Two Franklin Memorial Hospital physical therapists, Rebecca Gagnon-Pillsbury and Heather Patterson, recently completed an extensive three-day course in pelvic health physical therapy, level 1, offered by the section on women’s health of the American Physical Therapy Association. As a result, they are accepting referrals from primary care providers to treat female patients who have pelvic floor disorders.

Through the normal movement and stresses associated with daily living, a woman’s pelvic floor can weaken or carry undue stress, resulting in urinary or bowel urgency, incontinence, constipation, pelvic pain, back pain or pain with intercourse. Physical therapy can break into those dysfunctional cycles through education, behavior modification and exercises to facilitate normal coordination of pelvic floor muscles.

Patients seeking treatment will have an initial evaluation that includes an extensive history interview, examination of the spine and lower extremities, biofeedback assessment of the pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles, an internal pelvic floor assessment, and education and initiation of a home program of exercises.

“We are very excited to have our physical therapy department add the treatment of pelvic floor disorders to the services we provide,” said Susan Loughrey, FMH interim director of physical rehabilitation and sports medicine. “Many women suffer from urgency, urinary and stress incontinence, back pain and pelvic pain that can have a great impact on their lives. A woman who suffers from these symptoms should talk to her doctor about it. Incontinence can be treated.”

Patterson and Gagnon-Pillsbury also plan to complete levels 2 and 3 offered by the section on women’s health of the American Physical Therapy Association, which will result in a certificate of achievement in pelvic physical therapy. The certificate is awarded to physical therapists who complete three courses of training in pelvic physical therapy, pass written and clinical testing requirements at each level, and successfully complete a written case report.

Other women’s health services offered by the FMH Physical Therapy Department include treatment for back pain related to pregnancy and post-partum issues, lymphedema, post-operative breast care, treatment of lower back pain, and osteoporosis.

For more information or appointments, call 779-2620.

Maine Health Care Association, first lady honor caregivers of elderly, disabled

Heather McEwen, a certified nursing assistant at Mount St. Joseph Residence and Rehabilitation in Waterville, recently received the Maine Health Care Association 2015 Celebrating Excellence in Care-giving Award during a recognition ceremony held at the Augusta Civic Center. The awards, which were presented by Maine first lady Ann LePage, are given annually to long-term care employees statewide who have consistently exemplified a commendable level of caregiving, dedication and professionalism in caring for the state’s elderly and disabled citizens living in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

McEwen was one of 14 caregivers statewide who received the honor this year. She is a lead certified nursing assistance/restorative aide working on the long-term and memory care units at Mount St. Joseph. In that role, McEwen provides coaching and mentoring to fellow certified nursing assistant colleagues as well as provides restorative therapy services to elders within the facility.

The Celebrating Excellence Award is designed to thank and honor Maine’s long-term care employees who spend their days and nights caring for others. To be considered, nominees must meet certain criteria, including consistent quality of care giving, attention to residents’ rights, leadership among peers, and ability to inspire others through example. Nominations for the award were submitted by long-term care facilities statewide, and winners were selected by an independent panel of judges with long-term care expertise.

Alfond Youth Center announces four new board members

The Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA of Greater Waterville at the Alfond Youth Center announced the appointment of four new members of its board of directors as well as the full slate of officers and board members for 2015-2016.

Joining the board of directors are Carolyn Greene, Jim Hughes, Joe Jabar Jr. and Dan Shea.

“All four of our newest board members embody the spirit of community and bring talent, expertise and energy to the table. We are very fortunate to have them by our side — as the work we do and the opportunities we provide for the youth of Greater Waterville are more important than ever,” said Ken Walsh, the center’s CEO.

Carolyn Greene moved to Waterville from Chicago in July 2014 and promptly joined the Alfond Youth Center board. She serves on the after-school program committee. A first-generation college student, Greene earned her bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s degree in human development and psychology at Harvard University. Greene directed early education centers and after-school programs as well as outreach and instructional programs for Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) and for KQED, the Public Broadcasting Network of San Francisco.

James “Jim” Hughes is the Thomas Sowell Professor of Economics at Bates College. Hughes received his bachelor’s degree in international and comparative studies as well as a master’s degree in economics from Boston University. He worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., before enrolling in the economics doctoral program at the University of Michigan. He met his wife, former Alfond Youth Center board member Debra Barbezat, at Michigan, where she was also a graduate student. After graduating from Michigan, Hughes was a member of the faculty at the State University of New York at Albany and Amherst College prior to going to Bates College in 1992. Hughes and Barbezat have been active in the Alfond Youth Center for more 20 years as mentors to several club children. They received the Paganucci Award for Outstanding Community Service in 2004 and were inducted into the Inspirational Hall of Fame in 2005.

