thea Pearl Giberson, born February 16, to Amanda Estey and Shane Giberson of Mars Hill. Maternal Grandparents are Sharon Morneault of Bridgewater and Barry Estey of Mars Hill. Paternal Grandparents are Debra Holmes and Wayne Giberson, Sr. of Mars Hill.  
 
HANNIGAN – A boy, Jhett Thomas Hannigan, born February 15, to Madison and Thomas Hannigan of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Kerry and Brian Michaud of Mars Hill.
 
KENNEY – A boy, Daymion James Kenney, born February 19, to Sylvia and Aaron Kenney of Presque Isle. Grandparents are Lisa Newcomb and Jim Kenney of Bangor.
 
McDONALD – A girl, Eva Marie McDonald, born February 14, to Mariah Willams and Colby McDonald of Sherman. Maternal Grandmother is Darcy Williams of Patten. Paternal Grandparents are Kim and Mark McDonald of Sherman.
 
SIMARD – A boy, Elijah Robert Lee Simard, born February 19, to Brittany and Robert Simard of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Anne Bellamy and Bobby Stickles of Longs, SC. Paternal Grandparents are Tina Richardson and Mike Simard of Presque Isle.
 
STOLZE – A boy, Deegan Dale Stolze, born February 2, to Sydney Curtis and Damian Stolze of Masardis. Maternal Grandmother is Julie Collins of Westfield. Paternal Grandparents are Tina and Devin Stolze of Masardis.
 
TUTTLE – A girl, Navy Rae Tuttle, born February 26, to Kristen and Ben Tuttle of Houlton. Maternal Grandparents are Angela and Shawn Graham of Littleton. Paternal Grandparents are Tabetha and Kevin Tuttle of Hodgdon.
 
WHITE – A girl, Harper Leigh White, born February 26, to Melissa and Corey White of Easton. Maternal Grandparents are Laura and Michael Freeman of Winslow. Paternal Grandparents are Tina White of Presque Isle and Darrell White and Laurie Kelly of Easton.
 
 

Date: 03/16/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (March 16, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, along with its Continuing Care facility in Mars Hill, will reopen for visitors on Wednesday, March 17, on a limited basis.

 

“This marks an important milestone in our response to the pandemic and underscores the role vaccines play in returning to some normalcy in our lives, particularly in our nursing home,” said Greg LaFrancois, president. “Now that our residents and staff are vaccinated, we feel confident they will be safe with visitors. Of course, we can only have visitors in our facilities if they follow all CDC guidelines.”

 

Patients in the hospital’s medical/surgical, acute rehabilitation, and specialty intensive care units will now be able to have one visitor a day, age 16 or older.  Visiting hours on weekdays will be from 2 – 4 pm and on weekends will be from 10 am – 12 pm.  For the Women and Children’s Unit, the policy remains unchanged. Expectant mothers can have one support person who must plan to stay with her for the duration of the hospitalization.  Pediatric patients can have one parent/guardian at a time throughout their hospital stay.

 

Patients in the Emergency Department can now also have a visitor or support person accompany them while they are receiving care there. 

 

Whether on an inpatient unit or in the Emergency Department, visitors must pass the screening process, remain masked at all times, follow hand hygiene rules, and stay in the room of the patient they are with. Those who do not follow these guidelines will be asked to leave the facility.

 

“Safety remains our key priority. As much as we want our patients and residents to have their loved ones visit, we must remain vigilant for the safety of all of our patients, residents, and employees,” said LaFrancois.

 

Even more exciting than the hospital visits is the reopening of Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill for inside visits.  Residents can have one visitor, or two from the same household, for a 20-minute visit.  Just like at the hospital, visitors must be at least 16 years old, pass a screening, and follow all safety guidelines while in the facility. Visits are by appointment only and can be scheduled by calling 768-4964. 

 

“This means so much to our residents and to their families,” said Kelly Lundeen, director of the facility.  “This past year has been so hard on them.  Most exciting of all is that, following CMS guidance, residents who have received their COVID vaccine can be in close distance to their loved ones, even including hugs.  This marks the first time in over a year now that our residents can be touched and embraced by a loved one.  Words cannot describe how significant this is.  It is life-changing for our folks.”

 

Visitors are still restricted in the outpatient offices to allow appropriate distancing in waiting rooms.  Exceptions include the parent/guardian of a pediatric patient as well as a visitor to accompany a patient with special needs.  Specific exemptions are also allowed in certain practices, such as oncology and obstetrics.  The full AR Gould visitor policy can be found online at www.northernlighthealth.org/arg or the hospital’s Facebook page. A printed version is available at hospital entrances as well as from the various Northern Light practices.

 

 

 

 

 

Date: 03/19/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (March 19, 2021) — In February, Northern Light AR Gould Hospital was named to Newsweek’s 2021 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals.  The hospital was one of 217 nationally recognized on the list.

 

“We are extremely proud of our labor and delivery unit, as well as our OB and Pediatric offices, to be recognized for this high-level of quality and safety in the care of our patients,” said Jessica St. Peter, director of quality. 

 

Newsweek partnered with The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization that reports on the safety and quality performance of U.S. healthcare facilities, to create the list using evidence-based, nationally standardized metrics.  The distinction recognizes facilities that have excelled in providing care to mothers, newborns, and their families, as verified by the 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Hospitals on the list also demonstrated a commitment to safety via the fall 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.

 

“A hospital must have an A or B safety grade to even be considered for this honor,” explained Amy Jackson, nurse manager of the hospital’s labor and delivery unit.  AR Gould Hospital has an A safety rating with Leapfrog.

 

Other considerations for being named a Best Maternity Care Hospital include lower rates of early elective delivery, cesarian section, and episiotomy, as well as compliance with process measures including newborn bilirubin screening and blood clot prevention techniques for mothers delivering via C-section.

 

“Our team has demonstrated their commitment to following evidenced-based care in decisions around C-sections, episiotomies, and deliveries that are performed before 39 weeks. There are times when these medical procedures are performed in the best interest of our patients, but they must meet specified criteria as they also carry risks.  Keeping low rates of these procedures helps us to prevent adverse events such as the need for neonatal intensive care for babies, as well as blood clots, infections, and/or pelvic floor defects for mothers,” said St. Peter.

 

Jackson went on to explain that some of these standards were pretty straight-forward to meet based on hospital protocols.  “For instance, we check bilirubin levels on every single one of our newborns, so the minimum standard of 90 percent was easily met and surpassed.  We also never opt for an early delivery for a mother less than 39 weeks unless it is medically necessary.  One standard that was a bit more challenging was the C-section rate, since they count every single delivery done by C-section, no matter what the reason,” she said.

 

St. Peter notes that achieving these standards, coupled with other initiatives like Cribs for Kids Gold Certified Safe Sleep Champion recognition, demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to the highest level of care for its patients.

 

What does this recognition ultimately mean for local mothers-to-be?

 

“Patients should take comfort that they are in good hands,” said Jackson.  “Those having babies in Aroostook County should feel particularly comforted, as Cary Medical Center also received this recognition.  To have two hospitals out of only five in Maine earn this recognition really says a lot.”

Date: 03/23/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (March 23, 2021) — Following the revised timeline announced by the state last week, AR Gould Hospital will begin offering COVID vaccine doses to those age 50 and older at their Community Vaccine Clinic this Friday, March 26.  The hospital opened 1,400 slots for first doses on Friday.

 

“Our clinic today, March 23, was already set for about 800 second dose shots. With that in mind, Friday marks our first chance to offer shots to this younger age group,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior medical executive at the hospital.  “We were able to expand the clinic slots in order to accommodate as many people as possible.”

 

In addition to this Friday’s clinic, people can also currently register for spots in clinics next Tuesday, March 30, and Friday, April 2.  Both of those clinics are also expected to serve about 1400 people; however, this will be a combination of those getting their first dose of vaccine and those who will be getting their second dose.

 

Clinics are now open for individuals age 50 or older, workers from schools or licensed day care centers, and healthcare workers.  Individuals can register through Northern Light Health’s online registration tool, covid.northernlighthealth.org.  The Aroostook Agency on Aging continues to be a resource to assist those age 60 and older in signing up for a clinic; seniors can call 1-800-439-1789 for help.  The hospital is now also partnering with the Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) to provide similar assistance for those under age 60.  Individuals can call 764-3721 to have someone from ACAP help them through the process. Both organizations also offer resources to those needing a vaccine, including transportation to and from the clinic, which is held at Northern Maine Community College.

 

“We are thrilled to have this kind of support for community members,” said Dr. Reynolds.  “Thanks to the help of these two organizations, along with all of those who have stepped up to volunteer at the clinics, we are able to safely and efficiently get as many people vaccinated as possible each week.”

 

Dr. Reynolds would also like to address some of the regular questions they are getting regarding the vaccine and the AR Gould clinic.

 

Is it safe to be vaccinated?

“The short answer is yes. However, I encourage anyone who is unsure about getting vaccinated to talk with their primary care provider to address specific concerns and questions.”

 

Does it matter where I get vaccinated?

“The sooner you can get vaccinated, the better.  With that in mind, the place that has the earliest availability is your best bet.  We are all in this together. The goal of all the hospitals and pharmacies that are giving vaccines is to get people vaccinated as soon as possible. Please don’t wait to be called; be proactive and find a place with openings.”

 

 

Will the vaccine cost me money?

“No. The vaccine itself is provided at no cost. However, we do bill insurance providers a small fee to cover the cost of providing the clinic.  Individuals will not be billed for any copay or deductible, and those without insurance will not be billed at all. We don’t want cost to be a barrier for anyone getting a vaccine.”

 

For answers to more questions regarding the COVID vaccine, visit the Northern Light Health (www.northernlighthealth.org) or Maine CDC (www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc) websites.

Date: 04/02/2021

Chelsea Stiggle, CNA, helps with a patient at Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill. Northern Light AR Gould Hospital and MSAD 42 are partnering to offering a seven-week CNA training program beginning in June.

Presque Isle, Maine (April 2, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle and Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill are once again partnering with MSAD 42 Adult Education to offer a program to train Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).  The upcoming summer session, which begins June 23, will be particularly convenient for high school students who may want to work as a CNA part-time while in school. 

 

Both the hospital and the long-term care facility continue to have a shortage of trained CNAs, and they implemented this program to help “grow our own” according to Odette Lee, RN, coordinator of the program.

 

The program allows participants to get paid for working full-time during training and be guaranteed a position after graduation.  The seven-week program is streamlined and geared towards rapid completion.

 

CNAs provide intimate, hands-on healthcare to patients in medical settings, helping with bathing, dressing and the basic activities of life, working under the direction of a nurse. 

 

“Being a CNA can be a rewarding career in itself, but it is also a great way to start down the path of becoming a nurse or other healthcare professional,” Lee says.  “You are learning how to work as part of a team, building communications and life skills, and getting exposure to technology such as our computer charting system. Working in healthcare in general is an excellent career today and in the future.”

 

Participants have three options for how they want to take part in the program.  For the first two options, the program is free and participants are paid as temporary employees while they are training. The difference between the two is whether they make a one year commitment working full-time or a two-year commitment working part-time at Continuing Care in Mars Hill.  For the third option, participants can pay the tuition for the course and do not have any commitment to work for Northern Light Health after completion.

 

Space for this training is limited to 10 participants. To learn more, please contact Odette Lee at olee@northernlight.org or 768-4655.

Date: 04/06/2021

Dr. Charles Hechtman, radiation oncologist at AR Gould Hospital, checks on patient Jerry Boulier after he receives one of his SBRT treatments at the hospital. He is the first patient to be treated by SBRT at the hospital.
 

Presque Isle, Maine (April 6, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is proud to announce a new treatment option available for certain cancer patients. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is an advanced, high-tech treatment option to add to the hospital’s arsenal against cancer.

 

AR Gould Hospital already provides the most comprehensive cancer care north of Bangor, and those services expanded when the hospital provided an SBRT treatment to its first patient last month on March 4.  Receiving that treatment was Jerry Boulier of Fort Fairfield.

 

“It was great to have this treatment closer to home,” said Boulier, who underwent the same type of therapy in Bangor two years ago.  “When I traveled to Bangor, I stayed with my son who took me to appointments. While it was great seeing him, I prefer being able to be home, especially during the winter months.  I can deal with it better when I am able to go home after a treatment.”

 

SBRT is a cancer treatment that delivers extremely precise, very intense doses of radiation to cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. This happens by focusing multiple weak beams from different directions into an intense, cancer-killing dose, much like a magnifying glass focuses the rays of the sun. This treatment has shown dramatically better outcomes and fewer side effects than conventional radiation therapy.  

 

“Conventional radiation therapy has involved small doses over long courses of treatment.  With SBRT, we now have the ability for pin point accuracy and can provide a greater effective dose of radiation with fewer treatments and less damage to surrounding tissue,” explained Charles Hechtman, PhD, MD, radiation oncologist at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital. 

 

For instance, Boulier was treated in just five sessions, when similar treatment done through traditional radiation would have been more along the lines of 30 treatments. But it isn’t just about less treatments. SBRT has a 90 percent success rate compared to a 30 percent success rate for traditional radiation therapy for this same type of condition.

