“We do have a large elderly population in this part of Maine and consequently they do tend to be higher users of our services than others. Making that health care available to them in a reasonable distance from their homes is extremely important,” said Janet Kelley, Board Chair of Katahdin Valley Health Center.
Ashland Medical Center’s latest grant to expand their health care services will do just that- providing local care for patients that will help those who may not be able to make the trek all the way to Presque Isle for necessary treatments. A collaborative effort between Katahdin Valley Health Center, TAMC, the town of Ashland and the non-profit Aroostook Valley Health Center Board of directors helped secure a $300,000 federal grant that will provide for the expansion of healthcare services offered locally to residents in the Ashland area.
“The grant was available through the affordable care act. It’s through federal funding for the health centers in the United States,” said Kelley.
An access point is when a health center has a location that serves a specific population, Ashland being considered an access point allowed for the grant. KVHC’s goal is to provide accessible quality health care right in Ashland. Patients will still go to TAMC for in-patient, emergency and specialty care. Officials with the partnership told us that the transition will be seamless.
“Katahdin Valley Health Center is going to expand services for dental, and behavioral health. We are going to continue to collaborate with them under TAMC to provide eye services there as well as occupational health services,” said Glenda Dwyer, Vice President of TAMC Medical Group.
“We are hoping there will be people from Ashland from their board that will now join our board so they will continue to be represented by people from their community,” added Kelley.
The transition is already in the process. An eye doctor, who is an Ashland native, will start providing services within the next couple of weeks. Kelley told us, between now and March they hope to make the transition complete.