Joseph “Joe” Jabar Jr. is a senior account executive and LPL Financial branch manager. Jabar has had a lifelong association with the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA, dating back to when the two Waterville organizations were still independent, and he served as president of the YMCA board during the merger with the Boys & Girls Club. His wife, Bridget, was the board president of the Boys & Girls Club at that same time. Jabar also has served on the Alfond Youth Center board for 12 years. A graduate of Colby College, Jabar has served on numerous boards, including those of the United Way of Mid-Maine, Waterville Area Humane Society, Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine, and the Waterville Opera House.

Daniel M. Shea is the director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and a professor of government at Colby College. A native of upstate New York, Shea received his doctorate from the University at Albany, State University of New York, and his undergraduate degree from Oswego State. Prior to coming to Colby in the summer of 2012, he taught at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he also created and directed the Center for Political Participation. A scholar of American politics, Shea has written or edited nearly 20 books and dozens of articles on topics ranging from electoral dynamics, campaign management, youth political engagement, the politics of the media and declining civility in politics.

The Alfond Youth Center board members for 2015-2016 are: Brent Burger, chairman; Dr. Margaret Griffin, first vice chairwoman; Scott Jones, second vice chairman; Jane Bickford, secretary; Mike Runser, treasurer; Kenneth A. Walsh, CEO; Michaela Murphy, past chairwoman; Dr. Steve Diaz; Dan Dubord; Carolyn Greene; Ray Haskell; Sue Hawkes; Jim Hughes; Joe Jabar Jr.; Brian Kelly; Maeghan Maloney; Phil Roy; and Dan Shea.

Kennebec Savings Bank hires new loan administrator

Kennebec Savings Bank has announced the hiring of Louise “Anni” Roming as a commercial portfolio loan administrator. She will be based at the Waterville branch.

Roming comes from TD Bank, where she served as a relationship manager for small-business customers in central Maine. She has experience in underwriting, account management construction loan administration, inspection and compliance reports. Prior to joining the financial industry, Roming was a corporate project manager for Oxford Networks and worked for the Gale Group (Thorndike Press) as a sales support coordinator. Roming earned an associate degree from Kennebec Valley Technical College (now known as Kennebec Valley Community College) and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Thomas College. She is an active volunteer with the Friends of Lake Winnecook, United Historical Society, Unity Foundation and the committee for the Alfond Youth Center Charity Ball.

Turner egg farm transitions to Hillandale Management

Hillandale Farms has assumed management of a Turner egg farm’s operations. In July, Hillandale Farms assumed a lease from Land O’Lakes subsidiary Moark to operate two egg farms north of and between the towns of Turner and Winthrop, including layers, processing and feed mill.

Hillandale announced that along with the transition, every hourly employee is receiving a pay raise. In addition, the company is offering benefits that meet or exceed employees’ current package, and the farm will continue to honor seniority, which means employees who were vested with Moark received the same status on their first day of employment with Hillandale Farms.

“Providing a good wage and benefits package is important to keeping our employees and their families healthy and happy,” farm manager Skip Hagy said in a news release. “These are local people producing local eggs for our New England customers.”

Hillandale Farms is a family-owned and -operated company whose philosophy is to control the quality of every aspect of producing, processing and marketing eggs to exceed today’s most stringent animal care and environmental standards.

“We have received a warm welcome from the team here in Maine, and we look forward to building on what they’ve started,” said Steve Vendemia, president of Hillandale Farms. “We have a great deal of confidence in the management team and employees here that they will continue to excel.”

Gifford’s vanilla flavors win two first-place awards at 2015 World Dairy Expo

Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream announced that both its old-fashioned vanilla and vanilla bean flavors took first place in their respective categories at this year’s World Dairy Expo, the leading dairy and ice cream competition in North America.

Ice cream purists can find Gifford’s Old Fashioned Vanilla in grocery stores from Maine to Maryland, and Vanilla Bean is one of the company’s wholesale flavor offerings for restaurants, colleges and universities. Both flavors are the base for many of Gifford’s unique flavors. The company was honored at an awards ceremony Monday at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

“Gifford’s has done extremely well for many years in our World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest,” said Bradley Legreid, executive director of the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, in a news release. “In fact, their World’s Best Chocolate has been selected as the Grand Champion in five of the past six years, and they have received numerous first place awards over the years. This success speaks to the quality of the ice cream that Gifford’s makes.”

The Wisconsin Dairy Products Association sponsors the annual competition, which is now in its 13th year. There were 69 classes for cheese and Grade A dairy. Judging occurred in nine ice cream categories, and each ice cream entry was judged in a blind taste test, based on flavor, body and texture, melting quality, color and appearance. Judging took place on Aug. 20.

“We are so honored that our two vanilla flavors were recognized this year at the World Dairy Expo,” said Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, fifth generation ice cream maker and general manager of Gifford’s. “Making award winning ice cream takes an incredible team and our employees work hard every day to ensure we stay true to the standards passed on by my family over five generations.”

