Your donations to Maine Medical Center make our award-winning patient care possible.
Because Maine Medical Center fills a unique role as both a community hospital and a regional referral center, our hospital requires an unparalleled depth and breadth of patient services. From specialty care to free care your financial involvement ensures the latest technologies and services are on hand when you, your family, and your neighbors, near and far, need it most.
Safe patient and family centered care is at the heart of all we do. Your financial support is guaranteed to have a profound impact on the average 32,000 in-patients and several hundred-thousand outpatients who look to us for healing each year.
The following are just some of the opportunities for you to make a difference.
General support of patient care at Maine Medical Center covers the functional clinical areas of Adult Medicine Services, Cardiovascular Services, Neuroscience Services, Surgical Services, Oncology Services, and Women’s and Children’s Services. Your support of our clinical services contributes to patient care at every stage including medicine, emergency services, and our award-winning nursing care.
Population Health and Prevention
Recently, our Board of Trustees approved a strategic plan that includes prioritizing our hospital’s leadership to help Maine become the healthiest state in the nation. Public health issues such as childhood obesity, asthma health, cardiovascular rehabilitation, and others are addressed in part through Maine Medical Center initiatives such as Let’s Go!, AH!, and Turning Point. Support of these programs is a great investment in disease prevention.
Division of Palliative Care - End of Life Education Initiative
One of Maine Medical Center’s Annual Implementation Plan priorities is for the improvement of palliative care institution-wide. In particular, the institution is committed to provider and staff education, disease specific implementation plans, and the training of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) facilitators.
Palliate means to relieve, lessen, and mitigate suffering. Palliative care then means patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Throughout the continuum of illness palliative care involves addressing the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs to facilitate patient autonomy, access to information, and choice. While palliative care often dovetails hospice it is actually employed when a patient is first diagnosed with a life-ending disease. It is used to help navigate the trajectory of illness and help the patient and their family transition through the phases of end of life including the phase when life lengthening therapies are employed. One markedly distinguishing feature of palliative care is the emphasis on regular conversations regarding the patient’s goals, values and wishes for their care during this time. For the family, palliative care facilitates the conversations necessary to guide the kind of difficult and emotionally charged decisions that arise at end of life when the patient is no longer able to speak on their own behalf.
Ninety percent of all Americans desire to be at home when they die. However, 65-70% of us die in institutions. Along with this, 25-35% of people receive intensive care or high-tech treatment prior to their deaths when much of these interventions prove ineffective. These outcomes could be avoided with solid end of life care planning in place. Maine is one of a handful of states to have adopted POLST in an effort to ensure that patient’s wishes are honored. POLST is a signed medical order regarding resuscitation, medical interventions, and artificially administered nutrition for patients who are nearing the end of their lives. Most importantly it has the level of specificity required to readily inform first responders and eliminate ambiguity that can otherwise leave families and care providers divided in their decision-making.
As a health care community, Maine Medical Center always strives to deliver excellent care, centered on our patients and their families. One of the most powerful ways to do so is clarifying the wishes of patients, as they prepare for the end of life, and then respecting their choices. That is why palliative care that includes staff who are trained to facilitate important end of life conversations along with the offering of POLST is part of the institution’s top priorities in the upcoming year. Typically, insurance only covers a portion of these services, yet Maine Medical Center underwrites the balance because we believe in the importance of palliative care as the right thing for our patients. Therefore, we rely on philanthropy to ensure that these palliative care services are robust and available to all who need them. Please consider making a financial donation in support of the Palliative Care program at Maine Medical Center today. More information on the program can be found by visiting the Center for Pain and Palliative Care.
“We got the most out of the last few days or few weeks with my mother and I think she got the most too. She had an amazing support system from everyone... Who can sit here, who truly loved a parent so much, and sit with a giant smile and talk about their death? I never thought I’d be able to. I can never from the bottom of my heart thank the care team that made that happen.” - Grateful Family Member
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