Lewiston, Maine — A new partnership between Central Maine Healthcare and DFD Russell Medical Centers will expand access to top-quality cardiovascular care for hundreds of people living in rural Maine.
The program, launching next month, will allow physicians from Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute, the nationally recognized program in Lewiston, to see patients at DFD Russell’s health center in Leeds, Maine. Instead of having to travel long distances and pay higher hospital-centered costs, patients of DFD Russell can see heart specialists right where they receive their primary care, at lower costs and on a more convenient schedule. Diagnostic services will initially include electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, and stress testing.
“DFD Russell Medical Center is excited to enter into this new venture to expand access to high quality cardiovascular care in our rural areas,” said CEO Laurie Kane Lewis. “DFD Russell has been recognized by the Health Resources and Service Administration as a Health Center Leader-among the top 10 percent of all health centers–and a National Quality Leader for Cardiovascular and Diabetes Health; the addition of cardiac specialty services to patients on a sliding fee scale furthers our mission to provide the highest quality of care to patients in our region.”
Doctors will start seeing patients in Leeds once a month, increasing clinic days as demand increases, CMHVI officials said. Patients who require a more complex level of care will be referred to CMHVI. One of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the United States, according to IBM/Watson Health, CMHVI is one of only three facilities in the state of Maine to offer cardiac MRI. Last year, it was the only hospital in Maine and one of only two in New England to participate in a national study of TAVR—live saving valve replacement surgery.
The partnership with DFD Russell, which was founded 43 years ago to provide care to patients in Leeds and the surrounding area, is just one of several alliances undertaken by Central Maine Healthcare as it pursues its strategic mission of increasing healthcare access to all Mainers.
“Serving patients with the most accessible, highest quality of care is what we do,” said Andrew Eisenhauer, medical director of CMHVI. “And in our rural state, with our aging population, it makes sense to bring that care closer to Mainers whenever we can. This new partnership allows us to do that and we’re delighted to work with DFD Russell in this way.”
All appointments and billing will be handled directly through DFD Russell, allowing patients to schedule and manage their cardiovascular services right where they receive their primary care, Kane-Lewis said.
About DFD Russell
In 1975, concerned residents of Leeds and the six surrounding towns started DFD Russell Medical Center as an independent public/private partnership following the death of the area’s only physician, Dr. Daniel Davis Russell. Opening in 1979, DFD Russell Medical Center is a nonprofit, federally qualified health center. It is a nationally recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home and offers pioneering primary care services to the people of Central Maine.
About Central Maine Healthcare
Central Maine Healthcare (CMH) is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving 400,000 people living in central, western, and mid-coast Maine. CMH’s hospital facilities include Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Bridgton Hospital, and Rumford Hospital. CMH also supports Central Maine Medical Group, a primary and specialty care practice organization. Other system services include the Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute, a regional trauma program, LifeFlight of Maine’s southern Maine base, the Central Maine Comprehensive Cancer Center, and other high quality clinical services.