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Maine's new Death with Dignity law went into effect last fall, but some hospitals have delayed participation in the system it created. Now some Maine hospital systems have policies in place that allow physicians and other medical staff to take part.

PORTLAND, Maine - Research by the Maine Medical Center has found that many patients considered at high risk for opioid overdose were not prescribed an overdose-reversing drug.

The state's largest healthcare organization, MaineHealth, is launching a national search for two new leaders. The nonprofit announced Wednesday that CEO Bill Caron is retiring at the end of 2020, and President Rich Petersen will retire six months later.

A Maine-developed program aimed at preventing falls is now being used across the country. In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Aging Committee, Peggy Haynes of MaineHealth said that a program called "A Matter of Balance," trains seniors to help other seniors avoid falls.

The largest private employer in Maine plans to add paid parental leave to its list of benefits for employees.

Cancer patients living in rural Maine will have better access to clinical trials in their own communities because of a new $5 million federal grant.

The board of Brunswick-based Mid Coast-Parkview Health has voted to join MaineHealth.

Mid Coast Medical Group

Mid Coast-Parkview Hospital in Brunswick is considering joining MaineHealth. The Mid Coast board recently voted to form an exploratory committee to move from a 25-year affiliation with MaineHealth to full integration.

It’s official — the members of MaineHealth will be unified under a single board as of Jan. 1.

The nonprofit healthcare organization MaineHealth has earned and maintained a strong credit rating as it prepares to borrow $300 million in bonds for an expansion project at Maine Medical Center.

The credit agency Moody’s assigned an A1 rating, and the agency Standard and Poor's assigned an A+ rating.

Tom Porter / Maine Public

MaineHealth announced Thursday that its 10 member organizations, including 8 hospitals, are uniting under a single board and a $2.5 billion budget.

Unification has been touted as a way to more easily share resources between hospitals and preserve services. But some experts say consolidation leads to higher prices.

The idea was first pitched about a year ago to address a challenge in health care, says MaineHealth president Bill Caron. That is, the increasing financial pressure on smaller, rural hospitals as more profitable services shift to larger health centers.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

MaineHealth on Thursday launched the Cancer Care Network, thanks to a $10 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation.

The network links MaineHealth’s 12 members as well as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and MaineHealth officials say it will provide the best cancer care possible, whether a patient lives in Portland or Palermo.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Maine. And every year, there are 9,000 new cases diagnosed, says the chief of oncology at Maine Medical Center, Dr. Scot Remick.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine Medical Center's parent company is teaming up with one of the nation's foremost cancer specialty organizations to improve access to cancer care in northern New England.

MaineHealth has formed a partnership with Boston's Dana-Farber Caner Institute which will give cancer patients at the 11 MaineHealth member and affiliated hospitals streamlined access to Dana-Farber for complex specialty care and clinical trials.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine has reached targets in some health indicators, but continues to lag in others. That's according to MaineHealth's fifth annual Health Index Report.

Deborah Deatrick, the organization's senior vice president of community health, says Maine hit goals in four areas: "That would include things like tobacco use, obesity, preventable hospitalizations, and cancer deaths."