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June 18, 2018

Ellen DaCorte, RN has been nominated for the Maine Hospital Association’s Caregiver of the Year award. Ellen has served her community for more than 20 years. Her warm brown eyes light up when she talks about delivering babies, her coworkers and advocating for women in her community. “I’m so in love with my job. I love the patients—I love my coworkers—I love our unit,” says Ellen. “It is such an honor to work together to meet the community need and provide a holistic approach to nursing and skilled clinical support.”

When she graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University in 1996, Ellen knew that she wanted to work in women’s health. In 1998, she accepted a position in MDI Hospital Obstetrics Department and has never looked back. “Ellen has an amazing way of keeping an anxious laboring patient calm and focused during deliveries. She has such passion for making our little obstetric unit and newborn nursery such a warm, comfortable place where our patients love to have their babies,” says Dr. Katherine Gassman, Medical Director of the Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center and Director of Obstetrics at MDI Hospital.

Ellen is a passionate advocate for women’s health, her patients, and her community. As a member of the Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center Advisory Committee, Ellen has been deeply involved in developing education and outreach programs relating to expectant and new mothers, teen intimacy, and improving the lives of women and children in her community. Ellen has also served her community as a member of the Christian Education Committee of her church, where she worked to develop programming for younger families and children, and as a member of the parent-teacher organization at the Mount Desert Elementary School. “Ellen is an amazing nurse,” says Certified Nurse Midwife Tiana Larson. “Her dedication to both the patients and the staff is incredible.  She works hard to make sure that everything gets handled efficiently and her collaborative approach and positive attitude are such assets to MDI Hospital.”

Throughout her career, Ellen has continued to grow her clinical skills and education. She is Neonatal Resuscitation Program, Basic Life Support and S.T.A.B.L.E. Program certified, a Certified Lactation Counselor, a PeriFACTS educational coordinator, and has been an active member of the hospital’s Clinical Excellence Committee for more than a decade. She recently became her department’s Senior Charge Nurse and has found that she has a knack for developing hospital policy as well. “She had done incredible research to make sure we are practicing with the most current, evidence-based standards of care,” says Mary Glass, RN.

In everything that she does, Ellen maintains a commitment to excellence that is highly-valued by her colleagues. “I have been truly honored and amazed to have Ellen Dacorte as a colleague for the past five years. Our OB unit at MDI Hospital has a culture of excellence, and I believe that Ellen is a great figurehead and driving force of this culture,” says Brie Abbe, RN. “Ellen sets a very high bar for those she works with. She does this—as all natural leaders do—by setting an even higher bar for herself. She is invigorated by doing things correctly, improving processes and ensuring the highest level of care for all of her patients.”

Posted in Featured, News
June 12, 2018

MDI Hospital is offering a Safe Sitter® Class on Monday, July 9, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center. The class will be held in the Wolf Conference Room on the 2nd floor at 330 Main Street in Bar Harbor.

The one-day class is designed to teach students in grades six through eight a variety of safety skills that they can put to use when they are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. “First aid and rescue skills such as choking rescue and CPR are often students’ favorite part of the class,” says instructor Lisa Marie Parkin, RN, BSN. “Students also learn a system to help them assess and respond to injuries and illnesses.”

The class offers students the opportunity to learn what to do when faced with dangers such as power failures or weather emergencies, how to prevent unsafe situations, and tips to manage behavior that will help them stay in control of themselves and the children in their care. Also included is education on the ages and stages of child development and diapering practice. “This class also teaches business skills, such as the ability to screen jobs, discuss fees, and greet employers, which will set students up for success now and in the future,” says Parkin. Students practice these skills through various role playing activities.

The class fee is $40. Students should bring a sack lunch. To register, contact Lisa Marie Parkin, RN, BSN, at 207.288.5082 x1444 or Early registration is recommended as classes fill quickly.

