In 1978 Cary Medical Center opened its doors at the hospital’s current Route 1 location with a new, state-of-the-art medical facility for Caribou and surrounding area residents. At the time, looking to keep the culture and tradition of providing personal, patient and family centered care, local hospital officials, architects and planners had the foresight and vision to create only single-private inpatient rooms for the brand new hospital.
Fast forward to 2016, and again working with all local contractors and construction crews, a $1.5 million renovation project upgrading all of Cary’s Acute Care Unit, (ACU) rooms and nurses station, was completed in August.
“We’ve spent considerable time and effort redesigning our entire Acute Care Unit to make it even more comfortable and patient-pleasing,” explained Shawn Anderson, Cary Chief Operating Officer and Project Administrator. “Further, we’ve sought the collective input of our team of talented and dedicated clinicians to ensure that they are best able to deliver the quality healthcare that Cary is known for in a manner that is staff-friendly and ergonomically safe. What we spent over a year planning, has now become reality.”
The new rooms, including the addition of four adjoining palliative care rooms, also includes a new digital nurse-call system, new flat-screen TV’s, new computer stations, new LED patient room lighting, new high-performance windows and window treatments, new laminate-wood flooring, fresh paint, new comfortable furnishings for both patients and visitors, and lots of artwork by local Aroostook County photographer Paul Cyr.
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Hospital staff and administrators were involved from the start of the project, selecting fabrics, furniture and artwork. The final design creates a private and warm space that’s welcoming and comfortable for patients, visitors and staff.
In order to minimize the disruption for the patients and staff, the project was done in stages by completing 4 to 5 rooms at a time, Anderson explained. Rooms on the hospital’s transition floor were brought back into use so that ACU room capacity of 21 beds was not affected throughout the project.
“This project was made possible through the efforts of a large group of local dedicated contractors including J.P. Martin and Sons, S.W. Collins Company, County Electric, Patrick St. Peter and Sons Plumbing, and Sullivan’s Flooring,” the Chief Operating Officer explained. “These fine local contractors poured themselves into this project, and the results speak for themselves. Our dedicated staff worked through less-than-comfortable conditions to make sure our patients didn’t feel the impact of the construction going on all around them. They were absolute troopers throughout this major renovation project,” Anderson said.
The next phase of the room renovation project will extend to other Inpatient Units as further design work and Board approval dictates.
During the past 38 years the 65-bed acute care hospital facility has undergone many structural changes and upgrades, including the additions of the Pines Center for Women’s and Children’s Health, the Women’s Imaging Center, the Pines Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Suite, and the Jefferson Cary Cancer Center.
Cary Medical Center is also home to the first Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic located in a private rural hospital in the United States. The Maine Veterans Home, a 40-bed long-term care facility and a 30-bed Residential Care facility, is also physically attached to the hospital facility. Cary is unique in that it is a municipally owned hospital, the only such facility in the state of Maine, and is Caribou’s largest employer with over 500 full and part-time staff, 60 active medical staff providers, 100 courtesy and consulting physicians, almost 100 active volunteers and a very active Ladies Auxiliary.
In recent years, the hospital has been listed amongst the top hospitals in the country for patient safety, health information and technology and has received numerous state and national awards for patient safety and quality in both customer service and clinical performance.
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