News & Events

News

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: 03/03/2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date: 03/13/2020

Effective March 13, 2020 we are restricting visitations within Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital. All routine visits are being suspended until the transmission of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is no longer a threat to our patients, staff, and community. Our patient care philosophy depends greatly on engaging families to be part of the healing process. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we must take extra steps to protect our patients, staff, visitors, and the community.

The decision to restrict visitors was difficult and made only after careful consideration as we witness schools, houses of worship, and other venues restrict gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed based on the exceptions listed below. Please note, in all cases a visitor will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath). Additionally, children under the age of 16 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.

Exceptions include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date: 03/16/2020

With Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading in Maine, it is in the best interest of our patients, families, health care workers, and communities that we act decisively to minimize its effect and reach. Critical tools at our disposal include social distancing and crowd avoidance, especially in a period where testing capabilities have not been fully implemented and the infection status of most individuals is unknown.

Hospitals are the front line for treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 infection. Because of this they are relatively high-risk places to come to or visit. We believe that the risk of delaying treatment is far outweighed by the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

For that purpose, consistent with recommendations made by the American College of Surgeons, effective immediately and until further notice, all electively scheduled operations, office visits, diagnostic testing, endoscopies, and other invasive procedures will be evaluated by the healthcare provider who ordered the procedure or visit and considered strongly for postponement until a later date.

Northern Light Health staff will be contacting patients to work with them to postpone and reschedule appointments over the coming days and weeks.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.

Read the full Northern Light Health press release here. 

Date: 03/19/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is looking at new ways to streamline screening and testing. We have established a COVID test location in Pittsfield on the hospital campus at 167 Leighton Street. We are diligently working to set up a Drive-Up Test Site and a Screening Hotline process for Pittsfield to start on Monday, March 23 on the hospital campus. The new Drive-Up Test Site will replace the Leighton Street test location.

167 Leighton Street is open on Friday, March 20 from 8 am-7 pm and Saturday, March 21 from 7 am-Noon. It will be closed on Sunday.

Our new Drive-Up Test Site will be open Monday-Friday 9 am – 4 pm and Saturday from 9 am – 2 pm, closed on Sunday. We will share more information about how to access it, as well as how to use the Screening Hotline in the coming days.

Please understand: At this moment, in order to be tested, you need to have been screened for symptoms and get a lab collection order from your primary care provider. We are only able to test those who have a provider order (those who have been screened by their provider, and the provider recommends that they be tested because they have symptoms and meet the CDC testing criteria.)

Thank you for understanding this process as we work to stop the spread of COVID in our community. We are grateful for our community partners, including the Pittsfield police and fire departments. 

If you have questions, please call your primary care provider’s office or the SVH Primary Care Call Center at 207.487.5154. Thank you.

Date: 03/20/2020

To help stop the community spread of COVID-19 and for the safety of our patients and staff, we are closing public access to our Health Information Management and Patient Financial Services departments.

If you need assistance accessing your medical records and other patient information, please call 207.487.4026 or email: NLHFrontlineHIM@northernlight.org.

For radiology information, please call 207.487.4030. Hours are 8 am – 3:30 pm.

For bill payment or other patient financial services questions, please call 207.487.4020.

Much of your medical record information can be easily accessed using the patient portal. Visit MyNorthernLightHealth.org to learn more.

We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for helping us to stop the spread of COVID in our community.

Date: 03/20/2020

The national supply of laboratory materials is critically low, reducing the ability to perform COVID-19 testing across the state of Maine and the country. In response, the Maine State CDC has shared new, stricter guidelines for testing patients. To preserve testing capacity for patients who may develop severe COVID-19, effective immediately we will prioritize testing according to CDC guidelines for high-risk individuals to include:

  • hospitalized patients who are high-risk
  • healthcare workers and first responders
  • people living in closed settings like nursing homes

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital has established a COVID-19 Test Site at 167 Leighton Street in Pittsfield, which will be open Saturday, March 20 from 7 am - Noon and Monday, March 23 from 7 am – 6 pm. The community needs to understand that only people who meet the above criteria will be seen and tested. To be tested you must have an order from your primary care provider.

We will announce updated plans for testing and triaging respiratory patients next week, along with a new Screening Hotline. Watch for more updates by liking Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s Facebook page or visiting northernlighthealth.org/Sebasticook-Valley-Hospital.

We ask for your understanding and patience as we follow CDC guidelines to protect our community. Thank you.

Date: 03/23/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s Drive-Up Test Site will be transitioned to a Medical Screening Site starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24 from Noon - 4 pm.

With very limited testing criteria currently in place, we will be expanding the site to include medical screening for respiratory and other illnesses. COVID-19 testing will still occur for those with a provider’s lab order, and if they meet the screening and symptoms for current testing.

People will need to call our Screening Hotline at 844-489-1822 before stopping in so we can provide the safest, most efficient service to our community. The questions asked on this call will help determine next steps for your care, whether it be self-isolating at home, heading to a COVID-19 assessment site, or going to the hospital. The staff who answer the calls on this hotline will help determine the best next steps to ensure you get the right level of care in the right place.

Our Medical Screening Site is located on the hospital campus in Pittsfield at 141 Leighton Street in the parking lot of our Rehabilitation Services building. Please check back here or on our Facebook page for daily updates as schedules are subject to change.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Also, thank you to the Pittsfield Police and Fire departments for partnering with us on this important service.

We encourage you to visit cdc.gov or call 211 for more COVID-19 information and resources. Thank you.

Date: 03/26/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s Medical Screening Site at 141 Leighton Street in Pittsfield is open today through Friday from 9 am - 4 pm and Saturday from 9 am – Noon. Stay tuned for future days and hours.

For symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, respiratory issues), please call our Screening Hotline at 1-844-489-1822 to start the screening process. The questions asked on this call will help determine next steps for your care, whether it be self-isolating at home, heading to a COVID-19 assessment site, or going to the hospital. The staff who answer the calls on this hotline will help determine the best next steps to ensure you get the right level of care in the right place.

Thank you. Please visit cdc.gov or call 211 for more information and resources.

Date: 03/26/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Health Centers want our patients and community to know that due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns we will be pausing our Saturday Walk-In hours at our Pittsfield Health Center location only and instead be offering care at our Medical Screening Site located at 141 Leighton Street in Pittsfield.

To be seen at 141 Leighton Street, please dial 1-844-489-1822 to start the screening process and be registered by a qualified medical professional. We will restart Saturday Walk-In hours at the Pittsfield location as soon as the COVID-19 situation in no longer a threat. 

Please do not hesitate to call us with any questions, concerns, or to request a visit. Please call ahead instead of coming to our offices as we may ask you to be seen in a practice different than your normal one. You may also be encouraged to visit our new Medical Screening Site at 141 Leighton Street where we can provide care for you or your loved ones from your vehicle. 

For those patients that need to come to an office, please be aware we are screening all patients and staff at the front of our practices for symptoms and are helping people connect to the right care in the right location.

Thank you for your help to protect our community. Please visit cdc.gov or call 211 for more information and resources.

We are here for you!

Northern Light Health Center – Pittsfield  207-487-5154
Northern Light Health Center – Clinton 207-426-0976
Northern Light Health Center – Newport 207-368-4292
Northern Light Health Center – Newport Plaza 207-368-5747
Northern Light Health Center – Detroit 207-487-5261
Northern Light Specialty Services – 207-487-4081
Our Screening Hotline - 844-489-1822

Date: 03/27/2020

Our Medical Screening Site will be open tomorrow, Saturday, March 28 from 9 am - Noon, closed Sunday, and next week Monday-Friday from 9 am - 4 pm.

Please call our Screening Hotline at 1-844-489-1822 before stopping in so we can provide the safest, most efficient service to our community and to get hours/dates as these may be subject to change.

For more COVID-19 information and resources, visit cdc.gov or call 211.
 

Date: 03/31/2020

A message to our community from Terri Vieira, president of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital:

First, a heartfelt thank you for your support of our promise to make healthcare work in good times and during these more trying times. Rest assured that our dedicated staff is focused on caring for and ensuring the safety of our communities today and every day. This is evident through the detailed preparations we are making to be ready for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases that could sweep across our state. This includes prioritizing the privacy of every patient we serve, no matter the circumstance.

While Northern Light Health is taking measures to promote the safety and health of our communities, we all need your help. You can make a significant difference by abiding by Governor Mills’ directive today to stay at home at all times unless for an essential job or personal reason, such as obtaining food, medicine, or healthcare. Minimizing your exposure to others could save someone’s life. Be sure to practice good physical social distancing and wash your hands often for at least 40 seconds. 

And, stay up to date through informed sources. We have created a COVID-19 page on our website to provide you with news and information, and resources that will help you understand how to prevent the spread of the virus should you, or a loved one, experience symptoms. Other good resources for information about COVID-19 include the US CDC, the Maine State CDC, and the World Health Organization.

Together we will get through this, and if you need us, we will be here. I look forward to getting out and seeing you in the Pittsfield area as soon as COVID-19 is not a threat.  

Date: 04/03/2020

Our Medical Screening Site hours for this weekend and next week are:

Saturday, April 4, 9 am – 12 pm

Sunday, April 5 Closed  - We are partnering with our sister hospital, Northern Light Inland Hospital, in Waterville who will be operating their Medical Assessment Site from 12 – 3 pm on this day.

Monday, April 6 – Friday, April 10, 9 am – 4 pm

Before stopping in, please call our Screening Hotline at 844.489.1822 so we can provide the safest, most efficient service to our community and to get hours/dates as these may be subject to change.

Visit cdc.gov or call 211 for more COVID-19 information and resources.

Date: 04/30/2020

Fire and rescue, police and other first responders honored healthcare workers at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital today in Pittsfield.

Fire departments from Newport, Pittsfield, Detroit, Plymouth, Etna, Burnham, and Corinna, and the Pittsfield Police department paraded through the hospital campus this morning with lights flashing to show their support for hospital staff during the COVID pandemic. They also made signs and expressed their gratitude as staff lined the front entrance to take in all the excitement.

“We just wanted staff to know how much they mean to us, our families and everyone in the communities we all serve,” said Jeff Chretien, chief of the Newport Fire department. “They work long, hard hours, and they think of others first. We wanted to give them a pat on the back and let them know how much they are appreciated.”

Terri Vieira, president of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital noted, “The staff was deeply touched by the show of support and solidarity. We work together with our first responders and their recognition during these tough times is very meaningful. Thank you for taking the time to visit us today in this very special way.”

Enjoy media coverage of the event:

Date: 05/01/2020

Following the announcement by Governor Janet Mills that Maine will take a phased approach to reopening certain business operations on May 1, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley 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.

“We will begin scheduling services based on criteria that supports needs and our ability to do so safely,” said Terri Vieira, president of Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “We are being very thoughtful and moving forward with caution as we focus on safety, while recognizing there is a pent-up demand for services. This transition will take time; we won’t resume all services all at once. Some of the first services that we are working to make available include primary care visits, and we are working to finalize plans for resuming surgeries and diagnostic procedures like mammograms and colonoscopies.”

According to Bob Schlager, MD, Sebasticook’s vice president of medical affairs, “Meeting the urgent needs of our community through the pandemic has been our priority, and now we can gradually move to reopen services that were delayed due to COVID. We will start with care that is medically necessary and time sensitive. Our telehealth service has been very popular for people to get care from the comfort of home and it’s been a great way to stay connected to our patients. There is no doubt that telehealth will be a regular part of how we deliver care.”

As Northern Light Health hospitals prepare to open additional services, some of the steps that are being taken to ensure a safe care environment for patients include: 

  • Separate COVID-19 screening and assessment site: To provide the safest care to all patients, we have established a separate location for COVID-19 assessments. Our Screening Hotline (844-489-1822) is a valuable resource for the community to call for screening and testing locations and schedules. Telehealth appointments are also being offered to patients with respiratory concerns. Ensuring there are offsite and virtual options for COVID-19 care, medical practices can continue to provide care to patients in the safest environment possible.
  • Screening process at all facilities: Everyone who enters our facilities (hospital and practices) will be screened for symptoms. As an added layer of protection, temperature checks are being conducted during the screening process. Those who answer positively to a screening question or have an elevated temperature 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. Face coverings are not medical devices, but cloth masks, scarves, or bandanas worn over the nose and mouth to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Patients without a face covering will be provided a mask during the screening process to wear while within our facilities. Additionally, patients will be asked to maintain physical distancing. The layout of waiting areas will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing. Check-in and registration processes may change and patients could be asked to wait in their car for staff to call them in for their appointment in order to avoid waiting in groups.
  • 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: 05/08/2020

Starting Monday, May 11, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital will begin to transition its medical screening site at 141 Leighton Street to a more permanent setting. Drive-up COVID testing by appointment only will now be available at Northern Light Primary Care, located at 470 Somerset Avenue in Pittsfield in the Northern Light Health Center.

“The tent site was very effective as we launched our initial response to COVID, but it was never meant to be a long-term solution,” said Paul Arsenault, vice president of primary care and specialty services at Sebasticook Valley Hospital.  “Our testing will now be in a different location, but it’s the same simple process to get screened and tested. People will still need to call our Screening Hotline at 844-489-1822 to be screened and referred by appointment to the drive-up testing at our Pittsfield primary care office.”

Regular primary care will continue as normal at the location and the practice is taking all necessary steps to safely provide care for all our patients. A major safety measure is using the drive-up test process, where patients with COVID-19 test appointments stay in their car when they arrive at the location. They will be instructed to call the office to alert staff they are there, and then a dedicated healthcare provider will come out to the patient’s vehicle to swab them for the test.

Arsenault stressed, “It is very important for people to know that the removal of the temporary tent site should not be taken as an indication that COVID-19 is no longer present in our communities or contagious. It simply means that we have established a new location for testing. And if we have a surge in cases, we have a plan to manage greater volume with all the tools and safety processes we’ve gained since the pandemic started.”

According to Emily Cianchette, FNP, chief of medical staff at Sebasticook Valley Hospital and a provider with Northern Light Primary Care, “It’s vital that we all continue to slow the spread of COVID and every action you take helps. Wash hands frequently with warm soapy water for at least 40 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow and tissues, call your provider and self-isolate when you’re sick, stay home when possible, and maintain a six-foot physical distance when around others. Also, wear a face covering in public and please know that it is mandatory to wear one at all health care facilities for the safety of patients and staff.”

Meanwhile, the hospital is cautiously working to gradually resume some in-person healthcare services, specifically those that are medically necessary and time sensitive that may have been delayed due to COVID.

Sebasticook Valley Hospital president, Terri Vieira expressed the organization’s gratitude to the community for its support during these unprecedented times. “It’s been amazing to see and feel the support from our patients, families, friends, and local businesses - we’re in this together.”

For more information about COVID, visit northernlighthealth.org/Sebasticook-Valley-Hospital. To be screened for COVID, call our Screening Hotline at 844-489-1822.
 

Date: 05/13/2020

The pandemic has changed the way we connect with others. Whether it’s online meetings, virtual classrooms, or video happy hours and book clubs, we are finding ways to interact in the era of 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 was doing a handful of patient visits using telemedicine. In March the system logged almost 7,500 virtual visits, and in April that number skyrocketed to 31,000 visits statewide.

In Pittsfield and in many communities around Maine, telehealth is helping primary care providers keep up with their many patients while enabling patients to get care in the comfort of their own home.

“Seeing patients in their own environment has been the greatest asset,” says Donna Huff, PMHNP, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Northern Light Primary Care in Pittsfield, a practice of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital.  “I can ‘meet’ their partners, children and pets. They have their medication bottles nearby so we can be sure they are taking their medications correctly. It gives patients who may have had difficulty making it to appointments, due to transportation or other reasons, a great option for important behavioral health care.  It’s been a big win for patients during the pandemic.”

Huff has found that the number of patients interested in telehealth visits continues to grow. And she’s not alone.

Emily Cianchette and Patti Summers, both family nurse practitioners at Northern Light Primary Care in Pittsfield, are pleased about the reception to telehealth.

“I have had telehealth visits with people of all ages, all of whom have been engaged and so happy to be able to ‘be seen’ without having to physically come into the practice during these uncertain times,” reports Cianchette. “It feels so good to be able to stay connected to our patients who need us.”

Summers echoes those sentiments. “We have been able to reassure patients and ensure they are able to get food and supplies as well find out if they have someone checking on them.  Their safety is an important part of their health. I have been able to manage high blood pressure and adjust medications over the video.  I have been able to see wounds and rashes on the video and start treatment before something  possibly turns into an emergency room visit.”

One of Cianchette’s patients, Dora Miles, who gave us permission to mention her, is a believer in telehealth. “I’ve been careful about not going out unless absolutely necessary, so having a telehealth visit with Emily was the perfect option right now. Plus, I am comfortable with the video technology because we use it to visit with our grandkids.”

Summers and Cianchette add that it’s fun to see all generations pitching in to help family members with telehealth. “I have watched the grandkids helping their grandparents get everything set up with Zoom. And I’ve also seen some tech-savvy older people too – we’re relying on each other when needed and we get the connections made!” Summers says. 

At first, some patients were a little skeptical about using Zoom, concerned that it may not be secure or private – but that could not be further from the truth for Northern Light Health’s platform. Jim Douglas, DO, Northern Light Health’s regional medical information officer for Sebasticook Valley Hospital says, “Please rest assured that we are not using the “consumer” grade Zoom system. Our corporate Zoom account comes with many safeguards and is HIPAA compliant. It is supported by our internal information systems technical staff and third-party professionals who specialize in the healthcare industry.”

Dr. Douglas notes that he is, “Hopeful that we will be able to expand telehealth access to specialists from outside our region which is a wonderful way to make healthcare work for the people we serve.”
While primary care and other practices are starting to slowly schedule patients for in-person office visits when medically necessary and for time sensitive issues, leaders say they are excited that telehealth is here to stay.

“Our patients and providers see the immense value, it’s secure, and it’s easy to use,” says Terri Vieira, president of Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “While it will never fully replace the need for some real face-to-face medical visits, telehealth is now a regular part of how we deliver care as we focus on the needs of each individual.”

For more information about whether a telehealth appointment is appropriate for you, ask your provider or visit northernlighthealth.org/Sebasticook-Valley-Hospital.

Date: 05/19/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is proud to welcome a new community member to its board of trustees.

Terri Vieira, hospital president, announced that Jeremy West, DC, owner and chiropractor at West Chiropractic LLC in Pittsfield joined the board in April.

According to Steve George, Sebasticook Valley Hospital board chair, “We are excited to welcome Jeremy to our board. He was born and raised on a small dairy farm in Pittsfield and attended local schools, and he knows the area and people very well. We look forward to his contributions and advice.”

Tim Dentry, president and CEO of Northern Light Health noted, ”Across our state community led hospital boards are critical to the Northern Light Health brand promise to make healthcare work for you! We simply could not do what we do without community leaders like Jeremy in the boardroom who give selflessly of their time, knowledge, and experience. I personally am looking forward to working with him and know he is going to bring a unique viewpoint to the Sebasticook board.”

Date: 05/29/2020

At Northern Light Health our focus is on our patient’s health and safety, and it is more important than ever because COVID-19 is present in our communities. At Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital and our medical practices, we have been working on plans to restart services that have been slowed down or paused.

We are ready to welcome patients back to the hospital and our offices for care! We want to reassure patients that we are making our locations safe for you - from strict cleaning standards, to required face coverings, physical distancing efforts, and more. Please see the many ways in the graphic below.

