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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. *
SPECIAL MEETING: There will be a special meeting of the Lincoln Town Council on Monday, Nov. 3, at 7pm in the Town Council Chambers at the Town Hall. Speculation is that a new Town Manager may be presented at that time. *
BREAKING NEWS: HAN & PVH Make a Difficult Decision to Close Obstetrics Service
After many months of careful deliberation, the Boards at both Health Access Network and Penobscot Valley Hospital have made the difficult decision to discontinue labor and delivery services at the Lincoln hospital. The obstetrical service will close effective May 1, 2015.
This decision was made after extensive review of area demographics, obstetrical volumes, cost and staffing. With less than 70 babies delivered at PVH in 2013, an aging population, the negative financial position of the OB service, and changes in physician practices, the organizations recognized there was no other feasible option but to discontinue this service.
“This decision was not made lightly,” notes PVH Chief Executive Officer Gary Poquette. “Multidisciplinary committees and consultants have reviewed the labor and delivery service, and our community just doesn’t have a sufficient number of newborns to sustain this service. That fact, combined with the recent physician decisions, leaves us no other choice.”
PVH is one of only a dozen Critical Access Hospitals in the state still currently providing labor and delivery services. Many have exited the business for similar reasons, attributing their decisions to financial constraints, decreased demand, and difficulty recruiting and maintaining clinical staff.
Penobscot Valley Hospital will likely never get out of the baby business entirely. “Some babies just can’t wait,” states PVH Chief of Emergency Medicine and Chief Medical Officer David Dumont, MD. “Their moms present to the emergency department [ED] in the final stages of labor. Although not ideal, our ED is trained to perform deliveries in emergent situations and will maintain equipment on-hand to provide initial care for a newborn and the mother.”
“Childbirth itself is a very small part of the overall pregnancy experience. Our family practice providers at Health Access Network will continue to provide comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care to patients in our area and will work closely with the provider who will be performing delivery,” adds HAN Chief Executive Officer Bill Diggins, RN.
The two organizations would like the community to know:
Health Access Network physicians are personally contacting all current OB patients to discuss their options for prenatal care and delivery.
Health Access Network will continue to provide prenatal care to women through their family practice physicians.
Penobscot Valley Hospital will continue to conduct prenatal testing in the laboratory and ultrasounds in the imaging department.
Health Access Network and Penobscot Valley Hospital are working resolutely with area facilities including Eastern Maine Medical Center to enhance access to their OB providers and ensure a smooth transition of care for all local women.
Mr. Poquette reiterated that “the hospital is committed to provide local access to quality care for the residents of the Lincoln Lakes Region. We hope to be able to continue providing seamless care for OB patients, who can receive excellent prenatal care locally and an excellent delivery experience at EMMC.”
“Our obstetrical, family medicine, surgical and pediatric providers as well as clinical staff have all given outstanding care to the community since the hospital opened,” adds Dumont.
The public is welcome to attend a Community Forum on Wednesday, December 3 at 6:00pm in the Mattanawcook Academy Cafeteria. Representatives from both Health Access Network and Penobscot Valley Hospital will be on-hand to address the community’s concerns on the obstetrical service closure and provide information to patients on the transition of care. For more information, contact Penobscot Valley Hospital Administration at (207) 794-3321.
Veterans Day Celebration
November 11 - Today at 11 o'clock, a Veterans Day ceremony was held at the Veterans Memorial on Goding Avenue. Annie Bearce sang The Star Spangled Banner. The Color Guard fired a salute, and speeches were given to mark the occasion. It's important to remember the sacrifices made by those in uniform to keep our country free. Many of them gave their lives to secure the freedom we enjoy here. When you meet a veteran or active duty military member, please thank them for their service!
Lincoln Historical Society buys Corro house
November 10 - The Lincoln Town Council agreed to sell the Corro house on West Broadway to the Lincoln Historical Society for $1. The vote was 7-0. Final paperwork will be finished next month.
This has been the fruits of the work that George and Jeanette King and other LHS members have put into that venture the past several years. The house serves as the museum for the LHS, along with the Little Red School House located across the street in School House Park.
