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June 12, 2019

If he hadn’t of come here (Calais) I don’t know when I would have gotten this done,” says Dennis Jones of Pembroke when speaking about his recent cataract procedures.   Mr. Jones was the first patient treated by Vision Care of Maine’s Dr. Curt Young when he began providing cataract surgical services at CRH last month.    Mr. Jones was so pleased with the results he came back last week for Dr. Young’s second CRH surgical day to have his other eye completed. 

Dennis Jones of Pembroke was the first cataract surgery patient at CRH.  He is pictured above with Dr. Curt Young of Vision Care of Maine.   Cataract Surgeries are now available monthly at CRH.
 

Mr. Jones described a positive experience with the CRH surgical staff and Dr. Young – and a great outcome of tremendously better eyesight.  

Other patients treated last week described very similar experiences:

“Before I even got out of the chair I could see.  It was unbelievable.  This has opened up a new world for me.”  —  John Baxter, Eastport.

“I had no vision before and can’t believe how well I can see now.  They are an amazing bunch of staff and doctor.”  —  Richard Petty, Waite.

Along with Dr. Young, community members can expect to see the familiar faces of CRH Surgical nurses caring for them as well.   The CRH Surgery Department staff worked diligently over several months preparing for this service and is excited to add cataract surgery to the list of offerings available locally.    

“We have found our model of bringing this state-of-the-art surgery closer to home for our patients invaluable in restoring vision and profoundly convenient,” stated Cristy Hewitt, RN, Director of Clinical and Surgical Services for Vision Care of Maine. “Dr. Young and the rest of our physicians proudly look forward to offering surgical consultations and surgery now in Calais.”

If you have questions about the services available in the CRH Surgery Department call 454-9230 or, for information and appointments for cataract services call Vision Care of Maine directly at 945-6200. 

Posted in News
June 5, 2019

At a special meeting of the Calais Regional Hospital (CRH) Board of Trustees, proposed changes to the organization’s by-laws were approved.   Twenty of the thirty-seven voting members were present for the vote.

The most prominent and substantial modification was the addition of term limits for the Board of Directors.   Prior to this change there were no term limits.  With this update, Directors may serve for three consecutive three year terms, then, must have at least one year off as a Director before being eligible to serve again.  The new term limits will be staggered in to ensure the entire Board of Directors is not stepping down at once.    “The new term limits will allow enough time for people to learn the organization, be connected and be able to make meaningful contribution,” stated Board Chair Ron McAlpine.  “But not so long that we don’t have the opportunity for new people to join at the Director level.”

These changes bring the organization more current and in line with the Maine Non-Profit Corporation Act: Title 13-B.   A national study by the American Hospital Association on health care governance showed how hospitals are rising to meet tomorrow’s challenges through redefining roles, responsibilities and board structures according to AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack.   Coincidentally, increasing the number of boards with term limits was listed as an opportunity for improvement.    The CRH Board of Directors and Trustees is working diligently to be as current as possible with the changes in healthcare.

Posted in News
May 28, 2019

Patient health and safety is our number one priority. The claims that patients are unsafe receiving care at Calais Regional Hospital are completely unfounded. There are no staffing issues that should cause ANY concern for patient safety and our staffing ratios are at industry standard. Our staff receive training and updates yearly, as all clinical specialties across the nation do. In addition, at CRH union members even have access to monies each year to take additional trainings of their choice – however they rarely utilize the funds available to them. The union seems to be using the term “patient safety” as a smoke screen to unfairly worry our community members, as the standing issues on the negotiating table currently have nothing to do with staffing levels or training. Our staff are competent, compassionate, well trained and educated clinicians. They provide great care to patients, and community members should not hesitate to receive care at CRH.

The current realities the hospital, and the healthcare industry, is facing cannot be ignored. Sound financial management is critical to our ability to provide high quality health care to our patients and to keep jobs in the community. We are in this together and only together can we strengthen the hospital’s financial position so we can continue to provide great care to this community. We ask the Union members to join us in putting our patients first.

Visit www.calaishospital.org/workforce-updates for more information.

Posted in News
May 16, 2019

Mike Bodkin, RN, is the 2019 recipient of Calais Regional Hospital’s highest honor, the CRH Excellence Award.   Co-workers nominate individuals for this prestigious award given to an individual who exemplifies teamwork, respect for people, service to others, outstanding customer service & dedication to quality. 

Mike Bodkin, RN (l) was presented
the 2019 CRH Excellence Award
by CEO Rod Boula (r).

Mike’s peers speak highly of his skill set and ability to interact with patients and staff alike.  He does not wait to be asked to help, he actively asks if anyone needs help and jumps in to provide it.  He treats everyone with dignity and respect and is empathetic and sympathetic to patients and coworkers.  Patients ask for Mike by name; they remember him for his friendly, competent, professional care.   He epitomizes the care that CRH wants to be known for.  Mike serves on the Peri-Op committee at CRH and outside of work volunteers at his church.       

