Brostek named consumers health care group director

Emily Brostek, the associate director of the Consumers for Affordable Health Care has been named executive director of the Augusta office.

Board of Directors president Helen Hanson said in a press release that Brostek “has all the right skills to lead CAHC into the future and build on the strong foundation established by Joe Ditré, the organization’s founding executive director.”

Hanson said Brostek’s success as a nonprofit organization leader, as well as her experience “as a committed patient and consumer advocate, and her passion for social justice all position her to ensure the organization’s continued success.”

Brostek guided CAHC through the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, leading the organization through the largest increase in activity it has ever seen, according to the release, including a 75 percent increase in calls to the Consumer Assistance HelpLine and a 279 percent increase in outreach and education. Brostek also authored a report that highlights the factors leading to Maine’s success in enrolling more than 44,000 people into Affordable Care Act health coverage. The report was released in conjunction with Families USA, and featured in blogs and reports by Community Catalyst and Enroll America, according to the release.

Brostek said that she’s “excited to work with the talented and passionate advocates on CAHC’s staff.”

“Over the organization’s 26 years, CAHC has led Maine to become first in the nation to enact the very health policies that became the basis for national health reform,” she said in the release.

Before joining CAHC, Brostek was training institute manager at Hardy Girls Healthy Women in Waterville. She holds a master of public health and a certificate in interdisciplinary health communication from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and is an NCHEC certified health education specialist.

Servpro of Augusta/Waterville recognized

Peter and Leah Haraden, of Servpro of Augusta/Waterville, were awarded the Director’s Silver Award by the company for outstanding revenue performance. The recognition took place during the company’s 45th annual convention in June, held in Nashville.

Peter Haradan said the award reflects both the dedication of the Augusta/Waterville team and the ongoing support the parent company provides.

“We will continue to work hard to earn the trust and respect of home and business owners in our community and to stand ready at a moment’s notice if they need help recovering from a storm, fire, water or other disaster,” he said.

The company provides disaster cleanup and fire and water damage restoration services for homes and businesses.

Christie wins Yankee Quill Award

Hallowell’s John Christie is one of five journalists who will receive the Yankee Quill Award this fall for contributions to the betterment of journalism in New England.

Other 2014 honorees are Joe Bergantino, director, New England Center for Investigative Reporting; Karen Bordeleau, executive editor, The Providence Journal; Richard Lodge, editor, MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, Mass.; Alan White, editor, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

Christie is founder of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. Before he founded the organization in 2009, he was the publisher of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel. The public interest reporting group has produced more than 150 investigative stories about Maine state and local government, according to a press release. Christie was cited for his “commitment to the core principles and obligations of a free press” and his role in the founding and nurturing of the Maine center.

“Receiving the Yankee Quill is a gratifying cap to a long newspaper career, one that still has a few more miles in it, I hope,” Christie said in a statement.

“It goes back to being the summer kid at the Sanford Tribune 46 years ago up to today,” he said in the release. “Awards are wonderful, but it’s still all about the work that I was lucky to find in my college days.”

The Yankee Quill Award is presented annually by the Academy of New England Journalists through the auspices of the New England Society of News Editors Foundation. Selection for the award is not based on any single achievement but rather on the broad influence for good over the course of a career.

Gray Birch and Inn at City Hall Receive Bronze National Quality Award

MaineGeneral Rehabilitation and Long Term Care’s Gray Birch and the Inn at City Hall in Augusta have been recognized as 2014 recipients of the Bronze Commitment to Quality Award for dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care, according to a press release.

The award is from the National Quality Award program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. The program honors centers across the nation that have demonstrated commitment to improving quality care for seniors and individuals with disabilities, according to the release.

Gray Birch administrative director Connie McDonald said that the achievement results from getting ahead of problems; in this case, pressure ulcers.

“Our focus is on prevention rather than being really good at healing patients after pressure ulcers occur,” McDonald said in the release. “Staff is very aware of all the risks associated with pressure, especially for the elderly. They’ve done an outstanding job.”

The Gray Birch team included nurses, CNAs, housekeepers, a dietitian and social workers. The team was educated on risks as well as prevention techniques and even communication strategies to promote prevention, the release said.

“When we began the quality improvement project, our rate of pressure ulcers was almost 17 percent,” said McDonald. “After a year, the rate was down to 5.3 percent, and currently we are just under 5 percent.”

At the Inn at City Hall, staff undertook a fall prevention program. Each resident is assessed for their risk of falls. Activities and education is provided to help build strength and knowledge of safer living, and individual progress is tracked, the release said.

Inn at City Hall administrator Lynda Pratt said, “We take a proactive approach to fall prevention and that has made for happier and safer living conditions. In addition, we’ve increased participation in our facility social activities overall. These efforts — along with the dedication and hard work of employees — has made for very successful changes in our residents’ lives.”

Franklin Memorial named among the nation’s most wired hospitals

FARMINGTON — Franklin Memorial Hospital has again been named as one of the nation’s most wired hospitals according to the results of the 2014 Health Care’s Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association.

FMH was one of 375 hospitals recognized in the Most Wired category, which reflects core development, according to a press release from Hospitals & Health Networks. Twenty organizations exceeded core criteria, receiving Advanced recognition; 25 others received Most Improved and 25 Most Wired Small and Rural.

The press release said that hospitals use information technology to better connect care providers as the nation’s health care system transitions to more integrated and patient-centered care. For instance, 67 percent of most wired hospitals share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers, according to the release. Most Wired hospitals, those that meet a set of rigorous criteria across four operational categories, have made tremendous gains by using IT to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Among those hospitals, 81 percent of medications are matched to the patient, nurse and order via bar code technology at the bedside.

MaineGeneral Medical Center receives gift from the Waterville Rotary Club

MaineGeneral Medical Center officials were today presented with a check for $18,000 from the Waterville Rotary Club to support the capital campaign for the Alfond Center for Health. In particular, the club was inspired by the work of the hospital’s maternity and pediatrics center, according to a press release.

“MaineGeneral delivers more than 1,000 babies in the Kennebec Valley each year,” said Chuck Hays, CEO of MaineGeneral Health in the release. “This generous gift from the Waterville Rotary Club recognizes the high-quality services we provide in our region — especially to our youngest patients.”

A nursing station in the hospital’s maternity and pediatric center will be named for the Waterville Rotary Club.

Rotary Club President Len LeGrand said, “The Waterville Rotary Club recognizes that MaineGeneral provides invaluable services to our families and community. We have heard about the challenges of treating some newborns with special needs. MaineGeneral’s new level II NICU provides a level of care that keeps families together right here in the Kennebec Valley. These are essential services to maintain in our region.”

The level II NICU has special equipment that had not been available in the Kennebec Valley until the opening of the new hospital. The new equipment and services available for certain babies helps keep more families in the area instead of traveling outside the region for such specialized services, according to the release.

Compiled from contributed releases

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