Rockland forum set on hospital merger – Rockland – Camden – Knox – Courier-Gazette

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Rockland — The public will have another opportunity to comment on a proposal that would have Pen Bay Medical Center, Waldo County General Hospital and local related organizations fall under the authority of a single statewide board of trustees.

MaineHealth has scheduled a forum on the proposed unification on Monday, Sept. 18 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Rockland City Hall.

The concerns voiced thus far at forums held in Camden and Belfast, as well as from physicians from both Midcoast hospitals, is the loss of local control.

The proposed unification would give both Pen Bay and Waldo County General one member on the statewide MaineHealth Board of approximately 25 members. This would last for five years, at which time a decision would be made on whether to change representation and the size of the board.

A service could not be eliminated at a hospital within the MaineHealth system, under the proposed unification, unless at least two-thirds of the board members agreed.

Waldo County became an affiliate member of MaineHealth in 2009 and Pen Bay became an affiliate member at the end of 2010. Pen Bay and Waldo County’s boards of directors merged into a single board, named Coastal Healthcare Alliance, in 2015.

MaineHealth oversees hospitals and other health care facilities in the state, with its flagship being Maine Medical Center in Portland. In addition to Pen Bay and Waldo County, the hospitals include Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, Miles Campus and Hospital in Damariscotta, St. Andrews in Boothbay Harbor, Southern Maine Healthcare in Biddeford and Sanford, and Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H. Maine Behavioral Health is also a member of MaineHealth, as is the clinical laboratory NorDx in Scarborough.

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