The right care, in the right place
  • Telehealth Services: While we are ready to see patients in person again, we recognize that some people may prefer care when possible on the phone or over secure video conferencing. Please ask if telehealth is right for you.
  • Screening Before Entering All Facilities: For everyone’s safety, we will continue to screen patients upon arrival and restrict visitation.
  • Screening Hotline: Our COVID-19 screening hotline remains active and anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should call 1-844-489-1822.
  • Drive-Up COVID Testing: We continue to have one dedicated drive-up site for screening and testing possible COVID-19 patients at our Pittsfield Primary Care office, where patients are swabbed in their cars, not in the office. For certain surgeries/procedures, we may require COVID testing. Appointments are needed for COVID testing through the Screening Hotline (1-844-489-1822). 
  • Emergency Care: Our ER remains open 24/7 for emergency care.
  • Patient Portal: Patients can use MyNorthernLightHealth any time to securely message their care team, ask for prescription refills, and view their medical record. Please ask us if you need a reminder about how to access the patient portal or sign-up.

It is our honor to make healthcare safely work for our community every day, but especially right now. If you need care, please call us now, do not wait. If you have an emergency, please call 911. If you need a primary care or specialty provider, please call our Provider Finder service at 487-5154 Monday-Friday, 8 am – 4 pm. We’re in this together.

Non-COVID_graphic_v3-(1).jpg
 

Date: 06/08/2020

Northern Light Health will begin a weekly Zoom meeting series for business leaders Thursday, June 11, focused on supporting safe return to business. The format is a 30-minute presentation followed by a 30 minute moderated question and answer session. During the sessions our panel of experts will cover the topics and contingencies businesses need to prepare for to have their workforce present, engaged, and safe.
 
Topics will include:
  • Risk mitigation and critical infrastructure for safety
  • Face coverings and screening for employees and customers
  • Supporting employee needs as they return to work
 
Registration is required, please click HERE to register. The program will be provided at no charge to participants. Please feel free to share in the community. 

Date: 06/12/2020

Northern Light Health has started a weekly Zoom meeting series for business leaders focused on supporting safe return to business. The format is a 30-minute presentation followed by a 30 minute moderated question and answer session.

Our next session is Thursday, June 18, 11 am – Noon. Please click on the registration link below to secure your spot.

‘Balancing Your On-Site Needs and Employee Accommodations’

Topics will include:
  • Medical Accommodations – What are my responsibilities as an employer?
  • When does COVID become a work-related exposure?
  • When is it safe for my staff to return to work post-exposure?
  • Strategies for handling employee anxiety

Date: 06/15/2020

With a lower number of cases in Somerset County, we have decided to trial the idea of relaxing our visitor policy for patients in our acute care inpatient unit in the hospital.

What Has Changed:

One Visitor Daily for Inpatients
Beginning today - Monday, June 15, inpatients will be allowed one visitor per day between the hours of 1 - 6 pm.
 
  • Visitors will need to enter through the main hospital entrance to go through a screening that will include a temperature check.
  • While only one person will be allowed per day, that designated person can change each day. The visitor cannot leave the patient room during the visit.
  • Everyone entering our facility must wear a mask or face covering for the duration of their time in the hospital.
  • If a patient is accepting a visitor, the patient must also wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

Please note: Any patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. Alternative options for communications for these patients (i.e. Zoom) is available in order to keep families connected.

Day Surgery Now Open

Our Day Surgery unit has reopened. At this time, due to space limitations in the waiting room, a single visitor may accompany the patient for the procedure and stay in the pre-op room until discharge. If the companion is unable to stay the entire time, they may leave, and we will bring the patient to the exit once recovery is complete for the driver to take them home.

What Hasn’t Changed:

No Visitors in the Emergency Department
We cannot allow visitors in the waiting room or in the treatment area of the Emergency Department as this is a higher risk area. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

No Visitors at Outpatient Offices with Limited Exceptions
Visitors are still not allowed to accompany patients at our outpatient offices with a few special exceptions:

  • Pediatrics: One parent/guardian with the minor patient
  • Obstetrics: One visitor with all ultrasounds
  • One visitor with the patient in any practice if the patient needs assistance due to special needs

Thank You!

We understand that family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community. Thank you for understanding.

Date: 06/17/2020

Northern Light Health sets plan towards building a strong future for social and medical justice

This week, Northern Light Health leadership announced their systemwide plan to eliminate racism and other forms of discrimination and promote a strong future for social and medical justice.

In an internal statement, Tim Dentry, president and CEO, Northern Light Health, said, “It is my goal, by this time next year, that we will have identified all explicit and implicit bias within Northern Light Health, and embraced and promoted those ideals that create a system where social and medical justice drives our contributions to society and defines how we make healthcare work for the people we serve.”

Moving forward, Northern Light Health pledges to take a hard look and come to terms with past failings and the hidden bias that is present within all of us. Dentry continued, “We need to learn that a difficult discussion is a productive one and should leave us with hope for what is to come, rather than sadness for the past. Most of all, we will learn and be ready to speak up when we see bias or injustice. When the situation calls for a gentle reminder or a strong statement, we should feel empowered to make that decision and speak the words that are reflective of a supportive and affirming culture for all.”

James Fullwood, DPM, podiatrist at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, who has been appointed as a member of an advisory group to help shape the path forward, shared in an earlier statement last week, “Northern Light Health can be, and I hope will be, a place where racial bias and indifference do not exist. I hope it to be an institution where social and medical justice reigns. An institution that is committed to giving the best care to our patients and support for all employees, open to examining and changing policies that negatively affect the lives of those it serves. Northern Light Health can be the place that no matter your skin color, religion, sexual orientation, social status or job title you will be safe and welcome.”

Dentry has identified the following immediate steps as the start to his long-term plan to end racism and promote social and medical justice:

  • Dentry will conduct ongoing Zoom meetings/dialogue sessions with our colleagues of color and other selected groups. These sessions will be scheduled frequently enough and at various times of day so that everyone who wants to participate can do so.
  • Human Resources leaders and respective member presidents will conduct meetings/dialogue sessions to best problem solve in the local environments.
  • Northern Light Health will produce podcasts or vlogs that feature people within Northern Light Health who can help us learn what we need to know to advance justice within our system. The first series of these will be called “8:46,” and will start next week.

In addition, leaders from within the system will be conducting a full review of the current state to identify immediate action steps that need to be taken. This includes:

  • A review of all policies, trainings, hiring practices, educational sessions and disciplinary actions to ensure they are clear, accountable, have consequences, and back up Northern Light Health’s vision of social and medical justice.
  • A new mandatory learning session for all staff. Northern Light Health will recruit a leader in this field and form an internal advisory council to conduct the sessions, so we can move forward with confidence.
  • A survey will be sent to all staff in the next two weeks to gauge staff attitude, engagement, and will provide an opportunity to write their own personal experiences.
  • The creation of ongoing forums to provide additional opportunities to hear from all colleagues, especially our colleagues of color or others who are subject to discrimination, to assure we are tuned in and making significant, sustaining progress.

Dentry stated, “This will not be an easy journey, but we will set goals, celebrate our achievements, and overcome our setbacks, as we move forward for years to come. We will keep striving towards progress, until the reason for the journey no longer exists.”

"Northern Light Health can be, and I hope will be, a place where racial bias and indifference do not exist. I hope it to be an institution where social and medical justice reigns."  - James Fullwood, DPM

Date: 06/18/2020

The Governor’s office recently announced a standing order to expand testing for Maine residents, including in some cases individuals without COVID-19 symptoms, by increasing their testing technology and capability and by adding several additional specimen collection sites across the state.

This is great news and a key part of opening the state safely during the summertime. We fully support the state’s goal of having everyone coming into the state tested, and will work with them as they take the necessary steps to make this testing possible.

Please note that at this time, testing capacity must still be carefully managed because key testing supplies remain limited throughout the state, despite what you may hear in the media. To conserve supplies for those patients who need them most, Northern Light Health continues to prioritize patients who meet the following descriptions:

  • Critically ill patients who require hospitalization for their disease
  • Symptomatic healthcare workers and first responders (e.g. EMA, Police, Fire, etc.) performing direct patient care
  • Symptomatic people living in a group setting (e.g. long-term care facilities, group homes, assisted living facilities, and shelters)
  • Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 disease (Tiers I - III)
  • Patients undergoing aerosolizing generating invasive procedures.

All patients who wish to be tested by Northern Light Health must first complete the screening process and have a referral. To do this, please call our Screening Hotline at 1.844.489.1822.

We are working hard to further expand our own testing capabilities, but our current capacity to provide testing is still somewhat limited.

We understand that it can be frustrating to not have access to testing when you want it and hope you understand we are working as hard as we can to expand access while providing testing to those people most in need.

Date: 06/19/2020

For the past several weeks across Northern Light Health, we have been hard at work to assess our environments, make changes, and implement plans to ensure safe, high-quality care for you and your family in a world with COVID-19. These changes have been guided by infection prevention and clinical leaders. We also continue to work closely with the State CDC and our healthcare partners across the state to ensure that patients can receive the care they need. Your safety is our number one priority, and we have taken measures to ensure that all patients are safe.

You will find information about what you can expect when you arrive on our website at northernlighthealth.org.

We have created videos to show you what to expect when you come to a Northern Light Health facility for in-person appointments.

Here are additional information and resources.

Date: 06/29/2020

Hundreds of Maine businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, and more are joining us each week to get first hand guidance to keep their employees and customers safe during these challenging times. Our Return Safe to Business Zoom Conference series is free to the public. You’ll just need to register ahead to secure your spot.

Practical guidance and plenty of time to ask a Northern Light Health expert your specific questions.

04 Week: 7.2.20
Helpful tips on facility modifications, PPE purchasing, and resiliency.

Topics will include:

  • Strategies for modifying your physical space to reduce risk – What is most effective?
  • PPE – Navigating a challenging supply chain and what to look out for.
  • How to build a resilient work force
  • Latest on Testing and Screening

If you weren’t able to join us for our first three sessions we’re happy to share the materials with you. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business

View printable flyer.

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: 07/02/2020

This week's Safe Return to Business Zoom conference: The Impact of COVID19 on Food Service, Travel, and Team Culture is Thursday, July 9 at 11am.
 
Are you joining the hundreds of Maine businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, and others each week to get first hand guidance to keep your employees and customers safe during these challenging times. Our Return Safe to Business Zoom Conference series is free to the public. You’ll just need to register ahead to secure your spot at https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business/Week-5.
 
Practical guidance and plenty of time to ask a Northern Light Health expert your specific questions.
 
05 Week: 7.9.20
The impact of COVID19 on food service, travel and team culture. 

Topics will include:
  • Second wave. Summer travel. Summer weather kills virus?
  • Food safety. Dine in, take out precautions.
  • Team Building through Change
  • Latest on Testing and Screening
If you weren’t able to join us for our first four sessions we’re happy to share the materials with you. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business.        
 
Printable flyer - WEEK-5.pdf

Date: 07/10/2020

To better serve our patients and families’ needs, we are adjusting the visitation hours.

What Has Changed:

Starting Monday, July 13, visitor hours will be 10:30 am to 6 pm.

What Hasn’t Changed:

One Visitor Daily for Inpatients

  • Visitors will need to enter through the main hospital entrance to go through a screening that will include a temperature check.
  • While only one person will be allowed per day, that designated person can change each day. The visitor cannot leave the patient room during the visit.
  • Everyone entering our facility must wear a mask or face covering for the duration of their time in the hospital.
  • If a patient is accepting a visitor, the patient must also wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

Please note: Any patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. Alternative options for communications for these patients (i.e. Zoom) is available in order to keep families connected.

Day Surgery – One Visitor Allowed to Accompany Patient

At this time, due to space limitations in the waiting room, a single visitor may accompany the patient for the procedure and stay in the pre-op room until discharge. If the companion is unable to stay the entire time, they may leave, and we will bring the patient to the exit once recovery is complete for the driver to take them home.

No Visitors in the Emergency Department

We cannot allow visitors in the waiting room or in the treatment area of the Emergency Department as this is a higher risk area. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

No Visitors at Outpatient Offices with Limited Exceptions

Visitors are still not allowed to accompany patients at our outpatient offices with a few special exceptions:

  • Pediatrics: One parent/guardian with the minor patient
  • Obstetrics: One visitor with all ultrasounds
  • One visitor with the patient in any practice if the patient needs assistance due to special needs

We believe family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community. We appreciate your understanding and thank you for your continued support!

 

Date: 07/10/2020

Are you joining the hundreds of Maine businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, and others each week to get first hand guidance to keep your employees and customers safe during these challenging times. Our Return Safe to Business Zoom Conference series is free to the public.

Title: Caring for our employees:

Return to Work Guidelines, Team Building, and COVID-19 Testing
  • Plan for what do if an employee or customer gets sick
  • Virtual Team Building
  • Latest on testing, screening, and face coverings

Moderator: Ed Gilkey, MD, Senior Physician Executive, Northern Light Beacon Health

Panelist:

  • Jennifer Hutchins, Director HR, Northern Light Mercy
  • Angela Fileccia, LCSW, Manager Healthy Life Resource Program, Northern Light Acadia
  • Jim Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, Medical Director, Clinical Education, Northern Light EMMC, COVID Response Incident Commander
If you weren’t able to join us for our first five sessions we’re happy to share the materials with you. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business.

Printable flyer  

Date: 07/22/2020

Please join us this Thursday, July 23 at 11 am for our next Safe Return to Business Zoom meeting.

Topics will include: A COVID-19 Roundtable Discussion - Shared Challenges, Common Questions, and Planning for the Unknown

  • Science behind the virus
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and supply chain
  • Capabilities of our health system
  • Financial status
  • Treating mental health side effects
  • Communications lessons learned

If you weren’t able to join us for our first six sessions, we’re happy to share the materials with you. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business.

Date: 07/24/2020

We are focusing our attention on the youth of Maine next week. As the school year approaches we are getting many questions from across the state asking for guidance. Join us next week as Northern Light Health and a University of Maine expert share their insights.

Week 8 – A Focused Discussion!
Thursday, July 30 at 11 am: Considerations for reducing risk for COVID-19 and youth anxiety in schools and youth serving organizations
  • Risk mitigation in school and childcare settings
  • Strategies for addressing youth anxiety
  • Health literacy

Moderator: Karen Hawkes, VP Northern Light Beacon Health


Panelist
Jim Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, Medical Director, Clinical Education, Northern Light EMMC, COVID Response Incident Commander
Howard Jones, MD, Medical Director, Northern Light Work Health
Chris McLaughlin, LCSW, AVP of Community and Pediatric Services at Northern Light Acadia
Suzanne Morsehead, RN, BSN, Infection Control Specialist, Northern Light Health
Joel Farley, AVP, Facilities Management, Northern Light EMMC
Guest Collaborator: Kristy Townsend, PhD, University of Maine Orono Science Advisory Board

If you weren’t able to join us for our previous sessions, we’re happy to share the materials with you. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business.

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Printable poster

Date: 07/27/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is welcoming Volunteers back to our facility! Below you’ll see our ad in Rolling Thunder today. If you know a friendly, caring individual who likes to help people and would be a great addition to our Volunteer team, please refer them to our HR dept. We have a variety of rewarding roles and we'd love to share them.

Please call Ami Johnson, Human Resources business partner at 487-4002. Volunteers are so important and help us meet our mission and deliver a great patient experience.

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Date: 07/29/2020

The Education department at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital announces new CPR and First Aid classes for the community. All classes will be held in person at 167 Leighton Street in Pittsfield, located on the hospital campus.

To ensure the safest environment possible, social distancing and masks will be required during the classes. In addition, attendees will be screened before each class, including a temperature check.

The Infant/Child/Adult CPR and AED course will be offered on Thursday, August 20 from 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Class fee is $50.

The First Aid course will be offered on Monday, August 24 from 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Class fee is $40.

If registering for both courses at the same time, the fee is reduced to $70.00.

Class space is limited due to social distancing, and pre-registration is required. To register and for more information, please contact Laurie Alexander, coordinator of Health and Wellness Education at 487-3890. The TTY number is 487-4590.

 

Date: 07/30/2020

Be sure to join us next Thursday, August 6 at 11 am as Northern Light Health has a COVID-19 conversation with Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC.

Topics will include:

  • Data benchmarks to look for
  • Steps to take as a family
  • What’s new with testing/vaccine potential
  • Facts versus fiction
If you were not able to attend any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences you can access our materials by visiting our webpage. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business

Date: 07/31/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is pleased to welcome Michael Paci, MD, a neurosurgeon who is conducting consultations at the Pittsfield hospital. Dr. Paci is part of Northern Light Neurosurgery and Spine, based at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center - and now providing services at Sebasticook Valley Hospital.   
 
Dr. Paci received his medical degree and completed his residency at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He completed a fellowship in spine surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He specializes in neurosurgery including: brain and spine trauma, complex spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, and spine tumors.
 
For more information, please contact Liza Brawn, director of specialty care at 487.4040. Sebasticook Valley Hospital is located at 447 North Main Street in Pittsfield.

Date: 08/07/2020

Be sure to join us next Thursday, August 13 at 11 am - Maine businesses will talk about their experiences with COVID-19. 

Topics will include: 

  • Lessons Learned
  • Safely Moving Forward

If you’ve missed any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences you can access our materials by visiting our webpage at https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business.

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Printable flyer
 

Date: 08/18/2020

How would you handle an outbreak at your business?

Join us next Thursday, August 20 at 11 am as we learn from our neighbors - An outbreak discussion and roundtable: What did they do? What did they learn? How did they manage anxiety?

Panelist

  • Jim Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, Medical Director, Clinical Education, Northern Light EMMC, COVID Response Incident Commander
  • Su-Anne Hammond, DO, Primary Care Medical Director, Chief of Ambulatory Medicine, Northern Light Health Mercy
  • Shelly Hayden, Corporate Director of Clinical Operations, Continuum Health Services
  • Ben Waxman, Co-Owner American Roots Wear
  • Catherine Bean, RN, Manager Clinical Services, Northern Light Home Care and Hospice

Also, if you’ve missed any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences, you can access our materials by visiting our webpage at https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business.

Date: 08/19/2020

There will be an upcoming blood drive at 167 Leighton Street, Pittsfield, Wednesday, September 2 from 12 to 5 pm.

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For more information, please contact Laurie Alexander, Health and Wellness Education Coordinator at 487.3890.

Date: 08/19/2020

Northern Light Health receives $1M Federal grant to combat opioid crisis in rural communities of central Maine. 

Brewer, Maine (August 14, 2020) — Northern Light Health has received a $1 Million Federal grant to support community efforts towards establishing or enhancing opioid use prevention, treatment, and recovery services in rural communities served by our healthcare system. 

Northern Light Health, in collaboration with Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, Northern Light Acadia Hospital, and a consortium of community partners, will work together to reduce the burden of substance use disorder/opioid use disorder (SUD/OUD) in the Sebasticook Valley region which includes the communities of Detroit, Dexter, Hartland, Newport, Palmyra, Pittsfield, and Saint Albans. 

“People in rural communities suffering with opioid use disorder face increased challenges accessing services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a $1 million federal grant will go a long way in eliminating barriers to services that exist due to geographic limitations,” explained Terri Vieira, MHA, FACHE, president, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital. 

During this three-year grant-funded project our work will be focused on five goals:

  1. Improve regional coordination and communication for SUD/OUD response
  2. Increase community awareness of substance use prevention and overdose response
  3. Improve clinical workflow and data availability for screening and treatment referral of SUD/OUD
  4. Improve access to comprehensive SUD/OUD treatment services
  5. Improve regional community and clinical supports for treatment and recovery.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health and Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $89 million to 89 rural organizations across 38 states as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP-Implementation)
 
At Northern Light Health, we’re building a better approach to healthcare because we believe people deserve access to care that works for them. As an integrated health delivery system serving Maine, we’re raising the bar with no-nonsense solutions that are leading the way to a healthier future for our state. Our more than 12,000 team members—in our hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, long-term and home healthcare, and ground and air medical transport and emergency care—are committed to making healthcare work for you: our patients, communities, and employees. To learn more about Northern Light Health and our locations across Maine, visit www.northernlighthealth.org.

Date: 08/20/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital welcomes Aaron Kirby, MD, a new surgeon on our team to Northern Light Surgery.

