June 05, 2020

2 hospitals may provide joint service> Dean and Mayo aim for countywide care

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Piscataquis County’s two hospitals are collaborating to improve the health of the county’s residents.

Officials from the Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville and Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft met recently to discuss offering joint activities that would build on the strengths of each facility and avoid duplication of services.

Andrew Finnegan, chief executive officer of the Greenville hospital, said the two boards began discussion two years ago in an effort to bring the two institutions closer together.

Hospitals will have to react to the changes that will occur in health care, Finnegan said after the meeting. “I think that by bringing the institutions together now that we can ensure that those changes are patient-friendly ones,” he said.

Greg Bowler, chairman of the Hospital Administrative District 4 board of directors, told members in attendance that the two facilities could create a “seamless, countywide health care system.” HAD 4 represents most of the towns in the southern part of Piscataquis County.

Finnegan spoke of the Maine Hospital Cooperation Act that allows hospitals to discuss joint activities without creating anti-trust concerns. He said Mid-Maine Medical Center, the Charles A. Dean Hospital’s parent company, has encouraged the talks with Mayo Hospital officials. Currently 50 percent of the referrals from the Greenville hospital are made to the Dover-Foxcroft facility. A recent attempt by the two hospitals for a countywide cardiac wellness program was not successful in obtaining funding, he said.

Charles Fahd II, chief executive officer at Mayo Hospital, suggested that the hospitals focus on each other’s strengths and avoid duplication of services. Some of the ideas suggested for the two hospitals were education and wellness programs, including substance abuse and occupational health; recruiting medical specialists to provide care at both hospitals; creating linked information systems so the hospitals could share data and people in the area could have one card that would admit them to either hospital. Community comment also should be sought, they agreed.

As a result of the meeting, an ad hoc committee of up to 12 people will be formed to explore the possibilities for the two hospitals. This committee will report to both boards at a future meeting.

“You’ll never lose if you start talking. You may not gain, but you won’t lose,” said Wayne Huff, C.A. Dean advisory board member.

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