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Medical Monday: Health Care Alliance Helps Rural Hospital

| September 30, 2013

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The medical field is always changing.  So, Melissa Stoliker, a registered nurse at the Northern Maine Medical Center has to keep up with the latest developments. Unfortunately, with such a busy schedule there isn’t always time for her to get away to a medical conference.  That’s where the Lunder Dineen Healthcare Alliance of Maine comes in.  Stoliker is currently “participating in the cognitive behavioral therapy class in January with a few of my co-workers to advance my knowledge in providing for our psych patients here. I’m also enrolled in the PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans class.”

The classes, which are taught by national and Maine based experts are free and tailored to address the most critical health issues in Maine and they are online which means they are available 24 hours a day.  Which is very convenient for hospitals, especially rural ones.  Reggie Murray, also a registered nurse at NMMC, says “as a small rural hospital, we don’t always have the funding to be able to send our health care providers to these workshops and the time, the time away from their job is not always feasible.”  Melissa Stoliker says she finds “it easy to participate in the program at home, it allows me time to take notes, look things up, I get more out of it having the time and quiet at home than on the floor and I don’t always have time to attend the live sessions.”

And beyond the convenience and education for the health care providers actually taking the class, the community is also reaping the benefits.  Stoliker says she is “a much better provider and health care professional now with my patients, now that I have the added knowledge. I can provide the therapy, before we didn’t have a therapist for CBT. I am now able to provide that for our patients. In such a rural setting, that’s pretty unheard of.”  One of the many benefits of having this educational opportunity available here in the County.

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