SMHC Community Letter

Dear Community Leaders,

I wanted to provide an update from Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) on the COVID-19 pandemic. It appears that we have weathered the initial COVID-19 wave and have begun planning to carefully and thoughtfully re-start care in phases that align with Governor Mill’s plan to reopen the State. 

Before discussing our plans, I want to recognize the hard work that has gone into the response to the COVID-19 pandemic to-date. The willingness of our communities and our care team members to pitch-in to help overcome challenges has been impressive and makes me proud to live in York County and work at SMHC.

Resuming operations in an environment where COVID-19 exists in our communities is a complex exercise.  We remain committed to maintaining the highest safety standards for both our patients and our care team. These efforts include employee and patient screening, universal masking, facility enhancements, verbal consent, the use of non-traditional waiting rooms, visitation restrictions, social distancing, hand hygiene, telehealth services, and more. You can read more about MaineHealth’s approach to resuming services here.


Here is a highlight of our current remobilization efforts:


· Inpatient Care: We have demobilized our COVID-specific units and returned our Intensive Care Unit to its previous function. This work was done in a way to ensure we are able to quickly remobilize within 24 hours if a surge occurs.


· Respiratory Care Centers & Testing: Appropriate Testing and care of patients with respiratory illnesses now take place at the Saco and Sanford Walk-In Care Centers.


· Non-Respiratory related Walk-In Care: Now offered in a separate, safe environment at these locations:

  • Saco Walk-In: 655 Main Street, Saco

  • Kennebunk Walk-In: 2 Livewell Drive, Kennebunk

  • Sanford Family Medicine: 25 June St. Goodall Medical Office Building

  • Community Phone Triage: Patients are encouraged to call 866-722-5165 to speak with a care team member for help finding the best place to go for your health care needs based on your individual symptoms.

· Primary Care & Specialty Care: We have expanded the use of telehealth for appropriate office visits and will be instituting a new framework for necessary in-person visits.


· Surgical Services: We have begun a phased approach to resuming time-sensitive surgical services. This gradual approach will include a new process to appropriately screen and test surgical patients to ensure the best outcomes.

Thank you all for your support, now and always. We know that we can get through this together. If you have any questions or needs, please contact Allison Kenty, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, akenty@smhc.org

Respectfully,


Nate Howell

President, Southern Maine Health Care

207-283-7220 | NHowell@smhc.org

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