Archive for August, 2011

HealthSteps at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center Announces its Fall Core Classes

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Pictured Don Rossignol, instructor Jennifer Smith, Normand Demers, Gert Chasse, and Gary Bain participate in HealthSteps' Walk-Jog class conveniently located at the beautiful indoor track at Bates College.

HealthSteps is part of the Prevention & Wellness Services offered through St. Mary’s Health System. HealthSteps is an award-winning health education and prevention program for adults. At HealthSteps you will get a program that meets the needs of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.

HealthSteps has a wide range of classes with the core membership fee, including:

Multipurpose Room

Cardio Mix
This is a great class for people who get bored with exercise! Try everything from step and kickboxing to dance and hi-lo for a fun-filled, calorie-burning class.
Mondays, Wednesdays, 7:45-8:15am

Core & Stretch
Enjoy a great abdominal and lower back workout to help increase flexibility and strength.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, 8:00-8:30am

Step & Tone Interval
This class combines the best of both worlds, alternating between low-impact step aerobics and total body strengthening exercises for an all around workout.
Fridays, 7:15-8:15am

Time to Stretch
This class will take you through a full body stretch for relaxation, peace of mind, and an increase in flexibility.
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 8:15-8:30am

TNT (Tone-N-Tighten)
This weighted workout focuses on strengthening the major muscle groups of the upper and lower body using resistance tubes, bands, and weights. It’s also a great way to increase your metabolism!
Mondays, Wednesdays, 7:00-7:45am

Yogalates on the Ball
Join us for a fusion of yoga and Pilates on an exercise ball to increase flexibility, improve coordination, and develop strength.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, 7:15-8:00am

On the Track
Walk Jog
Enjoy the indoor track at your own pace. Includes a group warm-up, strengthening, cool-down, and stretching.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6:05-6:55am*
Beginning November 8, 2011, WalkJog will be held Monday through Friday.

In the Pool

Aquatic Fitness
Join us for a super-toning, calorie-burning, fun workout! While swimming skills are not needed, a comfort level in both deep and shallow water is important.
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 6:30-7:15am
Tuesdays, Thursdays, 11:00-11:45am

Lap Swim
Swim at your own pace and enjoy this individualized form of exercise in the 25-meter, 8-lane pool supervised by a certified lifeguard.
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 6:05-7:30am*
Tuesdays, Thursdays, 6:05-7:00am** & 11:00am-12:00pm
*6:30-7:30am Beginning October 31, 2011
**T/TH 6:05am swim time available until October 27, 2011

All core classes are held in the beautiful Bates College Merrill Gymnasium. Classes run from September 6 through December 16, 2011. The cost of a core membership, which includes unlimited access to all of the above classes, is $112.00.

HealthSteps core classes take place in the morning, so you can exercise before you start your day. All instructors are certified and ready to take you through a safe and productive workout no matter what your fitness level. Call today and start your way to a new healthy lifestyle where you will feel better, have more energy, meet great people, and enjoy exercise even more! For more information or to register, call HealthSteps at 777-8898 or visit them on the web at:

Daisy Duck Moments

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

As is the case with life, we as humans occasionally do something so phenomenally thick-skulled that it defies all previously-held notions of the limits of human stupidity.  What is even worse, we are sometimes even convinced that we’re doing something really smart, even as the ship slowly sinks.  I now refer to these moments (thank God they’re few in number) as ‘daisy duck’ moments.  There’s a good reason for that, as I’m about to explain. The original ‘daisy duck’ moment happened a few months ago, not long after I arrived at St. Mary’s.  I was so embarrassed after it happened that I couldn’t bring myself to share it in a blog, although after months of hearty laughs and good-natured badgering from Dr. B, one of my preceptors, I have decided to face the music.

On the aforementioned day, I was preparing for an afternoon of office visits by scanning through the list of upcoming patients and getting to know their medical histories and chief concerns.  Near the end of the schedule I came across the chart for ‘Duck, Daisy’, a patient tucked into the 4:30-5:00 PM slot. ‘Hmm… Odd name,’ I thought as I opened her chart.  ‘Daisy Duck… don’t hear that one often.’

Well, apparently you do if ever watched cartoons on the Disney Channel, or have ever been to Disney World, or have not been living beneath a rock for the past, oh, 60 years or so.  It is fair to say that, in my defense, we did not have television growing up AND I was raised in a town of about 50 residents in the woods of Maine, so it wasn’t entirely my fault.  Still, I should have recognized the first red flag warning me that a moment of great stupidity were about to transpire.

