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Construction Starts on New Hospital in Maine's Moosehead Lake Region

Thu May 12, 2022 - Northeast Edition
Northern Light Health

CA Dean and Northern Light Health leaders and staff gathered with donors, local and regional officials and community members to break ground on the Moosehead Lake Region’s new hospital. (Northern Light Health photo)
CA Dean and Northern Light Health leaders and staff gathered with donors, local and regional officials and community members to break ground on the Moosehead Lake Region’s new hospital. (Northern Light Health photo)

Construction of a new CA Dean Hospital in central Maine's Moosehead Lake region began May 4 and will include a new main building, separate ambulance station and a helipad, Northern Light Health announced.

The project got under way in Greenville with a groundbreaking event, attended by Charles A Dean Memorial Hospital and Northern Light Health leaders and staff as well as donors, local and regional officials, and community members.

Sitework is now under way at the current CA Dean campus. The new hospital is expected to open in the summer of 2023, and renovations to the East Wing and site demolition will be complete in 2024. WBRC Inc., with offices in Bangor and Portland, is the project architect.

Bangor-based Dunbar & Brawn General Contractor won the bid to build the $23.1 million healthcare facility.

"Today we reflect on our roots in the booming lumber industry of a century ago while focusing on the future of healthcare in our region, anchored by a modern, patient- and family-focused hospital that will serve our community for decades to come," said Marie Vienneau, president of CA Dean Hospital, and senior vice president, Northern Light Health, said at the ceremony.

"We've been anticipating the start of construction for a long time, and now, the day is finally here."

Vienneau also is a member of FACHE, or Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

According to a Northern Light Health news release, the new main CA Dean Hospital building will house five private rooms with acute/swing beds, a 24/7 emergency department, and imaging and lab services. A separate ambulance station and an FAA-approved helipad also will be built. In addition, the existing East Wing will be renovated to house 10 private rooms with swing beds.

The design and technological capabilities of the hospital will streamline care provided by the CA Dean team and provide rapid access to experts in Bangor and beyond, when needed, Northern Health Light noted in its statement.

"The new hospital will provide us with better tools and a modern space that meets today's standards of care," said Joseph Babbitt, a CA Dean physician and chief of the medical staff. "The best part is the long-term commitment it represents for our patients, communities, and staff. We know that CA Dean will be here today, tomorrow and far into the future."

Capital Campaign Quickly Reached Its Goal

More than $6.2 million of the total cost of the project is supported by philanthropy through the Preserving the Promise capital campaign, which was completed in just 10 months. Hundreds of individuals, local businesses, foundations and CA Dean team members donated to the campaign, including the late philanthropist Peter Buck, who provided $4 million in support. Both the new main hospital building and the ambulance station will be named in honor of the Buck Family.

"We're grateful for Dr. Buck's extraordinary generosity, and thankful to every person who contributed to the campaign," added Vienneau. "We would not be here today celebrating this special moment without an engaged community that understands how important this hospital is to our region. Their support will touch the lives of year-round and seasonal residents and visitors to our beautiful corner of the world for decades to come."

Northern Light Health is Maine's only integrated health care system. It cares for people from Portland to Presque Isle and from Blue Hill to Greenville. It has 10 member hospitals with 987 licensed beds, a single physician-led medical group, eight nursing homes with 585 long-term beds, five emergency transport members and 37 primary care locations.

In all, Northern Light Health employs more than 12,000 people across the state.

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