by Robbie McKay, The Lincoln News
MILLINOCKET – Millinocket Regional Hospital has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the Next Generation Foundation that will be used to provide renovations to their oncology clinic.
In March of 2017, MRH applied for the grant in order to renovate their oncology clinic. The Next Generation Foundation visited MRH in August 2017 to tour the current clinic setting, and in November 2017, the hospital was notified that they had received the grant.
Bob Peterson, chief executive officer for MRH stressed how important the grant from the Next Generation Foundation will be to area people.
“It is important for oncology patients in the Katahdin Region to receive their services close to home. Oncology patients receiving chemotherapy treatment can be fatigued, nauseated, and have a difficult time traveling over seventy miles for treatment. We want them to receive their treatment close to home and be as comfortable as possible,” Peterson said.
A spokesperson with the foundation said, “With our grant to Millinocket Regional Hospital, we are able to impact our two focus areas: vulnerable people and vulnerable regions of Maine. All of Maine’s communities were at one time economically vibrant, but over decades many have lost key industries. Next Gen was impressed that the hospital has maintained its non-affiliated status despite the decline in Millinocket’s economic base. Rural cancer patients are particularly vulnerable because everything about their lives is undermined. A first rate oncology clinic at MRH enables cancer patients in the region to preserve as much as their normal life as possible, and receive the kind of personalized attention that small hospitals are so good at.”
The grant will help improve the hospital’s oncology clinic and provide a pleasant environment for patients receiving treatment there. Plans include providing more space as well as a cozier, warmer space with more natural lighting. MRH will also be adding additional treatment chairs that allow the patient to be more comfortable during their treatments. Renovations are expected to start in late April/early May.
In return for the grant funding, MRH is responsible for fundraising $35,000 in additional funds, which will be met through multiple fundraisers held throughout the year. Some of the upcoming fundraisers currently planned include a public supper tentatively scheduled for April 6th as well as golf tournament to be held in late June. If people are interested in donating to the oncology clinic, they can make a donation to Millinocket Regional Hospital in care of the oncology clinic.
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