MDI Hospital joins collaborative

BAR HARBOR — Five hospitals in Maine, including Mount Desert Island Hospital, have announced the formation of the Maine Rural Health Collaborative LLC with the goal of preserving and enhancing healthcare within the communities they serve.

The hospitals include Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent, Cary Medical Center in Caribou, Houlton Regional Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor and MDI.

The formal announcement of the collaborative was made at a meeting of the five hospital CEOs and members of their boards of directors held on March 12 in Bangor.

Art Blank, CEO of Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, said that physician shortages and the aging healthcare workforce are issues that the collaborative will want to address.

“We are all facing the challenges of physician recruitment and other manpower issues,” said Blank. “Individually, we have all tried various ideas to improve upon the situation, but it is still a significant challenge. By coming together, we can discuss solutions and bring our voices to the table advocating for state and federal policies that will provide incentives for health professionals to serve in rural communities.”

Peggy Pinkham has been hired as the executive director of the collaborative.

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