Central Maine Healthcare expands rural care services 

A new partnership between Central Maine Healthcare and DFD Russell Medical Centers aims to expand access to cardiovascular care for hundreds of people living in rural Maine.

According to a Central Maine Healthcare news release, the program will launch this month and will allow physicians from Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute, the nationally-recognized program in Lewiston, to see patients at DFD Russell’s health center in Leeds. Instead of having to travel long distances and pay more expensive hospital costs, patients of DFD Russell can see heart specialists where they receive their primary care, at lower costs and on a more convenient schedule, according to the release. Diagnostic services will initially include electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, and stress testing.

Laurie Kane Lewis

“DFD Russell Medical Center is excited to enter into this new venture to expand access to high quality cardiovascular care in our rural areas,” said CEO Laurie Kane Lewis. “DFD Russell has been recognized by the Health Resources and Service Administration as a Health Center Leader — among the top 10% of all health centers — and a National Quality Leader for Cardiovascular and Diabetes Health; the addition of cardiac specialty services to patients on a sliding-fee scale furthers our mission to provide the highest quality of care to patients in our region.”

Doctors will start seeing patients in Leeds once a month, increasing clinic days as demand increases, according to the release. Patients who require a more complex level of care will be referred to Central Maine Healthcare, which is the parent company of Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Andrew Eisenhauer

“Serving patients with the most accessible, highest quality of care is what we do,” said Andrew Eisenhauer, medical director of Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute. “And in our rural state, with our aging population, it makes sense to bring that care closer to Mainers whenever we can. This new partnership allows us to do that and we’re delighted to work with DFD Russell in this way.”

All appointments and billing will be handled directly through DFD Russell, allowing patients to schedule and manage their cardiovascular services right where they receive their primary care, Kane-Lewis said.


Employers, JMG collaborate on conference about strengthening future workforce

There is no better way for Maine employers to address the state’s labor crisis than to team up with tomorrow’s workforce to ensure future employees have what it takes to succeed. More than 500 middle school and high school students worked side by side with business leaders during JMG’s annual Leadership Education Conference from Oct. 15-23 at Pine Tree Camp in Rome. LEC is an important part of JMG’s unique continuum of support for young people from grades six all the way through post-secondary education and into careers. The conference theme was “Maine Needs U,” challenging students to explore the unique skills and traits they, as individuals, will bring to the workforce.

Bank of America volunteer, Heidi Sharpe, center, looks on as JMG students test a catapult they designed, built and tested at JMG’s Leadership Education Conference in Rome.

“LEC was a lot of fun,” said Miranda Juliano, a senior at Waterville Senior High School, according to a news release from JMG. “It taught me how to work together with other people and that by working together we can reach our goal a lot faster. The more I can practice these skills, the more I hope to stand out when it’s time to apply to college and begin a career. It is bittersweet to think this is my last year going to LEC!”

Groups of students rotated through the conference, with each group spending one night. They took part in a variety of hands-on workshops and competitions that gave them a chance to practice the kinds of leadership skills employers are looking for, including problem-solving, teamwork, critical thinking and time management.

Matt St. John said, “We had an activity called Lobster Tank where groups of students develop their own business product or service, create a business plan, and then pitch their idea to a Shark Tank-like panel of real Maine business leaders. Students also were challenged to design, build and test their own catapult, which required plenty of STEAM-related skill building (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). LEC is just a great way to give students the freedom to explore their own potential, network with Maine employers, build career skills, and have a really good time doing it,” according to the release.

LEC is also an opportunity for Maine employers to educate students about career opportunities in their respective companies and industries, while helping them build the skills they will need to attain meaningful careers.

M. Edwards, senior relationship banker at Camden National Bank, was a volunteer panelist for the Lobster Tank activity where students tried to persuade him and his fellow panelists to invest in their new business ideas. “It’s important to partner with JMG because Camden National is a community bank, and we believe in investing in students and in what they can become,” Edwards said. “I’ve seen a lot of amazing students come through with fantastic ideas. I think what JMG does really well is build a foundation of achievement; of ways to excel. Whether students are learning to design and market a product from the ground up, or learning about team building, I think that JMG is, bar none, the best at bringing out the best in students.”


LEAP Inc. wins the Chamber Business of the Year Award

The annual meeting of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce was held Oct. 24 in the North Dining Hall of  the University of Maine at Farmington. This meeting is where the chamber runs its annual business meeting and announces nominees and winners of Business of the Year, Community Service of the Year, Rising Star of the Year and gives the President’s Award.