Dr. Kirby offers comprehensive general surgical services including:
 
  • Breast care diagnosis and management
  • Colonoscopy
  • EGD (diagnostic endoscopy)
  • Hemorrhoid treatment
  • Laceration and wound repair
  • Appendectomy; Gallbladder; Hernia Repair
  • Most forms of surgical dermatology

Dr. Kirby comes to us from Georgia after completing a five-year residency in general surgery. He earned his medical degree from Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia.

"Maine is a beautiful place and I look forward to making this home. I'm excited to be part of the Northern Light Health family and help patients with their surgical needs to improve their quality of life," said Dr. Kirby. 

For more information, please contact Liza Brawn, director of specialty care at 487.4040. Sebasticook Valley Hospital is located at 447 North Main Street in Pittsfield.

Date: 08/21/2020

We’re all in this together, let’s figure out  how to successfully start a new school year, take on new demands, new routines, and ensure we’re taking care of ourselves and each other.

Week 12 –  The New School Year: Let’s Figure It Out Together
Thursday, August 27, 11 am

Moderator: Karen Hawkes, VP of Operations Northern Light Beacon Health

Panelist

  • Jim Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, Medical Director, Clinical Education, Northern Light EMMC, COVID Response Incident Commander
  • Chris McLaughlin, LCSW, AVP Community and Pediatric Services Northern Light Acadia
  • Suzanne Moreshead, RN, BSN, Infection Control Specialist, Northern Light Health
  • Yemaya St. Clair, LCPC-C, EAP, Workforce Performance Solution, Northern Light Health

Also, if you’ve missed any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences you can access our materials by visiting our webpage at https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business.

Date: 08/24/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is pleased to welcome Tracy Bras, MD.

Dr. Bras will offer sports medicine care to the greater Pittsfield area through Northern Light Sports Health, located at the hospital. Dr. Bras received her medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh. She completed a fellowship in sports medicine at Evergreen Sports Medicine and is board-certified in both physical medicine and rehabilitation and sports medicine.

Dr. Bras specializes in sports medicine including:

  • Care of athletes and active individuals of all ages
  • Diagnosis and management of non-surgical orthopedic conditions
  • Ultrasound guided injections
  • Sports-related concussion management
Book your sports physical now for only $35. Please call 487-4040 to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Date: 08/28/2020

We have an exciting announcement!

Based on your positive feedback we are planning to continue our Business to Business Zoom Conference Series. Starting in September, we invite you to join us twice a month beginning on Thursday, September 10 at 11 am. Together, we can support one another and keep Maine safely open for business.

The Importance of Prevention for Employees and their Families

Topics:

  • Primary Care – The value of the relationship for overall health
  • Pediatrics – Why it’s more important now than ever
  • Vaccinations  - Flu vaccinations - options for Maine employers and communities
  • Mental Health Wellness
    • Including what resources are available to support your workforce

Be sure to register and join us Thursday, September 10 – we’re here to guide you into another new chapter of safely living with COVID-19.


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Also, if you’ve missed any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences you can access our materials by visiting our webpage. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business

Attendees are asked to join the conference by Zoom and listen to audio using your computer only. Please do not dial in while also connected via your computer. The dial-in number is for those not joining by computer. This will help accommodate a larger number of participants.

For inquiries, please contact Lanie Abbott

lwabbott@northernlight.org

Date: 08/28/2020

Looking for an easy and safe way to get your flu shot this fall? Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is making healthcare work for our community by offering Drive-Thru Flu Shots on Saturday, September 26 from 10 am – noon. No pre-registration needed for this event.

The Drive-Thru Flu Shot event will be held at the Sonoco Products Parking Lot, 259 Industrial Park Way in Pittsfield.

Shots are $25 cash or check, free if you show your Medicare card. Receipts will be provided for insurance reimbursement. Must be at least 18 years old. Please wear a face covering and a short-sleeved shirt.

Staff will ask attendees to wait in their cars for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.

For more information, please contact Laurie Alexander, Health and Wellness Education Coordinator at Sebasticook Valley Hospital, 487-3890.

Date: 08/31/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is proud to announce that we are one of only six hospitals in Maine and 266 hospitals nationwide to have earned a 5-star rating for Patient Experience from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

“We are extremely proud of our staff who are committed to delivering care focused on the needs of each person,” said Terri Vieira, president of Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “It’s a well-coordinated team effort to ensure that each patient’s experience is the best it can possibly be.” 

CMS assigned a patient experience star rating to 3,478 hospitals based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores collected from January 1-December 31, 2019. Ten publicly reported topics are calculated for the star rating. Areas include communication with doctors and nurses; responsiveness of staff; communication about medicines; cleanliness of the facility; and discharge information. Click here for more information on the methodology. 

CMS publishes HCAHPS star ratings on the Hospital Compare website to help patients choose a hospital based on patient experience. HCAHPS Star Ratings are updated every quarter.

Below are all the Maine hospitals that received a five-star rating from CMS this quarter:

  • Mount Desert Island Hospital (Bar Harbor)
  • Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital
  • Northern Maine Medical Center (Fort Kent)
  • Redington Fairview General Hospital (Skowhegan)
  • Stephens Memorial Hospital (Norway)
  • York Hospital 

Nationwide:

  • 85 hospitals received one star
  • 528 hospitals received two stars
  • 1,479 hospitals received three stars
  • 1,120 hospitals received four stars
  • 266 hospitals received five stars

Date: 09/09/2020

Healthy Sebasticook Valley (Healthy SV) Coalition, an affiliate of the Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s wellness outreach in conjunction with community partners, is designed to support and promote healthy lifestyles to reduce chronic disease and increase quality of life in the Sebasticook Valley Region.

Education is a big component to make healthy changes, and a new three-part video series on prescription drug safety addresses drug monitoring, tips to securing drugs in the home, and information on how to safely dispose of prescription drugs.

The short videos will be featured on the Healthy SV Facebook page as part of the organization’s “Topic Tuesdays,” and will also be posted on the Healthy SV website to provide ongoing guidance.

The videos feature members of the Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital family and local community. The video on securing prescription drugs is hosted by Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) local drug crisis project coordinator, Jessica Ouellette. The video regarding monitoring prescription drugs has Northern Light Primary Care family nurse practitioner, Emily Cianchette. Finally, Pittsfield police chief, Harold “Pete” Bickmore shares information on safely disposing of prescription drugs.

According to Ouellette, the video project “Aligns with the purpose of Healthy SV, which looks to develop and strengthen local capacity to deliver public health services across the Sebasticook Valley. We are very proud of the videos. We’re grateful to Chief Bickmore and Emily for collaborating with us to educate people about how they can make a difference when it comes to prescription drug safety.”

For more information, please contact Jessica Ouellette a jouellette@northernlight.org.

Date: 09/18/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is proud to partner with the Good Shepherd Food Bank to help families and individuals in need by bringing a Food Mobile to Pittsfield. The Food Mobile is a “pantry on wheels” that delivers high-quality, nutritious food to communities across Maine.

Pre-boxed food and fresh produce will be available at two events open to the public on Wednesday, September 23 and Wednesday, October 21. Both events will be held from 10 am - 11:30 am on the hospital campus in Pittsfield (446 North Main Street). The food boxes will be free of charge; advance sign-up is not needed. To enhance safety and convenience, these will be drive-up events and staff will place food directly into vehicle trunks.

For more information, please contact Sharon Kimball, Community Health Specialist with Sebasticook Valley Hospital at skimball@northernlight.org or 487.3890.

Date: 09/18/2020

Please register and join us for our next free Safe Return to Business Zoom conference Thursday, September 24 at 11 am.
 
This week is: The Latest on COVID-19

Topics:

  • Cyber Security and Internet Safety
  • Latest on testing, screening, and trends
  • Tips about safe travel or working in the field
  • How to have group meetings when technology isn’t an option

Also, if you’ve missed any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences you can access our materials by visiting our webpage. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business

Week-14-graphic.png

Attendees are asked to join the conference by Zoom and listen to audio using your computer only. Please do not dial in while also connected via your computer. The dial-in number is for those not joining by computer. This will help accommodate a larger number of participants.

See you Thursday!

For inquiries, please contact Lanie Abbott

Date: 10/01/2020

Registration is now open for the Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, a longtime local tradition that is being reimagined as a virtual event for 2020. This year, community members are encouraged to complete their walk when and where they choose, anytime during the month of October.

“While we’ll miss gathering in person this year, the virtual format makes it easier than ever for individuals and families to get involved,” says Terri Vieira, MHA, FACHE, president, Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “Whether it’s a walk in the neighborhood or something more adventurous, every step taken will make a difference right here in our communities.”

The goals of the walk are twofold: to increase awareness of the importance of mammograms, and to raise money to support breast health services at Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield. Money raised through the virtual walk will fund mammograms for those who cannot afford to pay and other patient care needs.

Walkers are invited to post photos or videos of their walk on social media with the hashtag #SVHBreastWalk. Participants will receive a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk cloth face covering as a gift for registering.

“We hope that participants will wear their Breast Cancer Awareness Walk face coverings with pride knowing that they’re supporting early detection and high-quality care for our patients,” adds Vieira. “We’re so thankful for the community’s support.”

There is no minimum or maximum length for the walk.

Walkers are encouraged to reach out to friends, family members, and others who may be passionate about the cause to sponsor their virtual walk. Participants may submit their donations online or record them on a paper pledge form. To access registration, enter donations into an online form, download a paper pledge form, and see a list of local family-friendly walking and hiking destinations, please visit northernlighthealth.org/svhwalk.

Date: 10/02/2020

We’re always trying to make healthcare work a little better for the people we serve. With that in mind, we are offering an online tool to help make the COVID-19 screening process go a bit quicker as you enter Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital or our medical practices.

It’s called “Symptom Checker” and it can save you some time in line because you answer the screening questions online as you arrive instead of our staff asking you the questions (we’ll still do a temperature check). You can access Symptom Checker from your smartphone and complete the three-question screening as you head into our locations. You may choose to save the website to your favorites so you can easily access it for future visits.

It’s simple! Go to the website (covid.northernlighthealth.org/covidcheck) and answer the questions. Depending on your answers, it will give you a green screen to proceed or a red screen to stop and call our Screening Hotline for further direction. If you get a green screen, simply show it to us and we won’t need to ask you the screening questions.

Symptom Checker does not capture or store any personal health information, the web browser acts only as a calculator showing the results based on the answers you provide. This new tool is not required to be used at our entrances, it’s just another option to try and make the screening process a little quicker for patients and visitors.

 

Date: 10/03/2020

Our next free Zoom Business to Business Talk Conference is on Hidden Risk Brought on by COVID-19. Join us on Thursday, October 8 at 11 am. Register today!

Topics:

  • Ergonomics for Remote Workforce
  • Breast Cancer Screenings
    • Why it’s important to 
  • Domestic Violence
  • Latest on COVID-19

Moderator: Ed Gilkey, MD, Senior Physician Executive, Northern Light Beacon Health

Panelist

  • Morgan Mazzei, RN, CEAS III, CAOHC, Clinical Staff Lead and Occupational Health Nurse, Work Health
  • William Bradfield, MD, Clinical Director of Women’s Health Services, Northern Light Inland Hospital
  • Angela Fileccia, LCSW, Manager Healthy Life Resource Program, Northern Light Acadia
  • Jim Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, Medical Director, Clinical Education, Northern Light EMMC, COVID Response Incident Commander

Be sure to register at https://emhs.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAlc-CgrD0iGtRspoNV99JUPfqb_ygW6G02 and join us Thursday, October 8 – we’re here to guide you and your employees into another chapter of safely living with COVID-19.

Also, if you’ve missed any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences you can access our materials by visiting our webpage. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business

Attendees are asked to join the conference by Zoom and listen to audio using your computer only. Please do not dial in while also connected via your computer. The dial-in number is for those not joining by computer. This will help accommodate a larger number of participants.

See you Thursday!

For inquiries, please contact Lanie Abbott at lwabbott@northernlight.org.

Date: 10/08/2020

SVH’s virtual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk is a great way to help raise funds for mammograms. Watch Terri Vieira, president of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital share more about why the cause is so personal to her. Terri taped this message while more than six feet away from the camerawomen.
 
The SVH Breast Cancer Awareness Walk is virtual this year for the month of October. To access registration, enter donations into an online form, download a paper pledge form, and see a list of local, family-friendly walking and hiking destinations, please visit northernlighthealth.org/svhwalk.
 

Date: 10/09/2020

It is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. Our community partners, HealthySV and the Pittsfield Police Department are offering a Drug Take Back Program Saturday, October 24 from 9 am - 1 pm in the Pittsfield Police parking lot.

Turn in your unused or expired medicine for safe disposal. If you can't attend this event, you may drop off your medication at a secure drop box location at local law enforcement agencies. Visit healthysv.org to find a medication drop box location near you.
 

Date: 10/14/2020

Early detection of breast cancer saves lives! Dr. Charles Crans, radiologist for Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital shares information on the importance of early detection in this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQPyYLrbD5Q&feature=youtu.be.

 

Join us for our Virtual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk to raise funds to support free mammograms. To register, get donation forms, and see a list of local walking destinations, visit northernlighthealth.org/svhwalk. Walk anytime, anywhere during the month of October.

Date: 10/19/2020

Free Food Mobile event this Wednesday, October 21, from 10  - 11:30 am at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital.

We are proud to partner with the Good Shepherd Food Bank to help families and individuals in need by bringing a Food Mobile to Pittsfield. The Food Mobile is a “pantry on wheels” that delivers high-quality, nutritious food to communities across Maine.

Pre-boxed food and fresh produce will be available and open to the public on our hospital campus in Pittsfield (446 North Main Street). The food boxes will be free of charge; advance sign-up is not needed. To enhance safety and convenience, this will be a drive-up event and staff will place food directly into vehicle trunks.

For more information, please contact Sharon Kimball, Community Health Specialist with Sebasticook Valley Hospital at skimball@northernlight.org or 487.3890.

Date: 10/20/2020

As we balance the need of patients and their families with the safety concerns for everyone who enters the hospital and all our locations, we will continue to adjust our policies as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 change. With a lower number of cases in Kennebec County, we continue to relax our visitor policy for some areas. This policy may need to be adjusted quickly if circumstances change. Below please see our Visitation Guidelines that are effective on October 20, 2020.

Visitation is restricted to visitors 18 years of age and older. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis only for patients at end of life status or in swing bed status.

Acute Care Unit: Inpatients are allowed one visitor per day (except for patients at end of life will be allowed up to 4 visitors a day) between the hours of 10 am – 6 pm. Visitors will need to enter through the main hospital entrance between 10 am and 6 pm and go through a screening process that will include a temperature check. Please do not visit if you are feeling sick.

  • While only one person will be allowed per day, that designated person can change each day. The visitor cannot leave the patient room during the visit.
  • Everyone entering our facility must wear a mask or face covering for the duration of their time in the hospital.
  • If a patient is accepting a visitor, the patient must also wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

Please note: Any patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. Alternative options for communications for these patients (i.e. Zoom) is available in order to keep families connected.

Day Surgery Unit: At this time, due to space limitations in the waiting room, one visitor may accompany the patient for the outpatient procedure and stay in the patient’s Day Surgery room until discharge. If the visitor is unable to stay the entire time, they may leave, and we will bring the patient to the exit once recovery is complete for the visitor to take them home.

Emergency Department: A single visitor will be allowed with all emergency department patients. The visitor must always wear a mask and additionally must stay with the patient at all times.

Outpatient Provider Offices: One person/companion may accompany a patient during their visit at our primary and specialty care offices. The companion must be screened like the patient and must wear a face mask throughout the visit.

Lab, Imaging, Rehab Offices/Areas: No visitors are allowed in the waiting room or in the treatment areas of the lab, imaging or rehabilitation with limited exceptions. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Thank You!

We understand that family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community. Thank you for understanding.

Date: 10/23/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital was unable to hold our annual fundraising Golf Tournament this year due to the pandemic, so we’ve created a fun way for people to still support the cause!

We’ve created a Virtual Golf Auction to help celebrate our 20th year of the tournament and raise funds for a new ambulance. The online Auction provides a way for you to consider some great auction items to enjoy for yourself or to purchase as gifts for the holidays.

The Auction will be held online starting at 7 am on Wednesday, October 28 and be open through Friday, October 30 at 5 pm. You can log on and bid on any of the available items at any time of day during the three-day Auction. Visit the auction site at event.gives/sebasticookvalley2020 or textsebasticookvalley2020’ to 843.606.5995 to join the event.

Some of the Auction items include:

  • Bar Harbor weekend adventure
  • Moosehead Lake weekend adventure
  • Down East Magazine photography adventure
  • Red Creek Fishing Camps adventure
  • Outdoor entertainment theatre for the whole family

See more auction items when you log on to our event site. Thank you for supporting Sebasticook Valley Hospital!

For more information, please contact Terri Sleeper, director of Philanthropy at 973.5058 or tsleeper@northernlight.org.

Date: 11/01/2020

As we balance the need of patients and their families with the safety concerns for everyone who enters the hospital and all our locations, we will continue to adjust our policies as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 change. With an increasing number of cases in Somerset County, we are updating our Visitor Guidelines. This policy will be adjusted further if circumstances change. Below please see our Visitation Guidelines that are effective on October 31, 2020.

Visitation is restricted to visitors 18 years of age and older. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis only for patients at end of life status or in swing bed status.

Acute Care Unit: Inpatients are allowed one visitor per day (except for patients at end of life who will be allowed up to two visitors a day) between the hours of 1 pm – 6 pm. Visitors will need to enter through the main hospital entrance between 1 pm and 6 pm and go through a screening process that will include a temperature check. Please do not visit if you are feeling sick.

  • While only one person will be allowed per day, that designated person can change each day. The visitor cannot leave the patient room during the visit.
  • Everyone entering our facility must wear a mask or face covering for the duration of their time in the hospital.
  • If a patient is accepting a visitor, the patient must also wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

Please note: Any patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. Alternative options for communications for these patients (i.e. Zoom) is available in order to keep families connected.

Day Surgery Unit: Due to space limitations in the waiting room, we are asking that visitors not remain on-site during the procedure. We will keep visitors updated and informed via telephone. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Emergency Department: Due to space limitations we are not allowing visitors. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team. If a visitor is allowed, they must always wear a mask and must stay with the patient at all times.  The care team will help the patient keep family updated during the visit through the use of technology.

Outpatient Provider Offices: We are currently not allowing visitors to accompany patients to appointments at our outpatient practices. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Lab, Imaging, Rehab Offices/Areas: No visitors are allowed in the waiting room or in the treatment areas of the lab, imaging or rehabilitation with limited exceptions. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Thank You!

We understand that family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community. Thank you for understanding.
 
 

Date: 11/09/2020

This article was recently published in the Business Journal/Morning Sentinel.

At Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, we’ve always been here to care for our communities. COVID-19 has changed many parts of our lives and many people put their healthcare on hold over the spring and summer. Some people explored new options like telehealth that provided an important connection to care from the comfort of home.

“We want our communities to know that it is safe for you to access the care you need now,” says Terri Vieira, president of both hospitals. “Whether it’s emergency care or routine care such as visiting your primary care provider, having lab work or annual procedures like mammograms and colonoscopies – please do not delay care.” Vieira emphasized that some health conditions can worsen if care is delayed.

“Our goal has always been to make healthcare work for our community, and we have made changes during these challenging times to be sure we are providing the safest care possible, in the safest environment possible – for patients and our staff.” Vieira praised Inland and Sebasticook staffs for their dedication to safe care, noting that, “staff come in every day to care for and serve patients – it’s their passion and we are so fortunate.”

