WATERVILLE — HealthReach Community Health Centers has announced the addition of two new staff members, Agnieszka “Aga” Smith and Dr. Catherine Chamberlin.

Agnieszka “Aga” Smith Photo courtesy of Richmond Area Health Center

Smith, a clinical social worker, joined the Richmond Area Health Center practice in December. Immigrating to the United States 18 years ago, Smith earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Silesia in Poland before continuing her studies at the University of Southern Maine and receiving her master’s in social work in 2006. She brings social work experience with children, adolescents and adults in hospital, outpatient and residential settings, according to a news release from HealthReach.

In 2006, she began her career working with children and their families as an in-home support and child reunification worker. More recently, she developed the desire to work in direct patient care and adjusted her path to a cancer center and discovered a hidden appreciation for end-of-life care as a clinician in an oncology unit.

Smith joins physicians Linda Hermans, Michael Landrum and Henry Scheuller, as well as nurse practitioners Elizabeth Kerr, Melissa Hackett and Tom Bartol. The center’s clinicians offer medical and behavioral health services from birth through retirement. Area residents and visitors from Richmond, Gardiner, Litchfield, Dresden, Bowdoinham, as well as Augusta and surrounding communities utilize the health center.

Catherine Chamberlin Photo courtesy of HealthReach Community Health Centers

Chamberlin, Doctor of Osteopathy, at Bethel Family Health Center, assumes the position of assistant medical director at HealthReach Community Health Centers in January.

Chamberlin will assume the role as Richard DeCarolis, Doctor of Osteopathy, at Bethel Family Health Center, is transitioning out of his role as operational medical director. Chamberlin will serve alongside Amy Madden, Doctor of Medicine, at Belgrade Regional Family Center.

“I am honored to be assistant medical director of HealthReach, and am grateful for Dr. DeCarolis’ years of contributions in his role. I look forward to working with many of Maine’s communities on a broader scale,” said Chamberlin, according to the release.

Chamberlin began providing care at Bethel Family Health Center five years ago after receiving her Doctor of Osteopathy from the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011 and completing the Maine-Dartmouth Family Practice Residency program in Augusta. She is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians, and belongs to societies such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Osteopathic Physicians, American Osteopathic Association and Wilderness Medical Society.

Jack Ducharme retires from Skowhegan Savings after 20 years

SKOWHEGAN — Jack Ducharme, vice president regional community banker of Somerset County, retired at the end of December after 20 years of service to Skowhegan Savings.

Jack Ducharme Photo courtesy of Skowhegan Savings

“It has been a pleasure working with Jack over the years. His dedication to serving customers has truly made our communities a better place to live and work. We wish him the best as he moves on to a new phase in life,” said David Cyr, president and CEO of Skowhegan Savings, according to a news release from the bank.

Starting his career at Skowhegan Savings in 2000, Ducharme has worked for the bank in several capacities from indirect lending, loan processing, serving as a branch manager and in his current role as a vice president regional community banker for Somerset County.

“Jack’s commitment to his customers is more than commendable,” said Dan Tilton, senior vice president of sales and customer relations. “Over the past 20 years, he has put customers and communities before self. Jack is passionate about his customers and has worked rigorously on their behalf. He is an advocate for all the communities he serves and I expect nothing less as he moves on to his next chapter.”

Ducharme is on the Madison Board of Selectmen; he served six years on the Maine School Administrative District 59 board of directors, and he has acted as the financial secretary for the local Knights of Columbus for more than 25 years. He is the founding member and former president of the board of directors of the Madison Business Alliance.

He graduated from Thomas College in 2012 with a bachelor’s in business administration and has been a Madison resident since 1982 where he resides with his wife Denise. He is active in his local church, acting as choir director and cantor at St. Sebastian. In his retirement, he looks forward to serving in the Maine House of Representatives as the newly elected representative for the 111th district representing Madison, Norridgewock and Solon.

 

Hannaford gearing up to play crucial role in COVID-19 immunization effort

SCARBOROUGH — Hannaford is actively preparing for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine in its pharmacies and to be a significant partner in immunizing the public across its five-state operating area.

Hannaford Supermarkets was approved in November by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and has signed with the Centers for Disease Control to be a recipient of vaccines. The company operates 156 pharmacies across Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, according to a news release from Hannaford.

“Our stores and our pharmacy teams have been crucial resources for the public during the health crisis, providing essential food and medicine throughout the pandemic. We are excited that we will be a big part of helping people across our five-state market get access as quickly as possible to the vaccine that provides protection from this virus,” said Wendy Boynton, RPh, director of pharmacy services at Hannaford, according to the release.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced the U.S. government’s partnership with numerous pharmacies such as Hannaford. The partnership recognizes that pharmacies are a vital resource for public health, providing broad and easy access to immunizations.

While Hannaford does not have information about when it will begin receiving doses of the vaccines, the company is acting today to be prepared for quick distribution during Phase 2 of the immunization plan. Hannaford has:
• Purchased additional freezers and prepared pharmacies to receive the vaccine.
• Provided additional training and education to pharmacists, pharmacy interns and technicians.
• Purchased additional personal protective equipment.
• Developed digital appointment forms and scheduling tools to decrease wait times and maintain social distancing.

 

New executive leader appointed at Franklin Community Health Network

FARMINGTON — A highly experienced health care executive has been chosen to lead Franklin Community Health Network as its new chief operating officer.

Barbara Sergio Photo courtesy of FCHN

Barbara Sergio, BSN, MSHA, CPHQ, who joined FCHN as senior director of quality and safety in August 2019, will assume responsibility for day-to-day oversight of quality, patient safety, pharmacy, physical rehab, imaging, pulmonology, cardiology, NorthStar Regional Ambulance Service, infection control, occupational health, Healthy Community Coalition and laboratory services at the organization, according to a news release from FCHN.

Sergio joined FCHN from Colorado where she led quality and safety efforts for Boulder Community Health. She has extensive leadership and management experience across different types of care settings with a track record of success in improving performance on quality and safety indicators.

Sergio started her career as a registered nurse and worked in various clinical settings, before progressing to leadership roles in nursing. She holds a graduate degree in health care administration and is a certified professional in health care quality.

“After being on the job for nearly a year, I have identified some leadership role changes that will increase efficiencies as we embark on a new, three-year strategic plan,” said Trampas Hutches, FCHN’s president, according to the release. “In Barbara we get a highly experienced and effective leader who will help us execute this new course we have charted despite the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Hutches said that plan includes focusing on services such as general surgery, women’s care, orthopedics and other initiatives aimed at meeting the needs of the community. FCHN will also continue to build upon its already robust community health and wellness programing.

 

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