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News

Date: 01/07/2020

By Wesley P. Fairfield, MD, ECNU

What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disorder that affects the bones, causing weakness with increased risk of fracture (broken bones). The inside of normal healthy bone has small spaces, like a honeycomb, and osteoporosis increases the size of these spaces resulting in loss of strength and density. The outside rim of the bone also grows weaker and thinner. Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because most people with osteoporosis do not feel bones weakening. Breaking a bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis, or people with osteoporosis may notice that they are getting shorter or their upper back is curving forward. Symptoms of severe osteoporosis can include a fracture from a fall or even from a strong sneeze or cough.

How common is osteoporosis?
Approximately 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, which places them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can occur at any age but is more common in older adults, especially women. People with osteoporosis are at a high risk of bone fractures while doing routine activities such as standing or walking. The most common affected bones include the ribs, hips, wrists and spine. Approximately one in two women and one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

Why do people get osteoporosis?
Bone is a dynamic living tissue, and every bone in the body is remodeled, restructured, and reformed about every 7-10 years. Most people reach a peak bone density by age 30 and then lose bone as they age. There are a number of common reasons people may experience accelerated bone loss:

  • Having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk, especially if your mother or father have a history of hip fracture.
  • Women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than are men.
  • Caucasian or Asian descent increases the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Long term low calcium intake causes poor bone strength.
  • Restricting food intake and low body weight weakens bone.
  • Tobacco use weakens bones and drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases the risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do those who are more active.

There are many health problems that increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, including: autoimmune disorders; digestive and gastrointestinal disorders; cancer; nervous system disorders; endocrine/hormonal disorders; chronic lung, kidney, and liver disease; poor diet; and weight loss.

Commonly prescribed medications can also cause bone loss, including antacids containing aluminum, antiseizure medicines, cancer chemotherapy, steroids, and many more.

How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
A bone mineral density (BMD) test is an important measure of bone health. The most widely used BMD test is a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test. This painless, low energy x-ray test of the hip and spine usually takes 10 to 30 minutes. DXA tests can identify osteoporosis, determine the risk of fracture, and assess response to osteoporosis treatments.

What can I do to decrease my risk of having bone fractures?
Without treatment, osteoporosis can worsen. As bones get weaker and thinner, the risk of fracture increases. While there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are medications used to treat it that can help protect and strengthen bones and reduce the risk of getting fractures. Medications help slow the breakdown of bone in the body and some treatments can result in growth of new bone. Some other factors to consider addressing to reduce the risk of weakening bones, include:

  • Nutrition: A balanced diet with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients keeps bones healthy.
  • Calcium: Calcium is needed to strengthen bones and 400-500 mg of calcium with each meal from food sources is generally recommended to prevent and treat osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is needed for the intestines to be able to absorb the calcium found in foods.
  • Exercise: Any weight-bearing exercise and activity that promotes balance and good posture help strengthen bones. Walking, running, jumping, dancing, and weightlifting are particularly helpful.
  • Fall prevention: The single most important method of preventing fracture is to prevent falls.
  • Lifestyle changes: Drink less alcohol and stop smoking tobacco.

If you have questions, I encourage you to speak with your health care provider about what you can do to keep your bones healthy.

Dr. Wesley Fairfield is a board-certified and Harvard trained endocrinologist who focuses on the treatment of a wide variety of endocrine disorders using the latest therapies. He practices at Northern Light Mercy Endocrinology and Diabetes Care, and his clinical interests include thyroid diseases, osteoporosis, and pituitary disorders. Additional information on the wide range of endocrinology services that he provides can be found here.

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: 02/27/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital announced today that it has sold its State Street property to NewHeight Redfern, which is a joint venture between local development firms NewHeight Group and Redfern Properties. The development group has a strong track record of community engagement on local projects. Proceeds from the sale will be invested in Mercy Hospital’s Fore River campus, where Mercy will consolidate hospital operations.

“This local development group knows Portland well, and they are committed to engaging with the community in a meaningful way,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital. “This sale and campus consolidation will position us for the future and ensure that we are able to carry on the mission of the Sisters of Mercy that began in Portland just over a century ago.”

In the near term, little will change at the State Street hospital. As part of the agreement, Mercy will lease back and occupy the State Street property until it’s able to relocate operations to an expanded Fore River campus. Construction on the Fore River campus is scheduled to begin this spring with project completion expected in 2022. This schedule will allow ample time for the development team to engage with neighbors and the community on the details of their development plans.

“We are excited about this project and the potential it holds for the West End and Portland as a whole,” said Erin Cooperrider, head of NewHeight Group. “As we developed our proposal during the RFP process, we reached out to area neighborhood organizations to learn more about their priorities, and we look forward to engaging with them again as things move forward. Our preliminary concept imagines a largely residential project, with new housing across the affordability spectrum, along with small commercial components.”

NewHeight Redfern has assembled a local, experienced, and involved team, including Community Housing of Maine and the Portland Housing Authority. The team has experience developing housing, both for rent and for sale, at all income levels, and it looks forward to working with the neighborhood as it further refines its concept.

Date: 03/15/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has announced steps it is taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 exposure to patients, visitors, and staff. It has updated its visitor policy and limited access points to one entrance at each of its hospitals. Mercy is also rolling out an appointment-only COVID-19 remote testing site for its patients in order to limit exposure at its clinics and emergency department.
 
“We know the important role that family and friends play in the care and recovery process at our facilities,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital. “We are taking these steps in order to continue to provide care in the safest environment possible—for our patients and our hospital staff. Combined, they are necessary to reduce community spread, especially to the most vulnerable patients who are receiving care at our hospitals.”
 
Entrances that will be open at Mercy’s two hospitals:
  • 144 State Street hospital: Spring Street entrance (Update: Location closed as of January 4, 2022)
  • 175 Fore River Parkway hospital: main entrance
     
Temporary updates to Mercy’s visitor policies include:
  • There is a limit of one visitor per patient.
  • No visitors under the age of 18, since young people are potential infectors without necessarily being ill themselves.
  • Visitors will be screened for flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, or sore throat.
  • Visitors with obvious signs of illness will be asked to kindly leave.

Appointment-only remote COVID-19 testing:
In an effort to reduce community spread at its clinics, Mercy has established an appointment-only drive through COVID testing site on its Fore River campus that is separate from the hospital. It’s important to note that this testing site is only available by appointment, and patients should contact their primary care provider to determine if a test is necessary.
 
Additionally, Mercy has discontinued public use of its conference rooms and auditoriums until further notice.

Date: 03/23/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has announced new steps it is taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 exposure to patients, visitors, and staff. The hospital updated its policies on March 15, and it is now issuing the following visitor policy updates, which are effective immediately:

No visitors are allowed at Northern Light Mercy Hospital and all Mercy facilities, including primary care and specialty care centers. Exceptions will be made for healthy visitors age 18 and older with no symptoms in the following circumstances:

  • Pediatrics: One parent/guardian at a time

  • Obstetrics: One spouse/birthing partner

  • Outpatient surgery: One person involved in care

  • End of life: Two visitors at a time

  • Extraordinary circumstances: One person allowed as an escort, only if the patient requires help with mobility, support, or communication with care team. Such necessity to be determined by care providers.


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

Date: 04/30/2020

Following the announcement by Governor Janet Mills that Maine will take a phased approach to reopening certain business operations tomorrow, Northern Light Mercy Hospital is joining other Northern Light Health facilities across the state in taking steps to prepare for the phased launch of critical services delayed by COVID-19.
 
“While our commitment to providing the safest care possible has not changed during this pandemic, we have taken additional steps to ensure the safety of all our patients and staff,” said Dr. Michael Duffy, senior physician executive at Mercy Hospital. “During this time, we worked to meet the urgent needs of our patients and stayed connected with them through a successful launch of telehealth services. New tools like telehealth are not going away and will continue to play an important role, and we look forward to providing more patients the critical health care services they need.”
 
Additionally, The Leapfrog Foundation announced today that Mercy Hospital received an ‘A’ grade in its Hospital Safety Grade report. This is the eighth time in a row that Mercy Hospital has received this national recognition, which is based on a hospital’s performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections, and other harms to patients in their care.
 
As Northern Light Health hospitals prepare to open additional services, some of the steps that are being taking to ensure a safe care environment for its patients can be found below:
 
  • Separate COVID-19 screening and assessment sites: To provide the safest care to all patients, separate locations for COVID-19 assessments and treatment have been established. Telehealth appointments are also being offered to patients with respiratory concerns. Ensuring there are offsite and virtual options for COVID-19 care ensures that medical practices can continue to see patients in the safest environment possible.
  • Screening process at all facilities: Everyone who enters Northern Light Health facilities will be screened for symptoms. As an added layer of protection, temperature checks using touch free thermometers are being conducted during the screening process. Those who answer positively to a screening question or have a temperature above 100.4 will be directed away from the facility and referred to the appropriate level of care.
  • Universal masking and physical distancing: All Northern Light Health employees—clinical and non-clinical—are required to wear a face mask at all times while at work. Patients and visitors are also required to wear a face covering. Patients without a face covering will be provided a mask during the screening process to wear while within NLH facilities. Additionally, patients will be asked to maintain physical distancing, and scheduling of patients as well as the layout of reception areas are being changed to accommodate it.
  • Visitor policy: No visitors are allowed at Northern Light Health hospitals and other facilities, including primary care and specialty care centers, with limited exceptions.
  • Care at home through telehealth: From primary care to specialty care, telehealth visits are a convenient way for patients to get the care and guidance they need without leaving home.

Date: 06/10/2020

Gary-s-House-Web-(1).jpgA new series of virtual events featuring some of the most prominent and well-known supporters of Gary’s House will kick off in June to thank donors and raise money for Portland’s home away from home for families receiving healthcare services.

Bush Family Classic golf tournament event organizers created the “At Home with Gary’s House” virtual event series after the 2020 golf tournament was canceled for the health and safety of all involved.

The first virtual event, “Pearls of Wisdom, An Evening with the Bush Family & Friends,” with Samuel Bush LeBlond and former President George H.W. Bush chief of staff Jean Becker, is scheduled for June 16, 2020. It will be followed by “An Evening with Ray Bourque & Dale Arnold” on June 30. The date for the third event, “An Evening with Jim Nantz & Nancy Lopez,” will be announced later.

The events are open to the community. Supporters are asked to donate up to $1,000 to attend one event, up to $3,000 to attend two events, and more than $3,000 to attend all three.

“We fully supported the decision to cancel this year’s Bush Family Classic giving the health risks to all,” said Ken and Anne Raynor, chairpersons of the fundraising effort for Gary’s House this year. “Golf or no golf, the need for Gary’s House continues, and again, while we cannot be together this June, we are always together in spirit and in our commitment to Gary’s House.”

Gary’s House, operated by Northern Light Mercy Hospital, is a safe, comfortable, and affordable lodging option for families and individuals with loved ones receiving medical treatment in the greater Portland area. It’s conveniently located to Mercy, Maine Medical Center, and several other healthcare facilities.

To learn more and sign up to attend the virtual event series, visit www.BushGolfClassic.com.

Date: 06/10/2020

The pandemic has changed the way we humans connect. Whether it’s online meetings, virtual classrooms, or video happy hours and book clubs, we are finding ways to interact with each other despite social distancing. At Northern Light Health, we have been using technology like this for a limited few clinical applications and system administration for about a decade. It is particularly useful in states like Maine, where people are spread across vast geography and traveling can be a hardship.
 
Prior to March, Northern Light Health was doing a handful of patient visits using telemedicine. In March the system logged almost 7,500 virtual visits, and in April that number has skyrocketed to 31,000 visits statewide.
 
In the Portland area, Northern Light Home Care & Hospice and Northern Light Mercy Hospital have found a very special way to leverage the power of telehealth. In April, the team there conducted its first telehealth visit in a homeless shelter. The patient was being monitored for COVID-19 exposure, but the nurse noticed he was having trouble walking. “I asked if I could look at his feet and found he had very significant ulcerations and swelling,” remembers Leann Thayer, RN for Home Care & Hospice. “I got the patient registered for services and a primary care doctor saw him via video on my iPhone!” 
 
