Dr. Brodsky Retires After 21 Years at DECH

May 25, 2023

DECH bids a fond farewell to Anesthesiologist, Dr. Leonid Brodsky, after 21 years of dedicated service.  In 2002, Dr. Brodsky and his wife Helen came to Machias, and he began his employment at Dr. Massaad’s general surgery practice.  Dr. Brodsky has been a member of the Down East Community Hospital medical staff since 2002 and he came on as a full-time Anesthesiologist at DECH in 2007.

Dr. Aziz Massaad on Dr. Brodsky’s service, “I believe hiring Dr. Brodsky and recruiting him to this county was one of the best decisions I have made as a physician. He has been a great asset for this hospital, a superb addition to the medical staff, and a very compassionate and caring medical professional to our community.”

Dr. Brodsky means a lot to many and saying goodbye was difficult.  There was a nice get-together in the Skylight Café complete with cake, ice cream and many hugs.  Earlier in the week there was a night out with the medical staff and their guests and yet another evening with his co-workers from the OR and Ambulatory Surgery unit.

CEO, Steve Lail, on Dr. Brodsky’s retirement, “Dr. Brodsky, a consummate professional, and an all-around pleasant human being will be greatly missed by his DECH family and the patients he interacted with over these many years. We wish he and Helen a long, healthy retirement.”

DECH Auxiliary Donates $1,000 to Safe Sleep Initiative

May 22, 2023

CNO, John Marshall, Auxiliary President, Pat Hennessey, and OB Nurse, Sarah Tustian, RN.

Machias – DECH Auxiliary President, Pat Hennessey, presented, CNO, John Marshall, and OB Nurse, Sarah Tustian, RN with a $1,000 check for the Down Eash Community Hospital Safe Sleep Initiative.  DECH is a Safe Sleep Certified Hospital through the Cribs for Kids National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program.

The DECH Auxiliary has been raising funds for many years to go towards everything from scholarships for those going into the nursing profession to baby’s, equipment needs, and commemorative baby spoons.  The Auxiliary was looking to find an additional initiative that fit well with their mission and was excited to hear about the safe sleep program.  The money they donate will go toward purchasing educational gift bags for new moms.  CNO, John Marshall on the donation, “The Auxiliary contacted me right away once they heard about the program.  We were excited to learn they decided to take this on and were blown away when we received their $1,000 donation within weeks.  They are amazing, dedicated advocates for our hospital, and we appreciate them more than words can say.”

The top 3 causes of infant death are: premature or low birth weight, congenital anomalies, and Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID).   Many of these deaths are preventable and related to infants being placed in unsafe sleep situations.

According to the March of Dimes

  • In Maine in 2019, 64 infants died before reaching their first birthday, an infant mortality rate of 5.4 per 1,000 live births.
  • Between 2009 and 2019, the infant mortality rate in Maine declined more than 5%.

According to a 2020-2021 Maine CDC/DHHS Annual Report – After declining for six years (2013-2019), Maine’s infant mortality rate increased in 2020. In 2020 there were 72 deaths among Maine resident infants, and the State’s infant mortality rate was 6.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.

In 2021 there were 62 deaths among Maine resident infants, and the State’s infant mortality rate was 5.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. The US 2021 infant mortality rate slightly exceeded Maine’s rate at 5.3 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Is the ED Where I Need to Be?

February 7, 2023

The Emergency Department is often at capacity these days and the wait times can be long. Patients should be reassured they are going to get the best possible care, with the best resources and the best staff.   The Emergency Department does an excellent job at triaging (determining highest priority health issues), and those patients who require immediate care will get care right away.  We want people to have access to their families. We want you to be seen in a timely manner. We want to care for you.

But emergency care is not usually fast, does not work like appointments and can never be predicted.   We understand this can be frustrating at times when you or a loved one is unwell.  However, we must ask that people be more tolerant.  We do our best to meet the needs of our patients and we deal the best we can with circumstances that are beyond our control.

There are many factors contributing to increased wait times in the Emergency Department.  Many of these issues cause patients to be held in the ED where they occupy a bed for long periods of time instead of being transferred which basically reduces the number of patients staff are able to care for.

Lack of beds at larger hospitals – unable to transfer

Shortage of behavioral health facilities – unable to transfer

Shortage of nursing home beds – unable to transfer

Shortage of EMS – unable to transfer

Delay of Services when regional facilities cannot accept new patients for specialist care

Decreased or discontinued specialty services in our region at the larger hospitals

In addition to these issues, we have many patients in the ER who do not have true emergent needs.  You should use a hospital emergency room for very serious or life-threatening problems.  For common illness or minor injuries, contact your primary care provider’s office as an initial first step. If you lack a primary care provider and are therefore utilizing the ED for primary care or walk in clinic level treatment, we urge you to seek out and establish with a primary care provider.     Also, know your health insurance benefits, and check for a telehealth care option.  Many health insurance policies offer this service for afterhours consults to avoid emergency room visits for non-emergent issues.  The more people who have non-emergent care needs met through primary care or telehealth, means we have more resources to care for those who have an emergency.

Some basic guidelines to consider when deciding if you need emergency care are listed below.

 If you are experiencing any of the following, don’t wait!  Call 911 and get to your nearest hospital or emergency room.

  • Chest pain
  • Severe abdominal pains
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Severe burns
  • Deep cuts or bleeding that won’t stop
  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or loss of coordination or balance
  • Numbness in the face, arm, or leg
  • Sudden, severe headache (not a migraine)
  • Seizures
  • High fevers
  • Any other condition you believe is life threatening

The best place to get care is a doctor’s office or clinic for common illnesses, minor injuries, and routine health exams.  Your doctor can also help you manage your health over time.

You should make an appointment with your doctor’s office for:

  • Common illnesses such as colds, flu, earaches, sore throats, migraines, fever, or rashes
  • Minor injuries such as sprains, back pain, minor abdominal pain, cuts and burns, minor broken bones, or minor eye injuries
  • Regular physicals, prescription refills, vaccinations, and screenings
  • A health problem where you need advice

Telehealth services can be utilized if your provider’s office is closed, or you are not able to get an appointment.  Telehealth services can provide care for many of the medical needs that are addressed by your provider or clinic.  Contact your insurance carrier to learn if a telehealth program is included in your plan.  Most telehealth services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

DECH Welcomes First Baby of 2023

January 2, 2023


Matthew Minoty and Sontee Edwards of Calais pose for a photo with their beautiful daughter Jordyn Taylor Minoty and the New Year’s Baby Basket filled with items from Down East Community Hospital and local businesses.

Sontee Edwards and Matthew Minoty’s daughter, Jordyn Taylor Minoty , was born at Down East Community Hospital on January 2 at 2:36am.  Jordyn weighed in at 8 pounds and 9 ounces and was 22” long.  DECH presented the family with a gift basket full of items for Jordyn.  The basket also contained several gift certificates for her parents.

Thank you to all who helped us welcome Jordyn to our community: Berry Vines, Crow’s Nest, Bangor Savings Bank, Hannaford, Kay Richmond, Katherine’s Closet, Pat’s Pizza, Machias Saving’s Bank, Machias River General, Hammond Lumber, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Helen’s Restaurant, Pineo’s True Value.

Congratulations from the OB staff and everyone at DECH on the birth of your beautiful daughter!