Jackie Farwell

Jackie Farwell

Health Editor

Jackie Farwell of Gorham is the health care editor for the Bangor Daily News. Farwell began her career with the newspaper after graduating from the University of Maine's journalism program in 2004. She left in 2006 for a job with The Associated Press in New York, later returning to Maine to become a senior writer at business magazine Mainebiz. Farwell rejoined the Bangor Daily News in 2011 and works from the Portland area. She covers health issues that directly affect Maine residents.
 

Maine agency drops plan requiring disclosure of formaldehyde in children’s products

By Jackie Farwell on May 06, 2014, at 3:47 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Manufacturers can continue selling children’s products in Maine without disclosing which items contain the cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde under a new Maine Department of Environmental Protection decision. The department formally withdrew a proposed rule that would have named formaldehyde a priority chemical under the Kid-Safe Products Act, a …

What the enrollment numbers don’t tell us

By Jackie Farwell on May 01, 2014, at 2:27 p.m.
The final Obamacare enrollment figures have arrived, fodder for parsing and politics in the coming days. Much of the health insurance marketplaces’ fate lies in those eagerly awaited tallies, but why? The more enrollees, the better the chances that the overall pool of insured people will include a stable mix …
GRAPHIC
A man looks over the Affordable Care Act signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this Oct. 2, 2013 photo illustration.

44,000 Mainers sign up for health insurance under Affordable Care Act

By Jackie Farwell on May 01, 2014, at 2:22 p.m.
More than 44,000 Mainers signed up for private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to federal data released Thursday that paints the most complete picture yet of Americans’ efforts to gain coverage under President Barack Obama’s health reform law. The data reveals a long-awaited, state-by-state tally of individuals …
Amy Cotton, center, with students at Mangalore College of Nursing in Mangalore, India. Cotton taught about 2,000 health professions students, mostly nursing students, during a recent trip to India.

From Bangor to Bangalore: Maine nurse shares aging expertise in India

By Jackie Farwell on May 01, 2014, at 12:41 p.m.
When Amy Cotton received an email four years ago that would eventually alter the course of her medical career, she thought it was a scam. The emails kept coming, written in broken English by a man in India whom Cotton, a Bangor nurse practitioner specializing in aging, had never met. …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Vital Signs newsletter: Breathe easy in Bangor, but Maine air polluted elsewhere

on May 01, 2014, at 11:49 a.m.
Bangor ranks as one of the cleanest cities for air quality in the country, but southern Maine residents are breathing in unhealthy levels of pollution, according to a new report released Wednesday. Air quality has improved statewide, but unevenly from region to region, the American Lung Association’s 15th annual “State …

Report: Bangor’s air among nation’s cleanest, but unhealthy pollution lingers in Maine

By Jackie Farwell on April 30, 2014, at 4:14 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Bangor ranks as one of the cleanest cities for air quality in the country, but southern Maine residents are breathing in unhealthy levels of pollution, according to a new report released Wednesday. Air quality has improved statewide, but unevenly from region to region, the American Lung Association’s …
Rep. Jane Pringle

As LePage vetoes family planning bill, cost of teen births in Maine pegged at $18 million

By Jackie Farwell on April 29, 2014, at 1:55 p.m.
Teen births cost Maine taxpayers at least $18 million in 2010, according to new data released Tuesday just hours after Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill aimed at reducing unintended pregnancies among low-income women. Between 1991 and 2010, 25,713 teen births occurred in Maine, costing state taxpayers $600 million over …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Maine hospitals tops again in safety ranking

on April 29, 2014, at 11:28 a.m.
A national hospital safety group is asking Americans to imagine this: The populations of Miami or Atlanta are simply wiped out. That’s how many Americans die every year from preventable hospital errors – up to 440,000 patients, making such errors the third-leading cause of death in the country. The Leapfrog Group, an employer-led hospital watchdog organization, …
VIDEO
Rose Tanguay is a nurse at the Northern New England Poison Center in Portland. She took the call, 11 years ago, in the New Sweden arsenic poisoning case.

