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.


Listen to Your Heart!

February 9th, 2015

Dr. Shashi Tewari Panozzo layer2Dr. Shashi Panozzo, MD of Community Clinical Services and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center remind you that heart disease and stroke affect women of all ethnicities.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for African American women, killing nearly 50,000 annually.

Only 43% of African American women and 44% of Hispanic women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk, compared with 60% of Caucasian women.

Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 48.9% have cardiovascular disease. Yet, only 20% believe they are at risk.

Only 50% of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.

Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.

Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.

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.


National Wear Red Day

February 6th, 2015

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, in partnership with the American Heart Association, is encouraging everyone to Wear Red today, February 6, 2015 to raise awareness of the number 1 killer of women, heart disease.

In Maine, more than 1 of every 4 deaths is from heart disease or stroke.  Don’t become a statistic. Take charge of your health!  One key to heart health is to know some very important numbers: your blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI.   Ideally, here’s where they should be (for non-diabetics):

  • Total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or lower
  • HDL (“good” cholesterol) of 50 mg/dL or higher for women and 40 mg/dL or higher for men
  • LDL (“bad” cholesterol) of 100 or lower
  • Triglycerides of less than 150 mg/dL.
  • Your BMI, or Body Mass Index, is based on your height and weight. If it is greater than 25 you are at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.  There are many BMI calculators available online such as
Roy Ulin

Roy Ulin, MD MaineHealth Cardiology

“Most of the time, you will not feel the symptoms of high blood pressure or high cholesterol,” said Dr. Roy Ulin a cardiologist at Maine Medical Partners MaineHealth Cardiology and partner of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. “The only way to know for sure if you’re at risk is to know your numbers and take action to fix it.”  Ask your primary care provider how your numbers compare.

Dr. Ulin said one of the best things you can do for your heart is to exercise.  “You don’t have to run a 10K or take a Zumba class, but you do need to move and increase your heart rate.  Ten minutes of brisk walking three times a day can go a long way towards improving your heart health.”

For all the good things you do to keep heart healthy it is important to also avoid the habits that can hurt your health. “Smoking damages your heart and blood vessels, making you two to four times more likely to have heart disease, a heart attack, and/or stroke.” said Dr. Ulin.  “Women who are on birth control pills are at even greater risk. But, if you quit, within three to five years, your risk of heart disease decreases to the level of a non-smoker regardless of how long you’ve been smoking.”

You do what you can to protect your loved ones and to keep them healthy. This year, do something for YOU. Changes you make now can have a positive effect for a lifetime.

St. Mary’s Tina Daigle, Ed.D., Earns National Recognition

January 21st, 2015

tina daigle 2Congratulations Tina Daigle, Ed.D., Learning Management System Administrator at St. Mary’s Health System.  Tina was selected as a winner of the 2014 Talent-in-Talent™ Award by HealthcareSource, the Covenant Health vendor for Position Manager and NetLearning.

This annual national award is given to healthcare Human Resources, Education, and Organizational Development professionals who demonstrate the highest level of talent, proficiency, and competency in healthcare talent management and education and who use this talent to teach others and support the advancement of their professions.

Tina was recognized for her role in the implementation of St. Mary’s new NetLearning system.  She was instrumental in the design of the product for our use and for training leadership to maximize the use of all its functionality.  Additionally she worked with our internal subject matter experts to customize and validate the content we purchased as well as prepare training modules our staff had already authored.  We now have the ability to assign programs and track completion!

As part of the award application Tina stated, “Our goal is to utilize NetLearning to train, manage systems, and assess competency for our organization…  I want to utilize NetLearning in the ways most beneficial to St. Mary’s to attract and retain personnel…. As an organization, we are currently adopting NetLearning to meet the needs of all new and current employees.  Improving patient experiences, retaining quality employees, and enhancing staff learning help build the best employees beyond the initial hire.”

Sam’s Restaurants Support Local Food Pantries

January 20th, 2015

Sam's Cornucopia Winning Store 2014Sam’s restaurants in Maine raised $6,400 to support local food pantries. Each fall, employees at thirteen Sam’s Italian Sandwich Shops ask if they would like to purchase paper cornucopias for $1 to help end hunger. The restaurant location that sells the most cornucopias wins prizes from Sam’s and other area businesses as a thank you. Environmental Remediation, a local business, made a significant contribution to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry as part of this effort.

This year Sam’s Sabattus Street location in Lewiston raised the most money. Mary Ellingwood from St. Mary’s Development Department presented a plaque noting the achievement to David MacArthur, Manager of the Sam’s Sabattus Street location.

Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

December 31st, 2014

Every New Year’s Eve you make the same vow: “this is the year I’m going to get into shape.” You buy a gym membership and kick off the year intensely dedicated to your new workout routine. But, as the year progresses, you find yourself heading to the gym less and less often. Discouraged with your lack of progress, you give up going altogether. Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone. Many people have a hard time sticking to their New Year’s promises.
Here are some ways to be successful at keeping your 2015 New Year’s Resolution(s) from Jennifer Smith, a member of the Prevention and Wellness program at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center:

– Be realistic. Resolving to look like a movie star or model is a tall order and one most of us could never reach. Stick with a promise that’s within reason, such as working out and eating right.

– Avoid repeat resolutions. If you resolve to lose 30 pounds every year and fail every year,
try changing your approach. For instance, instead of going on a fad diet, vow to go for a daily walk or cut out eating right before bed.

– Plan ahead. Describe your goals and list specific things you can do to meet those goals.

– Enlist some help. Ask friends and family to support you and remind you of the goal you are trying to achieve. Sometimes you just may need expert help. For example, if your goal is to work out more often, a personal trainer can greatly increase your chance at success. St. Mary’s offers personalized Health Coaching to help you to reach your goals. For more information call 777-8898.

– Don’t overpromise! If you make too many resolutions they will be hard to keep. Make just a few and really put your mind to keeping those! One small step at a time!

– Reward yourself. If you vow to lose weight and you lose five pounds in the first 2 months, buy some new clothes to fit your shrinking figure. Do not reward yourself with an ice cream sundae or you’ll sabotage your progress.

– Mix it up! If your goal is to get fit, try a variety of physical activities so you don’t get bored. In the winter, hit the pool with a water aerobics class. In the spring, try yoga. The summer is a great time to hike, and kick it up a notch in the fall with salsa dancing!

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith is a member of the Prevention and Wellness program at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. She holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion, a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine with a concentration in nutrition and a minor in education, and is a nationally certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor, speed coach, and tobacco cessation helper.