Ways Northern Light Health is Keeping Patients Safe

  • CDC Guidelines: We follow CDC guidelines to ensure patient and staff safety, and our infection prevention teams work closely with the Maine CDC.
  • Masking:  Masks or other personal protective equipment are worn by all caregivers and doctors. We’re also requiring that all patients and visitors 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 patients and visitors to do the same.
  • Screening: Pre-screening happens before entering any of our facilities, with temperature checks and a series of symptom check questions. We have introduced a new online Symptom Checker tool for the public that can be used to help people move through the screening process a little quicker. The tool asks the screening questions and gives a green or red screen to show the screener. Find the new tool at covid.northernlighthealth.org/covidcheck#.
  • COVID-19 Patient Care: Patients with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms are treated by dedicated staff in designated areas. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn by staff to keep everyone safe.
  • COVID-19 Testing: Inland Hospital and Sebasticook Valley Hospital have locations dedicated to drive up testing. Ask your provider for more information about whether testing is appropriate for you or visit northernlighthhealth.org for resources and information about testing.
  • 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 six-foot 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. Our 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.
  • Online services/Patient Portal (myNorthernLightHealth.org): Our patient portal offers more convenient services that patients can access from home, right at their fingertips. Patients can manage their appointments online; request prescription refills; send secure messages to their healthcare team; view and print details of their health record, such as: lab results, medications, allergies, immunizations, etc.; connect their electronic health record with third party wellness apps if desired. Patients of Northern Light Health can contact their primary care office for an invite to join the portal.

You can learn more about our promise of safety, access valuable resources about COVID-19 care and testing, and much more on our websites: northernlighthealth.org/Inland-Hospital and northernlighthealth.org/Sebasticook-Valley-Hospital.

Date: 11/12/2020

The Lights of Life holiday tree at Hathorn Park in Pittsfield will be illuminated to honor and remember friends, family members, caregivers, and others on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 6 pm. Community members are invited to purchase lights for the tree with proceeds supporting care provided at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital. 

“The Lights of Life program is a wonderful way to recognize people and bring some joy to our lives during these challenging times,” expressed Terri Vieira, president of Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “And all donations raised stay right here in our community to support our nonprofit healthcare mission.”

Six levels of recognition are available, from $10 white lights to $500 for purple lights, to $1000 for the tree top star. The name of each individual being honored or remembered will be displayed on the Sebasticook Valley Hospital website throughout the holiday season. Upon request, Lights of Life cards will be provided for those who purchase lights to send to honorees. 

There will not be a public gathering for this year’s tree lighting due to COVID-19 safety precautions. Instead, a video of the tree lighting will be posted to Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s Facebook page by 6:30 pm on December 2. 

For more information or to purchase a light, please visit http://northernlighthealth.org/svhlol or contact Terri Sleeper, SVH director of philanthropy at 973.5058

Date: 11/12/2020

We want to thank our amazing staff and community for helping us raise $5,305 during our month-long virtual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in October. The pandemic forced us to move our community walk to a virtual event and our community rallied, with individuals and teams walking on their own time and at locations of their choosing. Some walked to honor lives lost to breast cancer, while others walked to help strengthen our prevention efforts.

Funds raised will help pay for mammograms for those who cannot afford them in our community.

While the virtual walk event was a fun way to contribute to breast cancer awareness, we certainly hope to be back walking as a group next year! Thanks again for your support!
 
FMI: Jen Castonguay, director of Imaging, 487.4000

Date: 11/14/2020

While the annual Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital golf tournament had to be canceled due to the pandemic, we were able to move the popular auction to an online event. Thanks to the generosity of our community and SVH staff - we raised $27,898 that will help us purchase a new ambulance. Thank you!

Twenty-two great items were up for bid during the three-day online event (Oct 28-30), raising $5989. Thanks to all those who donated an auction item and participated in the bidding.

In addition to the auction, all of our wonderful local sponsors of the cancelled golf tournament allowed us to keep their sponsorships as donations for the ambulance project—our heartfelt thanks go out to the following:
 

  • Bud’s Shop n Save of Pittsfield
  • Crosby Neal Funeral Home
  • Maine Highland Federal Credit Union
  • Sebasticook Valley Federal Credit Union
  • NES/NIS/NSS
  • Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital Auxiliary
  • Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Medical Staff

Thanks again, we are so grateful for the caring, giving nature of our staff and our community!

FMI: Terri Sleeper, director of philanthropy, 973.5058

Date: 11/13/2020

Register and join us Thursday, November 19 at 11 am for Week 18 of our Safe Return Business to Business series on COVID-19 Updates.

We will cover these topics:
  • Safe ways to celebrate the holidays in the workplace
  • What is Corona Phobia?
  • Me Counting on You - Maine State Chamber Campaign to support local businesses
  • COVID-19 and Cold and Flu Season

Register at https://emhs.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAvfuqrpj0vHdA-mrozBdS_U0sXBho1ODeA.

Also, if you’ve missed any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences you can access our materials by visiting our webpage. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business

Week-18-graphic.jpg

Attendees are asked to join the conference by Zoom and listen to audio using your computer only. Please do not dial in while also connected via your computer. The dial-in number is for those not joining by computer. This will help accommodate a larger number of participants.
 
For inquiries, please contact Lanie Abbott at lwabbott@northernlight.org.

Date: 11/19/2020

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital has been recognized for meeting the Silver level for efforts to prohibit smoking and tobacco use on campus and addressing patient tobacco use.

The award is part of the annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence Hospital and Healthcare Organization Program and the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy Initiative. Thirty-three hospitals, five healthcare organizations, and five individual Gold Star Champions were recognized for efforts to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. 

This is the eighth year Sebasticook Valley Hospital has participated in the initiative and been awarded showing a longstanding commitment to addressing tobacco use and exposure.

Award levels are based on best practice criteria such as a smoke and tobacco-free campus policy, annual screening for tobacco use, referral to tobacco treatment and supporting employee education related to tobacco treatment. 

“We applaud the ongoing efforts of Maine hospitals and healthcare organizations to address tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure and nicotine dependence by meeting the Gold Star Standards of Excellence,” says Kristen McAuley, Tobacco Prevention Services Director for the Center for Tobacco Independence. She continued, “Addressing tobacco use has continued importance during the current pandemic, as the U.S. CDC states that being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”

For more information about the Gold Star Standards of Excellence, please visit BreatheEasyMaine.org/GSSE. The program is funded by Maine Prevention Services , an initiative through the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention working across the state to impact tobacco, substance use, and obesity.

 

Date: 11/22/2020

With seasons changing quickly, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is winterizing its process for COVID-19 testing. The hospital is opening a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site tomorrow - Monday, November 23. The new garage-like structure on the Pittsfield hospital campus will protect patients, staff, technology, and equipment from the elements. Patients will continue to remain inside their vehicles during swabbing in the new building.

The temporary building is located in the parking area behind one of the hospital’s administrative buildings at 167 Leighton Street. The site will be open Monday-Friday by appointment only.

Before, drive-up COVID-19 tests were offered car-side at the Northern Light Primary Care office located at 470 Somerset Avenue in Pittsfield. Now, all COVID-19 testing will occur at the drive-thru location on the hospital campus.

“We determined that the new location on the hospital campus is the best site for a long-term testing solution. It’s still centrally located for the Pittsfield area,” says Paul Arsenault, vice president of primary and specialty care for Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “Along with a new location, the drive-thru testing site will be a more weather friendly, cost efficient, semi-permanent structure that can be repurposed in the future.”

“The response for COVID-19 has been an intense focus for many months now, and we cannot thank our staff and leaders enough for their dedication. We are proud to continue to meet the needs of the community for crucial COVID-19 testing and care during this unprecedented time,” said Terri Vieira, MHA, FACHE, president of  Sebasticook Valley Hospital and senior vice president, Northern Light Health.

To schedule a COVID-19 test, patients and community members can visit https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/COVID-19/Testing or contact your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, please call the hospital at 487.5154 for assistance.

All tests at the drive-thru site must be scheduled ahead of arrival.

DIRECTIONS: Turn on Leighton Street, turn right at the 167 Leighton Street location, follow signs behind the building.

Date: 11/21/2020

We are experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases in our community and our hospital. In the last 14 days, Somerset County experienced a 99% increase in COVID-19 positive cases and the state has experienced a 59% increase in this same time period.

While we are well prepared to care for all our patients and have been preparing for this, we have decided to suspend visitation at our hospital and practices effective today - Saturday, November 21, 2020. Visitation will not be permitted in any areas as an important safety measure we can take to immediately reduce risk for our patients and staff.

Special exceptions will be for pediatric patients to have one parent or guardian and for patients who may need help with mobility or communicating with the care team. Exceptions may also be made on a case-by-case basis for patients at end-of-life. 

Our hospital and practices are still open for regular patient care activities and appointments, with an entry screening process and other safety measures in place that help protect everyone, including wearing a hospital-issued face mask at all times.

Again, visitors will not be allowed except for the limited situations noted above. We ask visitors to please wait in their vehicle and the care team will keep them updated.

Thank you for your help as we update our policies to ensure the safety of our patients, staff, and community.

Every individual can make a difference. Now is the time to be more vigilant than ever about wearing face masks/coverings, practicing social distancing, regularly cleaning hands, and avoiding gatherings.   

Date: 11/22/2020

We are experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases in our community and our hospital. In the last 14 days, Somerset County experienced a 99% increase in COVID-19 positive cases and the state has experienced a 59% increase in this same time period. While we are well prepared to care for all our patients and have been preparing for this, we have decided to suspend most visitation with very limited exceptions at our hospital and practices effective Saturday, November 21, 2020.

Visitation will not be permitted in most areas as an important safety measure we can take to immediately reduce risk for our patients and staff. However, there are unique circumstances when it is important for loved ones to assist or visit patients. These conditions include:

  • patients at end-of-life  
  • pediatric patients can have one parent or guardian
  • patients who may need help with mobility or communicating with the care team can have one support person 

Our hospital and practices are still open for regular patient care activities and appointments, with an entry screening process and other safety measures in place that help protect everyone, including wearing a hospital-issued face mask at all times. Personal face coverings/masks will not be permitted. Again, visitors will not be allowed except for the limited situations noted above. We ask visitors to please wait in their vehicle and the care team will keep them updated.

Patients who think they may have symptoms of COVID-19 and are scheduled for a medical appointment, should call their office first. This is important to prevent the potential spread of the virus to patients and the care teams that are working hard to keep everyone healthy.

Thank you for your help as we update our policies to ensure the safety of our patients, staff, and community.

Every individual can make a difference. Now is the time to be more vigilant than ever about wearing face masks/coverings, practicing social distancing, regularly cleaning hands, and avoiding gatherings.

 

Date: 11/23/2020

This video and article was recently published on the News Center Maine website. 

Date: 11/30/2020

"The mountains are calling and I must go"—John Muir

Naturalist John Muir wrote these words in a letter to his sister in 1873 when describing his desire to escape to Yosemite and protect it. Rebecca Huettner has answered a similar call to go the forest to protect it from wildfires as part of a ten-person wildland fire suppression team with the Maine Forest Service. It's a break from the everyday work she does as an advanced EMT with Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield. 

"I feel like there are always memorable experiences, whether it's observing fire behavior that I haven't seen before, or the antics that crop up between a group of people working so closely together for an extended period of time," says Rebecca.

Rebecca-Huettner,-Cameron-Peak-fire,-Larimer-County,-Colorado-as-member,-Maine-Forest-Service-Wildland-Fire-Suppression-Team.jpgRecently, she went to Larimer County, Colorado, to the Cameron Peak fire. On one of her first days in Colorado, she was digging handlines around a mining site.  She explains that handline is digging with tools down to mineral soil to create a fire break to stop the fire's spread. It can be grueling work Rebecca recalls, "All ten of us were digging, sweat dripping. Suddenly, one of the crew members laughed and said, "Join wildfire, they said. It'll be fun, they said.” This totally broke the tension, and it reminds me how 'hero' jobs aren't always glory and honor. It's the dirty, sweaty tasks that push you physically and mentally. And when you hit that wall where you don't think you can go any further, sometimes you have to laugh and keep going because that's where you get stronger."

Rebecca gained her love for the outdoors from her father, who has been a Maine Forest Ranger for nearly 24 years. She officially started in wildland firefighting when she was 14, took the wildland firefighting class when she was 15, and took her first out of state trip to battle a wildland fire when she was 18.  She went to Montana in 2018 and twice to Quebec, Canada, in 2019. She's also been on numerous in-state wildfires, including one this fall near Chesuncook Lake, Maine. Chuck McMahan, a paramedic for Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital and crew chief who works with Rebecca, is amazed by what she has learned. "We believe that the experience in multi-agency response and large-scale incidents that Rebecca brings home is invaluable to the communities she serves. We expect that the experience will only add to her high level of professionalism and dedication to excellence."

On her recent trip to Colorado, she learned how to program radios in the field and perform weather observations and monitoring for the division. "I feel like I always walk away from a wildland fire trip with better communication skills, whether it's by radio, phone, written, or verbal, as well as a better understanding of management and the incident command system," Rebecca explains why she continues to answer the call to be a wildland firefighter. "The opportunity to work in a high-stress environment has helped me develop leadership skills by taking the initiative to get things done and to work together with the group through the hardships that come up."

Photo captions:
1-Rebecca Huettner, an advanced EMT with Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital
2-As a member of the Maine Forest Service Wildland Fire Suppression Team, Rebecca walks down a dozer line that the crew had worked on as a fire barrier at the Cameron Peak fire in Larimer County, Colorado; photo by Dorothy McCarron.
 

Date: 12/02/2020

Register and join us Thursday, December 3 at 11 am for our Safe Return to Business series - Week 19: The Value of Wellness in the Workplace.

Topics covered are:

  • Why worksite wellness?
  • Virtual Wellness
  • Feeding the body and soul
  • COVID-19 Latest

Also, if you’ve missed any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences you can access our materials by visiting our webpage. https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business

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Attendees are asked to join the conference by Zoom and listen to audio using your computer only. Please do not dial in while also connected via your computer. The dial-in number is for those not joining by computer. This will help accommodate a larger number of participants.

For inquiries, please contact Lanie Abbott at lwabbott@northernlight.org.

Date: 12/04/2020

We got into the holiday spirit as Terri Vieira, president, led the Pittsfield community tree lighting at a special event on December 3 in Hathorn Park. Dozens of cars surrounded the park gazebo and honked in celebration of the tree lighting, which support SVH’s Lights of Life program.

IMG_6216.jpgThe Lights of Life program is an opportunity to honor, recognize, and remember patients, families, community members, and others. Each light on the tree is a powerful symbol representing the people who have touched our lives.

If you would like to view the tree lighting video, please visit our Facebook page.

Thank you for supporting the services that our community depends on for our hospital. It means so much, particularly during a year that has truly been unlike any other.

IMG_6209.jpgAnd if you would like to purchase a light for someone special in your life, there is still time -  http://northernlighthealth.org/svhlol.

We would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Pittsfield Town Holiday Tree Committee.

Top Photo: Terri Vieira, president with Jan Laux, head of the Pittsfield Town Holiday Tree Committee at Hathorn Park gazebo.

Date: 12/07/2020

The Lights of Life tree in Hathorn Park has been illuminated to celebrate, honor, and remember friends, family members, caregivers, and others in our community. We are pleased to recognize our 2020 honorees: click here for a complete list.

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

Thank you to everyone who has made our tree shine brighter while supporting the care you've come to count on at Sebasticook Valley Hospital. 

Date: 12/10/2020

Register and join us Thursday, December 17 at 11 am for the next Safe Return to Business Zoom Conference with guest speaker, Stephen Sears, MD and State Epidemiologist and Maine CDC Clinical Advisor.

Also, if you have missed any of our Zoom Safe Return to Business Conferences, you can access our materials by visiting our webpage at https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/Safe-Return-to-Business.

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Attendees are asked to join the conference by Zoom and listen to audio using your computer only. Please do not dial in while also connected via your computer. The dial-in number is for those not joining by computer. This will help accommodate a larger number of participants.
 
For inquiries, please contact Lanie Abbott at lwabbott@northernlight.org.

Date: 12/11/2020

This is the first in a series of ongoing Community Updates in the coming year focused on local efforts to make a difference in the opioid crisis in the Sebasticook Valley region and Maine.

Federal grant brings community together for action

A $1 million federal grant is helping communities in the Pittsfield area and beyond make an impact on the opioid crisis. Northern Light Health, in collaboration with Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, received the funding through the  Rural Communities Opioid Response Program. The program is a three-year initiative supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration to address barriers to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance and opioid use disorder.

The opioid crisis has hit rural communities hard. According to the region’s latest Community Health Needs Assessment, opioid use and the lack of accessible and affordable treatment for substance use disorder is a significant concern to community members. Overdose deaths in Somerset County have nearly doubled over the past ten years with eight deaths occurring  in the first half of 2020. This is part of a statewide pattern of increased drug deaths. In the first half of 2020 there were 258 overdose deaths in Maine, and most were caused by opioids.

“People in rural communities suffering from the opioid epidemic are facing more challenges accessing services, especially during the pandemic,” said Terri Vieira, MHA, FACHE, president of Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “This grant will allow us to strengthen partnerships, develop sustainable plans, and expand services so that we can help more people.”

The Pittsfield hospital joins a group of community partners that will work together on the multi-year plan. The group is called the Sebasticook Valley Opioid Response Network and its first meeting was held virtually on October 26, 2020. Members reviewed goals and objectives, which include improving the regional coordination and communication response for opioid use disorder, increasing community awareness, improving local access to treatment services, as well as improving clinical support for treatment and recovery. 

The group has members from healthcare, behavioral health, law enforcement, and education:

  • Pittsfield Police Department
  • RSU #19 (Newport, Hartland, St. Albans, Palmyra)
  • Hometown Health Center
  • Kennebec Behavioral Health
  • TeamHealth
  • Northern Light Acadia Hospital
  • Northern Light Health
  • Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital
“The Pittsfield Police Department is pleased to be part of this important group that is working to make an impact in all the areas of our community” said police chief, Harold “Pete” Bickmore. “Working together as a team, we have the opportunity to collaborate on our efforts to combat the opioid crisis.”

For more information about the Sebasticook Valley Opioid Response Network and its community action plan, please contact Jessica Shaffer, director of Community Health Partnerships with Northern Light Health at jshaffer@northernlight.org or 207.973.8039, or visit northernlighthealth.org/Sebasticook.

The $1 million grant to Northern Light Health is part of $89 million awarded to 89 rural organizations across 38 states by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health and Resources and Services Administration and the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program.
 

Date: 12/14/2020

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We have reached a critical time in the COVID-19 pandemic. Case numbers are rising, and our hospitals and healthcare system are feeling the pressure. Currently, we’re seeing the highest number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths since the pandemic began. We’ve been preparing for this for months, and we’re ready, but the increase in cases makes our caregivers’ jobs much more challenging.

Every day we see examples of people not following the most basic and sound scientific advice on how to address the pandemic. For that reason, Northern Light Health joined with other healthcare systems in Maine to deliver an important message; we can’t do this without public support. It’s great that so many see healthcare workers as heroes; now it’s time people to show how much they care.

On December 9, during our weekly COVID-19 news briefing, John Alexander, MD, MHCM, FACEP, chief medical officer, Central Maine Healthcare and Steve Diaz, FAAFP, FACEP, chief medical officer, MaineGeneral Health joined James Jarvis, MD, FAAFP, senior physician executive for System Incident Command, Northern Light Health, and director of Clinical Education, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center to urge Mainers to act responsibly to slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Together, the three Maine clinical leaders urged people to:

  • Mask: Wear them in any public spaces, indoors or out

  • Wash: Wash your hands often
  • Distance: Don’t gather multiple households under one roof, stay six feet apart, and take the opportunity to enjoy a quieter holiday

  • Stay home if you’re sick: Mainers like to tough it out, even if you don’t have symptoms being social while you’re COVID-19 positive can put others at risk
This news conference kicked off a statewide campaign, presented by the three healthcare systems. To view our letter to Maine people, please visit, https://northernlighthealth.org/Covid-Response.

Date: 12/22/2020

Staff at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield celebrated the arrival of the first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine today. Staff clapped and cheered as the vaccine shipment was delivered by supply chain staff to the pharmacy for storage. The hospital received 200 vaccine doses and expects to receive more next week.

