LEWISTON – CaringBridge connects loved ones across the miles. Developed to keep friends and family informed during important life events, including medical treatment, childbirth, rehabilitation and end-of-life care, CaringBridge, an Internet-based service, enables free “virtual patient visitation” for those undergoing medical treatment at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

Patients (or family members) receive their own easy-to-build Web site where they can post information about their condition, provide updates and post photographs. Family members and friends who are unable to visit the hospital can then view the site online to read the latest news and post notes of encouragement and support in the guest book.

St. Mary’s has several computers onsite for families and friends to create sites, make updates and review incoming messages. CaringBridge can also be accessed from home by logging on to www.caringbridge.org.

To date, nearly 16,000 personalized CaringBridgeTM Web sites have been created, resulting in more than 66 million visits and more than 2 million guest book entries.

The service is possible due to the donations from the CaringBridge community of supporters, including Vanguard Imaging at St. Mary’s. “Contributions are vital to carrying out the mission of serving a worldwide community in helping to bring comfort, joy and support to families during critical situations,” said Caring Bridge Founder and Executive Director Sona Mehring.

For more information, visit the St. Mary’s Web site at www.stmarysmaine.com.

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