Good Food Bus Hits the Road in Lewiston-Auburn Area

September 22nd, 2015
Pictured left to right: Kirsten Walter, Director of St. Mary's Nutrition Center, Emily Horton, representing Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Stephanie Aquilina Food Access Program Manager for Cultivating Community, Sherie Blumenthal, Food Access Coordinator St. Mary's Nutrition Center, Mayor of Auburn, Jonathan LaBonte,  Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation President, Karen Voci, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Vice President, Edward Kane.

Pictured left to right: Kirsten Walter, Director of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, Emily Horton, representing Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Stephanie Aquilina Food Access Program Manager for Cultivating Community, Sherie Blumenthal, Food Access Coordinator St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, Mayor of Auburn, Jonathan LaBonte, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation President, Karen Voci, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Vice President, Edward Kane.

At the Police Athletic League (PAL) Center this afternoon, state and local officials joined St. Mary’s Nutrition Center of Lewiston, Cultivating Community of Portland, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation to launch the Good Food Bus – a colorful, repurposed school bus turned mobile food market. The Good Food Bus, part of the three-year initiative, Good Food Moves, will make stops across Lewiston-Auburn and surrounding communities thanks to a $60,000 grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. The 2015 season of the Good Food Bus will run through October 30th; it will resume next spring.

“At Harvard Pilgrim, we know that health prevention often starts with the food we eat, and for some, accessing healthy and affordable fruits and vegetables can be challenging,” said Karen Voci, President of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. “Across the country, organizations are using mobile markets to increase access to fresh and local fruits and vegetables. Here in New England, Harvard Pilgrim is launching a fleet of mobile markets to address this challenge and create better access to healthy food.” In addition to the Good Food Bus, Harvard Pilgrim has funded mobile markets in Worcester, Mass., Hartford, Conn., Lowell, Mass., and is preparing to launch a market in Manchester, N.H. in 2016.

“Starting today, the Good Food Bus will sell fresh, local and fairly priced produce and other food items directly to people where they live, work and play,” said Kirsten Walter, Director of the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, as she kicked off the event. “Increasing the availability and accessibility of healthy food to everyone in our community is a very important goal of the Good Food Bus. We are thrilled to work with close partners, passionate area businesses, and community members to make this a lasting resource.”

During the initial phase for the 2015 harvest season, the Good Food Bus will make the following scheduled stops through the month of October. Stops are open to the public except for the Bath Iron Works location.

Wednesdays
12-2pm: PAL Center, 24 Chestnut Street, Auburn
3-5pm: Knox Street Community Garden, 61 Knox St., Lewiston

Thursdays
11am-1pm: Bath Iron Works, West Gate (not open to the public)
3:30-5:30pm: Central Maine Medical Center, 300 Main St., location TBD, Lewiston

Fridays
12:30-2:30pm: Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supply, 359 Minot Ave., Auburn
3:30-5:30pm: St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, 100 Campus Ave. by parking lot A, Lewiston

Good Food Bus_0001

While not able to attend the event in person, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree sent a statement through staffer Emily Horton, stating, “I love this idea. Maine is lucky to have so many great farmers markets around the state, but that doesn’t mean everyone has access or can afford it. Bringing healthy and affordable food grown right here in Maine to communities in Androscoggin is a great way to make sure everyone has access to a farmers market without actually going to one. And even better if it can accept EBT and other market incentives that provide more options for low-income Mainers. I can’t wait to see the Good Food Bus in action.”

Walter explained the genesis and goals of the project by referencing a Community Food Assessment conducted by the Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn (GFCLA) and published in 2013.

“This report found that healthy food remains out of reach for many people in Lewiston-Auburn and other studies have shown this to be true for people across the state,” said Walter. “This multi-year initiative will make scheduled stops at neighborhoods, organizations, and businesses serving the Lewiston/Auburn community and will make purchasing good food convenient and easy for all.”

Sherie Blumenthal, project lead for the Nutrition Center, explained that the Good Food Bus will accept cash, credit, debit, WIC, and SNAP/EBT at every stop and increase the purchasing power of SNAP benefits for people to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables into their homes.

Auburn Mayor, Jonathan LaBonte, highlighted the City of Auburn’s support for projects that serve the community. “While it may be invisible to many residents, too many families and young people in our community are starting their days and going to bed hungry. I’m proud of the private, and public, partnerships that are working to expand access to good food while at the same time improving quality of life in our city.” Harvard Pilgrim is also supporting development of a community garden on Webster St. in Auburn, in the same neighborhood as the PAL Center.

“The goal is that the Good Food Bus will not only be a bountiful market, but also a fun place for people to connect,” said Stephanie Aquilina, project lead for Cultivating Community.

