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|Calais Hospital was incorporated as a for-profit organization in January of 1917. It was located in Calais on Church Street, next to the City Building. It functioned as a general hospital for the next 21 years under the direction of Dr. Walter N. Miner. In 1938, a group of interested citizens headed a monetary drive that made possible the purchase of the institution, which was incorporated, as a non-profit general hospital on October 19, 1938.|
The Hospital continued to serve the needs of the community but as time passed it became obvious that the building was becoming unsafe for the care of patients. The corner stone for the existing building on Franklin Street was laid in 1954. At that time the name was changed to Calais Regional Hospital (CRH) to reflect the institution’s service area of Northeastern Washington County. The new 44-bed hospital opened on January 16, 1956 with the transfer of 16 patients.
In 1962, it was decided to add a 30-bed Extended Care Facility to relieve overcrowding caused by an increased patient load. This expansion also included the addition of departments of physical and occupational therapy and pharmacy. The departments of radiology, laboratory and emergency were enlarged as well as renovations to various offices. This project was completed in January of 1968.
A new administrative wing at Calais Regional Hospital was dedicated on September 21, 1975. This housed administrative and business offices, the boardroom, a lobby and reception area and two classrooms. The most recent expansion and renovation to CRH began in July of 1977 and was completed in November 1978. This work created the intensive care unit, enlarged and added bathrooms to the oldest patient rooms, and expanded the operating rooms, physician lounge, medical library, central supply, and the pharmacy.
With the influx of managed care practices and a shift to providing patient care on an outpatient basis whenever possible and shorter inpatient stays, by the late 1980s it became evident that the Hospital was not utilizing the 77 acute care beds for which it was licensed. Outpatient services were expanding and required more space. In 1990 bed capacity was reduced to 49 and space was shifted to accommodate other services.
With the designation of Critical Access Hospital in January 2001, CRH was licensed for 15 acute care beds and 4 swing beds plus an eight-bed skilled nursing facility. In 2003 the skilled nursing beds were converted to six swing beds on the acute floor, known as Hall Wing.
Like most rural hospitals of the time, Calais Regional’s utilization numbers continued to rise for outpatient, emergency and diagnostic care. With the growing number of patients and visitors to CRH the facility was stretched to capacity and the design of the facility made giving care in the 21st century challenging. With the cost millions less to build an entirely new facility than to renovate the Board embarked on a years long planning process for a new facility. The “It All Comes Back to You” Capital Campaign for the building generated much community support and interest in the project. Groundwork began in June of 2005, the first piece of steel was set in September and the building was complete in June 2006. The new 25-bed facility opened on July 20, 2006 with the transfer of six patients.
CRH has 25 beds for acute care and swing bed patients, in addition to a 24-hour physician staffed emergency department. It continues to serve Northeastern Washington County with an approximate population of 14,000 from Topsfield to the North, Wesley to the West and Eastport to the south. CRH is the largest employer in Calais, employing more than 200 people. The hospital is licensed by the State of Maine.
The official Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the current facility was held on July 8, 2006. L to R: Ray Davis, Jr., CEO; Dennis Mahar, Board Chair; Dr. Michael Kessler, Chief of Staff; John Baldacci, Governor; Ivie Avery, Employee Representative with the most years of service; C. Brand Livingstone, Building and Grounds Committee Chair; Michael Aube, USDA State Director; Drew Case, Capital Campaign Co-Chair. The building opened for care on July 20, 2006 with the transfer of six patients.
Services offered at the Hospital include clinics in cardiology; ophthalmology; prosthetics-orthotics; blood pressure; and wound care. A variety of support groups are available for individuals and family members dealing with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Out-patient services include laboratory procedures, physical therapy,
occupational therapy, aquatic therapy, osteoporosis management and prevention, radiology, including fixed unit CT scan, mobile MRI and nuclear medicine, bone density testing, ultrasound exams and mammography, chemotherapy, day surgery, cardiac/pulmonary rehabilitation, nutritional counseling, home health care, and respiratory care procedures. A multi-specialty courtesy staff of 30 physicians and a variety of allied medical specialists compliment the 15 members of the Hospital’s active medical staff.
As cited in the Hospital’s statements of Purpose and Values, Calais Regional Hospital exists to provide and plan patient care, educational and restorative services that meet our customer’s expectations, commensurate with available resources. As an organization we value customer service, leadership and progressive management, compassion, teamwork and collaboration, stewardship of resources, dedication to quality and honesty, integrity and ethical behavior. At CRH, quality means the continuous improvement of programs and services in an effort to exceed customer expectations.