By Becky Pritchard
BAR HARBOR — A new palliative care program and partnerships to address opioid addiction were among the recent accomplishments cited at Mount Desert Island Hospital’s annual meeting Monday at the Bar Harbor Club.
The meeting began with a dedication to the late Leroy Harding, a hospital employee of 36 years who died in a house fire earlier this year.
Hospital President/CEO Arthur Blank said the Palliative Care Program will improve the quality of life of seriously ill patients “by integrating the physical, social and spiritual elements of care,” Blank said.
The hospital has also opened a Weekend Care Clinic, and developed a partnership with the Downeast Substance Treatment Network and Healthy Acadia to offer treatment for opioid addiction.
The hospital organization finished its 2017-2018 fiscal year in the black with a net operating gain of $2.2 million, according to its 2018 Annual Report.
The organization has more than 500 employees. It provided $4 million in free and uncompensated care to the community during year, according to the report.
Dr. Edward J. Benz, Jr. delivered the keynote speech about developments in cancer research and treatment. Benz is the former President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Boston.
“Cancer is not a disease,” he told the crowd. “Rather,” he said, “it is a large group of diseases that have something in common: inappropriately growing cells that invade and spread.”
Because of this, he said, “it is unlikely that there will be a single cure for all cancers with a ‘magic bullet’ like the polio vaccine.” He went on to offer hope, with new cures such as immunotherapy, which are being developed to “take cancers down one and a few at a time.”
Dr. Edward Gilmore, Patricia Hand, Dr. Julian Kuffler, Martha Wagner and Noelle Wolf were reelected to the hospital’s board of trustees for three-year terms.
Also at the meeting, the hospital board elected incorporators, whose role is to elect candidates to the board of trustees. Those elected were Michael Boland, Sam Coplon, Ellen Dohmen, William Dohmen, Gary Friedmann, Glenon Friedmann, Richard Fox, Barbara Fox, Karol Hagberg, Victor Hand, Stanley Harmon, Joanne Harris, Judy Holmes, Sally Anne Kellogg, Dr. Leung Lee, Edward B. Lipkin, Kathryn Lucchesi, Durlin Lunt, Kathy MacLeod, Isabel Mancinelli, Karen McFarland, Joe Minutolo, Jeannine Ross, Chris Saunders, Martha Searchfield, Deirdre Swords, Christine Witham, Carol Woolman and Warren Worcester.
The annual meeting concluded with the announcement of the MDI Hospital Employee of the Year. This year’s recipient is
Nutrition Services Aide James Thompson. He was selected by his fellow employees for his “dedication, commitment, positive energy and contagious smile.”