Dr. Holzen Retires but Leaves the Community in Capable Hands

September 2020 Machias – It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 8 years since Dr. Holzen hung up his shingle here in Machias to provide ENT services to the people of Washington County.  He came to us as a traveler and, as those who love this area and the people in it do, ended up signing on as an employed provider of Down East Community Hospital.  “He fit in nicely and comfortably with staff and the community.  Not only did he provide great care for his patients, he also provided entertainment to the community playing rhythm guitar in the very talented Timber Creek Band.  We wish him a long, healthy retirement in his beautiful home state of Tennessee.” Steve Lail, CEO, Down East Community Hospital.

While Dr. Holzen will be missed, the community will not go without the services he offered.  Dr. Stephen Salzer has been a member of the hospital medical staff since February of 2018 and is a well-respected member of the team.  He offers a full complement of Ear Nose & Throat services and impressive credentials.

Dr. Salzer is board certified in Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat) and Head and Neck Surgery. He was also an Instructor at Yale where he taught and supervised residents in the Pediatric Head and Neck Surgery Clinic.  He has published numerous articles and book chapters on topics including nasal and sinus surgery, head and neck oncology, phonosurgery (surgery for voice disorders), and hearing physiology. He is the recipient of numerous awards for academic achievement, research and surgical technique. Here are some of the services he provides at Down East Community Hospital.

  • Endoscopic surgery
  • Facial fractures, trauma and congenital facial deformities
  • Pituitary surgery
  • Sinusitis
  • Snoring, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Tonsillitis
  • Vertigo and balance disorders
  • Voice disorders
  • Balloon Sinus Dilatation
  • Thyroid and Para-Thyroid
  • Balance Disorders
  • Mouth, Neck, and Throat Cancer Treatment
  • Ear Infections and Perforations

Kathryn Land Named DECH Board Chair at Annual Meeting

July 2020 Machias – Down East Community Hospital held its annual meeting of the Corporators on Tuesday, June 30.  During that meeting, they provided an overall update of 2019 and reviewed the 2019 Annual Report.  Usually, new board members are elected to fill open board positions but there were no open positions this year.  Kathryn Land was elected as Board Chair.  Kathy succeeds outgoing Chair, Wayne Peters, who completed his term.  Wayne has spent over 8 years on the board; the last 2 as Chair.  CEO, Steve Lail, “Wayne, who has already dedicated countless hours to this hospital, will remain on the board.  We are thankful for the work he did as Chair and appreciate his guidance and dedication.  Kathy Land has been on the Board for 9 years and has also committed countless hours to the hospital.  We are pleased that she has stepped into the Chair position and look forward to her thoughtful leadership.”  Current members of the board are Kathy Land, Chair, Lisa Carlisle, Vice Chair, Nate Martell, Secretary, and Mike Hennessey, Treasurer, Wayne Peters, Eric Burke, John Corrigan, Karen Eldridge, Corey Schwinn, Betty Marshall, Christian Inegbenijie, MD, Jacqueline O’Clair, Rose St. Louis, and Rita Ten, MD.

In addition to being on the board for the last 9 years, Kathy has been a member of the DECH Auxiliary for over 12 years.  She has a Managed Care Certification, a BS in Organizational Management and has over 25 years of experience in healthcare organizations.  Her background includes extensive experience in patient accounts management and managed care strategy development and implementation.  She is a skilled managed care contract negotiator and has worked with various healthcare settings, including acute care, ambulatory surgery, outpatient, behavioral health, dental, and skilled nursing facilities.  Kathy has also worked in collaboration with physicians and a PHO to effect contract terms and rates of reimbursement that addressed the financial and network needs of the parties involved.  Her strengths include the development of strong, open relationships with physicians, third party payers and managed care organizations.

Since being a member of the DECH Board, Kathy has been active on the Finance, Governance, and Executive committees.

