Also known as...
Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems Emhsf Emhs Foundation Emhsf; Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems Emhs Foundation; Healthcare Charities; Emhs Foundation
Program areas at Northern Light Health.
EMHS Foundation d/b/a Northern Light Health Foundation raised and managed funds for the benefit of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and other affiliated exempt entities in northern, eastern and southern Maine.Please see in Schedule O an excerpt from the Northern Light Health Annual Report 2020 to the Community for details of community benefit projects by NLH members.
Jenica Achey, CNA Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood Caring for elderly residents at Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood is an enormous responsibility that Jenica Achey understands all too well. She works with a vulnerable population, and is living with someone at high risk. Jenica, who rarely leaves her house except for work, canceled out of state travel plans to ensure her family and Lakewood residents are safe. For me, its the gratitude that they all show. You can see it in their faces when you put on their make-up or help them pick out an outfit. During COVID-19, as residents can only communicate with family through closed windows, by phone, or electronically, she says its more important than ever to show comfort and compassion. They cant see your smile with a mask over your face, but your eyes smile too. And they can see that. And that helps them. Jenica Achey, CNAShane Mack Mcpherson Psychiatric Technician Northern Light Acadia Hospital Mack Mcpherson says his co-workers are like his extended family, and they pulled together even more during the extraordinary challenges of running a psychiatric hospital during a global pandemic. Were in the business of working with people who are in some form of crisis, either medical needs or mental health needs. Its just what we do naturally. As a psych tech, Mack considers his job to do what needs to be done to support patients and clinicians. He says the only change for him during COVID-19 is that hes helping other staff with needs too. Hes cleaning, doing small repairs, getting batteries for a thermometer, whatever is needed. The most challenging part of the pandemic for Mack personally is not having face-to-face interactions with co-workers. Acadia is known for being able to recognize when somebody on the team is having a rough day or a rough couple of days. And, we are great at surprising them with their favorite candy or coffee, or writing a card. Shane Mack McphersonCassie CraigParamedic Northern Light Medical Transport Since the start of the pandemic, when a 911 call comes into Northern Light Medical Transport, the caller is screened to see if the patient has COVID-19 symptoms. That way, Cassie Craig knows if she must suit up in full gear, including respirator masks, goggles, gloves, and gowns. This adds some time to the response, but is an important step to protect her and her co-workers, to stop the spread of the virus, and to make sure she can continue her job. She also makes sure to wash her clothes at the station in order to limit any exposure to family members. I would come to work in a pandemic as I would come to work on a Tuesday, this is the job that I signed up for. Its become more difficult lately, but Im going to come to work anyway. Im here to do my job. Cassie CraigBrent Watson, RN, BSN, MLT, CEN, CFRNDirector of Nursing for Emergency Department / Laboratory Services As the director of the Emergency Department at Northern Light Mayo Hospital, Brent Watson spent long hours informing people of evolving CDC guidelines in the early stages of the COVID pandemic. He also spent considerable time traveling to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center to study how they were equipped to handle a potential influx of patients. Since Mayos emergency staff is relatively small, he cross-trained other Mayo nursing staff to work in the Emergency department. Personally, I wouldnt consider myself a hero in any aspect; this is something I signed up for. I am a professional nurse. I love taking care of people; I love taking care of the community in which I live. Brent Watson, RN, BSN, MLT, CEN, CFRNMatt GrantCardiopulmonary Respiratory TherapistNorthern Light Mayo Hospital Matt Grant is one of two full-time respiratory therapists at Northern Light Mayo. Understanding that COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, he knew his services would be in demand if there were an influx of patients. So, he also spent time training staff to make sure they were ready. Both Brent and Matt say its all part of the job, even in a global pandemic. People have been very appreciative, and Id be remiss not to acknowledge that, but I dont consider myself a hero. We havent been hit as hard as some hospitals across the country. They are working nonstop overtime and going out and being in the face of this. I would consider myself lucky, but I wouldnt consider myself a hero by any means. Matt GrantTiffany BennerClinical SupervisorNorthern Light Maine Coast Hospital As a supervisor, Tiffany Benner says the most challenging part of the pandemic was when she didnt have immediate answers for staff. Early on, there were many unknowns would they have enough personal protective equipment? How long would this last? Would there be staff reassignments? She learned to communicate what she knew when she knew it, which helped alleviate fears. She did have a very well laid out plan at home. Once the pandemic reached her county, she