Meet Our New Surgeon – Dr Thomas Crosslin

Calais Community Hospital is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Thomas Crosslin, MD, FACS, to the medical staff.  Dr. Crosslin has been providing coverage for surgical services at CCH since most of last year and decided to join the CCH family as a permanent provider.

Dr. Crosslin is a board-certified surgeon and looks forward to continuing to provide quality services to the people of Downeast Maine. His surgical expertise includes, but is not limited to, endoscopy, colonoscopy, laparoscopic procedures, and surgery of the abdominal cavity.

Dr. Crosslin earned his undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN and his medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, OH.   His internship and residency were completed at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA.

Dr. Crosslin, along with his younger brother and sister, was raised in a small, rural Appalachian foothill town in Tennessee.  His parents were both pharmacists and are currently retired in the area he grew up in.  His family now also includes two daughters aged 14 and 9 ½, who enjoy spending time with dad baking cookies, talking chickens, doing puzzles, and taking part in sports or CrossFit activities.   During his leisure time Dr. Crosslin enjoys getting out in nature, hiking, target shooting, CrossFit, and reading – books he can hold preferably.

After spending about 18 months on temp assignments, Dr. Crosslin was ready to settle back into a permanent practice again and chose Calais due to its proximity to his family and the people he had been caring for and working with.  “The people here are very appreciative of the care team and the hospital,” Dr. Crosslin explained.

Dr. Crosslin sees patients at the Specialty Services offices located within the Calais Hospital.  He is accepting new referrals.  If the opportunity arises, please take the opportunity to welcome him to our community.

CCH Recognizes Employees

This week a holiday dinner and Awards Recognition was sponsored by Administration for staff.  Following a great meal prepared by our dietary staff, Years of Service were recognized and the Employee of the Year nominees and winners were announced. This year the nominees were Barb McLean, Toni Clark, Donald Day, Richard Hixon, Steve McFadden, Julie Reynolds, Dr. Cressey Brazier, Vicki Moody, Amy O’Brien, Alison Perkins and Norma Lowell.  Congratulations to all who were nominated!

Our Employees of the Year for 2023 are:

Donald Day – non clinical Employee of the Year

and

Alison Perkins – clinical Employee of the Year

CCH staff nominated their peers for these awards by completing a form and providing information and specifics on why staff should be considered.   Factors considered are dependability, initiative, attitude, teamwork and how they conduct themselves as CCH staff.  Many great things were shared about all of the nominees, the following are excerpts from Donald’s and Alison’s nomination forms:

“Donald takes pride in the quality of his work.  He is very productive and it’s clear that he is very committed to his job and the organization.  Donald is always willing to lend a helping hand and has a very strong work ethic and respects his fellow coworkers at CCH.  Donald has a very positive attitude and is consistently courteous.  Donald’s attention to detail shows throughout the hospital by how clean and shiny the floors are.”

“Alison’s work ethic and commitment to the organization doesn’t go unnoticed.  Alison has been and continues to be a great resource to staff of all areas of the time organization. Alison is approachable and knowledgeable and is always on time.  She never hesitates to cover shifts and help out when needed.  Even when the ED can be in utter chaos, Alison remains professional and represents the ED and the organization in a positive way.”

Congratulations to both of our winners and thank you for the great jobs you do every day and the special way you care for our patients and your co-workers!

Years of Service recognition was also held during the Awards Ceremony.

Special recognition to our most senior employee with 46 years – Susan Casey

40 Years:  Jo-Anne Bartlett

25 Years:  Cheryl Trader and Julie Reynolds

20 Years:  Dan Daley and Joan Preston

10 Years:  Rebecca Farrar and Ausaf Tak

5 Years:  Kathy LaPlant, Laura Ackley, Madelyn Duchesneau and John Pileggi

Thank you all for your continued commitment to caring for our community members!

Annual Meeting & New Board Chair

Down East Community Hospital and Calais Community Hospital held its annual meeting of the Corporators on Thursday, June 30.  CEO, Steve Lail, reported that despite the many obstacles hospitals across the country experienced in 2022, DECH and CCH operated in the black. The financial results and accomplishments from the past year were discussed and reported on at the meeting. The 2022 Annual Report, which highlights much of the hard work done by staff over the past year, is available on the DECH and CCH websites.

During the annual meeting board officers were announced and Jackie O’Clair, who most recently served as the Vice Chair and Secretary, held her first meeting as Board Chair. “Jackie has been an excellent trustee since 2018 and we look forward to working with her over the next few years. Since being a member of the board, Jackie has been active on the Finance, Governance, Quality Improvement and Safety, Compliance, and Executive committees,” said Steve Lail, CEO.

