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News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Compass, January 12, 2012
Blue Hill Memorial Hospital hires four new people

Blue Hill Memorial Hospital recently hired four new people—a new executive, a new nurse manager, a new occupational therapist and a full time care manager.

Elizabeth Schidzick-Brunelle is the new executive, a vice-president for provider services. She will oversee hospital services in Blue Hill, Castine, Stonington and Bucksport. Before she moved to Blue Hill, Schidzick-Brunelle oversaw the practices affiliated with Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, N.Y. She says those practices experienced a 330-percent growth rate under her oversight.

“We are very motivated to find new ways to deliver the best possible results for our patients,” she said. “Our increased focus on wellness and prevention is one way that we’re trying to improve the health of individuals, families, and entire communities.”

Deb Kneeland, RN, is the new nurse manager. She supervises the hospital’s 25-bed inpatient floor as well as its special care unit, which provides extra monitoring and other services for up to two patients.

Kneeland grew up in Ellsworth and moved back to the area with her husband to raise her two children and begin her nursing career.

When asked what she likes best about being a nurse, Kneeland doesn’t have to think long. “Nurses have a unique ability to directly impact people during some of the most vulnerable times of their lives,” she says. “I remember two nurses who took care of me years ago when I was a patient, and I want to do the same for others. Without knowing it, these two women changed the course of my life.”

Emily Stinchfield is the new occupational therapist, and recently completed her master’s in occupational therapy from Husson University. “In my senior year of high school, I took an online course that introduced me to occupational therapy,” she said in a press release. “I was hooked right away.” Already, Stinchfield has helped design a special room at the hospital that simulates a home environment.

“There is often a gap between hospital and home environments,” she explained in the press release, noting that patients may need help with rugs, furniture, and other potential safety hazards at home.

Lisa El-Hajj, RN, is the new full- time care manager. Her job will involve “helping our patients navigate the continuum of care for the best possible outcomes,” Connie Barrett, RN and chief nursing officer, said in a press release.

El-Hajj is the newest member of a team that includes nurses, a social worker, physical and occupational therapists, a pharmacist and other professionals. Previously, El-Hajj worked for New Hope Hospice in Eddington. She has also worked for a number of private companies and for several large hospitals in the Bangor area.

“All of my experiences as a nurse underscore the importance of advocating for patients, and giving them as many choices as possible about their healthcare,” El-Hajj said in the release.