The Truth about Teething

June 12th, 2015

By Suzanne Stevenson, APRN, MSN, NP-C

CCS Pediatrics, Lewiston

Teething is one of the many celebrated “firsts” of a child’s first year of life.  Parents often wonder if their baby’s low grade fever, diarrhea, or sleepless nights are a result of erupting teeth.  There are many myths surrounding teething symptoms and treatments.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  has recently published two studies showing that the only symptoms associated with teething are biting and mouthing, drooling, gum rubbing and irritability.  Parents and caregivers often attribute fever, diarrhea, red cheeks and rashes to teething, however, they are often times associated with illness and may warrant evaluation by your child’s pediatric provider.

There are many remedies both safe and unsafe for treating the discomfort associated with teething.  Amber teething necklaces are becoming increasingly popular as parents look for alternative ways to relieve baby’s sore gums.  These necklaces, however, pose a significant risk to infants.  They can easily break if they are able to get into baby’s mouth, and just one small bead can pose a choking hazard.  Teething necklaces can also cause strangulation.  Most teething necklace distributors have a disclaimer that necklaces should only be used under adult supervision, though many parents keep them on infants 24 hours a day.  Though these necklaces are thought to emit oils that relieve pain there are no studies supporting this claim.  Topical “gum numbing” medication can be harmful as well and has not been shown to be beneficial in alleviating pain from teething.

Teething toys are generally safe  as long as they are large enough to not fit inside a toilet paper or paper towel roll.  Anything smaller should not be given to a child under the age of three.  Teething rings are a great way to sooth sore gums.  They should be chilled in the refrigerator, not the freezer, and should never be boiled or placed in the dishwasher.  Mesh fruit traps can hold frozen vegetables or fruit which baby can chew on.  Other safe ways to help ease your infant’s pain are freezing wash clothes and letting baby chew on it.  Finally, acetaminophen and ibuprofen (for infants over 6 months of age) can be helpful in relieving teething discomfort, but should only be used when necessary.  You should talk to your pediatrician about appropriate dosing.  Teething can be a trying time for both parents and babies.  Always ask your pediatric provider for advice when you are unsure of symptoms or treatment options.


Suzanne Stevenson, APRN, MSN, NP-C

suzanne stevenson webSuzanne Stevenson is a Certified Nurse Practitioner at CCS Pediatrics in Lewiston.   Suzanne has a wide range of clinical experience in pediatric care. She has worked in emergency departments, newborn nurseries, transitional NICU, and a primary care office setting.  She earned her Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at Yale University in New Haven Connecticut and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut.

Suzanne is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.








New Surgeon at St. Mary’s Center for Orthopaedics

June 12th, 2015

mohamed al saied croppedSt. Mary’s is proud to welcome Mohamed Al-Saied, MD to its surgical staff and orthopaedic team at the Center for Orthopaedics.  Dr. Al-Saied is Fellowship trained in total joint replacement of the hip and knee as well as foot and ankle surgery. He earned his medical degree, MBBCh, from Al-Fatah University in Tripoli, Libya and performed his residency and Clinical Fellowship at Toronto Western Hospital at the University of Toronto in Ontario. He also performed a joint arthroplasty fellowship at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Dr. Al-Saied is certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is eligible for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Al-Saied is accepting patients at St. Mary’s Center for Orthopaedics at 15 Gracelawn Road in Auburn.  For an appointment, please call 333-4710.

HealthSteps at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center Announces its Summer Programming

May 21st, 2015

Summer will soon be here. Take this opportunity to join HealthSteps!  Whether you meet us for a walk on the rubberized track, a dip in the pool, or try one of our classes, you are sure to have FUN with your friends at HealthSteps.

Multipurpose Room

TNT (Tone-N-Tighten)

This weighted workout focuses on total body strengthening. It’s also a great way to increase your metabolism!

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 7:05-7:45am

Time to Stretch

Enjoy a full body stretch for relaxation, peace of mind, and an increase in flexibility.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 7:45-8:00am
Pictured Bob Poirier and Marc McPheters jogging next to Rick Dodge, Gert Chasse, Elaine Freeman, Normand Demers, and Grace Trainor as they all participate in HealthSteps' Walk-Jog class conveniently located at the beautiful indoor track at Bates College.

Pictured Bob Poirier and Marc McPheters jogging next to Rick Dodge, Gert Chasse, Elaine Freeman, Normand Demers, and Grace Trainor as they all participate in HealthSteps’ Walk-Jog class conveniently located at the beautiful indoor track at Bates College.

