Archive for February, 2011

Junior Volunteer Program at St. Mary’s Health System – Plan for your summer now!!!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

This is a summer program primarily, although trained junior volunteers may choose to continue their volunteer work over the school year in the after-school programs as well.   New junior volunteer applications are accepted now through May 1, 2011.   Interviews are held in May, and orientations and training starts in June at the conclusion of school and runs approximately 8 weeks.  This program fills up quickly for 12-17 year old students.

Details and applications are available: Volunteer Services Department, St. Mary’s Health System
Telephone 207-777-8369.  Applications are available on our website.

Blood Drive at St. Mary’s a Success!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

St. Mary's Health System's volunteers helping at the Feburary 14 Blood Drive


Last week’s American Red Cross blood drive at St. Mary’s was wildly successful!  We set a goal of 35 units. Thanks to your generosity, we donated 50 units! That’s the biggest donation in two years!!!

Free Lung Function Screening at St. Mary’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011


Do you cough a lot? Get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs? Do you suffer from a lot of chest colds? Do you smoke or have you ever smoked? If so, you may have lung disease.

Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States affecting more than 400,000 Americans. It is a preventable and treatable if diagnosed early. St. Mary’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation invites you to a free lung function screening on March 15, 2011 from 8am to noon. The screening will be held at the St. Mary’s Medical Office Building on 15 Gracelawn Road in Auburn.

The screening will take about 20 minutes. When complete, we’ll go over the results with you, discuss risk factors, and suggest ways to improve your lung function. Though we encourage you to make an appointment, we will accept walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call 753-3259 today to reserve your spot.

At St. Mary’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation, it is our mission to enhance the quality of our patients’ lives by improving their ability to breathe. We do this through education, reconditioning exercise, nutritional counseling, and social and emotional support.

From the Desk of St. Mary’s Health System Development Office

Friday, February 18th, 2011

l to r: Mary Ellingwood, Deb Burd, Diane Marquis Monaghan, and Deb Perkins

2010 was another very successful year for St. Mary’s fundraising efforts. With the amazing help of donors, businesses, and foundations we raised over $1,250,000 in support of projects, programs, and capital improvements.

In order to thank you all for your help and to continue to show you how much we appreciate your generosity we will provide increased opportunities to visit with you. We will offer tours of St. Mary’s facilities, invite you to breakfast, and host an open house at the Development Office. We would also welcome an invitation to visit with you to say ‘thank s’ and to come and share our many successes.

In January we engaged John Donovan of J Donovan Associates to work with us over the course of the year in the creation and implementation of a Planned Giving Program. J Donovan Associates is not new to St. Mary’s. They helped us in 2008 to create and implement the very successful With All Our Hearts Capital Campaign. We are excited to have his expertise on board as we begin this very important work. Educational sessions on this topic will be offered; stay tuned!

So…once again…thank you, thank you, thank you. Here’s to a great 2011!!

If you’re looking for a way to further the work St. Mary’s does for our community, there’s a way for everyone to help out. From volunteering at the hospital to collecting food for St. Mary’s Food Pantry or offering financial support, you can make a positive difference in our community.  For more information and details on how you can help support St. Mary’s call St. Mary’s Health System Development Office at 207-7778363.

Vegetable-Barley Soup and Curried Pumpkin Apple Soup Recipes from St. Mary’s Nutrition Center

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

The Winter of 2011 may be the best winter you’ve had in a long time or the worst winter you’ve had in a while. This, of course, all depends on who you are and how much you love the cold, the snow and spending lots of time out in it! While these last few years in Maine have helped me learn to enjoy Winter and all that comes along with it (I’m about to buy my first pair of snowshoes!) the real reason I’ve learned to love this cold dark season has less to do with what I can do outside and more to do with what I can put inside- that is I mean, all the good food I can eat!   

Over the years I have found Winter to be a great time to treat myself to the foods I love. It helps of course, that I love hot food! And working with the Nutrition Center has exposed me to many delicious and hearty recipes that help take the chill away while keeping my body healthy enough to fight off the colds that seem to linger behind every snow bank. Whether it is a group of us is sitting together sharing a pot of Farmhouse Beef Stew at our Adult Cooking Class or a handful of staff and volunteers serving up 100’s of bowls of French Onion Soup at our Winter Farmer’s Market, we love to share recipes that not only taste great but are good for the body and the soul. So read on if you’d like to serve yourself up something warm this season. And when you’re done cooking, make sure to pass the recipe on and invite a friend to join you.     