 

SBRT is not always the appropriate option for treatment. It’s best use is in the early stages of cancer, when the lesions are small. When it can be used, it has similar success rate as surgery does.  “Surgery is still the gold standard if the patient can have it, but often for sicker patients, surgery just isn’t an option and SBRT is a great alternative,” Hechtman said.  And it is not just for lung cancer but can be effective for kidney, liver, adrenal glands, and other cancers that spread to the lung. 

 

Delivering SBRT treatments has been Hechtman’s vision since he joined the hospital shortly after a new Varian linear accelerator for providing radiation treatment was installed.  The new equipment was a tremendous upgrade from the previous linear accelerator and made the option of SBRT something that was within reach.

 

On hand for the momentous occasion of the first SBRT treatment to support Dr. Hechtman and his team was physicist Brice Hamilton from CTSI, a physics service company.  Hamilton equates a medical physicist in radiation to a pharmacist. His role is to make sure what the doctor prescribes is what the patient gets and that there are no complications that might arise based on other treatments.

 

“As experts on the machine, we make sure the equipment works as it is supposed to and help make clinical decisions as needed. We are always available for consultation, but for cases like this we like to be here on site,” explained Hamilton, who traveled from Baltimore, MD to be on-hand during this first patient treatment.

 

Boulier had been a little leery going into the treatment due to his previous experience, but he was pleased to find the experience much more tolerable this time around. “I didn’t have the pressure on my stomach. I really hated that last time.”

 

Hechtman explained that there are two ways treatment can be provided depending on the equipment. One technique requires the abdomen to be compressed so the diaphram can’t expand, which helps to diminish the motion of the lesion.  This can be uncomfortable for the patient, especially for those with COPD. AR Gould uses sophisticated imaging that adjusts for respiratory motion, therefore abdominal compression is not necessary to deliver this advanced treatment safely and more comfortably for our patients.

 

In addition to radiation therapy, now including SBRT, and medical oncology provided by the hospital’s Cancer Care service, AR Gould offers several other services that support patients through their cancer journey.  A major aspect of this support is Palliative Care, which is patient-centered care that supports quality of life and ensures a patient’s goals of care are being supported.

 

Also playing a key role in the comprehensive cancer care are services through the Imaging and Rehabilitation Departments.  The hospital’s Imaging Department includes the only PET scanner north of Bangor, which is used for tumor detection, staging, and treatment planning, as well as 3D mammography.  The hospital’s rehabilitation department includes therapists who are specially trained for oncology rehab and lymphedema to help cancer patients through recovery.

 

For cancer care that may not be able to be handled locally, the hospital maintains strong relationships with Northern Light Cancer Care in Brewer, as well as both Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston. 

 


The team providing the first SBRT treatment at AR Gould Hospital included, from left: Deirdre Ames, RT(R)(T) and Joshua Trainer, RT(T), radiation therapy technicians; Charles Hechtman, PhD, MD, radiation oncologist; and Brice Hamilton, MS, DABR, a physicist from CTSI.

Date: 04/12/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (April 12, 2021) — Now that COVID-19 vaccines are available to all those in Maine who are age 16 or older, Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has adjusted some clinic hours to be more accessible to those in school or working during the day.  A clinic is planned this Wednesday, April 14, from 2-6 pm, at Northern Maine Community College, and there are still slots available.

 

“With summer right around the corner, vaccines are a way for us to try to find some semblance of normal,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital. “Whether it be families looking at vacation plans, teens looking to play sports, or those preparing to head to college in the fall, preventive steps now can make the difference. Since it takes five weeks from receiving the first dose of Pfizer until someone is considered fully vaccinated, it’s important to get started with the process.”

 

For the Pfizer vaccine, individuals must allow three weeks between the two doses and another two weeks after that before the vaccine is considered fully effective.  Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for those age 16 and 17, and in Aroostook County it is only available from AR Gould’s clinic in Presque Isle.  

 

According to Dr. Reynolds, another reason people should consider seeking a vaccine sooner rather than later is ease of access.  As the demand for the vaccine begins to diminish in our region, the hospital will begin scaling back vaccine efforts. In the near future, they will be transitioning away from holding a large-scale vaccination clinic at NMCC to doing something on a smaller level on hospital property. 

 

“Running a large vaccination site away from the hospital is a drain on our resources.  While volunteers have been incredibly helpful, we are in large part depending on our own staff and leaders to be operating that location two days a week while still maintaining needs at the hospital. We will continue to do so as long as there is a need, but once clinic numbers get smaller, we can handle vaccinations more efficiently in-house,” explained Dr. Reynolds. 

 

Logistically, he points out that as the local needs lessen, as demonstrated by unfilled clinic spots, so does the hospital’s allotment of vaccines from the state. Those allotments are redirected downstate where demand is still great. When allotments are smaller, the hospital will only be able to offer smaller clinics anyway.

 

Vaccine slots will be more readily available while the clinic continues to be located at NMCC, and Dr. Reynolds urges people to take advantage of that opportunity.

 

Individuals can register at covid.northernlighthealth.org or by calling 207-204-8551. The hospital also continues to partner with the Aroostook Agency on Aging (1-800-439-1789) and the Aroostook County Action Program (207-764-3721) to provide assistance with registering individuals over the phone as well as connecting people to resources they might need, such as transportation to the clinic.

Date: 04/13/2021

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in March 2021 were the following:
 
BOURGEOIS – A boy, Sebastian Craig Bourgeois, born March 5, to Rachel and Mathieu Bourgeois of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Mary and Craig McGlinn of Woodland. Paternal Grandparents are Marie Jeanne Bourgoin of New Denmark, New Brunswick and Ronald Bourgeois of Grand Mere, Quebec.
 
BUCK – A girl, Ava Kay Buck, born March 22, to Kayla and Joshua Buck of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Robin and Herman Legassie of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Lauri and Bruce Buck of Mapleton.
 
CHAMBERS – A girl, Denver Rae Chambers, born March 5, to Tehya and Joshua Chambers of Oakfield. Maternal Grandparents are Desiree and Wendell Sherman of Stacyville. Paternal Grandmother is Emily Chambers of Oakfield.
 
DESCHAINE – A boy, Noah Russell Deschaine, born March 22, to Mikayla and Peter Deschaine of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Monica O’Clair and Michael Albert of Blaine. Paternal Grandparents are Cindy and Stephen Deschaine of Presque Isle.
 
GRASS – A girl, Hadleigh Dayna Grass, born March 18, to Carrie Smith of Ashland and Carter Grass of Mars Hill. Maternal Grandparents are Elaine and Robert Chasse of Ashland. Paternal Grandparents are Della and Troy Grass of Mars Hill.
 
HALLETT – A boy, Greyson Joseph Hallett, born March 12, to Kimberly Armstrong and Mark Hallett of Danforth. Maternal Grandparents are Karen and Paul Armstrong of Houlton. Paternal Grandfather is Larry Hallett of Bradley.
 
MCKENNEY – A boy, Jude Cross Walton McKenney, born March 11, to Madison Walton and Justis McKenney of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Heather and Adam Walton of Mars Hill. Paternal Grandparents are Renee McKenney of Caribou and Jay McKenney of Fort Fairfield.
 
PELLETIER – A girl, Lainey Jo Pelletier, born March 9, to Sarah and Jeremy Pelletier of Frenchville. Maternal Grandparents are Stacy and Patrick Paradis of Frenchville. Paternal Grandparents are Monique Pelletier of Fort Kent and Daniel Pelletier of Frenchville.
 
PRATT – A girl, Evangeline Erin Elizabeth Pratt, born March 23, to Amee and DJ Pratt of Chapman.
 
SHAW – A boy, Jasper Arthur Shaw, born March 15, to Shelby Shaw and Jayson Lacroix of Presque Isle.
 
WILLETTE – A girl, Charleigh Ruth Willette, born March 25, to Erin O’Leary and Jason Willette, Jr. of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Brenda and Galen O’Leary of Blaine. Paternal Grandparents are Dollie Haines of Fort Fairfield and Jason Willette, Sr. of Presque Isle.
 
 
 

Date: 04/16/2021



Presque Isle, Maine (April 16, 2021) — Today (April 16) is National Healthcare Decisions Day. What better day to think about completing an Advance Directive if you haven’t already done so.

 

“Oftentimes people think of an Advance Directive as something for older or extremely ill people, but that’s just not true,” says Judi Pimental, FNP. “A medical crisis can happen at any time, even if you are young and healthy.  Having an Advance Directive in place gives you the ability to state your wishes and make your own decisions regarding care.”

 

An Advance Directive is a way for individuals to give consent for certain situations where they might want or not want medical treatment. It can also be used to appoint someone to make decisions for them if they can’t do so themselves.

 

“An Advance Directive is an important step for both you and your loved ones.  Not only does it help ensure your decisions are respected, but it frees your loved ones from the pressure of having to make critical medical care decisions during the emotional turmoil of an emergency,” explains Pimental.

 

An Advance Directive has two parts.  The healthcare power of attorney addresses things such as who you want to make medical decisions for you when you can’t make them yourself, when they can start making decisions, and who you do not want involved in making decisions.  The living will portion is a record of what end of life measures you want, who your primary care provider is, if you want to be an organ donor, and what plans you may have for a funeral or burial arrangement.

 

In Maine, an Advance Directive does not need to be notarized but must be witnessed by two people, over the age of 18, who are not listed as your healthcare powers of attorney.  They must watch you sign the paperwork and then sign it themselves. Once complete, a copy should be given to your provider and placed in your hospital medical record. You should keep the original with your important paperwork.  

 

“We know this process might be daunting to some, and we want to help,” says Ashlee Duff, FNP.  Duff and Pimental are both providers at Northern Light Primary Care in Fort Fairfield.  Both are currently accepting appointments with patients who would like hands-on assistance completing this important paperwork.  “We can help you complete it, provide witnesses to sign it, and also make the copies needed for your medical record. You leave the appointment with your completed original in hand.”

 

Those who are comfortable completing the process on their own are encouraged to set time aside to do so.  Advance Directive packets should be available at all primary care offices.

Date: 04/29/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (April 29, 2021) —A Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is a preventive exam involving a person’s health, safety, and well-being. It’s a valuable, free resource that eligible community members are encouraged to take advantage of.

 

“When someone transitions to Medicare, whether it be due to age or disability, they may have more health issues to be addressed, which is what your provider appointments concentrate on,” explains Ruth Hanson, manager of clinical operations at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital. “While other appointments are handling chronic health concerns, an Annual Wellness Visit is all about preventive care. The cost is covered entirely by Medicare, which is a testament to the importance of this visit.”

 

The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit gives patients the time they need to sit and talk with someone. “Instead of focusing on a specific ailment or injury, we have time for more comprehensive discussions. We can delve into the nooks and crannies to get the bigger picture of what is happening with them,” Hanson says.

 

The visit includes reviewing a patient’s family health history; managing medications; and screenings for issues such as depression, food insecurity, and in-home safety.  During the visit, a personal preventive health plan is created, including time frames for various tests and screenings. Patients can get referrals for follow up care if needed and be connected to valuable resources in the community.

 

According to Hanson, the first wellness visit is an important baseline which is then followed up on annually to see how things are changing from year to year, establishing a pattern that helps the care team be able to better see a patient’s needs. The visit  may take place with a provider, a Registered Nurse, or a pharmacist.  It can be completed in person or via teleheath.

 

Those on Medicare are encouraged to contact their primary care provider to see if they qualify for a free Medicare Annual Wellness Visit and to set up an appointment.

Date: 04/29/2021

Matt McHatten, Executive Vice President & COO of MMG Insurance, presents a donation of $25,000 to Greg LaFrancois, President of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.  The gift supports the hospital’s cardiac telemonitoring campaign.


Presque Isle, Maine (April 29, 2021) — MMG Insurance has given $25,000 to help fund new cardiac telemonitoring technology at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.  This marks the largest donation to date to the cardiac telemonitoring campaign, which aims to raise $240,000.

 

“We are pleased to support Northern Light AR Gould’s telemonitoring technology campaign. The upgrades and expansion of this resource will allow AR Gould to provide essential lifesaving technology and peace of mind for residents of Aroostook County well into the future,” said Matt McHatten, Executive Vice President & COO of MMG Insurance.

 

The hospital is raising funds to upgrade and expand its current cardiac telemonitoring capabilities, which are utilized by many patients. From newborns failing to thrive to those suffering from congestive heart failure or COVID, patients of all ages need to be monitored.

 

“Telemonitoring allows access to data in real time, which in and of itself provides much needed information to respond to the dynamic nature of our patients’ care,” said Seleipiri Akobo, MD, who cares for inpatients at the hospital. “It is a life changer in efficient patient care.”

 

“This generous gift by MMG Insurance to support needed upgrades and expansion in our telemonitoring equipment is greatly appreciated. This is not just an investment in the hospital, but yet another show of commitment on behalf of MMG to the health and wellbeing of our community,” said Greg LaFrancois, President of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital. 