Posted in Featured, News
June 12, 2018

MDI Hospital offers Diabetes Self-Management Education Services Classes. Conveniently offered at three different locations: Cadillac Moundain Medical Building in Bar Harbor, Trenton Health Center in Trenton, and the Community Health Center in Southwest Harbor. Reservations are required. For more information or to register, please contact Sharon Hobbs at 288-5082, ext 7802. You may bring a family member or significant other to class with you.


Topics Covered:
Disease Process – Diabetes Management/Monitoring
Medications and Short Term Complications
Nutrition #1 – Nutrition for Diabetes – The Basics
Exercise/Lifestyle Changes/Goal Setting, Emotions and Support
Nutrition #2– Diabetes and the Real World
Long Term Complications, Promoting Good Health, Foot Care
Problem Solving

Diabetes Self-Management Education Services Classes will be offered at 3 Locations:
Community Health Center
9 Village Green Way
Southwest Harbor
May 15–June 26
Tuesdays • 4:00 pm

Cadillac Mountain
Medical Building
322 Main Street, Bar Harbor
October 26–December 14
Fridays • 12:00 pm

Trenton Health Center
394 Bar Harbor Road
September 19–October 31
Wednesdays • 5:00 pm

Posted in Featured, News
June 11, 2018

Join MDI Hospital’s wellness team for walks throughout beautiful Acadia National Park!

Mondays & Wednesdays
Walks begin at 8:30 am through June, and 8:00 am beginning July 2

Our walking program is designed for pleasure or fitness.  We encourage you to pace yourself.

MDI Hospital’s Wellness Program is not responsible for lost or stolen items, injuries or accidents.  Our goal is to offer a safe and enjoyable activity for everyone.  All walkers who are not currently exercising should consult with their health care provider before starting any exercise program.

Things to consider:
Please wear appropriate shoes
Dress in layers
You may want to bring; water, snacks, insect repellent, camera

For More Information Contact:
MDI Hospital’s Wellness Program
Kathleen Mulligan
Community Health Educator
(207) 801-5034

Upcoming Schedule:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018:
Hadlock Brook Loop; Meet at the Brown Mountain Gate house, just before Northeast Harbor. 3.9 Miles

Monday, June 18, 2018:
Jordan Pond to Deer Brook Bridge; Meet at the lower, overflow parking lot for the Jordan Pond House. 3.4 Miles

Wednesday, June 20, 2018:
Amphitheater Loop; Meet in the Brown Mountain Gate House Parking Lot. 5.2 Miles

Monday, June 25, 2018:
Day Mountain Loop; Meet at the Wildwood Stables Parking Area. 5.5 Miles

Wednesday, June 27, 2018:
Eagle Lake; Meet at the Eagle Lake Parking area on Route 233. 6.0 Miles

Monday, July 2, 2018:
Paradise Hill Loop; Meet in the visitors center parking area in Hulls Cove. 2.3 Miles

Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Holiday, No walk.

Monday, July 9, 2018:
Meet at the Wildwood Stables parking lot. Walk the first loop before the Day Mountain Loop. 3.2 Miles

Wednesday, July 11, 2018:
Jordan Pond to Deer Brook Bridge; Meet in the north parking lot for the Jordan Pond House. 3.0 Miles

Monday, July 16, 2018:
Witch Hole; Meet at the bridge at the end of the Duck Brook Road. 3.4 Miles

Wednesday, July 18, 2018:
Redfield Hill; Meet in the north parking lot for the Jordan Pond House. 3.2 Miles

Monday, July 23, 2018:
Somes Sound Overlook; Meet in the Parkman Mountain Parking Lot on Route 198. 3.2 Miles

Wednesday, July 25, 2018:
The Wooded Loop; Meet in the north parking lot for the Jordan Pond House. 3.5 Miles

Monday, July 30, 2018:
Hadlock Brook Loop; Meet at the Brown Mountain Gate house parking area, just before Northeast Harbor. 3.9 Miles

