Whoo-Hoo! A small victory has been achieved! Proof that grass roots community support DOES matter!
MaineHealth and Lincoln County Healthcare have DEFERRED closing our Critical Access Hospital from April 1st, 2013 to October 1st, 2013.
So that gives us time to do several things:
- Get a viable business plan completed -- we're working on that now!
- Appoint a shadow board and a shadow management team -- just like an opposition government (don't you LOVE the debates in the UK parliament!) so we'll be ready to roll.
- Pursue negotiations with Maine Health and Lincoln County Healthcare to gain control back over the future of our hospital and appoint our own Board while remaining part of MaineHealth (NOT what we want, unless there are significant changes to the culture!)
- Pursue strong legal action that will allow us to Roll Back the original "merger" -- (it was actually an Affiliation -- with Maine Health. In which they never PAID our 501(c)3 for our hospital or our assets, they just absorbed them and got rid of our management team and board, folded everything up into one board of trustees and then began to ignore the needs of the people for whom the not for profit charitable organization had been chartered to serve) -- so that we can reclaim our hospital and our assets.
- Keep our Emergency Room open 24x7 with local, skilled medical talent AND the use of telemedicine for trauma consultations.
- Go back to admitting patients for in-patient care while they are getting stabilized or recovering from procedures and/or taking advantage of our world-class physical therapy
- Continue to offer exquisite, friendly, personal end-of-life care
- Recruit existing and new doctors and surgeons to join us! We want to establish a VIBRANT Rural Health Clinic along with our Critical Access Hospital with strong family care, womens center (ob/gyn + internal + breast cancer screening) pediatrics, internal medicine and gerontology right here, locally. We want local orthopedic surgery and basic surgery for common procedures. A lot of that can be outpatient surgery. That's the trend. We'd like holistic practitioners: acupuncture)
- Recruit part-time specialists to come once a week or twice a month: urologist, cardiology, oncology, opthamologists, hearing, Ear, Nose & Throat, dermatology, etc.
- Ideally, we'd like to establish a mental health center and substance abuse center that is proactively integrated into our community and provides much needed mental health care for people from all over Maine who are being left untreated and uncared for due to insufficient psychiatric care and no place for anyone to stay until they're stabilized.
- Partner proactively with the Primary Care Physicians for our 20,000 seasonal residents, particularly those whose families have people with chronic conditions that need proactive monitoring and care, regular lab work, scans, and check ups.
All of this looks daunting, but do-able, for the group of 50+ local people and many seasonal people who have been working essentially full-time on this project since the end of July. The formal Task Force and committees are joined by thousands of others both on our peninsula and off who are contributing $$, time, and talent, and ideas! We feel we have a shot at reshaping the future of wellness and health in one of the most beautiful and welcoming places to live in the world! If not here? Where???
Your suggestions are welcome--and please tell any docs you know that we're hiring!! (Well, almost...)