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Changes in Lincoln County Healthcare Recounted by Jim Donovan 04/10/2015

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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King Lion Brendan Donegan thanks LCH CEO Jim Donovan for his update on changes in Lincoln County Healthcare.

King Lion Brendan Donegan thanks LCH CEO Jim Donovan for his update on changes in Lincoln County Healthcare.

In a recent presentation to the Bristol Area Lions Club, Lincoln County Healthcare (LCH) CEO Jim Donovan shared his perspective on the challenges faced by everyone in light of the rapidly changing world of health care. Miles Hospital is the economic engine for LCH, supporting services not otherwise supportable. According to Donovan the inpatient business last fiscal year was flat, or rising, while outpatient business fell, a trend counter to what had been expected. Outpatient services during that year were down 9% overall. This fiscal year (which ends June 30) however, the trend is much better and LCH expects an operating gain by year end.

Currently LCH is handling several key projects and issues, all of them geared to finding better ways to serve the community in a modern way. In Boothbay Harbor, a recent donation by Paul Coulombe is being earmarked to establish a center for health improvement. Geared for both adolescents and seniors, the center will develop programs to address risky behaviors in youth, elder abuse, and behavioral health services. Another initiative is a new program called Wellness and Independence in a Supportive Environment (WISE) which will offer individual and group treatments for those over age 50 with behavioral issues, the fifth such program in Maine. In addition, new buildings are planned for both the St. Andrews campus and Miles campus over the next few years. In Boothbay, an expansion at the Gregory Wing of St. Andrews will add twelve beds, while in Damariscotta, a new medical office building to provide centralized office space for all Miles physicians is in the works.

LCH also is mindful of outside pressures, especially the recent budget proposal discussions in Augusta. While the Miles campus is the highest tax payer in Damariscotta already, changes in state law to allow towns to tax not-for-profit organizations could double what LCH currently pays voluntarily. Auxiliary organizations like the Miles Hospital League and St. Andrew’s League have donated $225,000 to LCH in the last year to purchase equipment not otherwise possible, however cutbacks in Mainecare add to a real risk of eliminating jobs and limiting services. Despite such pressures, Lincoln County Healthcare strives to provide sustainable services for the long term and to make care more accessible and more affordable for all.

In the business meeting that followed Donovan’s talk, two new members were sworn into the Bristol Area Lions Club. King Lion Brendan Donegan urged all Lions to participate in the annual Elmer Tarr Roadside Cleanup, scheduled this year for Saturday April 18 at 8 AM. All members of the community are invited to participate in this Earth Week event, and lunch will be provided by the Bristol Lions. To learn more about that event, and about the next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club on Monday, May 4, please contact John Janell at 563-7402.

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