Several new board members were also approved, and they are Tom Moholland, Julie Jordan, and Jody Dennison. Tom and Julie have close ties to the Calais area, which increases the representation from the northern part of Washington County on the board. Jody is from the Machias area and is an employee of Machias Savings Bank.  Jody is the VP Accounting Manager at Machias Savings Bank, where she has worked since 1999.  In her current role she oversees the accounting function, including managing the internal control program and coordinating exams and audits. Tom is the fiscal officer for Eastern Maine Co-Op and previously worked in the finance Department of WCCC and as a CFO for Sunrise Opportunities. Julie, who is recently retired, has experience in finance investment and human recourses. She was a Director on the Washington County Development Authority board and Director of Downeast Economic Development and Executive Director at St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Current members of the board are Jackie O’Clair, Chair, Judd Bragg, PharmD, Vice Chair, Nate Martell, Secretary, and Ian Pratt, Treasurer,  John Corrigan,  Michael Hennessey, Corey Schwinn, Betty Marshall, Tom Moholland, Julie Jordan, Jody Dennison, Christian Inegbenijie, MD, and Rita Ten, MD.

CCH Introduces New 3D Mammography Machine

A new, state-of-the-art Senographe Pristina 3D mammography machine is the most recent addition to the Calais Community Hospital radiology department.

L to R: Mammographer Billie Jo Ham, BS, RT(R) and Imaging Manager Kristy Surles, RT(R)(CT)(BD) with the new state of the art 3D Mammography equipment now available at CCH. Appointments are being scheduled for this new system.

3D mammography, the next step beyond 2D, is the highest standard of care for mammograms.  Calais Community Hospital’s new 3D system captures high-quality images while automatically reducing radiation exposure to the minimum necessary.  The Senographe Pristina produces clearer images that will make it easier to catch breast cancer early.    The clarity of the images should reduce the number of call backs, and when call backs are necessary, the new system makes it easier to provide patients with a definitive answer on their results.

“We are offering patients an exam that is quick and accurate, and the patient can be confident in their results,” said Mammographer Billie Jo Ham, B.S., R.T. (R).  “I am thrilled we can provide this state-of-the-art technology to our patients and community.”

The hope is this new system will encourage women to be more compliant with screening guidelines, and not skip their mammograms.   Mammograms are a critical part of maintaining a healthy life and we want it to be an easy, comfortable experience for women.   While the equipment is new, it is operated by the same highly skilled, compassionate, and experienced CCH staff – the same friendly faces will be present to make the process as pleasant and efficient as possible.

Investing in state-of-the-art technology is part of Calais Community Hospital’s mission to improve the health of community members.   Investing in new mammography technology also demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to increase cancer screening rates among residents in Eastern Washington County.

Since the transition to Calais Community Hospital, the hospital has invested much of its financial resources back into the hospital.  These capital investments include a new bone density machine, MRI, ultrasound equipment, anesthesia equipment, bi-pap machines, pulmonary function testing (PFT) equipment, orthopedic surgical equipment, and more.

If you are due for a mammogram and have been putting it off, contact your primary care provider about sending a referral to CCH.  It is an important screening to get up to date on.  If breast cancer is found early, there are more treatment options and a better chance for survival.  Women whose breast cancer is detected at an early stage have a 93 percent or higher survival rate in the first five years.

 

To the women in our community – remember to take care of yourselves so you can continue to care for those you love.

To the men in our community – remind the women important in your life that screenings are essential and help them remember to schedule it.

 

Protect your health and support your local hospital and its staff by requesting a mammogram referral to Calais Community Hospital from your primary care provider today.

Universal Masking Lifted

Over 1,000 days ago mandatory universal masking became the norm across our service area, the state, nation and world.   As of Monday, May 1, at Calais Community Hospital and Down East Community Hospital universal masking requirements for patients, visitors and staff will mostly be optional and no longer required.  The exceptions that require masking include the presence of respiratory virus symptoms/diagnosis, exposure to Covid-19, and treatment areas such as infusion and OR.  Notices will be in place for areas or patient rooms that require masking.  Masks will continue to be available for anyone who chooses to wear one and patients may also request their caregiver wear a mask if it makes them feel more comfortable.