would not leave the house, except for work, and her newlywed husband would do the shopping. "I dont think of myself as a hero. I didnt decide to become a nurse because I thought in 2020 there would be a worldwide pandemic, and it would look awesome when I leave work. I do my job because I like to help people. I like to help the community. Tiffany BennerTammy Violette, RNDirector, Physician PracticesNorthern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center In regular times, Tammy Violettes job involves supporting clinical services and staff of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Centers Primary Care. But since COVID-19, she has also become an expert in swab and go sites screening and testing people for COVID-19. Tammy helped coordinate staff at the testing site, which was a partnership with the City of Bangor, EMMC, St. Joseph Hospital, and Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC). How was traffic going to flow? What type of staff were we going to use? How were the swabs going to get collected? How are they going to be housed? So, there was a lot of logistics in terms of details, she explains. Everyone in our community, our eyes have been opened to everyday heroes. Individuals that continue to keep the grocery store stocked so that people can eat during this time. I think that we all just have to remember that were in this together, and we should be thankful for the efforts of all. Tammy Violette, RNLisa Boutwell, PTAPhysical Therapist Assistant Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital Physical Therapy was a service that completely shut down at the start of the pandemic. Lisa Boutwell, PTA went from seeing patients in outpatient rehabilitation to staffing Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospitals drive-up site to screening and testing patients. As a runner, she took the test bag from providers administering the tests to the hospital or lab. Lisa is one of many healthcare staff members who stepped up to serve the community in all kinds of ways, in all kinds of weather. One day out in the testing tent, it was very windy, the walls were blowing in. We also had a snowstorm and large snow piles outside of the tent, but we made do, and our community was safer because of it. Lisa Boutwell, PTA
HEROES AMONG US Healthcare Heroes As we reflect on 2020, people around the world would do well to remember these words by Nelson Mandela, Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. We faced a global pandemic that took the lives of more than 500,000 of our fellow Americans and more than 2.5 million people worldwide and counting. We also faced deadly wildfires and hurricanes, racial unrest, and a country divided by politics. But during this turbulent time, we also saw the very best in people, including those whom we work alongside every day to deliver compassionate healthcare to the people of Maine. We saw our colleagues rise to the challenges of an unprecedented global pandemic, show courage in the face of adversity, and make selfless sacrifices to heal the sick and protect our communities. These people are heroes. They are the front line workers who provided direct patient care to those who became infected with coronavirus. They are also the people who worked behind the scenes to ensure our staff had the personal protective equipment and telehealth technology they needed to continue to provide care safely. They are the support staff that cleaned and disinfected rooms, prepared meals, and countless other tasks to support our direct care workers. In this years annual report, we celebrate these heroes. They may not have flashy costumes or superpowers like the comic book heroes or those in Hollywood films. But like those heroes, they must don masks as they face a genuine and dangerous enemy. In the pages of this years annual report, you will learn more about who they are and what they do. We will take you behind their masks to discover the true identity of the heroes among us. Timothy J. Dentry, MBA President & CEO Kathy Corey Northern Light Health, Board Chair HEROES ON THE FRONT LINES When it comes to caring for sick patients, Northern Light Healths front line staff put themselves at risk to provide exceptional care. We know they are brave and compassionate people, but COVID-19 has shown how far they are willing to go to help others. The following are a few of the many examples of courage and caring that we witnessed during this global pandemic. Cathy Bean, RNManager of Clinical and Community Health Services Northern Light Home Care & Hospice In late March, Portland saw a spike in the population of homeless people who were getting sick with COVID-19. To help protect the citys homeless residents, city leaders immediately opened the Portland Expo as an alternative shelter site that would allow them to maintain their shelter capacity while adhering to the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) social distancing guidelines. But how would they separate the healthy population from those with the virus? Cathy Bean, RN stepped up to help. Donning protective gear, she and her staff went into the shelters daily to screen and test the residents. Northern Light Home Care & Hospice also equipped the city of Portland with a telehealth system so home care nurses could provide follow up appointments. As a result, they were able to help shelter residents with other medical conditions that may have been missed. Many of these people, due to COVID-19, were in quarantine, and meals brought outside their door with no one able to check on them. Now, we could get in there and