Members of the Stephens Community Healthcare Foundation (SCHF) met on Wednesday, May 19th in the Harper Conference Center at Stephens Memorial Hospital.
Robert Harmon, Chair of the Western Maine Health (WMH) Board welcomed the group of attendees and led the business meeting which included the nomination and successful re-election to the board of Frank Shorey. Harmon also welcomed and thanked 31 new Foundation Members.
John Cox, Senior Vice President - Fiscal atWMH presented the 2009 Annual Report highlights, as well as key points regarding the hospitals transition to Critical Access Hospital. Dr. William Medd of Oxford Hills Internal Medicine introduced speaker Peter Bates, MD, Vice President of Medical and Academic Affairs/Chief Medical Officer and Interim Academic Dean for the Maine Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine.
Dr. Bates has been a driving force in the institution of a medical school in Maine. Over the past four years he has also worked closely with the physicians and management at Stephens Memorial Hospital (SMH) to form a partnership, bringing SMH on board with the medical school as the first Rural Teaching Clerkship Hospital for the program.
At the meeting, Bates addressed the benefits and challenges of bringing a Medical School back to Maine and instituting a Rural Teaching program. However, he stated that the benefits of the program are already being felt. The physicians acting as faculty, are energized, and the students participating in the program are excited and thankful for the support of the state. There are 31 students in the first class; 22 of those are students from Maine. All of the Maine students received scholarships from individuals and businesses in the state. Bates states, "the young people in this group have a real sense of being pioneers, and they are enjoying that."
The Stephens Community Healthcare Foundation directs the fundraising and philanthropic activities of Western Maine Health, including Stephens Memorial Hospital.