memorial gift

From left: Chief Nursing Officer Kris Dascoulias,; Joe Lentini, EMT; Laura Lemieux, director of marketing and events at Settlers Green and Settlers Crossing; Sharlene Wiley, RN; Emergency Management & Clinical Education Coordinator Nick Dukehart; and Will Owen, manager of clinical education and emergency management. (COURTESY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL)

CONWAY — Thanks to Settlers Crossing, the cold temperatures and snow are not getting in the way of COVID-19 testing at Memorial Hospital.

Settlers Crossing has provided funding for the purchase of a large tent structure that has been set up adjacent to the Hospital’s Emergency Department entrance to shelter staff and patients from the elements during testing. The structure was installed last month, in time for the height of winter storms.

 “We wanted to show our gratitude for all the efforts Memorial Hospital made in 2020 to keep our community healthy and safe,” said Laura Lemieux, director of marketing and events at Settlers Crossing. “We could not pass on the opportunity to support the frontline workers, and we hope this serves them well as the fight against COVID-19 continues into 2021."

The shelter provides additional protection from the elements and, most important, some heat for Memorial clinicians collecting COVID-19 samples from patients who remain in their vehicle during the procedure.

"We like to think of Settlers Crossing as the neighborhood shopping center, and we're happy to lend a hand and be a good neighbor to our local hospital," Lemieux added.

Memorial officials say they have been modifying testing procedures throughout the pandemic as more becomes known about the virus and as testing improves.

Memorial President Art Mathisen said the hospital was considering several options to keep testing outside the hospital during the winter.

“Our goal has always been to keep the virus outside the hospital as much as possible. In the spring and summer our clinicians had to deal occasionally with wind and rain and one or two extra hot days. But we knew this was New England, and we needed better preparations for the winter. This structure provides some comfort to our staff and is an extra measure to keep our staff and patents in the hospital safe from the virus.”

The testing center is located adjacent to the hospital’s emergency department entrance. Testing hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily and can be scheduled by calling (603) 356-0673. Patients drive up and remain in their vehicle. Memorial collects on average between 100-120 samples each day for COVID-19 testing. The samples are sent to the lab with results available to the patient usually within 48 hours.

Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health and wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, diabetes care, behavioral health, women's health, podiatry, orthopedics and physical therapy. Memorial Hospital is also home to The Merriman House nursing home, which provides senior care services in a comfortable, home-like setting. For more information, go to memorialhospitalnh.org or call (603) 356-5461.

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