MaineGeneral Medical Center earns stroke certification

MaineGeneral Medical Center has earned Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, according to a news release from the hospital.

The certification recognizes hospitals equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care before transferring them to a primary or comprehensive stroke center.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Established in 2015, Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals.

Also, the hospital has been approved for grant funds to help eligible patients get early detection of lung cancer. The funds are made available by Free ME from Lung Cancer through a grant made possible by Maine Cancer Foundation.

Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance cover the cost of screening. The grant enables MaineGeneral patients who do not have insurance and meet certain criteria to receive their first lung cancer screening at no cost.

The screening includes a low-dose CT scan, interpretation by a radiologist and smoking cessation counseling if appropriate. The procedure is non-invasive and requires no preparation.

Criteria include being at high risk for lung cancer. Generally, those who are 55 to 74 years old, have a 30-pack-year history and are current smokers or have stopped smoking within the past 15 years are considered at high risk for lung cancer. Those meeting the above criteria who are uninsured, unable to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid and who earn a maximum of 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for the no-cost lung cancer screening and should talk to their health provider about the test. A health provider must refer the patient for the no-cost screening.

Potential patients who wish to find out whether they are eligible for lung cancer screening should contact their primary care providers.

GrowSmart Maine moves headquarters to Gardiner

GrowSmart Maine has moved from Congress Street in Portland to Water Street in Gardiner.

“This moves our statewide organization closer to the Capitol and within reach of towns and cities we work with throughout Maine,” GrowSmart Executive Director Nancy Smith said in a news release. Smith said relocating to the CoLab co-work space hosted by Gardiner Main Street provides an engaging work environment in the heart of Gardiner and puts into play many smart-growth concepts.

Joining Smith, of Monmouth, on the staff are Tyler Kidder, of Falmouth, and Kristin Stolte, of Portland. As community outreach director, Kidder coordinates an ongoing series of smart-growth forums and leads Making Headway in Your Community. Making Headway is GrowSmart’s community engagement program helping towns and cities determine their future based on what matters most to residents. Stolte joined GrowSmart Maine as membership coordinator..

On Oct. 19, GrowSmart Maine is hosting its annual statewide summit, bringing hundreds of people together to explore a suite of relevant issues and innovative responses. The 2016 summit, Leaning into Change: Maine-Grown Solutions, will be held in downtown Waterville and at Thomas College and will share success stories and challenges, the themes of which include sustainable food systems, making streets safe for walking and riding bicycles, bringing youth and immigrants into Maine’s workforce, exploring arts and culture as economic drivers, helping communities avoid sprawl while increasing growth, and facing up to the impacts of a changing climate on communities.

More information is available at, and registration is available at

Franklin Community Health Network picks new chief operating officer

FARMINGTON — Miriam Leonard has been chosen to lead Franklin Community Health Network as its new chief operating officer.

Leonard, who has worked as a health care leader for more than 20 years, will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations at the organization later this fall.

Timothy Churchill, CEO of Western Maine Health in Norway and the interim CEO at Franklin, appointed Leonard to the position and will continue in his role as interim CEO, an approach endorsed by the FCHN board of trustees. Originally, Churchill was to be in the interim role for six to nine months, but the board is retaining him in his interim role.

Leonard now works for MaineHealth at the system level, where she is vice president of value improvement. In that role, she leads the organization’s performance improvement efforts and assists MaineHealth members with similar initiatives.

Previously, Leonard was at Maine Medical Center, the state’s largest hospital. Starting in 1993, she assumed executive positions of increasing responsibility at MMC. She was named vice president of operations there in 2001 and worked for a year in 2012 as vice president of special projects before joining MaineHealth at the system level in 2013.

Leonard holds a master’s degree in hospital and health administration from Xavier University in Ohio and a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Georgia.

Local hardware stores raising money for Travis Mills Foundation

Aubuchon Hardware and the Travis Mills Foundation are partnering for the month of October to raise funds for the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit building a national retreat center in Maine for veterans and their families, according to a release from the foundation.

The Aubuchon Hardware Foundation has offered to match, dollar for dollar, any donations made at its 17 locations in Maine to the foundation by the end of October. The suggested donation amount is $40, as that pays for a gallon of Benjamin Moore paint for the retreat center. Donations can be made in any amount.

The retreat center is more than 70 percent completed and entering the stage of painting. Money raised from the partnership will cover the cost of 550 gallons of Benjamin Moore paint, additional construction costs and support for veteran families attending the retreat center in 2017. The center plans to welcome its first veteran families in June 2017.

Local Aubuchon stores are in Augusta, Farmington, Newport and Waterville.

Clark joins staff of Franklin Health Surgery

Dr. Justin Clark, a surgeon, has joined the staff of Franklin Health Surgery, according to Franklin Memorial Hospital.

