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I’m a brand believer

IMG_5390-(3).jpgThe  following message is written by Sandy Myers, PT, DPT, director, Northern Light Rehabilitation in Waterville—a Northern Light Health brand believer:

2019 was a transition year for us as we continued to adapt and grow with a tremendous amount of change. New business systems, new payroll, new EMR, and a new name and brand.

As a leader in our organization, I was excited by it all, but nervous too, because of all the changes. Just answering the phone with a new name was a daily test. 

But we got through it because we embraced it as an opportunity to improve, grow, and build teamwork and pride in our organization. 

Now we’re talking more about how our “brand” isn’t just about a new name and signs—it’s our “promise” to make healthcare work for the people we serve. And to deliver on that promise, we have to build a culture where each of us lives our commitments and our values of integrity, respect, compassion and accountability every day. 

When we are trying to shape a positive patient experience, we must constantly be aware of how we treat people; what we say and how we say it, and most important—how we make people feel. 

My Northern Light Rehabilitation team and I really love our new brand, because our promise points to the core reason we got into healthcare in the first place—to make a difference in a patient’s life. It’s a daily reminder why we do what we do.

At Inland, we’ve always had a caring culture with our Customer Service Initiative (CSI) work over the years, but we know we need to strengthen the culture and keep teaching and holding ourselves accountable for the behaviors that demonstrate how we care by:
  • Listening to a patient and engaging them in their care
  • Helping someone find their way to their provider’s office instead of just pointing the way
  • Making eye contact and acknowledging a person instead of walking by with no interaction
I believe our promise “to make healthcare work for you” is an awesome rallying mantra that allows all of us in the Northern Light Health family to have the same goal and keep the patient first in all that we say and do.
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Pediatric Way to Optimal Weight program receives $100,000 grant

WOW-clinical-team-photo1.jpgNorthern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the New Balance Foundation (NBF) to support the hospital’s Way to Optimal Weight (WOW) pediatric weight management program. This is the first time WOW has received a grant from the Boston-based foundation that serves as the philanthropic arm to New Balance Athletics. New Balance Athletics operates three manufacturing facilities in Maine that employ more than 700 associates, and the New Balance Foundation has supported Maine-based non-profits for decades. The grant funds will be used to strengthen WOW’s family-focused care of Maine children and expand their successful telemedicine program to rural and underserved areas of Maine.
Regarding the grant, Valerie O’Hara, DO, FAAP, ABOM, WOW clinic director comments, “Our new partnership with the New Balance Foundation is an exciting opportunity to join forces and fully address childhood obesity through the successful prevention measures currently supported by NBF, as well as the expansion of access to treatment that WOW provides. A focus of expansion is our TeleWOW services which bring comprehensive specialty care to our more rural communities. Obesity is a complex disease process which affects nearly 30% of Maine children and young adults. Combining the expertise of the New Balance Foundation, including tools developed by the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and Northern Light WOW program will improve the health of children and families throughout the state.”
WOW provides evidence-based comprehensive interdisciplinary care, led by an American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) certified pediatric obesity specialist for children, adolescents, and young adults. Patients are referred to WOW by either their primary care provider or other medical specialists. WOW’s phased chronic care model involves the patient and family with our team to implement individualized treatment protocols that best address the goals and needs of each patient. WOW patients also use the New Balance Recreation center as part of their treatment with one-on-one support of personal trainers.
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Investing to help create a brighter future for Maine communities

At Northern Light Health, we maximize our effect when we work with patients to address factors of health including poverty, nutrition, and transportation. Whether it’s in Portland at Northern Light Mercy Hospital, or in Aroostook County at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, we are committed to delivering care focused on the needs of each person. Northern Light Health and its members provided $220,986,917 in community benefit throughout the state from October 2018 – September 2019, according to a fiscal year-end report to the community.  

“We are committed to making healthcare work for each individual. A large part of this work involves the pursuit to develop innovative community-based solutions that address our toughest health challenges and reach patients where they already are,” explains Doug Michael, associate vice president, Northern Light Community Health. “Through free community classes, paramedicine programs, transportation initiatives, and so much more, we are rolling up our sleeves to make care easier and more accessible. This is our promise to our patients, families, and communities we serve.”

Northern Light Health members provide a wide range of free or reduced-cost programs and services to those who are sick, injured, or disabled. These community benefits are designed to improve the health of our communities and increase access to healthcare in response to identified community health needs.

The brief, bulleted Community Benefit Report is categorized by nonprofit members to easily see how Northern Light Health is working to target each region’s unique needs. The report is available on the Northern Light Health website at To receive a copy of Northern Light Health Community Benefit Report, please e-mail

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Long-time Northern Light Inland Hospital president retires

Nov-2017.jpgJohn Dalton, president, Northern Light Inland Hospital, and vice president, Northern Light Health retired after 14 years leading the 48-bed community hospital and 105-bed continuing care center in Waterville. During his tenure at Inland, the hospital received national recognition for quality and safety, including straight As in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, LeapFrog Top Rural Hospital award for two years, and Lakewood’s 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“It is an understatement to say that it has been my great privilege to work with everyone at Northern Light Health and to serve the greater Waterville area over the past 14 years. I am very proud of the staff and providers of Northern Light Inland Hospital and Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood – from the quality of care they deliver every day, to the way they treat each person as if they were a member of their own family—they are what makes Inland and Lakewood special,” said Dalton.

Dalton’s last day was March 6, 2020.  Although he has retired, he plans to remain active in the Waterville community, where he has been involved with several community organizations.

“We will miss John’s thoughtful and enthusiastic leadership in our organization, as well as his witty nature and common-sense approach to complex matters. But we know he and his wife, Jackie, are eager to spend more time with their grandchildren and travel more across the globe,” explained Michelle Hood, FACHE, president and CEO, Northern Light Health.

Although Dalton’s retirement leaves a significant void, Northern Light Health is fortunate to have some talented leaders ready to assume new roles. Terri Vieira, MHA, FACHE, president, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital and Northern Light CA Dean Hospital, will assume the presidency at Inland. As a result, Vieira will leave her post at CA Dean. Marie Vienneau, FACHE, president of Northern Light Mayo Hospital, will replace Vieira as president of CA Dean.