Stories about Department of Health and Human Services


Fort Kent hospital cited for altering medical records of patient who reported domestic abuse

By Jackie Farwell on July 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m.
Northern Maine Medical Center violated federal standards when its chief executive ordered the alteration of a patient’s medical records, according to an investigation by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. NMMC CEO Peter Sirois ordered changes to the records of a patient who visited …

White House announces tens of millions of additional funding to address immigrant surge

By Reuters on June 20, 2014, at 1:49 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday announced tens of millions of dollars of additional funding for Central American governments to address the root causes of migration that has led to a surge of migrants, many of them children, into the United States. The United States said it would launch …

Sweetser to close Brunswick mental health facility, blames DHHS for lack of funding

By Seth Koenig on May 28, 2014, at 2:30 p.m.
A Brunswick facility where adults with behavioral health problems seek treatment and camaraderie will close next month, the organization Sweetser announced on Wednesday. Sweetser officials blamed the imminent closure of its Learning and Recovery Center on a lack of additional funding from the state Department of Health …

Bangor councilors to consider moratorium on suboxone treatment center expansions

By Nick McCrea on Oct. 21, 2013, at 6:32 p.m.
City Councilors on Tuesday night will consider whether or not to place a 180-day moratorium on issuing permits to facilities that provide suboxone treatment to addicts. The question arose after the director of a Hogan Road treatment facility suggested her clinic might want to expand to offer …
The State House in Augusta.

Democrats blast LePage’s opposition to Medicaid expansion; GOP says new bill to broaden eligibility will fail

By Mario Moretto on Sept. 17, 2013, at 5:35 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Democrats on Tuesday said they’d introduce a new bill to expand Medicaid to cover more than 70,000 Mainers and that the political wind is at their backs to override an inevitable veto by Gov. Paul LePage. “We feel confident that the momentum is going in the right …
 Sally Ann Schofield of Chelsea, arrives at the Lincoln County Superior Courthouse in Wiscasset for the first day of her non-jury trial in June 2002.  Schofield, a former DHS worker, later was convicted of depraved indifference murder and manslaughter of foster child, Logan Marr, 5, in January 2001.

Judge won’t change probation conditions for Maine woman who killed foster child

By Judy Harrison on May 15, 2013, at 3:42 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A Superior Court judge on Tuesday denied a motion to modify probation conditions for the woman who is still serving a 17-year sentence for manslaughter in the the asphyxiation death of her 5-year-old foster child in 2001. Sally Ann Schofield , now 51, of Chelsea was convicted …
Stephen Bowen

State moves toward more collaboration in early childhood education

By Christopher Cousins on Jan. 31, 2013, at 2:36 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have joined in an effort to improve early childhood education programs in the state despite the rejection of the concept in 2011 as part of an unsuccessful federal grant application. Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen announced Thursday the creation …

State revenues continue in the red, pose additional budget problems

By Mal Leary on Nov. 23, 2012, at 11:01 a.m.
AUGUSTA | With state revenues $26 million below estimates four months into the budget year, there is a growing concern among forecasters that revenues will have to be re-projected downward next month, making the overall budget shortfall all the more difficult to address. “We have now seen some of …
Maine Gov. Paul LePage acknowledges members in the gallery before delivering his first State of the State address at the State House in Augusta on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.

Fact-checking LePage’s State of the State

By Eric Russell on Jan. 25, 2012, at 12:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage delivered a straight-forward State of the State address on Tuesday that hit on many of his priorities — lowering energy costs, reducing welfare benefits and improving education. Republicans in the Legislature praised the governor for his focus on improving Maine’s economic picture. Even Democrats …
Janet Bouchard (right) of Orland and her boyfriend Jack McCoy (left) are among the thousands of Mainers who stand to be impacted by the proposed DHHS cuts. Bouchard, 55, has been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, sleep apnea, spinal problems and other health issues and requires special equipment and medicines she gets on MaineCare to maintain a semblance of a normal life. McCoy, 57, a Vietnam-era veteran, has some military medical benefits as well as MaineCare and Medicare.

