FCHN highlights work of past year, presents leadership award

FARMINGTON — About 30 community members attended the Oct. 19 annual meeting of Franklin Community Health Network. Presenters included President and CEO Rebecca Arsenault, past board chairman Joseph Bujold, medical staff president Dr. Heidi Decker, and current board chairman Clint Boothby.

Arsenault highlighted many of FCHN’s accomplishments over the past year, including embedding clinical social workers in the primary care setting, Evergreen Behavioral Services providing mental health and substance abuse services for inmates at the Franklin County Detention Center, being selected for the fifth consecutive year as a most-wired hospital, completing the first year of a large federal grant focusing on increasing physical activity and improving nutrition in youth, receiving patient-centered medical home designation in primary care practices, and receiving positive affirmations by three independent reviewers.

“This past year has also demonstrated that being a member of MaineHealth has provided our organization with many advantages around the sharing of resources,” Arsenault said in a news release.

Bujold acknowledged 12 new providers, including doctors, physician assistants and a nurse practitioner.

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Connie Adler was presented the Franklin Community Health Leadership Award. Adler has practiced medicine in Maine for 32 years as a family medicine physician specializing in women’s health, has been the medical director of the Maine Breast and Cervical Health program for five years, and has done extensive work with a women’s clinic in Nicaragua and cervical treatment programs in Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. She also has been a leader in family planning services, and domestic violence and sexual violence response programs, serving on numerous community committees and boards for decades.

The year’s highlights are featured in the network’s 2014-2015 annual report. To receive a report, call Jill Gray in the community relations office at 779-2555 or 800-398-6031, ext. 2555. The report can also be viewed online at www.fchn.org/about/annual-report.

A 30-minute video of the meeting will be added to Mt. Blue Television programming (Farmington and Wilton) and can be seen now at https://vimeo.com/143076895.

KVCAP’s Freeman to receive Maine Children’s Trust Professional Advocate Award

WATERVILLE — The Kennebec Valley Community Action Program has announced that Social Services Director Lanelle Freeman has been selected by the Maine Children’s Trust to receive this year’s Professional Advocate Award in honor of her years of service working to prevent child abuse and neglect. The award will be presented Wednesday in Portland.

Freeman began her career in child abuse and neglect prevention 22 years ago when she was hired by KVCAP under a collaborative program through MaineGeneral Medical Center. In this role, she provided home visiting and case management to high-risk families and worked as a social worker for patients at the hospital. She quickly assumed management responsibilities at KVCAP and began overseeing the Maine Families home visiting program and the Child Abuse Prevention Council for Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Freeman is a board member of the Maine Children’s Trust and serves on the executive committee. She coordinates the Click for Babies campaign through the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome for all of the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention councils throughout Maine. Freeman participates in several statewide groups, including the Statewide Period of PURPLE Crying (shaken baby prevention) coalition, the Maine Children’s Trust and Maine CDC Infant Safe Sleep work group, the Child Abuse Action Network and the Sexual Abuse Prevention planning team.

As a seasoned educator, Freeman participated in the development of curricula and materials used by the 10 child abuse and neglect councils across Maine, to educate communities about the importance of safe infant sleep practices, the prevention of shaken baby syndrome, mandated reporter trainings and other topics related to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. She is currently working with the Maine Children’s Trust to develop a virtual delivery system to provide parenting education for families who may not be willing or able to participate in person.

Brian Pierce elected president of Maine Medical Association

The Maine Medical Association elected Dr. Brian Pierce, of Rockport, as its president at its 162nd annual session in Bar Harbor in September. Pierce is a board-certified family physician practicing as a part-time hospitalist at PenBay Medical Center in Rockport and operating a Direct Primary Care practice at Megunticook Family Medicine in Rockport.

Pierce is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Dartmouth Medical School. He completed his family practice residency program at Malcolm Grow USAF Medical Center. He served in the Coast Guard for six years before entering medical school and served in the Air Force for four years prior to moving to Maine with his wife, Andrea, and four children. Upon arriving in the midcoast area, he joined a multi-specialty group practice known as Midcoast Medicine which he left in 2014.

Pierce served as chairman of the board of directors of MMA and then as president-elect in 2014-2015 until his election as president. He also served the association as chairman of the payment reform committee. He served as a trustee of Penobscot Bay Medical Center from 2007-2009.

