As many have seen in recent weeks, there is growing turmoil for the hospitals that make up Central Maine Healthcare (CMH): Central Maine Medical Center, Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital.
After staff at all three hospitals voted no confidence in Central Maine Healthcare CEO Jeff Brickman, the Board of Central Maine Healthcare elected last week to keep Brickman on as CEO.
“The board’s action is guided by our fiduciary responsibility to CMH and its mission, meaning that it is our responsibility as board members to act in the best long-term interests of CMH, including ensuring that it remains financially viable,” chairwoman Deborah Avasthi told the Press Herald.
As a result, notable leaders at CMH are stepping down, including R. David Frum, who resigned from his post as president of the Bridgton and Rumford hospitals on Aug. 3.
Despite all that has unfolded, there are still many questions left unanswered for these hospitals, their staff and the surrounding communities.
What will happen to the doctors and staff who voted against the CEO? If the doctors and staff leave who will run the hospitals?
Does the Board plan to replace them with docile doctors and staff who are more amenable to the CEO’s system-driven medical services?
Will the patient-centered services that have served the Bridgton community and surrounding areas so well now disappear?
How will reducing from a hospital to a clinic affect the medical services now available to Bridgton area residents?
Is it true that the CEO and his team, brought in from outside, don’t own homes in Maine; have no skin in the game? Will the CEO and his team move on to greener pastures within the next two years?
Bridgton Hospital’s staff has an exceptional commitment and love for their community and for each other. This is reflected in Bridgton’s success. A success built on heart and a true passion for doing what is best for Bridgton’s patients.
Good community hospitals are hard to come by; Bridgton is one the very best in the country. The difference is Bridgton is driven by the patient’s and not the system’s needs. Using systems to achieve efficiency in the delivery of medical care can be beneficial as long as they are designed to assist in, not determine, patient care.