Without MaineCare, childless adults say they won’t survive

By Jackie Farwell on Dec. 16, 2011, at 11:54 a.m.
ORLAND | Janet Bouchard has heard about the deep cuts Gov. Paul LePage has proposed to the state’s MaineCare program. The Orland woman may not know the ins and outs of the administration’s plan to overhaul the program and bring it into a new era of fiscal sustainability, but …
Shou-Mei Li, left, wraps a scarf around her husband Hsien-Wen Li, who is an Alzheimer's patient, as their daughter Shirley Rexrode, right, looks on, at their home in San Francisco.

Dementia becomes defining disease of a generation

By Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press on Sept. 13, 2011, at 6:24 a.m.
WASHINGTON — As her mother’s Alzheimer’s worsened over eight long years, so did Doreen Alfaro’s bills: The walker, then the wheelchair, then the hospital bed, then the diapers — and the caregivers hired for more and more hours a day so Alfaro could go to work and her elderly father could …

Feds may step in as states lag on health reform

By N.C. Aizenman, The Washington Post on Sept. 10, 2011, at 7:44 p.m.
Across the country, states are lagging in preparations to erect the health insurance marketplaces at the heart of the 2010 health-care overhaul, bogged down by a combination of partisan hostility and practical hurdles. Faced with the delay, administration officials have been ramping up talks with state leaders in recent weeks …

Producer of DHHS sting videos to appear in Maine

By Eric Russell on Aug. 29, 2011, at 2:42 p.m.
PORTLAND | A conservative activist who caused a recent stir by releasing two secretly taped videos he claims highlight Maine’s vulnerability to welfare fraud will make a public appearance in Maine next month. James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, will be the guest lecturer at an event hosted by …

Second secret video targets Maine welfare system deficiencies

By Eric Russell on Aug. 18, 2011, at 5:01 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Another video produced by self-proclaimed citizen journalist James O’Keefe has been released in an attempt to highlight flaws in Maine’s system for determining eligibility for certain entitlement benefits. The video, posted Thursday on YouTube, is set in a Department of Health and Human Services office in Portland. …

Groups behind secretly recorded DHHS interview defend decision to promote video

By Steve Mistler, Sun Journal on Aug. 13, 2011, at 11 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The conservative advocacy groups behind the secretly recorded interview at the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday defended their decision to aggressively promote the video despite criticism that it is designed to mislead the public about the occurrence of welfare fraud. James O’Keefe, the conservative …

LePage task force takes aim at welfare cheats

By Eric Russell on July 27, 2011, at 2:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA | During his campaign for governor, at nearly every stop and in nearly every speech, Paul LePage vowed if elected to address what he called the rampant abuse of Maine’s welfare system. On Wednesday, Governor LePage put welfare fraud squarely in his sights, calling upon his recently created …

Milo man arrested after hitting girlfriend, police say

By Diana Bowley on July 13, 2011, at 9:19 p.m.
DEXTER | A Milo man was arrested Wednesday for violation of a protection order and domestic violence assault, according to Dexter police Officer Dana Gatcomb. Brent Smith, 22, was taken to the Penobscot County Jail, where his bail was set at $2,000 cash. Sgt. Kevin Wintle, who assisted Gatcomb, …

LePage chooses Bangor resident as health policy adviser

By Meg Haskell on June 06, 2011, at 5:46 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage on Monday announced the appointment of Katrin Teel of Bangor to serve as his senior health policy adviser. Teel, a registered nurse and the chairwoman of the Bangor Republican Committee, takes the place of Mary Mayhew, a former lobbyist for the Maine Hospital Association …

Lawmakers want to change welfare, but are the changes constitutional?

By Kevin Miller on April 21, 2011, at 7:19 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Fixing welfare is easy enough to talk about on the campaign trail. But when it comes to actually revamping the social service programs created to help those in need, reform efforts often run up against federal restrictions, constitutional prohibitions and, in some cases, the fact that reality …

Maine House, Senate, off for school vacation week

The Associated Press on April 18, 2011, at 5:54 a.m.
AUGUSTA | It’ll be a quiet week in the Maine State House. The House, Senate and all committees are off for Patriot’s Day on Monday, a shutdown day Tuesday, and school vacation the rest of the week. When lawmakers return April 25, the Health and Human Services Committee will …