As president of the state’s largest physician organization, Pierce intends to focus his efforts on supporting Maine’s physicians in a time of significant transition in health care. He also will be leading the association’s efforts in combating opiate/heroin abuse and will be encouraging primary care colleagues to obtain certification to prescribe buprenorphine, one of the two standard treatments for addiction.

Margaritas to host Mexican artists Sunday as part of outreach program

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, at 390 Western Ave. in Augusta, will be host to visiting artists Efrain Fuentes and Silvia Gomez, a husband and wife team of folk artists from Oaxaca, Mexico, from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday. The event is free and open to the public.

Using only simple hand tools and a piece of wood, Fuentes will carve whimsical sculptures. An award-winning artist who has been featured at the Detroit Institute of Art, Fuentes participates in exhibitions throughout Mexico and the United States. He is a third-generation carver from the tiny village of San Martin Tilcajete, located in the valley of Oaxaca and only a few miles from the ancient Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban. On this tour, Gomez complements her husband’s sculptures with exquisite designs. She decorates the carvings with bright acrylic paints with playful patterns and vivid color combinations that bring the carvings to life.

The presentation in Augusta is one of several scheduled during the next five weeks throughout New England. As a part of the Margaritas Education Outreach Program, artists not only visit the restaurants to demonstrate their craft to the public, but also are scheduled to visit several local schools to share Mexican culture, traditions and trade secrets with students and faculty. Margaritas created the program in 1999 to bring artists, carvers, weavers and sculptors to the Northeast every year to share their talents with students and Margaritas diners. The series provides a glimpse into the colorful culture and traditions of techniques that date back centuries.

Beltone hosts Hear for Children campaign

Beltone New England, which has locations in Augusta and Waterville, is raising money until the end of the month in support of pediatric audiology at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Warwick, Rhode Island.

The campaign, Hear for Children, has set a goal to raise $15,000 to support the purchase of new equipment for the hospital’s pediatric audiology department, which serves children from all over New England, according to a news release from the company.

Staff members and customers of the company’s 55 locations can make a donation on-site via check or credit card, or the company’s online giving page. Through its philanthropy program, Beltone will match all employee donations, up to a total of $5,000.

The Pediatric Audiology Department at Hasbro Children’s Hospital offers a full range of services for children, including comprehensive hearing testing using conventional, visual reinforcement and conditioned play audiometry, as well as physiological measures; sedated audio evaluations, including auditory brainstem response; central auditory processing evaluations; monitoring for ototoxicity; and cochlear implants and hearing aids.

Patricia Quinn next speaker in Leading Women’s Luncheon series

Patricia Quinn is scheduled to speak at the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s Leading Women’s Luncheon, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 3 at O’Brien’s Event Center in Waterville. The Leading Women’s Luncheon is a series of events organized quarterly by the chamber and sponsored by Anthem.

Each event in the Leading Women’s Luncheon series features a woman as a guest speaker who has achieved success in her field. Though the series focuses on women’s experiences and challenges in pursuing successful careers, men and women are equally welcome to attend the event.

Quinn is a native of Connecticut and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and marketing. She joined the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority in October 2000 to promote the inauguration of Amtrak’s Downeaster train and was appointed executive director in September 2005. Since then, an additional round-trip has been added, service has expanded 30 miles to Freeport and Brunswick, and Downeaster ridership and revenue have more than doubled, all while maintaining one of the highest passenger service rankings in the nation.

Quinn is involved in regional and national passenger rail initiatives through her involvement with the States for Passenger Rail Coalition, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials standing committee on rail transportation, the Northeast Corridor Commission and the National Cooperative Rail Research Program. Locally, Quinn serves on the board of directors of the Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Maine Development Foundation, and is a volunteer presenter for Operation Lifesaver.

Quinn received the Amtrak President’s Service and Safety Award for State Partners in 2007, was recognized as one of Maine’s Most Intriguing People by Portland Magazine in 2009, a Woman to Watch by Maine Biz in August 2011 and Nonprofit Business Leader of the Year by Mainebiz in March 2014.

Registration for the event costs $20 for chamber members until the end of this week and $25 for general admission, which includes admission and luncheon buffet. Space is limited, so pre-registration is preferred. Call 873-3315 or visit www.midmainechamber.com.

Compiled from contributed releases

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