AUGUSTA — Five rural Maine hospitals, including Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, have received an award from the federal Office of Rural Health Policy, lending them technical assistance aimed at strengthening their business structures, community engagement efforts, and strategic alliances with other Maine hospitals.
The announcement was made recently by Commissioner of the Maine Department Health and Human Services Jeanne Lambrew, who said the federal award provides this technical assistance via a newly established program, known as the Center for Optimizing Rural Health, through Texas A&M’s Rural and Community Health Institute.
The Center will provide both remote and on-site technical assistance to vulnerable hospitals across the country, with the goal of gathering an understanding of current economic challenges, community health needs, and will identify ways in which these hospitals can keep needed care local.
This opportunity was awarded to just 25 rural hospitals throughout the nation following a very competitive application process, with more than 1,000 applications submitted.
The following Maine hospitals were selected to receive this award:
* Penobscot Valley Hospital, Lincoln
* C.A. Dean Hospital, Greenville
* Sabasticook Valley Hospital, Pittsfield
* Mayo Regional Hospital, Dover-Foxcroft
* Calais Regional Hospital, Calais
“Improving Maine’s rural health systems is important to the future of our state,” said Lambrew. “These awards are an important step forward as we work to support rural hospitals and health systems, which are critical to ensuring that those who call rural Maine home are able to stay safe and healthy.”
The department’s Rural Health and Primary Care Program assisted these hospitals through the application process by providing additional data and resources. It will continue to lead the Department’s efforts to provide quality, accessible, and affordable health care to those Mainers who live in remote parts of the state.
More information on the Center for Optimizing Rural Health can be found at: optimizingruralhealth.org.