To help control the spread of illness and enable our facilities to maintain the lift on universal masking, we urge our community members to not visit patients when experiencing respiratory virus symptoms including fever, headaches, body aches, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Please remember that although masks are now optional at CCH and DECH facilities, standard precautions may require some visitors and patients to mask under certain conditions – just as it was prior to the pandemic.

Upgraded Ultrasound Equipment at CCH

Calais Community Hospital is pleased to announce the arrival and installation of a brand-new GE Logiq E10 Ultrasound machine.  The new equipment provides better quality images, exceptional detail, and allows the sonographer to see certain structures within the body easier and more clearly.  Pictured is CCH Ultrasound Tech Whitney Mauser with the new GE Logiq E10 ultrasound machine.

 

The GE Logiq E10 boasts many advanced features.  The E10’s advanced graphics processing unit (GPU) hardware technology acquires and reconstructs data in a similar way to an MRI or CT system, enabling 48 times the data throughput and 10 times the processing power of previous systems. The image reconstruction platform is so powerful that it can process an amount of data equivalent to playing two entire DVDs in just one second, in real time. The system’s new photo assistant app feature enables sonographers to photograph relevant anatomy and include the photos with the clinical images sent to the radiologist, providing valuable context and documentation.  The systems also store original data from the scan so that, if necessary, providers can go back to extract and reanalyze information without extending a patients exam time.

This GE Logiq E10 machine allows CCH to offer a variety of ultrasounds examining the following areas and issues:

  • breast
  • abdomen
  • aorta
  • renal
  • thyroid
  • carotid
  • scrotum
  • deep vein thrombosis
  • pelvic
  • Early OB and OB growth studies

Medical imaging plays an important role in patient care at CCH, because these technologies assist medical providers in prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of ailments and diseases.  Our commitment to investing in our community with the latest technology ensures that you and your health care provider can get accurate and timely test results, close to home. Patients can have confidence in the superior level of imaging quality and care provided at our facility and should feel confident in requesting their imaging referrals be sent to CCH.

Consider Becoming an Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donor

April is National Donate Life Month.  Down East Community Hospital and Calais Community Hospital want to bring awareness to this very important cause. The month-long campaign showcases various perspectives of those touched by donation and transplantation.  Every year since 2003, April has been filled with stories to spread the lifesaving message of donation to motivate people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. You can become a donor by registering at www.RegisterMe.org.

 

The Donate Life America theme for 2023 was inspired by the natural world of a pond coming to life in the spring. Frogs (and toads!) are a sign of healing and renewal, and water lilies represent hope.

The generosity of the donors at Down East Community Hospital and Calais Community Hospital has restored health to many grateful recipients of lifesaving and life enhancing transplants.  We are proud to be Donate Life organizations.

 

In 2022, more than 42,000 transplants from 21,300 donors brought renewed life to patients and their families.  A single tissue donor can help more than 75 people.  Sadly, 5,230 transplant candidates died in 2022 while on the national transplant waiting list.  More than 100,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list for lifesaving organ transplants.

 

Most Americans support donation as an opportunity to give life and health to others.  Unfortunately, many people overlook the important step of registering their decision to be a donor.  Take that important step today and become an organ, eye, and tissue donor by going to RegisterMe.org, it takes less than two minutes.

 

 

Join the Pink Zone

Raise Awareness About Breast Cancer Detection

The Calais Lady Blue Devils will host the Pink Zone game against the Woodland Lady Dragons on Saturday, February 4 sponsored by Calais Community Hospital to raise awareness about breast cancer screenings.

For this one night fans are asked to drop their team colors and unite together by wearing pink to the game.    As in years past, the Pink Zone is also supported by PCT Communications.   Breast Cancer Awareness information and promotional items will be available at the game.  And one lucky fan will have a try at making a putt across the gym floor for a cash prize during the Pink Zone Putt at half time.    During the event Calais Lady Blue Devils Coach, Sean Cavanaugh, will display a photo of his mother – to represent the fans that are missing.   Fans who have lost a loved one to cancer are invited to bring a picture to add to the wall display.  “We are hoping it will allow people to see the effects of cancer and give us a chance to talk about early detection for breast cancer and the fact it can save lives,” explains Coach Cavanaugh.

Early detection and educating yourself about breast cancer can be two of the best possible “medicines” toward fighting the disease.   Women in their 20’s and 30’s should have clinical breast exams at least every 3 years.   Screening mammograms should begin at the age of 40.  Remember, once is not enough – the key to mammography screening is that it be done routinely each year.   The Pink Zone Game is a great opportunity for attendees to come together and unite as one community to raise awareness, remember those touched by breast cancer and celebrate the many survivors.

