Positively Maine: Noteworthy for Wednesday, Nov. 2

Posted Nov. 01, 2011, at 2:23 p.m.

Amy Cotton, nurse practitioner and director of operations and senior service quality for Eastern Maine Healthcare System’s Continuum of Care was one of 12 national mentors selected for Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing’s 2010-2011 Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy.

Nurse Amy LeClair of Kindred Healthcare was selected to work with Cotton during the past 18 months on the development of a project that cultivates her leadership skills and knowledge of geriatric nursing. During the extensive mentorship, LeClair developed an assisted living culture change model that enhances older adults’ wellness through person-centered care, activities, spiritual renewal and exercise.

“It has been a wonderful experience to mentor Amy LeClair. She is passionate about improving health care delivery for older adults. With an increasingly aging society, it is essential we have nurse leaders who are positioned to address the health care needs of older adults,” Cotton said.

LeClair and Cotton presented LeClair’s project during the Sigma Theta Tau’s International Honor Society of Nursing’s biennial meeting Oct. 29 in Grapevine, Texas.

Cotton also will chair The World Congress Leadership Summit on Innovative Care Delivery Models for the Aging Population November 7-8 in Vienna, Virginia. “This summit highlights a critical area of gerontological care that needs our attention,” Cotton said. “By working together on better strategies to improve the care of chronically ill seniors, we’ll be taking a huge step forward in serving this population and will be able to provide higher quality, more efficient care.”

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People’s United Bank recently gifted $30,000 to the Waterville Opera House for its An Encore Performance Capital Campaign. The campaign, the first of its kind in the opera house’s 108-year history, includes major renovations and restoration projects which will dramatically enhance the ability to attract even more patrons to downtown Waterville.

Since 1902, the opera house has held theater productions on the second floor located above municipal offices in Waterville City Hall. Aside from the replacement of orchestra seating more than 25 years ago, this is the first major renovation project the opera house has undertaken. Improvements include egress expansion, installation of a new sprinkler system, electrical wiring updates and improved accessibility backstage. Renovations also will include bringing lighting and acoustics to state-of-the-art performance levels and open sight lines for better viewing. The balcony seats, some of which date back to 1902, will be replaced with larger, more comfortable seats.

“The Waterville Opera House has been a cultural mainstay in the greater Waterville region for decades,” said Bill Lucy, senior vice president and division president of People’s United Bank. “We are delighted to see the collaborative efforts of so many community partners joining together to keep theater performances and film festivals alive, and are pleased to support this capital campaign on behalf of People’s United Bank.”

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Bangor resident Phil Locke received on Oct. 6, the top volunteer distinction, the John W. Coombs Award, during the 2 Those Who Care Ceremony sponsored by WLBZ 2 at Gracie Theatre at Husson University. A retired math professor with a 40-year career, mostly at the University of Maine, Locke spends his spare time teaching English to English language learners, maintaining the Orono Bog Boardwalk, collecting wildlife data for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and playing fiddle in the Marsh Island Band.

Literacy Volunteers of Bangor submitted Locke’s nomination, including letters of support from 20 leaders, recipients of services and friends from four organizations.

Since starting as an English tutor with Literacy Volunteers of Bangor in 2004, Locke has helped more than 20 adults with reading, conversational English and math skills. He averages more than 300 hours of service each year and has donated more than 2,200 hours since he began working with LV-Bangor. The value of his time helping adults with low literacy is estimated to be more than $36,000.

In his work as a tutor, Locke taught English to a group of South American business people one summer. He works with foreign language students studying at a post-graduate level at the University of Maine. He travels to a dairy farm to teach basic English to Central American farm workers. He has taught math in preparation for the GED to incarcerated women at the Women’s Re-entry Center in Bangor.

In one example, Locke worked for five years with Hoang Lam, a Vietnamese immigrant who struggled with conversational English when the two met in 2006. With Locke’s help, Hoang graduated with an electrical and automation technology degree from Eastern Maine Community College in 2009. And in May, he witnessed Hoang’s second graduation when the student received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology from the University of Maine. Now a naturalized citizen and employed as an engineer, Hoang credits the success of his American Dream story to Locke.

The 2 Those Who Care Awards Ceremony will be televised at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, on WLBZ 2. For information about the award and other award recipients, visit wlbz2.com.

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