Archive for January, 2012

The February 2012 Online Wellness Center Page is Now Available!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Heart Health

It’s good to follow your heart. Follow it to the grocery store to buy low saturated fat foods and extra fruits and vegetables. Follow it to the gym or on a long, brisk, walk around the neighborhood. Follow it to your doctor’s office to have it listened to on a regular basis. Follow it in pursuit of a hobby that makes you happy. Follow it to a laugh-filled movie. Follow it to spend time with those you love. All are the keys to a healthy heart.

How Much Control Do You Have Over Your Life?

People who feel they have little control over what happens to them have low expectations in life. They are also more frustrated, stressed, and prone to heart attack. People who take control over their life are more resistant to stress and live healthier, more fulfilled lives. Learn how to be the latter.

Dietary Fiber – So Good For Your Heart

Dietary fiber protects your heart, normalizes blood sugar, and lowers cholesterol. Here are some practical tips for getting more fiber into your daily diet.

Take 10 Here and There – Short Brisk Walks Help Heart Health, Fitness, and Mood

The thought of doing 30 minutes of exercise a day can be daunting. This is most true for people who aren’t very active. But researchers have found that three 10-minute sessions of brisk exercise per day can have the same effect on your health as one 30-minute session. Got 10 minutes?

Gum Disease and Heart Disease:
The Link

Many people are aware of the common risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or uncontrolled diabetes. But few people are aware that gum disease could also be harmful to the heart. Knowing how and how often to brush and floss are vital to good gum health. So is seeing a dentist regularly. Learn how it all leads to a healthier heart.

Fitness & Exercise

For some people, exercise is a lonely venture. For others it’s fun and rejuvenating. But for everyone, it’s vital for good health. If you’re not very active, think about what you might like to do. Is it walking? Dancing? Gardening? Shopping? There’s a way to do almost anything more actively. Do jumping jacks during TV commercials. Power-walk through the mall. Go on. Start now.

Energize Your Exercise…With a Snack

Ready to exercise? Eat something first. You’ll have more energy and be able to exercise harder and ultimately burn more calories. A pre-exercise snack has other important functions too. Read more. 

How to Remove Barriers to Exercise 

How can you make physical activity a part of your daily life? It might help to first identify what’s stopping you. Are you too tired? Afraid of getting hurt? Is it the weather? Whatever the barrier is, there are ways to remove it.

Do You Need Exercise Equipment

Before plunking down hard-earned dollars for home exercise equipment, ask yourself: What kind of physical activity do I enjoy? What motivates me to exercise? Will it be more convenient to work out at home? What type of equipment is best? (The answer to that one is easy: The kind you’re really going to use!) Choose carefully.

Your First Fun Run, Bike-a-thon, or Group Walk

Thinking about doing a 5K fun run? That’s a long way. How do you prepare? Millions of first-timers take on this type of adventure each year. Millions more never get around to doing it. The limiting factor usually isn’t their ability or endurance. It’s that they don’t know how to get started.

Take the Monthly Health Challenge™

Sit Less, Move More

If you’re a high-energy person who doesn’t like to sit still, you know about being active. But what if your natural tendency is to take up your spot as a couch potato at home? Or if you stay glued to your chair at the office? To combat the downside of sitting, you’ve got to find ways to be more active. When you make the effort, you’ll burn more calories, feel healthier, and add years to your life.

Cuts to MaineCare Are Cuts to Our Entire Community

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Your hospitals need your voice.

By Laird Covey, President,               
Central Maine Medical Center


Lee Myles, President,
St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center

Central Maine Medical Center and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center have been serving the residents of Androscoggin County and beyond for well over 100 years.  Our quality is strong and continues to rise as we are committed to improving the community’s health while providing high quality services at a lower cost.   Our hospitals provide the core medical services needed for our community and specialized services for people living throughout Central and Western Maine.

Doing this we employ more than 525 physicians and associated professional staff in over 40 different medical and surgical specialties.  Last year our local medical practices had some 536,000 patient visits. There were 83,000 visits to our Emergency Rooms in Lewiston.   All of our providers accept MaineCare and Medicare. No one is turned away for inability to pay. 

