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The Mount Desert Island Hospital Auxiliary has pledged $50,000 toward the construction of the new Women’s Health Center. The first installment of $30,000 was presented Monday at MDI Hospital’s business after hours event. The Auxiliary will fulfill their pledge to the project over the next two years.

When the Women’s Health Center project was in the planning stages, Auxiliary leadership saw the opportunity to get involved at a more ambitious level. “We wanted to do something where we could set bigger goals to demonstrate to ourselves the impact our organization can have,” said Norma Murray, the outgoing Auxiliary president and an early advocate of committing the group to the large pledge. “Our hope is this commitment encourages other individuals and organizations to join the Auxiliary so that we can continue doing what we do to support the hospital.”

For decades, the MDI Hospital Auxiliary has fulfilled “wish lists” by purchasing equipment and tools to expand or improve the services the hospital provides. In recent years, those wish list items have totaled $10,000 per year and will continue simultaneously with the campaign pledge. For 2012, for example, the Auxiliary is purchasing a hydroculator used in physical therapy and a pro body composition analyzer which measures body weight, body fat percentage, lean body mass, hydration, BMI and more.

More than 100 members from the Auxiliary, Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the community at large attended Monday’s event to formally introduce the $1.1 million project to kick off the campaign to raise funds for the facility’s construction.

The new facility will be built on the foundation adjacent to the Cadillac Mountain Medical Building at 322 Main Street in Bar Harbor.  “We are extremely pleased to enhance MDI Hospital’s commitment to the community with this new Women’s Health Center,” said MDI Hospital President and CEO Art Blank. “This is the first step in ensuring our facilities meet the current and future health care needs of our community in the most efficient way possible.”

The original and current location of the Women's Health Center, in a former home on Wayman Lane, has served the community for nearly 20 years.  The center opened in 1993 culminating the efforts of women in the community who identified the need for a free-standing, women’s health-specific facility. Today, patient demands exceed what can be accommodated by the staff in that building.

To meet current and future needs of women in the community, improve patient privacy and comfort, and enhance operating efficiency, the Women’s Health Center was chosen to be in the first phase of the Cadillac property redevelopment. The new facility will retain the welcoming and comforting home-like feeling of the current building and the exterior design will compliment the residential feel of the surrounding neighborhood.

For more information about the campaign to support the Women’s Health Center at MDI Hospital capital campaign, contact Lani Naihe, philanthropy officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 288-5081. New members are always welcome to join the MDI Hospital Auxiliary. Contact Shirley Conklin at 288-3083 or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mountdesertislandhospitalauxiliary.

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