I started to browse through Ms. Duck’s chart, which had a long list of medications, a number of notes from prior office visits, some med requests, and some phone notes.  ‘Hmm…I see she has had a cholecystectomy, an aortic aneurysm, a lump in her breast, some anxiety, Type I diabetes (ugh- bad string of luck, Ms. Duck!)   Yep, got some high cholesterol and afib in the picture too, past screening for prostate cancer… wait a minute. What’s THIS?! They screened her for prostate cancer? But… women don’t even HAVE a prostate gland!’ I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Right there on the screen was glaring evidence of gross medical error- a female patient had been screened for prostate cancer!  What was even more amazing was that such an obvious error had not only been missed from the outset but had actually made it all the way into the patient’s chart. How could this happen? My God, at least they didn’t try to give her a TURP!

When Dr. B walked into the office from his lunch break, I was nearly coming off my seat waiting to point out this glaring error that everyone had missed but that I, the lowly medical student, by dutifully reading the charts of all the patients before their visits, had picked up.  I excitedly recounted my findings, observing that it was really an amazing thing that nobody had noticed this yet (it’s awful that she has experienced so many medical problems too!) and what would be the best way to proceed? Should we apologize to the patient for drawing an unnecessary blood test? How could such a thing every make it past all of the doctors, nursing staff, and lab technicians (you’d think SOMEBODY would have picked it up)? What sort of system could be put into place to ensure that such a thing did not happen in the future?

Looking very concerned, Dr. B asked me who the patient was. ‘Ms. Duck. Daisy Duck.’ I excitedly blurted out. ‘Odd name, I know.’ There was a moment of shocked silence as he weighed the ramifications of this great mistake. Then, to my great surprise Dr. B did not pull up her chart, brows furrowed as he scanned back through her labs and past visits to figure out where the system tell apart.  Rather, he laughed until he almost cried.

In the mirthful aftermath (his mirth, my aftermath), I found out that ‘Daisy Duck’ is a dummy chart used to help new office staff learn the electronic medical record system by adding medications, uploading new diagnoses, and creating complete notes for the record.  In addition to being the ‘practice chart’, Ms. Duck is also used as a space-filler in the schedule when appointment slots remain open.  In retrospect, I picked up on a few small things that might have tipped me off:

1)      Daisy is referred to as a ‘she’ in the chart but is listed as a 42 year old male- apparently they got her sex wrong too.

2)      She gave consent for her providers to speak with Daffy Duck in case of emergencies.

3)      Half of the notes are empty.

4)      Daisy quit after smoking 2 packs per day since the age of 12- but her quit date is April, 2012.

5)      Elsewhere under ‘Medical Problems’ is listed, ‘DEAF AS A DOORKNOB.’ (That should have been a giveaway).

Alas, what might have been a shining moment in my budding medical career turned into, well, a ‘Daisy Duck’ moment.  It may have not been the stupidest moment in human history but man, it sure felt like it.  After a long and hearty laugh that lasted for a few days and returned every time Daisy popped back up in the schedule, Dr. B suggested that maybe this would make a good blog story.  For obvious reasons, I would have been content to let this one fade away but Dr. B was persistent.

It would be easy to end this by quoting some moral drivel about ‘the folly of pride’ or ‘losing the forest for the trees.’  Really though, I don’t think we need to dwell on it.  Let’s say we’ll all just forget about this one?

(This blog is dedicated to Dr. B.)

Farmers’ Markets: Fresh Healthy Food for Everyone

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

In 2010, participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) redeemed more than $7.4 million in benefits at farmers markets. This represents more than a 70% growth in one year. Along with such growth comes local innovation designed to ensure that farmers markets are making quality food available to all members of a community.

This summer, nationwide participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is at a record high of approximately 45 million Americans. Fortunately, the families relying on this and other programs to put food on the table have a friend in farmers markets, where an increasing number of low-income consumers are purchasing locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Lewiston Farmers Market is one of a growing number of markets across the nation who accept EBT/SNAP cards and WIC coupons. In an effort to make fresh, healthy food even more accessible for all members of the community, we are continuing to offer double value coupons to SNAP and WIC customers. This program was made possible through grants and sponsors, and matches money spent at the market by customers on their EBT/SNAP card or WIC coupons dollar for dollar up to $10 a week. Customers can then use the matching “market dollars” on any healthy food at the market.

