Tuesday, September 17, 2019

MDI Hospital Emergency Room Now Offers Opioid Treatment on Demand

As part of an increased effort to treat opioid addiction, Mount Desert Island Hospital is now offering buprenorphine induction for patients in withdrawal in its Emergency Room. Last year, there were 354 deaths due to drug overdose in Maine alone, with more than 68,000 deaths reported nationally.

“We want to be sure that we are doing everything that we can to combat this public health crisis,” says Dr. Nathan Donaldson, MDI Hospital’s emergency medical director. By administering the first dose of withdrawal medication when the need is identified, the hospital is able to stabilize patients earlier and fill a much-needed gap in opioid treatment.

On demand, first dose treatment is evidence-based, says Dr. Donaldson. This early intervention in the emergency room is followed by engagement with behavioral health professionals and area treatment centers. The hope is that by alleviating withdrawal symptoms earlier, patients have a better chance of participating in longer-term therapy solutions.

The hospital is one of only a handful in the state to offer an emergent Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) program. “Essentially, we are offering buprenorphine induction in the ER to patients with substance use disorder and trying to get them to a recovery program offering MAT with a warm handoff and a soft landing,” explains Dr. Donaldson. Buprenorphine, also known as Subutex, is similar to Suboxone, which contains both buprenorphine and naloxone.

Dr. Donaldson credits Gov. Janet Mills and Director of Opioid Response Gordon Smith with raising awareness around the need for on demand opioid treatment and Mid Coast Hospital for leading the way with their emergency MAT program. “On demand opioid treatment works. Hopefully, every ER in Maine will have this available eventually,” he says.

When a patient is ready to pursue longer-term addiction treatment, MDI Hospital’s emergency room works closely with the Downeast Treatment Center and other area providers to continue their recovery through an integrated “hub and spoke” addiction treatment network.

The network was established through a collaborative partnership that includes Aroostook Mental Health Center - AMHC, Bucksport Regional Health Center, Healthy Acadia, MDI Hospital, Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital, Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, local private primary care and substance treatment providers and others who serve as part of the network's system of “spokes.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and needs help, call the Downeast Treatment Center at 207-667-6890. If your need is emergent, visit your local emergency room.

Monday, September 9, 2019

MDI Hospital President/CEO Arthur J. Blank to Host Listening Session on Senior Health Care

Mount Desert Island Hospital President/ CEO Arthur J. Blank will meet with community members to discuss issues surrounding senior health care on Thursday, September 26 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library.

In this moderated session, attendees will have the opportunity to share their thoughts, questions and concerns around senior health care, retirement and rehabilitative care, aging in place, short-term and long-term care.

“With the continued growth of the retirement population in Maine and the recent closure of our local long-term care facility, we want to hear from our community about how we can best work together to address the needs of our aging population,” said Blank.

Since joining MDI Hospital in 1999, Blank has worked to strengthen the health of the community through the pursuit of innovative care and an integrated health system. Under his leadership, the organization has forged a groundbreaking teaching partnership with Penn Medicine, established a nonprofit retirement community, transitioned to a critical access hospital and incorporated eight community health centers, including the community’s first full-service behavioral health center and a nonprofit dental center.
Blank graduated with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Boston University in Boston, MA in 1975. He successfully completed a year of legal studies at Villanova University of Law in Villanova, PA., and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
All are welcome and encouraged to attend this free Age by Design event. For more information, contact Carly Ancona of MDI Hospital at 801-5046 or Dana Mastroianni of the Jesup Memorial Library at 288-4245.

If you cannot attend but would like to provide your feedback, please email listening@mdihospital.org.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Southwest harbor Public Library Presents: Maine Boats and Bicycles Show

The Southwest Harbor Public Library is pleased to announce our latest monthly
art exhibit, Maine Boats and Bicycles, by local photographer Michael Rindler.
The show features eight local working boats and seven Maine bicycles and tricycles. Working boats are primarily Southwest Harbor fishing boats and the cycles are both vintage and modern from around Maine. The show also features

Michael Rindler’s newly released book of car images, Motorcar Art.
Maine Boats and Cycles will continue on exhibit through September 30, 2019.

For the calendar: Michael Rindler is the featured artist at the Southwest Harbor Public Library in September with a photographic show of Maine Boats and Bicycles. For more info call the Library at 244-7065.