Health news

Posted June 14, 2011, at 5:02 p.m.

Saturday clinic hours

BANGOR — Penquis Health Services will offer Saturday clinic hours 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 18 and 25 at the Bangor office, 262 Harlow St. Services are offered for both men and women.

“Our staff recognizes that life is busy and the week is often filled with the demands of work, school, sporting events and family responsibilities,” said Angel Shaw, Penquis Health Services manager.  “We want to try something different to meet the need of those with busy schedules.”

Services for women include pregnancy tests, gynecological exams, testing and treatment for infections, breast exams, Pap smears; affordable birth control including condoms, pills, Nuva Ring, the Patch, Depo Provera, diaphragms, IUDs, emergency contraception; HPV vaccination and testing, STD testing and treatment, and HIV testing, treatment and counseling.

Services for men include testicular exams, reproductive physical exams including lab test, and HIV and STD testing, treatment and counseling.

All services are confidential. Men and women, regardless of age or income, are eligible for these services. Clients may be eligible for subsidized services. Those who do not qualify for subsidized services can obtain services by paying on a sliding fee scale. Penquis Health Services accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, MaineCare, Medicare and most insurances. The staff can provide assistance filling out the paperwork for MaineCare. No one is refused for inability to pay. For more information, call 973-3650 or toll-free 800-941-2836.

Children’s Miracle Network telethon

BANGOR — Over the years, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of Eastern Maine Healthcare Services has introduced the community to some extraordinary children and their families who are alive because specialized medical services and equipment were available when they needed them most.

This year, thanks to the generous support of friends, neighbors and businesses in central, eastern and northern Maine, the 24th annual CMNH telethon was a huge success, raising more than $530,000. The total was announced on June 4 as the telethon was broadcast live from Bangor Mall center court on WABI-TV Channel 5.

The telethon featured children and families who have benefited from services at the hospitals in this region which are supported by CMNH. Some of these children were born prematurely, some face lifelong medical challenges, and others have received support as they grieve the loss of a loved one through Pathfinders. Health care providers echoed the stories, emphasizing the invaluable role CMNH of EMHS plays in the community.

Saturday’s event also recognized the generosity and dedication of local businesses and organizations that support CMNH throughout the year.

“Seeing the Miracle Families, health care providers, employees of local businesses and volunteers all come together to support CMNH gives me great pride,” said Michael Crowley, president and chief philanthropy officer of Healthcare Charities. “Their commitment to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of EMHS has enhanced health care for countless children in our region.”

To make a donation, or to learn more about the Children’s Miracle Network of EMHS and how every donation stays local, visit http://www.MiraclesinMaine.org.

New prayer center

BANGOR — The Sister Mary Norberta Prayer and Reflection Center was dedicated on Thursday, June 9. The center was created in Sister Norberta’s honor as she prepares to leave St. Joseph Healthcare after 29 years of dedicated service as the president and CEO. The center offers a quiet space for patients and staff to stop for meditation and prayer at the St. Joseph Healthcare Park at 900 Broadway.

Physician assistant

BREWER — Penobscot Community Health Care has announced that Physician Assistant Evelyn Dempsey has joined the medical staff at Brewer Medical Center, 735 Wilson St.

Before joining PCHC, Dempsey provided primary care at Sunbury Medical Associates in Winterport. Dr. Robert Allen, executive medical director, stated, “PCHC is very pleased that Evelyn Dempsey has joined the staff at the Brewer Medical Center. Evelyn has 11-plus years of medical experience in primary care in the Bangor area and is a caring, knowledgeable and effective health care provider.”

Dempsey is a 1999 graduate of the University of New England’s Physician Assistant Master’s Program in Biddeford. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, with honors, from Husson University in 1995.

Dempsey is accepting new patients and will provide patient physicals, acute visits and other medical care. For information, call 989-1567.

PCHC, a nonprofit organization founded in 1997, is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the Bangor area. Its purpose is to ensure access to comprehensive and integrated outpatient health care services to those on MaineCare, Medicare and those both with and without insurance, regardless of their ability to pay. PCHC clinics are staffed by some 150 full- and part-time clinicians including medical and dental practitioners, mental health providers, physical therapists, pharmacists and medical specialists.

Beacon Hospice

BANGOR — Beacon Hospice will begin its seven-week training for volunteers 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, at the Beacon Hospice office, 304 Hancock St., Suite 3A.

Training will be held Tuesdays through Aug. 10. Topics will include the history and philosophy of hospice, the medical aspects of hospice care, communication, the hospice family, spiritual and cultural dimensions of care, grief and loss and the responsibilities of being a hospice volunteer. Sessions will be led by hospice team members and facilitated by the volunteer coordinator.

Participating in direct patient care, hospice volunteers give the gift of their presence. They come to terminally ill patients at a vulnerable and sacred time, offering support and comfort to them and their families. They may provide weekly patient visits, hold a hand, read a story, write a letter, walk a dog or run an errand.

For information, call Roanne Austin, licensed social worker and volunteer coordinator, at 942-2920. For those who have recently lost someone themselves, it is recommended to wait a year before serving as a direct patient care volunteer.

Beacon Hospice is Medicare-certified, state-licensed and Community Health Accreditation Program accredited for hospice services.

ALS Calendar Raffle

BANGOR — More than 40 local businesses have donated prizes for a unique ALS calendar raffle, with all proceeds to be donated to the Northern New England Chapter of the ALS Association at the Walk to Beat ALS. This year’s event will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 27 in Hayford Park.

The calendar raffle features a different prize drawn each day starting July 1 and running through Aug. 13.

