WALDO COUNTY, Maine — MaineHealth Care at Home, along with our partners at the Coastal Healthcare Alliance (a MaineHealth entity) and Healthy Living for ME, is excited to share that an initial wave of patients has been enrolled into Project COPD Connect, an innovative program servicing Mainers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Mid Coast Maine. Participants will receive support services to assist them in the management of their illness.
The project is funded through an award from the Health Resources and Services Administration. It coordinates resources from the three organizations through a COPD Nurse Navigator who assists patients through the disease process and connects them with appropriate support resources. Judy Hastings, RN, transitioned into this role from another at MaineHealth Care at Home and has enjoyed the process of building a program from the ground up. The vision is that all Knox and Waldo county residents diagnosed with COPD will have a coordinated, supportive and enhanced care plan.
“Collaboration between local organizations to bring about a stronger, more coordinated system of care and community linkage for patients is a win for all involved. The patient-centered model best serves our community members facing a challenging diagnosis, and the entire health system benefits as a result of the improvement in patient outcomes. We are excited to see the results of this program.”
Palliative care nurse practitioners involved in the project welcome the integration of palliative care services for patients in the region.
“Improved coordination of community resources is always beneficial to patients. Early and appropriate referral of patients for palliative consultation helps clarify goals of care and support best quality of life. “
Healthy Living for ME is Maine’s statewide Community Integrated Health Network (CIHN)– which is comprised of local organizations, health systems and volunteers. As a partner for health care systems and providers, Healthy Living for ME enhances services and supports patients’ efforts to take charge of their own health through free and low-cost programs while helping to connect them with needed resources. As a Project COPD Connect partner, Healthy Living for ME will support patients’ chronic disease self-management through multiple program offerings.
“Our chronic disease self-management programs, branded Living Well for Better Health and Better Health Now are designed to help participants deal with their chronic condition(s) and lead as full and active life as they choose. By working with health care providers at MaineHealth, we have the opportunity to integrate this program into a dedicated model — with nurse navigation services and palliative care — culminating in a truly ‘comprehensive’ model of care for COPD patients participating in the project,” said Maija Dyke, Business Manager at Healthy Living for ME.
Project COPD Connect partner organizations expect to expand services to Knox County within the next year or so, and to continue providing services through the grants' expiration in 2025. Findings related to improved patient access, satisfaction and treatment/clinical success will be reported and analyzed to determine the efficacy of the program and potential replicability for other disease groups.
About MaineHealth Care at Home
MaineHealth Care at Home provides a full range of high-quality, home-based health services to people of all ages in York, Cumberland, Lincoln, Knox, Waldo, Sagadahoc and southern Oxford counties. Care is delivered by professionally-trained nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, home health aides, nutritional counselors and social workers. With advanced clinical skills and expertise, our clinical team helps patients regain strength after surgery, manage chronic illness, age in place and achieve a higher quality of life. MaineHealth Care at Home is a fully licensed 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and a member of MaineHealth. Learn more.