More in News
Med-Care invests in new emergency response hub
Project principals were on hand to break ground at the new Mexico Med-Care site. From left are Gilbert Thibeau, project manager from Sheridan Corp.; Chris Moretto, assistant director with Med-Care; Peter Merrill, Mexico Med-Care board member; Gordon Touchette, Roxbury Med-Care board member; Matthew Kaubris, president & CEO, Oxford Federal Credit Union; Richard Allen, vice president, Commercial Lending at Franklin Savings Bank; Reginald Arsenault, vice president, Med-Care; Steve Brown, president, Med-Care; Anita Clark, secretary, Med-Care; Bradley Nelson, president, Sheridan Corp.; Peter Judkins, president and CEO, Franklin
Savings Bank; Tim Thompson, chief financial officer, Franklin Savings Bank; Dean Milligan, Med-Care director; Laurieann Milligan, Med-Care administrative assistant; Jim Pulsifer, Med-Care treasurer; and Duane Phelps Rumford Med-Care board member.
MEXICO -- The ground has been broken and it’s full speed ahead from here on construction of the new $1.7 million Med-Care facility in Mexico. It is expected to be complete sometime next year.
Med-Care, the not-for-profit corporation formed in 1988 to serve the emergency medical needs of 11 River Valley communities is governed by a board with representatives from all its member towns as well as Rumford Hospital. About 85% of Med-Care's expenses, including the building project, are covered by patient revenues from insurance, Medicare, Medicaid (Mainecare) and private payers.
The remaining percentage comes primarily from town subsidies needed to provide service to uninsured patients who are unable to pay.
Currently, Med-Care provides emergency ambulance and medical services for the Greater River Valley Region out of a former fast food restaurant. They have long since outgrown the current facility, which no longer meets code requirements, and began looking at options in 2007. The project received unanimous approval from the Mexico Planning Board in August.
While Med-Care has been able to provide excellent emergency services from its current location, answering about 3,700 calls a year, the new facility sets up the community for the long term, said Med-Care President Steve Brown.
“While the new facility is located in Mexico, this project represents the investment of the 11 communities in a shared emergency response hub. Franklin Savings Bank is proud to be a central player in this project that benefits the entire River Valley,” said Richard Allen, Commercial Lender at Franklin Savings Bank’s River Valley Branches.
Brown said Med-Care was pleased to be able to find and buy a useable two-acre parcel from the Oxford Federal Credit Union, which enables the new facility to be located near Route 2 and the Veterans Bridge connecting Route 108. “It was critical for us to get land central to all of our 11 communities,” he said.
New plans are for a multi-bay garage, living and office space for employees and storage space. The current inadequate space has forced Med-Care to store expensive vehicles outside, exposing them to detrimental weather effects. The space is so cramped that there is virtually no distinction between the working office space and the living space for those who must be on duty 24 hours a day. The lack of adequate bathroom and locker space, as well as living space, is particularly difficult for the mixed gender staff. Med-Care employs over 60 people with 15 being full time positions.
Several years ago, a new facilities staff started work to look at full operational needs and conduct a feasibility study. Although the new plans represent a vast improvement over the current facility, it has been downsized from the recommendations to reflect current needs, with some room for expansion, in order to keep the project cost at a manageable level. Paul C. Augusten has been the architect since the initial planning stage and will see the project through to completion. The Sheridan Corporation, a highly regarded Maine construction company, was the low bidder and will be the general contractor.
“We’re thrilled to be able to help finance this project. As a community bank, building our local communities is at the core of what we do,” said Franklin Savings Bank Chief Financial Officer Tim Thompson.
Med-Care provides 24-hour Advanced Life Support services to people within a 550 square mile area. It has six ambulances, two suburban SUVs and one MCI trailer and serves Andover, Byron, Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Hanover, Mexico, Newry, Peru, Roxbury and Rumford.