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WCGH: Top 20 of more than 1,300 critical access hospitals in the U.S.

June 16th, 2015

For the fourth year in a row, Waldo County General Hospital was named as one of the iVantage Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States.


After receiving that honor, WCGH was notified that they were one of the top 20 critical access hospitals in the country.


The hospital was also asked to submit a proposal to make a presentation at the conference about how rural hospitals can create a safety net dental clinic like the one created by Waldo County. Whether that proposal was accepted should be known later this summer.


“Waldo County General Hospital is proud of its physicians and staff who have contributed to our receipt of this designation,” said Mark Biscone, Chief Executive Officer, adding, “We place a tremendous emphasis on quality, performance and satisfaction; this recognition is a powerful affirmation that our efforts are making a difference to the hospital and the community we serve.” In February, Waldo County General Hospital was named one of the nation’s HEALTHSTRONG
hospitals by iVantage Health Analytics.


Patients are also pleased with the care they receive at Waldo County General Hospital. The recently released Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) show that out of 11 survey questions, we are above the state and national average in six categories and above the national average and close to the state average on 10 categories.


Our highest scoring categories were 91% of patients reported they were given information about what to do during their recovery at home; 86% said their room and bathroom were always clean; and 84% said their nurses always communicated well; 83% said their doctors always communicated well; 78% said their pain was always well controlled and 75% said they always received help as soon as they wanted.

Posted in Hospital News, May 2015 InPulse, Recognition and awards

New parent company forming

June 16th, 2015

Waldo County Healthcare and Pen Bay Healthcare are in the process of forming a new parent company to oversee both hospitals.


The new healthcare company will have equal board representation from each organization.


The formal partnership between the two parents companies will allow both hospitals to maintain their own medical staff and organizations while working closely together to develop integrated services and operations that will enhance patient care, improve the health of people in the communities they serve and control the rising cost of health care.


While collaboration efforts have been taking place since the fall of 2014, having a combined parent company is expected to make that process easier.


Lee Woodward, chair of the Waldo County Board of Directors, said, “The boards of both organizations see this as a major step forward for our community and our healthcare programs. We can continue to collaborate to provide the best healthcare services for our patients.” His counterpart at Pen Bay, David Williams, said, “We are very excited about the possibilities this new partnership creates.”


Mark Biscone, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Waldo County and Pen Bay, said, “Over 85 percent of U.S. hospitals today are part of
networks. By joining forces with MaineHealth, our organizations have already been able to save millions of dollars through large group purchases of supplies and technology and shared resources and expertise. This new partnership is a natural extension for the Midcoast. Since we began collaborating in the fall of 2014, the two organizations have successfully integrated over 40 clinical and non-clinical programs. By working together, WCH and PBH will be able to do more for our Waldo and Knox county patients and be more cost-efficient at the same time, and that’s our goal.”

Posted in Hospital News, March 2015 InPulse

Nursing award winners honored

June 16th, 2015

Rhonda Fowlie RN and Dacia Ryder MA were honored May 6 with the 2015 Nurse and CNA, Tech and MA Excellence awards at Waldo County General Hospital.


Dacia Ryder MA, left, is congratulated on her selection as the 2015 CNA, Tech, MA Excellence Award winner by Heather Quesnel, Chief Nursing Officer.

Dacia Ryder MA, left, is congratulated on her selection as the 2015 CNA, Tech, MA Excellence Award winner by Heather Quesnel, Chief Nursing Officer.

Each of the winners was nominated by her peers. Among the comments about Fowlie, who works in the Intensive Care Unit, were: (She) has been an influential and meaningful mentor for me over the years that I have worked at Waldo.  She is consistently a leader at the bedside evidenced by her calm demeanor in stressful situations and deep compassion for patients and their families. She is selfless and is always willing to jump in and help her colleagues. She is well respected by her patients and colleagues. Many nurses utilize her as a resource during their shift.”


Another wrote: “(She) is dedicated to patient care. She is quick to notice changes in a patient and is a strong patient advocate. She is quick to bring the family into a discussion regarding the care of their loved one, recognizing that the family knows the patient better than anyone.  I am the nurse I am today due to the close working relationship I have had with Rhonda over the years. I look forward to working with her because she has a steady hand on the rudder of the unit.”


Another colleague said Fowlie is taking a 10-month critical care course and plans to take the CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) exam.