“Having access to great, nutritious food is of course critical to community health,” remarked Craig Lapine, Cultivating Community Executive Director. “And we are always particularly interested in strategies that involve local farmers and purveyors. That’s because a robust food economy amplifies all the great community health impacts of good food.” Indeed, the Good Food Bus will have a strong local foods preference, with many products from Androscoggin County farms and around the region.

In addition to Harvard Pilgrim support, other generous donations are helping to make this project possible. The bus was donated by the William H. Jordan Farm of Cape Elizabeth, and Hudson Bus Lines is donating bus driver services for the project. Grants from the Quimby Family Foundation and the John T. Gorman Foundation have been instrumental in getting the Good Food Bus on the road, and a Community Food Projects grant from the USDA will support staffing and food sourcing for the next three years.

The event culminated with a raffle drawing and Mayor LaBonte and Karen Voci cutting the ribbon and officially opening the Good Food Bus for customers to buy good food.

To learn more about the project, visit www.facebook.com/GoodFoodBus, email goodfoodmoves@gmail.com, or call St. Mary’s Nutrition Center at 207-513-3848.

The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim’s mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve. The Harvard Pilgrim Foundation provides the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. In 2014, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded close to $2.9 million in grants to nearly 710 nonprofit organizations in the region. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has granted more than $133 million in funds throughout the four states. For more information, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org/foundation.

St. Mary’s Nutrition Center
St. Mary’s Nutrition Center was founded by St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston in 2006 to promote community health through organizing, advocacy and education across the Androscoggin County area. Based on the belief that good health relies upon access to healthy food, the Nutrition Center uses a multi-pronged public health approach: building individual capacity for people to grow, choose and cook nutritious foods; and building community capacity to support a strong regional food system. Core programming includes hands-on cooking, gardening, and nutrition education for all ages; community gardens for over 120 families of low-income; intensive job training programs for over 50 teens per year; year-round farmers’ markets; emergency food distribution 375 people weekly; and collaborative, community based assessment and planning activities. For more information, please visit: www.stmarysnutritioncenter.org.

Cultivating Community
Founded in 2001, Cultivating Community creates and sustains greater access to healthy, local foods; empowers people to play many roles in restoring the local, sustainable food system; and models, teaches, and advocates for ecological food production. With farming, teaching, & learning sites in Cumberland and Androscoggin Counties, Cultivating Community in collaboration with participant/leaders each year grows, harvests, and distributes $200,000 in food; provides training for over 1,000 youth; creates food access for over 4,000 people with low/middle incomes; and in 2015 is supporting 60 new American families in establishing independent farm businesses. For more information, please visit: www.cultivatingcommunity.org.

Rheumatologist Joins St. Mary’s Medical Staff

September 17th, 2015

 

asia mubashir hs 9-2015 croppedSt. Mary’s Rheumatology welcomes Dr. Asia Mubashir, MD. Prior to joining St. Mary’s, Dr. Mubashir started the first-of-its-kind Center for Arthritis & Rheumatism in North India, which catered to about five thousand patients within its first two years of operation. Dr. Mubashir has also served as an Assistant Professor of Rheumatology at the Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She earned her Rheumatology fellowship from the University of Connecticut and completed her Internal Medicine residency at Winthrop University Hospital, New York. Dr. Mubashir was also a researcher at Columbia University, New York Presbyterian Hospital. She went to medical school at UTESA in the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Mubashir is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and of the American College of Physicians.  She is a member of the Arthritis Foundation and Indian Rheumatology Association.

St. Mary’s Rheumatology is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of people with disorders of the joints, muscles, tendons, and other connective tissue. Rheumatic diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, tendinitis, lupus, scleroderma and almost 200 other types of conditions.

For more information about St. Mary’s Rheumatology or Dr. Mubashir, please visit www.stmarysmaine.com or call (207) 777-4459.

New Hand and Wrist Specialist at St. Mary’s Center for Orthopaedics

September 17th, 2015
Lars Qvick, MD Orthopaedic Surgeon

Lars Qvick, MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon

St. Mary’s Center for Orthopaedics welcomes Lars Qvick, MD to its team. Dr. Qvick is Fellowship trained in both Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Qvick performed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the State University of New York, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Buffalo, New York. He is experienced in; hand and wrist surgery, including traumas and occupational injuries; surgery of the upper extremities (elbow and shoulder); and general orthopaedic trauma/fracture care.

Dr. Qvick joins a team of orthopaedic surgeons which include, Medical Director Michael T. Newman, MD, Wayne Moody, MD, Mohamed Al-Saied, MBBCH, CCFP, FRCS(C), ABOS-I, and Daniel Buck, DPM.

