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Bangor area health news, July 28


Komen Affiliate outreach

BANGOR — The Maine Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has hired Regina Rooney, its first community outreach manager, to expand breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs throughout the state. The Komen Maine Affiliate was established in 1997 as an all-volunteer organization. The Komen Maine Affiliate hired its first full-time executive director in 2009 and has since expanded to three full-time positions.

The position of community outreach manager was created to expand the Komen Maine Affiliate’s efforts in breast health education and to further develop working relationships with service providers in Maine.

Rooney worked previously for Spruce Run, a domestic violence organization in Bangor. She also teaches women’s studies as an adjunct faculty member of the University of Maine.

“Regina brings a fresh outlook and energy to the organization, as well as experience,” said Sally Bilancia, executive director. “We are extremely pleased to have Regina on board and look forward to expanding our outreach through the entire state.”

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement.

The Maine Affiliate of Komen for the Cure is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local community, joining more than 1 million breast cancer survivors and activists around the globe as part of the world’s largest and most progressive grass-roots network fighting breast cancer.

Through events such as the Komen Maine Race for the Cure, the Maine Affiliate has invested more than $2.25 million in community breast health programs throughout Maine. Seventy-five percent of net proceeds generated by the affiliate stays in this state. The remaining income goes to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grants Program to fund research. For more information, call 262-7117 or visit

Talk on Lyme disease

BANGOR — Emily Bracale, author and artist of “In the Lyme-Light: Portraits of Illness and Healing,” will read from her book and discuss the symptoms, treatment and prevention of Lyme disease at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, at Bangor Public Library.

This book shares the author’s life with Lyme disease, but it speaks to all who have had similar contact with this illness.

Bracale said, “Until recently, I, like many people, did not realize that Lyme disease could be so serious. Aware or not, anyone who plays outside in nature, gardens, hikes or sits out in grassy fields painting, as I often used to do, is a potential candidate for Lyme.“

After years of sickness, Bracale found she was a “poster child for Lyme disease” and began the mentally and physically exhausting process of treatment and recovery. A former teacher and artist, she used paintings and writing to express her feelings and ideas about the disease.

Bracale created 28 paintings and collages with accompanying text. Each piece covers a different aspect of Lyme disease, from the confusion before diagnosis to the disease’s symptoms, such as fatigue, decreased concentration, memory disorders, muscle spasms and sleep disorders. Bracale will share her personal journey to help educate the public about the growing epidemic.

New home for OA

BANGOR — Overeaters Anonymous, a support group, has moved its 10 a.m. Monday meetings to Boyd Place, 21 Boyd St.

“Individuals who eat compulsively have an issue with addiction and suffer just as the alcoholic does,” organizers said. “People who eat compulsively can get help in Overeaters Anonymous by learning to plan meals, change behaviors and admit that no matter the reason, they eat differently.”

For overeaters, it is about compulsion and not being able to control the progressive problems that come from overeating-undereating and the diseases that are associated with obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure; or those who are anorexic.

“There is hope in OA in that the person who has compulsive eating behaviors can learn a new way of living,” organizers said, “and we call it abstaining from compulsive eating or behaviors related to eating patterns.”

Champion the Cure

BANGOR — For 10-year-old Tommy Hosmer, charity begins at home. When his beloved grandmother Linda “Mimi” Reilly Williams died of ovarian cancer in August 2009, Tommy wanted to honor her memory in a special way.

“I just wanted to help others with cancer like my Mimi had,” the Bangor boy said. And help he has.

With a book collection given to him by a neighbor and a special copy of “Black House” donated by Stephen King, “Tommy’s Book and Bake Sale” was born. The proceeds from the sale of donated bakery items, nearly 4,000 books and raffle tickets for King’s novel totaled $3,340.

Last September, Tommy proudly presented the check to Healthcare Charities for the endowment fund in Linda’s name. The fund supports CancerCare of Maine, where his grandmother was a longtime patient.

But Tommy’s philanthropic efforts didn’t stop there. For nearly two years, he has donated his Christmas money and savings to “Mimi’s Fund.” He also is planning his next fundraiser, and this time he is considering a sports theme.

Tommy’s charitable spirit and dedication to helping those with cancer make him the choice for the 2011 Champion the Cure grand marshal. He will lead the 1K Family Fun Run at the Aug. 20 event, which raises funds for local cancer research.

Champion the Cure Challenge also features a 5K or 10K walk-run; 25-, 50- or 100-mile bike ride, and a 50-mile motorcycle ride.

To obtain more information about the Champion the Cure Challenge or to register or volunteer for the event, call Jeni Lloyd at 973-9628 or visit

Honored by commission

BANGOR — The Maine State Employee Health Commission has named 21 hospitals to its Preferred Hospital List effective Aug. 1. They are:

• Augusta-Waterville: MaineGeneral Medical Center.

• Bangor: Eastern Maine Medical Center.

• Bangor: St. Joseph Hospital.

• Belfast: Waldo County General Hospital.

• Biddeford: Southern Maine Medical Center.

• Brunswick: Mid Coast Hospital.

• Caribou: Cary Medical Center.

• Dover-Foxcroft: Mayo Regional Hospital.

• Houlton: Houlton Regional Hospital.

• Lewiston: Central Maine Medical Center.

• Lincoln: Penobscot Valley Hospital.

• Millinocket: Millinocket Regional Hospital.

• Norway: Stephens Memorial Hospital.

• Pittsfield: Sebasticook Valley Hospital.

• Portland: Mercy Hospital.

• Portland: Maine Medical Center.

• Rockport: PenBay Medical Center.

• Rumford: Rumford Hospital.

• Skowhegan: Redington-Fairview General Hospital.

• York Hospital.

Honor for EMMC

BANGOR — Whether it’s diagnosing and treating a patient with a heart attack or a patient with pneumonia, the consistent achievement of excellence in care is measured by state and national organizations.

Eastern Maine Medical Center is one of five hospitals, and the only specialty referral medical center in Maine, being recognized as a preferred provider for providing this consistent quality care for the past five years by the Maine State Employee Health Commission.

The other four are Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft, Mercy Hospital in Portland, Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick and Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta.

Using the Maine Health Management Coalition’s hospital rankings, which also include the national quality benchmarks of the Leapfrog Group, the Maine State Employee Health Commission designates EMMC as a preferred provider of health-care services for its members.

State employees who seek care at preferred provider organizations receive financial incentives such as waived deductibles for most services. There are some 3,000 state employees in EMMC’s hospital service area, which spans across central, eastern and northern Maine.

The Maine Health Management Coalition tracks performance in four major areas: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and the prevention of surgical infections.

“There are only five organizations in Maine who are receiving this designation this year,” said Frank Johnson, executive director of the Division of Employee Health and Benefits. “We are very pleased to recognize the dedication of the leadership and staff of Eastern Maine Medical Center in providing superior health care to the patients and families in this region.

Johnson and members of the commission presented a certificate commemorating this achievement to Deborah Carey Johnson, president and CEO of EMMC, on July 26.

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