take care of these people, and thats been very rewarding. Cathy Bean, RNElizabeth Bigler, RN Emergency Department Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital Elizabeth Bigler, RN thinks the most significant change to her job since COVID-19 is how much more physically exhausting it has become. She must often wear respirators, hoods, and other personal protective equipment, which can get quite hot and stuffy during a shift in the Emergency Department. Her biggest concern is making sure she doesnt bring this virus into her home. Its why she enters through a basement door, places her clothing directly into the wash, and showers before interacting with her family. My daughter who is eight is a sensitive, insightful soul. And shes had a lot of fears about me getting sick, not being able to see me if I did get sick, or me not coming home. Her daughter wrote her a touching letter one morning, telling her to be safe and that she loved her. Shes a really strong little girl. I had to tell her that this is a community effort. I cant not go because its scary. Some people still need help, and our job as community members is to help them. Elizabeth Bigler, RNJames Jarvis, MDSenior Physician ExecutiveIncident Command, Northern Light Health When Northern Light Health knew COVID-19 would arrive in Maine, James Jarvis, MD was chosen to coordinate the systems response among its member hospitals in addition to coordinating with state and local governments and the other major healthcare systems in Maine. Another unexpected role that Dr. Jarvis fulfilled during the pandemic was to be the primary spokesperson for Northern Light Health for weekly statewide news conferences via Zoom. Several times a week he would convey critical information to members of the media and our communities. One of the pleasant surprises Ive had during this time was somebody randomly driving by, lowering their window, and saying, Dr. Jarvis, how are you doing? You always ask how were doing through TV, we want to make sure youre okay. I teared up a little because, sure its neat to be recognized, but it was that sense of community that Mainers have to say, we need to make sure youre okay because we appreciate what youre doing. James Jarvis, MDCaroline Joyce, PACNorthern Light Primary Care Northern Light CA Dean Hospital Caroline Joyce loves the outdoors and dreams of retiring in a small rural community where hiking, fishing, and camping abound. She and her husband built their retirement home in Greenville, and she took a job at Northern Light CA Dean Hospital in September of 2019. Little did she realize how good her timing was to move to a rural community before the outbreak of COVID-19. As a primary and acute care provider, she willingly staffed the drive-up screening tent outside CA Dean. She endured wind and rain and snow to screen patients. And, she did all this while her mother, living in a nursing home in another state, was diagnosed with COVID-19. Luckily, my mom experienced mild symptoms, and while I wanted to see her, she was in an area of Massachusetts that was really hit hard by the coronavirus, and I was here seeing patients. I couldnt risk exposing them or my family. Caroline Joyce, PACSue-Anne Hammond, DOMedical Director of Primary CareNorthern Light Mercy Hospital For Dr. Hammond, COVID-19 became personal very quickly as one of her long-time patients, with whom shed experienced many ups and downs, was among the first in Maine to die of the deadly coronavirus. It was a curve ball, and it felt so unfair, she said. Dr. Hammond was instrumental in setting up the COVID-19 response plan for Northern Light Mercy Hospital, which became a model shared with other Northern Light Health hospitals across the state. The drive-up swab and go tent at Mercys Fore River campus allowed people to safely and easily get tested for the coronavirus. The plan also included a respiratory tent site in Westbrook to assess whether people with symptoms needed to be admitted to the emergency department or sent home with care instructions. And it included a virtual clinic to keep patients out of hospital and primary care settings through telehealth for follow-up appointments. She worked seven days a week while her children were being schooled at home. She and her husband, also a front line provider, tried to allay their familys fears and correct misinformation in their communities. On the hardest days I still love what I do. I dont feel like Im a hero; Im doing what was asked of me and what I chose to do as a doctor. This is a hard time, but I dont think I want to be anywhere else in the middle of all of this. Sue-Anne Hammond, DOJodi Kierstead, RNNurse Manager, Specialty ICU Northern Light AR Gould Hospital As a nurse manager, Jodis Kiersteads world radically changed when COVID-19 showed up in Maine. She went from managing budgets and staff training to suddenly responding to a pandemic. She enjoyed watching her staff pull together. Youre taking a bunch of people out of their comfort zone and putting them through huge changes and for them to do it with a smile it was amazing! And Jodi did her part to help too. As Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland was becoming inundated with patients, they put out a call for additional staff to help. Not only did Jodi travel to Portland and support her colleagues, despite having a 10-month-old baby at home, she and her team assembled a care package for Mercy nurses. We look out for one another. Thats what nurses do. And, we have a strong expectation that you dont ask your staff to do anything you would not do yourself. Jodi Kierstead, RN