NORTH CONWAY, NH – Preparing for the busy summer season here in North Conway, Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department is geared up and ready to meet the emergency medical needs of visitors and locals alike with a newly enhanced team of Emergency Medicine providers. Locals will recognize some of the names, and the credentials of the new team include the Director of LifeFlight of Maine, attending physician Maine Medical Center emergency department and former Medical Director Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center emergency department.
Emergency Department Medical Director Matthew Dunn, DO, FACEP said this recruitment effort was part of a year-long effort to reduce the organization’s reliance on “locums” physicians, doctors that are hired through an agency and only stay for a brief amount of time. While they help fill the need to keep the Emergency Department open 24/7, they don’t typically provide the type of patient experience that Dunn wants to see in his department.
“Our ideal team of providers will be actively engaged in the Memorial Hospital community. That’s why we’ve brought in a strong team who are committed to working here, and know the community and its people. They’ll also be able to forge strong working relationships with the rest of the staff within the Emergency Department, something that can never take place with a locums provider,” stated Dunn.
Several of the new physicians come from Level 1 trauma centers like Maine Medical Center and Hartford Hospital, giving them experience in treating patients in a high acuity setting. A Level I Trauma Center is a comprehensive regional resource that is a tertiary care facility central to the trauma system. It is capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury – from prevention through rehabilitation. This includes Pat Sanders, MD, an ED physician from Maine Medical Center who will start working at Memorial in May; and Harry Arters, MD from Hartford Hospital who is currently working part time and has been visiting the Valley for 18 years. They join Ryan Knapp, MD, currently the ED Director at Stephens Memorial Hospital who will be working several shifts a month at Memorial. He previously was the ED Director at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the largest in the state of NH.
“Having doctors with this level of experience is invaluable for our community,” shared Dr. Dunn. “It will ensure that every patient can receive the highest level of care possible from a practitioner with advanced training no matter when they arrive for treatment.”
Some of the new doctors have familiar names that many will recognize. Peter Tilney, DO. is related to retired surgeon Robert Tilney, M.D., who practiced at Memorial for decades. Tilney is also the Medical Director of LifeFlight of Maine, an organization which provides access to critical care and medical transport by helicopter. Another familiar name belongs to Kathleen (K.C.) Root, MD, the daughter of Dr. Heidi Root, longtime Valley physician who retired 2 years ago. Starting in September, K.C. will be working part time at Memorial Hospital and part time at Stephens Memorial Hospital.
The partnership with Stephens Memorial Hospital is part of the synergy taking place thanks to Memorial’s affiliation with MaineHealth. Both hospitals needed a part time ED physician, and their connection through MaineHealth made it possible to share her services and give her the opportunity she wanted to practice medicine back home in Mount Washington Valley and western Maine. Another Stephens doctor working several shifts a month at Memorial will be Jim Gallea, MD, making for a total of three shared providers with the Norway, ME hospital.
“CMO Ray Rabideau and I were grateful for the support from MaineHealth and Stephens Memorial in helping us fill the gap with these talented and skilled providers.” added Dunn.
Rounding out the new team are three additional physicians with varied backgrounds and reasons for joining the team at Memorial. Nick Armellino, DO finished his Maine Medical Center Residency and has known Dr. Dunn since medical school. Erik Davitt, MD joins the team full-time in August. Dunn added, “He’s from NH originally and always was interested in working here after finishing his residency. He has a strong interest in Wilderness Medicine and is a member of the Wilderness Medicine Society and is a candidate as a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, which should come in handy in these parts.” Paul Cohen, MD another emergency medicine residency trained physician will be joining the staff full time in September and is very excited to be a member of this community.
Last but not least, visitors to the Emergency Department over the last several months may have been treated by Martin Kelly, PA. Kelly has 17 years of ED experience and previously served in the military. He is a full time provider in the ED, who was added to staff in order to ensure that the hospital consistently was able to offer two practitioners on most times in order to handle surges in patient volume.
Many backgrounds, but a shared loved of the Valley and for Emergency Medicine – this new strong line up of ED providers joins the excellent team prepared to serve its community in times of need. For more information, visit them online at www.memorialhospitalnh.org or call 603-356-5461.
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, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, sleep center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, and the Miranda Center for Diabetes, behavioral health services, women's health, and orthopedics. The Merriman House, a 45-bed nursing home specializing in Alzheimer's and other memory disorders, is also located on the hospital campus.