The article shared by Courier Publications in your Feb. 22 edition, “Pen Bay doctors question single-board plan” (Page B4), was incomplete. Reporter Stephen Betts on Feb. 20 contacted our organization seeking comment. We provided a response that was used in the Courier Gazette, but not the Press Herald. The statement I made to Betts read as follows:

“MaineHealth member organizations continue to discuss how the organization can better structure itself to meet the considerable challenges facing local community health systems in Maine and across the country. With an uncertain future for the federal Affordable Care Act and Medicaid program, and with cuts to hospitals being contemplated by the state of Maine, we remain concerned that even profitable community health systems could face financial difficulty going forward.

“The goal of these unification discussions is to create a structure where each community is able to get the services it needs, backed by the strength of the entire MaineHealth system. We are confident that a balance can be struck where MaineHealth is able to leverage the considerable advantages of having a single budget across the system while keeping intact local decision making with regard to the care delivered in each community.

“As ideas bubble to the surface and start to form a more clear proposal for this restructuring, our member organizations will engage their local communities in coming weeks in a dialogue about the best path going forward. At this time, community stakeholders on our local and system boards, our physicians and the staff leadership across MaineHealth are reviewing options with a focus on our vision of making our communities the healthiest in America.”

Our organizations are having a critical conversation about how to navigate a challenging health care landscape. The media is an important partner in that dialogue, but incomplete and rushed reporting serves neither patients nor readers well.

Mark Fourre

president and CEO, Waldo County General Hospital, Belfast,

and Pen Bay Medical Center, Rockport

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