“It turned out the patient had Foot Immersion Syndrome—commonly called Trench Foot during World War I,” explains George Stockwell, DO, a Mercy primary care physician. “It is a consequence of having constantly wet feet.” The patient had been using boot liners for shoes, which provide no protection in wet weather. The patient was prescribed some medicine, and several days later the patient was doing much better. He has a new pair of donated shoes, clean and dry socks from the shelter, and special access to the laundry facilities there to be sure he can keep his socks—and his feet—clean and dry.
 
There are many barriers in providing care to Maine’s homeless population, of which there are about 200 per night in Portland. Their circumstances change rapidly, they move around a lot, and they don’t have a lot of trust. Providing the service in a place that is familiar to them removes some of those barriers. 
 
“What was keeping me up at night was how we would manage our homeless population, particularly those who have underlying conditions,” says Kristen Dow, the director of Health and Human Services for the City of Portland. “Our shelter staff is not medically trained and not equipped to manage the surveillance of guests who are suspected of COVID-19 exposure.”
 
Home Care & Hospice and Mercy Hospital stepped up in a big way, according to Dow. Nurses are staffing four of the city’s shelters, monitoring guests with suspected exposure, and taking care of other health concerns at the same time. “Our shelter director can’t say enough about these nurses and the way they have interacted with and treated our guests. They seem to know exactly what our guests need and are clearly using some innovative strategies to get the job done,” observes Dow.
 
“As a primary care physician, I’ve been a bit resistant to the idea of telehealth,” says Dr. Stockwell. “But being forced to take advantage of it in this unusual time, we are realizing there’s actually a lot we can do with it. I have found most patients really like it and some patient visits are actually more productive and focused using telehealth. There will always be things that require a face to face assessment, but in the case of this homeless patient, we may have saved him from permanent damage and a need for surgery.”
 
At Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, regional medical information officer Michael Ross, MD, is watching what he predicts is a permanent transformation in healthcare delivery.
 
“We are beginning to use it for pre-procedural and follow up visits in cardiology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, neurology, orthopedics, and even some primary care, and I don’t see any reason to go back,” said Dr. Ross. “The technology has been a lifeline and will be a cornerstone going forward as we begin to reopen services across the state, while working to maintain social distancing for the health and safety of vulnerable patients. It’s easy to use and it is secure. For a rural state like Maine, it may be the silver lining in this pandemic. This is a technology whose time has come.”

Date: 07/01/2020

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of its patients, visitors, and staff, Northern Light Mercy Hospital has implemented the following update to its visitation policy, which is effective immediately.
 
Except for limited exceptions detailed below, visitors are not allowed admittance to any Northern Light Mercy Hospital facility, including both hospitals, primary care, walk-in care, and specialty care. Visitors that are allowed under the exceptions listed below must (1) be age 18 years or older, (2) not be exhibiting symptoms of an illness, and (3) always wear a face covering while in the facility.
 
Exceptions:
 
Hospital inpatient areas:
  • Obstetrics: One spouse or birthing coach.
  • Critical Care: Two visitors at a time may visit once per day. Visiting hours will be determined by the care team.
  • End of Life:  Up to four visitors may visit once per day. Visiting hours will be determined by the care team.

Outpatient surgery and procedural areas: One person who is included in the patient’s care plan.

Emergency department/ancillary/diagnostic areas: 
  • Escorts will be directed to drop-off and pick-up patients.
  • One person is allowed as an escort if the patient (1) requires a guardian present or (2) if the patient requires that person’s assistance with communication. Such necessity will be determined by the care team. 
  • Pediatrics: One parent/guardian at a time.

Extraordinary circumstances: One person is allowed as an escort, if the patient requires that person’s assistance with mobility, support, or communication with the care team. Such necessity is to be determined by care providers on a case by case basis.

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: 07/22/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has announced a number of new providers who have joined its pediatric cardiology, primary care, diabetes, pain management, and ear, nose, and throat practices. Photos of each provider can be downloaded here.
 
Javier Cremer, DO (pictured on this page), has joined Northern Light Mercy Ear, Nose and Throat Care as an otolaryngology head and neck surgeon. Dr. Cremer holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He earned his medical degree from Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dr. Cremer completed a five-year residency in otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery at Des Peres Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri. He completed a fellowship in general cosmetic surgery through the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery at Southern Surgical Arts in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Prior to joining Northern Light Mercy Ear, Nose and Throat Care, Dr. Cremer practiced as an otolaryngologist at Midwest Medical Specialist in Kansas City, Missouri treating a wide range of ENT disorders in both pediatric and adult patients.

Michael R. Epstein, MD, the only Maine-based pediatric fellowship-trained electrophysiologist in the state, brings his expertise to Mercy Hospital’s Dr. Harry E. Davis Pediatric Center in Portland. Dr. Epstein is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed his internship and residency in pediatrics, as well as fellowships in both pediatric cardiology and pediatric/congenital electrophysiology, at Boston Children’s Hospital. He holds several licenses and certifications and is a Diplomate of both the American Board of Pediatrics (Pediatric Cardiology) and the American Board of Internal Medicine (Adult Congenital Heart Disease).
 
Dr. Epstein, with additional practice locations at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and Northern Light Pediatric Specialty Care in Waterville, will provide a full range of electrophysiology services, including outpatient and inpatient consultation, invasive diagnostic electrophysiology testing, catheter ablation, and implantation and monitoring of pacemakers, ICDs, and loop recorders.
 
Amy Bates, FNP, joined Northern Light Mercy Primary Care in Yarmouth as a family nurse practitioner. Bates holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Southern Maine. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with a concentration in Secondary Education from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts.
 
Prior to joining the Northern Light Mercy Primary Care team in Yarmouth, Bates served as a registered nurse at Mercy Hospital in several units, including the medical surgical unit, progressive care unit, birthing, emergency department, and vascular interventional radiology department.
 
Mary C. Sanders, FNP-C, BC-ADM, CDCES, has joined Northern Light Mercy Endocrinology and Diabetes Care as a nationally certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Sanders has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Radford University, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Sanders has postgraduate training in advanced diabetes management from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota. She is board certified in advanced diabetes management (BC-ADM) and diabetes care and education (CDCES).
 
Prior to joining Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Sanders was a nurse practitioner for the Chronic Disease Management Clinic at Evans Army Community Hospital in Colorado Springs.

Christina Lee, FNP-BC, has joined the Northern Light Mercy Pain Management team as a family nurse practitioner. Lee has an Associate Degree in Mathematics-Science and an Associate of Applied Science: Nursing from Jefferson Community College in Watertown, New York, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas in Arlington, and a Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.   
 
Prior to joining Mercy, Christina worked at O'Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio where she worked as a registered nurse in the emergency department. Christina has over a decade of experience in acute injury care and pain management, and she has worked in community-based hospitals to level one trauma centers. She is certified to treat chronic migraine with Botox.
 

Date: 09/09/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital announced today that it has welcomed three new providers to its wound care practice.
 
Sokharath Keller, FNP-BC, a board-certified family nurse practitioner; Michael D. Johnson, DO, MPH, a hyperbaric and wound care physician; and Peter K. Carter, MD, a board-certified general surgeon, have joined Northern Light Mercy Wound Care. They join Julie Raymond, MSN, FNP-C, RN-BC and a well-established wound care team, using state-of-the-art techniques, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy and more.
 
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been proven to help accelerate the healing of many types of wounds and other injuries that have been resistant to other therapies. Hyperbaric oxygen helps the body form new blood vessels to serve areas that have been affected by circulation disorders such as peripheral arterial disease or diabetes. Mercy’s hyperbaric-certified staff has performed thousands of treatments that give hope to patients who never thought that they could heal.
 
Information about each provider, including photos, can be found below and through the links provided:

Michael D. Johnson, DO, MPH
Dr. Johnson has joined Northern Light Mercy Wound Care as a hyperbaric and wound care physician. He has a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, a master’s degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Global Health, and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Touro University California in Vallejo, California. He completed his residency in public health and general preventative medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana and a fellowship in undersea and hyperbaric medicine from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is certified by the Diving Medical Advisory Committee (DMAC Level 1 and 2D Certification), qualifying him to perform fitness to dive examinations and advise on dive injuries, diving medicine, and physiology. Dr. Johnson is a fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.
 
Peter K. Carter, MD, FACS, CWSP
Dr. Carter joined Northern Light Mercy Wound Care as a general surgeon. He earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed a five-year general surgical residency at Maine Medical Center. Dr. Carter holds several licenses and certifications and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Wound Management.
 
Prior to joining Northern Light Mercy Wound Care, Dr. Carter was medical director of wound care at Wentworth Douglas Hospital/MGH in New Hampshire and also a specialist at York Hospital. He practiced general surgery at York Hospital and Portsmouth Regional Hospital. 

Sokharath Keller, MSN, FNP-BC
Keller joined Northern Light Mercy Wound Care as a family nurse practitioner. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Medical Biology from the University of New England, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maine at Fort Kent, and a Master of Science in Nursing from Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a board-certified family nurse practitioner through the American Nurse Credentialing Center and is certified in hyperbaric medicine.

Prior to joining Northern Light Mercy Wound Care, Keller worked at Central Maine Medical Center where she provided primary healthcare needs to all ages.

Julie Raymond, MSN, FNP-C, RN-BC
Raymond has been employed by Northern Light Mercy Wound Care for three years and was mentored by Dr. Walter Keller, who retired in 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts and a Master of Science in Nursing from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a board-certified family nurse practitioner and is certified in hyperbaric medicine and gerontological nursing.
 
Prior to specializing in wound care, Raymond worked in primary care at St. John Valley Health Center and rounded at Borderview Rehabilitation, which is a skilled nursing facility.

Date: 09/10/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has announced its newest medical practice, Northern Light Mercy Midwives, with the onboarding of three new providers. Formerly known as Back Cove Midwives, the new Mercy practice includes a dedicated team led by certified nurse midwives Eileen Grillo, CNM; Jennifer Gilbert, CNM; and Elsa Heros, CNM.
 
“This caring and talented group has been delivering babies at Mercy and working with local families for years, and we are excited that they will continue to do so as members of the Mercy Hospital team,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital.
 
The team at Northern Light Mercy Midwives has been serving the greater Portland community for over 30 years, providing a comfortable, intimate, and caring atmosphere to patients. Certified nurse midwives work with pregnant and non-pregnant patients, focusing on developing a relationship of caring and trust with each and every woman they see. Information about each provider can be found below, and additional information about the practice can be found here.
 
Eileen Grillo, CNM
Grillo is a midwife and certified nurse specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. She moved to Maine from Seattle in 1984 where she completed her undergraduate studies in nursing at the University of Washington. Her first eight years in nursing were spent working with families during and following labor and birth at Mercy’s Birthplace. During this time, she pursued and completed her graduate education in midwifery at the Frontier School of Midwifery. In 1992, she helped bring midwifery care to Mercy’s Birthplace.
 
Since that time, Grillo has been caring for mothers and babies at Back Cove Midwives, now Northern Light Mercy Midwives, as well as starting a midwifery clinic for socially and financially challenged women through Mercy Hospital. She is a member of, and holds her certification through, the American College of Nurse Midwives.
 
Jennifer Gilbert, CNM
Gilbert is a midwife and certified nurse specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. She grew up in the greater Portland area and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing through Husson University in Bangor. After working for eight years as a labor and delivery nurse at Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Gilbert decided to pursue her dream to become a certified nurse midwife. She earned her certification in midwifery as well as a Master of Science with a concentration in midwifery through Philadelphia University in 2005, and she has been practicing at Back Cove Midwives since 2007.

Gilbert is certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board and is an active member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.
 