St. Mary’s Center for Orthopaedics is located at 15 Gracelawn Road in Auburn. To learn more, please visit www.stmarysmaine.com or call 333-4710.

Pediatric Specialty Services Now Available at St. Mary’s

September 3rd, 2015

Today, leaders from two Maine health systems announced enhancements in their affiliation that will bring additional world-class specialty services to the residents of Central Maine starting in August.

Clinical and administrative representatives from MaineHealth/Maine Medical Center and Covenant Health/St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center have committed to expansion and centralization of pediatric subspecialty services to be provided at St. Mary’s by physicians from The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

These pediatric subspecialty services include Gastroenterology, Pulmonary, Endocrinology, and Genetics. The Pulmonary and Gastroenterology practices are home to Maine’s only Board-certified pediatric pulmonologists and gastroenterologists. The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital pediatric endocrinologists currently see patients at St. Mary’s offices.
“Our goal is to provide centralized local access to the world-class specialty care available through The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center so parents and their sick children don’t always have to travel to Portland,” says St. Mary’s CEO Lee Myles.

“We understand the burden that travel sometimes places upon parents and their children as they are treated for and recover from serious illness and conditions,” says MMC President and CEO Richard Petersen. “This collaboration means families will have access to key medical services closer to home.”

Pediatric subspecialists will see patients at St. Mary’s in the office building located at 100 Campus Avenue, Lewiston. When more advanced care is required and travel to The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital is necessary, the local presence will support seamless coordination for patients to see a Maine Medical Partners physician in greater Portland.

Both Myles and Petersen believe this is another step toward an enhanced relationship between the two systems and hospitals.

“This is a natural extension of the relationship between St. Mary’s and Maine Medical Center,” says Myles. “It provides a future path for collaboration that likely will result in local access to additional, specialized care services for the Lewiston/Auburn communities.”

CCS Pediatrics Welcomes Leigh Sweet, MD, MPH

September 2nd, 2015
Leigh Sweet, MD, MPH CCS Pediatrics

Leigh Sweet, MD, MPH
CCS Pediatrics

CCS Pediatrics is proud to announce Leigh Sweet, MD, MPH, has joined their team of Pediatric providers. Dr. Sweet is Fellowship trained in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. She performed her Chief Residency and Pediatric Residency at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. She earned her medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts and a Master of Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health.  She has a special interest and expertise in immigrant and refugee health, infectious diseases, and tropical and travel medicine.

Dr. Sweet is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Infectious Diseases Society of America, International Society for Infectious Diseases, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

CCS Pediatrics is affiliated with St. Mary’s Health System and is located at 100 Campus Avenue in Lewiston. For more information about Dr. Sweet or CCS Pediatrics, please visit www.stmarysmaine.com or call (207) 755-3160.

Youth Lead St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Annual Community Dinner

August 27th, 2015

More than 100 community members, staff, youth, volunteers, supporters, and gardeners, attended the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Annual Community Dinner on Thursday, August 13, to celebrate all the hard work and community service that has been accomplished this growing season.  This annual dinner highlights the Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens program; attendees included the Youth Gardeners and their families, some of the 120 families that garden in the community garden plots in downtown Lewiston, and others who have participated in or supported the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, Lots to Gardens, and the St. Mary’s Food Pantry over the year.

The evening was orchestrated by the Youth Interns and Summer Youth Gardeners (SYGs).  Much of the menu was locally grown and developed and prepared from scratch by the SYGs.  It also reflected diverse culinary tastes, includingsambusa, Indonesian fried rice, Thai beef salad, cucumber salad, Asian slaw, Moroccan carrot salad, sesame green beans, baba ganoush, African greens, and beet brownies. Youth Interns,

Community Gardener, Carolyn Messer, won the veggie basket door prize at the recent Annual Community Dinner held by St. Mary’s Nutrition Center.

Community Gardener, Carolyn Messer, won the veggie basket door prize at the recent Annual Community Dinner held by St. Mary’s Nutrition Center.

Mohamed Abdullahi, Julian Marley, and Hafsa Ahmed guided the group of SYGs in a short presentation about their summer experience in the program.  The presentation included some original poetry and drumming.  True to the Nutrition Center’s mission, the door prize, won by Community Gardener Carolyn Messer, was a basket of fresh veggies from the Nutrition Center’s Community Gardens.

The Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens youth programs are open to Lewiston/Auburn area youth between the ages of 14-18.  Through the program, youth get job training and experience, learn about gardening, nutrition, and cooking, and participate in leadership development and food justice workshops.  Youth programs are supported by generous donations from area individuals and businesses.  Sponsoring one youth position for $1,200 is a great way to give back and engage a young person in developing lifelong healthy habits and becoming an agent of change in their community.  Interested individuals can contact Nutrition Center staff for more information.

The St. Mary’s Nutrition Center promotes community health through organizing, advocacy, and education.  It is home to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry, Lots to Gardens, Lewiston Farmers’ Market, and garden, cooking, and nutrition education programs for adults, teens, and kids.  For more information, please see www.stmarysnutritioncenter.org or call 207-513-3848.

 

 

Sign up Now for Walk/Jog Class with HealthSteps

August 24th, 2015

How many steps did you walk today? It is recommended that everyone walk 10,000 steps each. Walking regularly offers a whole host of health benefits including:

• Decreased risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes
• Decreased blood pressure and blood sugar levels
• Improved mental well being
• Decreased risk of osteoporosis
• Decreased body fat

If you’re looking for an individualized form of exercise, walking may be just what the “doctor ordered,” as you choose your pace, your distance, and whether you go it alone or enjoy walking with a friend, a co-worker, or a family member.

Best practice is to start slow, gradually increasing your time and pace over an extended period. As you become accustomed to walking more, your eventual goal should be to aim for 30 minutes a day and a total of 150 minutes a week, to experience the aforementioned array of health benefits; however, remember, don’t get discouraged as any amount of exercise is better than none!

(Left to right) Instructor, Jennifer Smith leads walk/jog crew Rick Dodge, Gert Chasse, Gary Bain, Norm Demers, and Curt Fuller through their morning workout.

(Left to right) Instructor, Jennifer Smith leads walk/jog crew Rick Dodge, Gert Chasse, Gary Bain, Norm Demers, and Curt Fuller through their morning workout.

If you find the heat, rain, or cold Maine winters deter your exercise regime, HealthSteps offers a class called Walk Jog that takes place on the Bates indoor track; so the weather will never be an issue again! You decide whether you want to start right off on your own or walk with the group. If the group is what you choose, a light warm up will take place followed by a walk. Once the time is up for walking, a small strengthening, cool down, and stretching session ends the class. In this 50 minute class, your 30 minutes of daily exercise is more than done!

Hear it from our very own dedicated walkers…

“At 88 years old participating in HealthSteps was the best investment in my health that I could have ever made.” -Normand Demers

“I have been jogging for over 30 years but would not do so outside in the winter months because of the weather. Treadmills were not an option. Fifteen years ago I was introduced to the HealthSteps program, which was a real Godsend since I can now use the Bates College 200m (1/8 mile) track. This track has a Mondo 8 surface, which is the same surface as used on modern day Olympic tracks and very easy on my aging joints.” –Richard Houle

In addition to Walk Jog classes, HealthSteps offers a wide range of other classes with the core membership fee.

For more information or to register, call HealthSteps at 777-8898 or visit them on the web at: www.stmarysmaine.com. Pre-registration for all programs is required. 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!

Join us for Aquatic Fitness

August 17th, 2015

Some of the best exercise you can get is in the water. There are two ways that are most common, swimming and aqua aerobics. Both fall into the category of aerobic physical activity. Two and a half hours of aerobic activity a week is recommended for multiple health benefits including preventing and improving chronic illnesses. What better way than to enjoy that time in a pool? St. Mary’s HealthSteps offers both open lap swimming and Aquatic Fitness classes.

Lap Swim

Swim at your own pace and enjoy this individualized form of exercise in the 25-meter, 8-lane pool.

Wednesdays, 6:05-7:00 AM; Mondays and Fridays, 6:05-7:30 AM (Beginning Oct. 30, Mondays and Fridays change to 6:30-7:30 AM); Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:05-7:00 AM, (Tuesdays and Thursdays available until Oct. 29)

Aquatic Fitness

HealthSteps members enjoy a refreshing water-based workout! Front row (L to R): Sheila Sylvester, Janet Irish, Louella Hood  Second Row: Helen McNelly, Dick St. Pierre  Third Row: Joyce Richmond

HealthSteps members enjoy a refreshing water-based workout! Front row (L to R): Sheila Sylvester, Janet Irish, Louella Hood
Second Row: Helen McNelly, Dick St. Pierre
Third Row: Joyce Richmond

Join us for a great workout that’s easy on your joints using the water as resistance!  While swimming skills are not needed, a comfort level in both deep and shallow water is important.

Wednesdays, 6:05-6:55 AM; Mondays, Fridays, 6:30-7:15 AM

Open lap swim offers members an individualized form of exercise where they can choose their own pace. Whether you’re an Olympic swimmer or a doggy paddle expert, the pool is open to you for your aerobic exercise needs.

