Governor Janet T. Mills (D), the first woman governor of Maine, announced yesterday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved her request for a Federal COVID-19 Surge Response Team on behalf of Maine Medical Center (MMC) in Portland.
Startng as early as this weekend and running through Thursday, Decembe 23rd, fourteen Federal clinicians, including physicians, nurses and paramedics, will supplement existing staff at MMC to provide care for those with COVID-19 and other serious medical issues.
“I’m grateful to the Biden Administration for quickly recognizing the seriusness of the surge in Maine and for approving our request to send a team of skilled medical professionals to help,” said Governor Mills. “With this federal team and our soon-to-be-deployed National Guard members, I am hopeful that we can begin to alleviate the strain on our health care system and ensure critical care for those who need it. I hope that our second request, on behalf of Central Maine Medical Center, is also approved soon as we continue our work to vaccinate more Maine people against this deadly virus.”
“We’re incredibly grateful to the Governor and the State of Maine for their support in securing the FEMA Disaster Medical Assistance Team, at Maine Medical Center,” said Andrew Mueller, MD. Chief Executive Officer of MaineHealth, the parent company of MMC. “This important and timely assistance will help us as we continue to address the significant capacity challenge at MMC and across our health system.”
In an email to MaineHealth patients dated December 9, Dr. Mueller said in part: “…we have reached or exceeded our capacity for providing care in some areas…we have closed several operating rooms, further reducing non-emergency procedures to ensure care team members are available to care for our most critically ill patients…… You can also expect longer wait times when coming to the emergency room, urgent care and walk-in locations, having lab work done, scheduling and other hospital services Dr. Mueller listed in the email. “The most important thing you can do to help is to get vaccinated or get your COVID-19 booster……..would like to remind you that kindness matters now, more than ever.”
During her remarks yesterday afternoon at The Roux Institute event at Ocean Gateway, Governor Mills announced that she had just learned that the application for this COVID-19 Surge Team assisting Maine Medical Center, Portland, had just been approved by the Biden Administration.