 

For more information on the cardiac telemonitoring campaign, please visit northernlighthealth.org/cardiacmonitoring.

Date: 05/06/2021


Volunteer Carol Mahoney of Washburn
checks a participant’s temperature as part of the screening process during a recent COVID-19 vaccine clinic held by AR Gould Hospital at Northern Maine Community College. The hospital will soon be closing this large vaccine site and moving the vaccine clinics to its Walk-In Care locations in Presque Isle and Caribou.

Presque Isle, Maine (May 6, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has adapted care and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of the community. Being able to adapt quickly to ever-changing rules, procedures, and needs has been the hallmark of the hospital’s response efforts.

Another significant change is going into effect this week as the hospital transitions to a new vaccine response plan.

“When vaccines first became available, we were one of the first in the state to offer clinics,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior executive physician at AR Gould Hospital.  “Initially this was for our own employees, but that soon transitioned to a large community vaccine clinic at Northern Maine Community College. That site allowed us the space to safely vaccinate as many people as we could based on the vaccine allocation for the week, varying from a few hundred to over 1,000 shots per clinic.”

Now, with community interest waning and slots going unfilled during clinics, AR Gould will be ending its large vaccine clinic on the college campus and moving to smaller weekly clinics at the hospital’s Walk-In Care locations in Presque Isle and Caribou.

“When we first started, it was all about getting as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible. Now we are looking for ways to expand availabililty to people who couldn’t make it to our larger vaccination site.”

The last first-dose clinic at NMCC takes place today (Thursday, May 6).  There will be two more second-dose clinics at the college before the clinic there is permantely closed on May 27. 

“We want to thank Northern Maine Community College for being such an incredible partner in this endeavor. We also want to thank all of our volunteers and the community for making COVID-19 vaccinations a success. This has been a team effort for the health of our communities,” said Dr. Reynolds.

Starting on Wednesday, May 19, AR Gould will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines at Presque Isle Walk-In Care on North Street and Caribou Walk-In Care on Bennett Drive. Vaccines will be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2-8 pm.  People can register for the vaccine online or just walk in without an appointment.

“Having a smaller footprint for our vaccine clinic makes the most sense now that we have a smaller demand,” explained Dr. Reynolds. “It is our hope that these evening and weekend hours will be a better fit for people’s schedules.”

 

Another way that the hospital is making vaccines more available to those who may have had trouble coming to the large community clinic is by going into the high schools in the region to vaccinate those who meet the age requirement and have parental consent for a vaccine.  The first high school clinic took place on Wednesday, May 5 in Washburn.  Future clinics are being planned at other local area high schools.

“This is part of a County-wide effort,” said Dr. Reynolds. “Each County hospital will connect with high schools in their respective areas to offer this service.”

The key, according to Dr. Reynolds, is to continue to educate the community on the benefits of the vaccine while finding ways to make the vaccine as accessible as possible to those who want it.

Date: 05/07/2021

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in April 2021 were the following:

 

BELANGER – A boy, Brennon Leon Belanger, born April 29, to Amanda Elliot and Marcus Belanger of Castle Hill. Maternal Grandparents are Janice and Norman Currier of Presque Isle and Greg McLaughlin. Paternal Grandparents are Roberta and Paul Belanger of Portage.

 

BLIER – A girl, Stella Lynn Blier, and a boy, Nolan Dale Blier, born April 24, to Adrienne and Drew Blier of Fort Kent. Maternal Grandparents are Lynn and Pascal Pariset of North Smithfield, RI. Paternal Grandparents are Amy and Gil Blier of Wallagrass.

 

BROWN – A boy, Tucker Wyatt Brown, born April 26, to Brittany and Cody Brown of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Lisa and Todd Tompkins of Easton. Paternal Grandparents are Gail Farley and Gary Brown of Presque Isle.

 

CHASE – A boy, Camden Dean Chase, born April 12, to Jessica and Timothy Chase of Littleton. Maternal Grandparents are Kimberly and Harris Tucker of Oakfield. Paternal Grandparents are Charlene and Phillip Chase of Houlton.

 

CYR – A girl, Kambrie Jo Cyr, born April 23, to Krista and Jeremy Cyr of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Joan and Alan Albert of Caribou. Paternal Grandparents are Juanita and Mike Cyr of Caribou.

 

DAMPF – A girl, Savannah-Marie Rose Dampf, born April 12, to Nicole and Kaleb Dampf of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Heather Biastre of Limestone, Kellie Drapeau of Tiverton, RI, and Jason Drapeau of Providence, RI. Paternal Grandparents are Jane Dampf of Presque Isle and Karl Dampf of Presque Isle.

 

FOLSOM – A girl, Selah Lyn-Diane Folsom, born April 20, to Sara and Paul Folsom IV of Easton.

 

KEISER – A boy, Sawyer Wayne Keiser, born April 3, to Marissa Brouette and Spencer Keiser of Limestone.

 

KIERSTEAD – A girl, Zuri Ann Kierstead, born April 25, to Jodi and Harold “J.R.” Kierstead of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Lori Tash and Timothy Howell of Chicopee, MA and James Tash, Jr. of Hodgdon.  Paternal Grandparents are Cathy Kierstead and Mike Hewitt of New Sweden and the late Hank Kierstead of Easton.

 

MCNAMEE – A boy, Emery Mitchell McNamee, born April 8, to Loryn Moran and John McNamee of Fort Fairfield.

 

MOHOLLAND – A girl, Lyddia Elizabeth Moholland, born April 2, to Brittney Willette and Cameron Moholland of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Dollie Haines of Fort Fairfield and Jason Willette, Sr. of Preque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Lynne Moholland of Caribou and Blair Moholland of Robbinston.

 

RIDEOUT – A girl, Emilynn Grace Rideout, born April 19, to Olivia Randall and Alan Rideout of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Robin and Timothy Randall of Blaine. Paternal Grandparents are Pamela and Danny Rideout of Mars Hill.

 

SALCH – A girl, Abigail Rose Salch, born April 20, to Mary-Helena and Mathew Salch of Westfield. Maternal Grandparents are Donna and Thomas McInerney of Reading. Paternal Grandparents are Linda and Raymond Salch of Caribou.

 

SHAW – A girl, Ivy Lorna Shaw, born April 14, to Kassidie and Andrew Shaw of Washburn. Maternal Grandparents are Steve Bell of Palmyr and the late Michelle Bell. Paternal Grandparents are Phyllis Hunter of Turner and John Shaw of Woodland.

 

STEVENS – A boy, Cade Allan Stevens, born April 5, to Gaila Allan of Presque Isle and Scott Stevens of Ashland. Maternal Grandparents are Sheila and Gailen Allan of Glassville, NB. Paternal Grandparents are Myrie and Dan Stevens of Newport.

 

SMITH – A boy, Cade Jameson Smith, born April 28, to Jessica and Brandon Smith of Woodland. Maternal Grandparents are ChiChi and John Belanger of Woodland. Paternal Grandparents are Andrea and Steven Smith of Mapleton.

 

Date: 05/13/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (May 13, 2021) — In an effort to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible, particularly to teens and 12-year-olds, Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is taking their clinic on the road to several local schools and offering a special Saturday family clinic in its Pediatrics practice. 

 

“First it was about getting shots in arms as quickly as we could. For that, a mass vaccine clinic was the answer. Now it’s time to make a change so we can reach those pockets of people who couldn’t make it to that location during the hours offered. With the recent announcement that Pfizer can now be given to those age 12 and over, it’s also time to take extra steps to get the youth in our community taken care of,” explained Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital.

 

AR Gould staff traveled to Washburn High School on May 5 as a pilot program to determine best protocols for offering the vaccine in schools.  A dozen students and a staff member were vaccinated.  Now that the age has changed, a team from the hospital will return to Washburn on May 20 to vaccinate the younger students.

 

A team from AR Gould will also be traveling to several other local high schools in coming days:  Mars Hill on May 17, Easton on May 18, Ashland on May 20, and Presque Isle (at both the high school and middle school) on May 24.  A return trip to each school will take place three weeks after the initial visit to administer dose two of the vaccine.

 

“Schools will be sending consent forms home for parents who want their child vaccinated to sign. Some schools will be mailing these forms, while others are sending them home with students,” said Jessica St. Peter, director of quality and coordinator of the vaccine clinics.  “We cannot vaccinate a minor without a signed consent, so it is really important that parents get this form completed and returned if they want their child to be vaccinated in the convenience of the school setting.”

 

In addition to the school clinics, the hospital will be offering a family clinic on Saturday, June 5, at its Northern Light Pediatrics practice on North Street.  The Pediatrics team will be offering vaccines to those age 12-18, but also to any family members who attend the clinic with them who are eligible and have not yet been vaccinated.  The clinic will run from 9am to 1pm; people can preregister using Northern Light Health’s online tool or can just walk-in.

 

Appointments on the online tool (covid.northernlighthealth.org) will be open to the public on Monday, May 17, at 2 pm. The tool will allow people to register for both the first and second dose clinics at the same time.  People should only register for the first dose clinic if they are able to also make it to the clinic on Saturday, June 26, for their second dose.

 

 

In addition to these offerings, AR Gould Hospital is moving its COVID-19 vaccine clinics to its Walk-In Care locations in Presque Isle (23 North Street) and Caribou (118 Bennett Drive) effective Wednesday, May 19. Vaccines will be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2-7 pm.  People can register online (covid.northernlighthealth.org) or just walk in without an appointment.  This replaces the large-scale clinics that were formerly taking place at Northern Maine Community College.

 

Individuals scheduled for Dose Two vaccines on Friday, May 14, and Thursday, May 27, should note that those two clinics will still take place at Northern Maine Community College. They mark the last two clinics planned at this location.

Date: 06/11/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (June 11, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is continuing to adapt COVID-19 vaccine opportunities to make getting a vaccine as convenient as possible for community members.  Starting on Monday, June 14, these vaccines will now be offered at all of the hospital’s primary care and pediatric locations, as well as in its OB/GYN practice. Additionally, hours for vaccines in Walk-In Care locations have been greatly extended.

 

When the hospital closed its mass vaccination site at Northern Maine Community College last month, they began offering vaccines at their Walk-In Care locations in Caribou and Presque Isle for designated times two days a week.  Beginning on June 14, individuals can present to either location whenever they are open to get their vaccine. The Caribou Walk-In on Bennett Drive is open seven days a week from 12 pm – 8 pm; the site on North Street in Presque Isle is open daily from 8 am – 8 pm.  No appointment or pre-registration is necessary.  The Pfizer vaccine will be offered, so it is available to anyone age 12 and older, whether or not they are a Northern Light Health patient.

 

In addition to extending vaccine availability to seven days a week at Walk-In Care, the hospital will also begin offering vaccines in its primary care, pediatric, and OB/GYN practices starting that same day (Monday, June 14).  Patients can request the vaccine when they are being seen for an appointment; walk-in opportunities for individuals (whether or not a patient) will also be an option. People can reach out to the specific practice they wish to go to in order to learn specific details.

 

The Pfizer vaccine will be offered in the pediatric practice locations in both Presque Isle and Caribou, at the primary care office in Caribou, and at both the Women’s Health Center and OB/GYN practices in Presque Isle. 

 

The one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered at primary care offices in Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield, and Mars Hill.

 

The hospital has continued to adapt plans and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of the community. Being able to adapt quickly to ever-changing rules, procedures, and needs has been the hallmark of the hospital’s response efforts.

 

“When we first started, it was all about getting as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible. Now it is more about expanding availabililty to people who couldn’t make it to our larger vaccination site. We are trying to make access as easy as possible for those who are interested in being vaccinated,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.

Date: 06/17/2021

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in May 2021 were the following:

 

CARMICHAEL – A girl, Paislee Ann Carmichael, born May 19, to Sheyenne Brewer of Presque Isle and Nicholas Carmichael of Littleton. Maternal Grandparents are Virginia Tomro of Steuben and Shane Brewer of New Sweden. Paternal Grandparents are Karen Carmichael of Littleton and Percy Carmichael of Littleton.

 

DIONNE – A boy, Jobie Richard Dionne, born May 11, to Alexa Woodman and Lukes Dionne of Washburn. Maternal Grandparents are Heather Belmain of Presque Isle and Edward Woodman, Jr. of Washburn. Paternal Grandparents are Maria Dionne of Washburn and the late Jobie Dionne.

 

FRIEDEL – A boy, Elliott David Friedel, born May 10, to Cintamini Johnson and Jack Friedel of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is Cherie Nichols of Portland, OR. Paternal Grandmother is Deborah Friedel of Presque Isle.

 

LAMOREAU – A boy, Kai Roger Lamoreau, born May 20, to Tory Mullen and Devin Lamoreau of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Nicole Mullen and Roger Dunn of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Rita and Kevin Lamoreau of Presque Isle.

 

LAURITSEN – A girl, Lena Kara Lauritsen, born May 27, to Kristen and Colby Lauritsen of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Robin Fitch Stewart of Presque Isle and John Ireland of Waterville. Paternal Grandparents are Diane Palm of Presque Isle and Marc Lauritsen of Presque Isle.

