BANGOR, Maine — Senator Susan Collins made her way through two Northern Light hospitals in Bangor on Wednesday. Collins is in support of nearly $3.2 million in funding for Eastern Maine Medical Center and Acadia Hospital.
The funding is part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. The bill still needs to be voted on by the Senate and House.
The money would be used for two projects. The first would support the current construction of a new inpatient wing specifically for mental health patients to address some limitations at Acadia Hospital.
"Because of spacing requirements and the difficulty of housing patients two in a room, they cannot fully utilize the 100 beds that they are licensed for," Collins said.
Once completed, the hospital will have 100 private rooms for mental health patients, with a focus on it's youngest patients.
"The resources that we will have here at Acadia Hospital will allow those children to come out of the emergency room environment and into the therapeutic environment that they need," Lisa Harvey-McPherson, VP of government relations for Northern Light, said.
The second project would cover the cost of 28 new ventilators for EMMC's critical care units.
"I'm very excited about both of these two projects, they have quite a long ways to go yet but securing the approval of the appropriations committee is an essential first step and it's one that I as a member of that committee, as a senior member, advocated very strongly for," Collins said.
Collins says she is hopeful the bill will head to a vote next month.
Collins also addressed the historic Inflation Reduction Act that passed the Senate 51-50 on Sunday, without her support.
"I did not think that a lot of the provisions of the bill were well thought out," Collins said.
Collins says the spending package comes at a time when Mainers are still struggling with high gas prices and grocery bills.
Collins also weighed in on the search warrant of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
"I found it shocking... I think the justice department needs to release more information on what the basis was for the FBI raid," Collins said.