We are committed to providing the community with access to fresh, local, healthy food at affordable prices and the vendors at our markets have shown their commitment to this vision as well. Market-goers have noticed that prices at the market are often better than organic produce offered at grocery stores…and the freshness simply can’t be beat. This is true food equity.

The need for food is something that all people share. Fresh, local, healthy food nourishes our bodies, our minds, and our community.

Click here to read more blogs from Lewiston Farmers’ Market.


Hello Youth & Adult Gardeners, Volunteers, and friends of Lots to Gardens at St. Mary’s!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Please join us for our Community Dinner this Thursday, August 25th at the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center (208 Bates Street, Lewiston, ME) from 7:00-9:00 pm.

Our Youth Gardeners and Youth Interns are hosting an evening of dishes from the various cultures that we all come from. Look forward to a salad bar, squash bread, eggplant parmesan, sambusa, corn chowder, beet brownies, and many many more dishes.

The dinner is free – but the youth gardeners are encouraging everyone that comes to donate money. All money raised will be donated to help with famine relief in Somalia.

Lots to Gardens’ Community Dinner
Thursday, August 25th
7:00-9:00 pm
208 Bates Street, Lewiston, Maine

Please join us,
The Lots to Gardens crew!

P.S.Dinner will be served after sundown so all members of our community can participate.

September 2011 Online WELLNESS CENTER™ from St. Mary’s

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011


There’s a lot you can do to add good, healthy years to your life. You can choose to not smoke. You can choose to be active and eat the right foods in the right amount. Staying socially involved can keep your mind sharp and your mood up. It’s true you don’t have control over the genes you inherited, or if those genes put you at higher risk for a disease. But you do have control over how you live. Start today. Choose well.

Healthy Aging Starts Young 
Why do some people live to be 90 or even 100, and others – seemingly healthy – die years younger? There is no easy answer, and one of the factors seems to be simply having good genes. There are factors, however, that you can control.

Fitness Increases Your Chances for a Long Life
Regular exercise reduces cardiovascular disease risk, promotes weight loss, and improves muscle functioning. It also helps prevent diabetes, control stress, and prevent bone loss. Getting regular exercise becomes even more important as you grow older.

Make Everyone Think You’re Younger with Strength Training
Start a strength-training program now to help you look and feel younger than you are.

Live Long, Live Well 
Americans are living longer. Now the goal is to increase the number of healthy years. Here’s how. 

How to Have a Healthy Future
Lack of exercise tops the U.S. government’s list of the top 10 inhibitors of healthy living now and in the future. But you can improve your mental health and decrease your risk of disability and disease.

Food Safety

Do you have green foods in your fridge? Next question: Did they start out that way? If your refrigerator is filled with containers of aging, “colorful” leftovers, don’t hesitate. Throw them away. Then learn the safest ways to store, prepare, and cook your food.

Storing Nuts and Grains the Right Way
Eating nuts, seeds, and whole grains is an important part of keeping your body healthy. And whether you buy them in bulk or not, keeping these products in optimal condition is easy: Proper storage.

The Best (and Safest) Ways to Hard-Boil Eggs
The secret to making the best hard-boiled eggs is to start with older eggs. Here are the ways to cook them to insure the best results. 

“Weather” or Not — Is This Food Safe?
If you find yourself in the path of a hurricane, or experience a weather-related power outage, or are mopping up after a flood, or even if your freezer has just stopped working – you’ll want to make sure your food is safe.

Raw Seafood — Delicacy or Danger?
For some people, there’s nothing like an evening out for sushi, or eating oysters on the half-shell at a local seafood restaurant. But be aware: These delicacies can be the source of serious illness.

Outdoor Food Preparation Can Be Risky
According to a national survey, 56 percent of outdoor chefs don’t know the proper internal temperature for grilled meats to insure they are cooked thoroughly. Do you know enough about cooking outdoors to cook safely?


You want your children to be healthy, do well in school, feel safe, and be good contributing members of society. In other words, you want the best for your kids! And there’s so much you can do: Gently guide them through new stages in their lives – whether it’s potty training or driver’s training. Help them navigate around bullies. And show them, by example, how to eat well and exercise often.

How to Protect Your Children from Bullying 
You can’t follow your children around all day, every day, for the rest of their lives. So how can you protect them from bullying?

Parenting 101: Potty Training
Potty training is an important milestone in a child’s life. But training can easily aggravate even the most patient parent. While mom and dad might be ready for their toddler to begin using the toilet, what matters most is if the child is physically and mentally ready.