‘This light bulb went on’: Nurse recalls identifying arsenic as poison in New Sweden case, 11 years later

By Jackie Farwell on April 25, 2014, at 1:09 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — More than a decade has passed since the April day when 16 churchgoers in the tiny farming community of New Sweden drank poison from their coffee cups. Rose Tanguay was 300 miles away that day, but she remembers it vividly. She was working at the Northern New …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Got drugs? Maine tops nation in Rx Take Back Day

on April 25, 2014, at 12:46 p.m.
This Saturday, April 26, is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, an effort led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to collect and safely dispose of unwanted, expired, and unused medications. Tomorrow marks the eighth time in three years the U.S. DEA has organized the event, designed largely to rid Americans’ medicine …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Vital Signs: Top health stories this week

on April 24, 2014, at 11:25 a.m.
When Makenna Ward entered her Houlton classroom in the fall of 2013, her fellow elementary school students learned some very adult words, including neuroblastoma, chemotherapy, and most heartbreakingly, death. Six-year-old Makenna died from cancer on Dec. 29, 2013. Young students and others in her school community rallied to honor her, making …
Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Maine to begin adding photos to public assistance cards in Bangor

By Jackie Farwell on April 18, 2014, at 5:35 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Despite federal administrators’ reservations, Maine will begin adding recipients’ photographs to Electronic Benefits Transaction cards later this month, the state Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday. EBT cards dispense several forms of public assistance, including food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Think twice before handling baby chicks

on April 18, 2014, at 10:47 a.m.
I made a trip to my local Blue Seal store on Thursday to pick up dog food. As I walked through the door, the gentle peeping sounds of dozens of fluffy baby chicks filled the air. I was just about to sneak my finger into one of the enclosures to pet their …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Vital Signs: Top health stories this week

on April 17, 2014, at 12:10 p.m.
Three times each day, 19-year-old Katie Solman of Bangor adds drops of a medical marijuana tincture into a cup of juice or tea and swallows it. Diagnosed with epilepsy at age 11, Solman has been prescribed a variety of pharmaceutical prescriptions over the years to ease the symptoms of her epilepsy. …
VIDEO & POLL QUESTION
On April 4, South Portland doctor Michael Ciampi, who does not accept insurance or medicaid, explains how his subscription care service works out to about $50 per month for patients like Roxanne Pettigrow (left).

Maine doctors ditch insurance, offer monthly subscriptions for primary care

By Jackie Farwell on April 11, 2014, at 10:27 a.m.
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Roxanne Pettigrow has no health insurance. But the Gorham woman visits her doctor in South Portland every few weeks, paying $50 up front, once per month for regular checkups, office visits and preventive health screenings — care those lacking health coverage often skip. With her $600 …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Vital Signs newsletter: Top health stories this week

on April 10, 2014, at 11:12 a.m.
More than 20 Maine health providers were paid at least $1 million each from Medicare in 2012, according to a trove of government data released Wednesday that sheds unprecedented light on health care billing across the country. The data, off limits to the public for more than three decades, revealed individual …
Geoffrey Gratwick

Long-secret Medicare data reveal payments to Maine doctors

By Jackie Farwell on April 10, 2014, at 10:30 a.m.
More than 20 Maine health providers were paid at least $1 million each from Medicare in 2012, according to a trove of government data released Wednesday that sheds unprecedented light on health care billing across the country. Of the 23 receiving at least $1 million in Maine, seven were clinical …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Vital Signs newsletter: Top health stories this week

on April 03, 2014, at 11:24 a.m.
Monday marked one of the biggest deadlines for the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” Uninsured Mainers raced to begin signing up for health insurance by midnight, swamping health advocates with questions about premiums, deductibles and benefits. As the clock ticked down, many got their first look at how the landmark …
Theresa Grainger (left) of Limington, searches for Affordable Care Act health coverage with certified marketplace navigator Kate Albert in South Portland on Monday, the deadline to sign up.

Mainers rush to sign up for health insurance on ACA deadline day

By Jackie Farwell and Lindsay Tice on March 31, 2014, at 5:58 p.m.
By mid-morning Monday, the state’s only health insurance co-op was getting so many calls — How do I get insurance by the deadline? Did the federal marketplace send over my sign-up information yet? How do I make a payment? — that its CEO grabbed a free desk and started answering …

FAQ: A big day for the ACA

By Jackie Farwell, Bangor Daily News, and Lindsay Tice, Sun Journal on March 31, 2014, at 5:52 p.m.
March 31 is the deadline to enroll in health insurance? For most people, yes. But the Obama administration will allow anyone who tried unsuccessfully to sign up through Healthcare.gov — because of technical issues or other problems — by March 31 extra time to submit an application. How much extra …
 
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business