Elsa Heros, CNM
Hero’s journey into nursing began when she graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Spanish.
 
After receiving her Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing/Nurse Midwifery degrees from Yale University in 1996, she began caring for women in the clinical setting providing full care during labor, delivery, and postpartum. She has served on the faculties of the University of California San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital as well as the University of Southern Maine. While at USM she precepted nursing students at Northern Light Mercy Hospital’s Birthplace in Portland.

 

Date: 09/16/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has announced that Daniel Martino, DO has joined Northern Light Mercy Surgery as a general surgeon.
 
Dr. Martino joins a team of highly skilled, board-certified surgeons with extensive experience in minimally invasive techniques. Services offered include procedures and surgeries for acute problems, including both simple and highly complex hernias, gallbladder disease, bowel obstruction, diverticulitis, and appendicitis among others. The group also provides state of the art surgical treatment for cancers of the digestive system, including colorectal cancer and esophageal cancer, as well as skin cancers such as melanoma.
 
More information on Dr. Martino can be found below, and more information about the practice can be found here.
 
Daniel Martino, DO
 
Daniel Martino, DO, has a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Florida. He completed his residency in general surgery with fields of interest in robotics and laparoscopy at Detroit Medical Center Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.
 
Prior to joining Mercy, Dr. Martino was a house surgeon at Detroit Medical Center Huron Valley Sinai Hospital, in Commerce Charter Township, Michigan. Prior to his time in Michigan, he was a NICU patient care assistant at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburgh, Florida. Martino is a member of both the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.

Date: 09/17/2020

At noon today, Northern Light Mercy Hospital hosted a topping-off ceremony to celebrate placement of the final beam to mark the structural completion of the Mercy Fore River hospital expansion as part of its larger consolidation project. Photos from today’s ceremony can be downloaded here.
 
Mercy Hospital president, Charlie Therrien, hosted the event, which included a blessing by Bishop Robert Deeley, Diocese of Portland, and remarks from Northern Light Health president and CEO, Tim Dentry, and One Mercy capital campaign chair, Chris Howard. 
 
Following the speaking program, construction crews hoisted the one ton, 30-foot beam into place.  The ceremony was livestreamed to Mercy employees who signed the beam at Mercy's State Street and Fore River campuses weeks earlier. 
 
“The placement of that final beam was an exciting milestone for our entire Mercy community.  It brings us one step closer to a consolidated campus that will provide our patients and community with convenient and expanded access to care,” said Therrien. 
 
Earlier this year, Mercy received state approval to complete the consolidation of services and hospital operations to an expanded Mercy Fore River campus. As part of the consolidation plan, Mercy sold its State Street campus and will lease back the property until the Fore River project is completed in 2022.

Date: 09/29/2020

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of its patients, visitors, and staff, Northern Light Mercy Hospital has implemented the following update to its visitation policy, which is effective immediately.
 
Except for limited exceptions detailed below, visitors are not allowed admittance to any Northern Light Mercy Hospital facility, including both hospitals, primary care, walk-in care, and specialty care. Visitors that are allowed under the exceptions listed below must (1) be age 18 years or older, (2) not be exhibiting symptoms of an illness, and (3) always wear a face covering while in the facility.
 
Exceptions:
 
Hospital inpatient areas:
  • Obstetrics: One spouse or birthing coach in the Birthplace.
  • Critical Care: Two visitors may visit once per day. Visiting hours will be determined by the care team and occur between the hours of 12-8 pm.
  • End of Life: Up to four visitors may visit once per day. Visiting hours will be determined by the care team and occur between the hours of 12-8 pm.
  • All other inpatient units: One visitor is allowed per day. Visiting hours will be determined by the care team and occur between the hours of 12-8pm.
 
Patient discharges will be brought to an appropriate entrance for pick up.

Outpatient surgery and procedural areas: One person who is included in the patient’s care plan is allowed in the waiting area, providing there is sufficient space to achieve social distancing requirements.
 
Emergency department/ancillary/diagnostic areas:
  • One person can accompany the patient in the waiting and treatment area if space is adequate to maintain social distancing requirements. Due to space limitations, we may need to ask visitors to leave to ensure that we maintain patient safety.
  • Pediatrics: One parent/guardian at a time.
 
Extraordinary circumstances: One person is allowed as an escort if the patient requires that person’s assistance with mobility, support, or communication with the care team. Such necessity is to be determined by care providers on a case by case basis.
 
Outpatient Practices:
  • Obstetrics: One spouse or birthing coach may accompany patient to first visit with provider.
 
Extraordinary circumstances: One support person can attend the scheduled appointment if the patient is receiving a significant diagnosis such as cancer.

Date: 10/13/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has welcomed two new providers to its primary care practices. Jodi Newcombe, MD joins Northern Light Mercy Primary Care, Yarmouth and Corinna Campbell, NP joins Northern Light Mercy Primary Care, Windham. Information about the providers can be found below, and information about Mercy Hospital’s primary care practices can be found here. Photos of each provider are attached.
 
Jodi Newcombe, MD
Dr. Newcombe has a Bachelor of Science from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, a Medical Degree from American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in Saint Maarten, attended Eastern Virginal Medical School for a combined residency in internal medicine and family medicine, and is board certified in both internal medicine and family medicine. Prior to joining Mercy, Dr. Newcombe worked at Central Maine Medical Center in Topsham where she was a primary care provider in two rural clinics, and she provided urgent care at ConvenientMD in Westbrook.
 
Dr. Newcombe grew up on the coast of Maine skiing and sailing, and she feels very fortunate to have traveled and studied medicine around the U.S. and abroad. This perspective has reaffirmed that Maine is where she wants to live and practice medicine. She is passionate about managing chronic diseases, adult primary care, and preventative care. She believes that patient-centered care means that you are supported by a team where better health, including chronic pain and mental health challenges, are best complemented by a healthy diet and exercise.

Corinna Campbell, NP
Campbell has joined Northern Light Mercy Primary Care in Windham as a nurse practitioner. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine. Before joining Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Campbell was a nurse practitioner at the urgent care at St. Mary’s Regional Hospital in Lewiston, Maine. She is vice president of the board for Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic, a local non-profit organization. 

Date: 10/20/2020

Since the pandemic began, Mercy has taken a number of steps to support our patients and the community by establishing a COVID-19 nurse triage hotline, a virtual COVID-19 telehealth clinic, a remote drive through testing facility that is open seven days a week, and a respiratory exam clinic for those who need in-person assessments of their COVID-19 symptoms. These steps were taken to respond to community need and to keep our patients and employees safe.
 
Due to the ongoing need to maintain our comprehensive response to the pandemic, we’ve reallocated resources from our walk-in care services to our COVID-19 response. As a result, on November 14, the Yarmouth walk-in care location will close. The status of all other services at the Yarmouth health center, including primary care, lab, and imaging, will be unchanged.
 
We also have a construction project underway to expand our Fore River hospital so that we can consolidate operations on one campus. As part of our consolidation process, the walk-in care located within the Fore River hospital is scheduled to close due to the space being repurposed as part of the master facility plan. As a result of this work and our need to continue to maintain a strong response to the pandemic, the Portland walk-in care location will also close on November 14.
 
Alternative walk-in care locations
Patients are invited to visit other locations listed below and accessible here.
 
  • Windham (409 Roosevelt Trail; 207-400-8600)
  • Gorham (74 County Road, South Gorham Crossing; 207-535-1400)

Respiratory clinic
Patients with non-emergency respiratory symptoms can call 207-553-6050 to obtain an appointment to be seen in our Westbrook Respiratory Clinic.
 
Established Northern Light Mercy Primary Care patients in Yarmouth
Mercy primary care patients in Yarmouth are encouraged to call the practice (207-535-1200) to schedule a time for the primary care team to see them.

Date: 10/26/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital announced today that Brandei Wingard, MD, has joined Northern Light Mercy Cardiovascular Care as a cardiologist. Dr. Wingard will also be the medical director of the hospital’s device clinic, where she will work closely with patients to monitor and maintain pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators. She is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease and is the board president of the American Heart Association of Maine.
 
Dr. Wingard has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a Medical Degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. She completed her residency in internal medicine as well as her fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Maine Medical Center. Prior to joining Mercy Hospital, Dr. Wingard was a cardiologist at Southern Maine Health Center.
 
Mercy Hospital is recognized by the American Heart Association for its active involvement in Get with the Guidelines—Heart Failure, a program designed to help hospitals make sure patients get the benefits of the latest scientific guidelines-based treatment.

Date: 11/02/2020

Mercy-SL-(2).jpgMercy StarLights, a wintertime fundraiser of the Northern Light Mercy Hospital Auxiliary, illuminates the way to Maine’s best healthcare and ensures that our patients continue to receive the highest quality, compassionate care.

As the days get shorter and the nights grow cooler, shine a light in the darkness to show your love and appreciation. Celebrate family and friends, cancer survivors and caregivers, coworkers and community leaders, with individual lights that will sparkle on evergreens at Mercy Fore River.

The names of the honored and remembered will be displayed on our website through January 31, 2021. Donors will receive beautiful Mercy StarLight cards to mail to family and friends, acknowledging the beacon lit in their honor.

The tree will come to life on Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 4:30 pm. You’re invited to join us virtually for this year’s tree lighting on our Facebook Page.

Click here to learn more and purchase a light.

Date: 11/10/2020

By Jodi Newcombe, MD
 
This time of year, the holidays are just around the corner. While things look differently due to the pandemic, we could all benefit from safely maintaining our connections to family and friends, especially as holiday traditions approach.
 
While we may be gathering in smaller groups outside, virtually, or have our faces covered for the protection of ourselves and others, these connections to loved ones are crucial to our overall wellbeing. So too is another, often central element of many holiday traditions—what we eat and how we celebrate. Delicious, but sometimes unhealthy, food can be the norm, and knowing a few tips could help us balance out the celebratory meals, deserts, and snacks that often accompany the holidays.

While it can be tempting to wait until the new year to tackle a healthy eating resolution, incorporating healthy lifestyle modifications now could help set us all up for year-round wellness.
 
  • Post-meal stroll: After a meal, try to go for a walk down the street or around the neighborhood. It’s a better alternative than a post meal nap—no matter how inviting our couches may seem. Research has found that taking a walk about 15 minutes after a meal may improve digestion and blood sugar control. Tip: Consider having a warm tea to savor when you reach your destination.
  • Wet your whistle: While it’s important to remain adequately hydrated throughout the day, drinking 1-2 glasses of water a half hour prior to eating does more than ward off possible dehydration or headaches. Research has shown that it also helps curb your appetite.
  • Getting your greens: Try to incorporate new exciting vegetables in your meal prep routine to provide variety in the healthy options on your plate. Ideally, fiber rich greens or veggies should encompass 50 percent of your plate. Dietary fiber, which is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, can provide many benefits, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Tip: Recently I have been experimenting by roasting seasoned broccoli, eggplant, purple cauliflower, lentils, and local squash. Consider supporting local and going to your nearby farmers market.
  • Don’t be salty: If you ever wondered why your socks indented your legs, your blood pressure increased, or your hands were swollen the next day after a tasty meal, consider reflecting on your salt intake. The suggested salt intake in a healthy person is no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day. To put it in perspective, a serving of holiday stuffing and macaroni and cheese can surpass the suggested daily maximum. According to the American Heart Association, because the average American eats so much excess sodium, even cutting back by 1,000 mgs a day can significantly improve blood pressure and heart health. Tip: For meal preparation, consider using flavorful herbs and low sodium spice alternatives to make a reduction in sodium intake easier to swallow. I also recommend avoiding boxed recipes with high sodium content.
  • Bigger is not always better: Try to consciously monitor your portion sizes and limit carbohydrates, sugars, and greasy foods to less than 25% of your plate. Protein intake should equate to a portion the size of your palm. If you’re still hungry, drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes before getting seconds. Tip: Use smaller plates and serving spoons to help achieve portion control goals, because our eyes truly are usually bigger than our stomachs.

