Eastport Health Care Inc., now has two locations in Machias with a new pediatric clinic located on the first floor of Sennett Hall at the University of Maine at Machias.
EHC UMM Pediatrics opened its doors on February 28 with hundreds of new patients, from birth to 18, and clinical support staff led by Alfred Wakeman, a board-certified physician assistant specializing in general pediatrics and a county community member. of Washington for decades. EHC UMM Pediatrics is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached by calling 207.255.0980.
EHC, with sites in Eastport, Machias, and Calais, is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), providing comprehensive medical, dental, and behavioral care to residents of Washington County and beyond. EHC offers chronic disease management, health education and prevention programs, as well as support to connect patients to community resources, and also offers eligible patients a variable fee reduction program. EHC is a nonprofit entity that receives a portion of its funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
At the new location, EHC plans to provide 5,000 childhood vaccinations per year, including those for COVID-19, and distribute home COVID test kits for patients and their families.
The pediatric clinic with four patient rooms, including a procedure room, occupies more than 3,500 square feet on the first floor of Sennett Hall, a dormitory that has been vacant on campus since fall 2019. EHC signed a lease with the ‘University of Maine System to locate new clinic in building until all EHC Machias-based services move within next 24 months to larger community facility, possibly a former 10-storey retail store 000 square feet now empty. EHC also offers primary care and behavioral health services at 53 Fremont St., Machias, all of which will join pediatrics in the future setting.
EHC UMM Pediatrics is planning a grand opening in the coming weeks.
“We needed to open quickly, in order to provide a continuum of care for children here in Washington County, and we needed to find the right location,” says Ellen Krajewski, MPH, CEO of Eastport Health Care, Inc. “UMaine Machias was very welcoming and responsive. EHC has had an ongoing partnership with UMaine Machias, partnering with COVID vaccination clinics for students, employees, and the public, and previously collaborating in health professions education. This was the next step and an important collaboration for our community.
UMaine Machias has a strong commitment to engagement and has a long history of working with community partners such as EHC to contribute to the quality of life in Washington County, said Daniel Qualls, vice president of academic affairs at UMaine Machias and responsible from campus. “We welcome EHC UMM Pediatrics to campus and look forward to exploring the learning opportunities possible for our students with the growth of Eastport Health Care in Down East Maine.”
Through an advertisement in local newspapers, EHC announced that it was expanding its services and welcoming new pediatric patients. The response was overwhelming, says Krajewski, with the first of many new patients scheduled for appointments the day the clinic opened. Some have known Wakeman throughout their childhood.
“Alf has been in Machias for many years and is loved in Washington County, where he was one of the few pediatric caregivers,” she says. “He goes the extra mile to treat young patients and he’s hugely popular. Broadening the face of EHC is an investment in our future. Taking care of our children’s health now means a healthier future for Washington County.
The EHC Board of Directors is very pleased to provide quality local pediatric primary care to our families, said Board Chair Marilú Scott. “The (UMaine Machias) expansion will allow Eastport Health Care to strengthen full-service primary care for all ages in easily accessible locations. The EHC Board of Directors is also excited about this collaborative effort with (UMaine Machias). They share our commitment to the community.
Contact: Contact: Margaret Nagle, [email protected]