June 23, 2018
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PCHC names new board member

BANGOR, Maine — Heather Ball, assistant professor of special education at the University of Maine at Machias, has joined the Penobscot Community Health Care Board of Directors.

Over the past 10 years, Ball has worked closely with the Maine Department of Education to develop and provide special education teacher preparation coursework at a distance and support nontraditional and culturally diverse learners. Her research has focused on teachers of students who are Native American and teachers of students living in poverty. Ball is chairwoman of the Diversity Committee at UMM, serves on the UMaine System Diversity Steering Committee and volunteers for efforts such as Special Olympics, Special Family Weekend and the Downeast Communities of Practice.

Ball earned her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Maine and holds additional degrees from Rhode Island College and Duquesne University.

As a federally qualified health center, PCHC’s Board of Directors serves as its governing body, responsible for financial oversight, strategic planning, defining mission and services and ensuring compliance with legal and financial requirements, among other responsibilities.

Crisis & Counseling Centers of Augusta honored

AUGUSTA, Maine — Crisis & Counseling Centers recently was recognized for its vision and treatment of individuals with co-occurring disorders at the Co-Occurring Collaborative Serving Maine’s annual meeting.

The event was held at the Maine Hospital Association facility and C&C Clinical Director Michael Mitchell accepted the award. The agency is the sole provider of crisis emergency services for Kennebec and Somerset counties, serving individuals with mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. The agency provides health care services to correctional facilities in Maine.

This is the first award the coalition has given to an agency and CCSME Executive Director Catherine Chichester said that it was presented to C&C because of the agency’s “accomplishments and vision” to advance behavioral health treatment and recovery services, particularly in the correctional population.

“We wanted to recognize the agency for supporting integrated services for people who have both mental health and substance abuse issues as well as other complex conditions,” said Chichester, adding that unfortunately, people who experience co-occurring disorders frequently end up in correctional facilities.

Chichester said the work C&C has done with this population is vital because it not only helps individuals who enter the correctional system with these complex disorders, but also addresses the specific needs of that population to help keep them out of jail.

In addition to recognizing C&C, the collaborative presented three awards to individuals. Sheriff Randy Liberty of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office was recognized for working to advance treatment for individuals experiencing a co-occurring disorder while incarcerated.

Other awards went to former C&C CEO Andrew Loman for his years of commitment to advance recovery for co-occurring disorders, and to Mary Haynes, clinical director at Community Health and Counseling in Bangor, for her visionary guidance and dedication to co-occurring treatment.

Public forum set to discuss health care financing

FARMINGTON, Maine — Maine AllCare will present a public forum on health care reform, “Where Are Our Health Care Dollars Going and What Can We Do About It?,” at 6 p.m. March 19, at Franklin Memorial Hospital.

The main speaker for the event will be Dr. Julie Pease, a psychiatrist and president of Maine AllCare.

Other members of the panel include Dr. Geoff Gratwick, Bangor rheumatologist and member of the Maine State Senate; Alice Knapp, Richmond attorney and former director of the Consumer Health Care Division, Maine Bureau of Insurance; and Garrett Martin, executive director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy.

The discussion and following question and answer session will be moderated by Joe Lendvai, chair of communications for Maine AllCare.

Island Nursing Home announces new medical director

DEER ISLE, Maine — Dr. Lisa Lesko recently joined the Island Nursing Home as medical director. Lesko is a specialist in family medicine in the Blue Hill Family Medicine practice, a department of Blue Hill Memorial Hospital. She will continue seeing patients in Blue Hill while serving as the medical director.

Lesko succeeds Dr. Susan Ostertag, who had served as the medical director at Island Nursing Home since 2007. Dr. Ostertag was a skillful teacher and provided high-quality and compassionate medical care to the residents during her time here. She will be traveling to Nepal and Bhutan over the next two months, and then plans on spending some quality time in her gardens.

Island Nursing Home has 70 residents and serves the Blue Hill peninsula and Deer Isle. It is the largest employer on Deer Isle.

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