MaineHealth Required to Provide 24x7 Urgent Care on the Boothbay Peninsula
For those of you who have been following our saga of a healthcare system run amok and ignoring the needs of its customers on the coast of Maine, we finally received some good news!
The citizens of the Boothbay peninsula breathed a sigh of relief today when Mary Mayhew, Maine’s Commissioner of Health & Human Services acknowledged the need for MaineHealth to provide 24-hour 7 day/week Urgent Care on the Boothbay peninsula as a Condition in her approval of the merger of St. Andrews Hospital in Boothbay Harbor and Miles Memorial in Damariscotta to form Lincoln County Healthcare. “I specifically acknowledge the comments…regarding the provision of urgent care in the area,” Commissioner Mayhew wrote, “I have determined that the ordinary economic development of health care for the Boothbay Region would be adversely affected and this specific application would have to be denied if the applicant who provided emergency care was not required to maintain an appropriate urgent care presence. The commenters have made this need clear and I have approved including a condition requiring 24 x 7 urgent care services.
“The members of this community have fought hard for 23 months to regain 24 hr. emergency care for our peninsula,” said Patty Seybold, Board President of the Boothbay Region Health & Wellness Foundation. “We lobbied in Augusta, we met with the Governor and the Attorney General, we were finally given the opportunity to have a public hearing to provide testimony to the DHHS (but only after our ER was shut down and our hospital merged). We are gratified that Commissioner Mayhew listened to the voices of the customers—our year round population, our large retiree population, and our multi-generational seasonal residents—and agreed with us that 24-hour urgent care is required on our peninsula.”
The members of the Wellness Foundation are proud that we were able to get this job done on behalf of our four communities: Southport, Boothbay Harbor, Boothbay, and Edgecomb. We now have a proven track record in our role as consumer advocates and health and wellness mentors. We have lots more to do!
Our first priority is more skilled nursing beds on the peninsula for recuperation, rehab, and end of life care. We will continue to work closely with LincolnHealth to replenish the number of skilled nursing beds on our peninsula, and to ensure that LincolnHealth management and board have an accurate picture of what is needed in our communities as we engage with them in their 5-year strategic planning process.
We will continue to empower community members to take increased control over their own health & wellness with programs like the Awesome Seniors’ Walk Free at the Y program, offered in conjunction with the Boothbay Region YMCA. We will continue to identify unmet needs—local mental health services, reduction of substance abuse, local cancer treatment, tick-borne disease screening, senior support network, community/senior center, life sciences’ careers for our young people—and to support the creation of affordable, local services to meet those needs.