A Message from the President
Kelly Barton, President
Welcome to the 2020 Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) annual report. Like so much else since the COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives, we are moving to primarily an online format for this report, but I am certain you will nonetheless be moved by the stories of dedication and accomplishment you’ll find here.
None of these amazing stories, or the extraordinary behavioral health care provided by MBH day-in and day-out in our communities, would be possible without our incredible care team. As the pandemic spread, our dedicated professionals adapted, finding new ways to deliver care and providing a critical safety net as the need for mental health services rose with the COVID case counts.
Beginning my tenure as president of Maine Behavioral Healthcare during this time provided me with an opportunity to see firsthand the depth of commitment and professionalism of our amazing staff. I am so proud of them.
As you can see in this report, MBH didn’t let the pandemic prevent us from moving forward with important initiatives aimed at making the lives of patients, and the communities we serve, better. These include the opening of a much needed 20-bed in-patient facility in Sanford and the completion of our new Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders.
We also moved forward with important initiatives such as making our facilities tobacco free, providing the support our patients needed to achieve tobacco independence. We extended our existing psychiatry residency program to include a track for training residents on the unique behavioral health needs in rural communities. We kept our focus on our Zero Suicide initiative. And, oh yes, we did all this while moving our electronic records system to the Epic platform, which is shared across the MaineHealth system—a huge undertaking.
There is more to do, of course. Unfortunately, the need for mental health services across Maine and New Hampshire far exceeds the capacity of the overall mental health care system. While we have made great progress on offering an evidence-based program to treat substance use disorder, too many people are still losing their lives to the opioid epidemic.
Still, we have made strides worth celebrating. I invite you to learn more about that progress in this report. I know you’ll be as inspired as I was in doing so.
Kelly Barton, President
Maine Behavioral Healthcare