Amidst the ongoing process of consolidation of Parkview Adventist Medical Center and Mid Coast Hospital, staff in Health Services and Safety and Security are optimistic about the future of student health on campus. 

Located less than one mile from campus at 329 Maine Street, Parkview entered into a pre-packaged bankruptcy plan on June 16 that featured a buyout by Mid Coast. 

In a press release dated that same day, Bob Cundiff, chair of the Parkview Adventist Medical Center board of directors, said that “after years of change in the healthcare industry and increasing financial challenges, Parkview has reached a point where it can no longer serve its mission as a stand-alone hospital and is now seeking a new opportunity with Mid Coast Hospital to advance a common vision to serve the local needs of midcoast Maine long into the future.”

Bangor Daily News reported that Parkview, after losing its emergency room in June, also closed their walk-in clinic on September 8. Services still at Parkview include primary care, outpatient services and community health and wellness programs. 

The College had already switched Mid Coast to their primary hospital before the buyout.
“For the last year or more, the College has been using Mid Coast as the primary [hospital] unless a student specifically requests Parkview,” said Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols. 

In an email to the Orient, Kim Pacelli, Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs, explained that Mid Coast remains the College’s primary hospital for urgent and emergency care because of its “bigger system of providers and services (including an intensive care unit when necessary).”

Additionally, Pacelli wrote, the rare referrals beyond the emergency room at Mid Coast are made to Maine Medical Center in Portland, while Parkview transfers patients to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, a location geographically further for students and families.

Director of Health Services Birgit Pols noted that she had never referred a student to Parkview during her time here.

“I could get the appointments I needed with the specialists I needed in the timeframe I needed them [at Mid Coast]…It was about what worked best for the students,” Pols said.

Out of the 19 alcohol transports from the 2014-2015 academic year, 18 went to Midcoast while only one went to Parkview. Out of the 115 security escorts, 72 went to Mid Coast, 26 went to the Mid Coast Walk-In Clinic, one went to the Bowdoin Health Center, and only 16 went to Parkview. 

“The only effects we’ve seen so far have been positive: expanding the [downtown Mid Coast] Walk-In Clinic services, consolidating specialists and specialty testing in one location,” said Pols. “Services that are more appropriate to college students are more likely to be at Mid Coast Hospital because they’ve now incorporated practitioners and services from [Parkview].”

“I think both the facilities gave very good care and it’s just the proximity of Parkview was convenient for us because we could deliver a student to Parkview and be back on campus in a matter of five minutes. That was good. But now, that’s no longer an option for us so we’re geared right toward Mid Coast,” said Nichols.

As Pacelli noted in her email to the Orient, Parkview’s newly focused outpatient services and additional programs will provide opportunities for students’ health care as well. And Nichols believes that from an emergency point of view, Bowdoin remains in a great position. 

“Bowdoin is really ideally situated for a prompt emergency response. We’re centrally located…the emergency response facilities are close, the health facilities are close,” Nichols said. “One of these days that’s gonna pay off with somebody being saved because a lot of the time it does come down to seconds and minutes.”

Correction (September 18, 2015 at 11:23 a.m.): The article previously misspelled the name of Bowdoin's Director of Health Services, Birgit Pols. She is Birgit, not Birgid.