NORTHPORT, Maine — Incorporators of Waldo County Healthcare Inc. overwhelmingly approved bylaw changes that allow Waldo County General Hospital to join MaineHealth, the corporate parent of Maine Medical Center in Portland.
The decision means the Belfast hospital will be affiliated with the state’s largest health network, MaineHealth, after a century of independence. Incorporators approved the move during their annual meeting at Ginley Hall in Northport on Monday.
The Belfast hospital’s executive director, Mark Biscone, said that the health care system is in crisis with growing numbers of uninsured and an increasing elderly population, so that it has become too expensive to have a series of independent hospitals.
The affiliation was unanimously endorsed by the board of directors this summer after nearly two years of study. Board members said that working together with MaineHealth was the best way to improve the care provided to the community while keeping costs as low as possible.
“We need to pull in the same direction and work together, and MaineHealth is the premier system in the state,” Biscone said.
Waldo County General Hospital has had experience with MaineHealth through the Electronic-Intensive Care Unit program, which has been in place for more than a year and has proved successful, he noted.
Listed among the benefits of joining MaineHealth were: