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.
 
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

How public health threats can mess with our heads

on Oct. 24, 2014, at 4:01 p.m.
Medical professionals aren’t the only ones responding to fears about Ebola. Dr. Anthony Ng, a psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Acadia Hospital in Bangor, breaks down how we respond emotionally to public health threats in a presentation picked up recently by Psychiatric Times. “People get anxious when it’s something …
INFOGRAPHIC

As more Maine parents reject vaccines, public health experts consider a new pitch

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 24, 2014, at 2:19 p.m.
Kelly Marshall’s son was just a baby five years ago when news coverage about a feared link between vaccines and autism had reached a fevered pitch. The Bath woman was on the fence about whether to immunize little Miles. She researched the issue, found no substantial evidence that vaccines could …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Maine CDC launches Ebola website

on Oct. 24, 2014, at 10:19 a.m.
The state’s public health agency has launched a new website about the Ebola virus. First off, Maine has recorded no cases of the illness. A patient was held for observation at Maine Medical Center last week, but multiple tests confirmed the individual wasn’t infected with Ebola. Still, the public and health providers have …
VIDEO
A film team for Al Jazeera America’'s “"Fault Lines”" documentary series visited Portland to tape an ambulance team that responds to an opioid-related call nearly every day.

‘It’s not what people think of when they think of Maine’: Documentary on America’s opioid war filmed in Bangor, Portland

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 23, 2014, at 12:24 p.m.
When Sebastian Walker traveled to Maine in August to document the drug abuse epidemic, he already knew some sobering statistics. The state has one of the worst rates of opiate addiction in the country. Health care providers in Maine write prescriptions for a commonly abused type of painkiller at the …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Vital Signs: Nurse from Brewer fights Ebola at its heart

on Oct. 23, 2014, at 11:57 a.m.
Brewer native Sheila Davis is in West Africa, at the heart of the Ebola outbreak. She is surrounded by a deadly virus that has instilled fear in many Americans who will never come face to face with its devastation, and wants the public to know Ebola can be stopped — …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

MMC Ebola gear runs gamut from impermeable suits to duct tape

on Oct. 22, 2014, at 6:16 p.m.
Staff who treated a possible Ebola patient at Maine Medical Center earlier this month burned through 25 protective suits a day. Hospital epidemiologist Dr. August Valenti shared that tidbit at a press event MMC hosted this morning to demonstrate the hospital’s Ebola preparedness efforts. The suits are just one component of the …

Nurses union to rally in Bangor for stronger Ebola protocols

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 20, 2014, at 5:18 p.m.
A national nurses union will host a media event in downtown Bangor on Tuesday to demand that Congress and the president mandate stricter protocols against Ebola to protect health care workers, patients and the public. National Nurses United has organized a week of events in Maine and several other states …
Brewer native Sheila Davis is heading up the Ebola response for Partners In Health, a Boston-based international aid organization

‘We cannot ignore what is happening’: Nurse from Brewer fights Ebola at its heart

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 20, 2014, at 5:10 p.m.
Brewer native Sheila Davis is in West Africa, at the heart of the Ebola outbreak. She is surrounded by a deadly virus that has instilled fear in many Americans who will never come face to face with its devastation, and wants the public to know Ebola can be stopped — …
POLL QUESTION
Dr. Robert Pinsky, hospital epidemiologist at the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor

Worried about Ebola? Grab a bar of soap

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 19, 2014, at 5:53 a.m.
The diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S. has put the nation on edge. Missteps by the Texas hospital that treated an infected man who came to Dallas from Liberia have eroded many Americans’ confidence in the country’s ability to prevent an outbreak. But many health experts stress it’s far easier …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Should the US limit travel to protect Americans from Ebola?

on Oct. 17, 2014, at 2:10 p.m.
Fears about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus have led many Americans to push for closing the country’s borders to travelers from West Africa, ground zero of the outbreak. U.S. House Republicans are demanding that President Barack Obama impose new travel restrictions, a step the president continues to resist. Obama said yesterday that “a …
Shannon Martin, a certified medical assistant, applies a bandage after giving Kay'l Sibold a flu shot at a Martin's Point Healthcare pediatric flu clinic in Portland in this January 2013 file photo.