Wednesday, August 1, 2018:
Little Long Pond; Meet at the Gate in Seal Harbor. 4.0 Miles

Monday, August 6, 2018:
Eagle Lake to Bubble Pond; Meet in the Eagle Lake Parking Lot. 4.2 Miles

Wednesday, August 8, 2018:
Jordan Stream-Meet in the north parking lot for the Jordan Pond house. 4.0 Miles

Monday, August 13, 2018:
Witch Hole and Paradise Hill; Meet at the Bridge at the end of the Duck Brook Road. 4.6 Miles

Wednesday, August 15, 2018:
Amphitheater Loop; Meet in the Brown Mountain Gate House Parking Area. 5.2 Miles

Monday, August 20, 2018:
Eagle Lake to Paradise Hill; Meet in the Eagle Lake parking lot on the Eagle Lake Road. 5.0 Miles

Wednesday, August 22, 2018:
Little Long Pond; Meet in the GREENROCK Parking Area, about ¼ mile from the gate house on the right. 5.0 Miles

Monday, August 27, 2018:
Day Mountain Loop; Meet at the Wildwood Stables Parking Area. 5.5 Miles

Wednesday, August 29, 2018:
Aunt Betty’s Pond; Meet at the Eagle Lake Parking Area on Route 233. 6.0 Miles

If you participated in all the walks, you walked almost 70 Miles!

Posted in Featured, News
May 31, 2018

Care that fits your life.

Mount Desert Island Hospital now offers convenient primary care appointments on weekends and holidays for acute care needs at our Weekend Care Clinic.

Common acute care needs include:

  • Tick Bites
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Sore Throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Earache

Weekend Care Clinic
10 Wayman Lane
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
207 801-5077

Walk-In Hours Saturdays 8 am – 12 pm
Call-In Appointments Available Weekends and Holidays

Posted in Featured, News | Tags:
April 27, 2018

MDI Hospital & the Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center invite you to attend

Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center Business After Hours
Thursday, May 17, 2018
330 Main Street, Bar Harbor
5:00–7:00 pm

Join us for refreshments and meet our new primary care and obstetrics providers!

Posted in Featured, News
April 13, 2018

The Downeast Substance Treatment Network is thrilled to announce the opening of the Downeast Treatment Center, a collaborative service based in Ellsworth, Maine, which will provide high-quality medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. The Downeast Treatment Center (DTC) is currently accepting referrals through the AMHC Access Center: 1-800-244-6431. The DTC plans to begin seeing patients on Monday, April 16, 2018, at 406 State Street, Suite 2, Ellsworth.

The Downeast Treatment Center will offer help and hope to individuals addicted to opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin, providing an integrated approach to recovery in the form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT consists of medication prescribed by a provider and group treatment administered by a licensed substance use disorder counselor. Peer recovery coaching will also be available for all participants. The treatment is open to all individuals in need, including those who are uninsured or underinsured. Self-referrals and provider referrals are accepted, along with referrals from other sources, including the law enforcement-led Project HOPE initiatives.

The Downeast Treatment Center is part of a broader “Hub and Spoke” model of care developed by the Downeast Substance Treatment Network partners. The DTC serves as the “Hub,” providing intensive MAT services during the induction and stabilization phases of treatment. Individuals typically begin treatment at the Downeast Treatment Center “Hub” by attending three group sessions per week and receiving a two-day or three-day prescription for Suboxone. As recovery progresses, the medication and group session visits transition to a weekly and then monthly occurrence.

When the treatment team determines that an individual has been stabilized, they will graduate from the Downeast Treatment Center “Hub” to a “Spoke,” consisting of a primary care provider and a substance use counselor of the individual’s choice. The primary care provider will continue treatment and administration of medication, and the counselor will provide therapy services as part of the continued MAT.

