Hospital officials ask the community to take care of themselves and be patient with health care workers

Published: Dec. 26, 2022 at 12:20 PM EST
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AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine (WAGM) - Dr. Stephanie Gillis, the Director of Primary Care at Northern Maine Medical Center says, “One thing that we’ve all mentioned and I’ll mention again, is just the importance of vaccination and I think it was, Shawn mentioned earlier, it’s not too late to get your vaccine. So definitely if you can get an influenza vaccine, it looks like a very good match to the strains we’re seeing so far and can offer very good protection to keep you from getting as ill. And if you’re unfortunate and still get influenza, hopefully your case will be much milder. The same thing with the Covid booster, the updated Bivalent booster. Even though we’ve had some changes in the the variants and strains of Covid, that vaccine still provides very good immunity and better immunity. If your previous vaccine was many, many months ago, or if you’ve had an infection more than three months ago, then I strongly encourage you to get those vaccines.”

Kris Doody, the CEO of Cary Medical Center says, “I agree with Dr. Gillis. I mean, take care of yourself, get vaccinated if you are not and if you’re Ill take care of yourself and take care of the people around you. And as Shawn described, the best gift you can give is not to give it to others. I’d also like to take the opportunity as we roll into this holiday season to thank every health care provider. This has not been an easy road. It’s been a rough number of years. It still isn’t done. You know, to our many nurses, physicians, technicians, housekeepers, nutritional services, folks throughout the entire organization. When we first started talking about Covid a few years ago, we were hoping that it was only going to be for short while, and here we are almost three years later. So I think, at this time of year, it’s also a great opportunity to thank every health care provider who works either in our community or in our hospitals.”

Greg LaFrancois, the CEO of Northern Light AR Gould adds, “I think it’s pretty important that people understand that behavior in our facilities has really deteriorated. Over the course of the pandemic, and I understand it. People are scared, people are frustrated with large volumes comes long waits. The staff that you see in our hospital are the staff who showed up. They are there to take care of their community. Literally, that’s why they get into this. That’s why they come to work. And we do need the public’s help in being more patient because we are taking care of a lot of things that maybe our facilities weren’t built for. There are a lot of folks struggling with behavioral health emergencies that are filling up emergency departments. There’s a lot of trauma, there’s a lot of very sick people approaching our emergency departments and that really does cause us to focus our attention in that setting to the very, very sick. So, I would ask for patience, I would ask for respect for our staff because they deserve it at every single one of these facilities up here. This is the top notch, I’m telling you. We are bringing physicians in from all around the world, and these are top notch physicians. We’re bringing nursing staff with a work ethic that they grew up in the county, hard workers, and we couple that with their education. They deserve a lot of respect. We are very fortunate to have the resources we have up here in the county, and if I could ask for one thing for Christmas, it would be that the patients that they’re taking care of, give them the respect they deserve. That would be important. Thank you.”

Shawn Anderson, the CEO of Houlton Regional Hospital says, “I would echo Kris’s comments about our sincere thanks for every health care worker in Aroostook county, throughout the state, throughout the nation, around the world. Of course these have been trying times and we’re not through the woods yet, but we’ve come through and to Greg’s point these are the people that are serving you that have shown up. And they deserve our thanks and our appreciation, our respect. And, so thank you to all the health care workers. Thank you also to the citizens of Aroostook County for your endurance through these last three years. It’s been a rough ride, but, we’re still here and ready to take care of the needs of the health care community. So, Stand hall, Merry Christmas.”