On the Track 

Walk Jog

Enjoy the indoor track at your own pace.  Includes an optional group warm-up, strengthening, cool-down, and stretching.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 6:05-6:55am

In the Pool

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, Fridays, 6:30-7:30am, Wednesdays, 6:05-7:00am

Aquatic Fitness

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.

Mondays, Fridays, 6:30-7:15am

Wednesdays, 6:05-6:55am

Senior Fitness

This one-hour class is a safe, fun, and effective workout!  Included are a warm-up, cardiovascular component, resistance training, balance, and flexibility exercises.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 8:30-9:30am

Location: d’Youville Pavilion Resident Dining Room, 102 Campus Ave, 2nd Floor

 Core classes are held in the beautiful Bates College Merrill Gymnasium unless otherwise noted. Classes run from June 1 – August 28.  The cost of a core membership, which includes unlimited access to all of the above classes, is $104.00. Monthly and weekly rates are available as well.

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:

New Orthopaedic Surgeon

May 21st, 2015

michael newman hs 2 croppedSt. Mary’s Center for Orthopaedics welcomes Michael T. Newman, MD. Dr. Newman is Fellowship trained in total hip and knee reconstruction. His experience as an orthopaedic surgeon includes 16 years of active duty Navy service with the last 5 years as Chief of Joint Replacement at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Newman’s specialties include total joint replacement, general orthopaedic surgery, and sports medicine.

“My wife and I are excited to make a home in Maine near family,” said Dr. Newman. “The fact that I also have the opportunity to practice with such high caliber providers as Dr. Wayne Moody, Dr. Daniel Buck and Dr. Mohamed Al-Saied makes the move even sweeter.”

Dr. Newman joins the trusted experts at St. Mary’s Center for Orthopaedics. With their experience and access to sports medicine, physical and occupational therapies and more, the team provides personalized care patinents deserve before, during and after a procedure.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 333-4700 or visit our website,

St. Mary’s CEO Honored

March 30th, 2015

Lee Libby Recognition 008

St. Mary’s President and CEO, Lee Myles was bestowed the Maine Legislature’s highest honor. At the St. Mary’s Board of Directors’ meeting last week, Senator Nathan Libby (Androscoggin County) surprised Lee with a legislative sentiment recognizing his contributions to the Lee Libby Recognition 014community throughout his career here.
Sen. Libby also read a letter from Representative Peggy Rotundo who expressed her gratitude to Lee for his years of service, compassion, and commitment to the underserved.

Lee received a standing ovation from theBoard upon acceptance of the sentiment.

Lee Libby Recognition 002

Wales Family Presents Check to St. Mary’s Food Pantry on Behalf of the Taste of the NFL

March 24th, 2015
Left to right: Joyce Gagnon/Food Pantry Manager, Kirsten Walter/Nutrition Center Director, Simone and Sonia Long, Mia Poliquin-Pross/Manager of Nutrition Center Operations

Left to right: Joyce Gagnon/Food Pantry Manager, Kirsten Walter/Nutrition Center Director, Simone and Sonia Long, Mia Poliquin-Pross/Manager of Nutrition Center Operations

A proud dad bragging about his daughter inspired a generous gift to a local food pantry.  While attending a party hosted by the non-profit Taste of the NFL, George Long of Wales told the event organizer about his daughter’s efforts to support hunger relief in the Lewiston/Auburn area by volunteering at the St. Mary’s Food Pantry.

Max Kittle from the Taste of the NFL was so impressed by George’s daughter’s work the Long family was selected to present a check for $5,000 on behalf of Taste of the NFL to the food pantry.

Through their “Party with a Purpose” fundraisers, the Taste of the NFL rallies the country’s best chefs and the NFL’s greatest players to support hunger relief. Over the past 23 years, the organization has donated more than $22 million dollars to food pantries across the country.

St. Mary’s Food Pantry, part of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, is the largest pantry in Androscoggin County and serves 375 people per week.  It is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 11am at 208 Bates Street in Lewiston.


In the photo – Left to right: Joyce Gagnon/Food Pantry Manager, Kirsten Walter/Nutrition Center Director, Simone and Sonia Long, Mia Poliquin-Pross/Manager of Nutrition Center Operations

The Strollin’ Colon

March 23rd, 2015

Strollin colon 2014 016In an effort to raise awareness about cancer during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, St. Mary’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders brings you “The Strollin’ Colon.” Take a stroll through the “The Strollin’ Colon” on Wednesday, March 25 from 9AM to 11AM at the entrance to the Main Lobby of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center at 95 Campus Avenue in Lewiston.  Inside the Main Lobby, we’ll have experts available to answer your questions about preventing colorectal cancer.

