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Writing and Photography by Lee and Connie Rand
MANY FAST-BREAKING LOCAL NEWS STORIES CAN BE FOLLOWED IN REAL TIME ON OUR "WELCOME TO LINCOLN, MAINE" FACEBOOK PAGE OR ON TWITTER @LINCOLNMAINEUS. *
Local legislators introduce bill to PROMOTE LINCOLN
Rep. Sheldon Hanington
AUGUSTA – Senator Kim Rosen (R-Hancock), and Representative Sheldon Hanington (R-Lincoln) introduced legislation directing the Department of Transportation to place signs directing motorists to the Town of Lincoln on Interstate 95. Other cosponsors of the bill include Representative Beth Turner (R-Burlington), Rep. Roger Sherman (R-Hodgdon), Representative Michelle Dunphy (D-Old Town) and Senator Michael Carpenter (R-Aroostook).
“Over the last few years, I have become very troubled with the way rural Maine has been let down continuously in regard to economic development,” said Rep. Hanington. “By erecting a sign on Interstate 95 directing folks to our neck of the woods, we may be able to generate a positive revenue stream for our small business owners. Creating a scenic byway provides opportunities for tourism and recreation; both of which will be of great benefit for Lincoln and the surrounding area.”
In addition to local legislators testifying on behalf of the bill, local business leaders also drove to Augusta to address the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation. Angie Belk, Lincoln resident and owner of Tim Hortons in Lincoln, as well as William Davis and Denise Desaulniers-Kusnierz of the Lincoln Economic Development Committee, delivered testimony addressing the economic needs of the area.
“I would like to personally thank Angie, Denise and Bill for taking time out of their busy schedules to come to Augusta. These folks took time off from work because they know the importance of working together and taking steps to promote economic development in Penobscot County. I can’t thank them enough,” said Rep. Hanington.
LD 216 will go to a work session on February 28th. If it passes committee, it will then be sent to the Senate for consideration.
February 11 - The National Weather Service in Caribou has issued a Blizzard Watch, which is in effect from Sunday afternoon through late Monday night. The Winter Storm Watch has been cancelled.
* LOCATIONS...The Bangor region and Downeast.
* HAZARD TYPES...Heavy snow along with significant blowing and drifting snow.
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...16 to 24 inches possible.
Student Art Exhibit Set for Feb. 7 at PVH
Penobscot Valley Hospital in conjunction with Mattanawcook Academy students will be holding their first Art Exhibit Social for the 2017 year. Members of the community are invited to attend on Feb. 7th at 4:30 in the PVH Cafeteria where all artists will be recognized. The artwork is displayed in the main hallways of PVH. Vote for your favorite pieces now at www.Facebook.com/PVHME.
In the event of heavy snow, the social will be held January 8.
Auxiliary Donates $3,000 to Reach Penobscot Valley Hospital's Annual Fund Goal
Auxiliary members donated $3,000 this month to help Penobscot Valley Hospital reach their fund raising goal in 2016. In all, nearly $45,000 was raised by the hospital and Auxiliary to purchase five new pieces of equipment, including a new cardiac treadmill, two new stretchers for the emergency room, and PVH Rehab & Wellness equipment: parallel bars, exam table, and a new e-stim machine. PVH would like to thank the Auxiliary and community for your part in providing this equipment to enhance patient care!
Hospital filling a void for 43 years
It was over 50 years ago when Medicare became a law in 1966. Among numerous other changes, the law required hospitals to pass rigorous inspections in order to receive payment for the care of patients. At the time, neither the Lincoln Hospital nor the Workman Hospital passed certification to receive Medicare patients. Concerned citizens in our community held a meeting on July 26, 1966 at the Rosebowl Restaurant with representatives from the Maine Department of Health and Welfare to discuss the future of healthcare in the Lincoln Lakes Region.
By the end of the meeting, ten members were chosen to further review options of renovating the current medical facilities to bring them up to code, or constructing a brand new facility using Hill-Burton funds. Those original members of the Study Committee included: Chairman G. Daniel Aiken, Robert Barton, Wilbur Clay, Taylor Bradstreet, Eugene Libby, Kathleen McCormick, Perry Barker, Dr. A. J. Gulesian, Argie Edgecomb, and Percy Porter.
Over time, the Study Committee grew to 25 members who were devoted to the cause, spending countless hours collecting 2,858 signatures for a petition that was sent to Senator Margaret Chase Smith. She presented the petition to President Lyndon B. Johnson calling his attention to the struggle of Medicare patients in the Lincoln area.