Vegetable-Barley Soup 
12 Servings – 40 min 10 min prep

1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 medium onions, chopped small 
1 large carrots, diced 
1 large celery ribs, chopped small 
1/2 package mushrooms 
½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder 
8 cups water 
2 cups vegetable broth (low-sodium) 
14 fluid ounces canned tomatoes, mash and include liquid 
8 fluid ounces canned red kidney beans, including liquid 
¼ cups pearl barley 
1 large potatoes, cubed ½ inch 
½ tablespoon dried basil 
1 teaspoons curry powder 
¼ teaspoon black pepper 
1 cups chopped kale or spinach 
½ tablespoon soy sauce 
1 ½ teaspoons dried dill weed 
¼ cup Parmesan cheese     

In a heavy bottom cooking pot, add olive oil, chopped onions, sliced carrots, chopped celery, mushrooms, garlic powder and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften, stirring frequently. Add water, vegetable broth, mashed tomatoes including liquid, kidney beans, barley, cubed potatoes, basil, vegetable soup base, curry and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until barley is barely tender. Add soy sauce and dill weed; cover and simmer another 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stirring a few times during cooking. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Remove from heat when done and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.  When serving, stir in 1 teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese into each bowl. Refrigerate any unused portion of soup or freeze for future use! 

Healthful Hint: Add any veggies you like! (i.e. green beans, corn, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower). Using frozen vegetables will save you money and time! 
Culinary Hint: For a full bodied soup, finish off with a couple of Tablespoons of sherry or cooking wine and a teaspoon or two of Worchester sauce.  


Curried Pumpkin Apple Soup 
6-8 servings – 50 min 10 min prep    

4 tablespoons butter, broth, or water 
1 cup onion, chopped 
3-4 apples, chopped 
5 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 teaspoons curry powder 
½ teaspoon salt 
¼ teaspoon ground coriander 
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
½ teaspoon cumin 
2 cups broth 
1 ½ cups apple cider (or apple juice) 
2 cups pureed pumpkin (or canned pumpkin) 
1 cup light cream or milk 
¼ teaspoon maple syrup    

 In large saucepot, melt butter (or broth).   
Add onions, apples, and garlic. 
Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.  
Add spices, cook for 1 minute. 
Add broth and cider. Boil gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. 
Stir in pumpkin. Cook for 5 minutes. 
In batches, puree in a blender or food processor. 
Return to saucepan, add cream and syrup. 
Mix well and heat until warm.    

Helpful hint: When using fresh pumpkin, bake in casserole dish with enough water to cover the bottom. Cut pumpkin in half (remove seeds) and cook until soft. Let cool, remove inside of pumpkin and cook down (to remove excess water) by heating medium saucepan and stirring constantly until water has been removed.

St. Mary’s Surviving Cancer Programs

Thursday, February 17th, 2011


The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston is pleased to announce a series of programs focused on the needs of cancer survivors. Who is a cancer survivor? Anyone living with a cancer diagnosis! People are survivors from the day they learn they have the disease. The series will provide education on many of the core issues of survivorship – from defining the term “survivorship” to looking at issues of emotional well being, sexuality, nutrition and physical activity. 

Living with Cancer: What is Survivorship?
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Lepage Small Conference Room, 99 Campus Avenue, Lewiston 

Living Beyond Cancer: Sexuality and Intimate Relationships
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Lepage Small Conference Room, 99 Campus Avenue, Lewiston 

Eat Well: Nutrition and Cancer Survivorship
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Potvin Conference Room, 99 Campus Avenue, Lewiston 

Move Well: Physical Activity and Cancer Survivorship
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Potvin Conference Room, 99 Campus Avenue, Lewiston 

You are invited to attend the entire series for free or one or two particular workshops based on your personal needs. Each program is approximately one hour in length and is open to cancer survivors, loved ones, family, friends, caregivers and anyone interested in cancer survivorship. RSVP is requested but not required. For more information or to register, please call Maura Clark, LCSW, at 777-4446. 

St. Mary’s Take Charge! Community Screenings February & March!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011


Are you worried you may be at risk for heart disease? Cardiovascular disease (CVD or CAD) is any disease that affects the heart or blood vessels, such as a heart attack or stroke. Managing your risk factors is a vital action you can take to help reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Risk factors that can be changed and/or managed are physical inactivity, overweight/obesity, tobacco use, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. 

Take Charge! is a quick and easy screening that includes testing your total cholesterol and HDL “good cholesterol” along with a written health risk assessment, height, weight, and blood pressure measurement. As part of the program, you will receive a personalized review of your results and health risks that will be explained to you by an exercise physiologist followed by health education. Cost: $25 

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, please call Prevention & Wellness at 777-8771. Screenings are by appointment only.

