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Outgoing Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew (left) and Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in a file photo.

How Mary Mayhew consolidated control over DHHS

The inner workings of Maine’s largest state agency have fundamentally changed during the past six years.
Gears on a children's toy in the waiting room at Bangor Public Health and Community Services, where WIC recipients have their appointments.

Bill to let infant death review group do its job gets initial approval

The legislation follows reporting last summer by the BDN’s Maine Focus team that found Maine was the only state to see a long-term increase in its infant mortality rate over the past two decades.
BANGOR, MAINE -- 02/28/2017 --  Salena Sawtelle has been working at the Stillwater Health Care facility in Bangor for three years. Nursing homes such as this are largely staffed by women and the wages are not far above Maine's minimum wage.

When this Maine caregiver shared her struggle to get by, strangers showed up with gifts

Salena Sawtelle, a certified nursing assistant in Bangor, couldn’t even afford new shoes. She’s since been offered 20 new pairs.
State Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell.
Maine Focus

DHHS has blocked lawmakers from public data on nursing program

The experience of requesting public information and not receiving it has become the norm in recent months for state Sen. Brownie Carson and others who have sought details and basic documents about public health nursing from the Maine CDC.
Judy Gopaul worked at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention within the Maine Department of Health and Human Services for six years, most of them as the local health officer coordinator. She became the Freedom of Access Act coordinator February 1, 2016, and was responsible for reviewing requests for public information from members of the public, determining how to respond and following through. She was fired in December 2016 for releasing a public report to the Bangor Daily News, that had already been published, without first running it by her superiors.
Maine Focus

DHHS fired a public records coordinator — for releasing a public record

A BDN review of DHHS documents related to Judy Gopaul’s termination reveals an excessively complicated process, occasionally verging on farcical, for making decisions about how to respond to even the most minor questions from the public.
BELFAST, MAINE -- 09/14/2016 -- The Maine state flag waves in a breeze outside Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.
Maine Focus

3 major things that need to change to grow Maine’s economy

For years, the state hasn’t seen improvement on them.
Salena Sawtelle, a certified nursing assistant, combs Ora Bartlet's hair before taking him to breakfast at the Stillwater Health Care facility in Bangor in March.

Maine’s 3 biggest bills to fill health care worker shortages

These bills currently being considered by the Maine Legislature would directly affect nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, and direct care workers across the state.
Ben Dionne, who was diagnosed with autism when he was 18 months old, pours seeds at his job at Paris Farmers Union in Lewiston on March 16.
Maine Focus

These three states are the best at employing people with disabilities

Here’s a closer look at what three states are doing to get more people with disabilities to work.