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MaineHealth Hospitals Named Top Rural Hospitals by
National Leapfrog Group 
Stephens Memorial and Waldo County General Earn Two Out of Three Top Spots on Prestigious Survey

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(Portland, ME) - December 4, 2009 - MaineHealth, the state's largest integrated healthcare delivery network announced today that Stephens Memorial Hospital and Waldo County General Hospital have been honored with two out of the top three spots on Leapfrog's Top Rural Hospital list. The list is based on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey which is the only national, public comparison of hospitals on key issues including mortality rates for certain common procedures, infection rates, safety practices and measures of efficiency. The Leapfrog Group represents many of the nation's largest corporations and public agencies that buy health benefits.


Rural hospitals typically face a number of unique challenges in terms of technology, capital and infrastructure limitations. Leapfrog initiated the addition of rural hospitals to its annual list in recognition of these challenges. Stephens Memorial Hospital, located in Norway, Maine, and Waldo County General Hospital, located in Belfast, Maine, were chosen from hundreds of rural hospitals across the country.


"I'm thrilled that two of our member hospitals have been recognized by such a prestigious organization," said Bill Caron, president of MaineHealth. "This is proof that while these hospitals service a smaller population, they're able to provide patients with the very best in service and quality."


"There's a significant amount of work that goes into our quality initiatives by everyone at Stephens Memorial Hospital and MaineHealth," said Timothy A. Churchill, president and CEO of Stephens Memorial. "We continuously strive to provide more efficient care which results in better outcomes for our patients and are excited to gain this recognition."


"The Leapfrog survey is recognized as the gold standard for comparing hospital performance under national standards of safety, quality and efficiency," said Mark Biscone, executive director of Waldo County General Hospital. "Waldo County General Hospital has benefited greatly from the support and guidance of MaineHealth and we are honored to have been selected as one of only three rural hospitals to receive this recognition."


As members of MaineHealth, Stephens Memorial Hospital and Waldo County General Hospital are in a better position to address many of the challenges facing rural hospitals. They are able to offer residents local care that is backed by the solid infrastructure of MaineHealth. In addition to the latest technology, patients have access to health improvement programs that can positively impact their health outcomes. MaineHealth patients also benefit from clinical integration, which delivers a connected community of healthcare facilities and information sharing.


"Healthcare reform has placed a spotlight on how hospitals can control costs while ensuring quality care and high safety standards," said Bill Caron. "MaineHealth was founded on the premise of offering healthcare organizations the ability to share knowledge and efficient best practices. We are extremely proud of this honor which underscores our mission."


About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit family of leading high-quality providers and other healthcare organizations working together so their communities are the healthiest in America. Ranked among the nation's top 100 integrated healthcare delivery networks, MaineHealth's member organizations include Maine Medical Center, Miles Memorial Hospital, St. Andrews Hospital & Healthcare Center, Southern Maine Medical Center, Stephens Memorial Hospital, Waldo County General Hospital, Spring Harbor Hospital, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Maine Physician Hospital Organization, NorDx and Synernet. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Medical Center, Mid Coast Hospital, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and Penobscot Bay Medical Center


The Leapfrog Group ( uses the collective leverage of large purchasers of healthcare to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The Leapfrog Group was founded in 2000 by the Business Roundtable and is supported by its members, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other sources.


The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the gold standard for comparing hospitals' performance on national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency that are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care. Hospitals that participate in The Leapfrog Hospital Survey achieve hospital-wide improvements that translate into millions of lives and dollars saved. Leapfrog's purchaser members use Survey results to inform their employees and purchasing strategies.





Mark A. Harris
VP, Marketing


110 Free Street | Portland, Maine 04101 | (207) 661-7001