Seasonal flu arrives in Maine

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 17, 2014, at 9:37 a.m.
The flu has officially arrived in Maine, state health officials announced Friday. The season’s first case was confirmed in an adult over age 60 from Lincoln County, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a health alert. The patient, who was not vaccinated against the illness, tested …
POLL QUESTION

School teacher in Strong put on 21-day leave over Ebola fears

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 17, 2014, at 9:32 a.m.
PHILLIPS | A teacher at Strong Elementary School has been required to take a 21-day leave of absence because parents were concerned the teacher could have been exposed to the Ebola virus during a recent trip to Dallas, according to a report in the Sun Journal. A notice on …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage says Maine is prepared to respond to Ebola, infectious disease outbreak

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 16, 2014, at 4:03 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine – Gov. Paul LePage said in a statement Thursday that Maine is prepared to respond to an outbreak of infectious diseases, including Ebola. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the state’s public health agency, has stepped up monitoring in light of three cases of Ebola in …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Vital Signs: Maine patient under observation not infected with Ebola

on Oct. 16, 2014, at 11:23 a.m.
You may have heard a little something about Ebola this week. The deadly virus, responsible for more than 4,000 deaths in West Africa, has fueled alarm in the U.S. following the diagnoses of three patients, including two Texas nurses. A patient held for observation at Maine Medical Center in Portland …
A patient under observation at Maine Medical Center in Portland has tested negative for the Ebola virus, according to Maine CDC officials.

Maine CDC: Patient under observation in Portland not infected with Ebola

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 14, 2014, at 4:02 p.m.
A patient under observation at Maine Medical Center in Portland does not have the Ebola virus, state health officials confirmed Tuesday. The patient, who was at low risk for contracting the virus, was held for 24-hour observation as a precautionary measure, the Maine Center for Disease Control …
Maine Medical Center in Portland is holding a patient for observation under stepped-up federal precautions aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Maine Medical Center: No confirmed case of Ebola, patient under observation

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 13, 2014, at 5:06 p.m.
PORTLAND — Maine Medical Center in Portland is holding a patient for observation under stepped-up federal precautions aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. The hospital stressed in a statement that it does not have a confirmed case of Ebola, which has killed more than 4,000 people …
CAMPAIGN 2014
This series of photos shows how fast the tail fin of a zebrafish can regrow under natural conditions. The photos show a tail fin before and after it is cut and then regrowth after two, four, seven and 14 days. Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor has spun off a for-profit venture that hopes to develop a drug that can accelerate the regrowth process.

Should Maine borrow $3 million for biomedical technology and job training?

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 10, 2014, at 5:03 p.m.
Editor’s note: This is one of a series of articles examining the bond questions that will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot in Maine. Question 5 reads: Do you favor a $3,000,000 bond issue, to be awarded through a competitive process and to be matched by $5,700,000 in private and …
A Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito on a human finger in this undated handout photograph from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Maine records first-ever human case of EEE

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 10, 2014, at 11:48 a.m.
A York County man has been confirmed as Maine’s first-ever human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a rare but potentially deadly disease carried by mosquitoes, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The man, whose name was withheld in accordance with privacy guidelines, first experienced mild symptoms …
An illustration picture shows cigarettes in their pack.

Study: Smoking ban in public housing saves Maine $1 million annually

By Jackie Farwell on Oct. 09, 2014, at 1:08 p.m.
Maine saves more than $1 million every year by banning smoking in public housing, according to a new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maine is the only state that prohibits smokers from lighting up in all of its public housing units, which saves the state …
VITAL SIGNS (blog)

Vital Signs: Ebola hoax at Freeport school sends officials into action

on Oct. 09, 2014, at 12:23 p.m.
Freeport Middle School was on high alert Wednesday after one student falsely told another student that her father was being evaluated for the Ebola virus after testing positive for a rash. “The student’s father has no symptoms of Ebola, nor is he being tested for the virus,” Freeport Middle School Principal Raymond …
 
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