Olympic Baker Offers Bread and Pastry Courses at St. Mary’s Nutrition Center of Maine

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Dara Reimer (left) owner of the Bread Shack in Auburn and a participant in last year's Artisan Bread class at the St. Mary's Nutrition Center remove a freshly baked sourdough bread from the oven. All participants from this class went home with their very own loaf and a portion of sourdough starter. Dara and the Nutrition Center are offering this course again on March 15 from 6-9pm followed by an additional course on March 31 on French Breakfast Pastries.

If you have a passion for crusty sourdough bread or sweet and savory breakfast pastries, you may want to leave room in your calendars this March. Dara Reimers, owner of The Bread Shack in Auburn, Maine, and Olympic baker fresh off a win at the international SIGEP Bread Cup in Rimini, Italy, will be returning to St. Mary’s Nutrition Center to kick off its 2011 Cliff Notes to Culinary School series. In this series, local culinary experts lead hands-on cooking classes for seasoned and passionate cooks alike. This winter’s program will be a two-part series on Artisan Breads and French Breakfast Pastries.   

Artisan Bread: Ancient Techniques Remembered was offered last year to a packed house and is back by popular demand. Participants can look forward to being actively involved in each step of the 48-hour baking process. Get practice and guidance in mixing, shaping, and baking beautifully crafted breads from Dara’s own sourdough starter.  


To take it one step further, Dara is offering a new course to round out the series, called French Breakfast Pastries. If you have ever tried making your own croissants by hand or wish to have fresh broiche with homemade raspberry jam on a Sunday morning, this is the class for you. Now is your chance to learn industry secrets in the art of these two classic French breakfast pastries. Join Dara in learning to hand roll croissants, and mixing and fermenting brioche to develop its full flavor and texture.   

You may register for either of the classes separately, or if you want the full experience, sign up for the two-part series! Here are the schedule and rates for our Winter Cliff Notes to Culinary School series:   

Artisan Bread: Ancient Techniques Remembered:
Tuesday, March 15, 6:00-9:00 pm, $30/person   

French Breakfast Pastries:
Thursday, March 31, 6:00-9:00 pm, $30/person   

Cliff Notes to Culinary School series (includes both classes):

All classes are held at the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center of Maine located at 208 Bates Street in Lewiston. To register, please contact the Nutrition Center at 513-3848 or emailThe Nutrition Center of Maine is one of the newest health services offered by St. Mary’s Health System.  Located in downtown Lewiston, the Center provides nutrition-related services for all residents in the community and is a resource for others in the state doing similar work.  

The Bread Shack, located at 1056 Center Street in Auburn, is now open 7 days a week. Please visit for more information on hours and offerings.  




Blood Drive

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The American Red Cross will be holding a blood drive Friday, February 18 from12:00 pm – 5:00 pm in the Lepage Conference Room at 99 Campus Avenue.   

As always, donors are needed!!!

 Appointments are recommended however walk-ins are welcome.  To schedule an appointment please call the St. Mary’s Volunteer Department at 777-8368 or email Jenny Cowie at with your preferred donation time frame.

St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens has been partnering with Cultivating Community

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

This winter Lots to Gardens has been partnering with Cultivating Community, based in Portland, Maine, to offer a new leadership development program for a diverse group of 21 youth from Lewiston, Auburn, and Portland.

Each week youth get together to learn, share, and build connections. The program is focusing on four themes:

  1. Independence & Power
  2. Health & Well-being
  3. Workshop Development & Facilitation
  4. Sharing Cultural Stories and Developing Anti-Racist techniques

During the first week of the program youth visited the Urban Fermentory, in Portland, Maine to learn about the steps to starting a business, participated in workshops on financial literacy, leadership, and creating campaigns and spent time getting to know each other and sharing a bit about themselves.

Last week youth learned yoga, the importance of eating whole grains and vegetables and fruits that are a variety of colors, simple cooking techniques and recipes, how to make herbal salves, and participated in a poetry-writing workshop.

The program has been a fun addition to our regular youth programs, creating new opportunities for youth to build community around food and culture while also learning new skills that can help them in the future.

By creating a safe space and encouraging participants to share their stories and opinions we have been able to talk about heavy issues that are usually too taboo to talk about. This exploration has helped everyone in the group, adults included, have a better understanding of differences that we experience because of class background, race, gender, and sexuality.

Below is a poem written by one of the youth, Ayan Iman, during the poetry-writing workshop last Saturday. Youth were asked to write about an issue that they wish they could change and share a personal story related to that issue.

My family and I were driving one day,
and we hear this loud beeping behind us,
telling us to go back to our country!

Why did they say that?
Maybe because we are dressed differently
than people that are living in America?
Or maybe because they are just plain ignorant.

I’m not as offended when they say it,
But why they said it the first place.
Change or not change.
The more people say negative things toward me
The more I learn from it.

I, Ayan Iman, am happy where I came from
And who I am as a person.