Pen Bay Partners in Care Council links Pen Bay, community

Nov 04, 2012
Members of the Pen Bay Medical Center Partners in Care Council. From left, Alan Leo of Thomaston, Megan Williams of Pen Bay Healthcare Communications, Drucinda Woodman of Rockland, Marty Martens of Camden, Debby Wheelock of Tenants Harbor, Paula Schuessler of Lincolnville, Carolyn Montague of Owls Head, Paula Delahanty of Pen Bay Medical Center Nursing Services, Spring Hanna of Pen Bay Patient Relations, Emily Lusher of West Rockport, Ron Howard of Rockport, Stephen Hanscom of Rockland. Not pictured: Joanne Billington of Rockland.

Rockport — Pen Bay Medical Center announced its commitment to a patient- and family-centered approach to care in July 2010. At that time, the patient and family advisory council was formed to give patients and families a voice in decisions affecting patient care and family experiences at Pen Bay Medical Center. This council, now entering its third year, recently voted to change their name to the Pen Bay Partners in Care Council to highlight the partnership between patients, families and the hospital.

This important group has continued to meet monthly at the Pen Bay Physicians Building. The council currently has 13 members, including nine community representatives from Knox and Waldo County, as well as four Pen Bay representatives. In the past two years, the council has had an important role making changes at Pen Bay, including: improving the patient billing experience, improvements in the Emergency Department and increasing healthy food choices in vending machines.

Council members include Joanne Billington of Rockland, Stephen Hanscom of Rockland, Ron Howard of Rockport, Alan Leo of Thomaston, Emily Lusher of W. Rockport, Marty Martens of Camden, Paula Schuessler of Lincolnville, Drucinda Woodman of Rockland and Debby Wheelock of Tenants Harbor.

Pen Bay representatives on the council include Spring Hanna, patient relations coordinator for Pen Bay Medical Center, registered nurse Paula Delahanty, vice president of nursing services at Pen Bay, Megan Williams, director of marketing and communications for Pen Bay Healthcare and Carolyn Montague, mental health technician at the Psychiatric and Addiction Recovery Center, an in-patient unit of Pen Bay Medical Center.

The council is one way of many that Pen Bay implements a patient- and family-centered model of care — emphasizing the partnership between patients and families and the people who provide their healthcare. The core concepts of partnership care are dignity and respect, information sharing, participation and collaboration.

"The council is comprised of enthusiastic, committed community members who challenge us to be a hospital that is responsive to our community’s needs. It is an active group, willing to step up and speak out for our patients," said Spring Hanna, who facilitates this group, in a news release. "With a few more members, the council can be an even more powerful asset to Pen Bay. It is a privilege to work alongside this devoted team."

The Partners in Care are currently recruiting new community members from demographics not yet represented on the council. Please contact Spring Hanna for more information at 596-8495 or Hanna encourages the community to contact her or council members with questions or issues.

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