Letter to Editor: A rare jewel

To the Editor:

At last week’s annual meeting of the Mount Desert Island Hospital, Board Chairman Jimmy Bright reminded us of the hospital’s simple but eloquent mission — neighbors caring for and about neighbors.

As some of your readers know, I am a retired physician from Southwest Harbor who remains keenly interested in and concerned about the delivery of personalized health care to all of our neighbors.

Most of the time that interest and concern is informed by my professional background and experience. Recently, however, I was hospitalized for 11 days, and I am writing to share my views of the hospital from the perspective of an acutely ill inpatient.

I was transported across the island by ambulance at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 4 and the attendants couldn’t have been more attendant.

Once at the hospital, I entered a busy Emergency Department in which all of the staff with whom I had contact introduced themselves, explained what seemed to be my problem in a very reassuring manner, repeatedly asked if I was comfortable and if I had any questions.

By about 5 p.m. it was clear that I had to be admitted and treated with intravenous antibiotics for an acute, diffuse, colitis (inflammation of the colon or large intestine). I was then transferred to a bed on the Medical-Surgical floor, where I remained for the next 10 days.

Throughout that time, I was treated each day by an extraordinary group of highly skilled, experienced, caring and responsive nurses, aides, hospitalists and consulting surgeon. All of these individuals prided themselves on their professionalism, expertise, and developing a personal relationship with their patient — namely, me!

Clearly, each of them was well aware of Dr. Francis Peabody’s dictum at Harvard in the 1920’s that “the care of the patient is in the caring.”

In preparation for my discharge, I also was evaluated by Occupational and Physical Therapy to ensure that I was ready to return home and care for myself in that setting, which included showering, climbing up and down stairs and performing the basic functions of daily living.

This has been an extraordinary experience for me, and I cannot emphasize enough how indebted I am and how fortunate we are to have the MDI Hospital as our neighbor as it continues to maintain its independence and commitment to personalized care.

Naturally, CEO Art Blank, CFO Chrissi Maguire-Harding and the Board of Trustees deserve an enormous amount of credit for preserving the hospital’s independence. In addition, however, it is the collective day-in and day-out effort of the hospital’s dedicated staff, nurses, doctors, aides, orderlies and support staff that make our hospital such a jewel ready and waiting to serve us 365 days a year.

Dick Dimond

Southwest Harbor

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