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New Format for Year in Review

The 2016 EMHS Annual Report is available now in a new and interactive presentation.

This year, we printed fewer hard copies of the annual report in favor expanding the online offering. We still printed some, and there is opportunity for people to download individual copies to their own printers. Online, there are heartwarming stories and videos that depict some of the exceptional care that EMHS caregivers deliver daily across Maine. There is also the ability to navigate through system data, charts, and information that paint a remarkable picture of our system’s work.

“Although we can’t share every amazing act of kindness or technological advancement throughout our system, this report captures a handful of great stories,” said Suzanne Spruce, APR, chief communications officer at EMHS. “We hope you will take a moment to enjoy these stories about our fellow Mainers and read about the incredible things happening across our system. Together we really are stronger.”

We encourage you to share these great stories and with your family, friends, and neighbors. The videos are also available for any presentations you may be delivering. Contact Karen Cashman in the Office of System Communications for more information on the annual report at (207) 973-6164 or
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Stealthy Snow Angels

American author and anthropologist Margaret Mead is famously quoted as saying, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Her words perfectly describe something that happened recently at Mercy Hospital.

From what we’ve been able to piece together from a very tight-lipped group of folks is that some snow angels, perhaps disguised as Mercy leaders and administrators, conducted a covert snow removal operation following the great February Blizzard of 2017. A number of employees—both clinical and non-clinical—who were working at Mercy’s Fore River campus found their cars swept clear of the more than 30 inches of snow that had accumulated! Additionally, windows were scraped free of ice, and a path to their car’s driver side doors was shoveled. These employees stayed overnight on Saturday—just to be ready to work. They were there as much as twelve hours before their scheduled shifts for that stormy Sunday. In the apparent act of gratitude toward those who worked during the blizzard, Mercy leaders were wielding brooms, scrapers, and shovels so when employees left work they didn’t face drifting snow blocking their way to finally heading home. When probed for help solving the mystery, administrators smiled, but declined comment. 

A warm thank you to all EMHS employees who came together and weathered the storm so others could leave after a long night of caring for our patients—cased closed.
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EMMC TAVR Team Celebrates #100!

A hearty congratulations to the EMMC TAVR team on performing its one-hundredth transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) earlier this month. The procedure is performed by highly trained cardiology staff for patients who are too high-risk for open heart surgery. During the TAVR procedure, physicians replace the aortic heart valve through a tiny incision in the femoral artery, located near the thigh. This approach results in less discomfort and a much faster recovery for patients.

“Having reached this incredible milestone, I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this program, and how it helps patients in the community,” says Matthew McKay, MD, FACC, FSCAI, medical director of structural heart services at EMMC. “The whole team has done a great job, and we couldn’t do it without their dedication to this program.”

EMMC’s TAVR program is featured in the 2016 EMHS Annual Report. A video entitled, The Perfect Candidate, tells the story of how this procedure helped to improve the quality of life for a man who just wanted the energy to tend to the animals on his farm.

EMMC's TAVR team takes a moment to celebrate their achievements. The cake reads, "Congratulations TAVR team on your 100th patient".

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LifeFlight Director Receives Prestigious National Award

The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) recently recognized LifeFlight of Maine executive director, Thomas Judge, with the Keith Neely Outstanding Contribution to EMS Award. The award is presented to a member of NAEMSP who has provided significant leadership to the association and outstanding contributions advancing the subspecialty of emergency medical services.
Tom has been a long-time member of NAEMSP and served on the faculty of the National EMS Medical Directors Course and Practicum for 18 years. He teaches the critical care/air medical section of the curriculum and has also recently chaired the organization’s public health committee. “I had the privilege of working on a white paper with Keith Neely several years ago that examined how EMS and Managed Care fit together,” said Tom. “Not only was that experience my entry point into the national EMS field, but we were able to use Neely’s model to develop and publish another national policy paper on air medical oversight. To win this award has a lot of special meaning to me.”
A joint venture between EMHS and Central Maine Medical Center, LifeFlight is a nonprofit air medical and critical care transport organization that brings lifesaving critical care staff and equipment directly to the patient by helicopter, airplane, and ground ambulance. It also provides advanced emergency medical training to Maine’s hospitals, emergency medical services, and public safety agencies.
To learn more about LifeFlight, please visit or call (207)230-7092.
A complete list of 2017 NAEMSP award winners is available on the organization’s website.

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EMHS Executives Nationally Recognized

Congratulations to John Dalton, president of Inland Hospital, and Terri Vieira, president of Sebasticook Valley Health and interim president of Charles A Dean Memorial Hospital, for being named to the Becker’s Hospital Review, “60 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know.”  The national publication highlights that both John and Terri possess extensive experience in healthcare management and demonstrate dedication to providing high-quality, accessible care to rural populations.

Terri expressed her appreciation to staff, "I feel very fortunate to work with an amazing team at SVH. It is my privilege to serve our community in this role and an honor to be recognized in this way.”

When asked for a reaction to being named to this prestigious list for the second year in a row, John said, “It is humbling to continue to be included on this list. And honestly, this is not about me. It’s a recognition of all the people who are Inland Hospital and the great work they do day in and day out to provide the very best care to our patients and residents.”

Becker’s is a national publication that provides business and legal news, as well as analysis about hospitals and health systems. Recipients were determined using analyzed compilations by ranking and award agencies, such as The Leapfrog Group's listing of top rural hospitals and the National Rural Health Association's list of top rural community hospitals.

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EMHS Endorses Free From Harm Recommendations

EMHS, Boston Children's Hospital, the American Nurses Association, and the National Association for Healthcare Quality are among 57 organizations worldwide to endorse the National Patient Safety Foundation report, Free from Harm: Accelerating Patient Safety Improvement Fifteen Years After to Err Is Human.
The National Patient Safety Foundation’s vision is to create a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm. Since the Institute of Medicine released, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System in 1999, work to make care safer for patients has progressed at a rate much slower than expected. To Err Is Human drew widespread focus on patient safety and the National Patient Safety Foundation is building upon that awareness. The Foundation—a national partnership among the health care community, patients and families, and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and healthcare workforce safety and to spread strategies to prevent harm—endorses shifting away from reactive, piecemeal interventions toward a total systems approach to safety, as outlined in their eight recommendations.
By endorsing the Free from Harm report, EMHS is publicly declaring our support and approval of the eight recommendations. Already, these recommendations have been communicated across our system to patient safety teams and stakeholders, and are incorporated into our evolving patient safety work.

EMHS is implementing the eight recommendations of the Report, starting with a baseline of patient safety culture. Improving patient safety requires an organizational culture that enables and prioritizes safety. The importance of culture change needs to be brought to the forefront, rather than taking a backseat to other safety activities. “This year the EMHS Patient Safety System Team is partnering with each member organization to set the baseline for High Reliability in patient safety. The baseline for each member organization comprises its results on the culture of patient safety survey combined with its rates of hospital acquired conditions on each unit,” according to Nancee Bender, RN, PhD, and EMHS chief patient safety officer.
To learn more about the National Patient Safety Foundation, visit their website: