FCHN employees honored at annual reception for years of service

The University of Maine at Farmington’s North Dining Hall was the setting for the Oct. 29 annual employee recognition banquet for Franklin Community Health Network. Employees with five or more years of service and at five-year milestones (except for those with more than 40 years of service) were invited to attend, along with their managers.

Rebecca Arsenault, FCHN president/CEO, welcomed the group and thanked everyone for the quality of their work. “You demonstrate our values of pride, innovation, caring and excellence every day toward our vision of being the best we can be. Employees are the most important resource in any organization,” she said. “The 107 individuals invited here today are therefore acknowledged and commended for their contributions toward the success of this health care system.”

Employees and their guests attended the banquet that included a buffet meal, entertainment by stand-up juggler Mike Miclon, booklets with supervisors’ anecdotes about employees being honored and door prizes.

Employees recognized received congratulations from Arsenault, as well as a certificate of appreciation and a cash gift based upon years of service.

Mary O’Donal was acknowledged for her longevity with 55 years of service. O’Donal started her career at the original facility on the Fairbanks Road. When the hospital opened at its present location in 1975, O’Donal held several positions before finally settling into the medical records department, where she has been for more than 20 years.

O’Donal also was presented a recognition award by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce for her many years of service to the hospital. Chamber board members Shannon Smith and Jodi Cordes made the presentation.

The longer-term employees included Cheryl Bunker, accounting, 42 years; Michelle Lucey, nursing, 41 years; Debra Seeley, laboratory, and Henry Tietjen, maintenance, 40 years; Fawn Paradis, laboratory, 35 years; Donna Bryant, radiology, MaryAnne Goodwin, nursing, and Darryl Parker, surgical services, 30 years; Rebecca Chandler, behavioral services, Greg O’Donal, dietary, Sandra Richard, pediatric nursing, Judith Ridley, medical/surgical unit, and Laurel Walker, maternal and child health unit, 25 years; and Jacqueline Allaire, medical/surgical unit, Joy Guppy, accounting, Pam Hadley, infection control, Rodney Koehn, NorthStar, Beth Paradis, dermatology, Rebecca Gagnon-Pillsbury, physical therapy, Sharon Searles, dietary, Susan Tinguely, women’s care, Kathy Wells, accounting, and Darcy White, maternal and child health unit, 20 years.

Franklin Community Health Network staffers receive EPIC awards

Franklin Community Health Network presented its quarterly EPIC awards October 27 at its board meeting. Each recipients was given a trophy, a monetary gift and a designated parking spot of his or her choice for the next three months. The EPIC awards were developed as a way to recognize employees who demonstrate on a daily basis their commitment to FCHN’s values of excellence, pride, innovation and caring.

October’s recipients of the EPIC awards include Dee Christiansen, maternal and child health unit; McKenzie Searles, Franklin Health internal medicine; Diana Ladd, patient registration; and Jon Abell, physical rehabilitation.

Christiansen was nominated by Felicia Harris, who described Christiansen as making a stressful and long first-baby labor situation more tolerable with her relaxed demeanor. “Her caring is above and beyond. She made a difficult, scary situation so much better and made the expectant parents comfortable with her many years of experience and ability to answer their constant barrage of questions.”

Searles was nominated by Dr. Jay Naliboff, who said, “McKenzie is the role model of an engaged, caring professional. She cares about her patients and treats every patient cheerfully and respectfully. She has the unenviable task of keeping Dr. Goss on track by preparing patients’ charts and manages this task effortlessly. She additionally volunteers to participate in the medical practice’s quality and performance improvement initiatives.”

Ladd was nominated by Natashia Nile, citing patient feedback that described Ladd’s exemplary customer service. “Her attitude and enthusiasm are infectious to staff and patients. She arrives to work with a smile and a bubbly and shining personality that ensures that every patient has an excellent experience. This nomination is based on Diana’s pride and the lasting impression she has on her patients.”

Abell was nominated by Susan Loughrey, who said, “Jon coordinates singlehandedly a large physical therapy caseload on the hospital’s medical/surgical unit, prioritizing treatments and ensuring that patients are evaluated and seen on a timely basis. Jon’s compassion, respect and empathy for others shines through in his interactions with patients and their families and coworkers. He exemplifies a caregiver who takes ownership and pride in his work.”

Jessica Farrington, who works at Franklin Health Farmington Family Practice, was also nominated for the award by Dr. Kendra Emery.

All nominees received a certificate, a pin and a copy of the nomination form.

MTI approves grants to local entrepreneurs

BRUNSWICK — The Maine Technology Institute approved seven new grant applications in October, totaling $57,795 in awards to entrepreneurs from across Maine to advance new product and process development in aquaculture and marine technology, biotechnology, composite materials, forestry and agriculture, and information technology, according to a news release from the institute.

This round of MTI awards leveraged $146,605 of matching contributions from the award recipients.

Local awards include: Heather Condon of Winthrop, sole proprietor, awarded $5,000 with a match amount of $5,055; and Bragdon Farm, LLC, of Waterville, awarded $15,000 with a match amount of $100,000.

MTI is a publicly financed, private nonprofit organization created by the state Legislature in 1999 to stimulate research and development activity leading to new products, processes and companies in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors. MTI programs are either loans, equity investments or grants designed to enhance the competitive position of those sectors and increase the likelihood that one or more of these sectors will support clusters of industrial activity and create quality jobs across Maine.

UniTel awarded Smart Rural Community Trailblazer certificate

UNITY — UniTel, a locally owned and operated company, was awarded a Smart Rural Community Trailblazer certificate by the National Telephone Cooperatives Association — The Rural Broadband Association late this summer in recognition of its “innovative work” to bring high-speed broadband Internet service to the rural communities it serves.

This recognition highlights the work that UniTel is undertaking to extend high-speed Internet access throughout its service area. Its most recent endeavor involves an 85-mile Fiber to the Home initiative. The build-out began early this year, with a plan to be operational in Newburgh, Dixmont, Knox, Thorndike and Troy by the end of the year. When the project is complete, UniTel plans to offer several speeds with customized options up to 1 gigabit per second. According to UniTel’s CEO Laurie Osgood, “Upon completion of the expansion, UniTel will operate one of the fastest fiber optic networks in Maine and the U.S.”

UniTel’s service area spans 280 square miles, including all or portions of 16 rural communities in parts of three counties. UniTel says its mission is to provide affordable, dependable broadband service to enhance economic development. Also, it has partnered with the Unity Foundation to provide free digital literacy classes to encourage technological education and awareness. Since February 2015, more than 200 classes with 1,800 hours of classroom instruction have been provided to more than 400 residential and business community members from 25 towns.

Skowhegan Chamber official to be honored

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce’s officers and board members will present its annual local chamber recognition to Cory King, executive director of the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce, during the state chamber’s 2015 Board Appreciation Dinner on Nov. 30, at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, according to a news release from the chamber.

The professional of the year award is presented in recognition of a local chamber professional’s hard work and dedication to his or her community, which results in positive outcomes, membership growth and advancement of the chamber profession, as well as the innovative and effective ways the person develops and carries out the board’s goals.

“We’re very pleased to present this award to Cory,” said Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “He’s a strong, capable leader among his peers and is a big part of the chamber family.”

Compiled from contributed news releases