The Decision to Not Spank
Is spanking emotionally harmful to children? Or does it teach them that there are consequences to their actions? Learn the best approaches for disciplining your kids. 

How to Help Your Children Grow Up
All children seek autonomy from their parents. Here’s how to help your kids grow up to be well-adjusted adults.

When Grandparents Raise Grandkids
The number of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren has increased sharply over the past few years. But when circumstances require it, grandparents often fill the breach willingly.

World Humanitarian Day – Crisis in Africa

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

The current situation in the horn of Africa represents the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world today and Africa’s worst food security crisis since Somalia’s 1991/92 famine. More than 12 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia because of what many are calling the worst drought in decades. This severe lack of rainfall has resulted in failed crops, deaths of livestock and critical shortages in food and water.

The United Nations has declared a famine in Somalia (requirements to declare a famine include:

• More than 30 percent of children must be suffering from acute malnutrition;

• Two adults or four children must be dying of hunger each day for every group of 10,000 people; and

• The population must have access to far below 2,100 kilocalories of food per day.)

Children are among the most at-risk during a famine—not just of hunger and malnutrition, but also for disease. According to UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden, overall malnutrition rates in Somalia are the highest in the world, and the majority of the deaths in the affected areas are children.

Many employees have asked how they might help in this situation. In keeping with the theme of “People Helping People” for today’s World Humanitarian Day, we are offering information on reputable agencies providing relief in Africa as an option for people who are looking for organizations to which to direct their donations:

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has worked in East Africa for decades, and is on the ground responding to this emergency. In Ethiopia, CRS is expanding its food distribution program to 1.1 million people and is working closely with local partners to provide livelihood support, water and sanitation. In Somalia, CRS is supporting local partners to assist highly vulnerable, displaced families with basic necessities, such as food packages, support to clinics, therapeutic feeding and shelter.

In Kenya, CRS is working both to assist newly-arrived refugees with hygiene, sanitation promotion and protection, and also to provide water, sanitation and supplemental feeding to drought-affected Kenyan communities.

How to Help

Donate by Phone
Call 1-800-736-3467 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

Donate by Mail
ail your check or money order to:
   Catholic Relief Services
   Memo: East Africa Emergency Fund
   P.O. Box 17090
   Baltimore, MD 21203-7090

Donate Online

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency provides assistance to people in nearly 100 countries and territories based on need, regardless of race, nationality or creed. For more information, please visit or

InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), with more than 190 members working in every developing country. Members are faith-based and secular, large and small, with a focus on the world’s most poor and vulnerable populations. InterAction offers a list of member organizations responding to the crisis:

Loving God,
we bring before You the people of Africa who are currently experiencing extreme drought and famine. We do not know them personally, but we share a common bond as human beings, created in Your image. Our hearts go out to them in this time of crisis, as many find themselves in desperate circumstances—without food, without shelter, without hope.

There seems to be so little that we can do for them. The pictures on the news are difficult to watch, and we’d often rather look away. But you have called us to be your hands and feet in our world; to speak and act for those who cannot speak and act for themselves.

So we pray that Your Holy Spirit would prompt us to action. Give us generous hearts, to share freely with those who have nothing. Give us courage to speak on their behalf to those who are shaping our country’s response. Give us perseverance, to continue to pray fervently for their welfare.

-Christine Longhurst

Grillin’ for Good: A Benefit for St. Mary’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Uncle Andy’s Digest is hosting a benefit BBQ for St. Mary’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders!

When: Saturday, August 27, 2011
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Club Texas, 150 Center St. in Auburn.
Cost: $10 – 100% of proceeds to benefit patients at St. Mary’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Your $10 admission includes:

Live entertainment
Prizes and giveaways
Free sun damage screening
Mechanical bull
and more……

For more information or to make a donation, please call Travis at Uncle Andy’s Digest at 783-7039 or email

HealthSteps at St. Mary’s is Offering Beginner Bellydancing!

Monday, August 15th, 2011


Imari (Lisa Cummings) Artistic Director and founder of Imari & the Sahara Desert Dancers

August 12, 2011

HealthSteps at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center announces its Beginner Bellydancing class. If you’re looking to improve your fitness level while having a great time, join Imari (Lisa Cummings) for hip drops, rolls, and shimmies!

Imari’s focus is on creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for her students as they learn a feminine and empowering way to dance, exercise, and build self esteem and friendships. No prior dance experience is necessary, but do come prepared to have some fun! This class is suitable for all ages and body sizes/shapes. “Every woman is beautiful when she is bellydancing,” says Imari during a 2000 interview with WGME Channel 13.

Imari has been bellydancing for more than 20 years. She is the Artistic Director and founder of Imari & the Sahara Desert Dancers, Central Maine’s premier bellydancing troupe. This beautiful group of 30 women of all ages performs frequently for charities, local events, and nursing homes – on a volunteer basis. They have brought a sparkle and thousands of smiles to faces across New England. Proudly, they celebrated their 10-year anniversary in 2010.

Imari is also the founder of Bellydancing for Breast Health, an event created for St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center as a way of giving to her local community. Her passion for bellydancing reflects in her passion for life and for those who surround her.

(Please note that you do not have to do any performing as part of the Beginner Bellydancing class.)

Beginner Bellydancing is offered on Wednesdays at the Lepage Large Conference Room, 99 Campus Avenue in Lewiston, from September 7 to October 5, from 6 pm to 7 pm, at a cost of $45.00.

To become a dazzling part of what’s shakin’ in Maine, call HealthSteps at 777-8898 or visit them on the web

St. Mary’s Welcomes New VP of Elder Care Services

Thursday, August 4th, 2011
 St. Mary’s Health System is proud to announce Philip Jean, MBA, CNHA, FACHCA, has joined its team. Jean serves as Vice President of Elder Care Services for the Health System, which includes St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, St. Mary’s Residences and St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion.

One of Jean’s priorities is to oversee St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion. d’Youville is one of the largest nursing homes north of Boston. It offers a state-of-the-art rehab center, specialized dementia care unit, and skilled long-term care. More importantly, its staff offers respect, care, and compassion to every resident.

Phil began his health care career in 1995 with North Country Associates and in 1999, accepted a position with Maine Veterans’ Homes as Administrator of the Scarborough facility, eventually being promoted to the role of Chief Operations Officer. Phil returned to North Country Associates in 2006, in which he most recently held the position of Vice President of Operations.

“Phil’s extensive experience is valuable as we strive to make our campus and Health System easier for older adults to navigate,” said Lee Myles, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Health System.

Phil, a Lewiston native, received his Masters Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in health care management from Husson College in 1997 and completed his Undergraduate Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maine in 1992.

Phil has been a licensed nursing home administrator since 1996 and is also a certified nursing home administrator and Fellow of the American College of Health Care Administrators. He is the President of the Maine Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators and currently serves on the national level as a member of the Education Committee and as a certified exam item writer/subject matter expert.

Among other professional commitments and accomplishments, Phil served a term as Vice President and then President of the National Association of State Veterans Homes, in which he testified before Congress and also drafted legislation that was signed into law. Phil is a certified administrator-in-training preceptor and teaches the preceptor training program.

So What’s All This “ in2gr8” Stuff?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Glad we caught your attention. Here’s the low-down:   INTEGRATE!

In the coming months we will invite departments and divisions to think about what you would like to integrate more fully into the life of our health system. 

St. Mary’s Health System, similar to many other Catholic health systems, includes “Mission Effectiveness” as one aspect of its leadership and institutional identity.   It is a response to a call for faithfulness and commitment to the history and tradition of Catholic healthcare ministry. 

Recently we conducted mission assessment and one indicator was how well “mission plays…an integral role in all aspects of organizational life.”  In order to better reflect this idea, we decided to change the name Mission Effectiveness to Mission Integration

When the Mission Advisory Committee met for its annual retreat we discussed the implication of this name change.  We reflected on the origin of the word-integritas-meaning wholeness, completeness and having firm principles.  In other words, integrity means choosing to value and act in accordance with your mission and to be integrated means to encompass a wholistic approach. 

This is especially relevant for a Catholic health system, as a sense of wholeness is intricately tied to health and healing.  In fact, in the pastoral letter of the American Catholic Bishops on Health and Health Care, the bishops wrote:

Health in the biblical perspective means wholeness-not only physical, but also spiritual and psychological wholeness; not only individual, but also social and institutional wholeness.  Jesus was the Divine Healer who came to restore this health…he came to bring the fullness of life. 

As we initiate this change, you are invited to “Integrate Excellence” (one of our core values), by nominating a colleague for the Marguerite d’Youville Awards to honor people who live the mission in distinguished ways (forms available on e-bits and Tidbits.)

Are you ready to in2gr8? 

Elizabeth Keene, VP
Mission Integration