New health center opens in Machias

“This has been a true community effort to revitalize this facility for the people in our area.”
A nurse uses a stethoscope on a young girl.
Photo by FatCamera/iStock.

Eastport Health Care Machias, also known as Machias Community Health Center, opened on July 24 and is now delivering primary care, including pediatrics, along with behavioral health services, as Eastport Health Care (EHC) continues to grow with more staff, patients and services.

The new health center is located in the former Rite Aid building on Route 1.

“We have built on EHC’s firm foundation of providers and support staff, who have an immense amount of energy and enthusiasm for this fresh start at EHC Machias,” said Kelly Forfa, RN, EHC Machias operations manager.

Ellen Krajewski, EHC’s CEO, said, “In 2022 EHC grew 33%. That is thousands of new patients. And we are continuing to add new patients and expand services. This new space will support delivery of quality care.”

“There is undeniable need for basic health care services in this county, and the EHC board of directors has provided strategic leadership and oversight to address major gaps in care,” commented Marilu Scott, board chair.

“Our residents don’t know where to turn,” said John Gaddis, D.O., EHC medical director. “EHC is filling a real gap in care.” 

Such a large undertaking cannot be accomplished without committed community partners. Machias Savings Bank, the Genesis Fund and Coastal Enterprises Inc., all community lenders, are working with EHC to make it happen. U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration has also awarded funds to support the project.

Sean Daye of Machias Savings Bank said, “This has been a true community effort to revitalize this facility for the people in our area.”

Genesis Executive Director Liza Fleming-Ives said, “The Genesis Community Loan Fund is delighted that our lending played a critical role in helping Eastport Health Care purchase and renovate the property that has been transformed into a state-of-the-art medical facility especially for families in Washington County.”

And Emma Enoch, loan and investment officer with Coastal Enterprises Inc., said, “CEI is a proud partner in support of Eastport Health Care’s new health care home.”

The project faced pandemic supply chain and work force challenges.

Geoffrey Fraser, principal of Fraser Associates Architects, added, “We believe this new clinic fills an important need for the community, revitalizes a dilapidated structure along the main Machias corridor and fully supports EHC’s mission to bring accessible, top-quality healthcare to the area.”

Justin King of King Construction says, “Being a locally-based business, we jump on every opportunity to improve and expand our community. We were able to revitalize an old, tired building, while bringing more healthcare providers to our area. Win, win!”

“EHC is grateful to both our newly established and our longstanding patients for continuing to seek care from EHC during this incredible time of change in healthcare,” said Krajewski. “Our job as a true community health center network with multiple locations in Washington County is to deliver quality care in supportive ways, as our patients strive to manage their health and quality of life. It is very exciting to be working with the EHC board, staff, patients and the community to actively improve health and wellness here in Washington County.”

For information about becoming an Eastport Health Care Machias patient, please call (207) 255-8290.

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This story was originally published by the Quoddy Tides, and is republished here with permission. 

Quoddy Tides

The Quoddy Tides is a community newspaper published in Eastport, Maine covering several communities in Washington County, Maine and Charlotte County, New Brunswick.
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