Task force works to save St. Andrews E.R.

11:48 PM, Nov 20, 2012   |    comments
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BOOTHBAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A task force is trying to save an emergency room that serves thousands in the area.

Lincoln County Health announced in July that it would be closing the ER in April and replacing it with an urgent care facility. The task force held a meeting Tuesday to update the public on the steps it's taking to convince Lincoln County Health to reconsider a decision to eliminate 24 hour emergency care at St. Andrews.

The task force has hired a consulting firm that specializes in rural hospitals. IVantage Health Analytics will conduct a study to determine whether St Andrews is sustainable in the Boothbay community. Lincoln County Health had cited a lack of emergency patients as the reason for shutting down the ER.

Task force chair Chuck Cunningham hopes the study shows that this community does in fact need 24 hour emergency care.

"We feel that they can come up with something that we can meet with Lincoln County Health and say, 'Hey, we think this was the wrong decision for the community. Let's see what we can do by working together.'"

The task force is also focusing on fundraising. There are two funds in place. One is for anonymous donations, the other is public. The public fund has raised more than 32 thousand dollars, and just tonight they announced an additional donation of 25 thousand dollars from a single donor.




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