Mike began his career at Calais Regional Hospital in 1990 after an honorable discharge from the military. He initially worked as a registered nurse in the ICU and eventually transitioned to Nursing Supervisor in 1992. He moved to the Department of Surgery in 1997 and is currently serving as its Assistant Director. His most recent accomplishment is obtaining his First Surgical Assist credentials and CRH is looking forward to having Mike’s additional skill set in our operating room.

Mike is married to Shelly Bodkin, who is also a long time employee of CRH, and they live in Robbinston.

Posted in News
March 15, 2019
CRH Dietitian, Mona Van Wart, with her seedlings from 2018. Join the challenge this year and Grow Your Own!

March is National Nutrition Month®.  National Nutrition Month® is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign, celebrated each year during the month of March, focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.  Some great things to try are:

  • Limiting processed foods
  • Create simple healthy meals at home
  • Plant a garden for easy access to healthy food options
  • Get outside and get moving, no matter what the weather
Register to win your own starter kit and Grow Your Own this season!

In honor of National Nutrition Month I am kicking off another year of ‘Grow Your Own’ to promote gardening.  Even if you do not have a garden plot, you could try a container garden on your deck, porch, or steps.  Container gardens are great for items such as tomatoes, or your favorite herbs like basil or chives.    Last year I started seeds in my office for my garden and also did some container gardening. It was fun sharing the experience on the CRH website and Facebook page.  And the encouragement and many tips shared by community members were great!   This year I will be growing from seed and sharing the adventure for all to follow along.  I really hope others will join me and share comments and tips about their experience on the posts.   To get others excited about this, CRH is giving away some Grow Your Own Starter Kits at the end of Nutrition Month!    You can register for the drawing in the CRH Main or ED Lobby, or by liking and sharing the post on the hospital’s Facebook page. 

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #2751 is a good resource for starting seeds at home.  Search for 2751 on their website at https://extension.maine.edu.  As mentioned before, I am definitely not an expert in this.  In fact I am a novice.  My challenge to you all is to join me and try to grow some of your own seedlings. We can share what works and what doesn’t work.  Join me!  Who is up for the challenge? 

Posted in News
March 14, 2019

Congratulations to Haley Black, Calais Regional Hospital Security Officer, for being selected as Securitas Northeast Region Officer of the Year for Heroism.  The award is to recognize officers for giving of themselves and modeling Securitas’ core values.  Securitas began providing security services at Calais Regional Hospital in 2016.  Haley has been part of the Securitas team assigned to CRH since 2017.     

CRH Security Officer Haley Black (center) was presented with the Securitas Northeast Region Officer of the Year for Heroism Award by Account Manager Richard Hickson (l) and Northern New England Healthcare Branch Manager Michael Parsons (r).

Securitas North America annually recognizes two security officers—one for heroism and one for outstanding performance.  The recipients are chosen based on nominations from their colleagues and managers.   Haley was nominated for the Heroism Award by her manager, Richard Hickson, for an incident that occurred at CRH where Haley intervened to protect others.  She did not hesitate and acted to prevent further injury.   Hickson added, “I can depend on her to use professional judgment while working and I am proud to have her as one of my officers.”

Haley was presented with the Northeast Region Award at CRH last week by Northern New England Healthcare Branch Manager Michael Parsons and Account Manager Richard Hickson.  She is now one of 5 nominees, out of over 100,000 officers, that will be considered for the Officer of the Year Nationwide Award by Securitas North America. 

Posted in News
February 14, 2019

Calais Regional Hospital is pleased to announce that cataract evaluations and surgery will be available locally for community members.    Vision Care of Maine provider, Dr. Curt Young, will be at CRH monthly to provide the service for area patients.     Vision Care of Maine will provide the services through a leased space agreement in conjunction with the CRH Surgery Department.   Evaluation appointments begin later this month with the first surgery at CRH scheduled for April 11. 

Dr. Young has performed well over ten-thousand cataract surgeries since assuming ownership of Vision Care of Maine upon his father, Craig Young, M.D.’s, passing in 2013. The practice has evolved to now have six ophthalmologists and four employed optometrists.   In addition to practice owned and operated ambulatory surgery centers in Bangor and Presque Isle, Vision Care of Maine offers cataract surgery and other ophthalmic surgery at the Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft and the Millinocket Regional Hospital in Millinocket. “We have found our model of bringing this state-of-the-art surgery closer to home for our patients invaluable in restoring vision and profoundly convenient,” stated Cristy Hewitt, RN, Director of Clinical and Surgical Services for Vision Care of Maine. “Dr. Young and the rest of our physicians proudly look forward to offering surgical consultations and surgery now in Calais as well.”

When receiving these services at CRH, community members can expect to see the familiar faces of CRH Surgical nurses caring for them as well.   The CRH Surgery Department staff has worked diligently over several months making preparations for this service and is excited to add cataract surgery to the list of offerings available locally.    

If you have questions about the services available or wish to schedule an appointment, contact    Vision Care of Maine directly by calling 945-6200.

Posted in News