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub holding fundraiser for Boys & Girls Club

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub, which has a location on Civic Center Drive in Augusta, announced that the annual Boys & Girls Club fundraiser to benefit local club chapters in communities throughout New England and New York will run through Sunday, Nov. 1. The fundraiser began Sept. 28.

“The month of October is always a special time for the Ninety Nine as we mark our 18 year relationship with the Boys & Girls Club. Our restaurants continue to demonstrate hard work and commitment to giving back to their local Boys & Girls Clubs within their communities,” said Charlie Noyes, Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub president, in a news release. “Last year we raised an impressive $547,000 and we know our fundraising efforts will continue to benefit the kids at the local Boys & Girls Clubs making this year another memorable one for the Boys & Girls Club.”

Each restaurant has a local relationship with a Boys & Girls chapter, and all proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to those local clubs. All Ninety Nine locations will be participating and guests can help in the fundraising by purchasing certain appetizers, sandwich or meal deals.

To continue with the October celebration, children eat free every Sunday in October, Halloween and the first Sunday in November.

Kennebec Valley Chamber Women’s Network Luncheon to be held Thursday

Kennebec Valley Chamber Women’s Network Luncheon is set for Thursday at the Senator Inn, 284 Western Ave. Attorney General Janet T. Mills will give a talk about recognizing and reporting abuse of the elderly. Early networking will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a noon buffet.

The cost is $25 for members who register this week and $30 for nonmembers. Attendees are asked to RSVP, because reservation guarantees a spot. To cancel, notify the Chamber three working days before the event, or a charge will be incurred. For more information or to RSVP, call 623-4559 or email [email protected].

The attorney general is Maine’s chief law enforcement officer and represents the state in legal matters including child support enforcement, civil rights, consumer protection, and the prosecution of homicides, felony drug cases and major frauds. Mills was re-elected for her second consecutive in December 2014. During her presentation, Mills will discuss many of the barriers to reporting elder abuse as well as options should the need to report elder abuse arise.

Connected Credit Union breaking ground on new location

Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce member Connected Credit Union will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday at the corner of Civic Center Drive and Gaywalk Street in Augusta. The credit union plans to open a branch there.

Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce hosting Business EXPO Oct. 14

The Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual Business EXPO from 4 to 7 p.m Oct. 14 at the Augusta Civic Center. This year the event will be held in the main auditorium and will showcase exhibits from more than 100 area business and organizations. Admission costs $5 at the door or is free with your business card.

“We have greatly expanded this event in order to meet the demands of our growing region,” said Ross Cunningham, chamber president and CEO. “This is a great opportunity for business professionals and the general public to come out and learn about what our region has to offer.”

“Exhibitors in this year’s show have been gearing up for months — preparing their Halloween themed booths and finding creative ways to highlight their latest products and services,” Cunningham added in a news release. “The EXPO is the premier occasion for highly-concentrated networking. Exhibitors and attendees both have a lot to gain in new customers, new service providers, new product information, and new connections.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to enter to win a variety of prizes, totaling more than $5,000, and will have the opportunity to take advantage of promotional offers and product samples from the exhibitors. The grand prize of $1,000 cash, sponsored by Ganneston Construction Corp, will be drawn at the end of the show. The free reception from 5 to 7 pm will include hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available throughout the entirety of the show.

For more information, visit KennebecValleyChamber.com or call 623-4559.

Two health care groups receive grants for naloxone use training

MaineGeneral Medical Center and Down East AIDS Network and the Health Equity Alliance have received funding from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to provide education, training and resources in rural areas affected by opioid overdoses.

MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Center for Prevention and Healthy Living has been awarded $100,000 for one year. The center will work with Atlantic Partners EMS and with sheriff’s offices from Aroostook, Kennebec, Knox and Sagadahoc counties. The goal is to train deputies on the use of naloxone to reverse an overdose and to provide education and resources to opioid users looking for treatment.

Similarly, the Health Equity Alliance was awarded $100,000 for one year. The group’s work will complement that of MaineGeneral Medical Center. It will focus on training and equipping first responders, health care and community service providers and people at highest risk with the overdose reversal drug naloxone. Services under this program will be provided throughout northern and central Maine counties.

“By decreasing barriers to accessing naloxone, we can make sure this vital medication is in the right place at the right time to save a life,” said Kenney Miller, executive director of DEAN and the Health Equity Alliance. “Over the last decade, drug overdose deaths have emerged as a public health crisis. This funding gives us the opportunity to do something about it.”

The awards are from the Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal Grant Program. Fifteen awards were made under this program, two of which were received by the Maine organizations.

MaineGeneral received grants from state sources in 2014 to educate providers, pharmacists and the public about the life-saving potential of the emergency opiate overdose prescription drug naloxone. The federal grant will help expand these efforts and reach more people in rural areas of the state.

To learn more about the Emergency Opiate Overdose Program, call MaineGeneral’s Harm Reduction Program at 621-3770. For more information on the Health Equity Alliance and the Maine Harm Reduction Alliance, call 667-3506, ext. 13.