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Author: Susan Casey

February 19, 2021

Calais Regional Hospital (CRH) announced to staff today that a motion is being filed with the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Court and the Creditors Committee by Down East Community Hospital (DECH) in Machias to allow DECH to purchase the assets of CRH. 

The motion states that DECH’s intent is to operate the hospital as a critical access hospital providing substantially the similar services as those provided by CRH.   More details will be made available as this process moves forward.

The draft plan being submitted by DECH is being generally supported by the CRH Board of Directors with several details still to be worked out between the parties.

Posted in News
December 21, 2020

Calais Regional Hospital is pleased to welcome Family Nurse Practitioner Kimberly Harvell to CRMS Pediatrics.

New Pediatrics Provider: Kimberly Harvell, FNP

Kimberly grew up in Aroostook County, Maine.  From a young age and with many life experiences, she knew being a pediatric provider was exactly what she was meant to do in life. “There has never been any other career for me,” she explained.  Kimberly undertook every opportunity offered to be immersed in the medical field so that each experience could create a solid foundation in healthcare, specifically the field of Pediatrics.

Kimberly became a certified nursing assistance at sixteen. She entered many leadership roles in her time as a CNA where she worked in the adult and pediatric intensive care units and with geriatric populations. Kimberly received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, with a Minor in Child Development and Family Relations, from the University of Maine. In her time at the University of Maine, Kimberly was an attendant on the University of Maine Ambulance, worked in the School of Nursing, took on many leadership roles, served as an officer in the Orono Student Nurses’ Association. She has always enjoyed volunteer work and giving back to her communities and has been on several service trips providing hurricane relief in New Orleans and providing healthcare in Belize, Central America. Kimberly also graduated with Highest Honors from the University of Maine: Honor’s College where her undergraduate research was focused on Rural Pediatrics in Maine.

After graduation, Kimberly joined her new husband Joshua in Calais and began working at CRH as an RN.  While at CRH, Kimberly primarily worked on the Inpatient Care Unit.  On IPCU she was a Charge Nurse and then the Patient Care Coordinator, working as the patient and physician liaison serving as a bridge for creating continuity of care in our rural community.

In 2018 Kimberly moved to Southern Maine to complete her Family Nurse Practitioner degree. While completing her FNP clinical rotations, Kimberly worked as a Registered Nurse at Mid Coast Hospital and worked at Medical Partners: South Portland Pediatrics as a Pediatric Primary Care and Triage Nurse. She also worked as a School Nurse managing the health of the virtual public school: Maine Connections Academy. Kimberly capitalized on her graduate clinical experiences obtaining additional skills in Pediatrics every step of the way. During her time in her graduate program, Kimberly completed a Master’s thesis/capstone project focused on Adolescent Medicine. Kimberly graduated with Highest Honors from Husson University with a Master Degree in Nursing as Family and Community Nurse Practitioner, specialty in Rural Medicine. Upon graduation, Kimberly and her husband joyously returned to Washington County, bringing back all her pediatrics experience to the community she loves.

In her free time, Kimberly enjoys quality time with her loving husband, family, and friends. She enjoys traveling the world, church ministries, reading, crochet, being outdoors, jigsaw puzzles, strategy board games, and volunteering at the Maine Center for Grieving Children,

Kimberly is excited to be rejoining Calais Regional bringing her wide breadth of Pediatrics experience into her practice to serve as a Primary Care Provider for our youngest patients. Her healthcare philosophy is to provide holistic care, to her patients and their families, helping them to effectively augment their health for the goal of overall health optimization. She is seeing and accepting new patients in the CRMS Pediatrics office. Call 454-8195, option 1 for an appointment or to inquire about her services.

Posted in News
November 17, 2020
Elizabeth Incannella, FNP, has joined CRMS Family Medicine.

Calais Regional Hospital is pleased to welcome Family Nurse Practitioner Elizabeth Incannella to CRMS Family Medicine.    Elizabeth earned her Bachelors in Nursing with a minor in Developmental Psychology from Husson University in Bangor.   She returned to Husson when she decided to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, earning a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a specialty in Rural Medicine degree.   Elizabeth first worked in Connecticut as a nurse and then at Calais Regional Hospital before continuing her education to become a Nurse Practitioner.  Her nursing experience includes oncology, med/surg, obstetrics and emergency.   She is a certified medical surgical nurse.  

Elizabeth says she always knew she wanted to care for people, so the choice to enter the medical field seemed natural.  Once she became a nurse she had great nurse practitioner role models early in her nursing career and felt the pull to move into that role so she could work to keep people healthy and out of the hospital whenever possible.  “I love dealing with whole family units from children to parents and grandparents,” shared Elizabeth.  “Being a nurse practitioner allows me to do this.”