Dacia Ryder MA, who works in Dr. Ben Mailloux’s family practice office, was described as: “goes above and beyond to make sure that each of her patient’s needs are met. She is extremely knowledgeable, hardworking, and kind. She has been designated to train new Medical Assistants because of her commitment. She shows her leadership skills when training new hires; she is very professional and very caring toward her patients. She is always willing to help others and she’s kind hearted. If I needed to know something or be taught how to do something she is always willing to help me! She goes in with confidence and knows what she’s doing.”


Another colleague said: “(She) is an amazing MA who shows her professionalism with role modeling for the other MA’s that come into our office to ‘learn the ropes’ and also a mentor to the new hires. They look up to her.”


The other nominees for the 2015 Nurse Excellence Award were Beth Eldridge RN, Carolyn Koopman RN, Charles Braine RN, Craig Stevenson RN, Denise Lindahl RN, Jay Bryant RN, John Eastham RN, Leslie Bray RN, Lottie Rolfe RN, Monica Furrow RN, Sharon Curtis RN, and Sue Drinkwater RN.


The other nominees for the CNA, Tech and MA award were Bobbi Jo Gillway TECH/CNA, Bridget Cook TECH, Mary Wardwell MA, Mindy Lancaster MA, Misty Moulton CNA, and Sylvia Wood CNA.


The criteria for the awards are:
•  Demonstration of leadership at the bedside
•  Commitment to professional development
•  Dedication to high quality, safe patient and family-centered care


This is the fourth year that Waldo County General Hospital has awarded the excellence awards. Previous winners include Carol Knight LPN, Sandra Weagle RN, Rebecca Slaughter RN, Cheryl Lucas CNA, Taylor Garcelon, CNA, and Paige Emerson CNA.

Posted in May 2015 InPulse, Recognition and awards

Creating a wave from a ripple

June 16th, 2015


Helene Neville arrived at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast on May 5, having run from Bucksport that morning.

Helene Neville arrived at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast on May 5, having run from Bucksport that morning.

It was New Year’s Day 2009 as Helene Neville was thinking about her mother, who had died of lung cancer in 2002. “I missed her so much and was restless, grieving and wanting to honor this remarkable woman.  On this, her birthday, I knew I had to do something incredibly big in her memory…I’d run across country and raise money for the memorial fund we created in Mom’s honor at the school that meant so much to her (the Maryellen Rouse Neifert Memorial Fund for St. Francis de Sales School in Philadelphia)” and “to honor her memory by helping my profession: nursing.”


But Helene wasn’t content to just run across the country, some 2,500 miles. After all, her mother raised six children after their father disappeared and had worked hard to put all six through parochial school. No, after she got started, she decided to run the perimeter of the continental United States: almost 10,000 miles. A lofty goal for anyone but particularly for a woman who was almost 50 years old and had fought cancer three times with three brain surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.


None of that fazed Helene, who ran her first marathon, climbed mountains and entered body-building competitions after being told to get her affairs in order in 1998, following a cancer diagnosis.


On May 1, 2010, after writing her first book “Nurses in Shape: The Right Dose!” as she puts it, “I took the book and ran with it—2,520 miles in 93 days” from Ocean Beach, Calif. to Atlantic Beach, Fl.    She ran that southern leg during the hot and humid days of summer without a lot of resources and a 1987 RV “that broke down in every city.”


She was running toward the Louisiana state line when a nurse stopped her vehicle and said her son wanted to run with her for the nine miles left. Helene said okay but when the male got out of the vehicle, he was an awkward 10-year-old. As they ran, she asked why he wanted to run with her. He said, “School starts in another month and I want to be able to say that I ran to the state line with some old lady that was running across the country.”


He had been picked on and bullied but this would give him an achievement that no one else had. When she was interviewed by the local paper, Helene said she would give the reporter the story but only if the boy’s name appeared on the front page. It did.


When Helene returned to run the third leg of her journey from Florida to Portland, ME, in 2014 she checked with the family and found out the boy is now captain of his school’s cross-country team and has run a marathon. “My efforts cause a ripple effect,” she says, adding, “From a ripple can come a large wave of inspiration.”


After speaking at the Rockport opera House, Helene Neville had those at the talk pose with her in a running posture.

After speaking at the Rockport opera House, Helene Neville had those at the talk pose with her in a running posture.



After finishing her first leg of the perimeter run, Helene was diagnosed with her fourth cancer, which delayed her run by two years but didn’t end it. Says Helene, “Hope is the most important thing in life. Turn hope into action and that action is an investment to help others see the possibilities.”


In 2013, she ran 1,560 miles from Vancouver to Tijuana, Mexico, without the old RV, instead couch surfing. She also did it carrying the ashes of her 56-year-old brother, a guitar player who had died unexpectedly. She stopped at every music shop along the way “to see the latest guitars.”