Adding post meal exercise, increasing daily water intake, incorporating more vegetables, limiting salt, and monitoring portion sizes are easy ways that we all can make a little difference for ourselves and others. As one of Mercy’s newest primary care providers, I want to remind you to set up your annual physical prior to the holidays. Ensuring your blood pressure is at target, cholesterol panel is checked, and preventative health goals are met will start your holidays off right and set you on the right path for a healthier 2021.
 
Dr. Jodi Newcombe is a primary care physician at Northern Light Mercy Primary Care located at 385 Route One in Yarmouth.

Date: 12/02/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has announced that hip and knee joint replacement experts Stephen Rodrigue, MD and Bruce Gomberg, MD have joined Northern Light Mercy Orthopedics. Physician Assistants Scott Collins, Anne Rolfson, and Cody Bothel are also joining the practice, which is located at 20 Northbrook Drive in Falmouth.
 
“We’re excited to welcome this talented team to Mercy,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital. “Our patients will benefit greatly from their commitment to providing personalized and compassionate care combined with their focus on achieving the very best surgical outcomes.”
 
Stephen Rodrigue, MD
A native of Maine, Dr. Rodrigue received his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, completing his internship at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Harvard Orthopaedic program, focusing on traumatic bone injuries and reconstructive joint replacement.
 
A surgeon for over twenty years, Dr. Rodrigue is valued by his patients for his compassionate bedside manner and easy, relatable style. Clinically, he emphasizes an organized, team approach to patient care, which has enabled a well-established record of optimal surgical outcomes. He is a Fellow of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and is actively involved in patient satisfaction studies. Dr. Rodrigue’s full bio can be found here.
 
Bruce Gomberg, MD
Dr. Gomberg has a proven track record of top-tier surgical outcomes as verified by independent benchmarking, and he is motivated by his desire to help people regain their mobility. He attended medical school at the University of Pittsburgh, completing his internship and residency at West Virginia University. He completed his fellowship in arthroplasty and surgical healthcare delivery at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York.
 
Dr. Gomberg is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, European Society for Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy, and the European Knee Associates, where he is the Co-Chair of the Small Implant Group, focusing on partial knee replacements. He is also the Director of the Maine Orthopaedic Review, held annually at Colby College, the nation’s longest running orthopedic surgery board review course. Dr. Gomberg’s full bio can be found here.
 
Mercy Hospital’s work to achieve the very best patient outcomes and experience have earned a number of national recognitions. Additional information about Northern Light Mercy Orthopedics can be found here.

Date: 12/08/2020

Except for limited exceptions detailed below, visitors are not allowed admittance to any Northern Light Mercy Hospital facility, including both hospitals, primary care, walk-in care, and specialty care practices. Visitors that are allowed under the exceptions listed below must (1) be age 18 years or older, (2) not be exhibiting symptoms of an illness, and (3) wear an approved face mask at all times while in the facility.  In response to activity levels and/or space limitations, we reserve the right to ask visitors to leave in order to ensure patient and staff safety.
 
Exceptions:
 
  • Pediatrics: Two parents/guardians at a time.
  • Obstetrics: One spouse/birthing partner.
  • End of life: Two visitors per day.
  • Emergency Department: Visitors are not allowed to wait in the ED. Exceptions will be made for care plan discussions as arranged with the care team or for end of life. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians.
  • Outpatient surgery, procedural areas, and ambulatory/diagnostic areas: Adult patients should arrange for drop-off and pick-up unless they need special assistance. Visitors are not allowed to wait in these areas.
  • COVID-19 patients: Except for end of life, patients who are PUIs and/or on precautions for COVID-19 are not allowed visitors.
  • Extraordinary circumstances: Patients in any care setting who require the assistance of another person for mobility, for decision-making such as durable power of attorney or guardian, or for communicating with care teams may be accompanied by one adult escort. Such necessity to be determined by care providers.

Date: 12/09/2020

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has announced that George Tuchsen, MD has joined Northern Light Mercy Surgery as a general surgeon.
 
Dr. Tuchsen is a board-certified general surgeon and a fellow of the American Board of Surgery who has been practicing surgery since 1994. As a nationally recognized expert in da Vinci robotic surgery, he has conducted training courses and proctored over 100 surgeons in the use of the robotic surgical platform. He is helping to develop a new robotic-assisted surgery program at Mercy Hospital.
 
Dr. Tuchsen specializes in general and minimally invasive surgery with a special interest in robotic-assisted surgery and gastroesophageal reflux surgery. He also has extensive experience in biliary/gastrointestinal surgery, intestinal disorders, and surgical treatment of all types of abdominal wall hernias.
 
Prior to joining Mercy, he was in private practice in San Antonio, Texas and chief of surgery at North Central Baptist Hospital. He received his BA in Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota; a Doctor of Medicine from University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas; and held his general surgery residency and internship at University of New Mexico affiliated hospitals in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 
More information about Dr. Tuchsen can be found here.

Date: 12/16/2020

GettyImages-501931509.jpgMercy StarLights, a wintertime fundraiser of the Northern Light Mercy Hospital Auxiliary, illuminates the way to Maine’s best healthcare and ensures that our patients continue to receive the highest quality, compassionate care.

StarLights is made possible by the generosity of its foundress, the late Janet Y. Burns.

Click here for a complete list of individuals who have been honored and remembered.

To learn more or to honor or remember a loved one, please click here.

Our heartfelt thanks to those who have chosen to support the 2020 Mercy StarLights program.

Date: 02/18/2021

Beginning March 2, Northern Light Mercy Hospital in partnership with the city of Portland and state of Maine, will begin offering community vaccinations to those 70 and over at the Portland Expo. The new site will offer appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
 
“This has truly been a collaborative effort with our community, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of the great work that has gone into the planning of this vaccination site,” said Melissa Skahan, Northern Light Mercy Hospital vice president and local vaccination site operations lead. “The Expo offers the benefits of both square footage for the clinic space as well as a great location, with access to public transportation and onsite parking. We are also working with local partners to support education campaigns to raise awareness about this new site.”
 
As with other Northern Light Health vaccination sites, people will need to register ahead of time to receive a vaccination appointment. Community members over the age of 70 can currently register online or through the Northern Light Health call center (207-204-8551).
 
While most new appointments are released on Mondays, some may also become available on Wednesdays. People with appointments should show up no more than 10 minutes prior to their scheduled time to reduce the potential for lines outside the facility, especially during these colder winter months.






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Date: 03/08/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has announced that board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist Loretta Hallock, DO has joined its women’s health team as medical director. Prior to joining Northern Light Mercy Women’s Health, Dr. Hallock was an attending physician at Yale Northeast Medical Group Obstetrics and Gynecology in Shelton, Connecticut.
 
In addition to providing general gynecology services, including annual women’s health screenings, Dr. Hallock treats all obstetrics patients, including those with high-risk pregnancies, complex medical conditions, and multigestational pregnancies. She also performs a wide range of gynecologic surgeries, including robotic-assisted procedures, various urogynecologic procedures, and the full scope of gynecologic laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Dr. Hallock is also fluent in Spanish as a second language, and she participates in gynecologic surgery medical missions, performing and teaching surgery in South America.
 
Dr. Hallock has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; a Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Certificate from Philadelphia Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Philadelphia Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Hallock began her residency training in general surgery. Her passion for women’s health prompted her to change her focus to obstetrics and gynecology, and she completed her Ob/Gyn residency at St. Francis Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

Date: 03/10/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has announced that Deqa Dhalac, MSW, MDP; Sister Judith Carey, RSM; Jen Palminteri, MD; and Victoria Morales have joined its Board of Trustees.
 
“Each of our new board members are leaders in our community and deeply connected to those we serve,” said Debra Taylor, chair of Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees. “Their experience will help guide us as we continue to work our way through this pandemic and plan for our future at our expanded campus on Fore River Parkway.”
 
Deqa Dhalac, MSW, MDP
Deqa is the family engagement and cultural responsiveness specialist for Maine Department of Education and is the co-founder of Cross-Cultural Community Services where she and her colleagues provide cultural competency trainings to organizations in Maine to better understand the challenge immigrants go through as they navigate western systems. Deqa holds a master’s degrees in development policy and practice from the University of New Hampshire as well as social work from the University of New England in Portland. She formerly worked for The Opportunity Alliance as a community builder and the city of Portland as a health and human services councilor. Deqa is originally from Somalia East Africa. She came to the United States in 1992 and has three children. She is a leader in the Somali Community Center of Maine, a city councilor in South Portland, Maine representing district 5, and an Emerge Maine Alumni.
 
Victoria Morales
Victoria is the executive director of Quality Housing Coalition (QHC) and has spent most of her professional life working within communities to find practical solutions to shared challenges. Before joining Quality Housing Coalition (QHC), Victoria co-founded the Maine Youth Court, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing school suspensions and youth incarceration through restorative practices. During this time, she also served as Principal Attorney at the Maine Department of Transportation, Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Portland, and pro bono asylum council for the Immigration Legal Advocacy Project.  Victoria earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston College in Boston, MA and her law degree from the University of Maine School of Law in Portland. Victoria was elected to her first term in the Maine House in 2018 for House District 33 in South Portland.  She is a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Victoria volunteers as a youth sports coach and supports many school and community activities. She lives in South Portland with her husband, three children, and their dog Lucky. 
 
Jen Palminteri, MD
Dr. Palminteri, who has been practicing in Maine since 2011, is board-certified in internal medicine, critical care, and pulmonary diseases by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Palminteri, who is also vice president of the Mercy medical staff, attended the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed both her residency and fellowship at Maine Medical Center. Dr. Palminteri has served as the medical director of critical care services at Mercy Hospital since 2018 and leads its Critical Care Committee. She also participates in several committees across the Northern Light Health system.
 
During her residency, Dr. Palminteri served as the president of the House Staff Association and on the Graduate Medical Education Committee. She co-founded the Interstitial Lung Disease Program at Chest Medicine Associates and is a current member of the teaching faculty at Maine Medical Center. 
 
Sister Judith Carey, RSM
Sr. Judith is a member of the Sisters of Mercy and is a facilitator/organizational consultant. She has retired as the Vice President of Mission Integration at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Sister Judy received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the Diocesan Teachers’ College in Madison, Connecticut; a master’s degree in special education from Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut; a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Saint Joseph College.

Date: 03/19/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has updated its visitation policy, which is effective today and applies to all of its hospitals, medical practices, and care sites.
 
While visitation remains limited, visitors are allowed under the exceptions listed below as long as they are age 18 years or older, not exhibiting symptoms of an illness, and always wear a face covering while in a facility.
 
Hospital inpatient areas:
  • Pediatrics: Two parents/guardians allowed in all areas, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing.
  • Obstetrics: One spouse/coach.
  • All other inpatient areas, including critical care: One individual is allowed to visit per day between the hours of 3-6 pm. Exceptions may be made at the time of unit admission or for care plan discussions.
  • Patients on palliative care/comfort measures: Two visitors daily, once per day, at times to be managed by the care team.
  • End of life in any inpatient area: Up to four family members at times to be managed by the care team.
  • Patients in isolation for COVID-19 infection or being evaluated for COVID-19 infection: No visitors except for end of life.

Patient discharges: Patients will be brought to an appropriate entrance for pick up.

Outpatient surgery and procedural areas: Adult patients should arrange for drop-off and pick-up unless they need special assistance. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing.
 
Emergency department: One person is permitted to accompany patient, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing. Exceptions may be made for care plan discussions as arranged with the care team or for end of life.

Ambulatory/diagnostic areas: Adult patients should come alone or arrange for drop-off and pick-up unless they need special assistance. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing.

Patients requiring special assistance: Patients in any care setting who need help — such as with mobility or communications with the care team about their medical history or care — may be assisted by an adult escort to provide the needed assistance or support. Such necessity will be determined by the care team.
 
