Dear Island Residents,

As many of you know when Royal River Family Care left the island in 2013 it was because Deirdre was ill and no longer able to come to the island. In an attempt to hold her position I did not fill her position so that she could have a job when she was well enough. This meant we could no longer sustain a presence on the island. Deirdre came back very part time (4 hours a week and eventually 12 hours a week) but never really worked into the full position she had been working prior to going out on medical leave. Recently Deirdre has left us to try and begin an alternative type practice in South Portland. So – we continue to work with 2 providers in a very busy medical practice.

I recently was approached by the Island Council and asked if I could resume providing care on the island. At this time I am unable to provide a regular presence because we are still working with only 2 providers. With that said, I have a deep love for the island community and for you, the islanders. My heart understands the difficulties of island life and travel to the mainland especially for really sick individuals and the elderly. As part of our practice we do do house calls for our patients in those circumstances – but that doesn’t generally mean a morning out of the practice to travel a great distance.

So – what I offered to the island council is what I offered when we left the island in 2013. I, personally, am happy to make a call to Chebeague to see someone who truly is unable to travel to the mainland for care (someone who is housebound). If the care needed is urgent then the rescue and a trip to the ER is more appropriate. The house call I would make would have to be scheduled and it may be several days before I can find the time needed to take the ferry to and from the island. I see patients in our office 4 days per week currently and continue to serve Tuttle Road UMC in Cumberland as pastor. So it can be a bit tricky to find a block of time to come to the island.

I always desire for people to have access to health care and to have the best care possible. I wish I was in a position to make the transition to providing care for you on the island but at this time it is not possible on a regular basis. If you are unable to come to the mainland for care (are housebound) and need more than visiting nurse services, I would be happy to provide care for you. I would stress though that the best care for you is often the care provided in a setting that has the diagnostic equipment needed for providing care. If you have a provider and the ability to get to that provider, that is the most optimal care for you.

I hope this helps to clarify the information that you have about our practice providing care on the island. It is not optimal but at this time it is what I can offer to help fill the gap until the island determines what is needed for island residents.

Linda Brewster
Royal River Family Care, PA
60 Forest Falls Drive
Yarmouth, Me 04021