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Visitation Restrictions Enacted to Protect Patient’s Safety
Machias - Due to the high numbers of respiratory illness and the recent news that Maine has experienced its first confirmed case of COVID-19, Down East Community Hospital and all its provider practices in Machias, Jonesport, and Milbridge have implemented visitor restrictions.  Those restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.
In an effort to protect our patients and the surrounding community, the following restrictions are in force.  Visitors who are ill with flu or cold symptoms, fever, sore throat, cough, sneezing, runny/stuffy nose, vomiting and/or diarrhea will not be permitted.  There will only be one visitor allowed per patient in all areas. Members of the public coming to the hospital can be expected to be screened and asked to clean their hands.  No visitors will be allowed for patients who have a pending or positive COVID-19 test.  Lastly, all visitors must be 16 years or older.  Special exceptions may be made to the visiting restrictions for OB patients and patients at end of life or in hospice care and those exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a nursing manager.
President and CEO, Steve Lail, 
“This was a difficult decision to make, but we must put the safety of our patients first.  We also need to protect our staff and the community.  We may find later that safety warrants an increase to the restrictions and we will absolutely do that if the need arises.  You can be assured that we are continually updated by the Maine CDC and have all infection prevention and emergency preparedness protocols in place.”
If you have recently traveled to areas affected by COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has, or are showing signs of illness, please refrain from visiting family or friends in the hospital.  If you are exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory infection, and must be at the hospital, please wear a mask.  If you are exhibiting symptoms and need to come to the Emergency Department or visit your provider, call ahead so the caregivers can make the necessary preparations for your arrival.
There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.
·         Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
·         Stay at home when you are sick.
·         Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue into the trash.
For up to date information go to Maine CDC’s COVID-19 website at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or by calling Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821.

Annually, DECH celebrates the years of service for those employees who, during the year, reached their 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40th year of service. Lien Crocker, received her 40-year pin for reaching that landmark in 2018!

On January 1, DECH welcomed its first baby of 2019.  Matt and Molly Hall and their three daughters welcomed Ezra James Hall to their family at 7:33am.

Down East Community Hospital’s 2019 Employees of the Year Have Been Chosen


Lauren Ramsay is a nurse in the Emergency Department and Nikki Shaw is the Practice Manager at Milbridge Medical Center.  Below are some excerpts from the nomination forms received on behalf of these two very impressive employees. 

In November 2017, Down East Community Hospital and Calais Regional Hospital partnered to bring an OB clinic to Calais after CRH had to make the tough decision to close its OB unit.  That clinic is now scheduled to close on Friday, December 28, 2018.

Down East Community Hospital is among a select group of hospitals nationwide recognized for promoting enrollment in state organ donor registries in a national campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The campaign has added more than 443,000 donor enrollments to state registries nationwide.

Steve Lail officially took the helm as Down East Community Hospital CEO on November 1, 2018.  With almost two weeks underway, everything is moving smoothly ahead.

Down East Community Hospital is having a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in Machias on October 13. 

DECH CEO, Dennis Welsh, announces Steve Lail as his successor.  Steve will take on the duties as the hospital’s new CEO on November 1, 2018. 

Wayne Peters becomes the new Board Chair of Down East Community Hospital as former Chair, David Whitney, terms off the Board.  Mr. Whitney was on the Board for 9 years and served as Chair since 2014.  “David dedicated many hours of service to the hospital over the past 9 years and we can’t say enough about how much we appreciated his work on the capital campaign to raise the needed funds for the Emergency Department expansion.” Dennis Welsh, DECH President & CEO.
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