Elizabeth grew up in Connecticut, but with her parents and extended family originally from this area she spent most of her childhood summers here.  Elizabeth is an only child, but is very close to her extended family and cousins.  She is excited to be living in the area, especially now that her parents have relocated back here as well.  “I knew this is where I would land when I wanted to have a career and family,” Elizabeth explained.  “I love this area.” Her summers were spent with her grandparents and extended family in Woodland and Princeton doing the usual outdoors activities our area provides in abundance: fishing, four wheeling, swimming and scouting for wildlife.   In her free time, Elizabeth and her husband like to spend time with friends and family, including their two dogs.   She enjoys walks with her fur babies, watching movies, board games, baking and all the outdoor activities she enjoyed as a child.   

Elizabeth is looking forward to caring for the people of Eastern Washington County and trying to have a positive impact on their health and their life.   She is seeing patients in the CRMS Family Medicine office.   Call 454-8195, option 1 for an appointment or to inquire about her services.  Please take the opportunity to welcome Elizabeth into her new role when the opportunity presents itself.   

Posted in News
November 11, 2020

Calais Regional Hospital and the MSNA bargaining unit of RN’s and MT’s have reached a tentative agreement.   The agreement term length is for 2 years.    The two sides reached consensus on the final two points of health insurance and paid time off during negotiations on November 10.  Both sides gave concessions to bring the over 2 year’s long negotiations to a conclusion. 

“I am pleased the negotiations have ended and look forward to continuing as a unified team to care for our patients and community through the pandemic and beyond,”   said CRH CEO Rod Boula. “I appreciate the efforts of all in finding a solution we can all support.”

In a sign of good will the Union has agreed to withdraw the strike notice.

The bargaining unit must still vote to ratify the tentative agreement at a date to be determined.   CRH staff on the MSNA bargaining committee is recommending final approval of the contract. 

Posted in News
November 7, 2020

Calais Regional Hospital received notice of the Union’s intention to strike November 18 and 19.   The hospital is very saddened that union members have chosen to strike at a time when we are in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic bearing down our on community.    If union members choose to follow through with a strike, the hospital will remain operative.  Essential services will be maintained; however non-emergent or elective services may need to be temporarily suspended.   The CRH Swab and Send COVID-19 testing and pain clinic procedures are examples of such services that may have to be suspended during this two day strike. 

Last year Hospital administration began developing a detailed plan to respond to a strike notice and is confident that essential hospital services will be able to continue as usual.  Knowing a short strike is a common tactic of the union, we felt it was our due diligence to be prepared for this scenario.    There is sufficient skilled non-union staff available to provide clinical services.  If necessary, temporary skilled nurses and techs with experience covering services at striking facilities will be utilized.

We do not believe a strike will bring the parties any closer to agreement.  We have just begun to negotiate with the Technical unit. Since August multiple dates were offered by the hospital to come to the table, but were only accepted twice by the union.  The hospital offered 9 different days from August 21 to September 18 and every day from September 18 through October 16.  The union agreed to meet only on September 18 and October 16. The union offered November 10 and 12 which the hospital accepted. In the meantime, the union provided a strike notice.

The only issues that have separated the hospital and the RN’s and Medical Technologists are health insurance and paid time off.   We have offered the union the exact same health insurance and paid time off as is provided to every other hospital employee, including administrators.  Market analysis shows our insurance and paid time off benefits are in line with other healthcare organizations.  Yet, the union wants more.

This strike is at a time when our community need is high and we find it hard to picture how this choice is beneficial ‘for our patient’ or ‘patient safety’, which is a common theme misused by unions during health organization strikes – even when the dissenting issues are not based on safety.  Sound financial management is beneficial ‘for our patient’ because it enables us to be able to continue providing high quality healthcare and keep jobs in our community. 

The hospital has addressed concerns repeatedly and tried to make this a win-win situation.  CRH Administration will continue to speak up for our patients and work for the best interests of our staff as a whole, not just the 17% who are represented by the union.  We will not be deterred just because we do not agree whole heartedly with the union position or demands. We continue to offer opportunities to negotiate in good faith with the Maine State Nurses Union.   Only together can we strengthen the hospital’s financial position so we can continue to provide great care to this community.  Everyone at Calais Regional Hospital is committed to providing high-quality, safe healthcare, from our medical professionals to our administrative staff to our volunteers.  We ask that the Maine Nurses Association join us in putting our patients’ health and safety first.  

Posted in News
September 2, 2020

Calais Regional Hospital is pleased to announce the addition of a new procedure: MILD (Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression).  MILD is a new way for a spine trained physician to treat lumbar (low back) spinal stenosis.  The pain and tingling in the legs that limits mobility with standing or walking can be relieved by removing a small portion of thickened ligament without disrupting the spine’s bone structure via a short outpatient procedure performed through a very small incision. 

Dr. Jonathan Herland, pain management specialist, now offering MILD procedure at CRH.

The new procedure is being offered by Pain Management specialist Dr. Jonathan Herland.  Dr. Herland has over 20 years’ experience in interventional pain management and will be performing the procedure.   “This technique has an excellent track record for relief of spinal stenosis pain without the risks of major surgery” says Dr. Herland.

