It looks like a regular two bedroom apartment complete with a normal bed and cable tv, but in fact it is the new Sleep Disorders Clinic in Fort Kent which has now been operational for about a month.
The Northern Maine Medical Center Director of Clinical Services, Michelle Radloff says the need for this center at Northern Maine Medical Center has been “increasing over the past few years. Some of it is due to the age of the population in the area. It’s also due to a more increased awareness of the disorders and the impact that they have on patients lives.”
This new clinic means patients in the St. John Valley no longer have to travel long distances to get services they need for disorders like sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, fibromyalgia and many other conditions related to sleep. Radloff adds that sleep disorders “have been found to really impact patients in all aspects of their life. Just their social interactions and their ability to participate in their life and quality of life, but also their physical health and well being, from heart diseases to other physical ailments that come from not getting the physical rest and the sleep that your body needs.”
And these new services are possible because of a partnership between The Northern Maine Medical Center and The Aroostook Medical Center. On top of that, grant money enabled NMMC to purchase top of the line equipment. Overall, David Berry, a registered sleep technician at The Aroostook Medical Center says it’s going well. He says the “equipment is theirs (NMMC) and we provide the technical expertise and so far it’s working out very well. The people, the staff of Fort Kent have bent over backwards to provide us with the necessary supplies. The people, the population expressed a desire to stay up there rather than come down here…and we’re giving them the same service up there that we’re giving down here.”
Patients need a doctors referral to get into the sleep clinic. You can get that from your regular health care provider.