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Together, EMHS members are leading healthcare in Hancock County

BHMH-Photo-Sidebar.png“You can’t get there from here.” It’s a Maine adage most of us know all too well regarding our beloved state. Some of the things we cherish most about Maine, like the vast beautiful landscapes, are the same things that make healthcare delivery challenging. Maine Coast Memorial Hospital (MCMH) and Blue Hill Memorial Hospital (BHMH) are only 16 miles apart, yet they each serve a number of unique, far-reaching communities. While the geography of these patients may not overlap neatly, their needs often do. That is why BHMH and MCMH work closely to deliver healthcare to patients in Hancock County, aligning their care delivery resources, services, and now, leadership roles.
Along with sharing managers for oncology, imaging, quality, and risk management, the hospitals have joined their senior leadership teams to drive consistent quality and experience at both facilities. Mark Hankinson, the new vice president of Operations for both hospitals, explains this patient-centered approach, “It always starts with the patient, both with their care and their experience. By working together, we can ensure that the care and patient experience at both facilities is at the same level of excellence.”
Mark’s role is new for MCMH, and moves the management responsibilities of ancillary services (like imaging, dietary, and housekeeping) under his leadership. “What excites me most about my role is that I get to work with many different departments. We can now track and understand the patient journey from primary care, through specialist and ancillary services, and more clearly see how those department interactions affect the patient experience—it’s a unique perspective.”
In late March, John Ronan, FACHE, EMHS senior vice president, BHMH president, and MCMH acting president, named Wendy Jones as vice president of Finance for both organizations. Ardelle Bigos, RN, MSN, CMSRN, assumed the role of chief nursing officer for both hospitals, allowing Kathy Lirakis, RN, MSB, MBA, CPHQ, and formerly the chief nursing officer of BHMH, to transition to the role of associate vice president of Quality and Compliance at both facilities. Kathy sees these changes as an opportunity to build expertise. “This sharing of responsibilities allows each team member to focus on their area of expertise, build best practices, and develop protocols for best-in-class patient care," Kathy explains. "The refined focus lets us dig deeper and see a more complete picture of our care practices and operations.”
The focus of scope with this new leadership affects the health and experience of both hospitals’ staff as well as patients. Mark notes, “We’re invested in employee recognition, wellness committees, and patient experience committees—all of which are vital to our organizational culture. By encouraging professional development of staff, providing wellness opportunities, taking time to celebrate successes, and involving employees in process improvements, we uplift everyone, including patients.”  
Kathy seems to speak for everyone when she concludes, “I’m really looking forward to what this team can do. This is my community, I live in Brooksville, and I want both hospitals to be the best they can be for my family, friends, and neighbors.”