 

MCFADGEN – A boy, Connell Joseph McFadgen, born May 17, to Brittany and Robert McFadgen of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Dolores and Joe Murphy of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. Paternal Grandparents are Brenda and Byron McFadgen of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.

 

MICHAUD – A girl, Rowyn Florence Michaud, born May 3, to Mindy and Devin Michaud of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Kelly Anstiss of Mapleton and Mark Desmond of Easton.  Paternal Grandparents are Lisa and Michael Michaud of Frenchville.

 

OLSEN – A girl, Leanneh Christine Olsen, born May 25, to Natasha Klinger and Andrew Olsen of Houlton.  Maternal Grandparents are Janeil and Greg Carmichael of Houlton.  Paternal Grandparents are Christine Olsen-Hall and Rick Hall of Mt. Chase.

 

PRIEST – A girl, Josephine Terri Priest, born May 22, to Molly and Jason Priest of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Diane and Robert Abrams of Cutler. Paternal Grandparents are Tina and Jeffrey Priest of Bradley and the late Terri Priest.

 

ST. PIERRE – A girl, Averie Jean St. Pierre, born May 12, to Rachel and Tyler St. Pierre of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Tracie and Glen Grew of Mars Hill. Paternal Grandparents are Bethany and Steve St. Pierre of Presque Isle.

 

STRATTON – A girl, Riley Rae Stratton, born May 27, to Chelsea and Brett Stratton of Ashland.

 

TISDALE – A girl, Julie Evelyn Tisdale, born May 17, to Rebeckah Gallagher and Jared Tisdale of Fort Fairfield. Maternal Grandmother is Nancy Gallagher of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Stacey Brooker of Fort Fairfield and Aaron Tisdale of Fort Pierce, FL.

 

TWEEDIE – A boy, Abel James Tweedie, born May 13, to Samantha and Joshua Tweedie of Blaine. Maternal Grandparents are Tammy Long and Bob Long of Easton. Paternal Grandparents are Susan and Michael Tweedie of Blaine.

 

VIOLETTE – A boy, Colton Lee Violette, born May 10, to Christian Breth of Littleton and Blake Violette of Littleton.

Date: 06/23/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (June 23, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will again allow visitors to the hospital’s inpatient units beginning Thursday, June 24. The COVID outbreak in the hospital’s Medical/Surgical unit which happened earlier this month has now been officially deemed closed by the Maine CDC.

 

“We are relieved that the outbreak in our facility is over,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital. “While closing most of the facility to visitors was a prudent precaution, it is very satisfying to now be able to safely lift those restrictions. We understand how important it is for our patients and for their families to be able to see and comfort each other in person.”

 

Beginning tomorrow (Thursday, June 24), the visitor policy will revert back to what it was prior to the outbreak.  Inpatients on the Medical/Surgical, Acute Rehabilitation, and the Specialty Intensive Care units will be allowed one visitor, age 16 or older, per day.  Visiting hours on Monday to Friday are from 1 pm to 5 pm; weekend and holiday hours are from 8 am to 12 noon. Once a visitor leaves the facility, they cannot return until the next day.  The visitor can be a different person on different days.

 

For the Women and Children’s unit, which had not been part of the visitor suspension this month, the policy remains the same.  One support person is allowed with an expectant mother for the duration of her stay, and this person can leave and return once each day. One parent or guardian can stay with a pediatric patient during hospitalization, alternating once each day.

 

One visitor or support person continues to be allowed in the Emergency Department, while visitors continue to be restricted in the hospital’s outpatient offices.  Identified exceptions to this policy include: one parent for a pediatric patient; one visitor during provider appointments in Cancer Care, but not during treatments; one visitor in OB/GYN for all ultrasounds; and a support person for a patient with special needs in any office.

 

“We will continue to evaluate our policy as circumstances surrounding COVID change in Aroostook County and across the state. The vaccination rates in the community play a key role in determining the safety of extended visitation policies, so we encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated to consider doing so,” said Reynolds.

Date: 06/29/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (June 29, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is pleased to announce that our COVID-19 “swab and go” testing site located in the front of the hospital campus will close effective June 30.  Testing will instead be offered at the hospital’s primary care, walk-in care, and lab locations.
 
“It is thanks to the great vaccination efforts throughout the state and in Aroostook County that we are able to take this step,” said Greg LaFrancois, hospital president. “The hard work taken on by healthcare providers and pharmacies to provide vaccines, along with the willingness of so many to step up and get vaccinated, have led to decreased need for testing. We are now in a position to be able to offer testing at our clinic sites rather than having to maintain one stand-alone location.”
 
COVID-19 testing will now be available at the following clinic sites:
NL Primary Care, Pediatrics, and Walk-In Care in Presque Isle (23 North Street)
NL Primary Care, Pediatrics, and Walk-In Care in Caribou (118 Bennett Drive)
NL Primary Care in Fort Fairfield (23 High Street)
NL Primary Care in Mars Hill (106 Main Street)
NL Women’s Health Center (140 Academy Street)
NL Lab (23 North Street or 140 Academy Street) – pre-procedure testing only
Those who are patients of one of Northern Light Health’s local primary care or pediatrics offices can simply call their provider’s office to schedule a time to come in and be tested. Individuals who do not have a designated provider or are not a Northern Light patient are encouraged to use local pharmacies or the hospital’s Walk-In Care clinic in Presque Isle or Caribou.
 
Patients who need a test prior to a hospital procedure will be provided lab orders and asked to go to the lab on North Street or at the hospital during a specific time frame to be tested. No appointment will be necessary; however, they will need to follow the directions for when the test is needed in relation to their upcoming procedure.
 
“We have learned a lot about COVID-19 over the past 16 months. We know that appropriate safety measures, like masking, in the healthcare setting mean COVID-19 testing can be done safely in the clinic setting,” assured LaFrancois.
 
All COVID-19 testing locations, swab and go transition dates, and additional information can be found NorthernLightHealth.org.
 
 

Date: 07/06/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (July 6, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is happy to announce that visiting hours for inpatients will be extended beginning July 7. Patients will now be allowed two visitors each day, and hours during weekdays have been more than doubled from four hours to nine hours each day.

 

“We are excited to be able to offer this additional time for family members to visit their loved ones,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital. “With the increased numbers of vaccinated people in the community and the decreased numbers of new COVID cases, we feel it is safe for our patients and staff to once again broaden the scope for visitors. We want to be as flexible as we can so patients and family can support and comfort each other.”

 

Beginning tomorrow (Wednesday, July 7), inpatients on the Medical/Surgical, Acute Rehabilitation, and the Specialty Intensive Care units will be allowed two visitors, age 16 or older, per day.  Visiting hours on Monday to Friday are from 8 am to 5 pm; weekend and holiday hours are from 8 am to 12 noon. Visitors will also now be able to leave the hospital and return during the same day. Visitors can be different people on different days.  Safety protocols will continue to be required, including wearing a hospital-provided mask while in the facility, using proper hand hygiene, passing a symptoms screening upon entrance, and maintaining six feet of physical distance.

 

The policies for the Women’s and Children’s Unit, the Emergency Department, hospital departments serving outpatients, and outpatient practices remain unchanged at this time.

 

At Continuing Care in Mars Hill, residents continue to be allowed two visitors at a time for either an inside or outside visit. Those who want to visit a loved one are remined that visits in this facility are by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call 768-4912.

 

The complete policy, including details on these areas, can be found on the hospital’s website (www.northernlighthealth.org/arg).

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: 07/19/2021

With the busy schedules of families these days, fast food often becomes a convenient, and sadly unhealthy, norm for many. Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, the Aroostook County Action Program, and Northern Maine Community College are joining forces to offer a healthier alternative for families.

“While fast food may always have a place in our demanding schedules due to convenience, there are healthier options that families can have fun making together at home that still have the taste of some of our fast food favorites,” said Dawn Roberts, Community Health Specialist at AR Gould Hospital.  

Family Cooking is a free, two-part series being led by Katie Putnam, an independent consultant, and Jenna Norton of ACAP. Classes will be on two consecutive Wednesdays, July 21 and July 28, from 6-8 pm in the new teaching kitchen at NMCC.

“The teaching kitchen at NMCC is an amazing resource for programs like this,” said Roberts. “With multiple cooking stations and a large screen that shows participants close up video of what the teachers are doing during their hands-on demonstrations, it brings these cooking classes to the next level.  All participants will be prepping and cooking along with the instructors so that they are creating the recipes they are learning.”

During the first class, participants will learn how to make oven-baked “fried” chicken tenders, homemade sauces, and copycat curly fries.  The following week they will make ‘Big Mac’ salad and a copycat healthy Frosty.  All materials for the class will be provided for participants, and door prizes will be drawn for participants who attend both classes. 

Due to COVID, classes are restricted to 12 adults, who may be accompanied by a child at least four years of age. Masks will be required during the class.

Preregistration is required by contacting Dawn Roberts at droberts@northernlight.org or 207-768-4248.

Date: 07/16/2021

Presque Isle, Maine — Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in June 2021 were the following:

 

ADAMS – A girl, Emma Reeve Adams, born June 4, to Kristie and Jonathan Adams of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Phyllis and Charlie Kelley of Washburn. Paternal Grandparents are Cheryl Adams-Palm of Presque Isle and Diane and Dick Palm of Presque Isle.

 

COLE – A girl, Penelope Anne Cole, born June 26, to Kandi-Marie Cole of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Vanninnia Sock and Clarence Sock of Presque Isle, Sara Cole of Wichita, KS, and Fred Cole of Houlton.

 

COLLINS – A girl, Joey Marie Collins, born June 23, to Jordan Chandler and Joseph Collins of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Jordan Chandler and Mitchell Chandler of Mapleton. Paternal Grandparents are Sandy Collins and Daniel Collins of Mapleton.

 

DAEIRA – A boy, Antonio Eloy Rubio DaEira, born June 13, to Skyeana Rubio of Presque Isle and Jonathan Jones of Houlton.

 

DOUGHTY – A boy, Grayson Joshua Doughty, born June 6, to Whitney and Joshua Doughty of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Melissa Philbrook of Mars Hill and Jay Peavey of Eddington. Paternal Grandparents are Denise and Scott Doughty of Presque Isle.

 

FOLSOM – A girl, Camille Ann Marie Folsom, born June 7, to Lorraine and Mitchell Folsom of Hodgdon. Maternal Grandparents are Lorna and Gary Hughes of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Connie and Arden Folsom of Mars Hill.

 

KEATON – A girl, Addysin Beryl Keaton, born June 3, to Liza and Jared Keaton of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Amy and Richard Durette of Woodland.  Paternal Grandparents are Allisen Keaton and Kevin Keaton of Caribou.

 

MCCUE – A boy, Burns Timothy McCue, born June 25, to Barbara-Kathleen and Daniel McCue of Scopan Township.  Maternal Grandmother is Candy Bonville of Presque Isle.  Paternal Grandparents are Janice and Timothy McCue of Presque Isle.

 

SCOTT – A girl, Gracelynn Rose Scott, born June 15, to Tabatha Chamberland and Logan Scott of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Trisha and Lee Chamberland of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandmother is Kimberley Scott of Caribou.

 

SIROIS – A boy, Maxim Brian Sirois, born June 25, to Janna and Jeremy Sirois of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Rhonda and Joe Clukey of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Sherry and George Sirois of Presque Isle.

 

SMITH – A boy, Sebastian Malachai Smith, born June 8, to Carmen and Kimar Smith of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Donna Tilley of Fort Fairfield and Blyn and Elizabeth Tilley of Perham. Paternal Grandparents are Kaye Cooper of Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica and Rupert Smith of Spanishtown, Jamaica.

 

STITHAM – A boy, Benjamin Oliver Stitham, born June 13, to Meghan Everitt and Kaleb Stitham of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Shelley and Frederick Everitt II of Fort Fairfield. Paternal Grandparents are Amy Sawyer and Timothy Stitham of Washburn.

 

VILLENEUVE-BURNS – A boy, Jariah River Villeneuve-Burns, born June 6, to Cassandra Burns of Easton and Alexander Villeneuve of Presque Isle.

Date: 08/05/2021

Presque Isle, Maine (August 5, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has made some changes in regarding its offering of both COVID-19 vaccines and testing for the virus. Both changes are effective as of this week.

 

On Wednesday, August 3, the hospital stopped offering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine through its outpatient clinical practices. 

 

“We continue to offer the COVID-19 vaccine in our Walk-In Care, Primary Care, Pediatrics, and OB/GYN practices; however, for now, we will only be offering the Pfizer vaccine,” explains Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital. “This change is a result of the current shortage we are experiencing statewide of the J&J vaccine. With supplies limited, we are reserving this one-dose opportunity for inpatients in the hospital who may need to be vaccinated.”

 

Another change, going into effect on Friday, August 6, is the requirement that individuals register for an appointment for a COVID test.

 

“When we transitioned testing to our clinical locations, we tried to make it as easy as possible by offering walk-in opportunities for testing.  However, this process has not worked as well as we hoped. Lack of appointments could lead to long wait times, both for those looking to be tested as well as for other patients needing care.  With established appointments, all patients will be able to be cared for more efficiently,” says Daryl Boucher, vice president of operations at AR Gould Hospital. 