LEAP Inc. won the Chamber Business of the Year Award during the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting. From left are Pam Dixon, Trisha Mosher, Scott Landry, Darryl Wood, David Dixon, Sarah Judd, Lynne Hunter and Lisa Marston. Photo by Scott Landry

Nominated for Business of the Year were Leap Inc., The Senior Planning Center and Calzolaio Pasta Co. The Business of the Year award recognizes a business or organization that maintains good employee relations, demonstrates exceptional customer service, exhibits evidence of continued success and future growth, and promotes and contributes to the economic growth of Franklin County. LEAP Inc. was the 2019 winner.

Nominated for The Community Service Award of the Year were the Franklin Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area and the Western Maine Play Museum. The Community Service Award honors an outstanding chamber member business or organization that generously gives time, resources or expertise to the community making a difference in Franklin County. Franklin Memorial Hospital Auxiliary won.

The Rising Star award is awarded to a business or organization that joined the chamber within the last three years and shows evidence of success, potential for growth and being a part of the vibrant business community. Nominated this year for the Rising Star Award were Hair by Mindy, Dreamin’ Fahm and Farmington Underground. Farmington Underground was selected.

The final award given out was the President’s Award. This award is at the sole discretion of the board president, Pam Dixon from Franklin Savings Bank. She explained that she made this decision with her heart and awarded the Farmington Fire Rescue Department with this award. Clyde Ross and Stephen Bunker accepted the award with many heartfelt words of thanks.

The event was the kick off to the Gerry Wiles Holiday Food Basket program, and many donations were made. To donate, call the chamber office or stop by. This program puts a holiday meal on many tables and donates to Franklin County food banks. Applications to receive a holiday food basket will be available from Nov. 8 through Dec. 6 and can be downloaded from franklincountymaine.org or picked up at the chamber office.

Event sponsors: Gold partners were Senior Planning Center, Androscoggin Home Healthcare & Hospice and Franklin Savings Bank. Silver partners were Redzone Wireless, Skowhegan Savings Bank, Comfort Inn & Suites – Wilton, SeniorsPlus, University Credit Union, Otis Federal Credit Union, Franklin Community Health Network and Carrabassett Coffee. Local businesses also donated items for the silent auction.


Lovejoy Health Center welcomes Dr. David Austin

David Austin Photo courtesy of Lovejoy Health Center

The staff at Lovejoy Health Center in Albion welcomed Dr. David Austin, a doctor of medicine, back to the practice earlier this year. He previously joined Lovejoy in 1993, according to a news release from the health center.

Austin brings more than 30 years of experience providing medical care both in Maine and globally through volunteer organizations including Médecins Sans Frontières‎. He obtained a doctorate at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine in 1985 and completed Family Medicine Residency in 1988 at Highland Hospital, University of Rochester, New York. Previously, he graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

David recently shared, “I believe that all people deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. After deeply enjoying my fifteen plus years of work at Lovejoy and four years of work abroad, I feel that it is time for me to return to Maine, land of my birth. There is no better workplace for me today than Lovejoy Health Center,” according to the release.

Austin will join physician Dean Chamberlain, physician assistant Bobby Keith, family nurse practitioner Kaitlynn Read and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner Marta Hall. In addition, Deb Daigle offers behavioral health services to patients of the practice.



SCORE/MassMutual workshop set for Nov. 21 in Augusta

SCORE, mentors to America’s small businesses, in partnership with MassMutual, will offer a workshop for farm businesses, “Legacy Planning for Farmers,” from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Nov. 21 at Governor Hill Mansion, 136 State St., Augusta. The SCORE/MassMutual workshop helps small business owners plan for the future of their business. SCORE is committed to helping entrepreneurs for the life of its business, including planning for any phase a farm business may go through, according to a news release from SCORE.

Legacy Planning for Farmers will include programming on succession-, retirement- and estate-planning for farm owners. SCORE also offers free, personalized and confidential mentoring sessions in conjunction with the workshop.

This workshop offers attendees a variety of perspectives on preparing for the next stage of their small business. The pros and cons of each scenario is discussed, helping farm business owners to acquire the information they need to plan for the future that best suits their situation. Small business owners should know how to do business valuation, how to choose and prepare a successor, and the steps to take to make sure they are able to enjoy the retirement that they envision for themselves. SCORE is here to help every step of the way.

For more information or to register, call SCORE Maine at 772-1147 or visit conta.cc.

This workshop is sponsored locally by SCORE Maine and MassMutual.


Skelton Taintor & Abbott attorney sits on Judges Panel for Bowdoin Mock Trial

Attorney Andrew Zulieve served as a volunteer judge Oct. 22 during the annual 2019 Bowdoin College Mock Trial. The Bowdoin Mock Trial Program sponsors two teams who work throughout the semester to prepare both sides (defense and prosecution) of the case. Each year, the American Mock Trial Association provides a case scenario to each participant. This year, the case was a murder trial; State of Midlands v. Ryder. During multiple trials, student attorneys try the case against another school’s attorneys and witnesses representing the opposing party, according to a news release from the Auburn law office.

Grace Cawdrey, student president of Bowdoin Mock Trial, said that the event “pushes us to think on our feet, deliver clear and concise arguments, and balance a lot of details. At each successive tournament, I notice that members grow more confident speaking and more comfortable with the case materials,” according to the release.

Zulieve manages the Waldoboro office of Skelton, Taintor & Abbott which serves the mid-coast region and beyond. He has 28 years of experience in the areas of intellectual property, business, contract and construction law, including litigation in federal and state courts.


Camden National Bank commits $15,000 to the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute

Camden National Bank announced a $15,000 donation to the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute to support programming for Maine high school girls. Deeply committed to the vision and mission of OSWLI, seven Camden National Bank employees are now serving as Olympia’s Leaders Advisors, working with 70 high school girls across Maine throughout the three-year program. In total this year, the Institute will serve 540 young women from 36 partner schools across all 16 counties of Maine, according to a news release from the Camden-based bank.

“Camden National Bank is incredibly proud to support the Institute and its work to build strong, courageous female leaders,” said Joanne Campbell, Regional OLA for the Institute and Executive Vice President, Risk Management at Camden National Bank, according to the release. “We are also very proud of our passionate employees who have been selected to serve as OLAs and play a direct role in shaping the learning and leadership growth of Maine girls.”

The mission of the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute is to raise the confidence and aspirations of high school girls by helping them develop the skills required to be leaders in their lives, families, careers, and communities.

“Camden National Bank is helping provide a vital support system and clear pathway for girls to create and pursue visions of success right here in Maine. I am tremendously grateful for the bank’s generous financial support and the three-year volunteer commitment made by so many of its employees — both of which keep our vision, and those of Olympia’s Leaders, alive,” shared former United States Sen. and founder of OSWLI, Olympia Snowe, according to the release.

Olympia’s Leaders will receive close to 10,000 hours of mentoring from OLAs and program guests over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year alone.

This fall, more than 96% of Olympia’s Leaders in the class of 2019 began higher education or training and certificate-bearing programs, while others pursued gap years or immediately entered the workforce. More than 60% of graduates matriculated to Maine institutions.

The institute’s inaugural class, who graduated last June, reported that the program impacted their leadership ability — with 100% reporting that the Institute improved their understanding of their value system and confidence.


Skowhegan Savings donates $10,000 to American Red Cross disaster services in Maine

A significant gift from Skowhegan Savings Bank will support American Red Cross disaster services in Maine. Skowhegan Savings’ $10,000 donation will fund Red Cross efforts to help Maine individuals and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters, according to a new release from the bank.

“From major disasters like the tragic propane explosion in Farmington to its nearly daily responses to individual home fires, the Red Cross serves Maine people in the face of emergencies,” said Steve Thomas, senior vice president, senior commercial lender, with Skowhegan Savings, according to the release. “As a committed member of the community, Skowhegan Savings is proud to support these vital Red Cross services that keep our neighbors safer, assists them in times of dire need and supports them as they begin their road to recovery.”

The Red Cross assisted 27 people who were displaced by the Sept. 16 fatal propane explosion in Farmington by ensuring their immediate needs such as food, a safe place to sleep and other essentials were met and by providing community referrals as they began their road to recovery.

Nine Red Cross disaster mental health and health services volunteers provided support to the community at the Oct. 17 LEAP Community Night. The Red Cross is also making its casework, disaster mental health and disaster spiritual care services available to community members outside of this event. To access these services, call Red Cross disaster dispatch at 855-891-7325.

“We are deeply grateful for the support of Skowhegan Savings Bank. It’s the generosity of Maine people and partners that makes it possible for us to respond to local emergencies like the recent explosion in Farmington,” said Caroline King, an executive director with the Red Cross in Maine, according to the release. “Ongoing financial support from partners like Skowhegan Savings help to ensure that the Red Cross is ready and able to respond when Mainers are in need, whenever disasters strike.”

In addition to responses to disasters like the propane explosion, home fires, flooding, ice storms and other severe weather events, the Red Cross in Maine prepares families and communities for disasters through a number of programs. The Red Cross work in this area includes teaching youths, families and workplaces about disaster preparedness, installing some 4,000 free smoke alarms in homes annually and working with emergency management partners to be ready when large disasters affect communities.

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