Mount Desert Island Hospital’s Employee of the Year, Kelli Mitchell, left, received a plaque and bouquet of flowers from Ruth Lyons, vice president of quality and safety, at the hospital’s 2015 annual meeting Monday at the Bar Harbor Club. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDI HOSPITAL

Hospital celebrates tradition, sees change

BAR HARBOR — The community has great confidence and pride in Mount Desert Island Hospital, board of trustees Chairman Vince Messer said at the hospital’s annual meeting Monday. In remarks at the Bar Harbor Club, he cited the many awards the hospital earned this year. Speakers at the meeting stressed that continued excellence will require adaptability, as changes in technology and health care delivery accelerate.

The hospital’s chief financial officer, Chrissy Maguire-Harding, described a set of changes in a movement from a volume-based reimbursement model in health care to a value-based model.

“We can’t hide from change. We have to participate in it. We’ve included these changes in our strategic planning and financial forecasting. Now we’re beginning to adapt our delivery model. I hope next year I’ll be speaking to you about how we’re implementing the new system.”

The hospital had a positive operating margin of about $600,000 for its fiscal year 2015, she said, with a $1.6 million gain in net assets. The hospital billed for more than $78 million in services, although that did not translate equally to revenue due to differing reimbursement rates. $1.9 million in restricted and unrestricted donations came in, but a loss of about $150,000 was recorded from investment activities.

Another category of change was introduced by keynote speaker Dr. Rafael Grossman, a surgeon at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He spoke about opportunities to use technology to improve doctor-patient interaction and the quality and efficiency of health care. In June of 2013, he became the first doctor to use Google Glass, a set of eyewear connected to the internet, during live surgery. He sent a live stream video from his perspective of the gastrostomy procedure to a nearby iPad.

He said he got the idea that video links could be useful in many health care applications, from medical education to telemedicine and mobile health, from regular video chats with his family in Venezuela. He hopes appropriate use of technology can reduce both cost and preventable medical errors. “Technology is as good as its uses,” he said, noting that some current uses of technology amount to “doing the same thing we always have but in a fancier way.”

Employee of the year Kelli Mitchell received a plaque and flowers from Ruth Lyons, vice president of quality and safety. Mitchell, the patient advocate and service excellence coordinator, was nominated by fellow employees for the honor. “There’s never any grass that grows under her feet,” Lyons said. Mitchell has been equally effective supporting patients getting insurance for the first time and when they receive a critical diagnosis, she said. She also has been an effective team builder within the hospital staff.

Patricia Hand, Julian Kuffler and Noelle Wolf were reelected to the board of trustees. New board member Martha Wagner was elected. A slate of 30 “incorporators” – a group of community members who agree to support the hospital by volunteering, contributing money and acting as community ambassadors – also was approved.

The meeting was dedicated to Gerrish H. Milliken Jr., a major donor to the hospital, and to longtime hospital trustee Dr. Julius R. Krevans, both of whom passed away this year.


Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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