Mount Desert Island Hospital has improved its capacity to respond to disasters with the addition of Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Gayle McKeige. In her role, Ms. McKeige is responsible for the development and implementation of the Hospital’s Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Ms. McKeige brings to her position nearly thirty year combined experience in nursing and emergency response.
Her nursing career has taken her from Washington State to Maine and from the surgical suite to the emergency department.
Ms. McKeige, who also served on an ambulance and fire service for 17 years, is a member of the Maine Task Force One, part of a program funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The team is composed of emergency responders and emergency preparedness experts from across Maine, and is available to provide 24/7 disaster medical response for the State.
She is also a member of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team which is part of the National Disaster Medical System of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Ms. McKeige is currently working to streamline the Hospital’s emergency preparedness plan, to make it more user-friendly for Hospital employees and easier for future updates.
The plan includes procedures and resources for dealing with a range of potential hazards, from mass casualty events to work place violence.
Given the Hospital organization’s increasing reliance on technology Ms. McKeige is working as part of a team on systems that will secure and safeguard data.
The Hospital’s overall plan is evolving and will continue to be updated as new information is available. “Hospitals learn a lot as we go on,” said Ms. McKeige.
The Hospital’s plan will continue to be made available to employees via the intranet and will be shared with all fire and ambulance departments on the island. Ms. McKeige will also be conducting on-going training for Hospital staff and will work with outside agencies to foster collaboration.
“People look to their hospital in a crisis situation,” said Ms. McKeige. “Mount Desert Island Hospital is committed to standing beside our island’s other emergency services and being a solid resource for the community no matter what the scale of the disaster.”