Kirk and Amy Ward of Houlton, sit with their children, Felicity, left, and Blake, on April 18, 2014, in front of the 70 Kenna Cares bags that were packed by students at Houlton Elementary School in memory of their 6-year-old daughter and sibling, Makenna Ward. Makenna died on Dec. 29, 2013, after a five-year battle with neuroblastoma.

‘I told them they were helping Makenna and helping change the world’: Houlton school creates care packages to honor 6-year-old cancer victim

By Jen Lynds on April 23, 2014, at 7:04 p.m.
HOULTON, Maine — When Leanne Faulkingham welcomes her kindergarten students to her Houlton Elementary School classroom each year, she knows that she will spend the year teaching them reading and writing skills as well as how to share, get along with their peers and function in the classroom. When Makenna …

The flu is back for a second round in New England

By Lena Sun, The Washington Post on April 23, 2014, at 3:09 p.m.
Here’s a tip for those who managed to duck the flu’s first punch: Watch out for the next one. Many communities are experiencing an increase in flu, part of a second wave that is hitting some regions of the country particularly hard, health officials say. Most of the effects are …

Butter Is the New Black

on April 23, 2014, at 2:58 p.m.
Today, I read an op-ed in the New York Times espousing the virtues of butter. Now, I am flummoxed. Last summer, as many of you know, my doctor told me to avoid saturated fats and oils or I would die (I’m paraphrasing). Go vegan, he suggested. So I did, mostly. …
From the community

Breathing Easy in the Skies: EMMC Respiratory Medicine Begins High Altitude Simulation Test

By emmc on April 23, 2014, at 11:41 a.m.
BANGOR, Maine – Lung disease often limits options for people who like to travel, forcing them to avoid flights and high-altitude destinations because of respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness. Now, EMMC can help these patients better determine their risk with a …

Group Support Works (for weight loss and other things) Even for those Who Don’t Think They Benefit By the Help of Others!

on April 23, 2014, at 11:36 a.m.
I considered myself to be an independent, capable person. I didn’t seek help to get things done and I sure never wanted to be part of a “group support system.” The whole idea of people sitting around helping each other sounded boring, pathetic and an overall waste of time. I …

How much have health costs gone up?

on April 23, 2014, at 9:47 a.m.
What has been the real (inflation adjusted) increase over the last two decades in employer-paid healthcare insurance premiums for employees so insured in the USA? Curious Dear Curious, For the 10 years from 2003 to 2013, the annual average health insurance premiums per employee increased by 80%.  It went from …

A Taste of the Mediterranean: Herb Baked Fish and French Potato Salad

on April 23, 2014, at 9:13 a.m.
Several weeks ago, I decided to try cooking some Mediterranean style meals for me and my husband. I’m not sure how it happened, but over the years he became the family chef and I admit it, I took him and his cooking skills for granted! He was more than happy to get out …

Here’s my unpopular opinion: It’s not your fault that you’re fat

on April 23, 2014, at 7:57 a.m.
Who would ever choose that? Who wakes up in the morning and thinks, "I really don't care about looking great or feeling well. I'm going to make choices that make myself fat and unhealthy today!"
Sarah Mulcahy of Baring Plantation (second right) runs along a city street Monday during the 118th Boston Marathon. The 28-year-old Eagle Lake native, who is 6½ months pregnant, kept a relaxed pace and finished the race in 4 hours, 8 minutes, 19 seconds.

Baby steps: Washington County runner, 6½ months pregnant, completes Boston Marathon

By Ernie Clark on April 23, 2014, at 7:32 a.m.
Sarah Mulcahy figured to be one of the faster Maine runners at Monday’s 118th Boston Marathon. The 28-year-old resident of Baring Plantation qualified for the historic race last June when she won the women’s division of the inaugural Bay of Fundy International Marathon in Lubec in a time of 3 …

Congress takes up food-labeling fight

By Jim Spencer, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on April 22, 2014, at 5:56 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The federal government and a number of states are on a collision course over labels for genetically engineered food. A bill introduced in the U.S. House earlier this month would ban states from passing food labeling laws. One that the Vermont Senate passed last week would require labels …