 

Patients needing a COVID test should call their primary care office as a first option for making an appointment. If they can’t get in at a time that works for them or are not a patient of Northern Light Health, they can call Walk-In Care at 498-3502 between 12-7 pm to set up an appointment. With limited spots available daily at the Walk-In Care locations in Caribou and Presque Isle, same day appointments may not be possible. However, those planning to travel can proactively book appointments for a future date to ensure they get tested at the time they need to.

 

Patients who are ill and experiencing symptoms of COVID can still present to either Walk-In Care location without an appointment. These patients will receive a COVID test if deemed necessary as part of their exam.

 

“We recognize it can be confusing when things continue to change regarding COVID policies. However, it is imperative for us to continue to make changes as needed to either meet federal and state guidelines or to improve processes that aren’t working as we expected them to. Ultimately our goal is providing safe, effective care for our patients and our community,” says Boucher.

Date: 08/20/2021


Marie London of Mars Hill is one of six recent graduates from the CNA training program offered by Northern Light AR Gould Hospital and MSAD 42 Adult Education.  All six have successfully achieved certification in their field.  A new CNA course will be offered again this fall.

Presque Isle, Maine (August 19, 2021) — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle and Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill are pleased to announce that the six students who recently graduated from their unique Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program have all successfully achieved state certification. 

 

“We are excited, but certainly not surprised, with the success of this group of talented, dedicated individuals,” said Kelly Lundeen, executive director of Continuing Care. “Five of these graduates are now employed at our facility in a full- or part-time capacity.”

 

Both the hospital and the long-term care facility continue to have a shortage of trained CNAs, and they implemented this program to help “grow our own” according to Odette Lee, RN, coordinator of the program.  The training program, offered in conjunction with MSAD 42 Adult Education, is unique in that it allows participants to work full-time and be guaranteed a position after graduation.  It is also streamlined and geared towards rapid completion.

 

Participants have three options for how they want to take part in the program.  For the first two options, the program is free and participants are paid as temporary employees while they are training. The difference between the two is whether they make a one year commitment working full-time or a two-year commitment working part-time at Continuing Care in Mars Hill.  For the third option, participants can pay the tuition for the course and do not have any commitment to work for Northern Light Health after completion.

 

“The course overall was enticing. I love to learn and try new things, and this course gave me the ability to fulfill that desire. The instructors were all absolutely amazing. They made learning something new fun and exciting, all the while making a lasting impression. All of my classmates were intellectual individuals who also made the course enjoyable and being able to transition from class to work with them all has been wonderful,” said Marie London of Mars Hill, one of the graduates. 

 

London is now working full-time at Continuing Care in Mars Hill, and she credits the course and her career change with providing her self-esteem, personal growth, and a sense of purpose.

 

“I enjoy and admire helping others in need. The fulfillment that it gives within is unlike any feeling I have come to know,” she said.

 

Graduates of the program in addition to London were:  Gabriella Ayotte and sisters Brittany and Ashley Jones, all of Ashland; Ashley Crowley of Easton; and Chelsea Levesque of Caribou.

 

Another seven-week CNA training course is schedule to begin on Monday, October 4.  Applications will be accepted now through September 2.  Interviews of applicants is planned for September 7.

 

For those considering taking the course, London has this advice:

 

“Do it!  I certainly had my doubts about it, but I have never been more satisfied with making such a choice out of my comfort zone. Everyday is different when working as a CNA. You get to meet new people and the diversity of those around you is ever changing. Working in continuing care allows you to build one-on-one relationships with the residents and a connection with those whom you are involved in working with every day. You work side-by-side with registered nurses and those from other medical fields and in doing so this could open your mind to opportunities to further your education. Choosing to become a CNA gives you the opportunity to make an impact not only just on your own life, but the lives of others. Being able to do so is simply indescribable, and I hope that everyone is able to experience this at least once in their lifetime!”

 

Those who are interested in learning more about the upcoming CNA course can contact Odette Lee, RN, BSN, at olee@nothernlight.org or 768-4655.

Date: 08/25/2021

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital announced today that it will adjust its visitation policy at the hospital due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in our community.  This change is effective Thursday, August 16.

“Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our patients, staff, and community. That’s why at this time, we find ourselves once again needing to scale back our visitation policy,” said President Greg LaFrancois. “We know how important visits are for both our patients and their families. With that in mind, we are doing all we can to keep visits an option in a more restricted, safer manner.”

The first change was put in place on Saturday, August 21, as the hospital’s Emergency Department struggled with an influx of potential COVID patients.  The decision was made to temporarily stop allowing visitors in the ED to limit potential exposure and to allow more space for physical distancing for those waiting to be seen. Exceptions were made for pediatric, special needs, or end of life patients.  After the weekend, the decision was made to keep the ED closed to visitors other than the stated exceptions until further notice. 

Hospital leaders have been carefully evaluating the full visitor policy in light of the current COVID-19 circumstance in Aroostook County and have determined for safety concerns to make some changes for inpatient visitors as well, according to LaFrancois.

  • Patients in the Medical/Surgical, Inpatient Rehabilitation, and Specialty Intensive Care Units will now be limited to one person per day. Visiting hours will now be 8 am to 12 noon daily.  Visitors can stay as long as they like during those four hours, but once they leave, they cannot return until the next day.  The patient’s one daily visitor can be a different person on different days.

  • The visitor policy for the Women & Children’s Unit has not changed. One support person continues to be allowed with an expectant mother for the duration of her stay, and one parent or guardian at a time can stay with a pediatric patient, alternating once a day. 

  • Visitors continue to be restricted from accompanying patients in hospital areas such as Day Surgery, Lab, Imaging, and Rehabilitation, other than specific exceptions, such as those coming in as support for pediatric or special needs patients. 

  • Visitors also continue to be restricted in all outpatient practices, unless it is a parent accompanying a minor child, an individual assisting a patient with special needs, a support person with an oncology patient during a provider appointment, or a partner with an obstetrics patient having an ultrasound.

All visitors and patients at any AR Gould facility must wear a medical-grade mask which will be provided by the hospital for the duration of their visit. They must also be screened upon arrival, including a temperature check; hand sanitize; and follow physical distancing guidelines.  

We know how important visits are for both our patients and their families. With that in mind, we are doing all we can to keep visits an option in a more restricted, safer manner.

- Greg LaFrancois

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: 09/21/2021

dialysis.jpg
Northern Light Dialysis relocated to a new, state-of-the-art facility five years ago (shown above), and has also since expanded twice to accommodate a growing number of patients needing treatments. The initial opening of this center, as well as the relocation and expansions, have all been made possible due to incredible community support.  It is the only dialysis center located in northern Maine and the only non-profit one in the state. 

Yesterday’s community support makes for a better today at local hospital

Northern Light Dialysis in Presque Isle is marking its fifth year in its new facility. The upgraded space, which was made possible with the support of community donations, has made dialysis easier for patients to undergo.

“The new space is so much nicer,” said patient Chad Gallop. “It’s a fantastic facility.”

Formerly known as the County Dialysis Center, the facility opened in 1997 after much community involvement to raise funds for it, including a huge push from the Presque Isle Rotary Club. The center was, and still is, The County’s only dialysis treatment facility.

It opened with nine stations and just three patients but had served 17 before the year was out. The need continued to grow. And over time, the need for a larger facility with new state-of-the-art equipment emerged.  The community once again rallied to help make this happen with the new space opening in 2016 with 12 stations serving 69 patients. Over the last five years, additional stations have been added to meet increased needs for this service.

“The community supported our relocation, and they funded our recent expansion. From the very beginning, it’s been a community effort. It’s been a labor of love for so many people over the years. The dialysis center wouldn’t be here today without the community’s support,” said Aron Chalou, RN, manager of Northern Light Dialysis. 

Dialysis patients aren’t the only ones who’ve benefitted from the generosity of their friends and neighbors. Donations have always played a part in ensuring high quality healthcare is available in Aroostook County. 

One particular fundraiser, begun in 1958, continues to improve The County’s healthcare to this day. The Presque Isle Rotary Club set out in that year with an extraordinary commitment to raise $1 million to establish an endowment for the hospital. They created a “Gold Brick Program” to reach their goal.  

The Rotary Club made a major push to complete their pledge during their Radio/TV Auction in 2008, 50 years from the date of the initial pledge. They surpassed the original goal of $1 million. That amount pledged in 1958 would be the equivalent of about $9.5 million in 2021 dollars. 

“The Gold Brick program has had a long history over multiple generations within our club,” says long-time Rotarian Ray Hews, who served as chairman of the Gold Brick Committee for over 20 years. “This was an incredible fundraising effort that allowed our club to embody our motto of Service Above Self while helping to raise funds for much needed healthcare equipment.  It was a monumental effort by so many Presque Isle Rotarians over five decades and has had an incredible impact on our community.”

The donations given over those decades continue to make a big impact at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital. 

Fluoroscopy-with-Chris-Miller-2.jpg
Chris Miller, lead imaging technician at AR Gould Hospital, performs a test using the digital fluoroscopy equipment purchased in 2018 in part due to the generous donations of Rotarians and others in the community over the years. 

“The endowment has delivered incredible benefit to the County,” said Greg LaFrancois, president of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital. “We’ve kept care close to home by acquiring state-of-the-art equipment.  We care for the County in the County because of the generosity of so many incredible supporters.  Their gifts remain intact, and it is the earnings on those gifts that funds today’s purchases.”

The hospital’s 3D mammography machine, the first one in Aroostook County, was purchased with endowment earnings in 2017. This technology is up to 40% more accurate in detecting invasive breast cancers than traditional mammography.  

“The 3D mammograms provide better imaging and improvement in the ability to detect early breast cancer,” said Alan Mautz, MD, radiologist at the hospital.  “With 3D technology, the patient knows sooner if there is a problem, and just as importantly, sooner if there is no problem.”

Digital fluoroscopy, a form of X-ray that allows deep views into the body in real-time, was made possible by the endowment as well in 2018. Doctors perform a variety of diagnostic and interventional procedures with this equipment.

“The new fluoroscopy equipment allows multiple specialists to provide state of the art care, including pain management, speech pathology and radiology. These set AR Gould apart in our community, providing exceptional service and care more efficiently,” explained Dr. Mautz.

The endowment also allowed the hospital to add stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to its treatment options for cancer patients earlier this year. SBRT provides intense doses of radiation to cancer cells, which has many benefits over traditional radiation therapy.

“With SBRT, we now have the ability for pinpoint accuracy and can provide greater effective doses of radiation with fewer treatments and less damage to surrounding tissues,” said Charles Hechtman, PhD, MD, radiation oncologist at the hospital.

Combined, 3D mammography, digital fluoroscopy, and SBRT, cost much more than the $1 million originally raised for the endowment. However, only earnings from the endowment are spent so the principal continues to provide for the people of Aroostook County now and into the future. 

“We are so grateful to all the individuals, families, businesses that contributed to the endowment through the years and to the Rotary Club for its foresight, leadership and hard work to make the endowment a reality,” LaFrancois said. “Patients benefit every day because of it.”

For more information on contributing to the endowment, please contact Hollie Wolverton at hwolverton@northernlight.org .

Date: 09/22/2021

Dr. Bruce Alexander to lead Walk with a Doc program on September 28 

Bruce-Alexander-Barb-Ireland-(1).jpg
Retirees Bruce Alexander, MD and Barbara Ireland, RN were among the many who volunteered to help at the COVID vaccination clinics held by AR Gould earlier this year. Those who would like to connect with Dr. Alexander will have another chance to do so at the Walk with a Doc event being held by the hospital at Mantle Lake Park on Tuesday, September 28. 

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will offer its last Walk with a Doc session for this year on Tuesday, September 28, from 11 am to 12 noon at Mantle Lake Park.  This month’s featured guest will be Bruce Alexander, MD, a popular retired provider.

“Dr. Alexander will speak briefly about the benefits of walking for your health and then walk and chat with participants on the paved loop around the park,” said Dawn Roberts, community health specialist at the hospital and organizer of the event. 

“We are excited to have him join us. So many people were thrilled to see him when he was volunteering at our COVID vaccine clinics earlier this year that we felt people might enjoy a chance to see him in a more casual setting where they would have the opportunity to talk with him one-on-one.”

AR Gould Hospital began offering the national Walk with a Doc program locally in January 2020, but the program was sidelined for a while due to COVID-19 precautions.  The hospital has offered the program outside during the past two summers as a safer option. As the weather is getting colder and with the spike in COVID cases, this offering of Walk with a Doc will be the last one for the year.  

“While we have had the option of the Aroostook Center Mall as a rain location for our walks over the summer, we don’t feel that planning a regular indoor event over the winter months is the way to go at this time,” explained Roberts.   

Walk with a Doc is free and open to the public. It is intended for people of all ages and physical abilities. Participants can walk at their own pace for whatever distance they choose. Masks are required, and one will be provided for those who need one. 

