Articles by Meg Haskell

State Epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears

Whooping cough sickens area children and adults

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 22, 2011, at 5:58 p.m.
BREWER | Cases of whooping cough are making the rounds in Maine schools and homes, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and parents should be on the lookout for symptoms. “If children are feeling sick and develop a chronic cough, they should be checked,” said …
The Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine.

Acadia Hospital announces leadership changes

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 22, 2011, at 3:49 p.m.
BANGOR | Two top-tier executives who served at The Acadia Hospital with former CEO David Proffitt will leave their leadership positions, the hospital announced Thursday afternoon. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jamie Morrill will leave Acadia altogether. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Schaffer has been reassigned to provide …

A guide to foods that benefit the body

By Jennifer LaRue Huget, Special to The Washington Post on Sept. 22, 2011, at 1:37 p.m.
There’s no question that maintaining a nutritious diet can help keep your body healthful. But when it comes to which foods can specifically benefit which body parts, science remains surprisingly sketchy. For all the hype about the health benefits of, say, antioxidants and probiotics, a scan of the scientific literature …
An artist's rendering of the new $322 million MaineGeneral hospital.

New $322M Augusta hospital aims to retain patients, attract providers

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 22, 2011, at 12:24 p.m.
On the outskirts of Augusta on Friday, officials from the MaineGeneral Health system will break ground on a brand new $322 million hospital. The 192-bed facility is scheduled to open in 2014 and will replace three smaller, aging MaineGeneral hospitals in the region — the Thayer and …
Campers, from left, Abbey Quill, her brother Duncan Dyer, Kyle Cummings, and his sister, Jasmine Coulter jump from a float into Bear Pond at Camp To Belong hosted by Camp Wigwam in South Waterford, Maine.

Summer camp program in Waterford unites siblings in state custody

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 17, 2011, at 6:20 p.m.
Summer sleep-away camp. For most kids, the words conjure up images of splashing swim sessions, pine-scented nature study, raucous dining hall antics, and giggly lights-out in rustic cabins. For the 30 or so Maine youngsters who attend Camp To Belong each year, the camp experience means all …
Dr. Mehmet Oz attends the 46th annual 2011 National Magazine Awards in New York in May 2011. Dr. Oz will be featured in a live telecast from Washington, D.C.during a forum on health at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor on Thursday, Sept. 16.

What’s the best way to maintain your health? Get involved

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 15, 2011, at 6:21 p.m.
BANGOR | It is not enough for doctors and hospitals to commit to improving the quality and safety of the care they provide. At a forum in Bangor on Thursday, health care leaders, employers and consumers agreed that patients must play a more active role in maintaining their own …
Breast cancer survivors wave to the thousands of people who gathered for the 13th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure during the survivor ceremony on the Bangor Waterfront in September 2009. The 15th annual race will begin 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, on the Bangor Waterfront.

Race for the Cure to benefit breast cancer programs in Maine

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 14, 2011, at 6:58 p.m.
BANGOR | Thousands of breast cancer survivors and their supporters will take to the streets this Sunday morning, Sept. 18, for the 15th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The 5K event for walkers and runners of all abilities will get under way at 10 a.m. on …
In this 2002 photo provided by the family, Wondu Bekele sits with his son Mathiwos outside the the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He died eight months later because of cancer in September 2003 at the age of four. The desperate father had called St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the United States for advice, procured chemotherapy drugs from India, and against all odds, got his son treated for leukemia. Yet the little boy died because the hospital had no separate ward to keep vulnerable cancer patients from catching other patients' diseases. The father founded a cancer society in his son's name. The U.N. General Assembly in Sept. 2011 will hold its first summit on chronic diseases - cancer, diabetes and heart and lung disease. Those account for nearly two-thirds of deaths worldwide and nearly 9 out of 10 in the United States. They have common risk factors, such as smoking and sedentary lifestyles, and many are preventable.

New global killers: heart, lung disease and cancer

By Marilynne Marchione, The Associated Press on Sept. 14, 2011, at 7 a.m.
What’s killing us? For decades, global health leaders have focused on diseases that can spread — AIDS, tuberculosis, new flu bugs. They pushed for vaccines, better treatments and other ways to control germs that were only a plane ride away from seeding outbreaks anywhere in the world. Now they are …
A new report to the U.N. Human Rights Council warns that medical waste throughout the world is often disposed of unsafely and calls for stricter regulation and enforcement.

