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Journal Tribune
Updated November 8, 2019
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Two families give Maine Med $10.5 million in midst of expansion

PORTLAND – Maine Medical Center received sizable donations from two prominent Maine families on Tuesday – totaling $10.5 million.

Paul and Giselaine Coulombe of Boothbay Harbor, and their daughter, Michelle Coulombe-Hagerty, donated $7.5 million to Maine Med. The East Tower, which is getting a two-story addition as part of the hospital’s ongoing expansion project, will be renamed the Coulombe Family Tower.

Linda Bean and her sister Diana Bean, of the L.L. Bean family, donated $3 million, and the new helipad being constructed on top of the East Tower will be renamed the Linda and Diana Bean Heliport.

Both the tower addition and heliport are expected to be completed later this year.

The Coulombes said their gift was spurred in part by the care Giselaine Coulombe received during three recent trips to Maine Med for various health problems. Giselaine survived breast cancer in 2012, ovarian cancer in 2016 and a bacterial infection that required hospitalization in 2017.

“Everyone is just so attentive, and the care is very personable,” Giselaine Coulombe said. “You feel very comfortable and at home here. You’re not just a number.”

“We’ve never been treated so well,” said Paul Coulombe, a developer.

Linda Bean said for those who live in rural parts of Maine and need emergency care, the medical helicopters are important. The new helipad will be able to accept two helicopters at the same time, and the helipad will have quick access to the emergency department from the tower.

“From the far reaches of Maine, more lives can now be saved,” said Linda Bean, owner of Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine, a group of shops, restaurants and rentals in mid-coast Maine.

The tower expansion – which will add 64 patient rooms to the hospital’s oncology services – and helipad are part of the $534 million expansion and renovation project. In total, the expansion will add 128 rooms, 19 surgery rooms and create a new entranceway facing Congress Street.

Richard Petersen, Maine Medical Center CEO and MaineHealth president, said that the donation will help lower the cost of the expansion, because the hospital won’t have to borrow as much. That will help keep overall hospital costs in check, Petersen said.

“Paul, Giselaine, Michelle, Linda and Diana are generous beyond belief,” Petersen said. “But more importantly, they recognize an opportunity to make a transformative investment in the care that patients receive.”

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