Lawyers group elects Jim Billings president

AUGUSTA — Jim Billings, of the Augusta law firm McKee Billings, P.A., at 133 State St., recently was elected president of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Founded in 1992, the association is a statewide organization of criminal defense lawyers committed to fairness to those accused of crimes.

Billings’ practice focuses on criminal defense, personal injury, family law, appellate, construction law and general civil litigation.

Zachary Blakeman joins Franklin Health Orthopaedics

FARMINGTON — Dr. Zachary Blakeman has joined the medical staff of Franklin Health Orthopaedics and Franklin Memorial Hospital to provide podiatry specialty services, dealing with a wide range of foot and ankle challenges. His services include treatment of soft tissue and bony surgeries of the foot and ankle, treatment of plantar fasciitis and related conditions, bunion and hammertoe surgery; foot and ankle reconstruction and revision, podiatric sports medicine, and nondiabetic and diabetic foot care, with consultation as needed with wound care specialist Dr. Gerald Tinguely in the FMH Wound Clinic.

Blakeman received his podiatric medical degree from Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence, Ohio. He then completed a three-year hospital-based residency encompassing all aspects of podiatric medicine and surgery. During his residency, Dr. Blakeman also received training in internal medicine, infectious diseases, emergency medicine and trauma, vascular medicine, plastic surgery, and pediatrics.

Franklin Health Orthopaedics is located on the second floor of the Franklin Health Medical Arts Center, at 111 Franklin Health Commons in Farmington. For more information or to make an appointment, call 778-9001.

Three MaineGeneral offices moving to Augusta’s Ballard Center

Three MaineGeneral Health offices on Water Street in Augusta are moving to the Ballard Center, on the city’s east side.

Kennebec Pediatrics and the Augusta offices of MaineGeneral WIC and the Edmund N. Ervin Pediatric Center will open Monday at their new location on the third floor of the Ballard Center, at 6 East Chestnut St.

Parking is available on Arsenal Street, and visitors should use the Arsenal Street entrance to enter the building.

A complete list of MaineGeneral services can be found at or by calling toll-free at 855-464-4463.

Six area students win Gardiner Federal Credit Union scholarships

GARDINER — Gardiner Federal Credit Union scholarship committee recently awarded six students a total of $3,000 in scholarships. Students will receive $500 each. The scholarships were made available to students pursuing postsecondary education or graduate degrees.

To be considered for the scholarships, students had to complete the application process and submit two qualifying essays. They did not need to be credit union members, but must have qualified for membership by living, working, worshipping or attending school in Kennebec County, Lincoln County, or the towns of Palermo or Richmond. Gardiner Federal Credit Union is at 10 Old Brunswick Road in Gardiner.

The committee received 57 applications and 114 essays.

The winners of this year’s scholarships are Margaret “Sissy” Smith, Gardiner Area High School; Ashley Mason, Lincoln Academy; Benjamin Joseph Cloutier, Cony High School; Dakota Carter, Winthrop High School; Hanna Elizabeth Foye, Wiscasset High School; and Miranda Maysan McIntire, Wiscasset High School.

Augusta Orthodontics receives 2015 Best of Augusta Award

AUGUSTA — Augusta Orthodontics, at 132 State St. in Augusta, has been selected for the 2015 Best of Augusta Award in the orthodontists category by the Augusta Award Program.

Each year, the Augusta Award Program identifies businesses that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their community and business category.

The program said it gathered information internally and from third parties and analyzed it to choose the winners in each category.

Maine Veterans’ Home receives Silver National Quality Award

AUGUSTA — The Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta has been selected as a 2015 recipient of the Silver Achievement in Quality award for its outstanding performance in the health care profession. The award is one of three available through the National Quality Award Program and presented by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.

The nursing home, which opened on 1983, is on Cony Road.

The competitive award program highlights select centers across the nation that serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality long-term and post-acute care.

“This is just such an incredible honor,” MVH Augusta administrator Gail Hillstrom said. “We absolutely could not have accomplished this without the hard work of our incredible team. Their commitment and dedication to quality and improving the lives of our residents every day is why we were able to achieve this recognition.”

Established 1996, the National Quality Award Program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The program assists providers of long-term and post-acute care services in achieving their performance excellence goals. The program has three levels: bronze, silver and gold. Centers begin the quality improvement process at the bronze level and must receive an award at each level before proceeding to the next.

The Maine Veterans’ Home in Bangor also was awarded the Silver Achievement in Quality Award for 2015, which means that five of the six Maine Veterans’ Homes locations in the state have achieved the honor. The silver award will be presented during the AHCA/NCAL 66th Annual Convention and Exposition, Oct. 4-7, in San Antonio, Texas.

MaineGeneral debuts Center for Prevention and Healthy Living

MaineGeneral Health last week unveiled the Center for Prevention and Healthy Living, a resource to help people in the Kennebec Valley live healthier lives.

“MaineGeneral provides more than medical care in our facilities. We are your resource for living a healthier life,” CEO Chuck Hays said in a news release. “We are meeting people in the community where they are most comfortable to provide education and tools to help them maintain and regain their health. The Center for Prevention and Healthy Living is the critical next step to coordinate and build on existing strengths.”

The center is an extension and expansion of two current community resources — the Prevention Center and the Healthy Living Resource Center. The Prevention Center at MaineGeneral began in 1998 to support the system’s mission of enhancing the health Kennebec Valley residents and recently received a $1.46 million grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase access to chronic disease prevention and management. The Healthy Living Resource Center, created with funding from the Peter Alfond Foundation, began last year and provides educational opportunities that support lifestyle changes that reduce and eliminate chronic health conditions and support healthy living and healing.

Compiled from contributed releases

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