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Letter to the Editor by Samson Cournane

Our local hospital, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center (NLEMMC) needs the community’s help. There have been recent concerns about the administration’s management of the hospital, in particular the problem of compromising patient safety and short staffing issues. 

NLEMMC is the second largest hospital in the state of Maine and has received money from the CARES Act and the Recovery Act. We, as citizens of Maine, have a right to use that money to demand that patient safety is being met and that staff levels are adequate for proper patient care. 

I have created a petition in an effort to raise the issue to the administration to make them realize what happens when executives refuse to fully staff our hospital. Healthcare workers like Dr. Anne Yered, an intensive care medicine specialist and pediatrics expert, are being pushed out of the hospital, which will inevitably lead to a public health crisis in our community. Dr. Yered raised concerns of patient safety back in 2020 to the CEO and President of Northern Light Health. Shortly thereafter, Yered was without cause required to leave her position at the hospital. 

Dr. Michael Melia, the chief of emergency medicine at NLEMMC, feels that healthcare workers are not being protected due to the overcrowding settings within the hospital. Melia told the Sun Journal that some patients are being abandoned in emergency departments by their families and the state, which has resulted in an increase in violent nature across the department. 

My hope with this petition is to show hospital administration that we are serious about solving this potential crisis. I hope that hospital executives will join with the important stakeholders and conduct round table discussions about ways to improve the situation outlined in the petition. 

As a community we do not want deteriorating care and working conditions to drive healthcare workers to leave NLEMMC and our community. Speaking up now and signing my petition should be a moral obligation for everyone who has ever been treated by the hospital and its healthcare staff. 

This petition is a way of not limiting our influence on healthcare decisions to a merely ephemeral role as citizens voting in an election. Please sign the petition and help us demand transparency in our quest for answers and action.

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