IMG-7790.jpg“Today we unpacked the vials of vaccine, we started implementing monitoring protocols, and began thawing the vaccine in preparation for staff vaccinations,” noted Tyson Thornton, PharmD, associate vice president and director of pharmacy at Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “The Moderna vaccine only requires a regular freezer, not the super-low temperature freezers that the Pfizer vaccine demands.”

Thornton added, “As employees sign up for their first dose of the vaccine this week and next week, they will automatically be signed up for their booster shot in 28 days. We are also providing vaccine education forums and one-on-one support as needed so that staff can ask questions and feel fully informed of the science surrounding the efficacy and safety of this vaccine.”

Regarding vaccinations for the public, Thornton said that Northern Light Health hospitals continue to work closely with the Maine CDC on a process and timeline.

Watch the News Center newscast and read the online story… you will need to scroll down to see the video box.
 
 

Date: 12/31/2020

Local music students helped get patients and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital staff in the holiday spirit this year by sharing a music video they created. Called the Sounds of Caring, the video shows students singing holiday favorites, playing musical instruments, and sharing words of encouragement for patients and healthcare staff.          

According to Dean Neal, music teacher at Nokomis Regional High School, “Our music students who perform in groups generally get to connect with our community through concerts, parades, and other activities like singing/playing for hospitalized patients and healthcare staff, but with all the restrictions due to COVID-19, we have been unable to do that. Creating a video that could be played for patients and staff to enjoy was a way for us to be able to reach into the community with a little bit of music and messages of encouragement.”

Neal added, “Music can be such a powerful thing to unite a community and with the lack of live performances and the inability for our students to play and sing together, this was a way to encourage the kids to make some music on their own but also to impact others in the process.”

The video is 9:30 minutes in length and features more than a dozen students: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlKAcUKvvmc

Staff have connected patients to the music video for a few weeks now on the school’s YouTube channel through iPads and patients have applauded the students’ efforts. One patient who gave us permission to share her comment and photo is Sharon Hunter from Hartland who said, “I love the video, and it's good for them to do this to make you feel better.”

“Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital wants to thank Nokomis music students for their thoughtfulness and time in creating the Sounds of Caring video,” said Tracy Bonney-Corson, RN, vice president of nursing and patient care services. “The virtual performance lifts the spirits of our patients and our staff and shows us how much you care – and that means everything to us!”
 

Date: 01/20/2021

If you’re looking for a respectful, experienced gynecologist, Nayantara Bhatta, MD of Northern Light Women’s Health in Detroit is welcoming new patients now. With 25 years of gynecological experience, Dr. Bhatta offers a variety of GYN services. 

  • Care for gynecological problems

  • Well woman preventative care
    • Yearly exams
    • Family planning
    • Health screenings
    • Menopause counseling
    • Cancer screenings
    • Birth control
    • Adolescent health
  • In-hospital special surgical procedures

  • Telehealth appointments

Schedule your appointment today with Dr. Bhatta at 487.4040. Our practice is located at 72 North Road in Detroit.

Date: 01/21/2021

Northern Light Health, with the direction of the Maine State CDC, has expanded COVID-19 vaccination offerings to community members age 70 and over. At this time, vaccine supply is very limited, and you must have an appointment to get vaccinated.

To help our community, we’ve created a printable “Vaccination Update - What You Need to Know” poster and a shareable social media image graphic.

People 70 and over can make an appointment for your vaccine at covid.northernlighthealth.org/public vaccine. This website will show you if all appointments are full or if there are opening and where.

  • All Northern Light Health locations offering the vaccine in Maine are listed on this site (when appointments are available).
  • New appointments are added each week on Monday, as soon as we confirm the number of vaccine doses we have.
  • While we cannot register patients by phone at this time, we are working hard now to set up a call center in the near future – watch for that information soon.
  • For ongoing information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please call our recorded vaccination information line at 207.275.2200. It is updated regularly.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to get our communities vaccinated.

Date: 02/03/2021

Celebrating our amazing staff is the goal of our new True North system-wide employee recognition program. It is a prestigious collection of individual awards and one team award presented to those whose behaviors and accomplishments exemplify a profound and impactful dedication to the Northern Light Health promise.

Today on a special Zoom meeting open to all employees, we announced our local SVH awardees. Our honorees are named below.

By virtue of these local recognitions, the awardees have been nominated for the Northern Light Health System True North Awards, which will be announced starting next week.

Congratulations to all our awardees, we’re very proud of you!

SVH Awardees:


Castonguay,-Jen-13803.jpg
Jennifer Castonguay, RT (R) (CT), director of Imaging and director of Women's Health
Raising Quality Award 

The Raising Quality awardee drives quality improvement through innovation, teamwork, and efficiency. The awardee establishes connections to foster collaborative learning and creative solutions. Working with others, the awardee enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of tools, workflows, and thought processes to achieve departmental, organizational, and system goals. The awardee sees solutions where others see barriers, breaks down silos, and maximizes resources.
 

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Suzanne Moreshead, RN, BSN, CIC, director of Nursing - Medical Surgical Unit
Shining Star Award

The Shining Star embodies each of the True North Award criteria through unwavering preoccupation with raising quality, making access easy, guiding the way, and seeing the individual. The awardee tirelessly fosters a culture which provides the highest levels of health and well-being for all.


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Brandi Weaver, RN, perioperative nurse
Seeing the Individual Award

The Seeing the Individual awardee focuses on the needs of each person. The awardee recognizes the presence of both physical and social determinants that influence the health and well-being of our patients and that outstanding care requires not only addressing the symptom, but also the root cause. The awardee’s efforts, directly or indirectly, have a profound impact on our ability to address the individual needs of those we serve.
 

Date: 02/04/2021

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital kicked off its first community vaccination clinic today for community healthcare workers and people age 70 and older. The location of the ongoing community clinic has been set at Millennium Wedding and Event Center in Palmyra. 150 doses were administered today at the site and appointments are already filled for other clinics this week. More clinics will be added as the Hospital learns of its vaccine allotment from the state each week.

“We are very excited to be moving into this phase of community vaccinations,” said Terri Vieira, hospital president. “We have started dose two of the vaccine with our own staff, and we’re pleased to be moving onward to vaccinate more people in the communities we serve. It’s progress, it’s hope. At the same time, we have to be patient as the vaccine supply is still significantly lower than we had hoped.”

To be able to make this mass vaccination clinic a reality, the Hospital needed a large community space and Millennium was the perfect fit. Millennium Wedding and Event Center is located at 416 Oxbow Road in Palmyra.

“It’s very encouraging to see the positive community interest in the vaccine and we’re eager to get as many people vaccinated in the 70+ age group as we can with the limited supply,” noted Tyson Thornton, PharmD, associate vice president and director of pharmacy at Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “We hope to see the vaccine supply increase each week; we know the federal and state governments have been working on that plan.”

Thornton added that vaccination clinics are not just for Northern Light Health patients but are open to anyone who has an appointment and qualifies in the current vaccine tiers that are set by the Maine CDC. At this time, community clinics are for community healthcare workers and those over 70. 

Julie-Burwell-Palmyra-vaccine-clinic.JPGRetiree Julie Burwell from Dixmont said she was relieved to get the vaccine today. “It’s such a positive step to get the vaccine. It’s vital and I feel safer now.”

87-year old Sue Mayhew Gore commented how smooth the vaccination process was and how nice and helpful everyone was at the clinic. “The shot will help prevent illness so I’m glad to get it.”

Sue-Mayhew-Gore-adn-Sharon-Littlefield-Palmyra-vaccine-clinic.jpgMayhew Gore’s daughter, Sharon Littlefield, expressed gratitude to Sebasticook Valley Hospital for the local clinic. “It’s really nice that people won’t have to travel far to get the vaccine. Staying close to home is important for so many people like my mom.”

Vaccine Registration

Individuals must pre-register for an appointment to take part in a vaccination clinic. Due to the high demand, as well as the logistics around handling the vaccines, walk-ins cannot be accommodated. More appointments will be added when vaccine becomes available. Each week, after receiving their vaccine allotment from the Maine CDC, Sebasticook Valley Hospital will open slots at Millennium based on that availability. The hope is to hold at least one clinic each week, but vaccine availability will determine how they can proceed.

Registration is available at covid.northernlighthealth.org/publicvaccine. For those who do not have internet access, call 207.204.8551 to reach the Vaccine Registration and Information line. Due to the strong community interest and very low vaccine supply, slots are few and filling up very quickly.

Preparing for Registration

When preparing to register, whether by phone or online, people are asked to have their insurance or Medicare information, and the name and phone number for an emergency contact person. The vaccine itself is free but a small charge to cover the cost of administration will be billed to people’s insurance.  

Arriving at the Vaccination Site

When arriving at the Millennium location, people can follow building signage to the event entrance and are asked to please not arrive any earlier than 10 minutes prior to their appointment time. Community members should not show up at the site without an appointment.

For More Information

Community members are encouraged to visit covid.northernlighthealth.org/publicvaccine each Monday at 2 pm to learn about clinics that may be scheduled for the week. Or visit the Maine CDC website (www.Maine.gov) to see all vaccination sites across the state and any open appointments.
Sebasticook Valley Hospital leaders are asking individuals to please not call their primary care office or the hospital to try to register. The two options for registering at this time are on the website or the special registration phone line.

Date: 02/10/2021

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is pleased to welcome Zach Norris, PA, physician assistant to our Northern Light Primary Care – Newport Plaza team located at 26 Main Street, Suite 2 in Newport.

Zach earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maine at Orono in computer engineering and his medical degree from MCPHS University in Manchester, NH. Zach was an Advanced EMT for several years at Sebasticook Valley Hospital before becoming a physician’s assistant and has a passion for helping, guiding, motivating, and connecting with patients. Zach is married with two young children and enjoys running, biking, swimming, skiing, working on cars, and fixing things in general.

“Family medicine is where we can help make the greatest long-term change in a person’s life. We see and care for people throughout the years, making changes and recommendations today that will affect their well-being decades down the road,” says Zach.

Zach is welcoming new patients – call 368.5747 today!

Date: 02/12/2021

Northern Light Health is proud to present our first ever True North Awards, recognizing those who have gone above and beyond to deliver on our promise to make healthcare work for the people we serve. 

The Shining Star Award embodies each of the True North Award criteria through unwavering preoccupation with raising quality, making access easy, guiding the way, and seeing the individual. The awardee tirelessly fosters a culture which provides the highest levels of health and well-being for all.

And the True North Shining Star Award goes to . . . Suzanne Moreshead, RN, director of Medical Surgical, Emergency Department, and Infection Prevention at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, and co-chair of Northern Light Health Infection Prevention and Council.

Congratulations, Suzanne!

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Date: 02/19/2021

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is pleased to welcome Vaughn Collett, MD, an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Collett is part of Northern Light Orthopedics and has started a weekly clinic at Sebasticook Valley Hospital. He has been affiliated with Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville for more than 20 years and will continue to serve that community.

“I am excited to work with the team at Sebasticook Valley Hospital,” said Dr. Collett. “I look forward to seeing patients in the Sebasticook Valley region and help them with their orthopedic needs. It’s our goal to help people get back to doing what they love to do.” said Dr. Collett.

Dr. Collett’s orthopedic services include adult reconstructive surgery focusing primarily on hip and knee replacement, sports medicine, and adult and pediatric trauma.

For more information, contact Northern Light Orthopedics, a department of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital at 207.487.4040. 

Date: 03/17/2021

Please watch this news story from WGME-TV about Somerset County vaccinations with Tyson Thornton, AVP/director of Pharmacy.

Date: 03/17/2021

Healthcare Heroes featured in 2020 Northern Light Health Annual Report.

 
kathy-knight.pngBrewer, Maine (March 17, 2021) There are many things about 2020 we would all like to forget, but there are plenty of things worth remembering too. Throughout Northern Light Health, our healthcare workers showed courage, strength, and perseverance to guide our patients and communities through an unprecedented global pandemic. We feature some of their stories in our 2020 annual report.

We compiled more than two dozen interviews with healthcare workers who were on the front lines caring for the sick as well as employees who worked quietly behind the scenes to support them. We also highlight the community members who donated items or performed acts of kindness for healthcare workers. In addition, we detail how our new president and CEO, Tim Dentry, accepted his position, and how our newest member hospital, Mayo joined the system just as COVID-19 was surfacing in Maine.

At Northern Light Health, our purpose is to make healthcare work for the people of Maine. You will see examples of this throughout the pages of this year's report.
 

Date: 03/23/2021

The Clinical Education and Training department at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital will offer a Healthcare Provider Basic Life Support (BLS) class on Friday, May 14, 2021 from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. The class will be held at 167 Leighton Street (the building behind Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield).

This class is for the healthcare professional who is required to have a Healthcare Provider Certification. CPR skills for adult, infant and children, use of the AED, rescue from choking and use of bag-mask devices are included. This is not a renewal course; it is designed for new certification. Infection prevention measures will be taken during the class to include wearing of masks, gloves, and eye protection and observing social distancing.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register or for further information, please call 207.487.3890;  TTY number is 487-4590. The cost of the class is $75 which includes the class textbook.

Date: 03/30/2021

As we balance the need of patients and their families with the safety concerns for everyone who enters the hospital and all our locations, we will continue to adjust our policies as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 change. This policy will be adjusted further if circumstances change. Below please see our Visitation Guidelines that are effective on March 31, 2021.

Visitation is restricted to visitors 18 years of age and older. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis only for patients at end-of-life status or in swing-bed status.

Acute Care Unit: Inpatients are allowed one visitor per day (except for patients at end-of-life who will be allowed up to two visitors a day) between the hours of 2 and 4 pm. Visitors will need to enter through the main hospital entrance between 2 and 4 pm and go through a screening process that will include a temperature check. Please do not visit if you are feeling sick.

  • While only one person will be allowed per day, that designated person can change each day. The visitor cannot leave the patient room during the visit.
  • Everyone entering our facility must wear a mask provided by this facility for the duration of their time in the hospital.
  • If a patient is accepting a visitor, the patient must also wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

Please note: Any patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. Alternative options for communications for these patients (i.e. Zoom) is available in order to keep families connected.

Day Surgery Unit: Due to space limitations in the waiting room, we are asking that visitors not remain on-site during the procedure. We will keep visitors updated and informed via telephone. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Emergency Department: Each patient is allowed one visitor. Due to space limitations, visitors must remain at the bedside at all times. If the visitor must leave the department, they will not be allowed readmission. Visitors that are allowed must wear a mask at all times.

Outpatient Provider Offices: We are currently not allowing visitors to accompany patients to appointments at our outpatient practices. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Lab, Imaging, Rehab Offices/Areas: No visitors are allowed in the waiting room or in the treatment areas of the lab, imaging, or rehabilitation with limited exceptions. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Thank You!

We understand that family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community. Thank you for understanding.

 

Date: 03/31/2021

Gavin Ducker, MD, who is a Waterville family physician and co-president of the Northern Light Medical Group, co-system chief medical officer and senior vice president of Northern Light Health, encourages people to get the vaccine in this Opinion Editorial.

Date: 05/11/2021

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital will be offering walk-in Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations starting Wednesday, May 12 at the following times and locations:

        Wednesdays, 8 am - 2 pm          
        Northern Light Primary Care - Newport Plaza, 26 Main Street, Suite 2, Newport

        Thursdays, 8 am - 2 pm          
        Northern Light Primary Care, 470 Somerset Avenue, Pittsfield

        Fridays, 8 am - 2 pm          
        Northern Light Infusion Care located at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital 
        447 North Main Street, Pittsfield


Vaccines are available to anyone 18 years or older, and you do not need to be a current patient. 

For more information, please contact 207.487.4052. 
 

Date: 05/24/2021

As we balance the need of patients and their families with the safety concerns for everyone who enters the hospital and all our locations, we will continue to adjust our policies as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 change. This policy will be adjusted further if circumstances change. Below please see our Visitation Guidelines that are effective on May 25, 2021.

Visitation is restricted to visitors 18 years of age and older. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis only for patients at end-of-life status or in swing-bed status.

Acute Care Unit: Inpatients are allowed one visitor per day (except for patients at end-of-life who will be allowed up to four visitors a day-two at a time) between the hours of 12 and 6 pm. Visitors will need to enter through the main hospital entrance between 12 and 6 pm and go through a screening process that will include a temperature check. Please do not visit if you are feeling sick.
  • While only one person will be allowed per day, that designated person can change each day. The visitor cannot leave the patient room during the visit.
  • Everyone entering our facility must wear a mask provided by this facility for the duration of their time in the hospital.
  • If a patient is accepting a visitor, the patient must also wear a mask for the duration of the visit.
Please note: Any patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. Alternative options for communications for these patients (i.e. Zoom) is available in order to keep families connected.

Day Surgery Unit: Due to space limitations in the waiting room, we are asking that visitors not remain on-site during the procedure. We will keep visitors updated and informed via telephone. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Emergency Department: Each patient is allowed one visitor. Due to space limitations, visitors must remain at the bedside at all times. If the visitor must leave the department, they will not be allowed readmission. Visitors that are allowed must wear a mask at all times. 

Outpatient Provider Offices: We are currently not allowing visitors to accompany patients to appointments at our outpatient practices. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Lab, Imaging, Rehab Offices/Areas: No visitors are allowed in the waiting room or in the treatment areas of the lab, imaging, or rehabilitation with limited exceptions. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Thank You!

We understand that family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community. Thank you for understanding.

 

Date: 05/26/2021

We are pleased to announce several exciting finance leadership changes.

Frauenhofer_01_Vertical.jpgChris Frauenhofer, vice president of Finance of Northern Light Inland Hospital and interim administrator of Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood has been named as the new vice president of Finance for Northern Light Health’s system Medical Group. 

Frauenhofer joined Northern Light Health in 2013, starting at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital before moving to Inland Hospital in 2017. Before joining Northern Light Health, he served in senior finance roles for more than 20 years at hospitals in New York, including Alice Hyde Medical Center and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. 

Frauenhofer received a Master of Business Administration from Niagara University (New York) and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Registered Accounting Program from State University of New York at Buffalo. 

Frauenhofer lives in Mariaville. He will remain in the interim role at Lakewood until a new administrator is recruited. 

Clark,-Randy_01_Vertical.jpgRandy Clark, vice president of Finance and Operations at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital will expand his duties to include Inland Hospital and Lakewood, becoming vice president of Finance for both hospitals and the continuing care facility. 

A resident of Vassalboro, Clark just celebrated 25 years with Northern Light Health. He started as a controller at Sebasticook Valley Hospital in 1996 and became vice president of Finance in 2005. In 2016, Operations was added to his leadership role. For a few years, he oversaw finance as vice president for both CA Dean Hospital in Greenville and Sebasticook Valley Hospital.

Clark earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Maine (Orono) and his Master of Business Administration from Thomas College (Waterville).  

“Chris and Randy have been vital to our local leadership teams, and integral to system finance work. We know they will continue to help our system and member organizations succeed in their new and expanded roles – not only when it comes to finance, but with all aspects of our mission to improve the health of the people and communities we serve. Both Chris and Randy have a passion for excellent service and finding new ways to deliver on our brand promise.” says Terri Vieira, president of Inland Hospital, Continuing Care, Lakewood, and Sebasticook Valley Hospital.
 

Date: 06/07/2021

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is pleased to welcome Jean Antonucci, MD to our team. She has joined our Northern Light Primary Care practice located at 470 Somerset Avenue in Pittsfield.  Dr. Antonucci offers Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) with integrated primary care for patients with substance use disorder. 

Dr. Antonucci has been a physician for more than 34 years. She earned her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine and completed a fellowship at the University of North Carolina Hospitals and a residency at the Maine-Dartmouth Family Practice Residency Program. She enjoys serving patients of all ages and helping her patients live their healthiest possible lives. “What I have learned is to ask the patient why they are here,” she said, “and to keep asking until I hear everything they have to say. That way, the patient’s needs always come first.”