Date: 09/23/2021

Flu-Shots-2019-(1).jpg
A staff member from Northern Light AR Gould Hospital delivers a flu shot during a previous flu shot clinic (photo taken pre-COVID; masking is now required at the clinics).  The hospital will be offering flu shot clinics in Presque Isle, Caribou, Fort Fairfield, and Mars Hill in October.  

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will be offering a series of flu shot clinics for adults in October, with both drive-up and walk-in options. A pediatric flu shot clinic for children age six months to 18 years old is also planned.

Although the hospital has had to cancel its Fall Health Fair due to safety concerns related to COVID-19, it will still hold an adult flu shot clinic in the gymnasium at Northern Maine Community College that day.  Adult drive-up clinics will also be held in Mars Hill, Caribou, and Fort Fairfield.    

New this year, the hospital will be billing insurance companies for the flu vaccine; this cost is covered by most insurances with no cost to the patient.  With this in mind, the hospital is asking all those who come to one of the clinics for a flu shot to please bring their insurance card with them. 

The schedule for the Adult Flu Shot Clinics will be: 

  • Caribou:  Saturday, October 2, 9 am – 11 am (Drive Up)
    In the parking lot of Nortern Light Caribou Health Center – 118 Bennett Drive

  • Fort Fairfield:  Saturday, October 2, 12 pm – 2 pm (Drive Up)
    In the parking lot of Northern Light Fort Fairfield Health Center – 23 High Street

  • Mars Hill:  Thursday, October 7, 4 pm – 6 pm (Drive Up)
    In the parking lot of Central Aroostook High School – 26 Pleasant Street

  • Presque Isle:  Saturday, October 16, 9 am – 1 pm (Walk In)
    Northern Maine Community College gymnasium – 33 Edgemont Drive

Attendees must be screened upon entering the building.

Both regular and high dose flu shots will be available at these clinics. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age and wear a face covering. Wearing a short sleeved shirt is also recommended for easier access for receiving the shot.  Anyone who is not feeling well or experiencing any COVID symptoms is asked to wait until they are feeling better to get their shot.

The Pediatric Flu Shot Clinic will be:

  • Presque Isle:  Saturday, October 23, 9 am – 12 pm 
    Northern Light Pediatrics, North Street Healthcare, 23 North Street

Due to safety guidelines, all who enter the building will go through a COVID-19 screening, and everyone over the age of two must wear a mask. For families with only one or two children, we ask that only one adult bring them; for those with three or more children, two adults are welcome.  A limited number of people will be allowed in the building at one time, so some may be asked to wait outside or in their vehicle until they are able to enter.  Again, those not feeling well or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should not attend the clinic on this day.

“With the expectation of higher numbers of people getting their children vaccinated this year and the delay that safety protocols may cause in the process, we are encouraging parents to have their children receive their flu shot in school if that is an option,” said Paula Daigle, manager of the pediatrics practice.  “We welcome all who come to our clinic and just ask that you be patient and anticipate longer than usual delays.”

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: 12/22/2021

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. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this year's Lights of Life. Every light supports the exceptional care provided at Northern Light Cancer Care in Presque Isle. The AR Gould team is grateful for the community's support of Lights of Life.

We are pleased to recognize our 2021 honorees (current as of 1.3.22):

Star
In Memory of Melanie Stewart

Purple Lights
In Memory of Paul S. Hamlin, MD

Orange Lights
In Memory of Larry J. Kingsbury
In Memory of John Lisnik, Sr.
In Memory of Kathleen A. Sullivan Hersey

Blue Lights
In Honor of 1st District Masons and families affected with cancer
In Memory of Charles S. Allen, III
In Memory of Camilla Boucher
In Memory of Tom Clukey
In Memory of Hudson Cowley
In Memory of Rose Davenport
In Memory of Jim Dwyer
In Memory of Muriel Dyke
In Memory of Barbara Foster
In Memory of Ken Gonya
In Memory of Teddy Long
In Memory of Timothy Lowell
In Memory of Fred "JR" McGillan, Jr.
In Honor of Vicki Michaud
In Memory of Delores (Caron) Plourde
In Memory of Bob Poiesz
In Honor of Christina Raymond
In Memory of Melanie Stewart
In Memory of Melanie Stewart
In Memory of Rachel Voisine

Green Lights
In Memory of Veenie Bouchard
In Memory of Kathy Braeuninger
In Memory of Maynard Cleve
In Honor of Community Health Care Providers
In Memory of Muriel Dyke
In Memory of Muriel Dyke
In Honor of Amanda Emery
In Memory of Marlaina Grezeszak-Anderson
In Memory of Marlaina Grezeszak-Anderson
In Memory of Bill Hay
In Memory of Linda J. Lavway
In Memory of Teddy Long
In Memory of Tim Lowell
In Memory of Anna Morse
In Memory of Mahland Morse
In Memory of Becky O'Lore

Red Lights
In Memory of Don Akeley
In Memory of John Albert
In Memory of Kathren Albert
In Memory of Lloyd Allen
In Memory of Zoel Babineau
In Memory of Melissa Buck
In Memory of Jeff Clark
In Memory of Everett Cronkite
In Memory of Everett Cronkite
In Memory of Tyrone Currier
In Memory of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Dean, Sr.
In Memory of Bob Deschesne (Magee)
In Memory of Muriel Dyke
In Memory of Dwyer Family
In Memory of Klein Family
In Memory of Dr. Raymond Giberson
In Memory of Mary Grendell
In Memory of Al Gustin
In Memory of Sterling Helstrom
In Memory of Angela Jarvis
In Memory of Ray Kinney
In Memory of Jeanne Lothrop
In Memory of Lee Lovewell
In Memory of Norman Marquis
In Memory of Fred "JR" McGillan, Jr.
In Memory of Fred "JR" McGillan, Jr.
In Memory of Fred "JR" McGillan, Jr.
In Memory of Fred "JR" McGillan, Jr.
In Memory of John Noble
In Memory of Jane Olore
In Memory of Rebecca Olore
In Memory of Nancy Ouellette
In Memory of Gustie Pelkey
In Memory of Philip Pelkey
In Memory of Marie Stepp
In Memory of Robin Tarbox
In Memory of Charlee William Tarr
In Memory of Wendy Walton Tripp
In Memory of Germaine Whitten
In Memory of Fred Wilcox

White Lights
In Memory of Patricia Alley
In Memory of Sam Babineau
In Memory of Shawn Batchelder
In Memory of Shawn Batchelder
In Memory of Nana Boone
In Memory of Ann Braley
In Memory of Robert G. Brewer, Sr.
In Memory of Katie Buck
In Memory of Norman F. Carlow, Jr.
In Memory of Philip Chancey
In Memory of Claudette Cyr
In Memory of John Doe
In Memory of Muriel Dyke
In Memory of Ethel Ellin
In Memory of Lori Gagnon
In Memory of Sonya Gardiner
In Memory of John Herweh
In Memory of Teresa Babineau Jandreau
In Memory of Mackayla LaPlante
In Memory of Mackayla LaPlante
In Memory of Edgar Leblanc
In Memory of Edith G. Malloch
In Memory of Gerald E. Malloch
In Memory of Stephen Marquis
In Memory of Hadley McLean
In Memory of Pam Michaud
In Memory of Jasmine Miller
In Memory of Earl Morris
In Memory of Alice E. Murdock
In Memory of Crystal Noble
In Memory of Jane Olore
In Memory of Rebecca Olore
In Memory of Kellie Ouellette
In Memory of Pastor Larry Palmer
In Memory of Debbie Stone Pare
In Memory of Ann St. Peter
In Memory of Melanie Stewart
In Memory of Carmen Theriault
In Memory of Donald Theriault
In Memory of Michael Theriault
In Memory of Robert Theriault
In Memory of Lionel Theriault, Jr.
In Memory of Janet L. Waldron
In Memory of Jana Whitten
In Memory of Nancy Wilcox

Donations
J. Susan Brown
Gregory T. LaFrancois

Date: 12/09/2021

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital has kicked off its 2021 Lights of Life campaign.  Community members can honor and remember friends, family members, caregivers, and others who have been affected by cancer. Every dollar raised through Lights of Life will stay local to support cancer care services in Aroostook County.
 
“In past years, these funds have not only helped us purchase new equipment for patient care but have also supported our patient assistance fund to help our patients with cost associated with their fight against cancer.  Patients are very appreciative of the assistance we can offer them through the support of efforts like this, particularly help with travel.  Travel to and from their appointments can be costly and difficult for patients to work into their budgets,” said Brenda Baker, manager of Northern Light Cancer Care in Presque Isle.
 
Lights are being sold for: white, $10; red, $25; green, $50; Blue, $100; orange, $250, purple, $500.
 
One star is also sold each year for a donation of $1,000. The star honoree is the featured individual for the year’s fundraising event. Last year’s star was purchased in memory of Albert Billings of Westfield by Lynn, Shawn, Kristen, and Dacota Dube of Washburn.  This year’s star has yet to be sold, so that opportunity is still available for anyone wanting to remember or honor a loved one in this unique way.
 
The name of the honorees will be displayed on a plaque in the hallway of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital’s Cancer Care center and be displayed on the hospital website throughout the holiday season. Donations are being accepted through December 31.  Upon request, Lights of Life cards will be provided for those who purchase lights to send to honorees.
 
For more details or to purchase a light, visit northernlighthealth.org/ARGouldLights.
 

Date: 12/09/2021

Starting today, the Day Surgery Unit at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will become an additional inpatient unit, increasing the hospital’s capacity by eight beds.  This is one of several measures the hospital is taking to meet the high numbers of people needing inpatient care in the region.

At the same time, surgeries and cardiac procedures will be limited to emergency cases and outpatient rehabilitation therapy appointments will be delayed until further notice as staff from these areas, as well as many nurses from the hospital’s primary care and specialty care outpatient practices, will be redeployed to meet unusually high inpatient demands.

“This is an unprecedented time at the hospital,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive. “We are caring for more patients, patients who are more critically ill, than any other time during this pandemic. We are doing all we can to safely care for those who are within our walls. We also continue to offer monoclonal infusions as often as we can to prevent those with COVID-19 from having to be hospitalized when possible.”

Two weeks ago, as COVID-19 cases rose in northern Maine, Northern Light AR Gould Hospital began implementation of their surge plan developed early in the pandemic.  At that time, patients from the Acute Rehabilitation unit were relocated to another area of the hospital to open a designated COVID-19 unit. Elective surgical procedures were halted, and the cardiac and pulmonary rehab practice was closed to redeploy staff to meet growing inpatient demand. Hospital visitation was also paused due to the high level of COVID-19 positive individuals both in the community and being treated in the hospital.

“Our staff and providers have been incredible. They implemented the plan we have been preparing for expertly and professionally. Many are now working in areas or during hours that are not the norm for them. They are stepping up and putting our patients first, which is no surprise to us,” said Daryl Boucher, vice president of operations.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases in the community have continued to rise, along with hospitalizations, demanding further action to provide inpatient care for those who are critically ill.

“The hospital remains consistently full these days, with patients waiting in the Emergency Department for a bed to become available. This, in turn, affects how many patients we can see in the ED when many beds are occupied for hours or even days at a time,” explained Reynolds. “Some people are not truly understanding how dire the situation is locally right now. To make things improve, we need people to take this seriously and to do all they can to protect themselves and those around them.”

Reynolds urges the community to do their part by getting vaccinated, masking, keeping your distance from others, and using proper hand hygiene.

“Also, a heartfelt thank you to some wonderful community partners who helped ensure our patients receive the care they need. Northern Maine Community College and the University of Maine at Presque Isle loaned additional hospital beds to accommodate the influx of patients. It truly takes a community to take care of our community and this kind of support ensures that we can treat more people here at home,” said Reynolds.

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

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will be offering a COVID-19 vaccine shot clinic this Friday, December 17, from 1 – 6 pm at their Walk-In Care location in Presque Isle.  Community members needing a first, second, or booster dose are welcome with no appointment.

“With the high incidence of COVID in our community, it is more critical than ever that people be vaccinated. For those who have been vaccinated for more than six months, it is important to get a booster as the vaccine’s potency wanes over time,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital.

Vaccines are already offered at the Presque Isle Walk-In Care site each weekday afternoon, but for a limited time and with preregistration required. To make getting vaccinated as easy as possible, the hospital will extend the hours on Friday and also register walk-ins on site so no appointment will be necessary.

Both Pfizer and Moderna boosters and second or third doses will be offered during the clinic. Boosters are available for those age 16 or older. Pfizer vaccines will also be available for anyone ages 12 and older who would like to start their COVID vaccine series.

COVID vaccines also remain available through the hospital’s primary care offices.

Date: 12/23/2021

Stewart-Family-(1).jpgNorthern Light AR Gould Hospital is pleased to announce that the star for its annual Lights of Life fundraiser to support local cancer care has been purchased in memory of Melanie Stewart.
 
Lights of Life is a tradition that allows people to purchase different color lights in honor or memory of friends, family members, caregivers, and others who have been affected by cancer. Every dollar raised through Lights of Life stays local to support cancer care services in Aroostook County.
 
