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)

E-cigarette refills contain enough nicotine to kill your child or pet

on June 13, 2014, at 12:34 p.m.
If you haven’t spotted electronic cigarettes at your local convenience store or smoke shop, you will. The latest nicotine product to hit the market — including at a new “vape house” in Portland – is skyrocketing in popularity, but many users remain unaware of the potential dangers (aside from the obvious …

Empty beds, empty coffers: Why Maine’s rural nursing homes are facing an uncertain future

By Jackie Farwell on June 13, 2014, at 10:17 a.m.
When a nursing home in Calais abruptly closed its doors two years ago, the effects reverberated throughout the small Washington County community. Nearly 100 people lost their jobs. Local businesses said goodbye to paying customers. The town suffered the departure of a major taxpayer, which affected everything from sewer rates …
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Vital Signs newsletter: MaineCare backlogged with applications

on June 12, 2014, at 11:38 a.m.
Maine refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but the program for low-income residents is growing anyway. Thousands of Mainers who were eligible all along but never signed up are now seeking coverage, amid publicity about new, more affordable health insurance options and the requirement that most Americans get …
Mary Mayhew

Thousands stuck in MaineCare application backlog

By Jackie Farwell on June 10, 2014, at 7:39 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Thousands of Mainers are waiting to find out if they’re eligible for Medicaid coverage, potentially putting off needed medical care while state and federal officials sort out the bureaucratic backlog. Nationally, more than 6 million low-income Americans have gained Medicaid coverage through an expansion of the health …

Portland at a crossroads: How one vote underscores big changes in Maine’s largest city

on June 08, 2014, at 12 a.m.
On Tuesday, Portland voters will decide the future of Congress Square, which has become a visible, divisive example of how Maine’s largest city is changing.
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Vital Signs newsletter: Insurers seek modest rate increases

on June 05, 2014, at 11:18 a.m.
Some feared health insurance premiums would skyrocket under the Affordable Care Act. But the two insurers selling plans to Maine consumers want to raise rates just modestly in 2015, well below the double-digit hikes seen in previous years. The proposed rates offer a tentative first look at how much insurers seek to …
GRAPH

Maine insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans seek rate increases in 2015

By Jackie Farwell on June 03, 2014, at 6:27 p.m.
The two insurers selling plans to Maine consumers under the Affordable Care Act want to raise rates in 2015, but well below the double-digit average hikes cropping up in some other states. The proposed rates offer a tentative first look at how much insurers seek to charge during the second …

Maine hospitals tout Medicare cost data, but health care quality watchdog says ‘we could be a lot better’

By Jackie Farwell on June 03, 2014, at 8:03 a.m.
Maine hospitals are touting new data released by the federal government showing the state delivers health care to seniors more cost effectively than most of its counterparts. A Maine health care cost and quality organization, however, urged examining the numbers from a global perspective. On Monday, Medicare released a trove …

Bangor High School warns of student’s infection with whooping cough

By Jackie Farwell on May 30, 2014, at 5:34 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Bangor High School has alerted parents to a case of whooping cough, just days after reports of the highly contagious respiratory disease in far northern Maine. A parent notified the school on Friday that a student was infected with the illness, according to Bangor High School Principal …
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Vital Signs newsletter: Machias hospital CEO resigns

on May 29, 2014, at 11:09 a.m.
Doug Jones, who led Down East Community Hospital in Machias through a turbulent period following the death of a patient, has resigned as chief executive officer. Jones was named interim CEO after the state placed the hospital into receivership in 2009 and under the emergency control of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, …
James, Smith, 18, works with music therapist Kate Beever on his speech and motor movements through creative improvisation and songwriting.

Maine music therapist promotes healing effects of the creative arts

By Jackie Farwell on May 29, 2014, at 10:25 a.m.
Music therapist Kate Beever met with a client once who refused to take his medications. The man, in his late 60s, was hospitalized with prostate cancer and reluctant to interact with the medical providers trying to help him. Beever, a percussionist and keyboardist, played him a couple of songs. The …
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Maine doctors help kids get fit, stressing healthy choices over dropping pounds

on May 28, 2014, at 3:04 p.m.
Shane Mayo of Orrington felt a tad nervous when his mom suggested last year that he get active and start eating healthier. The 17-year-old was about 30 pounds overweight and pre-diabetic and with high cholesterol. But today, Mayo’s 20 pounds lighter and has a healthy body mass index. He runs, …

VA pilot program brings health specialists closer to home for veterans in northern Maine

By Jackie Farwell on May 23, 2014, at 4:04 p.m.
After Peter Miesburger broke his hip in January, the retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant underwent an operation to have it replaced with an artificial joint at his local hospital in Caribou. His family visited every day while he was recovering, and he drove just a few miles home after …
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Vital Signs newsletter: Lewiston insurer attracts rural Mainers under ACA

on May 22, 2014, at 11:23 a.m.
More than 40,000 Mainers have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Most of them chose a plan through Maine Community Health Options, a new member-run insurer that captured 80 percent of the market here despite competition from the much larger and well-established Anthem. New figures released by …
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Bangor hospital drops remote ICU program

on May 20, 2014, at 4:43 p.m.
Eastern Maine Medical Center plans to discontinue a program that connects nurses treating intensive care patients throughout the region to specialists in Bangor. The Critical Care Connection service, established in 2008, will cease effective June 20, the hospital announced in a Tuesday news release. Insurers don’t reimburse hospitals for the service, limiting the …
Susie Beal, an outreach coordinator at Harrington Family Health Center, with Kyle Stanley of Cherryfield, a lead singer and guitarist for a local band and welder whom Beal helped enroll in a new health plan under the Affordable Care Act .

Affordable Care Act prompts rural Mainers to sign up for health care through Lewiston startup

By Jackie Farwell on May 20, 2014, at 3:57 p.m.
Hildegard Tenney has lived nearly all her life without health insurance. A meat cutter at a supermarket in Washington County, 51-year-old Tenney could never afford coverage, so she visited the doctor only as a last resort, when she could scrape up enough cash to pay out of pocket for the …

Mass. doctor accused of sexually molesting patients surrenders Maine medical license

By Jackie Farwell on May 16, 2014, at 12:34 p.m.
A Massachusetts physician accused of sexually molesting patients has surrendered his license to practice in Maine in the wake of an investigation by a Massachusetts medical board. Dr. Roger Ian Hardy, the medical director of a popular Reading-based fertility clinic, first resigned his license to practice medicine in Massachusetts in …
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Vital Signs newsletter: Farmer Brown goes to court

on May 15, 2014, at 11:36 a.m.
A farmer’s decision to sell raw milk to customers in Blue Hill landed him before the state’s highest court this week. Dan Brown faced the justices of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, arguing that a local ordinance allowing farmers to sell products directly to consumers exempts him from state licensing requirements. The case raises questions about …
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Vital Signs newsletter: Glenburn teacher supports student through cancer fight

on May 08, 2014, at 11:04 a.m.
Victoria Grotton, a pre-kindergarten teacher in Glenburn, has gone out of her way to support her student, Ellie LaBree, following the child’s diagnosis with a rare eye tumor. When Ellie had to miss school, Grotton brought out a toy stuffed monkey that she put in Ellie’s place, taking pictures of the monkey …

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 …
 
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