NORTH CONWAY, NH – After serving as a physician in the Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital since 2014, Dr. Matthew Dunn, DO, FACEP was recently named its Medical Director. With both a background in Emergency Medicine and experience in healthcare administration, Dunn is eager to step into this new role and help build an even stronger team environment in the Emergency Department.
When asked what he most looked forward to in this position, Matt stated that it’s all about helping deliver excellent care to his hometown community where he graduated in 1991 from Kennett High School.
“I want to know that anyone I knew growing up, all my family and friends and any person who comes through our doors can be confident coming to our Emergency Department for treatment.”
These are challenging times in healthcare, particularly in Emergency Medicine. Between the psychiatric treatment shortage in New Hampshire and the opiate crisis, hospitals are straining to provide care to a sicker and more challenging patient population. “I’m hoping to bring improved care coordination, to better care for our community. The best care can only be delivered by a highly functioning team. As the new Medical Director, I will work hard towards building a cohesive care team.” Matt shared.
In addition to his work in the Emergency Department, Dunn has been tapped to be the physician champion and member of the IT Governance Committee overseeing Memorial’s upcoming transition to the EPIC electronic healthcare record system. Previously he was CMIO (Chief Medical Information Officer) leading the clinical informatics team for 28 medical practices in Glenn Falls, NY. “Patients who come here don’t understand that we are now working with multiple electronic health record systems and that those systems don’t talk to each other. EPIC will be a single patient record across the ED, in-patient and out-patient settings, all accessible throughout the MaineHealth system hospitals and practices.” It is both a big project to manage and a big opportunity to improve patient experience and care delivery, and Dunn will play a crucial role in its implementation in the coming years.
Dunn grew up in Tamworth and North Conway where his mother’s family traces their history back through three generations. After finishing his undergraduate work at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, he completed his medical schooling at the University of New England in Maine.
Dunn completed his internship and residency at Albany Medical Center, becoming chief resident in 2006. After graduating from residency, Dunn took a position at Glen Falls Hospital. A 400-bed community hospital, the medical center sees more than 55,000 emergency patients in a typical year with a daily staff of 8 or 9 providers. Memorial Hospital is a very different setting.
Memorial sees about 14,000 emergency patients each year. In support of the more demanding patient population, including the increasing number of psychiatric patients presenting more challenges to staff, Memorial recently committed to permanently staffing ED security personnel, double provider coverage for medical staff, and stepped up triage nursing coverage. On the day Dr. Dunn was interviewed for this article, there were 4 psychiatric patients being held at Memorial awaiting disposition to the state psychiatric hospital. “This decreases the size of your ED and these patients aren’t getting the care they need, while other community members seeking emergency care are seeing delays. We only have 10 exam rooms, so it’s a real challenge.”
A board certified emergency physician and Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Dunn and his wife live in the Mount Washington Valley.
To learn more about Memorial Hospital’s emergency services, call 356-5461, Ext. 2128. Visit www.MemorialHospitalNH.org for complete information on all of the hospital’s services and medical staff providers.
About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, family birthing center, sleep center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services and the Miranda Center for Diabetes. Physician practices include primary care and family medicine, women's health, orthopedics and sports medicine. The Merriman House, a 45-bed nursing home specializing in Alzheimer's and other memory disorders, is also located on the hospital campus. Together, our staff and providers are committed to meeting the health needs of the Mt. Washington Valley and surrounding communities by collaborating with community partners in the delivery of accessible, comprehensive, compassionate, and quality health care.