Dr. Antonucci is welcoming new patients with substance use disorder - call 487.5154 to make an appointment today.
 

Date: 06/09/2021

The following article was published in Rolling Thunder on June 7, 2021 and is part of an ongoing series of articles related to our opioid grant work with the community.

Thanks to a federal grant through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, Medication Assisted Treatment is now available at Northern Light Primary Care in Pittsfield. Referred to as MAT for short, the treatment uses medications in combination with co-occurring substance use counseling to treat opioid use disorder.
 
Jean-Antonucci,-MD-hi-res.jpgJean Antonucci, MD, is a board-certified family physician and Medication Assisted Treatment provider with the medical practice in Pittsfield. She shares her expertise about opioid addiction and the importance of MAT in this special article.
 
Many of us have heard about, or been touched by, the opioid crisis. My goal is to help our community understand substance use disorder and how treatment using medications can make a difference in a person’s life.
 
It’s important to begin with an understanding of what addiction is. Addiction is the use of a substance despite it causing harm. Some examples of this harm include: you can’t keep a job or lost your driver’s license - but you keep using the substance despite harm to your life, and you can’t stop - or even cut down - and spend a lot of time trying to find another dose. This is addiction, also called substance use disorder.
 
Why can’t people just quit? Because using substances creates permanent changes in the brain that cause addiction. After many years of treating addiction, I have found this is the simplest way to describe it. The brain has receptors like locks, or the ignition in your car. When you put the key in, you can unlock the doors and start the car. In the brain, when the opioid or other substance attaches to the receptor, it is turned on. It may help the pain you took it for, but it can also release pleasure chemicals that can make some people feel high or euphoric.  
 
Some people are more likely to become addicted, but anyone is at risk because addiction doesn’t discriminate by age, gender, or socioeconomic status. When someone is using a non-medical opioid like heroin, the released pleasure chemicals are extremely strong and make people want to use again to feel that good again; however, after a while it takes more and more of the drug to get the chemicals released. When there is no drug, those receptors stay turned on and will send out signals to the whole body and cause bone pain, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. This is called withdrawal and is incredibly miserable.
 
The person seeks out more opioids (narcotics) to avoid withdrawal and they are stuck in a cycle of misuse. One can’t just use willpower to stop; once people are addicted, brain changes are largely permanent and, like any chronic disease, requires doctor visits, medication, and lifestyle modifications.
So how can we help? We have medications that will fit into that brain lock and reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms. The most effective medication is Suboxone, which sticks to the brain receptor better than any narcotic. It’s important to note that using an FDA-approved treatment medicine like Suboxone does not trade one addiction for another. Suboxone does not produce a high feeling like opioids do and the withdrawal symptoms are avoided. This allows the person to be comfortable and focus on rebuilding their life.
 
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Northern Light Primary Care in Pittsfield at 207.487.5154. 
 
Dr. Antonucci is part of the Sebasticook Valley Opioid Response Network, a coalition of community partners working to address barriers to prevention, treatment, and recovery. Partners include: Hometown Health Center; Kennebec Behavioral Health; Pittsfield Police Department; RSU #19 (Newport, Hartland, St. Albans, Palmyra); TeamHealth; Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital; Northern Light Acadia Hospital; and Northern Light Health. 

Date: 06/30/2021

Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield are announcing that our COVID-19 “Swab and Go” drive-up testing sites (located behind the hospitals) will close effective today, June 30. Starting July 1, testing will instead be offered at the hospitals’ outpatient labs and other care sites.

“We can take this step to close the mass testing sites because of everyone’s efforts to get vaccinated throughout the state,” said Terri Vieira, president of Inland Hospital and Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “Increased vaccinations mean more people are protected from COVID-19 and that’s led to a decreased need for testing. We are pleased to be able to move COVID-19 testing into our regular services at the hospital and other sites, rather than having to maintain the stand-alone drive-up sites. We know that with appropriate safety measures, like masking in our healthcare settings, that testing can be done safely in the clinic setting.” 

Individuals in need of COVID-19 testing should select one of the following options beginning July 1, 2021:

In Waterville:

  • Public/Patients:
    • Symptomatic patients or those with known exposure to COVID-19 – Contact your Primary Care Provider (PCP) for guidance or visit Northern Light Walk-In Care at 174 Kennedy Memorial Drive, Waterville, no appointment needed, 7 days a week/8am-6pm.
    • Pre-medical procedure testing – Visit Northern Light Inland Hospital Outpatient Lab, 200 Kennedy Memorial Dive, Waterville, Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm (enter through main Hospital entrance) and Sat, Noon-4pm (enter through Emergency Department).
    • Patients showing no symptoms or known exposure (State testing) – Visit Northern Light Inland Hospital Outpatient Lab, 200 Kennedy Memorial Drive, Waterville, Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm (enter through main Hospital entrance) and Sat, Noon-4pm (enter through Emergency Department).

In the Pittsfield area:

  • Public/Patients:
    • Symptomatic patients or those with known exposure to COVID-19 – Contact your Primary Care Provider (PCP) for guidance or visit Northern Light Primary Care locations in Clinton, Newport and Pittsfield, Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm. 
    • Pre-medical procedure testing – Visit Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital Outpatient Lab, 447 North Main Street, Pittsfield, Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm and Sat, 1pm-4pm.
    • Patients showing no symptoms or known exposure (State testing) – Visit Northern Light Primary Care in Pittsfield, Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm.

It is important to note that Northern Light Health’s rapid response COVID-19 testing team will continue their work to support organizations and communities to help address outbreaks. 

All Northern Light Health COVID-19 testing locations and additional information can be found at northernlighthealth.org/Resources/COVID-19 starting July 1, 2021. 

We also want to remind our community that COVID-19 vaccinations are available, contact your primary care provider office or Northern Light Walk-In Care for more information.

Date: 07/01/2021

Looking to start a healthcare career? MSAD 53 Adult and Community Education in partnership with Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital are pleased to offer a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training course starting July 26.

The eight-week training classes begin on July 26 and run Monday-Thursday from 7 am to 3 pm. The classes will be held at Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield and will offer classroom, clinical, and lab experience. The cost is $300. 

Becoming a CNA is a great start to a rewarding career that offers competitive pay, the ability to help others, and the ability to work in a hospital setting or many other settings, including nursing homes, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, Home Health Aid agencies, and clinics.

For the training course Application, please contact Carol Anthony at MSAD 53 Adult and Community Education at 207-487-5107 or canthony@msad53.org. 

For more details about the CNA course and what’s involved, contact Tracy Wing, RN, clinical educator at Sebasticook Valley Hospital at 207-487-4065.

Date: 07/02/2021

As we balance the need of patients and their families with the safety concerns for everyone who enters the hospital and all our locations, we will continue to adjust our policies as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 change. This policy will be adjusted further if circumstances change. Below please see our Visitation Guidelines that are effective on July 2, 2021.

Visitation is restricted to visitors 18 years of age and older. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis only for patients at end-of-life status or in swing-bed status.

Acute Care Unit: Inpatients are allowed two visitors at a time and up to four visitors per day between the hours of Noon until 8 pm (except for patients at end-of-life who will be allowed up to four visitors at a time, without restrictions on the number of visitor rotations or hours of visitation). Visitors will need to enter through the main hospital entrance between 12 and 8 pm and go through a screening process that will include a temperature check. Please do not visit if you are feeling sick.
  • Everyone entering our facility must wear a mask provided by this facility for the duration of their time in the hospital.
  • If a patient is accepting a visitor, the patient must also wear a mask for the duration of the visit.
Please note: Any patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. Alternative options for communications for these patients (i.e. Zoom) is available in order to keep families connected.

Day Surgery Unit: Due to space limitations in the waiting room, we are asking that visitors not remain on-site during the procedure. We will keep visitors updated and informed via telephone. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Emergency Department: Each patient is allowed one visitor. Due to space limitations, visitors must remain at the bedside at all times. If the visitor must leave the department, they will not be allowed readmission. Visitors that are allowed must wear a mask at all times. 

Outpatient Provider Offices: We are currently not allowing visitors to accompany patients to appointments at our outpatient practices. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Lab, Imaging, Rehab Offices/Areas: No visitors are allowed in the waiting room or in the treatment areas of the lab, imaging, or rehabilitation with limited exceptions. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Thank You!

We understand that family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community. Thank you for understanding.
 

Date: 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: 07/15/2021

Are you interested in getting a nursing degree? We are pleased to partner with Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) Associate Degree Nursing Program to allow selected candidates to attend at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital starting in the fall of 2022. 

We are offering two information sessions:

  • Tuesday, July 27 at Noon
  • Wednesday, July 28 at 5 pm

Information sessions will be held at Sebasticook Valley Hospital campus, 167 Leighton Street. 

Please RSVP to Tracy Wing, clinical educator at 487.4065 or via email at tewing@northernlight.org.

Printable flyer

Earn_Nursing_Associate_Degree_at_SVH_Flyer-Final.png

Date: 07/21/2021

SVH Golf Tournament to Raise Funds for New Ambulance

A fun day of golf while supporting a great cause will be here before we know it! Our annual golf tournament will be held on July 31 at JW Parks Golf Course in Pittsfield. While this year’s tournament is full, we still welcome and appreciate your support by making a donation to help us fund a new ambulance. To donate: northernlighthealth.org/SVHGolf

Our fundraising focus this year is to invest in a new ambulance for our emergency response team, and we need your help to make this a reality. Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital EMS averages around 2,650 calls for both 911 and transfers, covering over 350 square miles. As a rural community, our reach is expansive, covering primary communities of Pittsfield, Newport, Detroit, Hartland, St. Albans, Plymouth, Palmyra, and Burnham.

We also service towns in the instances of mutual aid (when the response warrants significant resources). For example, all three SVH emergency vehicles responded to a major traffic accident in Carmel when 30 vehicles collided. Sebasticook is considered mutual aid for Unity, the rest of Burnham, Clinton, Corinna, Etna, Canaan, Harmony, Athens, and Carmel.  

Why is a new ambulance so important?

An upgrade to our ambulance, which will cost approximately $150,000, would first and foremost ensure the members of our communities are able to safely get to where they need to be to receive the appropriate level of care. In a rural area, having a reliable and upgraded ambulance is vital. 

With your help, we will be able to fulfill our goal of purchasing this much needed ambulance for the communities we serve.

To request more information or have questions answered please reach out to Terri Sleeper, director of philanthropy, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital Foundation at 207-973-5058 or tsleeper@northernlight.org.

Date: 08/02/2021

Thanks to everyone who joined us last Saturday as we golfed to raise funds for a new ambulance. The generous support of our sponsors, teams, auction donors, JW Parks Golf Course and volunteers is deeply appreciated! 
 
See all our awesome sponsors below and check out photos of the 17 teams on our Facebook page who enjoyed a perfect day of golf! 
 
Our emergency response team averages around 2,650 calls for both 911 and transfers, covering over 350 square miles. A much-needed, new ambulance will ensure the members of our communities are able to safely get to where they need to be to receive the appropriate level of care. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Terri Sleeper, director of Philanthropy, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital Foundation at 207-973-5058 or tsleeper@northernlight.org.
 
Thank you!
 
Sponsors
 
Titanium:
SVH Medical Staff
Nurse Anesthesia of Maine
 
Graphite:
Puritan
 
Steel:
Meridian Masonic Lodge 125
Sebasticook Valley Federal Credit Union
SVH Auxiliary
 
Eagle:
Bowman Construction
Kleinschmidt Associates
Pine Tree Radiology
Anonymous
 
Birdie:
The Hight Family of Dealerships
Michael Lemieux, MD
EW Littlefield, Inc. & Sons
Rolling Thunder Express
Superior Mechanical
 
Grand Finale:
Hartley’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
 
Tee Sponsors:
Bangor Savings Bank
Barrows Skidgel American Legion Post 105
Bud’s Shop-N-Save
Crosby and Neal Funeral Homes
Cyr Bus Line
Dysart’s Service
The Eastern Gazette
Gilman Electrical Supply
Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union
NES/NIS/NSS
Newport Eye Care
Northeast Planning Associates
Professional Vehicle Corporation
S&G Construction, Inc.
 

Date: 08/04/2021

Give the gift of life! The American Red Cross and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital are teaming up to offer a Blood Drive on Wednesday, August 25 from Noon – 5 pm in the conference room at 167 Leighton Street in Pittsfield (on the hospital campus).
 
Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code: Sebasticook to schedule an appointment. 
 
Maximize your blood donation. Help more patients. If you are an eligible type O, B-, or A-, consider making a Power Red donation. Red blood cells are the most commonly transfused blood component. 
 
You can streamline your donation experience and save up to 15 minutes by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your appointment. 
 
For more information about the blood drive at SVH, contact Laurie Alexander, Health and Wellness Education Coordinator/Clinical Education and Training at 487.3890.

 

Date: 08/15/2021

As we balance the need of patients and their families with the safety concerns for everyone who enters the hospital and all our locations, we will continue to adjust our policies as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 change. This policy will be adjusted further if circumstances change. Below, please see our Visitation Guidelines that are effective on August 16, 2021.

Visitation is restricted to visitors 18 years of age and older. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis only for patients at end-of-life status or in swing-bed status.

Acute Care Unit: Inpatients are allowed a total of two visitors between the hours of Noon until 8 pm providing there is space to allow for social distancing (except for patients at end-of-life who will be allowed up to four visitors at a time providing there is space to allow for social distancing, without restrictions on the number of visitor rotations or hours of visitation). Visitors will need to enter through the main hospital entrance between 12 and 8 pm and go through a screening process that will include a temperature check. Please do not visit if you are feeling sick.
  • Everyone entering our facility must wear a mask provided by this facility for the duration of their time in the hospital.
  • If a patient is accepting a visitor, the patient must also wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

Please note: Any patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. Alternative options for communications for these patients (i.e. Zoom) is available in order to keep families connected.

Day Surgery Unit: Due to space limitations in the waiting room, we are asking that visitors not remain on-site during the procedure. We will keep visitors updated and informed via telephone. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Emergency Department: Each patient is allowed one visitor. Due to space limitations, visitors must remain at the bedside at all times. If the visitor must leave the department, they will not be allowed readmission. Visitors that are allowed must wear a mask at all times. 

Outpatient Provider Offices: We are currently not allowing visitors to accompany patients to appointments at our outpatient practices. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Lab, Imaging, Rehab Offices/Areas: No visitors are allowed in the waiting room or in the treatment areas of the lab, imaging, or rehabilitation with limited exceptions. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Thank You!
We understand that family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community. Thank you for understanding.

Date: 08/16/2021

Northern Light Orthopedics is proud to welcome Jeff Jett, DO, a highly skilled orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand surgery. Dr. Jett will join our teams in our Oakland and Pittsfield practices, seeing patients in both locations and performing surgeries at both Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield.

Dr. Jett is originally from Maine (Sanford) and is excited to be back home after his education in New York and residency in California. He is fellowship-trained in hand and microsurgery by Kleinert-Kutz in Louisville, KY, one of the most prestigious hand surgery fellowships in the world. 

Dr. Jett can help patients with the following common problems:

  • General orthopedic needs including hip and knee pain
  • Hand pain and osteoarthritis
  • Hand numbness/tingling in hands or fingers
  • Bones and tendon injuries
  • Lumps and bumps on hands

Dr. Jett says, “I believe every medical issue should be approached with a team mentality where the patient’s problem is mine as well as theirs. We should have the goal of making the patient better together.”

For more information about our services or referral process, please contact the nearest Northern Light Orthopedics office. 

Northern Light Orthopedics
447 North Main Street, Pittsfield
207.487.4040

Northern Light Orthopedics
25 First Park, Suite C, Oakland
207.861.7862

Date: 08/19/2021

Northern Light Primary Care is pleased to welcome John Wironen, PhD, PA-C, physician assistant to our Pittsfield practice. He joins our provider team of: Jean Antonucci, MD; Reynaldo Arceo, DO; Emily Cianchette, FNP; Donna Huff, PMHNP; Bob Schlager, MD; Heather Sevigny, FNP; and Amy Shears, LCSW. 

John completed his medical training at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine and his undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. He earned his doctorate degree in Biomaterials Engineering from the University of Florida. He has a background as an executive and in doing research in materials science, biomaterials, orthopedics, cardiology, and urology. He taught elementary and middle school for 15 years, ran a camp for children with diabetes, and was a Big Brother for 12 years. Married with three children, John is an amateur chef who loves to garden and has a passion for diabetes care, diet, and nutrition. He also enjoys woodworking, fishing, and boating. 

John believes healthcare is built upon a trusting relationship between the provider and the patient. “Taking the time to get to know the patient as an individual (what they spend their days doing, what their home and family life is like, what their interests and goals are) often provides better information about their health than any test.”

John is welcoming new patients at our Pittsfield practice, located at 470 Somerset Avenue. Call 487.5154 to make an appointment. 

Date: 08/31/2021

As we balance the need of patients and their families with the safety concerns for everyone who enters the hospital and all our locations, we will continue to adjust our policies as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 change. This policy will be adjusted further if circumstances change. Below please see our Visitation Guidelines that are effective on September 1, 2021.

Visitation is restricted to visitors 18 years of age and older. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis only for patients at end-of-life status or in swing-bed status.

Acute Care Unit: Inpatients are allowed a total of one (1) visitor between the hours of 1 pm until 4 pm providing there is space to allow for social distancing. Patients at end-of-life will be allowed up to two (2) visitors at a time providing there is space to allow for social distancing, without restrictions on the number of visitor rotations or hours of visitation. Visitors will need to enter through the main hospital entrance between 1 pm and 4 pm and go through a screening process that will include a temperature check. Please do not visit if you are feeling sick.
  • Everyone entering our facility must wear a mask provided by this facility for the duration of their time in the hospital.

  • If a patient is accepting a visitor, the patient must also wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

Please note: Any patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 cannot have in-person visitors. Alternative options for communications for these patients (i.e. Zoom) is available in order to keep families connected.

Day Surgery Unit: Due to space limitations in the waiting room, we are asking that visitors not remain on-site during the procedure. We will keep visitors updated and informed via telephone. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Emergency Department: Each patient is allowed one visitor. Due to space limitations, visitors must remain at the bedside at all times. If the visitor must leave the department, they will not be allowed readmission. Visitors that are allowed must wear a mask at all times. However, if the patient is presenting with COVID-19 symptoms, no visitation is allowed until the patient has been deemed COVID-19 negative.

Outpatient Provider Offices: We are currently not allowing visitors to accompany patients to appointments at our outpatient practices. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Lab, Imaging, Rehab Offices/Areas: No visitors are allowed in the waiting room or in the treatment areas of the lab, imaging, or rehabilitation with limited exceptions. The only exceptions are one parent or guardian for a minor or if the patient requires their help with communication with the care team.

Thank You! We understand that family support is an important part of a patient’s well-being. We are doing all we can to best protect those in our care as well as all in our community. Thank you for understanding.
 

Date: 09/01/2021

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital will offer its annual Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic on Saturday, September 25, 2021, from 9 am – 11 am. The clinic will be held at The Millennium at 416 Oxbow Road in Palmyra. It is a first-come, first-serve clinic and appointments are not needed. 

The flu clinic is open to people age 18 years and over. In addition, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for people over age 18. Please wear a mask/face covering and a short-sleeve shirt. As a safety measure, patients will be asked to wait for 15-minutes after their vaccination. 

Patients who are uninsured or have commercial insurance can receive the flu shot for $25 (cash or check). Sebasticook Valley Hospital will bill Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and/or Maine Care insurance for patients who present their plan insurance card(s). 

The senior flu shot for those 65+ will also be available for people on Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Maine Care. Please bring your insurance card(s) so the hospital can bill insurers.

For further information, contact Laurie Alexander in Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s education and development department at 487-3890.

Printable flyer for posting/sharing.

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

Northern Light Primary Care is pleased to welcome Julianne Barrett, DO, to our Clinton practice. She will be joining Alycia Allen, FNP, family nurse practitioner and Amethyst Arceo, DO. 