As recovery continues to progress, the individual will be supported in gradually tapering off of the medications when ready. Conversely, if a higher level of care is needed than the “Spoke” primary care provider can give, then the individual can return to the Downeast Treatment Center “Hub” for MAT services. Dozens of primary care providers in Hancock and Washington counties have committed to serving as “Spoke” providers in this collaborative model.

No medications or drugs will be kept on site.

The Downeast “Hub and Spoke” model has been developed and coordinated by the Downeast Substance Treatment Network, a group of community partners working to collaboratively expand patient-centered addiction care and to support successful, long-term recovery. The entire network has been instrumental in providing guidance, developing the model, and supporting the launch of the Hub and Spokes. Key coordinators for the Downeast Treatment Center include AMHC, which serves as the licensed service provider; MDI Hospital, which is providing the clinical prescribing staff for the program; Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, and MDI Hospital, which are providing key funding to support the program and to ensure access to all; Healthy Acadia, which convenes the Network and planning efforts; along with Bucksport Regional Health Center, Washington and Hancock county medical and substance treatment providers, and others who will serve as part of the system of “Spokes.” Additional partners who have made this collaboration possible include Health Equity Alliance, Opiate Free Island Partnership, recovery community representatives, local law enforcement, state and federal representatives, drug court, and others.

Generous funding from Maine Health Access Foundation, the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, has provided critical support for the planning and launch of this model.

The Downeast Treatment Center will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To schedule an intake appointment, call the AMHC Access Center at 1-800-244-6431.

News Coverage

WABI-5: New Opioid Treatment Center Opens in Ellsworth

Mount Desert Islander: New Medication-Assisted Opioid Treatment Facility


Posted in Featured, News
April 3, 2018

Managing Chronic Pain Q & A with Health Coach Laura Driscoll, BS, CHES

Who can benefit from this workshop?

If you or someone you are caregiving for are struggling with pain on a regular basis (arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.), this class will give you strategies to help cope and improve your quality of life.

In your experience, what are some of the struggles people living with chronic pain face?

People with chronic pain often struggle with depression or sadness over not being able to do the things they once were able to do. They may also deal with strained relationships with their family or friends because they have withdrawn from activities and social gatherings due to the pain. Often, people living with chronic pain have resorted to limiting or cutting out physical activity altogether. As a health coach, I find that this can lead to more stiffness and pain in the long run.

What are some of the types of strategies people might learn to help deal with chronic pain in this workshop?

This course helps people living with chronic pain focus on pain management strategies such as distraction from pain, improving nutrition, physical activity, and sleep, working with their health professional, and improving their pain communication skills.

If you could only teach people living with chronic pain one thing, what would it be?

You do not have to give up your life due to chronic pain. Learning how to self-manage it can give you better quality of life.


Posted in Featured, News
March 30, 2018

March 30, 2018 is National Doctors’ Day! Here at MDI Hospital and Health Centers, we are fortunate to have an outstanding group of highly skilled and devoted healthcare professionals serving the needs of our island community. Thank you to all of our providers!

Posted in Featured, News
March 28, 2018

When you ask expectant parents what they want from their obstetrical care, proximity to home and a personalized birthing plan are often at the top of their list. Having access to high-quality, safe obstetrical care less than an hour from home is the gold standard says Ellen DaCorte, RN, obstetrics nurse at MDI Hospital. “At a time when rural areas across the nation are experiencing a decline in access to obstetrical services, it is more important than ever to provide our community with access to safe, high-quality obstetrical care.”

In service of that mission, MDI Hospital recently welcomed three new obstetrics providers, Dr. Grace Price, Dr. Katherine Gassman, and Certified Nurse Midwife Tiana Larson to its obstetrics team. Dr. Gassman and Larson practice at the Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center in Bar Harbor, and Dr. Price practices at the Community Health Center in Southwest Harbor. These providers have joined with MDI Hospital’s highly-skilled obstetrics nurses to provide comprehensive, community-based obstetrical care. When asked what drew her to MDI, Larson puts “the great obstetrics department,” at the top of her list, followed by Acadia National Park.