CEO, Steve Lail, “Kathy has a solid background in healthcare and strong ties to this hospital.  She holds our staff in high regard and is committed to our mission to improve the health care of the people of Sunrise County.  Kathy will, undoubtedly, provide steadfast governance as our Board Chair.”

DECH Pays Tribute to Their Volunteers

July 2020 Machias – Down East Community Hospital was unable to hold our volunteer appreciation event this year, but that doesn’t mean that we value our precious volunteers any less. We want to take this time to pay tribute to all our volunteers and give a special mention to those who earned Presidential Service Awards this year.  Susan O’Clair received a silver award (250-499 hours).  Tom McClure, Linda Wright, Raymond Selby, Kay Richmond, Pauline Cates, Nellie Gatcomb, Judy Hanscom, Janie Kroegar, Nancy Lewis, and Pat Hennessey received bronze awards (100-249 hours).  Throughout 2019, our volunteers clocked in 1,355 hours.

Volunteer Coordinator, Lanette Pottle, “Down East Community Hospital values all our dedicated volunteers; the gift of their time is priceless.  Because of COVID-19, our volunteer program has been shut down since March.  Our staff miss seeing the smiling faces of our volunteers and all they bring each day to help us provide compassionate care to our community.  We all look forward to the day they are all back with us.  We want to remind them how much they mean to our hospital and let them know that their absence has not gone unnoticed.”

In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.

The PVSA has continued under each administration, honoring the volunteers who are using their time and talents to solve some of the toughest challenges facing our nation.

UMM Professor Donates $6,200 to DECH for Critical Respiratory Units

May 2020 Machias – Dr. Gayle Kraus, Professor of Marine Ecology at UMM, recently donated $6,200 to Down East Community Hospital to purchase two high flow oxygen nasal cannula units in memory of her Mother, Muriel L. Kraus.

President and CEO of Down East Community Hospital, Steve Lail, “These systems will be extremely beneficial for patients requiring respiratory assistance.   Dr. Kraus’ generosity to this hospital and the community is remarkable and we are forever grateful.  Our staff and the residents of Washington County will benefit from these high flow oxygen systems for years to come.”

High flow oxygen (HFO) therapy is a form of respiratory support used in a hospital setting where oxygen is delivered to a patient at rates of flow higher than that delivered traditionally in oxygen therapy.   High-flow oxygen therapy allows the clinician to provide accurate oxygen delivery in a wide array of patient populations and treatment arenas. It is intervention therapy for treating patients with mild to moderate hypoxemia (an abnormally low concentration of oxygen in the blood). The utilization of HFO therapy in appropriate patients can improve oxygenation and can decrease the patient’s labor to breath without the need for noninvasive or invasive ventilation. In addition, it may reduce the duration of ICU stay in some patients.

The warm, humidified constant flow improves gas exchange and is commonly used on patients with acute respiratory failure. It has been used to successfully treat patients with COVID-19, COPD, and bronchiectasis.  Using humidified (warmed) gas keeps mucus more fluid and aids airway recovery and results in less labored breathing and shortness of breath.

“These high flow oxygen systems will be extremely helpful for patients requiring respiratory assistance.  These units will help so many people during these high-risk seasons and beyond. They are something that will be used by our Respiratory Therapy Technicians, the Emergency Department and our anesthesiologist for a long time to come.” Emergency Department Director, Carrie Cassidy, BSN, RN, CEN.

Community Comes Together to Make Gowns for DECH

May 2020 Machias – In mid-March, Down East Community Hospital’s VP of Quality, Monique Mills, asked the DECH Auxiliary if they could provide the hospital with 50 handmade isolation gowns to be used as a backup to our personal protective equipment inventory.   The hospital and the Auxiliary agreed to split the cost of the supplies.  Kathy Land, Auxilian and Board Member, on the project, “After reviewing CDC guidelines and some discussion, we agreed to order our fabric and other supplies online from JoAnn fabrics or from Amazon.  That turned out to be easier said than done as fabric and other supplies were either out of stock, in stock and later cancelled, partially shipped, back ordered for a couple of months, etc.