UN investigator says medical waste risks ignored

The Associated Press on Sept. 14, 2011, at 6:55 a.m.
GENEVA (AP) — A U.N. human rights investigator says up to a quarter of the world’s trash from hospitals, clinics, labs, blood banks and mortuaries is hazardous but largely unregulated. Calin Georgescu says nations pay “too little attention” to mountains of wastes contaminated with pathogens, blood, low levels of radioactivity, …
In a July 1, 2010 photo, a cheese pepperoni pizza with a garden salad, apple turnover and milk for lunch at Lafayette  Elementary School in Lincoln Park.  The program feeds over 130 kids a day for breakfast and lunch. Federally funded summer lunch programs are reaching just one of six students that that the school lunch program services reaches during the school year.

USDA looks to get more meals to kids in summer

By Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press on Sept. 14, 2011, at 6:49 a.m.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Food can be scare around the Mendoza household during the summer. School food service worker Alina Mendoza loses most of her hours and pay at the same time her daughter stops getting free meals at school. That’s why Mendoza was excited this summer when a …

Democrats talk strategy at Brewer barbecue

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 11, 2011, at 9:02 p.m.
Area Democrats took advantage of the late-summer season on Saturday and gathered for a menu of barbecue and politics at Indian Trail Park on the Penobscot River in Brewer. According to House Minority Leader Emily Cain of Orono, the free event hosted by the Brewer Democratic City …
Joshua Nelson, standing, makes his way along an aisle as he and his band sing a rousing African American spiritual  " Joshua FIt the Battle of Jericho" during the Gathering of Remembrance and Hope at John Bapst Memorial High School Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, 2011. The event brought together local clergy and other residents of various faiths to remember the events shaped by the Sept. 11 attacks ten years ago.

Bangor area faith groups gather for 9/11 remembrance

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 11, 2011, at 7:58 p.m.
It was billed, somberly, as “a gathering of remembrance and hope.” But the 10th anniversary commemoration of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, held Sunday afternoon in the auditorium of John Bapst High School, felt at times more like a gospel revival. “The way to change the world …

Clifton youth injured in bike-ATV collision

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 11, 2011, at 12:52 p.m.
An 11-year-old boy from Clifton was injured Saturday afternoon when he rode his bicycle into the path of an all-terrain vehicle driven by another juvenile. The accident happened at about 3 p.m. on the unpaved Hopkins Pond Road in Clifton. According to Maine Game Warden Shannon Fish, …
Hundreds turned out for the 4th annual Bangor Car Show at the Bangor Waterfront Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011.

Classic cars and sunny skies draw a crowd to the Bangor Waterfront

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 10, 2011, at 4:36 p.m.
Antique car buffs enjoyed a sunny late-summer trip down memory lane on Saturday at the fourth annual “Wheels on the Waterfront” car show hosted by the Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau. More than 300 exhibitors rolled out their street rods and touring classics, vintage motorcycles, muscle cars …

Arsenic and old radios: A flood of post-9/11 funding helps Maine strengthen public health and emergency preparedness

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 08, 2011, at 5:44 p.m.
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, millions in federal tax dollars have flowed into Maine to improve preparedness for all manner of disasters and public health emergencies. The money has come primarily to two state agencies, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maine Emergency …

Study: Fewer doctors accepting payment for promoting specific medications

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 08, 2011, at 5:27 p.m.
The Boston Globe reports on a survey showing that in aggregate, the amount of money drug companies are paying Massachusetts doctors for product endorsements is declining, in indicator that physicians may be distancing themselves from the pharmaceutical industry and the lucrative deals it offers. “In 2009 and the first half …
Jake Van Meter smiles during an interview at Penobscot Nursing Home in 2009.

Agreement reached in disability lawsuit against DHHS

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 06, 2011, at 7:23 p.m.
BANGOR | Under the terms of a legal agreement announced Tuesday, the state Department of Health and Human Services will close a loophole that a group of disabled Maine residents says has prevented them from receiving services they need to live productive and independent lives. The lawsuit, originally brought …

Maine Voices: Snowe, Collins standing in the way of better nutrition in schools

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 06, 2011, at 10:05 a.m.
In an opinion piece in today’s Portland Press Herald, pediatric dentist and public health expert Dr. Jonathan Shenkin takes aim at Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins for their efforts to keep potatoes on the USDA menu for children in public schools. “In a letter dated Aug. 3, Collins …

Pen Bay Medical Center recognized for implementing quality stroke care

By Meg Haskell on Sept. 01, 2011, at 5:16 p.m.
Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport has been recognized for achievement in using evidence-based guidelines to provide the best possible care to patients through the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association’s “Get With The Guidelines” program. Pen Bay is among the hospitals featured in a special advertisement in the “America’s …
Susan Collins

Collins worried about how government handles homegrown terrorism

By Meg Haskell and Eric Russell, BDN Staff on Aug. 31, 2011, at 11:27 a.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said her biggest concern over a recent report card that assesses successes and shortfalls of the federal 9-11 Commission is the nation’s failure to take seriously the problem of homegrown terrorism. As the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Collins …
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