“We started out hoping we could fill all the days in the July calendar — but the response was so overwhelming we were able to extend the calendar nearly two weeks into August,” said raffle co-coordinator Michelle A. Libby. “Local businesses from Bangor, Brewer and Ellsworth have been very generous, and the prizes are all worth more than the price of a ticket.”

Another unique feature of the ALS calendar raffle is that if your name is drawn as a prize winner, it is put back into the pool of tickets for a chance to win again and again. For a $20 donation, a person will receive a calendar as a “raffle ticket” for an opportunity to win a different prize each day — up to 44 prizes.

Prizes include two tickets to a Bangor Waterfront concert with VIP parking, four lobsters, 17 restaurant gift certificates, eight supermarket or home store gifts or gift cards, three prepaid debit cards, two oil changes, two hairstyling certificates, two certificates for overnight accommodations, two gas cards, a massage, a lobster boat ride, stained-glass art and movie tickets.

Many teams participate in the Walk to Beat ALS — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — each dedicating their efforts in memory of a family member or loved one who lives with or has died as a result of ALS.

Team “Captain Ronald Papa” walks in memory of Ron Papa of Dedham, who died from ALS in September 2009. Papa was a well-known local carpenter and contractor who was employed at the University of Maine carpentry shop at the time of his passing.

Papa’s wife, Donna Papa of Designs by Donna, has tickets for sale in her Brewer salon on Wilson Street.

“We have a great team of volunteer fundraisers and walkers,” said Papa, “and the merchants who have donated to the calendar raffle are incredible. It is amazing that when you start talking about ALS you discover so many people whose lives have been touched by this horrible disease. I think this is why people have been so generous — once you’ve faced ALS, you will be willing to do anything you can to help defeat it.”

According to the ALS Association’s website, “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease,’ is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.”

ALS calendar raffle tickets are available throughout June at Designs by Donna near Hannaford on Wilson Street in Brewer and at The Lobster Institute in 210 Rogers Hall, University of Maine, Orono.

For information, contact Cathy Billings at 949-2028, or Donna Papa at 989-6139.

A support group for those with ALS, their families and caregivers meets 4-6 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month at Alpha One, 11 Bangor Mall Blvd. For information, contact Nell Davies at 894-5478 or me@alsanne.org.

Social worker honor

BANGOR — Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of Eastern Maine have announced the recognition of Alice “Tilly” Atkins as Medical Social Worker of the Year by the Maine Chapter of the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care.

Those honored must display outstanding performance as a medical social worker who serves as an exemplary model to others, including an ability to demonstrate accountability as well as be an advocate in relationship to patients, the profession and the social work environment.

“Tilly Atkins’ dedication and work in the field of medical social work has earned her a highly respected reputation that precedes her from Bangor to Belfast,” said Deanna Mullins, president of the Maine Chapter of the SSWLHC.

“Tilly is best-known for her work through Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of Eastern Maine, part of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, where she has worked for the past 17 years. She has provided countless hours of supervision to other social workers in the medical field. She has been supportive, knowledgeable, a trusted ally, a mentor, and friend to many. Tilly is one of the ‘unsung heroes’ in the field of medial social work. She has not only made a difference in the lives of those she serves, she also represents the heart of the profession of social work.”

Carol Carew, chief nursing officer for Eastern Maine HomeCare, is pleased to have Atkins receive this recognition. “I have seen firsthand how dedicated Tilly is to serving our patients and their families,” Carew said. “She is most deserving of this award.”

Atkins will receive the award on Thursday, June 23, from the Maine Chapter of the SSWLHC during the Maine Hospital Association’s Summer Forum.

Bangor Area Visiting Nurses has achieved HomeCare Elite status for the fifth year in a row. Along with its hospice program, Hospice of Eastern Maine, its services now extend into central Maine. Last year, staff drove 293,983 miles to provide 27,433 visits to more than 1,550 home care and hospice patients and their families. Although home care services are paid for by public and private sources, or directly by patients and their families, tax-exempt donations help cover the cost of care provided to the uninsured or underinsured.

For more information about home care and hospice services, visit http://www.easternmainehomecare.org or call the EMHC Patient Referral Line toll-free at 866-591-8843.

Breast health honors

TOPSHAM — Each year the Maine Breast Health Cooperative honors one or more people who have made an outstanding difference in breast health and breast cancer in Maine. Nominations are being accepted for the 2011 Breast Health Leadership Awards.

This year’s winners will be honored at the 14th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month Silver Tea on Thursday, Sept. 29, hosted by first lady of Maine Ann LePage at the Blaine House in Augusta.

The Breast Health Leadership Award is presented to acknowledge a Maine man or woman who has made an exceptional contribution by promoting breast health, improving awareness and an understanding of breast cancer, or working toward elimination of the disease. Nominees must be Maine residents and can be nominated for the professional or volunteer category.

Nomination forms may be obtained at http://www.cancer.org/blainehousetea. Nominations must be postmarked by Friday, July 29, and mailed to American Cancer Society, One Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04086.

Recipients of the 2010 award in the professional category were nurse Jennifer McCormack, Breast & Cervical Health Program coordinator for the Healthy Community Coalition in Wilton; and Susan Rowan, former executive director of the Maine Cancer Foundation in Portland. The recipient of the volunteer award was Jackie Tanner of Belgrade.

The Maine Breast Health Leadership Award was created in 1998 by the Maine Breast Health Cooperative, an organization that works collectively to reduce the impact of breast cancer in Maine. Members include the American Cancer Society, Maine Breast and Cervical Health Program, Maine Breast Cancer Coalition, Maine Breast Nurse Network, Maine Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Maine.

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