Meet Michael Peterson, FACHE, AVH President

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I've recently reflected on my time here in the North Country and my first three full years as President of Androscoggin Valley Hospital. During that time, the achievements of the outstanding and truly dedicated providers, nurses, technical, clinical, and support staff at AVH have instilled in me an overwhelming sense of pride. It’s our Team working together which makes it possible to deliver on our promise to provide the highest quality, compassionate care possible, to every patient, every day.  While I know we’re not yet attaining perfection, we are striving for it. I remain convinced it can be achieved.

I say this because, for many months, we’ve seen amazing results in a number of quality metrics on which we regularly focus. I’m proud to share a few with you here:

  • Medication errors (even if they don’t actually reach the patient) are a scourge to our industry. For the past several months, we have been able to achieve a 0.0% error rate despite the fact we deliver between 7,000 and 8,000 doses of medication every month.
  • Our inpatient readmission rate to the hospital is less than half of the national average.
  • In hospital-acquired infections, also an ongoing focus of improvement nationally in our industry, we’ve achieved a 0.02% result this past year, which equates to just one incident in the past 4,933 patient days. This is 39 times better than the national benchmark of 0.794%.

These results do not simply “happen."  It takes us all looking forward, believing that we can achieve perfection, and tolerating nothing but our very best delivery every day. It takes collaboration, communication, accountability, and a true sense of ownership to pull this off. It takes a Board of Trustees, a Medical Staff, and Administrative Team working in concert to demonstrate the support and leadership ability to facilitate an environment where each and every employee at AVH can achieve his or her true potential. I am absolutely confident in our ability to reach our stated Vision of being one of the Top 10 Critical Access Hospitals in the Country, because I see evidence of all of these “must haves” in place as I round throughout our facility and talk with our staff. The people here truly care…not only for the patients we serve, who are indeed our friends and neighbors, but also very much for each other. It’s this level of engagement and teamwork that have allowed us to be so successful, and will continue to move us forward in the coming years.

But, don’t just take my word for it…

Earlier this month, AVH was informed by the National Rural Health Association that we had achieved Top 100 status among all Critical Access Hospitals in the country for the 9th year. In May of 2018, we were informed that, due to our outstanding performance in quality, patient satisfaction, employee engagement, market share, and financial stability, we had actually achieved Top 20 status on that same list. We’re well on our way to achieving our Vision.

With a new CEO at North Country Healthcare (our parent System) joining our family, who comes to us with an award-winning history of successful leadership and extensive clinical experience, I believe the outlook and future of AVH remain bright. Knowing that our retention rate of excellent providers, nurses, and all of our other staff is greater than twice the national average, I’m also confident that our experience working together as a team for the benefit of the people we care for will enable us to continue to do so for the long haul.

I invite you to visit us in healthy times, so you can experience all of these things first hand; and am very comforted to know that AVH is here for you if you need us in not-so-healthy times as well.



Michael Peterson, FACHE