All visitors/escorts are subject to screening for COVID-19. Visitors/escorts with any COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to enter NL Mercy facilities. Visitors/escorts must:
  • Perform hand hygiene prior to entering and upon leaving the patient’s room/care area;
  • Wear a mask at all times in the facility; and
  • Not go to any locations in the facility other than the room of the patient they are visiting. Hospital cafeterias are closed to visitors.

Date: 03/29/2021

In collaboration with its Dr. Harry E. Davis Pediatric Center, Northern Light Mercy Hospital has formalized a clinical affiliation with Maine Neonatology Associates, PA (MNA). This new partnership brings patients and families an advanced level of newborn care from a team of board-certified neonatologists, neonatal hospitalists, and neonatal nurse practitioners who are available to provide specialized care in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
 
“Mercy has welcomed thousands of healthy babies into the world, and this new partnership ensures that more parents have the option of our personalized birthing experience, compassionate care, and clinical excellence,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital. “Patients can feel secure knowing that the area’s top neonatal specialists will be onsite 24/7 for newborns who may need an extra level of care.”
 
Neonatal services provided at Mercy Hospital include:
  • Attendance at birth when risk factors are identified.
  • Emergency response when infants unexpectedly need additional help at the time of birth.
  • Support of infant breathing through the use of oxygen or other tools such as CPAP.
  • Phototherapy for infant jaundice.
  • IV fluids when needed for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  • Management of common neonatal complications.
  • Specialized breast feeding support, including outpatient lactation services.
  • Monitoring of infants at risk for Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS).
 
Additional information on birthing and neonatal services and providers at Mercy Hospital can be found here.

Date: 04/15/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has received a $250,000 capital campaign challenge grant from The Lunder Foundation to support the hospital’s campus consolidation project. The grant provides a one-to-one match up to $250,000 for all capital campaign gifts.
 
The Lunder Foundation commitment was made in honor of the late and legendary Portland attorney, Ralph I. Lancaster, who was a longtime Mercy supporter and close friend of Peter and Paula Lunder.  Until his passing, Mr. Lancaster served as honorary co-chair, along with Bishop Robert Deeley and Maddy Corson, of Mercy’s capital campaign committee.
 
“Ralph Lancaster was a dear friend who devoted his life to helping those in need. He was deeply committed to Mercy Hospital and their mission of compassionate care for all. That was the essence of his life’s work. We wanted to honor Ralph at a place that meant the world to him and inspire others to support the capital campaign he helped launch and lead,” said Peter and Paula Lunder. 
 
To date, Mercy has raised more than 90% of its $20 million capital campaign goal.
 
“We are grateful to Peter and Paula Lunder and The Lunder Foundation for their gift in honor of Ralph Lancaster who was a champion for Mercy until his last days. The Lunders’ generous challenge grant provides an extraordinary opportunity for donors to double the impact of their support in the final stage of our campaign,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital.
 
Last year, Mercy broke ground on a project to consolidate services and hospital operations from its State Street location to an expanded campus on the Fore River Parkway. Construction is scheduled to be completed later this year.

Date: 04/16/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital and the Portland Sea Dogs released a video today featuring Slugger the Sea Dog at the vaccination clinic run by Northern Light Mercy Hospital at the James A. Banks Sr. Exposition Building in Portland. The organizations will be spreading the message on social media and encourage eligible Mainers to get vaccinated.

 

Date: 04/27/2021

Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, April 28, the Portland Expo vaccination clinic operated by Northern Light Mercy Hospital will begin offering walk-in vaccinations. The clinic is open Tuesday-Friday each week from 9 am to 3 pm. The number of vaccines available on a walk-in basis is dependent on weekly vaccine shipments.
 
Vaccination appointments can still be scheduled ahead of time online or by calling 207-204-8551. As a reminder, those with appointments should show up no more than 10 minutes prior to their scheduled time to reduce the potential for lines outside the facility.

Date: 05/05/2021

Beginning tomorrow, Northern Light Pharmacy, located in the medical office building on Northern Light Mercy Hospital’s campus on Fore River Parkway, will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations on a walk-in basis. The pharmacy is offering these walk-in vaccinations during normal business hours, which are 9 am – 7 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am – 5 pm on Saturdays.

Mercy Hospital also announced updates to its COVID-19 vaccination program at the Portland Expo. Beginning next week, the Portland Expo vaccination clinic will transition to accepting walk-ins on Wednesdays and Fridays. Previously, it was open to walk-ins Tuesday through Friday. This change is being made to reflect the changes in demand for vaccinations overall and volumes at the Expo clinic, which was designed to be a mass vaccination site. 

To date, the clinic at the Expo has provided over 35,000 vaccine doses. Northern Light Mercy Hospital remains committed to working with the state and local communities as the vaccination process moves forward, including reaching out directly to schools to provide vaccinations to eligible students.

Date: 05/06/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital announced that the John T. Gorman Foundation has awarded a $400,000 challenge grant to support its +MPower workforce development program. This new program is providing training and opportunity to new Mainers and others who may face challenges to entering or advancing in the workforce.  

“We’re grateful to the John T. Gorman Foundation for their strong partnership and generous support of Mercy’s workforce development program,” said Melissa Skahan, vice president of mission integration at Mercy Hospital. “With their help, we’re able to provide vital resources and training to help marginalized communities begin healthcare careers or advance in the workplace. Together, we’re helping to close the opportunity gap for many in our community.”

Through community partnerships with Portland Adult Education and others, +MPower establishes career pathways with enhanced access to education and training. The program helps participants begin or advance careers and earn higher wages while also helping employers meet workforce needs.  

“Too often, new Mainers and others face systemic barriers that keep them from advancing in the workforce, despite their great potential and desire to do so,” said John T. Gorman Foundation President and CEO Tony Cipollone. “The John T. Gorman Foundation appreciates that Mercy Hospital is providing new opportunities and supports to enable new and incumbent workers to successfully pursue their career aspirations. We know it will make a positive difference for many workers, their families, and our communities.”

Recognizing the connection between a skilled healthcare workforce and increased access to care in the community, the John T. Gorman Foundation challenge grant will inspire support of Mercy’s capital campaign. For every $100 raised for the campaign, the Foundation will contribute $20 to the +MPower program, up to a total of $400,000. Mercy’s capital campaign supports the hospital’s consolidation to its expanded Fore River Parkway campus, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Date: 05/11/2021

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for those aged 12 and above, and Northern Light Mercy Hospital is offering it to all who are eligible starting tomorrow (May 12) at our Portland Expo clinic.

As a reminder, the clinic is open to walk-ins from 9 am – 3 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. Please note, those under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult to their vaccination appointment. To save time, you can complete the consent form before arrival by downloading it from our website.

Date: 07/12/2021

All Northern Light Mercy Primary Care and Walk-In Care locations offer CV19 vaccinations on a walk-in basis. If you have a vaccine preference, we recommend that you call the office before you arrive to confirm availability.

Our pediatric practice in Portland now offers the Pfizer vaccine on a walk-in basis, and Northern Light Pharmacy on our Fore River campus offers vaccinations on a walk-in basis. Please note that you do not need to be a current patient of Northern Light Health to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Date: 06/03/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital and the Portland Sea Dogs announced today that they are partnering to offer free COVID-19 vaccines at Hadlock Field on June 10.

Mercy Hospital will administer the vaccinations from 5-7 pm at the June 10 game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Attendees who are vaccinated will receive a food voucher good for a hot dog, water, and Sea Dog biscuit as well as a free ticket to a future game.

Last month, Northern Light Mercy Hospital announced additional COVID-19 vaccination sites as well plans to wind down the mass vaccination clinic it operates at the Portland Expo by June 18. Mercy Hospital now provides COVID-19 vaccinations through primary care, walk-in care, pharmacy, and other locations.


 

Date: 06/24/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has updated its visitation policy, which is effective June 25, 2021 and applies to all of its hospitals, medical practices, and care sites. Visitors are allowed under the circumstances listed below as long as they are not exhibiting symptoms of an illness and always wear a face covering while in a facility.
 
Hospital inpatient areas:
  • Pediatrics: Two parents/guardians allowed in all areas, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing.
  • Obstetrics: Two visitors will be allowed at a time as the patient condition allows. Siblings will be limited to those who can wear a mask and visits from siblings will be limited between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm. 
  • All other inpatient areas, including critical care: Visitor hours from 8 am to 8 pm daily. No limit to how many visitors a patient can have, though we will allow only one visitor at a time for distancing reasons.
  • End of life in any inpatient area: Up to four family members at times to be managed by the care team.
  • Patients in isolation for COVID-19 infection or being evaluated for COVID-19 infection: No visitors except for end of life.

Outpatient surgery and procedural areas: Adult patients should arrange for drop-off and pick-up unless they need special assistance. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing.
 
Emergency department: One person is permitted to accompany patient, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing. Exceptions may be made for care plan discussions as arranged with the care team or for end of life.
 
Ambulatory/diagnostic areas: Adult patients should come alone or arrange for drop-off and pick-up unless they need special assistance. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing.
 
Patients requiring special assistance: Patients in any care setting who need help — such as with mobility or communication with the care team about their medical history or care — may be assisted by an adult escort to provide the needed assistance or support. Such necessity will be determined by the care team.
 
All visitors/escorts are subject to screening for COVID-19. Visitors/escorts with any COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to enter NL Mercy facilities. Visitors/escorts must:
  • Perform hand hygiene prior to entering and upon leaving the patient’s room/care area;
  • Wear a mask at all times in the facility; and
  • Not go to any locations in the facility other than the room of the patient they are visiting. Hospital cafeterias are open to visitors for food purchase only. The cafeterias are not open to visitors for dining at this time.

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: 07/23/2021

Beginning in August, Northern Light Mercy Hospital will expand COVID-19 testing to six area locations. Additional details on testing services, locations, and contact information can be found online.

The success of getting Mainers vaccinated against COVID-19 has led to an overall decrease in demand for testing and has made it possible to move testing services to medical offices and other settings. As a result, the swab and go drive through testing site located on Mercy Hospital’s Fore River Parkway campus will close at the end of July. 

Date: 08/10/2021

Effective Wednesday, August 11, Northern Light Mercy Hospital will limit visitation for adult inpatients to one visitor daily between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm. While those visiting adult inpatients may only make one visit each day, there is no limit to the length of the visit.

Please note, the remainder of the visitation policy remains unchanged and can be found here. While visitors are not allowed to wait in the emergency department, exceptions will be made for care plan discussions as arranged with the care team or for end of life. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians, and obstetrics patients will be allowed two visitors at a time as patient condition allows.

These changes are being made for the safety of patients, staff, and care teams as community transmission of COVID-19 rises. 

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: 09/08/2021

Given the recent surge in demand for COVID-19 testing, on Friday, September 10, Northern Light Mercy Hospital will increase its COVID-19 testing site options by reopening the drive up testing facility located at the hospital’s campus on Fore River Parkway in Portland. The site, which will be open seven days a week from 9 am – 1 pm, will be open to online and telephone (1-844-489-1822) scheduling starting tomorrow, September 9. 

Laboratory testing is offered at the site, including for those with symptoms, suspected exposure, or pre-procedure testing. Please note, this is a self-swab site. If children need testing, parents or guardians will administer the test.

The restart of this drive-up testing facility follows a July announcement that Mercy Hospital had expanded its testing sites to include the following locations, which remain active:
Additional information about Northern Light Health COVID-19 testing options can be found here.

Date: 09/09/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has launched a new effort to help those who are experiencing lingering symptoms even after they have recovered from COVID-19 infection. The hospital has brought together a select group of providers to focus on the evaluation and treatment of post-COVID patients. This approach will help Mercy clinicians work efficiently with Massachusetts General Hospital on developing evolving clinical guidelines to provide the most up to date care for these patients.
 
“We’re finding more and more people are experiencing symptoms months after recovering from COVID-19,” said Dr. Su-Anne Hammond, the medical director for Northern Light Mercy Primary Care. “We have been fortunate to collaborate with Massachusetts General Hospital on the care of post-COVID patients, and we look forward to helping more people in the weeks and months ahead.”
 