Monique asked that the gowns have cuffs for the sleeves, and this also turned out to be a challenge.  Premade cuffs were out of stock as was the knit fabric with appropriate stretch and recovery.  At this point Carol Bryan came to the rescue with the idea that we use the ribbed tops of socks as cuffs for the sleeves of the gowns.  Such a clever idea and they work beautifully.

When some of the fabric was back ordered and we were unsure we would ever receive it, we decided to go ahead with what we had.  Lisa Carlisle donated fabric from her stash at home and a 94-year-old lady friend of Carol’s donated fabric because she was no longer able to sew and help make gowns.

We have finished production and was able to provide Monique with 54 gowns, thanks to the work of some dedicated Auxiliary members and friends!”

“We would like to thank the Auxiliary and all the special people who put such talent and care into making these incredible gowns; Kathy Land, Lisa Carlisle, Gail Peters, Sharon Dean, Bett Daley, Kathy Burke, Kathy Rioux, Carol Bryan and her friend. This was no small feat and we want you all to know how much this act of kindness is appreciated.” Steve Lail, President & CEO.

“It is always nice to have back up plans in place during a pandemic. The donation of these washable gowns helps to ensure we can continue to deliver care safely in a time where things are ever evolving. Protecting our staff and patients are of key importance. We understand a lot of time and creative thought was put into this project and we are grateful for this community support. It is heartwarming to know this group is always willing to help in any way that they can. The gowns are just as beautiful as their acts of kindness!”  Monique Mills, BSN, RN, CIC, Vice President of Quality/Interim CNO.

Appreciating Pat’s Pizza

April 2020 Machias – Bill Burke, owner of Pat’s Pizza in Machias, began the weeklong deliveries to the staff at Down East Community on April 20.  Bill made deliveries during the day, evening, and night shifts.  The provider practices in Machias, Milbridge, and Jonesport, were not forgotten either. He delivered boxes and boxes of pizza to show Pat’s appreciation to all our staff who have worked each day of the pandemic to care for the community.

“It’s been a difficult couple of months.  All our staff were very appreciative of the generous, thoughtful gesture.  It makes you feel pretty special when someone does something so totally unexpected.  Bill is a nice guy and we appreciate what he does for us and the community.” Steve Lail, CEO of Down East Community Hospital.

MMHS Teacher Provides Crucial PPE to DECH

April 2020 Machias – Machias Memorial High School Physical Sciences teacher, Jim Lenke, reached out to the hospital to ask if we needed face shields.  Yes, was the answer!  Mr. Lenke used the school’s 3D printers to make visors that were designed with notches spaced across the front of the visor.  These notches were designed to be matched with and fit into the holes made by a 3-hole punch. The reason that is important is it made it easy to produce the plastic shields that would be attached to the visors.  The visors and the face shields were made so they could be easily decontaminated, and the faces shields can be easily replaced when they need to be.  The plan is for each frontline staffer to have their own visor for their use.  So far, visors with face shields have been distributed to the Laboratory, Cardiopulmonary, and Emergency Department staff.  The next round will be distributed to the front-line staff on the inpatient floor.

Hospital CEO, Steve Lail, on the face shields, “We were prepared to pay for the visors, but Mr. Lenke talked with Principal, Brian Leavitt, and he waived all costs.  Machias Memorial High School straight up donated everything! We put out there that we needed PPE, our community comes up with a way to provide us with PPE.  It’s pretty amazing really.”  “We love these face shields and are grateful for and proud of our community that just keeps on giving.” Carrie Cassidy, BSN, RN,CEN, Emergency Department Director.

DECH Patients Will Benefit from New Low-Dose CT System from GE

March 2020 Machias – Down East Community Hospital’s physicians are now able to provide quality diagnostic services at lower radiation doses thanks to the recent arrival of a new CT system. The system, called Revolution* EVO, was installed and ready for use on February 19, 2020 and patients are already benefiting from the advance technology and our ability to use this new system to lower average radiation exposures during CT scans.