Helene began her third leg on May 1, 2014 and spent the next 67 days running from Florida to Portland, ME.  In New Jersey, from the publicity about her run on Facebook, she met a half-brother, who she did not know existed.


Helene is now on the final leg of her run. She stops at hospitals, schools, veterans hospitals, fire and police stations and National Guard headquarters with a goal of helping them “realize their own dreams and to rethink impossible.”


She left St. Stephen’s, New Brunswick on May 1 and plans to end her run on Sept. 5 in Ocean Shores, Washington—some 3,500 miles in 121 days.   On that run, she will stop in Iowa to get her teeth cleaned by her son, who is a dentist, and then will stop in North Dakota to visit with her granddaughter, Emma, and her other son, who is a college basketball coach.


“I run for nurses and causes and I meet people across this nation. I want to inspire people to be the best version of themselves that they can possibly be,” she says.

Posted in In the Community, May 2015 InPulse

Area Lions raise funds for gas cards for oncology patients

June 16th, 2015



The Belfast, Monroe, Searsport and Searsport Bay Lions Clubs raised funds to purchase gas cards for oncology patients in need of financial assistance. On hand for the presentation were front row Bob Meggison of the Belfast Lions Club, Teresa Robbins, Zone 9 chairman, second row from left, Marilyn Knowlton and Mary Ann Dyer, oncology nurses at Waldo County General Hospital, Jeff Burgess of the Belfast Lions Club, Terri Fuller, oncology nurse, Judy Otis of the Searsport Bay Area Club, and Roberta Thompson, of Searsport. In the back row from left are David Doak of Monroe, Brenda Burgess, oncology nurse, Sharon Thompson from the oncology department, Denis Howard of Belfast, John Moran of Searsport, Maggie Raymond (partially hidden), clinical coordinator for the oncology department and Dick Thompson of Searsport. The money to purchase the gas cards was raised at a Zone 9 community dinner on April 18.

Posted in Hospital News, In the Community, May 2015 InPulse

WCGH is well represented at 2015 YMCA triathlon

June 16th, 2015



DSC_0209The hospital sponsored two teams in the Y’s 2015 triathlon. Top are first-time triathletes, front row from left, Kasie DSC_0219Kinney, Kim Blanchard and Christy Lanphier. In the back from left are Clae Seekins, Bill Jacobsen, health educator Hester Kohl, George Orestis who was on a team last year and did the entire triathlon himself this year, and Carlene Brown. Left, Darrell Smith hugs Christy Lanphier as they both completed the run. Looking on is Laurie Smith, who was co-chair for the event. Below, George celebrates after finishing the competition.

Posted in In the Community, May 2015 InPulse

Masons donate to Oncology fund

June 16th, 2015



The 8th Masonic District recently presented a check for $2,000 to the Oncology Patient Assistance Fund at Waldo County General Hospital. Accepting the donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation was Sue Drinkwater, RN, of the Oncology Department. On hand for the presentation, front row from left, are Dwight Marshall, Allen Hayward, Herman Littlefield and John Moran. In the back row from left are Bob MacKenna, Cliff Larrabee and Ken Hall.

Posted in Hospital News, In the Community, May 2015 InPulse

Going, going, gone!

June 16th, 2015





motel gone


The old motel that served as office space for the
hospital for years was recently demolished. The
foundation has since been removed and filled in.
The module, above, has been sold and will be removed

before mid-June. A new two-story metal building

is slated to be constructed on that site next spring.

Posted in In the Community, May 2015 InPulse

Director of Community Services graduates

June 16th, 2015

Shannon Robbins, Director of Community Services at Waldo County Healthcare and Steven Johndro, executive director of Healthy Androscoggin, recently Shannon's graduationgraduated from the Hanley’s Center Health Leadership Development class. Around 30 highly experienced leaders are selected each year for the intensive 8-month course in collaborative leadership.

Posted in May 2015 InPulse, Recognition and awards

Aid events

June 16th, 2015

The Waldo County Hospital Aid raised more than $6,300 at its collectible doll and toy sale and more than $1,300 at its spring yard sale. The Aid’s next event will be a summer tea to be held Thursday, August 6, from 2 pm to 5 pm at the home of Barbara Plummer, Shore Road, Northport. Since parking would be an issue, attendees will be asked to park at the Drinkwater Elementary School on the Bayside Road and then a shuttle bus will deliver them to the home. A storm date has been set for August 13.

Posted in Hospital News, In the Community, May 2015 InPulse

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