Post-COVID patients may have a range of symptoms that could require evaluation from a variety of specialists. During the initial visit, each patient undergoes a comprehensive intake and physical evaluation. A patient navigator then arranges additional imaging, testing, and/or referrals to specialists as needed.
 
Those seeking evaluations can call 207-857-8375 to schedule an appointment. Additional information on the service, as well as examples of post-COVID symptoms, can be found on Mercy Hospital’s website.

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: 10/25/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital is pleased to announce that three new providers have joined its medical group. Abigail J. Sedenka, Au.D., joined Northern Light Mercy Ear, Nose, and Throat Care; Eliot DeSilva, MD, MPH, SFHM joined as medical director of hospital medicine; and Ryan J. Trosper, PA-C, has joined the Northern Light Mercy Pain Center. Additional information about each provider is below and photos are attached.

Abigail J. Sedenka, Au.D.
Dr. Sedenka, a member of the American Association of Audiology, earned her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from Syracuse University and her doctorate in audiology from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining Mercy, she was employed as a clinical audiologist with InterMed, P.A. in Portland. In this role, she performed hearing evaluations for all ages; infant ABR testing; BAHA and hearing aid fitting; and ototoxic monitoring. At Mercy, Dr. Sedenka will continue to see patients of all ages for diagnostic hearing evaluations and hearing aid fittings.

Eliot DeSilva, MD, MPH, SFHM
Dr. DeSilva earned his Bachelor of Science from Haverford College; Master of Public Health from Harvard University School of Public Health; and his Doctor of Medicine from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Prior to joining Mercy, Dr. DeSilva was the medical director for quality and patient safety at Exeter Hospital in Exeter, New Hampshire. He is a Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine and is board certified in Internal Medicine (ABIM) and Clinical Informatics (ABPM), as well as a Certified Professional in Patient Safety. As the medical director for hospital medicine at Mercy, his goal will be to lead a team that delivers highly reliable, evidence based, patient-centered care with exceptional quality and safety outcomes.

Ryan J. Trosper, PA-C
Ryan J. Trosper earned his Bachelor of Science from University of New England and a Master of Science in physician assistant studies at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. Prior to joining the Northern Light Mercy Pain Center, Trosper was a full-time provider in family medicine at Greater Portland Health and a per diem provider for Northern Light Mercy Walk-In Care. Trosper is a member of the Maine Opioid Clinical Advisory Committee and the Maine Association of Physician Assistants.
 

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: 11/05/2021

On Monday, November 8, online registration will open for a November 13 clinic that will provide Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to those aged 5-11 on Northern Light Mercy Hospital’s Fore River Parkway campus. Additional details are below, and parents and guardians can register children on Monday, November 8 using an online registration tool

WHAT: COVID-19 vaccination clinic for ages 5-11 (by appointment only)

WHERE
Northern Light Mercy Hospital
Outpatient Specialty & Surgery Center
155 Fore River Parkway
Portland, ME 04102
(NOTE: This is a new building on the campus. Please see attached map for the specific location of the clinic.)

WHEN:
•    Dose 1 clinic: Saturday, November 13 from 7 am – 7 pm
•    Dose 2 clinic: Saturday, December 4 from 7 am – 7 pm

HOW TO REGISTER: On Monday, November 8, parents and guardians can register children using the online registration tool

Campus-map-vaccine-clinic-5-11-21.jpg

 

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: 12/28/2021

Mercy StarLights, a fundraiser of the Northern Light Mercy Hospital, helps ensure our patients continue to receive the highest quality, compassionate care. Together, we celebrate family and friends, cancer survivors and caregivers, coworkers and those who have made a difference in your life.

The trees at Mercy Fore River shine brightly and have sparkled throughout the holiday season. View our December 1 tree lighting.

We are pleased to recognize our 2021 honorees. This list is current as of 1/3/22. 
In Honor of Sandra Abbott
In Memory of Pauline Abraham
In Memory of Pauline Abraham
In Memory of Pauline Abraham
In Memory of Pauline Abraham
In Memory of Pauline Abraham
In Memory of Pauline Abraham
In Memory of Barbara Adams
In Memory of Brian Anderson
In Memory of Wyatt Anderson
In Honor of Wendy Ashworth
In Honor of Dana Bacco
In Memory of Kim Barnicle
In Memory of Kim Barnicle
In Memory of D. Arthur and Priscilla Bartholomew
In Honor of Kristin Beaulieu
In Memory of Craig Begin
In Memory of Craig Begin
In Memory of Leo Belesca
In Memory of Lucie Bertrand
In Memory of Leon Bien
In Honor of Lisa Bishop
In Memory of Alan Boufford
In Memory of Suzanne Boufford
In Memory of Mary Boyle
In Memory of William Boyle
In Memory of Polly Bragdon
In Memory of Howard Buckley
In Honor of Clara Buescher, CNM
In Honor of Michelle Buescher, NP
In Honor of Everett Burke
In Honor of Mary Burke
In Memory of Janet Burns
In Memory of Janet Burns
In Memory of Janet Burns
In Memory of Janet Burns
In Memory of Janet Burns
In Memory of Janet Burns
In Memory of Janet Burns
In Memory of Janet Burns
In Memory of Janet Burns
In Memory of Robert Butler
In Honor of Sr. Miriam Callnan
In Memory of Jo and Lundy Capelluti
In Memory of Andrew and Evelyn Carlista
In Memory of Joan Carmichael
In Memory of Alexander Carrier
In Memory of Clayton Clark
In Memory of Anne Clifford
In Memory of Anne Clifford
In Memory of Anne Clifford
In Memory of Lorraine Clifford
In Memory of Lorraine Clifford
In Memory of Lorraine Clifford
In Memory of Patricia Clifford
In Memory of Phil Clifford
In Memory of Phil Clifford
In Memory of Phil Clifford
In Memory of John Coady
In Honor of Dr. Roy Cobean
In Memory of Gertrude Conroy
In Memory of Gertrude Conroy
In Memory of Jim and Jan Costello
In Memory of Mike Coughlin
In Memory of George Courtovich
In Memory of Natalie Crate
In Memory of Mary Crimmins
In Memory of Theresa Crocker
In Memory of Beatrice Crosby
In Memory of Phillip Crosby
In Memory of Carleton and Mary L. Crowley
In Honor of Joan and Robert Crowley
In Honor of Pam and David Crowley
In Memory of Cathy Cruz
In Memory of James C. Cullen
In Honor of Isabelle Cyr
In Honor of Roxanne and David Cyr
In Memory of Eileen Daicy
In Memory of Lucienne Daniel
In Memory of Rene A. Daniel
In Honor of Rene J. Daniel
In Memory of Deron Davies
In Memory of Joy Davies
In Memory of Cecelia Delile-Maguire
In Honor of Carol Demakis, RN
In Honor of Dr. Bill Demicco
In Memory of Douglas Desiderio
In Memory of Rose Marie Desiderio
In Memory of Albert Desjardins
In Memory of Elizabeth Dicentes
In Memory of Guy Dicentes, Jr.
In Honor of Kevin Dill
In Memory of John Dixon
In Memory of Pauline Dixon
In Honor of Christina Donahue
In Honor of Michelle Eugley
In Honor of Wesley Fairfield, MD
In Memory of Brian Faulkner
In Memory of Bruce Faulkner
In Memory of Claudette Faulkner
In Memory of Douglas and Helen Faulkner
In Memory of John Faulkner
In Memory of Terry Ferrell
In Memory of Lori Fletcher
In Honor of Norman Floppycat
In Memory of John and Elizabeth Foley
In Memory of Margaret M. Foley
In Memory of Mary A. Foley
In Memory of The Forgotten Ones
In Honor of The Forgotten Ones
In Memory of Mabel Ann Franco
In Memory of Barbara Gagnon
In Honor of Colette Gagnon
In Memory of Jeannette Gagnon
In Memory of Rudolph Gagnon
In Honor of William Gagnon
In Memory of James Garrison
In Honor of Dr. David Getson
In Memory of Pete Gibson
In Memory of Gil Family
In Memory of Jean Gilpatrick
In Honor of Henry Gordon
In Honor of Melanie Gordon
In Honor of Violet Gordon
In Honor of Kate Gosselin
In Memory of Audrey Gough
In Memory of Joseph Gough
In Memory of Martha Greenlaw
In Memory of Robert Guerette
In Memory of Pauline Hahn
In Memory of Pauline Hahn
In Memory of Pauline Hahn
In Memory of Edward Haley
In Memory of Margaret Haley
In Memory of Martha Hall
In Memory of Mary and Bill Hall
In Memory of Donald Hamelin
In Honor of Jimmy Hamelin
In Honor of Dr. Sean Hanley
In Memory of Robert Harmon
In Honor of Jerry and Kelly Hawkes
In Honor of Dr. John Henson
In Memory of Terri Hernandez
In Memory of Donna Higgins
In Memory of Hoheisel Family
In Honor of Brent Hopkins
In Memory of Janyce Howard
In Memory of Susan Howard
In Memory of Helen Hoyle Robinson
In Honor of Jennean Hunter
In Honor of Katie Johnson, RN
In Honor of Lindsay Johnston-Smith
In Honor of Richard Johnston-Smith
In Honor of Stewart Johnston-Smith
In Memory of Barbara Kelliher
In Memory of Chuck Keough
In Honor of Martha King
In Memory of Bertha and Leo Kitchen
In Memory of Earle Kitchen
In Memory of Dr. John Knowles
In Memory of Inez Koskinen
In Honor of Kostovick
In Memory of Lorette LaBranche
In Memory of Paul LaBranche
In Memory of Gert LaBrecque
In Memory of Rachel LaBrecque
In Memory of Sr. Louise Landry
In Memory of Francis P. LaTorre
In Memory of The Least Among Us
In Memory of Lucienne LeBel
In Memory of Megan Lebel
In Memory of Frederic Leblond Family
In Memory of Jean LeClair
In Honor of Hillary Legere
In Memory of Tula Lester
In Honor of Marianne Locke Gregory
In Memory of Stephen Locke, Jr.
In Memory of Elizabeth Lones
In Memory of Robert Lones
In Memory of Pete Loranger
In Memory of Ralph and Lorraine Lorranger
In Honor of Arlene Lyons
In Honor of Arlene Lyons
In Honor of Arlene Lyons
In Memory of Mathilda Macrae
In Honor of Peter Malia
In Honor of Sheila Malia
In Honor of Brother John Malich
In Memory of Sr. Camilus Marie
In Memory of Robert Masterson
In Honor of Terri Mathew
In Honor of Bob Matthews
In Memory of Jody Maxey
In Honor of Dr. Catherine McCrann
In Memory of John McDevitt
In Memory of Michael McKenna
In Memory of Kelly McNulty
In Memory of Ann Melaugh
In Memory of William Melaugh
In Honor of Mercy Employees
In Honor of Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Class of 1963
In Honor of Mercy Nurses, CNAs, Techs EVS
In Honor of Mercy OR Crew
In Honor of Daniel Merson, DO
In Memory of Marjorie Minor
In Memory of Robert Minor
In Memory of Elizabeth Moberg
In Memory of Barney Moreau
In Memory of Hale Moreau
In Memory of John Vincent Morey
In Memory of Monty and Dolly Morey
In Honor of Morey Family
In Memory of Mulkern and Folan Family
In Memory of Father Murphy
In Memory of Father Thomas Murphy
In Memory of Sheila Murray
In Memory of William Murray
In Honor of Pauline Murray Geiger
In Memory of Alice Nockles
In Memory of Nugent/Egan Family
In Memory of Russell Oliver
In Memory of Janice O'Quinn
In Honor of Mary O'Quinn
In Memory of Cecelia O'Reilly
In Memory of James O'Reilly
In Memory of Phyllis Ouellette
In Memory of Theresa Page
In Memory of Theresa Page
In Memory of Theresa Page
In Memory of Chris Palmer
In Honor of Alicia Paquette, RN
In Memory of Gilman Pelletier
In Memory of Richard Philpot
In Memory of Richard Philpot
In Memory of Richard Philpot
In Honor of Ellie Picard
In Memory of Betty Pinette
In Memory of Chester A. Plummer
In Memory of Elva M. Plummer
In Memory of Vincent Prebis
In Memory of Cathy Preti
In Honor of Leona Purdy
In Honor of Cathy Rand
In Memory of Sheila Readel
In Memory of Marlene Reardon
In Memory of Richard Reardon
In Memory of Lili Rescue
In Memory of Robin Roberts
In Memory of Albert M. Robinson, Jr.
In Honor of Chris and Kathy Rogers
In Memory of Jean Roshon
In Memory of Rita Ross
In Honor of Marie Roy
In Memory of Ace Russell
In Honor of Hannah Russell
In Memory of John Russell
In Memory of Michele Russell
In Memory of Roy and Geneva Russell
In Memory of Ruth Russell
In Memory of Lawrence Rutter
In Memory of Lawrence Rutter
In Honor of Mary Sanders, FNP
In Memory of Rita and Henry Sawyer
In Memory of Anne and Catherine Scanlon
In Memory of Deborah Schofield
In Honor of Dr. Martha Scott
In Memory of Ann Shea
In Memory of Earl Shea
In Memory of Frances Shea
In Memory of Sisters of Mercy
In Honor of Sisters of Sisters Mercy
In Memory of Elizabeth Siteman
In Memory of Doris Skillings
In Memory of Alan Ross Skwara
In Memory of Anthony A. Skwara
In Memory of Lorretta Slwara
In Honor of Sr. Anastia Slwara
In Memory of Gee Smith
In Memory of Gerald Smith
In Memory of Joanne Smith
In Memory of Bill and Peggy Smythe
In Memory of Bill and Peggy Smythe
In Memory of Bill and Peggy Smythe
In Memory of Bill and Peggy Smythe
In Memory of Bill and Peggy Smythe
In Memory of Helen and Pete Smythe
In Memory of Helen and Pete Smythe
In Memory of Roger Stanley
In Memory of Luke Stephenson
In Honor of Carlene Stevens
In Memory of Phil Stevens
In Memory of Ida and John Stilphen
In Memory of Dennis Sullivan
In Memory of Lindsey Sweeney
In Memory of Catherine Swett
In Honor of Robert Swett
In Memory of William Swett
In Memory of John Swindells
In Memory of Dorothy Talbot
In Memory of George Talbot
In Memory of Eve Tarazewich
In Memory of Steve Tarazewich
In Memory of Gloria Tewhey
In Memory of Booey Thacker
In Honor of The ED Staff
In Memory of Diane Theberge
In Honor of Rene Theriault
In Honor of Charlie Therrien
In Memory of Les Thomas
In Memory of Timothy Toman
In Honor of Virginia Toner
In Memory of Patricia Toppi
In Memory of Rocco Toppi
In Honor of Dr. Lisa Torraca
In Memory of Katie Leigh Traynor, BSN
In Memory of Dorothy Valente
In Memory of Ernest Valente
In Memory of Ernest Valente
In Memory of Mabel Valente
In Memory of Mark Valente
In Memory of Constance Verrier
In Honor of Marcy Vidal
In Honor of Derek Vogel
In Honor of Richard Vogel
In Memory of Alisha Wade
In Memory of Alisha Wade
In Memory of Alisha Wade
In Memory of Alisha Wade
In Memory of Alisha Wade
In Memory of Alisha Wade
In Memory of Alisha Wade
In Memory of Norman (Bud) Walton
In Honor of Lisa Weatherbee
In Honor of Lisa Weatherbee
In Honor of Lisa Weatherbee
In Memory of Tony Wedge
In Memory of Rosemary Nealand Welch, RN, Class of 1954
In Honor of Breanna White
In Memory of Robert Wilhoite
In Memory of Mary Wilson
In Memory of Bill Winship
In Memory of Bill Winship
In Memory of Louise Zdiuch
In Memory of Norm Zelck
In Memory of Peggy Zelck
In Memory of Jim Zeleny
In Memory of Eda Zukic