 Features and benefits of MILD include:

*Relief of leg pains associated with standing and walking

*Improved walking distance and mobility

*Little or no need for continued injections

*Outpatient procedure not requiring general anesthetic

*Covered by Medicare 

Patients that feel this procedure could benefit them can have their primary care providers send a referral for services to the CRMS Surgical Services office, or call the office at 454-8432.  For more information on MILD, visit Dr. Herland’s website at www.paineasedoctor.com or a brief informational video is available at: https://youtu.be/Ce7_NmP630E

Posted in News
July 1, 2020

Calais Regional Hospital is providing additional access for COVID-19 testing each weekday morning via the State’s DHHS Standing Order beginning Monday, July 6 at 8 a.m.   The hospital has provided testing services for COVID-19 since the pandemic begin, however patients were required to have a providers order. 

CRH is pleased to be able to offer some access to the more broad and open testing requirements provided by the DHHS Standing Order.  A team of staff has spent many hours developing a process and set up to bring this opportunity to our community members.   Access to the open testing is subject to the Standing Order remaining active and availability of supplies via hospital vendors and the CDC. 

The newly announced Standing Order by Maine DHHS provides for lab testing without an assessment or direct order from a health care provider.   It helps people who believe they have been exposed or have an elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19 and who do not have a primary health care provider, cannot discuss this exposure in a timely way with their health care provider, or are visiting Maine or coming back to Maine from another state, for example.  Individuals continue to be encouraged to contact their health care provider to discuss their need for a COVID-19 test, especially if they have symptoms, and get an order for the test from their provider when indicated.   More info on the Standing Orders criteria can be found within a FAQ link at www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/COVID-19.shtml.

Where and when is this testing?

  • Where: Calais Regional Hospital Ambulance Entrance area of parking lot.  There are 10 marked parking spots for testing.
  • When: 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday to Friday

What do I need to bring?

  • Individuals will remain in their vehicles throughout the entire testing process.
  • Each individual should have their own mask to wear during the intake process.
  • As there is no way to predict the number of participants, you should come prepared to possibly wait and no restrooms will be available.
  • Bring water, snacks and other items to be comfortable while waiting.

How much will this cost?

The State of Maine will cover the full costs of lab testing for any COVID-19 lab test that is done at the State CDC lab from July 1 through at least August 31, 2020.

How long will it take to hear my results?

CRH Laboratory staff will contact you with your results within one business day of receiving them from the CDC Lab.  Depending on volume, this would typically be at least 24 to 72 hours, but is dependent on the CDC Lab’s process and speed.  While waiting for results, people should stay at home and quarantine.   More complete information can be found on the Maine CDC website by searching Guidelines for Quarantine.  

Staff walking through the process before open testing begins on Monday, July 6.
Parking spaces are marked to wait for staff to come to your vehicle.
Posted in News
June 11, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis took the world, country and healthcare industry by storm.  Now, a few months in, it is becoming very evident that many patients may be continuing to forego needed medical care.   This made sense for a brief time while hospitals and provider offices navigated the COVID-19 crisis and set up safe environments.  Now, with safeguards in place, it is important for our patients to seek the care they need. 

Many of our community members have chronic illnesses that require ongoing monitoring and access to medical services.   Delaying care could lead to severe health consequences.   In addition to chronic disease management, keeping up with preventative health care such as vaccinations for your children and health screenings to detect issues while most easily treated are important too.  Contact your health care provider right away if you or a loved one has signs of a serious medical issue.  Don’t let the fear of COVID-19 keep you from getting timely and safe care in our offices or hospital. 

Don’t Delay Needed Healthcare.

The Calais Regional Hospital team is here and ready to do more for the people we serve.  Most all of our services are open and available to see patients.  We have taken a mountain of precautions to ensure everyone who enters our facilities is safe and cared for. 

Although the COVID-19 precautions will most likely be a part of our lives for some time, we cannot ignore other illnesses that could be just as deadly.  Please don’t delay your healthcare.   Feel confident to reach out and get the care you need and deserve.

Posted in News
April 22, 2020

The CRH Laboratory team recently earned Zero-Deficiency certification during a CLIA inspection. A Zero-Deficiency survey is no easy task. We are very proud of our Laboratory Staff, who strive to run an out-standing department every day and who truly care about the patients that they serve!

CLIA regulates laboratory testing and requires clinical laboratories to be certificated by their state as well as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) every two years. A CLIA survey involves inspectors in the laboratory, looking in depth at different aspects of the department’s function including quality assurance, proficiency testing, quality control, and documentation. This very thorough inspection includes all areas within the lab.

This week is National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week. The staff recognized the week with the newsletter below that provides some insight to the department, staff and the work they do everyday as part of the local team providing quality patient care!

Click here to view the CRH Laboratory Newsletter

Posted in News
March 27, 2020

Consistent with our ongoing efforts to protect our patients, staff and the community, the Calais Regional Hospital Visitors Policy will be restricted beginning Saturday, March 28 as indicated:

We apologize for any inconvenience or hardship this may cause. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

For more information and to learn how to protect yourself and those around you, you can visit: www.cdc.gov/COVID19

Posted in News