Ron Weatherbee is Lincoln's new town manager
November 3 - The Lincoln Town Council voted 7-0 to hire Ron Weatherbee as Lincoln's new town manager. Ron has served as interim town manager since William Lawrence left to take a position in Florida. (Photo courtesy of Sam Clay)
November 2 - Lincoln is getting some snow today! 12-14 inches of wet snow is possible by the time the storm passes sometime tonight or early tomorrow. It's time to get into winter driving mode!
Here it comes!
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING TO 1 AM EST MONDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. EXPECT SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 7 TO 14 INCHES...ALONG WITH TRACE ACCUMULATIONS OF ICE POSSIBLE.*
School Board Candidate Profile
OUR OFFER FOR LOCAL CANDIDATES TO SUBMIT INFORMATION TO THE LINCOLN AREA WEBSITE IS STILL IN FORCE. TODAY WE RECEIVED INFO FROM A CANDIDATE TO THE RSU #67 SCHOOL BOARD:
As you think about your school board candidates choices, please -
Think about the issues that are important to you in your school district. Are you concerned about student transportation costs and safety, funding for extracurricular activities, new curriculum standards, proficiency based diplomas, buying, leasing or renovating existing school owned buildings. Do you expect to fund your district with more local sharing coming from the tax payers or are you expecting to see the school board make decisions with efficiencies at the forefront to minimize local tax increases? Does your candidates choices demonstrate an ability to think outside the box to meet State mandates, if doing so could save time and money while preserving the integrity of the classroom instruction? What's your hot button? Do you know where each of the candidates stand on issues that are important to you.
The following are some of the qualities recognized by Great Schools :
The ability to work well with a team and support students and their need for a competitive basic education that can support their immediate future goals for continued learning or career path.
A desire to work toward a stronger healthy relationship between the district administration, it’s students, employees and the public it serves
An interest in serving the needs of all students, regardless of their abilities and backgrounds which includes high achieving students being supported through programs and activities.
A board representative who demonstrates professional, poised demeanor and a respectful, respectable behavior who can appreciate diverse points of view but who is not afraid to advocate for what is in the best interest for this district, its students, staff and community.
Independently researches information, data and options to share with the board and try to facilitate good decision making.
Has served 5yrs on the school board demonstrating her commitment to the time and energy required each week for meetings, phone calls, conversations, visits to schools, and professional development seminars and workshops
Has a great deal of knowledge about district policies, guidelines, needs, challenges and strengths from serving the past 5yrs as a school board director.
Then please consider supporting me, in my bid for a school board seat.
At the heart of it all, members of a district's board of education must believe, in the value of public education. They must be dedicated to serving and teaching all children. They must believe in the democratic process and understand that their role is to act strategically, with the interests of the entire school community. I believe I have done all of this and more to serve this community to the best of my ability. There have been and continue to be challenges, this is a real job - if done right. It takes a lot of time. I have never had an agenda in which I served a special interest group. I have tried my level best to be fair and honest to what I know to be true when communicating with Administration, staff and the community interests - even when doing so might set me apart from others. I may not always be right but I do always try to be thorough in the research and time I give this position.
I want to thank all those that have set in these public seats before. - I’ve learned. You don’t know what you don’t know until you’ve experienced it first hand.
I want to thank those that have allowed me to try to serve the community and its students, staff and schools over the past 5 years.
Should I be given the opportunity to serve another term, my focus will be on the STUDENTS. Huge decisions are being made. I believe the full board should know how these decisions are going to impact our students, which can take time and research. We committed as a board to open and improved communication - I believe we have taken steps, but can still develop this more fully. I believe, budgets need to be developed with the whole student in mind and that physical development enhances mental development, so I will not support eliminating programs involving sports or the arts as a means for developing a budget, especially when there is no other local programing available for youth in our area. I believe we currently have some very talented board of directors involved in our budget development and that with the Superintendent's help, a budget can come forward that supports the whole student and the average tax payer at the same time. If you believe I can support your interests in our schools than please vote for me in the up coming election.
Sincerely, Debra G. Tardy