Date: 12/06/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital is pleased to announce that Sarah B. Shubert, MD has joined Northern Light Mercy Orthopedics. Dr. Shubert is a fellowship trained orthopedic sports medicine surgeon who specializes in shoulder replacement surgery and arthroscopy of the shoulder and knee. She joins hip and knee joint replacement experts Drs. Bruce Gomberg and Steven Rodrigue at Mercy’s orthopedic practice in Falmouth.

Dr. Shubert, who is a physician for the US Ski Team, is a member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Society and serves on the editorial board for the international orthopedic journal, Arthroscopy. Prior to joining Mercy, she practiced at St. Mary’s Orthopedics and Spectrum Healthcare Partners. 

Dr. Shubert received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. She completed her orthopedic surgery sports medicine fellowship at the University of California, San Diego. 

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 Mercy Hospital has announced that it will update its visitation policy for the safety of its patients, staff, and care teams. Effective tomorrow, December 14, visitors and escorts are not permitted at Northern Light Mercy facilities, except in the following circumstances:

Pediatrics and obstetrics: Two visitors allowed per day, for one visit. Doulas are included in the two-visitor daily limit. Siblings and visitors under the age of 18 are not permitted to visit. 

Emergency department: Two parents/guardians for pediatric patients, provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing.

Ambulatory/diagnostic areas: No visitors for adult patients are allowed in the waiting room, except in special circumstances as determined by the care team. In special circumstances, the care team will determine upon the patient’s arrival if that family member or escort can stay and wait for the patient. Pediatric patients may have one parent or guardian accompany them to the Ambulatory Surgical Unit, and that adult will be given protective eyewear upon arrival and must wear the eyewear and a mask for the duration of the visit.

COVID-19 units: No visitors except for compassionate care, to be managed by care team.

Patients requiring special assistance: Patients in any care setting who need help — such as with mobility or communications with the care team about their medical history or care — may be assisted by an adult escort to provide the needed assistance or support. Such necessity will be determined by the care team.

Exceptions: Exceptions may be made for care plan discussions as arranged by the care team or for end of life care.

Outpatient surgery center:
  • Pediatric patients can have up to two parents or guardians with them.
  • Adults coming for surgery: visitors are not allowed unless there are special needs (determined on an individual basis).
Northern Light Mercy medical practices:No visitors are permitted at Northern Light Mercy facilities, except for the following:
  • Pediatrics: Two parents/guardians at a time allowed
  • Patients requiring special assistance: Patients in any care setting who need help — such as with mobility or communications with the care team about their medical history or care — may be assisted by an adult escort to provide the needed assistance or support. Such necessity will be determined by the care team.
 
All visitors and escorts must:
  • Perform hand hygiene prior to entering and upon leaving the patient’s room/care area;
  • Remain at least six feet from the patient at all times (as much as possible);
  • Wear a mask at all times in the facility, including patient rooms;
  • Cover mouth/nose when coughing or sneezing, use and dispose of tissues and perform hand hygiene after contact with respiratory secretions; and
  • Not go to any locations in the facility other than the room of the patient they are visiting. Hospital cafeterias are closed to visitors at this time.
 
All visitors/escorts are subject to screening for COVID-19. Visitors/escorts with any COVID-19 symptoms or who have had an exposure within the past 14 days – regardless of vaccination or testing status – will NOT be allowed to enter hospital facilities.
 

Date: 12/28/2021

Northern Light Mercy Hospital will open its new emergency department at 175 Fore River Parkway in Portland one week from today on January 4, 2022. The existing emergency department at 144 State Street in Portland will close the same day. 

Earlier today, hospital president Charlie Therrien hosted members of the media for a tour of the new emergency department before it opens to patients next week. A few photos of the facility and from the tour can be downloaded here.
 
The relocation of the emergency department to Mercy’s newly expanded Fore River campus will be the final clinical program to move from its State Street hospital, marking the final step in its campus consolidation. The new emergency department will feature a dedicated parking lot for its patients, offering quick access to care. There will also be a new patient drop off area for ambulances that is covered and protected from the elements, providing increased safety, convenience, and comfort.
 
Please visit NorthernLightHealth.org/Mercy to view a map of the expanded campus and learn more about the new locations of services. Please note, the map will be updated with information on emergency services when the new emergency department is activated on January 4, 2022.

Date: 01/10/2022

The retailer’s $500,000 commitment concludes fundraising effort for a consolidated medical campus

Northern Light Mercy Hospital announced it has completed its One Mercy capital campaign to support its recent consolidation to an expanded healthcare campus along the Fore River Parkway.  A $500,000 gift from L.L. Bean was the capstone that helped Mercy Hospital bring the five-year One Mercy capital campaign to a close. More than 1,100 individuals, employees, foundations, corporations, and grateful patients joined L.L. Bean to help Mercy complete the largest capital campaign in the hospital’s 103-year history.     

The successful conclusion of the capital campaign coincides with the final department move from Mercy’s State Street hospital. Last week, Mercy’s new emergency department opened at the Fore River campus, marking the official closure of the State Street hospital to patients.  

“This capital campaign was an outstanding community effort,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital. “We’re thankful to L.L. Bean for their remarkable gift, and we’re deeply grateful to every single donor who made an investment, big and small, in the compassionate and high-quality care we provide to our patients.”

In spring 2020, Mercy broke ground on an $83.8 million consolidation project to enhance patient access to more medical services in one convenient location. Mercy’s Fore River Parkway campus expansion includes nearly 90,000 square feet of new construction, including an emergency department, additional private patient rooms, and the Lunder Building, which is now home to a new outpatient specialty and surgery center. The project was funded by the One Mercy capital campaign, proceeds from the sale of Mercy’s State Street property, and financing.   

“Mercy is a vital healthcare resource where many of our employees live and work,” said Shawn Gorman, L.L. Bean’s Executive Chairman and great-grandson of L.L. Bean. “L.L. Bean is proud to support Mercy’s effort to increase access to care for everyone in our community and make the final gift to help complete their campaign.”

The One Mercy capital campaign was led by attorney Chris Howard of Pierce Atwood and honorary chairs Maddy Corson, former Guy Gannett Communications board chair, and Bishop Robert Deeley, Diocese of Portland. The late Ralph I. Lancaster served as honorary chair until his passing and was instrumental in the campaign’s success. The campaign committee included more than 20 community and business leaders who helped raise the funds necessary for Mercy’s historic project.  

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: 01/20/2022

Northern Light Mercy Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for the care of patients undergoing spine surgery and hip and knee replacements. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care, including how clinical outcomes and performance measures are used to improve care and to help educate and prepare patients and caregivers for discharge. 

Mercy Hospital’s neurosurgical spine and orthopedic surgery services underwent a rigorous onsite review late last year. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards, including program management, data collection, and the delivery and facilitation of high-quality surgical care. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews. 

“The hip and knee replacement and spine care certifications recognize health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Northern Light Mercy Hospital for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for orthopedic and spine surgery patients.”

Over the years, The Joint Commission certification process has led to numerous advances in the patient experience at Mercy Hospital, including an improved pain management program, a near elimination of blood product usage, the development of comprehensive patient education offerings, and the reduction of readmissions and emergency room visits. These efforts have highlighted the commitment of Mercy Hospital to deliver safe, high quality neurosurgical spine and orthopedic surgical care in the community. 

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.

Date: 01/28/2022

Due to the forecasted blizzard conditions this Saturday, Northern Light Mercy Walk-in Care locations (Windham and Gorham) will be closed Saturday 1/29 for the safety of staff, providers, and patients. 
 

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: 02/10/2022

Northern Light Mercy Hospital is updating its visitation policy to allow adult inpatients one visitor per day for one visit between 8 am and 8 pm. The new policy, which is effective tomorrow, February 11, can be found below:

Visitor Policy
Effective February 11, 2022, visitors/escorts are not permitted in Northern Light Mercy facilities, except under the following circumstances:

Inpatient units: One visitor allowed per day, for one visit. Visitor hours are from 8 am to 8 pm daily. 