The quality of care and breadth of service in this region is no accident. Our local health systems are the result of thoughtful choices, collaborative efforts, strong leadership and careful investment by the community for more than a century. 

Healthcare is a local economic engine

Money spent locally on hospital care circulates many times through the local economy.  Combined, we employ over 4,350 people with an annual payroll of $230 million. Our employees pay millions of dollars in state income and property taxes, purchase goods and services from local businesses, and are a bright spot in Maine’s struggling economy.  

The Challenge – No longer business as usual

Maine’s legislature is considering proposals eliminating 65,000 people from MaineCare and directly cutting $50 million from hospitals over the next 18 months – even though MaineCare owes all Maine hospitals nearly $400 million for services provided since 2009. 

There are rate cuts for inpatient stays and outpatient visits. Caps are placed on the number of hospital stays and outpatient visits per year.   These changes represent approximately $20 million in cuts to our two hospitals, which are now owed $75 million by MaineCare – a debt that grows daily and puts great pressure on our cash flow and ability to pay local vendors.

Regardless of actions by state government, people will continue to get sick and use our services.    We expect people losing their MaineCare eligibility will turn to our Emergency Rooms for care.   By federal law we cannot turn anyone away.

The poor economy has made it hard for many to pay all or even a portion of their bills.  We still provide them care, though combined bad debt at both hospitals was more than $35 million in 2011.  Additionally, we cannot shift all our shortfalls to employers. It hurts their financial viability and impacts their competitiveness in the marketplace.

We cannot absorb $20 million in cuts and continue business as usual.   If these cuts are approved, we will be forced to make cuts in staffing and services.

Where do we go from here?

This issue calls for real leadership.  Fiscal realities need to be addressed, but there cannot be a singular focus on balancing the budget on the backs of those in need.  There must be a thoughtful plan ensuring that patients eliminated from MaineCare continue to get care.  Such a plan could bridge us from today’s budget discussion to the year 2014 when the next stage of national healthcare reform goes into effect and all those who would be disenfranchised will again need to be covered. Right now no such plan exists.

St. Mary’s and CMMC are proud of our roles in the community. We provide local people with good jobs, buy services from local vendors, and offer quality care to all.  We feel it is a privilege to provide services to our fellow citizens. But, we cannot keep doing so with such drastic cuts in MaineCare payments.

Your local hospitals have always been here for you – open and operating 24 hours a day regardless of good times or bad. But today we need your help and your voice. Democrats and Republican representatives are concerned with repercussions from the proposed cuts. We urge you to contact your state Senator and Representative. Tell them you support the development of better alternatives to dealing with these issues, and that both the safety net and the local healthcare delivery system we all rely upon must be protected.

Farewell and Thank You Robert Bruce and David Skavdahl for Pioneering the Medical Student Program at St. Mary’s

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Sam’s Italian Foods Works to End Hunger in Our Community

Thursday, January 12th, 2012


Thirteen of Sam’s Italian Foods locations, headquartered in Lewiston, Maine, participated in fund-raising for local food pantries throughout the month of November. By asking their customers if they would like to donate one dollar toward ending hunger they raised $4,000. The top fund-raising shops were in Brunswick and Waterville. Locally St. Mary’s Health Systems Food Pantry was the recipient of a check for $1,730. Dan Asselin (right), a volunteer for St. Mary’s, presented a plaque to District Managers, Dan Poulin (left) and Andy Morin (Center) for “Outstanding Effort” in working to end hunger in Maine.

Employee incentives were contributed by Sam’s Italian Foods, Sparetime Recreation and Flagship Cinema’s.


Join HealthSteps at St. Mary’s for Lose with Me!

Thursday, January 5th, 2012


L to R - Lose with Me! instructors Jennifer Smith, MS and Jamie Pepin MS, RD, LD.

Want to lose some weight? Don’t go it alone, let HealthSteps, an award winning health education and exercise program, help you. Join them for Lose with Me! a 12-week session focused on helping you obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Classes are taught by registered and licensed dietitian Jamie Thompson and exercise physiologist, Jennifer Smith.