“Just as lighting any tree for the holiday season, we look for a bright star to top our symbolic tree,” says Hollie Wolverton, philanthropy officer. “Only one star is sold each year, and the person or group for whom it is purchased are the featured honoree for that year’s campaign. This year’s star has been purchased in memory of Melanie Stewart, who lost her nearly four-year battle with colorectal cancer earlier this year.”
 
The star was purchased by Stewart’s children, Trey, Meredith, and Grant. 
 
“When I heard about the Lights of Life campaign, it made me think of my mom,” explains Trey Stewart. “She was the light of so many lives, and her light is still shining even though she is gone.”
 
The family also wanted to provide support for both Northern Light Cancer Care, where their mother received her treatments toward the end of her illness, and for local cancer patients traveling through the same devastating journey their family went through.
 
“It was so important to have this cancer center here, especially toward the end, so that she didn’t have to travel for treatment. It was a huge help for her, and we want others to have access to that same quality, local care,” he said.
 
Individuals can still purchase lights through the end of December. Lights are being sold for: white, $10; red, $25; green, $50; Blue, $100; orange, $250, purple, $500.  The names of the honorees will be displayed on a plaque in the hallway of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital’s Cancer Care center and be displayed on the hospital website throughout the holiday season. Upon request, Lights of Life cards will be provided for those who purchase lights to send to honorees.
 
For more details or to purchase a light, visit northernlighthealth.org/ARGouldLights.

Pictured above: Melanie Stewart with her children. From left to right: Trey Stewart, Melanie, Meredith Stewart, and Grant Stewart.
 

Date: 01/04/2022

The first baby born in 2022 at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle was delivered at 3:22 pm on January 2.  Eloise Jordan Lothrop is the second child of Emilee Lothrop and Wes Holmes of Caribou.

Eloise weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz. and was 20 inches long.  Her middle name honors Emilee’s stepbrother, Jordan Plummer, who sadly passed away last year.  

The parents are looking forward to bringing Eloise home to meet her big sister, Everlee, who is two years old. 

“We have been facetiming with Everlee, so she has seen her little sister and knows she will be coming home soon. She is so excited, and I just can’t wait to introduce her to ‘Baby El’ as we have been calling her,” says Emilee. 

Everlee has not been able to visit her baby sister in person yet due to visitor restrictions at the hospital related to COVID.  No visitors other than their birthing partner is one thing mothers delivering during COVID have had to adjust to, but like many other new mothers have found, Emilee has actually found that rule to be a bit of a relief.

“When our first child was born, people stopped in all the time to congratulate us. While it was appreciated, it made things so much more hectic. I’ve actually found myself enjoying the quiet bonding time with Eloise,” she explains.

Eloise Jordan was delivered by Janna Sirois, CNM, WHNP, from Northern Light OB/GYN.  Nurses from the hospital’s Women & Children’s Unit who took care of mom and baby during the delivery were Gail Burtt, RN, Doris Churchill, RN, and Allison Plummer, RN.

“Janna was so awesome! She was very calm and relaxing, and she really listened to me on what I needed. The nurses have been really great too,” says Emilee. “It was a really good birthing experience, which was true of my first delivery too, so it was what I was expecting.”

 

 

Date: 01/05/2022

Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in November and December 2021 were the following:

 

November

 

ANTHONY – A boy, Andrew Stanley Anthony, born November 15, to Sara Ouellette and Bill Anthony of Mars Hill. Maternal Grandparents are Wendy Adams and Lionel Ouellette of Caribou. Paternal Grandparents are Marie and William Anthony of Bridgewater.

 

BECKWITH – A girl, Margaret Ruth Beckwith, born November 15, to Joline and Justin Beckwith of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Carolyn and Frank Melanson of Truro, Nova Scotia. Paternal Grandparents are Janet and Chip Beckwith of Fort Fairfield.

 

BREWER – A boy, Garrett James Brewer, II, born November 28, to Tiffany Libby and Brandon Brewer of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Mechelle MacDonald of Masardis and Dan Libby of Washburn. Paternal Grandparents are Debbie Sites of Caribou and Tom Brewer of Presque Isle.

 

KENNESON – A boy, Isaac Jacob Kenneson, born November 23, to Theresa and Aaron Kenneson of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Beth and Craig Lint of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are the late Donna Kenneson and Ronald Kenneson of Fort Fairfield.

 

JOHNSTON – A girl, Clover Bea-Dahlia Johnston, born November 10, to Kylie Oliveira and Brandon Johnston of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandfather is Mark Oliveira of Mars Hill. Paternal Grandmother is Beatrice Johnston of Caribou.

 

KINGSBURY – A girl, Callie Ann Kingsbury, born November 30, to Kristen and Dillon Kingsbury of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Lori and Ralph Long of Blaine. Paternal Grandparents are Kristi and Robb Kingsbury of Presque Isle.

 

MARTINELLI-WIMBUSH – A boy, Ty Lee Martinelli-Wimbush, born November 16, to Crystal Martinelli and Justin Wimbush of Presque Isle.  Maternal Grandparents are Shirley Jewell of Brewer and John Martinelli of Mapleton. Paternal Grandparents are Peggy Caparotta of Caribou and Bernard Wimbush of Halifax, VA.

 

MORTON – A girl, Lillian Glenna Morton, born November 22, to Hillary and Rick Morton of Castle Hill.

 

NASH – A boy, Warren Allan Nash, born November 2, to Macie and Randy Nash of Blaine. Maternal Grandparents are Julie Palmieri of Mars Hill and Parker Tompkins of Blaine. Paternal Grandparents are Hope and Mike Gagnon of Fort Fairfield.

 

PALMER – A boy, Keegan Xavier Palmer, born November 8, to Kristal and Peter Palmer of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Beverly and James Deschaines of Van Buren. Paternal Grandparents are Terry and Mark Palmer of Presque Isle.

 

SMITH – A girl, Annabelle Diane Smith, born November 23, to Maria Rutmann and Leigh Smith of Mapleton. Paternal Grandparents are Diane and Scott Smith of Presque Isle.

 

SOUCIE – A boy, Asher Michaels Soucie, born November 30, to Kayla Sharp and Jacob Soucie of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is April Michaud of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are April Soucie of Presque Isle and James Barnes of Flint, MI.

 

 

December

 

BURCH – A boy, Rowan Joseph Burch, born December 11, to Ashley Burch of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Maureen Handren of Perham and Mark Burch of Scarborough.

 

DENNEY – A girl, Peisleigh Imogen Denney, born December 31, to Madison Paul and Peyton Denney of New Sweden. Maternal Grandparents are Christie and Jerry Paul of New Sweden. Paternal Grandparents are Della Bitker of New Sweden and Jon Denney of Albany, NY.

 

DOTSON – A girl, Scarlett Grey Dotson, born December 18, to Alexis Dotson of Masardis.

 

DOUGHERTY – A boy, Uriah Thomas Dougherty, born December 16, to Atalie Allen and Jonathan Dougherty of Mapleton. Maternal Grandparents are Laurie and Dan Wolff of Camos, WA and Barry Allen of Tampa, FL. Paternal Grandparents are Wanda Stubbs of Mapleton and John Dougherty of Mapleton.

 

GABRIEL – A boy, Triumph Oluwafolahanmi Gabriel, born December 29, to Omotoyosi and Idowu Gabriel of Caribou. Maternal Grandparents are Maria and Sunday Sowunmi of Nigeria. Paternal Grandparents are Dorcas and Gabriel Sofolaham of Nigeria.

 

MACBURNIE – A boy, Sawyer Kingsley MacBurnie, born December 30, to MaCaila Dyer and Adam McBurnie of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Renee Dyer and Terry Hafford, Jr. of Easton..

 

SHARP – A girl, Hope Anne Sharp, born December 30, to Sharon and Kevin Sharp of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandmother is Connie Roy of Douglas, GA. Paternal Grandmother is Joyce Sharp of Presque Isle.

 

 

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: 01/25/2022

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital recently announced it has successfully met its cardiac telemonitoring fundraising goal nine months earlier than planned thanks to tremendous community support.

“We are humbled by the generosity of the community,” said Greg LaFrancois, president of AR Gould Hospital. “This new equipment will improve and expand our patient care capabilities. Our donors saw the need for it and stepped up in a big way.”
 
The $220,000 raised is purchasing a state-of-the-art cardiac telemonitoring system to replace the one currently aging out at the hospital. It will also go toward expanding the system to cover more patients.
 
Cardiac telemonitoring constantly monitors a patient’s heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, breathing rate, and oxygen level. It allows healthcare providers to better understand patients’ conditions and make treatment decisions. It also gives early warnings of complications and emergencies.

Patients of all ages require monitoring, from newborns failing to thrive to seniors with congestive heart failure. Heart attack, stroke, COVID-19, and many other conditions are watched via this technology.
 
“It’s a life changer in efficient patient care,” said Seleipiri Akobo, MD. “It gives us data in real-time and helps us respond to the dynamic nature of our patients’ care.”
 
The fundraising campaign began in the fall of 2020, when Beverly Silver Bachrach, gave $10,000 to the effort in memory of her father, Alex Silver. Bachrach now lives in Florida, but she grew up in Presque Isle and enjoys supporting her childhood community.
 
Soon after her gift, MMG Insurance came on-board with a $25,000 donation. Other companies joined in and made significant contributions, including Huber Engineered Woods, Walmart, Northeast Packaging, Columbia Forest Products, Machias Savings Bank, the KeyBank Foundation, and more.
 
Community members also donated gifts of all sizes. Two such contributions came on the heels of Bachrach’s gift. Bob and Donna Umphrey, who had already given through their company, decided to make a second donation to match Bachrach’s. Donna Umphrey and Bachrach had been childhood friends. Then Helen McConnell, Bachrach’s first grade teacher, was similarly moved and donated in memory of Bachrach’s parents, Alex and Edith Silver.
 
AR Gould Hospital board members, leaders, managers, providers, and staff supported the initiative as well. Several took the opportunity, like Bachrach, to honor or remember someone important in their own life through the gift.
 
 
At the end of 2021, the campaign came to a quick conclusion when AR Gould Hospital received several large grants from Davis Family Foundation, The Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation, Robert Bruce and Beatrice Blacky Goodrich Trust, and The Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, as well as more individual gifts, including another from Bachrach.
 
A full listing of donors can be viewed at northernlighthealth.org/cardiacmonitoring,
 
After honoring her father’s memory with these campaign contributions, Bachrach looked for an opportunity to do the same for her mother. She made a separate gift to pay for a specialized device that measures lung inflammation in asthmatics, as her mom had suffered from asthma her entire adult life.
 
“It is a great feeling to know that the hospital will be able to help more people,” Bachrach said. “I plan to continue giving to AR Gould. I think my parents would be pleased to see me supporting a place they cared so much about during their lifetimes.”
 
While the cardiac telemonitoring equipment will soon be in place serving patients, there are always more needs at the hospital. Fundraising continues for ongoing needs in Cancer Care, patient assistance, workforce development and other areas.
 
For more information on donating to AR Gould Hospital, please visit northernlighthealth.org/giveARGould or contact Hollie Wolverton as 207-768-4250. 
 

Date: 01/26/2022

Providers and leaders at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital are firm believers in the fact that boosters are a critical tool in slowing down the community spread of COVID-19, as well as protecting ourselves and our loved ones from serious illness. With that in mind, the hospital is taking steps to make access as easy as possible.

The hospital is adding walk-in vaccination options for community members 12 and over at Northern Light Walk-In Care in Presque Isle. Previously, all of these appointments had to be reserved through the Northern Light Health’s online signup tool.

“We realize that the need to signup online may be a barrier for some. To make things simpler, we are now offering the option of people just walking in on Wednesday and Friday afternoons to be vaccinated or boosted,” said Jessica St. Peter, director of quality and a leader in the hospital’s COVID-19 response. “We will accept up to 50 individuals, age 12 and older, on a walk-in basis each of these days between 1-4 pm.”

Boosters continue to be offered each weekday afternoon by appointment, which can be scheduled online at covid.northernlighthealth.org.

Pfizer vaccines and boosters are offered each day except Thursday, which is currently reserved for those preferring Moderna. COVID vaccines also remain available through the hospital’s primary care offices.

 

Why are boosters so important?

“Our immunity begins to wane five months after receiving an mRNA vaccine [Pfizer or Moderna] or two months after receiving a J&J vaccine.  If someone is immunocompromised, immunity can begin to wane as fast as four weeks after receiving the second dose of a vaccine. So, it’s very important for people to receive their boosters,” said Dr. Thomas Macharia, AR Gould’s infectious disease specialist.

With the rise of new variants, it is important that people have the antibodies they need in their system. This higher level of immunity comes from getting a booster shot once you are eligible to do so.

“Compared to those without a booster dose, people who are boosted are 11 times less likely to become infected, 19 times less likely to develop severe infection, and have 90% reduced risk of death if they are infected,” said Dr. Macharia.

People with questions about whether or not getting vaccinate or boosted is right for them or their child are encouraged to speak to their primary care provider or pediatrician.  The Maine CDC is also a great resource: www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc.

