Commissioner Mayhew Meets with MaineHealth Leaders, and a Group of Clients in Recovery, to talk about Opioid Treatment at the MBH Rockland Center

May 23, 2017

Maine Behavioral Healthcare | All News 

Contact: Amy Safford, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, at 207-661-6616

Rockland, Maine (May 23, 2017): Developing a standard treatment approach to help people who suffer with addiction was the topic of conversation when Commissioner Mayhew met with Stephen Merz, CEO of Maine Behavioral Healthcare; Mark Fourre, MD, CEO of Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital; Katie Fullam Harris, SVP of Government Relations and Accountable Care Strategy MaineHealth; Debra Poulin, Director of Substance Use Treatment and Prevention; and Theodore Logan, MD, a psychiatrist at MBH who treats clients with opioid addiction.

Treatment offered at the Rockland Center is known as the EMBARK program. This collaborative approach between Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Pen Bay Medical Center and Mid Coast Hospital allows a person to be treated for any level of addiction. Also known as a “no wrong door” philosophy, this provides ongoing access to treatment in the community.

Through a multi-faceted plan involving prevention, education and treatment, MaineHealth is actively bringing integrated medication assisted treatment to communities across its region through a combination of specialty services provided by Maine Behavioral Health and the addition of treatment to primary care patient centered medical homes. “We can help medical practices by providing addiction specialists who can teach them how medication (Bupenorphine known by the trade name Suboxone), and the integrated behavioral health clinicians in those practices provide counseling, which is a proven method to treat addiction,” explained Dr. Logan.

While at the Rockland Center on May 17th, Commissioner Mayhew also met with a women’s recovery group in treatment with the EMBARK program. They were willing to share their opinions and positive experiences with the EMBARK program, which emphasizes treating them as individuals, with dignity and respect.

During her visit, Commissioner Mayhew was interested in comparing the treatment approach with other proven methods around the state for treating substance use disorder. “Let's start with transparency by comparing the treatment models of other providers and to assess how we’re doing to serve this population,” she said. “With sound data we can be sure that we are choosing and investing in evidence-based models that produce the best outcomes for individuals seeking treatment.”

According to Harris, there is data available to support models that are similar to the MaineHealth program, which is also known as the hub and spoke model. “The hubs are the intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) like the Mid Coast ARC program or the EMBARK program that can support the spokes, or primary care providers,” said Harris.

Mayhew emphasized the importance of employment and social connectedness to help build stability. “Creating more opportunity for economic growth will help provide the resources Maine needs to address this drug epidemic.” The issue of access to treatment for individuals who are uninsured was discussed.

Finding resources to treat this vulnerable population is an ongoing concern. “As our hospitals and their primary care practices face financial challenges, it is difficult to ask them to pick up additional charity care burden for uninsured patients who need addiction treatment, “said Dr. Fourre. “Yet we know our patients need help. For Pen Bay, like many hospitals, this is the ongoing challenge.”

EMBARK follows best practices for treatment, including individual and group therapy, a social needs assessment for coordination of services like transportation, health education, engagement with peer support services, and support to the next appropriate level of care.

Maine Behavioral Healthcare
is a leading provider of developmental disorder and mental health services, with over 30 outpatient locations throughout southern, western and mid-coast Maine, as well as Spring Harbor Hospital, providing an integrated continuum of comprehensive, coordinated behavioral healthcare for Maine residents of all ages.

Pen Bay Medical Center is a not-for-profit, Top Rural and Leapfrog Straight A Safety Score Graded Hospital in Rockport, Maine. Pen Bay Medical Center operates as a family of services that also includes Pen Bay Physicians & Associates, Quarry Hill Retirement Community and the Knox Center. Through these organizations, and with a staff of more than 100 outstanding physicians and more than 1,500 healthcare professionals, we are able to provide the people of Midcoast Maine with a continuum of both routine and specialty patient-centered medical services. Pen Bay Medical Center is a member of the MaineHealth system and of Coastal Healthcare Alliance with Waldo County General Hospital. For more information, please visit