Aggressive Behavior in Healthcare

They Protected You From COVID. Now They Need Protection from You?

 The last few years have been difficult to say the least. The many changes that came because of COVID and everything that went with it have resulted in frayed nerves, high stress levels and mounting frustrations. Our staff feel it and so do our patients. Even though we have very little control over the many situations that cause some of these stressors, our staff often bear the brunt of people’s frustration and anger, in person and over the phone. We want to promote a good work environment and a place of heal-ing, but abuse destroys that for everyone. It destroys that for staff who are caring for you and for patients who are here to rest and recover. We are appealing to our community for help in ensuring our healthcare facilities are a safe place for our staff, without the fear of aggression, verbal abuse, or violence.

According to the International Association of Healthcare safety and security, “healthcare workers are five times more likely to be a victim of workplace violence than those in other occupations.” The rise in people’s threatening behavior has risen exponentially in the ER as wait times for treatment grow. Staff members are being yelled at, sworn at, threatened, and even assaulted physically. This is not OK. This kind of behavior threatens the trust and the healing partnership we need to have with our patients and their families and causes additional fear and anxiety for the staff, patients and families who hear and see these altercations take place.

Stress is already high when someone presents for care, especially in the emergency department, and people are generally not in a good frame of mind, but currently there is a disproportionate amount of anger sur-rounding delays, safety policies, visitation, and masking. We remind our staff the anger from patients is not really directed at them, but we also need to protect our staff. Work should never include being verbally or physically assaulted. We know that people are frustrated with the situation and are taking it out on the person in charge. We understand the challenges that patients are facing and the frustration that comes with that. However, people need to understand that what is happening here is happening across the state and across the country and most issues are out of the control of our direct care staff.


DECH and CCH CEO, Steve Lail, “We do our best to meet the needs of our patients and we deal the best we can with circumstances that are beyond our control. People yelling, being disruptive, and getting aggressive with our staff cannot be allowed. So, we must ask that people be more tolerant. It is on us as a community to protect our healthcare workers. Staff are people too. They are just doing their jobs. Taking care of you is part of that job, but tolerating abuse is not. To protect and retain our staff and make sure we continue to have staff to take care of our patients, WE, as a community, must change directions and get back on the road to civility. We need to reset the expectations of our community.”


DECH and CCH CNO, John Marshall, RN, “Instances of aggressive behavior from patients and family are being seen across our organization from the emergency department to provider offices to outpatient services and inpatient care. It is often connected to things we can’t fix such as masking, visitor policies and wait times. No one should come to work and be shouted at and sworn at, it’s not acceptable. Every patient deserves respect and courtesy, but so do staff. We have a responsibility to be kind to one another. We know it can be frustrating when you or a loved one is unwell, but we are just trying to do our job and provide the best care.”


Remember, everything that is taking place in our area is taking place across Maine and across the country. And, it is not just healthcare experiencing this, it is felt throughout most organizations throughout the nation. Let’s reset and work together for the health of our community to foster healing environments throughout our organizations and provide a safe space for our staff to provide the best care.

Mammography Services Resume at CCH

Calais Community Hospital is pleased to announce the return of digital mammography services at the hospital.  The service has been on hiatus due to lack of staffing.  Beginning in January, mammograms will once again be available locally on Thursdays and Fridays.  Mammography certified radiology technologist Billie Jo Ham will be returning to CCH to provide the service each week.   Billie Jo has many years of experience and is dedicated to excellence in patient care provided in a friendly and compassionate manner.  “I’m very excited to reinstate this line of service for our patients and our community,” stated Billie Jo Ham B.S., R.T. (R).  “And selfishly I’m very happy to be able to return to Calais and see my patients.”

If you are due for a mammogram and have been putting it off, contact your primary care provider about sending a referral to CCH.  Start the New Year by taking care of yourself and checking that item off your to do list.   Many women in our community have postponed this vital screening during the time the mammogram service was suspended.  It is an important screening to get up to date on.  If breast cancer is found early, there are more treatment options and a better chance for survival.  Women whose breast cancer is detected at an early stage have a 93 percent or higher survival rate in the first five years.

To the women in our community – remember to take care of yourselves so you can continue to care for those you love.

To the men in our community – remind the women important in your life that screenings are essential and help them remember to schedule it.

Protect your health and support your local hospital and its staff by requesting a mammogram referral to Calais Community Hospital from your primary care provider today.