Obstetrics: One support person, plus a doula allowed during labor and delivery, as the patient’s condition allows. 

Emergency department: One parent/guardian allowed for pediatric patients provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing.

Ambulatory care and outpatient diagnostic areas: Pediatric patients may be accompanied by one parent/guardian.

Patients isolated for COVID-19: No visitors allowed except for compassionate care, to be managed by care team.

Patients requiring special assistance: Patients in any care setting who need assistance, such as for mobility or communications with the care team about their medical history or care, may be accompanied by one adult escort who provides that assistance or support. Such necessity is to be determined by the care team.

Other exceptions: Exceptions may be made for care planning discussions and/or for end of life care. To be determined and managed by the care team. 

Outpatient surgery center:
  • Pediatric patients: one parent or guardian allowed.
  • Adult patients: visitors/escorts not allowed unless special needs are identified (to be determined on an individual basis).

Northern Light Mercy medical practices: Visitors are not permitted in Northern Light Mercy facilities with the following exceptions:
  • Pediatrics: Two parents/guardians at a time allowed.
  • Patients requiring special assistance: Patients in any care setting who need assistance, such as for mobility or communications with the care team about their medical history or care, may be accompanied by one adult escort who provides that needed assistance or support. Such necessity to be determined by the care team.

All visitors and escorts must:
  • Meet COVID-19 screening criteria for entry into the facility.*
  • Perform hand hygiene prior to entering and upon exiting the patient’s room/care area.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from the patient and caregivers (to the degree possible). 
  • Always wear a facility-issued mask over the nose and mouth while inside the facility, including while inside the patient’s room/care area. 
  • Refrain from leaving the room/care area of the patient they are visiting. The hospital cafeteria is closed to visitors at this time.
 
*All visitors are subject to COVID-19 risk screening upon initial entry to a Northern Light Mercy facility. Visitors reporting symptoms of COVID-19 and those who meet Maine CDC criteria for quarantine due to travel or exposure will be denied entry.
 

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: 03/15/2022

Northern Light Mercy Hospital is pleased to welcome two new physician assistants to its orthopedics and spine surgery programs. Amanda Brinkley, PA-C, has joined the team at Northern Light Mercy Spine Surgery, and Sorenda Muth, PA-C, joined Northern Light Mercy Orthopedics. Photos of each provider are attached, and brief bios can be found below.

Amanda Brinkley, PA-C, has joined Northern Light Mercy Spine Surgery as a physician assistant. Amanda earned a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Connecticut; a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire; and a Master of Science in Physician Assistance Studies from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to joining Northern Light Mercy Spine Surgery, Amanda was the PA-C team lead for the Sentara Neurosurgery Specialists at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. Amanda is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. 

Sorenda Muth, PA-C, has joined Northern Light Mercy Orthopedics as a physician assistant. Sorenda attended the University of New England in Portland, Maine where she received a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Gender and Woman Studies from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Prior to receiving her master’s degree, Sorenda was a clinical assistant at OA Centers for Orthopedics in Portland, Maine. Sorenda is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Date: 03/31/2022

Brewer, Maine (May 31, 2022) - At Northern Light Health, care does not end at the bedside or in our practices. Whether it’s in Portland at Northern Light Mercy Hospital or in Aroostook County at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, Northern Light Health is committed to delivering care focused on the needs of each person and our communities. Addressing substance and opioid use; improving access to food, housing, and transportation; and ensuring equitable access to preventive vaccines for our vulnerable neighbors are among the many ways the health system is investing in our communities to address identified health needs throughout the state. During fiscal year 2021 (October 2020 – September 2021), Northern Light Health and its members provided $270,979,467 in community benefit throughout the state.
 
“We are committed to making healthcare work for each individual, and this means ensuring all community members have access to necessary resources. Through the pursuit of innovative community-based solutions and with the help of our community partners, we are addressing our toughest health challenges and reaching patients where they already are,” explains Doug Michael, associate vice president and chief community health officer, Northern Light Health. “Through free community classes, health education programs, transportation initiatives, and so much more, we are making care easier and more accessible for Mainers. This is our promise to our patients, families, and communities we serve.”
 
Northern Light Health members provide a wide range of free or reduced-cost programs and services to those who are sick, injured, or disabled. These community benefits are designed to improve the health of our communities and increase access to healthcare in response to identified community health needs.
 
The Northern Light Health Community Benefit Report is categorized by nonprofit members to easily see how Northern Light Health is working to target each region’s unique needs. The report is available on the Northern Light Health website at FY21-Community-Benefit-Report.pdf.aspx (northernlighthealth.org).
 

Date: 05/18/2022

Erik Aikins, who recently completed his studies as a nursing student at the University of Southern Maine (USM), was awarded the 2022 Robert Masterson Nursing Scholarship. The $2,500 Masterson Scholarship is awarded each year to a senior nursing student who is attending a Maine college or university and plans to pursue a career in critical care. A photo is attached.

Erik participated in a clinical rotation of 154 hours of bedside instruction during his senior year in Northern Light Mercy Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Erik, a former sergeant of the Marine Corps and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, graduated this month from USM and will pursue a nursing career.

For Robert Masterson, BSN, CCRN, nursing was more than a career or profession; it was truly a passion. Bob earned his nursing degree from the University of San Francisco and was a critical care nurse at Mercy for 30 years. Bob served as a supervisor to many nursing students during their clinical rotations and was known for calmly and confidently guiding others through difficult clinical situations. Bob led by example and embodied the Mercy values in a way that made everyone who worked with him feel privileged and inspired to be a better person and caregiver. 

Bob retired from Mercy Hospital in January 2013 and passed away from pancreatic cancer just one month later. The Robert Masterson Nursing Scholarship honors Bob’s love for nursing, compassion for patients, and commitment to learning.

Photo: Staff from Northern Light Mercy’s Intensive Care Unit present Erik Aikins with a $2,500 check as the recipient of the 2022 Robert Masterson Nurse Scholarship award. Pictured, from left to right, are Jordynne Copp BSN, PNIII; Erik Aikins; Althea Masterson, Bob’s wife; Kathleen Masterson, Bob’s daughter; Carlene Stevens BSN, CCRN, Clinical Nurse Lead ICU.

Date: 05/31/2022

Northern Light Mercy Hospital is pleased to welcome Milaim Mustafa, MD, to Northern Light Mercy Cancer Care. Prior to joining Mercy, Dr. Mustafa practiced at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

“Based on my family experience with cancers, I understand how difficult it is to receive such a diagnosis,” said Dr. Mustafa. “That’s why it’s important to me to approach each case individually with empathy and design the best treatment plan for the best outcome.”

Dr. Mustafa received a Bachelor of Science from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine and a Doctor of Medicine from American University of Antigua College of Medicine in Coolidge, Antigua. His residency was at Richmond University Medical Center in New York, New York, and he is fellowship trained in hematology and medical oncology through Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY. He is board certified in hematology and medical oncology.

Dr. Mustafa, who lives in the area with his wife and two children, is a member of the American Society of Hematology; American Society of Clinical Oncology; American College of Physicians; and the Albanian American Medical Society. 

In 2018, Northern Light Mercy Hospital announced a collaboration with New England Cancer Specialists (NECS), which expanded its cancer care program. Dr. Mustafa is the most recent NECS provider to join Mercy’s cancer program, where his sole focus is on serving Mercy Hospital’s patients.

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About Northern Light Mercy Cancer Care
Mercy Hospital’s comprehensive cancer care program is dedicated to providing high quality, personalized, and coordinated care. Patients have access to genetic testing and counseling, clinical trials, full scope oncology evaluation, hematology, infusion, psychosocial, and supportive services close to home. Mercy’s cancer program has been recognized by continuous accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

About New England Cancer Specialists (NECS) 
New England Cancer Specialists is an independent medical oncology and hematology practice dedicated to the highest quality team-based care for every patient. Comprised of 13 physicians who are nationally recognized for their expertise and experience, they participate in more clinical trials than any other practice in Maine. With partnerships across the state and around the region, NECS aims to further increase the availability of and access to novel cancer therapeutics and programmatic advancements. For more than 30 years, NECS has maintained a relationship with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and became the first-ever Affiliate Member of DFCI in January 2022. 

Date: 06/13/2022

Effective June 13, 2022, visitors are permitted in Northern Light Mercy facilities with the following limitations and conditions: 

Screening: All visitors are subject to COVID-19 risk screening upon initial entry to a Northern Light Mercy facility. Visitors exhibiting or reporting symptoms of COVID-19 and those who meet Maine CDC criteria for quarantine due to travel or exposure will not be allowed to enter facilities.

Masking: Visitors over 24 months of age are required to remain masked at all times inside the facility, including patient rooms.

All visitors and escorts must: 
  • Be screened and meet CDC recommended criteria for entry into the facility. 
  • Perform hand hygiene prior to entering and upon exiting a patient’s room or care area. 
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from the patient and caregivers (to the degree possible). 
  • Wear a facility-issued mask over the nose and mouth at all times while inside the facility, including when inside the patient’s room or care area. 
  • Refrain from leaving the room/care area of the patient they are visiting. The hospital cafeteria is closed to visitors at this time.

Inpatient units: Visitor hours are from 8 am to 8 pm daily. Two visitors are allowed at any given time, and there is no limit on the number of visitors allowed per day. 

Birthplace: Two visitors are allowed in the room at any given time, and there is no limit on the number of visitors per day. A minor under the age of 18 will be allowed in the patient room with an adult visitor. Masking is required for youths older than 2.

Emergency department: Two parents/guardians are allowed for pediatric patients provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing. Adult patients are not permitted escorts at this time unless special assistance is needed.

Ambulatory/diagnostic areas: Adult patients may be accompanied by two other adults. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing.

ACU/PACU/OR: Adult patients may be accompanied by one other adult. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents or guardians.

Outpatient surgery center: Pediatric patients can have two parents or guardians with them in the building. Adult patients coming for surgery may be accompanied by one other adult.

Northern Light Mercy medical practices: Adult patients may be accompanied by one other adult. Allowance for having one additional escort will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may be allowed provided space is sufficient to achieve compliance with social distancing. Pediatric patients are allowed to have two parents/guardians present.
 
Patients isolated for COVID-19: No visitors are allowed except for compassionate care, to be managed by the care team. 

Patients requiring special assistance: Patients in any care setting who need special assistance for needs such as mobility or communications with the care team may be assisted by one adult escort who provides that assistance or support. Such necessity is to be determined by the care team. 

Other exceptions: As determined and managed by the care team, exceptions may be made for care planning discussions and/or for end-of-life care

Date: 06/16/2022

Northern Light Mercy Hospital’s primary care and pediatric practices recently introduced online patient self-scheduling. This is the first step in offering online scheduling at all Northern Light Health member locations.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve access to our services. We know that our patients are busy, and offering online scheduling is one more way to make it easier for patients to get the care they need,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital. 

Online scheduling is one of many online tools being launched at Northern Light Mercy Hospital and Northern Light Health in 2022. A new, virtual walk-in care service launched earlier this spring and, later this summer, a paperless registration and appointment check-in tool, new patient education and care management tools, and more will become available to patients and community members.

While not all appointment types can be scheduled online, new patient, sick/urgent care for established patients, annual wellness/Medicare wellness, and nurse visits (including blood pressure checks and vaccinations) can be scheduled using the new online option. To use the new scheduling tool, current patients can log into their patient portal, and new or current patients can access the tool from practice websites or by clicking on “Providers” in the menu of the Northern Light Mercy Hospital homepage.

Mercy will also offer online scheduling for screening mammograms beginning next week. Northern Light Health will begin offering online scheduling for mammograms later in July statewide, and additional primary care and pediatric practices starting in August.