Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The 4-1-1 on Sun Protection

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Many Mainers endure the harsh winters because the summers are extraordinary here. The icy winter is a mere memory and “mud season” has subsided. For these precious few months we strip ourselves of our wooly layers and muck boots. Boating, hiking, camping, and swimming are often the order of the day. All this outdoor fun is wonderfully rejuvenating for body, mind, and spirit. However, all that time in the sun can have a detrimental effect on unprotected skin including: burning, premature aging, and development of pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions.

Sunscreens and sunblocks are a known, effective means of reducing exposure to UV rays. Visit any drug store and there is veritable mountain of choices using terms such as “SPF,” “sunblock,” “sunscreen,” “broad spectrum,” “water-resistant,” etc. So, what’s it all mean? Here’s the 4-1-1 on sun protection:

SPF refers to the Sun Protective Factor of sunscreen, essentially its ability to block UVB rays, not UVA. However, the SPF numbers can be confusing. A lotion with an SPF of 30 does not have twice the amount of protective power than SPF 15. In actuality, a lotion with an SPF 15 blocks approximately 93% of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks approximately 97%, while SPF 50 blocks approximately 98%.

Sunscreens vs. Sunblock
While sunscreen and sunblock both protect against sun damage, these terms are not interchangeable.

Sunscreen provides a colorless layer on the skin that absorbs most (but not all!) of the harmful UV rays. The lotion needs time to seep into your skin to form that protective layer so it must be applied 20 minutes before exposure to the sun. After about 1 ½ to 2 hours of being outdoors, you’ll want to reapply.

In June 2012, the FDA established a new standard for new labeling sunscreen to include “Broad Spectrum.” “Broad Spectrum” means its ability to absorb both UVB and UVA rays. Combine that with an SPF 15 (or higher) and you will be protected from sunburn, and, when used as directed, will reduce your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. Sunscreen not labeled “Broad Spectrum” or that has an SPF value lower than15 will only prevent sunburn.

Sunblock, often made from titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, does what its name describes. It is physical barrier that blocks UV rays from being absorbed by the skin. While sunblock offers better protection against the sun, it leaves an opaque layer of lotion on the skin – not a look most beach-goers are going for but a great option for very young children or those with significant risk for skin cancer.

Water Resistant
The FDA requires sunscreen manufacturers to let consumers know how long they will have the SPF protection printed on the label while swimming or perspiring. Two times are permitted based on current testing methods: 40 minutes or 80 minutes. This is what is considered “water resistant.”

The best protection is to use these products in conjunction with the proper clothing: wide brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts, and pants. Keeping out of the sun altogether is another option. Not ideal given our short Maine summers, but better that the consequences: sun damage or, worse, skin cancer.

The Clinic at WalMart will be open this July 4th

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

A reminder this holiday, the Clinic at Walmart provides walk-in care for your non-emergency care. These can be conditions like common colds, sore throats, ear aches, etc…

Clinic Hours:

Friday, July 4th – 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Saturday – 8:00 am to 6 pm

Sunday – 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

The clinic is located at 100 Mount Auburn Avenue in Auburn. The number is 330-3900.

Hospitalists at St. Mary’s Recognized for Quality of Care

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Dr Pena and Karen Richardson-1sm

Left to right: Karen Richardson, Hospitalist RN and Chief Hospitalist Dr. Amber Pena

Congratulations to the team of Sound Physicians hospitalists at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. These specialists have been recognized for providing exceptional clinical care and patient experience to hospitalized patients. At their recent annual meeting, Sound Physicians presented St. Mary’s hospitalists awards for the Highest Performing Hospital in the Atlantic Region and the Most Improved Hospitalist Team in the Atlantic Region. These awards were based upon performance on a number of quality/safety outcome measures from core measures performance, length of stay and patient experience scores. Accepting the awards were Chief Hospitalist Dr. Amber Peña and Karen Richardson, Hospitalist RN.

Sound Physicians is a leading hospitalist organization that provides care to patients while they are in the hospital at St. Mary’s and for more than 100 hospitals nationwide. The hospitalists at St Mary’s are committed to improve the quality and reduce the cost of care in our community. They work closely with a patient’s primary care provider to establish a seamless transition in care from hospital to home.

St. Mary’s Primary Care Practices Earn National Recognition For Patient-Centered Care

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced that all 10 Primary Care practices at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center have received recognition from the Patients-Centered Medical Home 2011 (PCMH 2011) program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term participative relationships.

The patient-centered medical home is a model of care emphasizing care coordination and communication to transform primary care into “what patients want it to be.” Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and improve patients’ and providers’ reported experiences of care. The PCMH identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their persona clinicians, instead of treating patient care as the sum of several episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is tended to by clinician-led care teams, who provide for all the patient’s health care needs and coordinate treatments across the health care system. Medical home clinicians demonstrate the benchmarks of patient-centered care, including open scheduling, expanded hours and appropriate use of proven health information systems.

“We are proud that practices within the St. Mary’s Provider Network have been recognized with this prestigious NCQA status since 2011.” said Doug Miller, Director of Operations for St. Mary’s Provider Network. “It demonstrates the commitment on the part of our providers and staff to deliver the highest level of care to our patients and creating long-lasting healthcare partnerships with them.”

“The patient-centered medical home raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology, and partnership between clinicians and patients, said NCQA President Margaret E. Kane. “PCMH recognition shows that St. Mary’s primary care practices have the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.”

