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September 23, 2022

Two MaineHealth entities seek to integrate medical staffs, hospital licenses

Maine Med center at night Photo / Courtesy, Maine Medical Center Maine Medical Center, in Portland, and Southern Maine Health Care have completed their medical staff and hospital license integration.
The Southern Maine Health Care building has lights on at night. Provided photo Southern Maine Health Care is a health care organization in York County.

Two southern Maine health organizations, already part of the MaineHealth system, aim to share medical staffs and hospital licenses under a plan announced Thursday.

Maine Medical Center, the state's largest with 700 beds in Portland and more than 9,600 employees, and York County-based Southern Maine Health Care said they will advance the proposal to their respective boards.

The combined medical staffs of both entities is 2,400 people, according to a spokeswoman for Maine Med.

A green light would pave the way for integration in 2023, the organizations said.

Maine Med, with campuses in Portland and Scarborough, is the region's largest academic medical center. Southern Maine Health Care, with medical centers in Biddeford and Sanford, also operates a network of adulatory care offices in York County.

Jeff Sanders, president of Maine Medical Center, said that Maine Med and Southern Maine Health Care already share attributes like service area and medical staff members.

"This proposal, if approved by our governing boards, would allow us to work closer together, align clinical services and maximize administrative support and resources."

On a more general note, he added: "Health care is always transforming, and with the impact patients and care team members have experienced in recent years, we need to continue to improve efficiencies, retain and recruit staff and enhance patient access."

Nate Howell, president of Southern Maine Health Care, pointed to closer alignment with the region's leading academic and tertiary care provider as a major plus for York County communities if the proposal goes ahead.

"This proposal represents a great opportunity to advance our mission and vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America," he said. "More concretely, it will improve access for our patients and position us for future growth and response to the needs off our communities."

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