“MDI Hospital is thrilled to welcome these talented new obstetrics providers to our team. They exemplify the compassionate, patient-centered care that MDI Hospital and Health Centers are known for,” says Jim Bright, chairman of the hospital’s board of trustees. “Working alongside our exceptional obstetrics nursing staff, they will help to ensure that our community continues to have access to high-quality obstetrical care for many years to come.”

Every expectant parent’s experience is unique, so the hospital’s obstetrics team works with parents-to-be to customize their birth plan. Birthing options include a birthing tub, several labor adjuncts to assist with the labor process, a family bed and customized meals to name a few. MDI Hospital also welcomes personal support services such as doulas and massage, and the hospital’s obstetrics nurses recently launched a new childbirth education program focusing on prepared childbirth and breastfeeding education through a holistic format.

As a family practitioner, Dr. Gassman partners with patients of all ages to work towards optimal health. “I find one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is caring for families as a whole. I especially enjoy caring for women throughout their pregnancy, delivering the baby, and watching over the child’s growth and development as a physician,” she says. As a Certified Nurse Midwife, Larson cares for women during pre-conception, pregnancy, childbirth and their postpartum experience. “I partner with women to help them achieve their best physical, mental, and emotional health,” she says.

While she was a medical student at Brown, Dr. Price founded Clinica Esperanza, a free clinic providing health care to an uninsured Spanish speaking population in Providence, Rhode Island. As a doctor, she has maintained that commitment to care. “I believe in helping all patients achieve their health goals. For everyone from expectant mothers to infants to grandparents, I am eager to provide exceptional healthcare. I welcome patients of all backgrounds into my practice and fundamentally believe in treating everyone with dignity, respect, and compassion.”

For more information, or to make an appointment with Dr. Gassman or Tiana Larson, CNM, contact the Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center at 288-8100. To make an appointment with Dr. Price, contact the Community Health Center at 244-5630.

Posted in Featured, News
March 22, 2018

Mount Desert Island Hospital is set to host our annual Health & Wellness Fair on Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the second floor of the Bar Harbor town office. This free event is open to the public and will provide an opportunity to learn about many resources that can help contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Wellness professionals from the MDI Hospital Organization will be on hand to provide health screenings including cholesterol checks, blood glucose, blood pressure, bone density, body mass index diagnostics, and much more. “These screenings are important because they help give you the knowledge and the tools that you need to stay healthy,” said Kathy Mulligan, Community Health Educator for MDI Hospital.

The health fair will also feature acupuncture, table massage and more.

For more information about the upcoming Health & Wellness Fair, contact Kathy Mulligan at 801.5034.

Posted in Featured, News
March 19, 2018

As the recently retired Human Resources Director of MDI Hospital, I feel compelled to speak my truth regarding the recent letters in the Islander and the comments on the hospital’s Facebook page.

From my unique vantage point, whenever an employee came forward with a concern, that concern became the number one priority of my agenda. In each case, a thorough, confidential investigation was conducted, and resolutions were reached, sometimes with one or both parties not feeling completely satisfied.

In my experience, gender discrimination cases are very emotional for all concerned. It was my job to objectively investigate, ask the hard questions, seek evidence/proof, and come to reasonable conclusions. I never once was asked to ignore, excuse, look the other way, or falsify facts by the Senior Management. To the contrary, I believe that the commitment to zero tolerance for any type of discrimination at MDI Hospital is held, adhered to, and enforced by Senior Management.

Those of you who know me, and may have even been through such a situation with me at the hospital or the Jackson Laboratory, surely know that I could not and would not work for an organization unless such a commitment was genuine. Having said that, I can appreciate why those who felt they were not heard, or were not believed, or were not respected, believe that justice was not served. I can only state that I was never thwarted in carrying out the due diligence that each and every case deserved.

—Joanne Harris, Former Human Resources Director, MDI Hospital
Posted in Featured, News