BLUE HILL — Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital on Wednesday announced the launch of an $8-million capital campaign to fund the replacement of the existing hospital building and upgrade the Sussman Health Center. The total project cost is anticipated to be $19 million.
The campaign is named “The Next Century of Care: Keeping Our Promise.”
“We have a vision to preserve care close to home for our next century, and the Keeping Our Promise campaign is the key to making it a reality,” said John Ronan, president of the Blue Hill hospital and Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth. “The campaign provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to design and build a new hospital to serve this community’s specific needs. It will be our healthcare home for generations to come.”
The patient- and family-focused new hospital will be a comfortable environment for healing with lots of privacy for patients and views of the water from every inpatient room, stated hospital spokeswoman Kelley Columber. All patient rooms will be private with the latest in technology, a full-service emergency department, lab and imaging services, rehabilitation services, and more.
“The $19-million project will be funded through the Keeping Our Promise campaign and support from Northern Light Health as well as historical donations made to the hospital over the years,” Columber said. “The campaign will be led by a volunteer campaign committee comprised of local community leaders, businesses, donors, healthcare providers, and hospital staff.”
Nancy Hatfield of East Blue Hill is the Capital Campaign Committee chairwoman.
Hatfield has deep connections to the hospital having been born on the front lawn of the hospital more than 80 years ago when her mother, who was out on the water with her family, couldn’t make it inside of the hospital in time to deliver, said Columber. Nancy’s husband, Charlie Hatfield, served on the hospital’s board of trustees for many years.
“It’s difficult to imagine our community without Blue Hill Hospital,” said Nancy Hatfield. “It has been such an important part of our lives for generations. It’s a big reason why people choose to live here, spend summers here, and retire here. It’s the largest employer in the area. This is our hospital, and now is the time to come together as a community to ensure its future.”
Joining Hatfield on the campaign committee are Verena Stoll, Vicki Bartholow and Edward Griffin.
“Noting the community’s early enthusiasm for the project, the campaign committee and the Blue Hill Hospital Foundation are looking forward to quickly ramping up the fundraising effort to raise the money needed for the new hospital by the end of 2022,” said Columber.
According to Ronan, the project would not be possible without the community’s support.
“At a time when rural hospitals are closing across the country, the Keeping Our Promise campaign will help Blue Hill Hospital chart a different course,” he said. “We are very appreciative of this community’s generosity over the years, and we hope that our friends continue to be as passionate as we are about protecting this special resource. Together, we will make this new hospital a reality—that’s our promise to every person who walks through our doors.”
Naming opportunities are available to recognize the support of individuals, families and businesses and in honor or memory of loved ones. Hospital officials say every contribution will remain local to support the project. To learn more or to contribute, visit northernlight.org/BlueHillPromise or call Ruth Calas, director of philanthropy at 374-3411.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the campaign goal. The capital campaign aims to raise $8 million of the anticipated $19-million project cost.