Date: 01/27/2022

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is excited to announce a new service for patients in the region.  A provider is now offering fransitionist care, assuring a smooth transition from being in the hospital to being at home. 
 
“Everyone prefers to be healthy at home rather than being ill in a hospital. We have developed this transitionist program to assist our patients during the crucial time between their leaving the hospital until they can reconnect with their primary care provider.  By ensuring that their follow up instructions are clear and removing barriers to care, the transitionist provider improves our overall patient experience during this sometimes difficult and confusing time,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, the hospital’s Senior Physician Executive, about this new service.
 
Hilary Boucher, PA-C, is the physician assistant who is leading this effort.  She will work in collaboration with primary care providers, both in-patient and out-patient care managers, hospitalists, and surgical teams to better serve patients. She will work with this care team to help manage chronic condition patients at high risk for admission or readmission, such as COPD, CHF, pneumonia, sepsis, and more. 
 
“My job is to help patients have a smooth transition home and ensure that preventable reoccurrences of their admission diagnoses are avoided.  I work with the hospitalists daily regarding patients preparing for discharge. I introduce myself to these patients in the hospital and see them shortly after discharge for a follow-up appointment. I ensure they receive their acute medications, understand their discharge instructions, and monitor their progress until they can see their primary care provider,” she explained.
 
Boucher, a Presque Isle native, earned her Masters of Physician Assistants Studies from Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with minors in Biology and Chemistry, at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire. She has completed clinical experiences in emergency medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, trauma surgery, cardiology, women’s health, and family medicine. 
 
While embedded within the Northern Light Primary Care practice in Presque Isle, her scope of practice stretches beyond that to include the hospital and the home, with a focus on keeping patients healthier and reducing readmissions.
 
“Patients’ health is significantly improved during their hospitalization, but sometimes they are not fully back to their baseline at the time of discharge. Transitional care helps them heal the rest of the way and ensure that they have everything they need at home to continue to improve and feel better,” she said.
 
Boucher is only seeing the sickest of patients at this time but hopes to soon expand her services to all patients who are discharged from the hospital so the transition from hospital to home life goes smoothly.
 
 

Date: 01/28/2022

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is pleased to announce that patients in the hospital will once again be able to have visitors in a limited capacity starting Monday, January 31.

“While COVID is certainly still a concern, after careful consideration we feel that the positive impact the visit of a loved one has on a patient’s health makes this an important step to take,” said Jay Reynolds, senior physician executive. “We have appropriate protocols in place to offer limited visitation in a way that is safe for our patients, our visitors, and our staff.”

Starting on Monday, patients in the Medical/Surgical, Inpatient Rehabilitation, and Specialty Intensive Care Units who are not COVID positive will be able to have one visitor per day. Visiting hours will be daily from 12 noon to 2 pm.  Visitors can stay as long as they like during those hours, but once they leave, they cannot return until the next day.  The patient’s one daily visitor can be a different person on different days. 

For the Women and Children’s unit, one support person continues to be allowed with an expectant mother for the duration of her hospitalization; this person can leave and return once each day. For pediatric patients, one parent/guardian at a time can stay with their child, alternating once each day. There are no defined visiting hours for this unit.

Also starting on Monday, patients being treated in the Emergency Department can now have one person accompany them in an ED exam room. The visitor must stay in the patient’s room at all times.

Visitors continue to be restricted from accompanying patients in hospital areas such as Day Surgery, Lab, Imaging, and Rehabilitation, other than specific exceptions, such as those coming in as support for pediatric or special needs patients.

Exceptions to this policy may be made under certain circumstances.  All visitors and patients at any AR Gould facility must wear a medical-grade mask which will be provided by the hospital for the duration of their visit. They must also be screened upon arrival, including a temperature check; hand sanitize; and follow physical distancing guidelines. 

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: 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: 03/23/2022

Mars Hill, Maine - Northern Light Health presents BigRock with a check for $100,000 to support the mountain’s new chairlift capital campaign.

In December 2021, BigRock Mountain kicked off a $2.9M capital campaign to replace their existing, double chairlift with a state-of-the-art quad chairlift. The new lift will increase mountain capacity, shorten lift rides, and secure BigRock as a premier family skiing destination.

While Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is well-known in The County, some may not be as familiar with Northern Light Health. Northern Light Health includes 10 hospitals, stretching across Maine from Presque Isle to Portland, and includes Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. In addition to hospitals, Northern Light Health offers home care, hospice, retail pharmacies, emergency transport, and dozens of outpatient care sites. In all, the system has nearly 130 locations statewide.

This gift is being made by Northern Light Health, which together with AR Gould is committed to the health and well-being of the people of Maine. BigRock is an important community resources that offers outdoor activities in support of a healthy, lifestyle. It also serves as a key community asset that helps attract and retain healthcare workers to the County.

“BigRock is so important to the quality of life in the County. It promotes a healthy lifestyle and brings families together. Northern Light Health is thrilled to invest in this critical need. The new chair lift ensures years of safe and healthy fun in the County,” said Greg LaFrancois, Senior Vice President at Northern Light Health and President of AR Gould Hospital.

BigRock Mountain is experiencing incredible growth as more families and individuals take their fun outside and outdoor recreation becomes a rising factor in Maine’s economy. With record season pass sales, and growing momentum in the chairlift capital campaign, the message is clear that people and businesses care strongly about about BigRock Mountain and the future of skiing and snowboarding in Northern Maine. “The BigRock board is pleased to accept Northern Light Health’s donation and appreciates the hospital systems commitment to keeping Maine communities healthy. Remaining active in the winter is vital to one’s health and skiing is the perfect opportunity to stay active with family and friends. Skiing is a lifelong sport and we often see three generations out on the hill recreating and making memories together. This wonderful donation from Northern Light Health puts us one step closer to ensuring future generations are afforded the same opportunities.” said Gene Cronin, BigRock Board and Presque Isle Recreation and Parks Director.

BigRock Mountain is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization registered in the state of Maine. At 1748 feet tall Big Rock Mountain is the largest ski area in Northern Maine/Eastern Maritimes with 27 trails, 2 chair lifts, 2 surface lifts and snowmaking on 60% of the terrain. The new lift will have the potential to sustain BigRock from any other major lift capital needs for the next generation and more. For more information about the project, to donate or reach out to Big Rock Fundraising Team, please call (207) 769-3700 or email liftcampaign@bigrockmaine.com.

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: 06/03/2022

Presque Isle, ME- Among the “special deliveries” born at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in February and March 2022 were the following:
 

February

 

BRADY – A girl, Emma Marie Brady, born February 2, to Samantha and Tom Brady of Presque Isle.

 

CARVELL – A boy, Weston James Carvell, born February 25, to Hilary and Mark Carvell of Presque Isle. Maternal Grandparents are Jan Lovett of Presque Isle and Aaron Harvey of Glenburn. Paternal Grandparents are Barbara and Robert Carvell of Presque Isle.

 

CURTIS – A girl, Leanna Marie Curtis, born February 16, to Michaella Pelletier and Stewart Curtis of Caribou.

 

KEISER – A girl, Charlotte Grace Keiser, born February 2, to Whitney and Tyler Keiser of Washburn. Maternal Grandparents are Cheryl and Michael Michaud of Presque Isle. Paternal Grandparents are Tammy and Jason Pelkey of Limestone and Sheldon and Heather Keiser of Mapleton.

 

KILCOLLINS – A girl, Saylor Cecile-Ann Kilcollins, born February 15, to Kelsey and Jared Kilcollins of Presque Isle.

 

MARTIN – A boy, Bennett Paul Martin, born February 6, to Chanelle and Jesse Martin of Frenchville.. Maternal Grandparents are Donna and Eric Cyr of Madawaska.  Paternal grandparents are Sandra and Gene Martin of Madawaska.  

 

March

 

BERNIER – A girl, Marcie Logan Bernier, born March 25, to Taylor and Eric Bernier of St. David. Maternal Grandmother are Lisa and Gary Pelletier of Madawaska. Paternal grandparents are Andrea and Daniel Bernier of Frenchville. 

 

BLAISDELL– A girl, Rylie Marie Blaisdell, born March 2, to Jade and Rick Blaisdell of Connor Township.

 

CARNEY – A boy, Porter Michael Carney, born March 3, to Miranda Donovan and Matthew Carney of Masardis.  Maternal grandparents are Tammy Donovan of Ashland and Mikeal Donovan of Masardis.  Paternal grandparents are Peggy and Ricky Carney of Mapleton.

 

DESROSIER – A girl, Eleanor Kali Desosier, born March 18, to Jessica Page and Matthew Derosier of Frenchville..  Maternal grandmother is Kathy Page of Cross Lake.  Paternal grandparents are Linda Morin of St. Agatha and Dennis Derosier of Sinclair.

 

DESCHAINE – A boy, Parker Francis Deschaine, born March 14, to Mikayla and Peter Deschaine of Presque Isle..  Maternal grandparents are Monica and Michael Albert of Blaine.  Paternal grandparents are Cindy and Stephen Deschaine of Presque Isle.

 

GEER– A girl, Hadley Marie Geer, born March 19, to Ashley Dunn and Andrew Geer of Caribou. Paternal grandparents are Kimberly Geer and Jay Roll.

 

GARRISON– A girl, Freya Shae Garrison, born March 16, to Brittany and Josh Garrison of Mars Hill.  Maternal grandparents are Cathy and Mike Sullivan of Presque Isle.  Paternal grandparents are Kelly and Steve Garrison of Mars Hill.

 

HOWES – A boy, Liam Orrin Howes, born March 9, to Jessica and Kenyon Howes of Dyer Brook.  Maternal grandparents are Joyce and John Price of Presque Isle.  Paternal grandparents are Jean and Bob Howes of Patten.

 

MOHOLLAND – A girl, Callie Mae Moholland, born March 30, to Brittany Willette and Cameron Moholland of Mapleton.  Maternal grandparents are Dollie Haines of Caribou and Jason Willette Sr. of Presque Isle.  Paternal grandparents are Lynne Moholland of Caribou and Blair Moholland of Robinson.

 

PANGBURN – A girl, Claire Ann Mae Pangburn, born March 18, to Jessica Curtis and Gavin Pangburn of Easton.  Maternal grandparents are April and Maxwell Curtis of Presque Isle.  Paternal grandparents are Angel Robbins of Westfield and Chris Pangburn of Easton.

 

THERIAULT – A boy, Alexander Joseph Theriault, born March 4, to Brielle and Cory Theriault of Washburn.  Maternal grandparents are Laurie and Lindsay Boutilier of Houlton.  Paternal grandmother is Heather Foster of Lincoln.

 

TITTLE– A girl, Ophelia Eva-Mae Tittle, born March 24, to Charissa Martinelli and Brian Tittle Jr. of Presque Isle.  Maternal grandparents are Shirley Jewell of Brewer and John Martinelli of Mapleton.  Paternal grandparents are Lori Boorom of Manchester, NH and Brian Tittle Sr. of Oxford, CT.

 

TURNER – A girl, Payton Raye Turner, born March 22, to Shay-Leigh Carriero and Jacob Turner of Presque Isle.  Maternal grandparents are Darcy Carriero of Caribou and Michael Carriero of Greenwich, CT.  Paternal grandparents are Laurie Plissey and James Turner of Presque Isle.

 

Date: 06/03/2022

Presque Isle, Maine (June 3, 2022) — Lindsey Cummings, RN, an emergency room nurse at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, was recently recognized for her outstanding patient care by being presented with a DAISY Award.

 

“Many nurses treat the body and comfort their patients. What I witnessed today was something special. This nurse treated the patient's spirit and brought some sunlight to a tough situation. A heart that big deserves a DAISY Award," noted Jodi Kierstead, RN, Performance Improvement Specialist at the hospital, in an excerpt from her nomination.

 

Kierstead was referring to the fact that Cummings, with appropriate approvals and safety protocols in place, took a long-term adolescent patient from the ED out for some fresh air one day earlier this year. They went to see the ducks, threw some snowballs, and played. Kierstead witnessed the patient upon return to the ED and noted it was heartwarming that the child was glowing.

 

Also nominating Cummings was Cassandra Bolstridge, CNA, who had a personal experience with Cumming's care. "Lindsey cared for more than just a patient with a chief complaint, she cared for me as a person. Not only did she treat my pain physically, but she calmed my nerves and put me at ease,” said Bolstridge in her nomination. “The world needs more nurses like her."

 

During a surprise celebration, Cummings was presented a daisy pin, a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa, and a certificate commending her for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” 

 

The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. It was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died in 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an auto-immune disease.  The care he and his family received from nurses inspired this means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

 

Each quarter, AR Gould Hospital recognizes one of its nurses with the DAISY Award. These nurses are nominated by patients, family members of patients, co-workers, or community members for the outstanding care and compassion they provide.

 

For those who would like to nominate a nurse for consideration for a DAISY Award, nominations can be made online, please visit www.northernlighthealth.org/Our-System/AR-Gould-Hospital/About-Us/Daisy-Award.