In April 1967, legislation creating Hospital Administrative District #1 was signed into law by Maine Governor Kenneth Curtis and on September 10, 1967, voters of the 15 towns in the district gave overwhelming approval of Hospital Administrative District (HAD) #1. Over the next few years, the HAD #1 Board Members worked to raise $500,000, which would be matched by federal Hill-Burton funds for a total of $1 million to construct a new facility.
1973 Board Members (l to r): Dr. Carl Troutt, Jean Twist, Harold Noyes, Philip Reed, Skip Haskell, Fred Dingley, Raymond Dugan, Dr. Bourcard Nesin, Keith Ham, Linda Stone, Grace Bowers, Kay McCormick, Mabel Dill, Ruth Lewis, Walter Clapp, Theo Jipson, Rhoda Dolley, Administrator Leo Jonason, Donald Whitney, Dean Neal, Norman Blanchard, Ralph Hooke, Daniel Aiken, Roger Tourtillotte, Sam Shorey. Absent from photo were: Myron Doane, Rev. Lewis Chase, Hervey Jordan, Joey Crooker, Erroll Woodward, and Porter Bodine.
PVH is Hannaford reusable bag beneficiary for January
Penobscot Valley Hospital, a nonprofit committed to improving the health and well-being of those they serve, has been selected as a beneficiary of the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program for the month of January.
This program has been designed to support local nonprofits like Penobscot Valley Hospital. For every blue Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag with the good karma message purchased at the Lincoln Hannaford in January, PVH will receive a $1 donation in order to help fulfill its mission:
To be our community’s first choice in healthcare, known for a culture of compassion, quality and safety. To be an excellent community partner, working together every day to improve the health and well-being of those we serve.
PVH has a goal of raising $46,000 for the Annual Fund running from February 2016-January 2017. Funds will be used to help purchase new equipment that will enhance safety, comfort, and healing for the patients and staff at PVH.
Purchasing Hannaford Helps Reusable Bags in January at the Lincoln Hannaford will support your local hospital and will help make an immediate impact on urgently needed healthcare services to our community.
Learn more about the PVH Annual Fund by visiting www.pvhme.org/donate.
For more information on the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program, visit www.hannaford.bags4mycause.com or www.facebook.com/hhbagprogram.
Penobscot Valley Hospital Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership in “Excellence in Quality”
Penobscot Valley Hospital was recently recognized by iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural acute care hospitals in the nation.
The rankings have been determined by the Hospital Strength INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics has developed a data-driven program designed to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care. The Hospital Strength INDEX captures performance metrics for all rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from 66 individual metrics into three major categories and nine pillars to derive a single strength overall rating for each facility.
Senior Director of Quality Improvement at PVH, Crystal Landry, states: “PVH works hard to provide our community with necessary high quality of care. We are continuously working to ensure the care we provide meets or exceeds national best practice standards of care such as making sure patients receive certain treatments quickly when they are having a heart attack or stroke.”
Landry continues, “Being recognized as 1 of 10 hospitals in Maine to receive recognition for excellence in quality is evidence of us meeting the national, high quality of care goals we strive to provide every day. Ensuring that best practices in processes, systems and staff are always occurring is crucial for every patient. I am proud to see the staff recognized for providing excellence in quality at PVH.”
Michael Topchik, National Leader of the Chartis Center for Rural Health, adds, “These top quartile performers should take great pride in this recognition. It showcases their commitment to continuous performance analysis and improvement. On this occasion of National Rural Health Day, it’s an honor to celebrate their achievement as they continue to serve their communities despite the many market, regulatory and financial pressures they face.”
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders; creating and facilitating state, regional and national partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities
About iVantage Health Analytics
iVantage Health Analytics (iVantage) is a leading provider of healthcare analytic and performance management analytic tools. Health system and hospital leadership teams across the country rely on the company’s software and services to deliver customized insights on clinical and financial performance, strategic planning, market assessment and payment optimization. iVantage is part of The Chartis Group, a national advisory services firm dedicated to the healthcare industry. The Chartis Center for Rural Health (CCRH) was formed in 2016 to offer tailored services, performance management solutions, research and education to rural hospitals and facilities. Learn more at Chartisrural.com.
Emergency department registered nurses Wendy Quartermain and Ashley Voisine pose with the PVH Excellence in Quality Award. Patient experience scores in the Emergency Room have routinely surpassed state averages.