Aquatic fitness classes, on the other hand, are a social group activity. No swimming skills are required but feeling comfortable in deep water and shallow water while wearing a floatation belt is important.

Aquatic exercise provides many benefits including allowing for an increased range of motion, greater muscle resistance, and less impact on joints, which decreases participants’ chances of an impact injury. The following is what some of our aquatic exercise fans have to say about it.

“Going to my water aerobics class in the morning not only starts my day off right with exercise, but I also enjoy seeing my friends there!” -Janet Irish

I’m so glad I joined HealthSteps over 15 years ago. The water aerobics class is perfect for exercising without undue stress on my arthritic joints.  – Sheila Sylvester

In addition to aquatic fitness and lap swimming, HealthSteps offers a wide range of other classes with the core membership fee.

For more information or to register, call HealthSteps at 777-8898 or visit them on the web at www.stmarysmaine.com. Pre-registration for all programs is required. 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!

 

NEW MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF ST. MARY’S ORTHOPAEDICS

July 17th, 2015

michael newman hs 2 croppedMichael “MT” Newman, MD was named Medical Director of St. Mary’s orthopaedic service line. The announcement was made today by Lee Myles, CEO and President at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, and Wayne Moody, M.D, who has held the position since its inception.
“Michael Newman is excited to be taking on this role, and will be building on the strong foundation that Wayne Moody has created for the orthopaedic service,” said Myles.
Dr. Moody is the architect behind the hospital’s successful Center for Joint Replacement. During the past five years he has been building a hospital-based orthopaedic practice as a corollary to the Center for Joint Replacement. Dr. Moody personally recruited Dr. Newman to St. Mary’s specifically with this transition in mind. Dr. Moody will continue to support the Orthopaedic service line in a number of ways, including continued Directorship of the Center for Joint Replacement, treating patients in the practice and performing surgery. Furthermore he will continue to promote St. Mary’s orthopaedic services regionally.
Dr. Newman is Fellowship trained in total hip and knee reconstruction. His experience and skills as an orthopedic surgeon include 16 years of active duty Navy service. His last 5 years he served as Chief of Joint Replacement at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, M.D.

St. Mary’s Health System Names a New President and Chief Executive Officer

July 15th, 2015

 

Christopher Chekouras Named New President and CEO of St. Mary's Health System

Christopher Chekouras Named New President and CEO of St. Mary’s Health System

St. Mary’s Board Chair Craig Gunderson and Covenant Health President and CEO David Lincoln are pleased to announce that the St. Mary’s Search Committee has chosen Christopher Chekouras of Shamong, New Jersey as the next President and CEO of St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, Maine.

Chekouras is currently Senior Vice President of Post-Acute and Community-Based Services at Virtua, a comprehensive southern New Jersey healthcare system with three hospitals. He will replace St. Mary’s current President and CEO,  Lee Myles, who is retiring in October.

The St. Mary’s Search Committee chose Chekouras following an intensive process with multiple strong candidates. According to Gunderson it was the breadth of Chekouras’ experience which impressed the group.

“Chris brings with him broad acute care leadership skills, including strategic planning, business development, physician and board relations, philanthropy, marketing, finance and operations,” said Gunderson.

“He was an outstanding choice in our mind not only because of his background, but also his proven history of achieving results through effective collaboration, transparent communication and personal accountability.”

“Even better,” said Gunderson, “he shares St. Mary’s values.  We think Chris is a great fit.”

Covenant Health President and CEO David Lincoln is equally positive about the choice.

“We are pleased to have Chris joining the Covenant Health leadership team,” said Lincoln.  “He’s mission-driven and will continue the strong faith tradition at St. Mary’s.”

“Chris brings dynamic energy, leadership skills and innovative ideas that will help clinically strengthen and grow the St. Mary’s system. We’ve made great strides this year, and we look forward to advancing our progress further with Chris at the helm of St. Mary’s.”

Chekouras, who formally begins his new role as CEO on October 5, says he eagerly looks forward to joining the St. Mary’s family.

“I am humbled to be given the opportunity to join St. Mary’s Health System.  It is an honor and a privilege to become part of their team.  Together we will continue to build on the 127-year healthcare legacy of St. Mary’s and the Sisters of Charity of Saint-Hyacinthe.”

 

“The St. Mary’s Search Committee and I are delighted that Chris and his wife Jennifer will be joining the St. Mary’s community,” said Gunderson. “We are looking forward to introducing him to St. Mary’s and the larger community.”

“You can’t help but like him,” Gunderson said, “or feel his energy, creativity and positive approach.”