The classes include goal setting to get you started, exercise planning to get you moving, nutrition education to ensure you eat well, food and movement journaling to keep you on track, and peer support to keep you motivated! If you’re looking to lose weight as a part of building a healthier lifestyle for you and/or your family then, Lose with Me! is the program for you!

Class Time: Wednesdays, 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
January 11– March 28
Location: WorkMed Conference room, Auburn Medical Building, 15 Gracelawn Road, Auburn
Cost: $99

Registration Required 777-8898 or

HealthSteps is part of the Prevention & Wellness Services offered through St. Mary’s Health System.

Call today and start your way to a new healthy lifestyle in which 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.


Jennifer Smith, MS, an exercise physiologist and nationally certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and speed coach will provide recommendations to get you on your feet and moving, using safe and effective exercise routines specifically designed for your body. She’ll help you identify your barriers to exercise and brainstorm strategies to overcome such obstacles. She’ll also work with you to set goals beyond the 12-week program.

Jamie Thompson, MS, RD, LD, a registered dietitian will help you review your eating behavior and instruct you as to how your eating habits affect your metabolism. She’ll teach you the skills you need including reading food labels, meal planning, portion control, and more to keep you eating healthy beyond the 12-week program.

“Living Art-Living Well Studio”

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012


 Seminar Series at St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion

Interested in how art and creativity affects your health? Through a series of four seminars, Living Art–Living Well Studio offers participants the opportunity to explore the connection between traditional art, cultural legacy, and life review; it also explores the role these play in health, aging, positive decision-making, and how this influences the practice of health care.

Community health providers, health professions faculty, students, and community members are invited to participate in the Living Art–Living Well Studio four-part seminar series. This series – sponsored by the University of New England Maine Geriatric Education Center (UNE-MGEC) in partnership with St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion, Cultural Resources, Inc. and the Maine Arts Commission – will include artist demonstrations and facilitated discussion.

The first of the four part series takes place on Thursday, February 9, 2012 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM at St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion in Lewiston. This seminar features one of the most gifted basket makers of the Passamaquoddy Nation, Molly Neptune Parker, and her grandson George Neptune.\

Molly Neptune Parker has devoted her life to practicing the brown ash and sweetgrass tradition by passing it on to the next generation, including several children and grandchildren. As a child, Parker learned basket making from her mother and she continues the fancy basket tradition at her home on the shores of Lewey Lake in Indian Township, Maine. Her work is much sought after by collectors and has been featured in several exhibitions, including “North by Northeast.” A Maine Arts Commission Traditional Arts Fellowship winner, Parker is also the President of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance and a master teacher in the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program.

Participants are invited to attend the opening reception for the ‘Maine Arts Commissions’ traveling exhibition “Two Times Ten: 20 Years of the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program” in Main Corridor on the first floor of St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion at 4:30 PM, February 9, 2012. Featuring portraits of participating master artists and their apprentices, the exhibit will explore the role of the elder artist in preserving cultural traditions.

CME credits are available for those that participate in all four sessions. Living Art–Living Well 2012 sessions will take place from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM on February 9, March 8, April 12, and May 10, at St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion.

The event is open to the public as well as health professionals, faculty, and students. Seating is limited, so early registration is recommended. For questions or to register please contact Marilyn Amoroso at (207) 221-4460 or at

Auburn Medical Associates at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center Welcomes New Provider

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012


Auburn Medical Associates is pleased to welcome Robert Milhauser, MD to the practice. Dr. Milhauser is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He recently worked as a Hospitalist at Virtua Memorial Hospital of Burlington County in Mount Holly, New Jersey and as an ER physician at VA Medical Center Wilmington in Wilmington, Delaware.

Dr. Milhauser earned his medical degree from the University of the Philippines Manila, College of Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital in Staten Island, New York.

To schedule an appointment, please call Auburn Medical Associates at 330-3950. Auburn Medical Associates is located at St. Mary’s Auburn Medical Building on 15 Gracelawn Road.