Dr. Barrett earned her medical degree from Rowan University of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey and completed her residency at Williamsport Family Medicine Residency (UPMC Susquehanna) in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Barrett is excited to provide primary care as well as dermatology, gynecology, and osteopathic manipulation services to patients. Her goal is to make office visits as comfortable as possible so patients feel like they can ask and tell her anything without feeling judged or embarrassed. “It is a most humbling and powerful experience to be able to walk with a person through their life’s journey and help them when they are most vulnerable. My role is to provide appropriate education and direction so that the patient can make well-informed decisions,” stated Dr. Barrett.

She loves being in nature – everything from hiking and kayaking to fishing and crabbing, as well as, birding and photography. She enjoys baking and finding small coffee shops/bakeries during her travels. 

Dr. Barrett is welcoming new patients at our Clinton practice, located at 1309 Main Street. Call 426.0976 to make an appointment. 



 

Date: 09/14/2021

Train to be an EMT in six weeks! 

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is offering an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification Course in partnership with Kennebec Valley Community College. 

Class Dates: October 11 - November 19 

Class Times: Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 am - 4 pm; three Saturdays, 8 am - 4 pm
(Remaining week days will allow for job shadow time to equal 40 hours between class and job shadow.) 

Cost: Paid for by Northern Light Health 

To Register or For More Information: Contact Crystal Bagley, supervisor of Education and Training at cjbagley@northernlight.org or 207.992.7175 

Eligible candidates will work alongside our dedicated EMS providers. Candidates will be brought into the program as a 'Work to Grow' employee and be paid forty hours a week, which will compensate them for class and job shadow time. Upon successful completion of the program and obtaining a Maine EMT license, candidates will be promoted to EMT with a pay increase. Candidates would be required to sign a two-year contract with Northern Light Health. 

Veterans and others who are dedicated to making a difference in patient's lives are strongly encouraged to apply.


Shareable flyer

 

Date: 09/15/2021

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across Maine communities, from the largest cities to the smallest rural towns. Vaccine hesitancy is more common in rural communities, extending beyond the COVID-19 vaccine to all required vaccinations. 

Grant funds awarded from the Rural Health Clinic Vaccine Confidence (RHCVC) Program to Northern Light Inland Hospital and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital will give the hospitals resources to support vaccine outreach in their communities. The initiative aims to improve vaccine confidence and counter vaccine hesitancy in rural communities where COVID-19 vaccination rates lag compared to more populated areas. The program will address health equity gaps by offering support and resources to medically underserved rural communities. Strategies include:
  • Engaging local partners and stakeholders, including school districts (RSU 19, MSAD 53, Maine Central Institute, MSAD 59, and RSU 3), superintendents and nurses, libraries, including Newport Cultural Center and Pittsfield Library to create a community culture of sustainable, equitable, and inclusive vaccine confidence, communication, and strengthen the capacity of fact-based community conversations.
  • Engaging other identified partners including food pantries, supermarkets, and a local community health agency - HealthySV which will assist in the distribution of informational materials and education in the communities served.

  • Hosting community vaccine clinics and informational events at schools, local businesses, libraries, and other community venues to promote vaccine confidence and education.
  • Creating and distributing educational materials to provide information to the community on the location and availability of vaccines.

  • Creating public service announcements to share through local media outlets.

“I am pleased that this funding will help us give parents the important vaccine information they need to keep their children and our communities safe,” shares Sherry Tardy, director of Community Health and Business Development for Inland Hospital and Sebasticook Valley Hospital. 

“We hope our outreach and education sessions will encourage those who are hesitant to ask questions and get answers from qualified medical staff they trust in their hometown and local region. We’ll provide information on the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as many other vaccinations that are now required of school age children.” 

For more information, please contact Hanna Bouchard, hbouchard@northernlight.org/207.861.3392 for the greater Waterville region, or Sydney Morton, ssmorton@northernlight.org/207.487.3890 for the Pittsfield area.

Date: 09/23/2021

Due to expected inclement weather this Saturday, September 25, we have cancelled our Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic to ensure everyone’s safety. 

We have rescheduled our Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic for Saturday, October 2 from 9 -11 am at the Millennium Parking Lot, 416 Oxbow Road in Palmyra. 

For more information, please contact Laurie Alexander at 207.487.3890.

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Date: 09/24/2021

Looking to start a healthcare career? MSAD 53 Adult and Community Education in partnership with Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is pleased to offer a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training course starting January 17, 2022.

The eight-week training classes begin on January 17, 2022 and run Monday - Thursday from 7 am to 3 pm. The classes will be held at Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield and will offer classroom, clinical, and lab experience. The cost is $300. Deadline to apply is November 22. All students must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the start of the class. 

Becoming a CNA is a great start to a rewarding career that offers competitive pay, the ability to help others, and the ability to work in a hospital setting or many other settings, including nursing homes, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, Home Health Aid agencies, and clinics.

For the training course Application, please contact Carol Anthony at MSAD 53 Adult and Community Education at 207-487-5107 or canthony@msad53.org

For more details about the CNA course and what’s involved, contact Tracy Wing, RN, clinical educator at Sebasticook Valley Hospital at 207.487.4065.

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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: 09/27/2021

Unsure of how to encourage the unvaccinated people in your life to get vaccinated against COVID-19? Check out this upcoming community Zoom forum on how to communicate accurate information and counter misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines with unvaccinated friends, family, and neighbors this Thursday, September 30 from 6 - 7 pm. Northern Light Health’s Dr. Gavin Ducker is one of the featured panelists. Register at mecap.org/events to receive the webinar login information.

Date: 09/27/2021

The public is invited to participate in two community meetings to help identify local health needs and priorities. These forums are a collaborative effort among area health care organizations: MaineGeneral Health, Northern Light Inland Hospital, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, and Redington-Fairview General Hospital, as well as the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The forums are free via Zoom. You must register in advance.
  • Kennebec County – Tuesday, Nov. 2, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

  • Somerset County – Tuesday, Nov. 16, 4 – 6 p.m.


These public meetings represent the important step of presenting data on the health of communities in Maine counties and getting feedback from the public about what health issues should be prioritized. Learn more at www.mainechna.org.

The hospitals of the Kennebec Valley region are part of a statewide collaboration of health systems and hospitals and the state CDC called the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The goal is to coordinate state and county health needs assessments and provide valuable population health data for organizations across Maine. The CHNA reports provide up-to-date health information at the state, county, urban and sub-population levels.

The community forums are the main way to engage the public in this important community health effort.

Date: 09/29/2021

Paul Arsenault, vice president of Primary and Specialty Care Services for Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, has earned a national certification from the National Rural Health Association Rural Hospital CEO Certification program.

Terri Vieira, hospital president, Dr. Bob Schlager, vice president and senior physician executive, and Trudy Richmond, RN, congratulated Arsenault on his accomplishment recently at a special graduation event at the Pittsfield hospital. Due to the pandemic, graduation ceremonies were held locally, instead of with the graduating class.

Arsenault has been with Sebasticook Valley Hospital since 2015 and has 20 years in healthcare leadership.  

The CEO certification is a highly competitive education program. It is designed to help ensure that current and future CEOs are prepared for the unique challenges that rural hospitals and rural communities face. The program is made up of in-depth coursework and literature review covering Operation, Regulatory, Financial, and Clinical Competencies, ongoing mentorship, and a final project.  The current program group included 24 senior leaders from across the country and Arsenault was the only representative from New England.  He is also the first graduate of this program from Maine.

Photo caption (left to right): 
Trudy Richmond, RN; Bob Schlager, MD, VP and senior physician executive; Paul Arsenault, VP of Primary and Specialty Care Services; and Terri Vieira, president at a graduation event recently at Sebasticook Valley Hospital.
 

Date: 09/30/2021

SVH-breast-cancer-awareness-walk-women.jpgOn Saturday, October 23 people of all ages will come together at the MCI Football Field in Pittsfield for Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk. 
 
Every dollar raised at the walk will support mammograms and enhance care provided at Northern Light Women’s Health in Pittsfield.
 
Individuals, families, and groups are welcome to join in the non-competitive walk. Participants may join a team or register as individuals and are encouraged to help raise funds by collecting pledges for their walk. Join us for the community walk starting at the MCI Football Field or participants can walk their neighborhood or favorite trail on their own time. No matter how you participate, there is a way to support this great cause during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 
 
Northern Light Women’s Health offers digital mammography, breast ultrasound, digital bone density (osteoporosis) screening, breast biopsies, lymphedema therapy, and other services in a private setting. Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s advanced 3D mammography technology, which was purchased with donor funds, helps doctors detect and diagnose cancer earlier and more accurately. The Pittsfield hospital is a certified Pink Ribbon Facility, which means that patients can expect to have the most comfortable mammography experience possible.
 
Walk Registration is $20; register online at northernlighthealth.org/SVHBreastCancerWalk or call 207.487.4036 for more information. Registration and fundraising pledge forms are available online or at the Women’s Health Center (attached to the hospital).
 
Event Registration begins at 9 am and the walk kicks off at 9:45. Participants who attend the community walk on October 23 will receive a gift as our thanks to help promote breast cancer awareness; there will also be prizes for top fund raisers.
 
A special thank you to Breast Cancer Walk supporter, CM Almy. This year, the Pittsfield company held an employee contest to create a specially themed candle in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month that will help fund additional mammograms for local patients. We are grateful for CM Almy’s ongoing support and fundraising innovation, which will allow many more people to have access to the care they need. 
 
For more information about the walk event, please contact Jen Castonguay, director of imaging, jpcastonguay@northernlight.org or contact the Women’s Health Center at 207.487.4036.
 
Please note: We will be following CDC guidelines for safe gathering at the walk event. If any changes are warranted, such as needing to go all virtual, we will share updates on our Facebook page. Please follow us to stay in touch!
 

Date: 10/20/2021

Due to increased testing demand, we reopened our COVID Drive-Up Test site today, located at 167 Leighton Street behind Sebasticook Valley Hospital. Testing is currently available Monday-Friday from 9 am – 1 pm and is by appointment only through our website or phone line: NorthernLightHealth.org/Testing or 844.489.1822 (long distance rates may apply). 
 

Date: 10/25/2021

WABI TV 5 recaps our 27th annual Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital Breast Cancer Awareness Walk from Saturday, October 23. Nearly $5,400 has now been raised and donations are still being accepted for this important cause at http://northernlighthealth.org/givesvh or call 207.487.4036. 

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: 10/28/2021

Our Outpatient Lab hours at the hospital will temporarily change as we begin our Lab Renovation project. Starting this Saturday, October 30, Outpatient Lab hours will be the following:
  • Monday-Friday, 6 am – 5 pm
  • Weekends, 7 am – 2 pm

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we work to better serve our community.

Date: 10/29/2021

Northern Light Primary Care in Newport is pleased to welcome Elizabeth “Beth” Baratta, MD, to the team at the Newport Plaza practice, located at 26 Main Street, Suite 2. 

Dr. Baratta is a primary care physician who treats patients of all ages. She is especially interested in helping make healthcare as accessible as possible to everyone and understanding the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. 

She looks forward to meeting patients and families and learning how their communities play a role in their lives. Dr. Baratta says, “I believe we can better serve our patients by understanding all the different ways their health is impacted, including things such as food security. This way we can help patients on their journey towards an improved state of health and well-being.” She wants to focus on interventions and treatments that enrich patients’ lives.

Most recently, Dr. Baratta completed her residency at the Center for Family Medicine in Bangor, as well as a fellowship with the Center’s inaugural Arts & Humanities in Medicine program. She earned her medical education from University of Massachusetts in Worcester and is eligible for certification by the American Board of Family Medicine.”

Dr. Baratta is welcoming new patients today. Please call 207.368.5747 for an appointment.
 

Date: 10/29/2021

If you’ve misplaced or lost your CDC vaccine card, no worries! Check out this handy document with information about replacing a lost vaccine card. 

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Date: 11/05/2021

The FDA and CDC have authorized Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations for people age 5 through 11. At Northern Light Health, we believe that vaccination is the best step in preventing the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19, as well as reducing the risk of spreading the disease. While children are less likely to experience serious outcomes from COVID-19, vaccinating this group reduces the risk that they will spread the virus to more vulnerable groups – including grandparents! 

To learn more about how and where to get vaccines, visit the full list of COVID-19 vaccination sites across Maine (including health centers and pharmacy locations) at maine.gov/COVID19/vaccines/vaccination-sites or call the Maine COVID-19 Community Vaccination Line at 1.888.445.4111. 

Northern Light Health anticipates that appointments will open through our online scheduling tool for ages 5 through 11 on Monday, November 8 - once we have confirmed how much vaccine we will receive. Visit NorthernLightHealth.org/COVID or call 207.204.8551 (long-distance charges may apply). We are unable to offer walk-in vaccinations at our practices to ensure that we can meet the care needs of our patients while providing access to COVID-19 vaccination.

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital staff will be providing a school-based vaccine clinic to children of all ages in the Pittsfield School System at the Warsaw School Gymnasium on November 17 from 9 - 11 am and 1 - 3 pm. Information will be sent home with children in advance of this clinic. For more information, please contact your local School Nurse or Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s director of Pharmacy, Tyson Thornton at 487.4089.

Vaccinating your child means they are less likely to miss school from COVID-19 illness or exposure. Some children with mild symptoms of COVID-19 have had longer term health issues known as long COVID syndrome or post-acute COVID syndrome. The vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children age 5 through 11. In addition, through their recent approval, the FDA has determined that the vaccine has met the highest standards for safety in this age group. Getting your child vaccinated protects children and the people around them. 
 

Date: 11/04/2021

We are pleased to announce that we are increasing our starting wage to $17 per hour (up from $15) at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, and at Northern Light Inland Hospital and Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood in Waterville.

This will help us recruit and retain the talented people we need to provide the best patient care possible. We are always assessing staffing resources and market conditions, and we believe it’s important to continue to invest in our staff and ensure that we remain competitive. 

Check out our job openings at NorthernLightHealth.org/careers.


 

Date: 11/12/2021

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital has been recognized for meeting the Silver level for efforts to prohibit smoking and tobacco use on campus and addressing patient tobacco use.
The award is part of the annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence Hospital and Healthcare Organization Program and the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy Initiative. Thirty-two hospitals, eight healthcare organizations, and one individual Gold Star Champions were recognized for efforts to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. 

This is the ninth year Sebasticook Valley Hospital has participated in the initiative and been awarded showing a longstanding commitment to addressing tobacco use and exposure.
Award levels are based on best practice criteria such as a smoke and tobacco-free campus policy, annual screening for tobacco use, referral to tobacco treatment and supporting employee education related to tobacco treatment. 

“We applaud the ongoing efforts of Maine hospitals and healthcare organizations to address tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure and nicotine dependence by meeting the Gold Star Standards of Excellence,” says Kristen McAuley, Tobacco Prevention Services Director for the Center for Tobacco Independence. She continued, “Addressing tobacco use has continued importance during the current pandemic, as the U.S. CDC states that being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”

For more information about the Gold Star Standards of Excellence, please visit BreatheEasyMaine.org/GSSE. The program is funded by Maine Prevention Services , an initiative through the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention working across the state to impact tobacco, substance use, and obesity.
 

Date: 11/16/2021

The Lights of Life holiday tree at Hathorn Park in Pittsfield will be illuminated to honor and remember friends, family members, caregivers, and others on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.
 
Community members are invited to purchase lights for the tree to recognize special people in their lives. Every light purchased brightens the tree and supports care provided at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital.
 
“In times like these, any way we can bring light to our lives and others is important and even more so when we can honor someone special or the memory of a loved one,” says Terri Vieira, hospital president.
 
Seven levels of recognition are available, beginning with white lights at $10 and culminating with the star at $1,000. The name of each individual being honored or remembered will be displayed on the Sebasticook Valley Hospital website throughout the holiday season. Upon request, Lights of Life cards will be provided for those who purchase lights to send to honorees.
 
Sebasticook Valley Hospital invites community members to watch the Lights of Life tree come to life from the comfort of their vehicle and join the vehicle parade (following Santa and Mrs. Claus in a fire truck) to view lights all around town on the evening of December 8. Learn more and view the parade route at https://northernlighthealth.org/SVHLights. The tree lighting will also be posted on the hospital’s Facebook page at 7:30 pm.
 
Every dollar raised through Lights of Life will stay local to support patient care in Pittsfield and the surrounding communities. For more information or to purchase a light, please visit https://northernlighthealth.org/SVHLights.       
 
For more information, please contact Donna-Jo Mitchell, director of philanthropy at 207.692.3702.
 

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: 11/17/2021

Northern Light Podiatry is pleased to welcome Ashley Mychak, DPM, podiatrist. Dr. Mychak will be seeing patients and performing surgery at three Northern Light member organizations including Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, Inland Hospital in Waterville, and Mayo Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. We are pleased to provide Dr. Mychak’s services to our regional communities, allowing patients to benefit from expert specialty care close to home. 

Dr. Mychak provides nonsurgical care for sprains, strains, and all kinds of pains, as well as surgical care for foot and ankle fractures, limb salvage, diabetic wounds and bone infection, forefoot and rearfoot reconstruction for deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, and flat feet.

She says, “I believe in patient-centered care. I often tell my patients, ‘Your foot is my foot until we get it healed.’ Maintaining open communication with my patients and meeting them where they are at helps with healing and success and ultimately getting them back to their mobility and independence.”

Dr. Mychak is fellowship trained from the Reconstructive Rearfoot and Ankle Surgical Fellowship at Ankle and Foot Care Centers in Youngstown, Ohio. She did her residency at the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency at the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian in Philadelphia and earned her medical degree from Des Moines University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Dr. Mychak joins our podiatry team of Dr. James Fullwood in Pittsfield; Dr. Richard Samson and Dr. Jared Wilkinson in Oakland; and Dr. Shannon Meredith in Dover-Foxcroft. 

For more information, please contact Ellen Kennedy, practice manager in Oakland at 872.6010; Liza Brawn, practice manager in Pittsfield at 487.4040; or Joann Lovell, practice manager in Dover-Foxcroft at 564.8401.

 

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: 11/18/2021

Stacy Hubel, director of Primary Care is Recognized as a “Community Star” on the 11th Annual National Rural Health Day
 
Stacy Hubel, director of Primary Care for Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, has been named Maine’s 2021 Community Star, by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH). Hubel was honored at the New England Rural Health Association on November 3 and is also being recognized nationally at a virtual event today, which is national Rural Health Day.

Hubel, who has been with Sebasticook Valley Hospital for more than 24 years, was nominated for the award by hospital executives, who recognized her for her leadership abilities and for her dedication to the patients the hospital serves in rural Maine. 

“We are very proud of Stacy. She deserves this national recognition for all she has done to help improve primary care access for the Sebasticook Valley region,” said Paul Arsenault, hospital vice president of primary and specialty care. “Stacy has played a key role in so many projects that have helped our patients beyond the care they receive at our primary care practices, such as helping improve food security. Her everyday commitment and collaboration to change lives in our community is admirable.”

Hubel said that she is humbled by the award and that she can’t imagine doing any other kind of work. “I don’t consider this award as praise for me alone; it’s recognition of the amazing team of people I work with every day at Northern Light. Together, we make a difference every day.” 

About National Rural Health Day
On the third Thursday of November every year, NOSORH, the member association for each of the 50 State Offices of Rural Health, leads National Rural Health Day. It’s an annual day of celebration that shines a light on those who serve the vital health needs of the estimated 57 million people living in rural America. November 18 marks the 11th annual National Rural Health Day and NOSORH honors and celebrates Hubel’s incredible contributions to rural health by sharing her story and others in the official book of Community Stars.

Beginning in 2015, NOSORH made a nationwide call for Community Star nominations, seeking individuals, organizations, and coalitions making a positive impact in rural communities. This year, nominations cover every state, making this the first time in the recognition program’s history for sharing 50 inspiring stories, including Hubel’s.   

The 2021 Community Stars eBook will be published today at National Rural Health Day website, powerofrural.org

 

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.”
 

