December 15, 2017
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Awards Kept Coming in 2015 for Cary Medical Center

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The year 2015 was an award winning year for Cary Medical Center. From being named one of the nation’s top ten hospitals by consumer reports to its most recent award as one of America’s Top Rural Hospitals by the Leap Frog Group, the Caribou hospital has gained national recognition for patient safety and patient experience. Other awards included the Avatar ‘Best Overall Performer’ award for the fourth year in a row and ‘Exceeding Patient Expectations’ for the ninth year in a row. Only four other hospitals among the 600 surveyed by Avatar, nationwide, have ever achieved such consistent recognition. The hospital also received an ‘A’ grade in patient safety from the Leapfrog Group in 2015. Cary has earned an ‘A’ score every year since the group began grading hospitals for their efforts to keep patients safe. Only 33 hospitals in the nation have performed at this level. Kris Doody, RN, and CEO for Cary Medical Center said that the award winning performance of the hospital is a result of a continuing effort to improve the quality of care provided at the hospital with a focus on compassionate care for patients and families.
“We work very hard every day to ensure that our clinical practices are consistent with national benchmarks and we strive for 100% on every clinical measure”, said Doody who has focused on clinical quality and patient experience since being appointed CEO in 1999. “By being constantly vigilant in meeting these standards that are established by national organizations we know that we are providing the best, evidence based care to our patients. Everyone, including our providers, clinical and support staff and volunteers contribute to this process and working together as a team has been the key to our success.”
While clinical quality has been a major priority in delivering care to patients at the hospital there has also been a continuing effort to build a culture of compassion. Doody said that Cary has established a reputation for exceeding patient expectations and that the hospital is building on a very solid foundation.
“Over the years we have built a culture at Cary that is centered on the patient experience”, said Doody, who was born at Cary Memorial Hospital and has spent her entire career at Cary. “You can feel that culture when you walk in our doors. This is something that is just part of our organizational DNA and has been built over generations by those who have come before us. Preserving that culture is an ongoing priority for all of us.”
The hospital also received 2015 Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best Hospitals for Patient Experience in Obstetrics from ‘Women Certified’. This is the second year in a row that Cary has received this award.
In addition to awards for clinical quality, patient safety and patient experience, the hospital has also
marked other highlights during 2015. Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home) serving Veterans in Aroostook County was extended into 2016. Some 1600 Veterans have received specialty care through the program generating more than 13,000 visits. Doody pointed out that the work to preserve Project ARCH
“Project ARCH has provided a great benefit to Veterans here in Aroostook County” said Doody who testified before congress earlier this year in support of the program. “It has been a privilege for Cary to serve our Veterans and we are doing all we can to preserve the service on a permanent basis.”
Cary opened the new Jefferson Cary Cancer Center in December after establishing its first full time cancer service. The center was the beneficiary of more than $60,000 in donations to support renovations. Regen Gallagher, DO, and Chief Medical Officer at Cary has administrative responsibility for the Oncology program.
“We are so pleased with our new cancer center and so grateful for the support we have received from the community”, said Gallagher who helped coordinate the renovation project. “Patients and families have responded well to the design and it reflects on our approach to patient comfort and convenience”.
Another major highlight of 2015 was the number of newborns delivered by the hospital. With a delivery on Christmas Day and expectations for additional births before the end of the year the hospital is approaching the largest number of deliveries since 1993. Jen Plante, RN and manager of the hospitals maternal child unit said that the growing number of deliveries is exciting for staff.
“Our deliveries have grown dramatically”, said Plante who has managed the unit since 2008. “This is remarkable when you consider that the number of childbearing age women in Aroostook County is declining. Our staff is so excited by this level of activity and we are looking forward to even greater numbers in 2016.”
Cary launches 2016 with a major patient room renovation project. All patient rooms on the Acute Care Unit will be remodeled over the next several months. This is the first major room renovation since the hospital was opened in 1978. Shawn Anderson, Chief Operating Officer at Cary said that the remodeling will provide for improved patient comfort and environment of care.
“The people who worked to build Cary Medical Center were visionary and designed the hospital with all private patient rooms. That was unique for hospitals back in the 1970s”, said Anderson who is coordinating the project. “These rooms have done us very well over the years but they are now in need of major renovation. We have spent a good deal of time working this room re-design with a focus on patient safety, and reducing clutter. We also looked at improving visitor comforts and the work space for staff caring for the patient. We are very pleased with the results and hope to have several re-designed rooms open for patients early in 2016.”
The room renovation project will cost some 1.2 million dollars with nearly fifty percent of the cost being provided by the Jefferson Cary Estate a residual fund that was created from the legacy of the hospital’s founder Dr. Jefferson Cary.
The hospital will continue room renovations into next year with the Maternal, Child unit slated for remodeling in the next round of renovations.