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.

The Vaccination Dilemma – A Free Presentation

March 9th, 2015

The recent measles outbreak that infected more than 150 people in the U.S. cast the spotlight on the debate over childhood vaccinations.  While the debate hit its peak with the Disneyland outbreak, many parents have been teetering on the vaccination fence for decades.

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, Dr. Gerard Rubin of CCS Pediatrics will explore the immunization dilemma some parents face, weigh the pros and cons of the shots, and talk about potential side effects, during a presentation at Lepage Large Conference Room at 99 Campus Avenue in Lewiston. The talk will begin at 5:30 pm and will follow with a question and answer session. Seating is limited so register today by calling 777-8481.

gerard rubin hsDr. Rubin is the Lead Physician at CCS Pediatrics at 100 Campus Avenue in Lewiston.  He performed his residency at Albany Medical Center in New York after receiving his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. His areas of special interest include behavioral pediatrics, child advocacy, integrative medicine, and osteopathic manipulation treatment.

Dr. Rubin is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Osteopathy, and the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education Support.  He is general pediatric board certified as well as certified in neonatal resuscitation and pediatric ALS.

He is accepting new patients.  For an appointment, please call 755-3160.



When Jack Frost Bites

March 6th, 2015

By Jonathan Libby, DNP, CPNP

CCS Pediatrics

With winter as a way of life here in Maine, parents have to find ways to entertain their children during the long 6 months of a New England Winter.  Children who live in this environment still need to get outdoors and enjoy what our beautiful state can provide. This experience has its inherited risks, namely the cold. Temperatures frequently drop to freezing and below. Add on a wind chill factor and the temperatures can become dangerous. Children frequently don’t pay attention to their bodies until it may be too late. How many children in the summer want to keep swimming despite shivering, the rattling teeth and their blue skin? Same thing happens in the winter with lost gloves, wet clothing, boots full of snow and socks curled up into the toe of the boot. Frostbite can happen to anyone, but especially children who don’t pay attention.

The most common places for frost bite are the hands, feet, nose, ears and cheeks. The symptoms of frostbite are patches of hard white skin, which can be painful, burn, tingle and or feel numb. There can also be blistering.

Frostbite is considered a medical emergency. Evaluation in an Emergency Department is always recommended, but some steps can be taken at home. Rapid rewarming is recommended in a warm tub (104-108 degrees) for 20-40 minutes is the most common method. This method is not recommended if re-exposure to the elements is immediately expected as this leads to increase in skin destruction. Removal of all wet clothing replaced with warm dry clothes.  Be careful NOT to rub or massage the area as this will cause further damage to the skin. Pain medications may be needed as the rewarming process can be very painful. Frostbite can take up to 3 months to full recover. Consultation with your pediatrician is always recommended in case further skin care is needed.

johnathan libby smJonathan Libby, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC is one of the providers in the new CCS Pediatrics practice located at 100 Campus Ave. in Lewiston.

Jonathan has dedicated nearly 20 years of his professional medical career to treating pediatric patients in a primary care setting. He earned his Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and received his Masters in Nursing and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Bachelor degrees from the University of Texas in Galveston.

Jonathan is board certified in primary care pediatrics. He is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Pracitioners and is a clinical preceptor with University of Southern Maine for their Family Nurse Practitioner program.

CCS Pediatrics can care for your child’s needs from birth to age 18. Call us now at 207-755-3160. Same day appointments are available!


Know the Signs of a Stroke

February 25th, 2015

shuli bonham hs 9-2014 croppedShuli Bonham at CCS Family Health Care wants you to know the signs of a stroke.

Signs that you may be having a stroke:

Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Sudden severe headache with no known cause

You should never wait more than five minutes to dial 9-1-1 if you experience even one of the signs above. Remember, you could be having a stroke even if you’re not experiencing all of the symptoms. And remember to check the time. The responding emergency medical technician or ER nurse at the hospital will need to know when the first symptom occurred.

Learn more about the effect of heart disease on women by visiting the American Heart Association. Talk to your doctor. If you need a provider call 777-8899. Make an appointment with a Cardiologist (in Lewiston call 777-5300). Learn the warning signs.