GOULDSBORO — The Eleanor Widener Dixon Memorial Clinic this week embarked on a $540,000 expansion project to broaden its health services and save patients the time and expense of traveling farther afield.
Located just off Route 1 in West Gouldsboro, the clinic and its 16-member staff provide medical services to fishing families and others living on isolated peninsulas and in other parts of eastern Hancock and western Washington counties. The small, rural clinic annually serves more than 17,000 patients hailing from Ellsworth to Machias.
Physical therapy, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, an on-site prescription pharmacy, and expanded staff are among the new services contemplated.
The clinic already has $190,000 and is looking to raise an additional $350,000 in order to build a 4,000-square-foot addition.
Originally from the Gouldsboro village of Corea, Dr. Kerry Crowley heads the clinic. A family physician for more than a decade, he comes from an old Down East fishing family, having fished for lobster to put himself through medical school.
Crowley has thousands of patients with incomes ranging from “dirt-poor to the very wealthy.” At least half of his patients are covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
“When I was a young man growing up in Corea, the Dixon clinic was very important,” he said in a fund-raising appeal. “Now, with the advances in health care, the clinic is essential to the quality of life Down East.”
The clinic is owned by Maine Coast Healthcare Corp. The corporation also owns and operates Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth and Southwest Harbor Medical Center. Maine Coast Memorial has pledged $100,000 to the expansion project, and the clinic has saved $90,000.
People interested in contributing to the project may send donations care of The Funding Committee, The Eleanor Widener Dixon Memorial Clinic, HCR 60, Box 52, Gouldsboro 04607.