“Last year we purchased a new MRI and now we have been able to upgrade our CT System. We are more than just a little excited to be able to bring these upgraded systems to the people of Washington County.”

Today, more than 70 million computed tomography (CT) scans are done per year in the U.S. with tremendous clinical value in helping physicians to provide a fast and definitive diagnosis across a wide range of applications.  CT is a non-invasive and expedient way to look inside the body at organs, soft tissues, vascular structures and bones using x-rays to generate very high-resolution images of the body.  It does this by rotating an x-ray source and detector around the patient as the patient is moved through the device.

With higher resolution than previous technologies, patients not only will get a more diagnostically accurate scan but will also have a better experience during the procedure.  Revolution EVO comes equipped with ASiR*, GE’s proprietary next generation low dose technology, which allows us to provide high quality CT scans at low radiation dose.  Furthermore, clinicians can help reduce patient anxiety with Revolution EVO as the scanner’s unique design allows the operator to spend more time with the patient and less time in front of a computer in an operator’s room, noise is reduced making the experience more comfortable, and faster rotation speeds allow for shorter exam times.

Revolution EVO delivers high definition imaging across the entire body, helping physicians make a confident diagnosis across variety of applications such as, cardiac exams, brain imaging, Low dose, whole organ diagnosis and follow-up for oncology patients, detailed bone imaging, and low dose scans for pediatric patients.

Rehabilitation Therapist Brings Special Certifications to DECH

January 2020 Machias – Down East Community Hospital is excited to welcome Physical Therapist, Monika Burk MPT, CMTPT/DN, to our Rehabilitation Department located at 76 Dublin Street in Machias.  Monika has 18 years of experience as a physical therapist and has special certifications as well, one is Trigger Point Dry Needling and the other is LSVT BIG.

The Dry Needling certification requires extensive training with more than 90 hours of instruction and successful completion of both a written and practical exam.  This is a supplemental procedure used in conjunction with other treatments that has been shown to be highly successful in treatment of common conditions including:  headache, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel, frozen shoulder, IT band syndrome.  This method of treatment is not appropriate for everyone.  A trained and certified professional determines if this is the best option for treatment.

LSVT BIG is a standardized treatment protocol developed for Parkinson’s Disease.  Initial certification with recertification every 2 years is required to provide this method of treatment.  The program is customized to the unique goals of each patient including both gross and fine motor skills.  It can be adapted or progressed to meet each patient’s needs across a range of disease severity and presenting impairments.  Research has shown improved ratings on tests of motor functioning following treatment including:  faster walking with bigger steps, improved balance, increased trunk rotation, improvements in activities of daily living such as bed mobility.  The following website provides additional information about LSVT BIG www.LSVTglobal.com.

An appointment can be made through your practitioner.  Please call Down East Community Rehabilitation at 255-0258 for more information.

DECH Welcomes the First Baby of 2020

January 2020 Machias – DECH welcomes its first baby of 2020!  Alison Furman, of Princeton, gave birth to Chase Alexander Furman at 9:14am on January 3.  Chase, who is cuddly and very sweet, weighed in at 6 pounds and 13 ounces.

Alison was happy to be presented with the New Year’s baby basket that overflowed with gifts from Down East Community Hospital and area businesses.

Thank you to all who helped us welcome Chase to our Community: Archibald’s, Advanced Auto Parts, Bangor Savings Bank, Bar Harbor Savings Bank, Berry Vines, Bella Vita, Bluebird Restaurant, Colleen’s Hair Salon, Hammond Lumber, Hannaford’s, Helen’s Restaurant, Hing Garden, Kay Richmond, Machias Dental, Machias Family Pharmacy, Machias River General Store, Machias Savings Bank, NAPA, Subway, Tom’s Mini Mart, True Value, Viking Lumber, Ultimate Image Hair Salon, Whole Life Natural Market.