BAR HARBOR—Mount Desert Island Hospital will open the doors of the new Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center facility with a grand opening ceremony Thursday, June 26. Original founders Mary Dudzik, MD, Jane Tawney, PA-C, Linda Robinson, CNM, and Practice Manager Carmen Sanford are thrilled to celebrate the new facility at 330 Main Street with the community that made it possible. “It’s a validation of the care that we have been giving for a long time, and will continue to give,” said Dr. Dudzik.
The center first opened in 1993, culminating the efforts of women in the community who identified the need for a free-standing, women’s health-specific facility.The original location of the Women’s Health Center, in a former home on Wayman Lane, has served the community for more than 20 years as a resource for women and girls.“The population we serve and the number of people we serve has just really gotten much bigger and we certainly outgrew our space long ago,” said Dr. Dudzik. She and her fellow providers are dedicated to maintaining the compassionate, quality, primary care, obstetric and gynecological services that they have always provided to all women in the community.
The new facility, named in memory of longtime summer resident Lisa Stewart, was made possible by an outpouring of community support. The Stewart family, an integral part of the Northeast Harbor community for many years, pledged their support to the project as a way of honoring Ms. Stewart’s memory by recognizing her affinity for Mount Desert Island. The new facility has also been made possible by significant support by Noelle and Dick Wolf of Seal Harbor and meaningful contributions from the MDI Hospital Auxiliary, MDI Hospital employees and local businesses and individuals. MDI Hospital acquired the property in 2011 as the result of generous donation by Ruth and Tristram Colket of Bar Harbor. “Thanks to our very generous benefactors, community partners and friends, we have been able to meet our facility’s challenges to provide exceptional care for women in our community,” said MDI Hospital President and CEO Art Blank. “Because of their generosity, the new Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center will be able to continue the center’s mission to serve every woman in the MDI community.”
Part of the reason that the center has been so popular all these years is the close-knit relationships these women share with one another. “Not only do we share our work lives, but we share our personal lives as well,” said Sanford. Over the years, that continuity has meant a lot to both the providers and the community they serve. “Out patient population has aged right along with us— women who had their babies with us now are grandmothers,” said Jane. The center’s mission has always been to heal and nurture mind, body, and spirit in an empowering, supportive environment, she explained. “We’ve taken care of some very troubled young women who became very responsible citizens, because we believed in them and gave them a chance when they were afraid to get care because of the problems they have. I see them now, as responsible adults, and I’m overwhelmed.”
The spacious, new facility opens to the public Thursday, June 26. The center’s providers are excited to resume community programs that took place before space constraints made them impossible. “We had childbirth classes here, we had relaxation classes, prenatal yoga,” said Robinson. The building’s second floor will house a large multi-purpose room that will be shared with the community for events, meetings, and programs. Join us on June 26, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. to celebrate the grand opening of the Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center, now at 330 Main Street in Bar Harbor. All are welcome.