Building to be named for man who died outside Down East hospital

Posted Sept. 13, 2011, at 6:31 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — Down East Community Hospital will dedicate its Medical Associates Building on Saturday afternoon in memory of Reid Wilder Emery. Emery died in 2008 after walking away from the hospital in a snowstorm, precipitating a long series of events, inspections and court actions that led to Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems being given emergency control of DECH.

Emery, 61, left Down East Community Hospital with no jacket and only slippers on his feet on Jan. 1, 2008, against the wishes of doctors and nurses. His body was found a day later, partially buried under fresh snow, a few hundred feet from the hospital.

The ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at 229 Main St. The public is invited to join the Emery family at the dedication.

Down East Community Hospital officials approached Margaret Emery last year to share all of its progress and “the terrible, but tremendously valuable, lessons learned from the tragic death of Mr. Emery,” according to hospital spokeswoman Julie Hixon.

“Not wanting to forget these lessons, CEO Doug Jones proposed a memorial to celebrate the life of Reid Emery and honor the sad sacrifice and lessons learned,” Hixon said Tuesday. “Mrs. Emery chose the medical office building because of the kind and caring services provided to Mr. Emery by Dr. Aziz Massaad whose office is in the newly renovated Reid Emery Medical Building.”

According to Hixon, Margaret Emery said she is very pleased with the dedication. Hixon said Emery told Jones, “I’m grateful that the hospital has embraced this tragedy and, while moving forward, will never forget my husband and the lessons learned from his death.”

State Senate President Kevin Raye, who lives in Eastport, where the Emery family also resides, will address the gathering. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

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