Date: 12/27/2021

Lights of Life invites our community to brighten our community's holiday tree while honoring and remembering friends, family members, caregivers, and other special people in our lives. Pittsfield's beautiful holiday tree was illuminated on December 8 in recognition of our 2021 Lights of Life honorees.

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

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

Stars
Judy Cianchette in memory of Mac Cianchette

Dean and Terri Vieira in honor of all healthcare heroes and in memory of all those we have lost

Dr. Bob Schlager and Tess Scannell in memory of Kathleen Mueller

Cianbro Corporation

Michael and Mareshah Lynch in memory of Jean Lynch

Goody and Roz Gilman

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital Medical Executive Staff in memory of Linda Cregnole

NES, Mike and Ruth Vigue in memory of Bernadette Vigue*

NIS, Mike and Ruth Vigue in memory of Bernadette Vigue*

NSS, Mike and Ruth Vigue in memory of Bernadette Vigue*

*1,500 cumulative donation

Purple Light
In Memory of Linda Cregnole
In Memory of Bernadette Vigue
In Memory of Bernadette Vigue
In Memory of Bernadette Vigue

Orange Light
In Memory of R. John Bradfield
In Honor of The Entire Northern Light Staff at SVH

Blue Light
In Honor of All staff at SVH
In Memory of Agnes Barry
In Memory of Bill Bates
In Memory of Sonja Clark
In Memory of Steele Coddington
In Memory of Doris Giroux
In Memory of Mildred Lyons
In Memory of Nan Palmer
In Memory of Earl Rancourt
In Honor of SVH Staff
In Honor of William Updyke

Green Light
In Memory of Geneva Basford
In Honor of James and Jordan Boyd
In Memory of Richard Carey
In Honor of Chuck Cianchette
In Honor of Edna Cianchette
In Memory of Ethel Cianchette
In Honor of Ralph Cianchette
In Memory of John P. Dow, MD
In Memory of Greta Grant
In Memory of Herbert Lyons
In Memory of Betty Shorey
In Memory of Lawrence Vieira
In Memory of T. Russell (Russ) Woolley

Red Light
In Memory of Nickk Ayala
In Memory of Ruth Ayala
In Memory of Conrad Bellfleur
In Memory of Donald Berry
In Memory of Wally and Mickey Boyd
In Memory of Linda Cregnole
In Memory of Linda Cregnole
In Memory of Dorothy "Dot" Dunphy
In Memory of Linwood "Red" Dunphy
In Memory of Allan Fiandaca
In Honor of Collins Rose Graves
In Honor of Hatch
In Memory of Sharon Hopkins Stubbs
In Memory of Eugene A. Hopkins, Jr.
In Memory of Daniel R. Long
In Memory of Janet G. Long
In Memory of Don and Eleanor Loucks
In Memory of Leola and George Moody
In Memory of Pam
In Memory of Pam
In Memory of Girard B. Pelletier
In Memory of David Purinton
In Memory of Paul Schimpff
In Memory of Sally Schimpff
In Memory of Jr. amd Betty Sinclair
In Memory of Brian E. Smith
In Memory of Bob Trask
In Memory of Mark Trask
In Memory of Vavor
In Memory of Vavor

White Light
In Memory of Dave Boissonneault
In Memory of Mr. Donald Childs
In Memory of Linda Cregnole
In Memory of Linda Cregnole (friend)
In Memory of Dot Dunphy
In Memory of Red Dunphy
In Memory of Adam Kearns
In Memory of Floyd Oakes (brother)
In Memory of Linda Parker (niece)
In Memory of Harold Quiet
In Honor of Lloyd Quiet
In Memory of Walter Soloniewicz
In Memory of Sheila Southard

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: 12/11/2021

Read this article from the Morning Sentinel about how area hospitals are handling the COVID-19 surge as cases in Maine hit record levels.

Date: 12/16/2021

Terri-VieiraBangor, Maine (December 15, 2021) — Northern Light Health president and CEO Tim Dentry today announced the pending retirement of Terri Vieira, president of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley and Inland Hospitals, president of Lakewood Continuing Care, and a senior vice president of Northern Light Health. 

Vieira got her start in healthcare in 1973 as a radiology tech and later taught college-level anatomy and radiology. She has worked in various roles at healthcare organizations in Maine and has been with Northern Light Health since 2000. She became president of Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in 2013, and in 2020, Vieira accepted the position of president of Northern Light Inland Hospital and Lakewood in addition to her duties at SVH. Vieira also served as president of Northern Light CA Dean Hospital from 2017 to 2020.

Vieira has seen many changes in healthcare during her career. She says the COVID-19 pandemic is leaving its mark on the health delivery system overall but notes that, “COVID-19 has brought out strengths in people we always knew existed. And it brought me back to my front-line roots. That has helped me better help those in the thick of it. As individuals and a system, we have shown we are resilient. It is hard, sure, but what is most important is that what we are doing is making a difference, caring for our patients, our communities, and ourselves. And I am both grateful and proud.”

While wishing Vieira all the best in retirement, Dentry said her voice of reason and ability to clearly communicate what others are thinking will be missed. “Terri has a gift of hearing discussion, pausing to reflect, and then summing up the heart of the conversation in a language we can all understand. Many of our Northern Light presidents see her as a leadership role model. I also consider her a friend and upon her retirement wish her great health and fortune.” He added that a successor will be named following an internal search and feedback from the hospital boards. A national candidate search is not planned at this time.

Vieira’s last day with Northern Light Health will be April 1, 2022. April Fool’s Day holds special meaning to Vieira and her two sisters. Her younger sister is also retiring that same day. Her older sister, whose birthday is April 1, is already retired. So, on April Fool’s Day 2022, the three sisters will get together to laugh, tell stories, and celebrate this new beginning for all of them. Vieira and her husband, Dean, will plan to spend as much time on the golf course as possible and enjoy their camp on Branch Lake.

Date: 01/06/2022

Our sister hospital, Northern Light Inland Hospital, is starting their Tree of HOPE Perinatal Support Group back up. The group will meet online via Zoom meetings Sundays from 11 am – 1 pm. The support group is free and open to the public to support those who are experiencing perinatal mood disorders. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this support group, please encourage them to register or learn more at our web page – https://northernlighthealth.org/InlandTreeofHope.

Postpartum depression, one type of a perinatal mood disorder, is more than just "baby blues" - it's a serious condition that mothers can experience after childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, the psychological transition to motherhood, and fatigue.

What are some signs to look out for?

  • Transition from partners to parents
  • Lack of interest in newborn
  • Anxiety
  • Nursing struggles
  • Poor self-care
  • Hopelessness/worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in regular activities
  • Isolation
  • Fatigue, exhaustion, sleep disturbances, (oversleeping, not sleeping at all)
  • Appetite changes, eating too much, not eating at all
  • Unexplained physical illness – chest pain, hyperventilation, GI upset
  • Guilt/shame
  • Anger/rage
  • Suicidal thoughts

For more information: 

Bridgette Gemelli
Community Health Navigator 
861.6091

Amanda Brown, RN
Northern Light Birthing at Inland Hospital Nurse
Tree of HOPE Perinatal Support Group Facilitator at Inland Hospital
Maine State Postpartum Support International Coordinator
857.203.0482

Printable flyer
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Date: 01/18/2022

Hugh-JonesBrewer, Maine (January 18, 2022) — Following a comprehensive search for a new senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Northern Light Health is pleased to announce that Hugh Jones will join the Northern Light team in the coming weeks. Jones comes to Northern Light Health from the Lewiston area, where he was vice president of strategy and managed care for Central Maine Healthcare.

Among other assignments, Mr. Jones will be charged with helping to advance our Integrated Strategic Financial Plan (ISFP) and ensuring alignment around these bold strategies. He will also provide leadership for marketing and communications, strategic planning, grants and community health, our external clinical affiliation relationships, and advocacy and government relations.

“I am pleased we found a candidate of Hugh’s skill and expertise so close to home,” commented Tim Dentry, president and CEO, Northern Light Health. “He already knows the state and is familiar with the statewide landscape of Northern Light Health. I look forward to welcoming him to the system and the senior leadership team. Speaking with Hugh over the weekend, he said he is excited to become part of the Northern Light team.”

Jones shared, “The mission, vision, and especially the brand promise to ‘make healthcare work for you’ really resonate with me. This compelling commitment to innovating for our communities, patients, and team members is what drew me to this opportunity in the first place. I am looking forward to getting started!”

Prior to arriving in Maine in 2020, Jones served as senior vice president and chief strategy and development officer for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tennessee, and before that he held a similar role at Mount Carmel Health System, in Columbus, Ohio. He has also held various strategy and development roles with Trinity Health and Holy Cross, as well as planning and finance roles for Kaiser Permanente. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Carleton College, studied at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and earned a Master of Business Administration from George Mason University. He also holds a healthcare management certificate from Georgetown University and completed the Global Leadership in Healthcare program at the University of Michigan.

Mr. Jones and his wife, Patricia, have two adult children. They look forward to relocating to the greater Bangor area. He will officially join the team in March. Please join me in giving Hugh a warm Northern Light Health welcome! 

Date: 02/01/2022

Northern Light Health to “Go Red” for women’s heart health on Friday, February 4



Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Each year, one in four deaths are caused by heart disease. For this reason, Northern Light Health is joining the American Heart Association and others nationally for American Heart Month throughout the month of February.

Northern Light Health hospitals from Portland to Presque Isle will “Go Red for Women,” encouraging employees and all Mainers to wear red on Friday, February 4 to help raise awareness of heart disease, particularly among women.

The following may be early warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Unusual or extreme fatigue
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Upper body discomfort (jaw, neck, back pain)

Knowing these heart attack symptoms could mean the difference between life and death. The sooner appropriate action is taken, the better the odds are for survival and decreased complications following a heart attack.

All Northern Light Health organizations encourage Mainers to move to the rhythm of a healthier heart. To learn more and for additional useful resources visit northernlighthealth.org/hearthealth.

Date: 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: 02/23/2022

Northern Light Health is pleased to announce that Randy Clark, MBA, will become Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s next president. In this role, Clark will also serve as a Northern Light Health senior vice president. He succeeds Terri Vieira, who retires on April 1, 2022.

Clark has earned a stellar reputation as a leader, colleague, and neighbor of Pittsfield and Sebasticook Valley Hospital. He began his career at the hospital as a controller in 1996, becoming vice president of Finance in 2005 and vice president of Finance and Operations in 2016. In 2021, he expanded his finance role when he also became vice president of Finance for Northern Light Inland Hospital and Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood in Waterville, with Operations added to his Inland role in January 2022.

In making the announcement, Timothy Dentry, MBA, Northern Light Health president, and CEO, said, “Randy has outstanding knowledge of healthcare operations and experience in finance, business development, and patient experience. He knows the hospital and the Sebasticook Valley region. He is well-positioned to lead the organization as it continues to focus on making healthcare work for the people we serve.”

Clark noted, “It’s been a privilege to be part of the team at Sebasticook Valley Hospital for many years, and it’s helped prepare me for this opportunity. We have many ongoing challenges to face with the pandemic and workforce shortages, but I am confident that we are headed in the right direction to keep community-based care strong in Pittsfield. I’m proud that our staff is very engaged, cares deeply about every patient, and is committed to our mission and values.” 

Clark was raised in Madison, Maine. He and his wife have two grown children, a daughter and a son, who live in Maine.

He assumes his new role on April 1, 2022.

Date: 03/07/2022

As COVID-19 cases continue to decrease, we are pleased to expand our visiting hours effective today, March 7, 2022.

Please read our updated Visitation Guidelines to learn about the changes in the various departments.

Thank you.

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: 03/22/2022

With COVID cases continuing to decline and home tests being more widely used, we will be closing our Swab and Go COVID drive-up test site on the hospital campus in Pittsfield on Monday, March 28. 

If you need testing after March 28 or more information about COVID treatments or other resources, please visit northernlighthealth.org/Resources/COVID-19
 

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: 04/01/2022

We want to wish Terri Vieira, our president for the past nine years, all the best as she heads into retirement later today. Terri’s healthcare career has spanned 49 years; 22 with Northern Light Health where she has been a strong advocate for making healthcare work for patients in central Maine. We will miss her wisdom, compassion, humor, and we thank her for her commitment to our staff and their development. Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement Terri! 

Clark,-Randy_01_Vertical_cropped.jpgWe are proud that Randy Clark will succeed Terri as president effective April 2. Randy has been with us for 26 years, currently serving as vice president of Finance and Operations. He has a stellar reputation as a leader, colleague, and supporter of Pittsfield. Randy is dedicated to our staff and enhancing care and service to our patients. We are excited for him to lead us into the future.
 

Date: 04/04/2022

We are pleased to be welcomed as a community provider in the Healthy Living for ME statewide network.

As a community healthcare provider, we will be offering workshops in the area of chronic disease self-management education and caregiver support. These evidence-based workshops are free to participants and designed to help them learn and build the skills they need to manage a number of chronic/ongoing health conditions and/or their unique caregiver situation. The workshops may be offered in-person, virtually, or by telephone. 

In advance of the workshops’ launch, our staff are participating in leader trainings through Healthy Living for ME this spring. 

“Joining the Healthy Living for ME network will help us bring more resources to our community that support Maine caregivers and help Mainers manage chronic conditions and improve their overall health and wellness. As a healthcare provider in the community, we are committed to helping build a healthier future for Maine,” said Sherry Tardy, Director of Community Health for the Pittsfield hospital. “We look forward to launching these workshops soon!”

“We’re glad to have Sebasticook Valley Hospital join us as a partner. This partnership will help to expand access to our workshops in the Sebasticook Valley region of central Maine, giving more Mainers the tools they need to manage their own ongoing health issues or to get the support and skills to help them as caregivers,” said Jen Paquet, Training Manager of Healthy Living for ME. 

Healthy Living for ME supports Sebasticook Valley Hospital and other community providers through shared funding streams, including grants through the Administration for Community Living. The funding supports leader trainings, materials for programs, and overall coordination for the effective delivery of workshops in the community.

To learn more about Healthy Living for ME and their resources and programs, visit www.healthylivingforme.org, call 1-800-620-6036, or email info@healthylivingforme.org.
 
If your organization is interested in collaborating with Healthy Living for ME, or if you are an individual interested in volunteering with Healthy Living for ME, we invite you to contact info@healthylivingforme.org.

 

Date: 04/12/2022

We will be offering two Living Well for Better Health Workshop series in May. These workshop series are one of the many classes included in the Healthy Living for ME network, which we are a Community Provider for. 

Living Well for Better Health focuses on helping you manage your chronic diseases and symptoms and is taught by our trained staff. You will receive the tools and tips you need to manage your chronic conditions, live a healthier life, and take back control. 

Two, six-week workshop options are available starting in May: in-person and virtual. Topics include: techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation; appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance; appropriate use of medications; communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals; nutrition; and how to evaluate new treatments.

The in-person workshop series will be held at the 167 Leighton Building on the Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital campus Tuesdays from 9 to 11:30 am from May 10 through June 14. Register at www.healthylivingforme.org/classes/Register/813

The virtual work series will be held online on Thursdays from 1 to 3:30 pm starting May 12 through June 16. Register at www.healthylivingforme.org/classes/Register/814

If you would like to learn more, have questions, or register, please contact Melissa Sanborn at msanborn@northernlight.org or call 207.487.6411. 

Date: 05/12/2022

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is pleased to partner with Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP) and the Maine Community Action Partnership (MCAP) to offer a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on Tuesday, May 24 from 1:30-5:30 pm in Palmyra.

The Vaccine Clinic will be held at the Palmyra Community Center at 4 Madawaska Road. 

First and second doses of vaccine, and first and second boosters of Pfizer and Moderna will be available to all who qualify. Please bring your vaccine card if you have it, and also your insurance information. Pre-registration is not necessary.

If you have questions, please contact Tara Harvey at KVCAP at 207.859.1518.

 

Date: 05/16/2022

It is Emergency Medical Services Week, and we wanted to thank our emergency medical services staff! Thank you for your commitment and dedication to care for our community! We appreciate each one of you!

And thank you to our community EMS partners – it takes a village! 
 

Date: 05/20/2022

Linda Woolley, a retiree from Sidney, is the new chair of the board of trustees for Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital.

Woolley had been vice chair of the board for the past three years; she succeeds Steve George, who is the new vice chair. She served on the Quality and Professional Affairs committee and was chair of the Governance committee, as well as an originating member of Northern Light Health board’s Quality Committee. 

Woolley first joined the Sebasticook Valley Hospital board in 2013 after retiring as chief operating officer for Eastern Maine Homecare, now known as Homecare & Hospice of Northern Light Health. Previously, she was director of Sebasticook Valley Hospital’s home health agency. 

 

Date: 05/20/2022

Please consider donating - give the gift of life!

We will be having an American Red Cross Blood Drive at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital at our meeting room located at 167 Leighton Street on Wednesday, June 10 from 12-5 pm. 

To schedule your appointment, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: Sebasticook.

For more information, please contact Laurie Alexander, Health and Wellness Education Coordinator, at 487.3890.

Click here for a printable pdf to post.
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Date: 05/23/2022

Tyson Thornton, PharmD, FACHE, has been promoted to vice president of Operations for Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital. 

In making the announcement, Randy Clark, president, said, “Tyson has been a dedicated leader and champion for Sebasticook Valley Hospital, our patients, and our staff. He has already been a very effective leader as our associate vice president of Therapeutic and Support Services, always putting patient and staff safety first. Now he will take on oversight of even more clinical areas. I look forward to continuing to work with him in this new senior level role.” 

Thornton has been with Northern Light Health since 2008, starting as a staff pharmacist with Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, then taking on a leadership role with Sebasticook Valley Hospital in 2012.

He is responsible for all pharmacy, outpatient infusion services, facilities, real estate, safety, security, emergency preparedness, environmental services, nutritional services, outpatient diabetes and nutrition clinic, materials management, laboratory, women’s health, respiratory, and imaging. He also ensures the hospital is properly organized and prepared for state licensing and accreditation site visits.

Thornton earned his Master’s in Business Administration from New England College, and his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Connecticut. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

He is a board member of the Northern New England Association of Healthcare Executives, the Maine Regent for the American College of Healthcare Executives, a peer reviewer for the American Journal of Health System Pharmacy, and a volunteer with the University of New Hampshire Healthcare Management Program.
 

Date: 05/25/2022

Jennifer Goodrich, MBA, FACHE, CMPE has been named as the next vice president of Finance for Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital. She succeeds Randy Clark, who became president of the Hospital in April.

In making the announcement Clark said, “I have enjoyed working with Jen in our Finance roles for many years and I’m happy to have her talent, experience, and enthusiasm on our Sebasticook Valley Hospital team.”

Goodrich comes to the Pittsfield hospital from Northern Light CA Dean and Northern Light Mayo Hospital where she is the vice president of Finance and Practices. She will continue with those duties as she expands her Finance role to include Sebasticook Valley Hospital. Goodrich has been with Northern Light Health since 2005.  

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Thomas College. Goodrich is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a certified medical practice executive of the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

Date: 05/27/2022

The Education department at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is offering a Heartsaver CPR class at 167 Leighton Street in Pittsfield. Infant/Child/Adult CPR and AED will be offered on Wednesday, June 15 from 5:30 - 9 pm. The cost for CPR is $50.00. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please call 487-3890, select 4 for further information and to register. The TTY number is 487-4590.
 

Date: 06/02/2022

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is pleased to welcome Mark Bolduc, MD, an experienced, highly skilled vascular surgeon to Northern Light Vascular Care. Dr. Bolduc will be providing vascular consultations and treatment of varicose veins.

Dr. Bolduc is fellowship trained from the Vascular Surgery Fellowship at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts and his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Dr. Bolduc shares, “I like to listen to my patient’s own words about their symptoms they are having and work with them in the direction of their treatment.”

For more information, please contact Liza Brawn, director of Specialty Care at 487.4040.