Catching Health on Newscenter’s Morning Report

on April 22, 2014, at 4:55 p.m.
On the Morning Report today we talked about Ellen Munson, a woman I profiled in the late 80s when I was Newscenter’s health reporter. Ellen had a kidney transplant in 1986 and needed a second one 18 years later. You can read the details of her story here on the Catching Health …
From the community
In 2013, the Penobscot Valley Hospital laboratory team completed 93,669 tests, up 11,000 from 2012. Lab staff are committed to quality service for their patients and offer early bird testing starting at 6am, inpatient rounding to streamline care, and the pink tag program to minimize wait times.

Making the Most of a Scarce Resource

By Penobscot Valley Hospital on April 22, 2014, at 3:57 p.m.
The Penobscot Valley Hospital Laboratory is celebrating Medical Laboratory Professionals Week April 20-26, an annual recognition of the 300,000 laboratory professionals who perform over 10 billion lab tests each year. At PVH, much of the lab work is done in-house by our dedicated and experienced team of professionals; other work …

Learning when to walk, and when to run

on April 22, 2014, at 3:33 p.m.
One of the very best things I've gained from running, something I would almost put above the killer bod (that I swear will one day have again) or improved health, is the self-awareness.
From the community
Dr. Lynette Hamlin, Saint Joseph’s College's new associate dean for nursing.

Saint Joseph’s names Lynette Hamlin associate dean

By David Svenson on April 22, 2014, at 12:32 p.m.
Dr. Lynette Hamlin, an expert in nursing leadership and clinical practice, has joined Saint Joseph’s College as its new associate dean for nursing. In this role, Dr. Hamlin will oversee the College’s on-campus and online nursing programs. “Dr. Hamlin brings the right combination of talent and experience to not only …
From the community

Hospital Aid plans yard sale in Belfast

By Toni Mailloux on April 22, 2014, at 11:25 a.m.
Waldo County General Hospital Aid’s annual yard sale will be held on Saturday, May 3rd, starting at 8 a.m., rain or shine, at the hospital’s education center, 118 Northport Avenue, Belfast. Thanks to the efforts of many Aid members, the sale once again promises to be a major fundraiser for …
From the community

NMMC and TAMC training collaboration to benefit critically ill Valley patients

By TAMC Communication and Development on April 22, 2014, at 9:55 a.m.
Aroostook County – Members of Crown Critical Care Transport, a division of TAMC, shared some of their knowledge with staff at Northern Maine Medical Center recently in a training and education event, and County residents are sure to benefit from the collaboration. It marked the first of what Crown Critical …
From the community

TAMC takes proactive approach to preventing hospital acquired infections

By TAMC Communication and Development on April 22, 2014, at 9:52 a.m.
Aroostook County – Hospitals have a charge to provide the very best care for patients, which is why TAMC works hard to prevent infections and takes measures to ensure the safest hospital environment for its patients. Part of that process is continually tracking and taking action to prevent hospital acquired …

Boost Your Success with Free and Very Personal Training!

on April 22, 2014, at 9:47 a.m.
The equation for healthy weight is simple – Eat Less + Move More = Healthy Weight. The equation is simple. The application of the equation is far more complicated, especially for those of us whose normal, default behavior is to “eat more and move less!” That’s when a very personal …

Thirty-three years and two kidney transplants later …

on April 22, 2014, at 8:33 a.m.
Ellen Munson got her first donated kidney in 1986. Her own kidneys had been destroyed, presumably by a serious infection called polynephritis, and she had been on dialysis for five years. Every day, Ellen was grateful to the family who had lost a beloved child and chose to donate her kidney …

National investment firm pays $19 million for central Maine medical buildings

By Darren Fishell on April 21, 2014, at 5:33 p.m.
OAKLAND, Maine — A national medical real estate investment company has purchased a $4.3 million building leased by MaineGeneral Health at FirstPark in Oakland, adding to its $14.7 million acquisition in February of another building leased by the group that opened a new hospital in Augusta last year. Dan Greenstein, …
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