Four hospital CEOs update on Covid numbers

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 1:46 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Aroostook County is experiencing high numbers of Covid cases. So, WAGM sat down with the four CEOs of the local hospitals to learn more about what they are facing. In the first part of this interview, they speak about what hospital numbers are looking like right now. Kris Doody, the CEO of Cary Medical Center says; ”As proud as we were last year when we were vaccinating at a high rate and our numbers were low and we were one of the top hospitals in New England and the country. Unfortunately we’re in first place, not in a good place today. Aroostook county of course with Piscataquis today was announced as the highest average new cases per 100,000. That’s concerning, and we’re all seeing it, I mean, we’re seeing positive cases every day, we’re seeing more admissions to the hospital, and those admissions that we are seeing, its a combination of young people, some older folks who have not been vaccinated and they’re very sick, very very sick.”

Peter Sirois, the CEO of Northern Maine Medical Center says; “We’re seeing the same thing here at Northern Maine Medical Center. You know, we all assume its the elderly that are going to get and die. We’ve have four pass away and they have not been 60 years old, they’re not vaccinated and you know, all four of them mentioned to us on their last breath. “I messed up, I wish I could tell the would what I know now””

CEO of Houlton Regional Hospital Shawn Anderson adds; “That’s exactly what’s happening here in Houlton as well, at Houlton Regional. We kind of peaked about a week ago, maybe 10 days ago now. And almost half our inpatient bed were taken by COVID positive patients. That’s an enormous strain on small hospitals and on our healthcare workers. Its very resource intensive and unfortunately, like is happening other places in the county, the age range is taking a dive. And that’s not a good sign. Younger and sicker is exactly how we would put it.”

And CEO of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital Greg LaFrancois says; “If we filled the beds, which, I think we’re all probably full at this point, we’re on a daily basis calling around looking for beds amongst our four hospitals. We don’t really have the assets to move large numbers of people south, to where there is more resources. So we really in a lot of cases are going to have to fix this ourselves, up here in the county. And it’s a whole lot easier if we had a more vaccinated population, we’d be more likely to win this battle if that was the case. We’re seeing it, like I said our ICU is full every single day, and you’ve seen the statistics that it’s a concerning trend.”

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