ROCKLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Living on an island can be challenging especially when it comes to accessing medical care. However, one organization is working to make things easier for islanders.
“When I look down in the harbor and the sunbeam is there, even if I don't come down, it just makes me feel better,” said Sharon Dailey.
It is a reminder that help is near, even when residents are several miles away from the mainland.
As an islander, herself, Sharon Dailey knows how difficult it can be to receive healthcare in the middle of the ocean. That is why she has put her registered nursing skills to work aboard the Sunbeam V.
“It sounds corny but I consider it a real privilege just to be a part of the community and island lives, it's really special,” said Dailey.
It is all part of the Maine Seacoast Mission. Instead of traveling to the doctor, the doctor goes to his or her patients.
Every two weeks, Dailey and her team of medical professionals return to several islands along Maine's coast to offer their services.
Through their tele-medicine program, patients and their nurse can communicate with their physician through a television screen.
And without that service, Clayton Philbrook of Mattinicus Island would still be suffering from a ripped Achilles heel.
“Being able to see someone on the boat that day that said yes you need to get this done. It made me get the work done much faster, so I recovered that much faster and I got back to fishing that much faster,” said Philbrook.
Getting on and off the island for medical attention can be a long and expensive process.
The Maine Seacoast Mission tries to alleviate some of that stress for patients, but those are not the only people being impacted.
“Being able to connect with people, you often I think, get more than you give,” said Dailey.
After their visit, a patient’s medication is then flown or shipped to the island, which is still significantly cheaper for island residents.