by Robbie McKay, The Lincoln News
MILLINOCKET – As the door has closed on 2017 and 2018 has been ushered in, Millinocket Regional Hospital is taking time to summarize what the organization has accomplished during the past, very busy year.
In an effort to meet the needs of patients, MRH added Gastroenterology services. This specialty focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of digestive system disorders such as Crohn’s disease, acid reflux, swallowing disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. A new Crohn’s and Colitis support group was formed and meets monthly; there is no fee for attending these meetings.
MRH also opened a new walk-in care facility. Open seven days a week, this clinic is located in East Millinocket but provides coverage for the tri-town area and beyond. Walk-In Care provides quality care and treatment of non-emergent conditions. It also helps to reduce the wait time and frees up emergency resources for more critical patients. Andrea Sewall, FNP, and Sandra Gilbert-Lord, MA, PA are at the helm of this facility.
In an effort to keep optometry services available locally, MRH purchased the practice of Dr. David Shippee upon his retirement and partnered with Vision Care of Maine and Dr. Jeremy Valentine to provide not only Optometry but also Ophthalmology services, including cataract surgery which is now being done in the Katahdin region.
A lack of wound care services in the area prompted the start of a wound care clinic paired with the skills of our certified Wound Care Registered Nurse, Kathy Frodahl.
In staffing matters, MRH welcomed many new professionals in a wide variety of fields of study: Dr. Mira Olson in gastroenterology, Dr. John Gluscic, orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Poonam Khadka in endocrinology, Dr. Ruthie May Chua in rheumatology, Drs. Sigrid Berg and Jens Reuter in oncology, and Melodie Needham FNP-BC is in the family medicine office. Mary Tatro was promoted to Chief Nursing Officer to round out the expanding list of providers.
MRH also played a very active role in the community. The Health Fair was attended by over 500 people this year, 150 of which were children. The next health fair will be in 2019. The hospital was also very involved in the Millinocket Marathon with volunteers offering to treat runners who needed medical attention as well as MRH sponsoring mile #19 and another group of volunteers providing refreshments to benefit the oncology clinic.
The Love Light Tree campaign saw its 24th year and raised over $1200 for scholarships for Stearns, Schenck, and Katahdin area students planning on entering a field of medical study. And Thrive Penobscot, an MRH grant funded collaborative, is linking seniors and those living with chronic disease and disability to area resources and has an internet presence at thrivepenobscot.org.
About Millinocket Regional Hospital
Millinocket Regional Hospital (MRH) is a 25 bed Critical Access Hospital nestled at the base of Baxter State Park that provides vital healthcare services to those who live, work and play in the Katahdin Region. Beyond the friendly staff and award-winning patient care, MRH provides an impressive range of specialty and general services; with a recent expansion resulting in the addition of eight new specialties and a Walk-In Care facility. In 2016, MRH was recognized as the Cleanest Hospital in New England by Becker’s Hospital Review and received a five star rating on the Medicare Quality Scale. Providing jobs to approximately 250 people, MRH is the largest employer in the Katahdin Region and a crucial economic force within its community. For more information, please visit www.mrhme.org or www.facebook.com/MillinocketRegionalHospital