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Health news Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011

Program on cataracts

BANGOR — Come learn about eye safety, cataracts and macular degeneration in a program presented by Dr. Jennifer Robichaud of Eye Center Northeast.

The program will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15, at Winterberry Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care, 932 Ohio St.

Light snacks will be provided, and all are welcome. For information, call 942-6002.

Summer health fair

BANGOR — Eastside Rehabilitation and Living Center will hold a summer health fair for the community 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 516 Mount Hope Ave.

The fair will feature blood pressure clinics, nutrition advice, financial services, raffle prizes and more.

Among the vendors will be Penquis, the Diabetes and Nutrition Center, TMATT Taxes, a representative from the office of U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins, the Charlotte White Center, Capital Ambulance, Maine Veterans Affairs, Classic Dentures, Dialysis Team, Gentiva, Amedisys, Eastern Area Agency on Aging and the YMCA.

Eastside Rehabilitation is a nursing and rehabilitation center that provides short-term rehabilitative care, long-term care, residential care, respite care and adult day services.

For information, contact Linda Vail at 947-6131.

Dealing with memory loss

BANGOR — “Helpful Tips for Families Dealing with Memory Loss and Dementia” will be presented by Jamie Boyington, licensed clinical social worker.

The program is set for 4-5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at Winterberry Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care Community at 932 Ohio St.

Refreshments will be served, and all are welcome to attend the free program. For information, call 942-6002.

Growing dental center

BANGOR — Penobscot Community Health Center on Aug. 10 celebrated the expansion of PCHC Dental Center to 46 operatories, and the commencement of PCHC as one of 11 “Teaching Health Centers” in America. PCHC also celebrated the inauguration of the PCHC Pediatric Dental Residency Program.

The keynote speaker was Gov. Paul L. LePage. Also taking part were the Rev. Robert T. Carlson, president, PCHC; Kenneth Schmidt, chief executive officer; and Dr. Christopher Maller, chief dental officer.

Scheduled to offer remarks were: Anita Monoian, board chairman, National Association of Community Health Centers; Christie Hager, regional director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region 1; Jaye Weisman, regional administrator, Regions I & II; and Dr. Neal Demby, senior vice president, dental medicine, Lutheran Medical Center.

Guided tours were given of the PCHC Dental Center at 1068 Union St., which recently underwent renovations to support the expansion of its accredited general dental residency program, to accommodate six new residents and the opening of Maine’s only two-year accredited pediatric dental residency program. The expansion will support dentist training and allow PCHC to provide more patients with high-quality oral health care. To accommodate these expanded services, PCHC added 19 more dental operatories with an HRSA grant of $2.1 million.

PCHC’s Dental Center and Dental Residency Programs are led by Dr. Christopher Maller, chief dental officer; Dr. Michael Cangemi, associate residency director; and Nicole Schobel, dental director, with the faculty support of area oral health professionals including Dr. Jeffrey Fister, Dr. Michael Goldberg, Dr. Kent Tableman, Dr. John Tozer and Dr. Ron Bailey.

PCHC’s Pediatric Dental Residency Program was established in collaboration with Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn.

The Dental Center offers affordable specialty pediatric dental care regardless of ability to pay, by creating additional space to include nine child-size dental chairs and hiring an additional specialty pediatric dentist. At the end of the year, a report will be shared with Tom’s of Maine that confirms the number of children served.

PCHC plans to serve an additional 3,000 children during the first year of the program by hiring dentists that have been trained in pediatric dentistry, orthodontics and surgery, as well as child psychology and behavior management. This type of care is not currently offered through an affordable care program.

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 with and without insurance — regardless of ability to pay.

Audiology services

BANGOR — Penobscot Community Health Care has announced that Dr. Nicole Duncan has joined has joined PCHC’s Warren Center to provide high-quality audiology services, including hearing evaluations and hearing aid services.

Duncan earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and a doctor of audiology degree from the University of North Carolina, with specialized training to evaluate infants and children. She worked in pediatric audiology at the University of North Carolina Hospital in Chapel Hill.

The Warren Center has seven speech-language pathologists and three audiologists. Services are provided on-site as well as in area schools. The Warren Center has been helping people of all ages overcome barriers to effective communication for 50 years.

The center recently relocated to a newly renovated space at PCHC’s main campus at 992 Union St.

The Warren Center and Duncan are accepting new patients. For information, call 941-2850.

Champion the Cure

Five years ago, as she shared a birthday dinner with her husband, Terri Coolong of Lincoln,received terrifying news she never expected: a breast cancer diagnosis. Coolong recently celebrated her 50 birthday, and something even sweeter — survival.

When Coolong was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2006, she believed she would succumb to the disease, just as her grandmother had at age 38.

Coolong’s two children were in high school, and she was busy with her career as a forester and in the land surveying business she owned with her husband, Roger.

“I was sure I was not going to live to see them graduate,” she recalled. “I wondered how my husband would handle raising them alone.”

Coolong received treatment at Eastern Maine Medical Center’s CancerCare of Maine, and said she feels blessed to have had such a positive outcome. In addition to staying busy with her family and her work, she is now a facilitator for a newly formed support group for cancer patients and caregivers sponsored by Penobscot Valley Hospital.

Two years ago, Coolong took up running to lose the weight she had gained during her illness. She recently did the hospital’s 5K Run-Walk for Wellness with a time of 29 minutes 9 seconds.

On Saturday, Aug. 20, in recognition of her survival, and to support local cancer research, Coolong will run the 5K at the Champion the Cure Challenge.

“I want to do anything I can to ensure others beat breast cancer too,” she said. “I also want to give back to a community that supported me during my own treatment.”

Coolong encourages others to join her at Champion the Cure Challenge and is excited to meet new people at the event: “Let’s go out to kick cancer into oblivion!”

Champion the Cure Challenge will take place on Aug. 20 at EMMC’s CancerCare of Maine, located at the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer.

This year’s event includes a 1K Family Walk-Run; 5K or 10K Walk-Run; 25-, 50- or 100-mile bike ride; and a 50-mile motorcycle ride, plus music and activities for all ages. For more information, call Healthcare Charities at 973-5055 or visit http:// www.championthecurechallenge.org.

Health issues forum

BANGOR — The Bangor Daily News Editorial Department will host a panel of three experts to answer the public’s questions about changes to state and federal health insurance laws 5-7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, in the Lecture Hall at Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St.

The panelists are:

Joel Allumbaugh, director of the Center for Health Reform Initiatives at the Maine Heritage Policy Center.

Mitchell Stein, policy director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care.

Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health Editor Meg Haskell will host the question-and-answer forum as part of the BDN’s community outreach. Haskell was named 2010 Journalist of the Year by the Maine Press Association and worked for many years as a registered nurse.

Al-Anon meetings

BANGOR — Al-Anon, for friends and relatives of problem drinkers (past and present), holds meetings at:

• 1 p.m. Saturdays, 234 French St., backdoor entrance on the side.

• 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Philips-Strickland House, Boyd Place and York Street, second-floor conference room.

For information, call 745-7208 or 800-498-1844.

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