To receive recognition, which is valid every three years, the practices demonstrated the ability to meet the programs key elements embodying characteristics of the medical home. The standards are aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-

Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

St. Mary’s primary care practices met key program components in the following areas:
· Written standards for patient access and continuity of care
· Use of patient feedback materials
· Appropriate use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information
· Responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventive care for individual patients and for the entire patient population
· Adaptation to patients cultural and linguistic needs
· Use of information technology for prescription, test, and referral tracking and coordination with other health care providers
· Use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions
· Measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance

To make an appointment with a St. Mary’s provider recognized by the NCQA, please call the Physician Referral Line at 777-8899 or visit

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredit and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers, and researchers.

St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion Recognized as an Innovative Leader in Long-Term Care

Monday, May 19th, 2014

St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion is the proud recipient of the 2014 Innovation of the Year Award from LeadingAge Maine/New Hampshire. D’Youville Pavilion was chosen for its development and implementation of a specialized staff education program on its new state-of-the-art Specialty Care Rehab Suite.

The CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited Suite was designed as a 12-bed rehabilitation unit specializing in the treatment of individuals with medically-complex conditions and is a companion program to their successful Transitional Rehabilitation Center, which is also CARF accredited. In an effort to prepare staff for a more acute patient population, d’Youville Pavilion’s nursing leadership team, nurse educators and other colleagues created a nursing competencies curriculum that engaged best practices from across the field of post-acute care. Part of the goal for developing this educational program was to incorporate new and innovative training models into practice that can serve as a template and be replicated throughout the facility. This effort would ensure quality outcomes for patients and residents. In addition to being part of a hospital-based health system, the field of rehabilitation and nursing care is constantly evolving and the patient populations are presenting with more complicated diagnoses than we have seen in previous generations. In order to ensure the best possible treatment of patients and residents, the facility recognized the need for an enhanced educational training program.

St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion, a 210-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitative nursing canter, is the flagship component of the elder care services offered through St. Mary’s Health System. With a state-of-the-art rehab center, specialized memory impairment unit, skilled and long term care, d’Youville Pavilion provides residents with the most advanced technology and skilled nursing care in the region. More importantly, they offer respect, care, and compassion to every resident.

LeadingAge Maine/New Hampshire also recognized St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion with the 2012 Innovation Award. Other accolades include recognition from the AHCA for safely reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs, the Maine Health Care Association’s (MHCA) Celebrating Excellence in Quality Award, the MHCA’s Celebrating Excellence in Innovation Award, and the Dorland Health Silver Crown Award Honorable Mention. For more information, please visit and click on “Senior Health.”

St. Mary’s Welcomes a New Provider and Physiatry Service

Monday, May 19th, 2014

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center introduces a new Physiatry practice. This is a new service was created based on a significant need within Neurosurgery, Orthopaedics, and other departments to treat back and neck pain. At the helm of the practice is Stephan Bamberger, MD. Dr. Bamberger provides alternative, non-opiate management of pain through Interventional Pain Management. Some of the procedures he will perform include: facet joint injections, epidural injections, nerve blocks spinal cord stimulation, advanced radio frequency ablation, and vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty.

Dr. Bamberger is a graduate of Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and a Diplomate with the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He joins St. Mary’s after 20 years of private group practice with Medical Rehabilitation Associates.
St. Mary’s Physiatry Service is located at Auburn Medical Office Building, 15 Gracelawn Avenue, in Auburn. Dr. Bamberger is seeing patients on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. For appointment information or an appointment by referral, please call 333-4799.

Stephan Bamberger, MD

Stephan Bamberger, MD

Great news for BIW employees and dependents!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

biw combo

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

St. Mary’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology Reaccredited

St. Mary’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology has recently renewed its status as an accredited diabetes education program by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. This allows residents in central Maine increased access to critical diabetes education services.

“The accreditation is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and depth of knowledge of our staff,” said Irwin Brodsky, MD, the Medical Director at St. Mary’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology. “Our team includes experienced nutrition and diabetes management professionals many of whom are certified diabetes educators.”

Diabetes education as a collaborative process through which people with or at risk for diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related conditions. It is provided by diabetes educators.

“Trends show that diabetes education is moving out of the hospital and into the community, so AADE’s accreditation program was created, in part, to encourage diabetes education where the patient is seeking care,” said Leslie E. Kolb, RN, BSN, MBA, Program Director, Diabetes Education Accreditation Program.  “St. Mary’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology is exactly the type of program we envisioned when we set up our accreditation program in 2009.”

St. Mary’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology is located at 963 Sabattus Street in Lewiston.  For more information, please call the office at 777-8625 or visit

The Strollin’ Colon Presented by St. Mary’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The Strollin' Colon

In an effort to raise awareness about cancer during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, St. Mary’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and the Dempsey Center are teaming up to bring you “The Strollin’ Colon.”

Take a stroll through the “The Strollin’ Colon” on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 from 4PM to 7PM at the Auburn Mall (by TD Bank), 550 Center Street in Auburn.    Also on hand will be hematologist/oncologist Mahesh Pandey, MD from St. Mary’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.  At 5:30PM, Dr. Pandey will talk about what colorectal cancer is, how it develops, who should get tested and when, and ways to prevent the disease.  Next, a colon cancer survivor will share his experience coping with the disease.

Colorectal cancer remains the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Despite these staggering statistics, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable, treatable, and beatable forms of cancer, especially when it is caught early.

World Day of the Sick

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014