Director of Inpatient Nursing Lori Rowley, left, presents CNA Cheryl Kolodziej with Mount Desert Island Hospital’s Employee of the Year Award at the hospital’s annual meeting Monday. At right is Charlotte Winger, swing bed coordinator. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Hospital marks 120 years



BAR HARBOR — Bow ties were everywhere during the annual meeting of the Mount Desert Island Hospital organization Monday in honor of Dr. Edward Gilmore. He was the hospital’s chief medical officer and retired this year after more than 46 years of service.

The distinctive bows were found in table centerpieces, on cupcakes and in photos of employees in the organization’s annual report. Gilmore has always worn them in favor of straight ties following a long tradition in the medical field, because they’re less likely to get in the way when caring for patients.

Gilmore received praise from Ruth Lyons, the hospital VP of quality and safety, Gordon Smith of the Maine Medical Association and Sen. Angus King by video. Hospital employees also sent well wishes in a tribute video.

“Primary care is under siege,” Smith said, “and any successful transformation of our health care system must include the humanity and compassion of people like Dr. Gilmore.”

Lyons said Gilmore was consistently supportive and encouraging of nurses, staff and patients alike. “He knew how to do ‘team’ before it was the buzzword,” she said.

In the video, Lyons said directly to Gilmore, “You’re my hero.”

The hospital also is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. It began as the Bar Harbor Medical and Surgical Hospital with $10,000 in private donations in 1897. The region’s needs have evolved since then, hospital President and CEO Art Blank said, and MDI Hospital today is a system with 26 active physicians and 512 employees. It includes Birch Bay Retirement Village, health centers in Trenton and Southwest Harbor, a seasonal clinic in Northeast Harbor, a community dental center and teaching partnerships with medical schools.

The hospital ended its 2016-2017 fiscal year in the black, with a net operating gain of $3.7 million, according to its annual report. The hospital billed for more than $87 million in services, although that did not translate equally to revenue due to differing reimbursement rates. The hospital provided $4.7 million in free and uncompensated care.

“We’re committed to keeping this hospital locally governed, locally controlled and independent,” CFO Chrissi Maguire-Harding said in her treasurer’s report.

MDI Hospital received the largest foundation grant in its history this year – $1 million from the Manton Foundation of New York. It was matched by local fundraising to replace the hospital’s emergency generator.

Cheryl Kolodziej, who serves as secretary in the medical-surgical unit and as a CNA, was recognized as Employee of the Year.

Jim Bright, David Einhorn and Sara Fina were reelected to the board of trustees. New board members Madeleine Braun and Gilmore were elected “just to make sure you don’t get too far away,” Bright joked to Gilmore. A slate of 23 “incorporators” – a group of community members who agree to support the hospital by volunteering, contributing money and acting as community ambassadors – also was approved.