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New services and a steadily growing demand for them were highlights of Mount Desert Island Hospital’s annual meeting, held Monday, August 17th at the Bar Harbor Club.

For MDI Hospital, 2009 was “a year of growth and achievement,” said President and CEO Art Blank. Board Chairman Terry Musson applauded the Hospital for several awards won, including a seventh consecutive Overall Patient Satisfaction award given to a select few hospitals nationwide.
Brad Perkins, the Hospital’s Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, reported acute patient days showed a modest increase over the previous year, but the Hospital’s Swing Bed program for patients needing rehabilitation services saw an extraordinary eighty-percent increase over last year.
Health center visits also increased, due in part to the addition of new physicians, including internal medicine specialist Dr. Ronald Prokopius, urologist Dr. Surapaneni Ramanadha Rao, and orthopedic specialist Dr. Edward White.
“The Hospital’s ancillary services also saw significant increases,” said Perkins. He pointed to a growth of between fifteen and twenty percent in several of the Hospital’s medical imaging services.
Despite the poor economy, Birch Bay Retirement Village also saw an increase of nearly six percent in occupancy rate for its assisted living units.
The increase in services and patient volume resulted in an additional $8 million in gross revenue over the past year, Perkins reported. “However, we did not receive $11 million dollars because Medicare, Medicaid and other insurances pay less than the full amount of their patients’ bill.”
The poor economy also contributed to a growing demand for free an uncompensated care, this year totaling $3.2 million, an increase of $1 million over fiscal year 2008.
The growth of services and increased patient demand improved the Hospital’s operating margin by more than $2 million over last year. “If it weren’t for losses on the stock market, the Hospital would have had a positive bottom line,” said Perkins.
The evening’s keynote presentation was given by Robert Burgess, Ph.D., a research scientist with The Jackson Laboratory who discussed his research into the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Four new members were elected to the Hospital’s Board during the meeting. They include State Representative Elsie Flemings; Patricia H. Hand, Ph.D., the Administrative Director of the MDI Biological Laboratory; Jeannine Ross, a Human Resources Generalist for the Jackson Laboratory; and Kathleen Field, owner of Poor Boys Gourmet Restaurant.
The Hospital’s Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Pam Bourque, and therapy dogs, Timber and Rissa. The night culminated with the presentation of the Employee of the Year Award, presented to ICU nurse Lily Sweeney, RN, a longtime employee of the Hospital.

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