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New sleep lab much more than a pretty place

March 13th, 2014
The sleep lab has moved from the main floor of the Hospital to the new building across the street and the difference in appearance is unbelievable. And in the February InPulse, you can read about the  new state-of-the art equipment  in the lab.

The sleep lab has moved from the main floor of the Hospital to the new building across the street and the difference in appearance is unbelievable. But then also have new state-of-the art equipment in the lab.


Waldo County General Hospital’s new sleep lab not only has a new name, “The Center for Sleep Medicine at Waldo County General Hospital,” and a new look with queen-sized beds that can be adjusted to the patient’s preferred level of firmness, but it provides the polysomnographic technologists with more options to treat their patients.


The state of the art EEG system is used to diagnose patients who have sleeping issues or other conditions that may affect their breathing. Our new CPAP and BIPAP machines allow for increased sensitivity to patients’ breathing efforts; this results in a more comfortable experience for patients as their breathing parameters are adjusted throughout the night.


Matthew Campbell is one of the polysomnographic technologists at the new sleep lab. He believes that the Center for Sleep Medicine at Waldo County General Hospital is one of the first sleep labs in the country to use the new device. “All of the features help me to help patients,” he says. “It provides more points of data and can be highly customized to fit the needs of our patients.”


Sarah Zurek, a registered polysomnographic technologist in the sleep lab, says the new program is easier to use and provides more options to treat certain sleep disorders. The improved sleep lab computer is much faster to score, resulting in a quicker turnaround time for results. The new camera system provides both audio and visuals for the technologist to monitor the patient. For example, the technologists can see with amazing clarity, via the computer monitor, if the patient has restless leg syndrome or other movements during sleep.


And while the polysomnographic technologists are thrilled with having the new technology, the patients are pleased to have temperature control of their bedrooms and to have handicap-accessible bathrooms and showers. The area is also much quieter.


“We have everything available for patient comfort,” says Zurek, as she praises the work that the hospital’s maintenance department did in renovating the space.


“You need healthy sleep for a healthy life,” says Zurek, adding that the amenities are providing more of a “home-like environment” for those who need a sleep study to help diagnose sleep disorders that may be causing disruptions in sleep, leading to fatigue.

Posted in February 2014 InPulse, Healthy Living, Hospital News, Managing your health

Quit-smoking program to be offered

March 13th, 2014

To help people who believe this is the right time for them to quit smoking, the American Cancer Society’s quit-smoking program, Freshstart, is being offered at no charge on five consecutive Thursdays, April 3, 10, 17, and 24, and May 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the classroom at Waldo County General Hospital.


Freshstart is designed for the adult smoker and emphasizes that smoking cessation is a two-step process: stopping and staying stopped. Therefore, techniques and support are shared to help keep a smoker off cigarettes.


The program is free and addresses the variety of reasons people smoke: physical addiction, habit and psychological dependency.


For more information and to register for these free classes, call Barbara Crowley at 930-2650 and leave your name and telephone number or email A minimum of four participants are needed to hold the class.

Posted in February 2014 InPulse, Healthy Living, In the Community, Managing your health

Balance for seniors

January 8th, 2014

Posted in General Information, J2H TV

Dancing is good exercise; give it a try FREE

December 31st, 2013

The Journey to Health program at Waldo County General Hospital is offering a sampling of different dancing and exercising styles from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays through the winter at the Belfast Dance Studio.


The dances are easy, fun, good exercise and FREE, with no experience necessary. Come give it a try!


For the month of January, the classes will be:

  • Jan. 4: Latin Belly Dance with Nathifa Shakti of Argentina.
  • Jan. 11 and 25: Carnival Samba, the national dance of Brazil, with Lisa Newcomb.  Accompanied by live drumming, the class is for folks of all ages young and old.
  • Jan. 18: The Madison, featured in Hairspray, with Katie Tranzillo. The Madison is a line dance that features a regular back-and-forth pattern interspersed with called steps



Posted in Exercise, In the Community

FREE employee exercise classes this winter

November 25th, 2013

exercise classes


Exercise Questionnaire


Under the guidance of our personal trainer, Mirja Pitkin, we will be offering an opportunity to do beginner exercises together each week. Your responses to this questionnaire will help us plan an exercise class that is appropriate for all participants.


Please wear clothes you can exercise in and bring a water bottle. Shoes are not necessary for this class (unless you have foot or arch concerns, in which case please carry in a pair of clean sneakers).


Please complete this form and return to Hester Kohl as soon as possible.  We will need this no later than one week before your first class. You can e-mail it to, fax it to 930-2569, drop it off at the hospital switchboard, or mail it to: Hester Kohl, WCGH, PO Box 287, Belfast, ME 04915.


Thank you!


Your name: _____________________________



Phone number: __________________________





1. Do you have old injuries or chronic issues with any of the following (circle yes or no). If yes, please explain briefly?


Feet:   Yes   No  ­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________________________________________


Ankles: Yes   No ___________________________________________________


Knees:  Yes   No ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________________________________________


Hips:    Yes   No ___________________________________________________


Back:    Yes   No ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________________________________________


Shoulders:   Yes   No ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ _________________________________________________


Neck:  Yes   No ­­­­­­­­_____________________________________________________


Wrists/elbows: Yes   No _______________________________________________


Hands: Yes   No ­­­­­­­_____________________________________________________



Do you have any other physical conditions/issues you think could impact your participation in an exercise program?


Yes   No ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________________________________________________


2. Exercise history. Please briefly list exercise programs you have participated in, when that was, if you enjoyed it, and why you stopped, if you did.



3. What are you goals for participating in this program?




Email: to get a provider referral form.



Posted in Exercise, Healthy Living, Hospital News
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