News & Events

Grants provide pocket sized technology, but big impact

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center was recently awarded $50,000 from The Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation and $40,000 from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to support a pilot Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Program to provide training for the Family Medicine Residency Program residents and other Medical Center providers.

POCUS is portable technology that can be used in several different care settings. With many of our family medicine residents working in rural, resource constrained, or critical access hospitals after their training, harnessing POCUS skills can reduce unnecessary transport to larger hospitals, keeping patients closer to home whenever possible. The technology can also lessen the cost of healthcare by decreasing the need for more expensive PET scans, MRIs, or x-rays with the added benefit of also reducing radiation exposure for patients.

“This portable ultrasound means that a machine that used to take up a whole room, can now fit in a provider’s pocket with images viewable on a screen the size of an iPhone. These portable Point of Care Ultrasound devices can be used at the bedside in a variety of patient care settings including home care, emergency transport, inpatient, and primary care offices,” explains Sarah Irving, MD, FAAFP, Residency Program Director, Northern Light Family Medicine Residency Program. “It complements patient history documenting and physical exam skills to speed up accurate diagnosis, decrease length of stay. We are grateful that this grant allows our providers and patients to benefit from this state-of-the-art technology.”

The Gloria C. Mackenzie Foundation, is dedicated to awarding grants that will advance educational opportunities aimed at fostering our specific goals that contribute to and support strong economic development in the state of Maine.

The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation strengthens and supports Maine communities drawing upon the values and spirituality of the founders.