Clark is board-certified and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Before joining Franklin Health Surgery, he had provided general surgery at MaineGeneral Medical Center for two years. Earlier, Clark practiced at both St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Central Maine Medical Center for eight years. He has professional interests in laparoscopic surgery, endoscopy and colon cancer surgery.

Clark completed a fellowship in physician leadership and development at MaineHealth, based in Portland. Before that he completed his residency in general surgery at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Clark received his medical degree from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford.

Workshop on new OT rules to be held in Lewiston

An informational session about how changes in federal overtime rules will apply to Maine employers, co-sponsored by the Central Maine Human Resource Association, the Lewiston CareerCenter, and the LA Metro Chamber, will be held Oct. 20 in Lewiston, according to a news release from Skelton, Taintor & Abbott.

The program will bring state and federal officials together to discuss the new salary changes being implemented on the federal level. Maine statutes incorporate by reference the salary requirements under the Fair Labor Standard Act. Maine employers who now claim overtime exemptions for their employees who work in a “bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity” will be required to comply with the new rules for these categories of workers, currently set to be effective Dec. 1, 2016. This class will provide an overview of the overtime requirements and discuss the changes required by the new rules and the differences between federal and state overtime requirements.

Pamela Megathlin, the Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards of the Maine Department of Labor, will provide the viewpoint of the Maine department and explain how personnel managers and business owners can deal not just with the law but the effect of the changes on employee morale and motivation. Steven J. McKinney, the regional Community Outreach & Resource Planning Specialist for the U.S. Department of Labor, will provide the viewpoint of the federal department and explain the reasons behind the changes and practical advice on how to handle the changes on a business level.

This is a brown-bag lunch event that will begin promptly at noon in the chamber meeting room at 415 Lisbon St. in Lewiston. The program is free for human resource association members, costs $25 for chamber members and costs $50 for nonmembers. Participants can register for the program at

KV Chamber hires new marketing coordinator

The Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce has hired a marketing and membership coordinator, Kate McAllister, according to a news release from the chamber.

Her duties will entail producing the monthly newsletter, maintaining the website and social media accounts as well creating visuals for chamber events. McAllister also will be identifying and meeting with potential new members and educating them on the benefits of becoming a chamber member and advancing the relationships of current members with face-to-face contact. McAllister graduated from Thomas College in May with a marketing management degree and a sociology minor.

Gardiner firm merges with Portland company

Market Decisions Research, of Portland, and Hart Consulting, Inc., of Gardiner, have announced the merger of the two firms, according to a news release from the companies.

Beginning this month, the two will combine forces to provide research, evaluation and management consulting services under the Market Decisions Research name.

Market Decisions Research is a research firm offering in-house telephone, mail and online data collection services as well as advanced analytic capabilities. The company has served clients in 25 states for more than 38 years. Hart Consulting has been providing program evaluation, research and management consulting services to clients in New England for 18 years.

The two companies began working together 15 years ago on evaluation of the Healthy Maine Partnerships initiative, a state-local public health project funded through the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Patricia Hart, a Gardiner city councilor and former principal of Hart Consulting Inc., was the lead evaluator for the project; and Market Decisions Research provided data collection and analytic support. Since that time, the two organizations have collaborated on dozens of assignments in and out of Maine for a variety of clients.

Hart will be vice president of evaluation and will be responsible for the new evaluation-focused area of practice. Lindsay Gannon will be the evaluation associate at Market Decisions Research.

Winslow man receives award for groundwater science excellence

Peter Garrett, of Winslow, has received the David M. Erickson Award from the New England Water Works Association, the region’s largest and oldest not-for-profit organization of waterworks professionals.

The award recognizes a member of NEWWA who has demonstrated excellence in the field of groundwater science as it relates to groundwater supply, development, management and protection.

Garrett was vice president of Emery and Garrett Groundwater Investigations until his retirement in 2012. Over his career, Garrett’s leadership in the groundwater industry has profoundly improved the protection of human health and the environment, according to the association. He is recognized for discovering and publicly documenting the occurrence of MtBE in drinking water, which represents one of the nation’s most significant water contamination crises. His work was documented in technical reports, conferences and published journal articles; and it was featured by national news outlets, including “60 Minutes.”

Garrett has developed new sources of drinking water for water systems throughout New England and internationally. His work notably focused on sustainability of groundwater withdrawals. He has studied and published findings regarding the financial benefit of implementing source water protection to protect drinking water supplies throughout New England. Garrett established methods for developing artificial recharge to protect water quantity and quality in New England aquifers and shared his work through conferences and training programs sponsored by NEWWA and other national organizations.

Garrett also has served as a mentor for young groundwater professionals who work at his firm and partner firms, as well as junior-level state officials who work in various state drinking water programs.

Garrett is a past recipient of the Jim Doherty Excellence in Volunteerism Award presented by the Maine Water Utilities Association.

Andrew Miller, chairman of the Groundwater Committee, presented Garrett with the award Sept. 20 during the 135th NEWWA annual conference in Providence, Rhode Island.

Compiled from contributed releases

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