Farmingdale dentist voted vice president of association board
Dr. Shanna Gagnon, who practices in Farmingdale, is the new vice president of the Maine Dental Association Board of Directors. She was voted into the position by MDA members at the organization’s annual business meeting, which was held virtually on June 10.
For the first time in the MDA’s history, which spans more than 150 years, all three executive positions on the board of directors are held by women. In addition to Gagnon as vice president, Dr. Heather Keeling, who practices in Portland, is president, and Dr. Norma Desjardins, who practices in Presque Isle, is president-elect.
“I am excited to be working with Dr. Keeling and Dr. Desjardins — two women who are passionate about dentistry. We all bring different experiences to the table, and I think that will provide us with a well-balanced leadership team,” Gagnon said, according to a news release from the association. “Having served as the Kennebec Valley representative for the past 13 years, I think I can help to provide some historical perspective as vice president.”
Gagnon earned her DMD at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine in 2004. She joined her father, Dr. Donald Gagnon, in private practice immediately after dental school. She recently hired a new associate, Dr. Jessica Sikora, in an effort to help her with patient care since the retirement of her father in 2012. She has served as the Kennebec Valley Dental Society representative for the Maine Dental Association Board of Directors since 2008. She and her husband live in West Gardiner with their three daughters, Julianna, Lexi, and Vivienne.
Also, association’s staff members have been recognized with the 2021 MDA President’s Award.
Staff members Patti Bureau, Lucas Knowles and Jean Lancaster were acknowledged during the meeting. They were singled out for their work on behalf of members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bureau is the MDA’s assistant director, Knowles is the association’s membership and communications professional, and Lancaster is the MDA administrative support professional. The MDA’s office is located in Manchester.
The MDA President’s Award recognizes an individual or group who has made significant and meaningful contributions to the association.
UMF’s director of athletics, fitness and recreation, retires
The University of Maine at Farmington has announced that following a long, successful career leading UMF Athletics, Julie Davis, UMF director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation, retired June 25.
“Farmington has been so fortunate to have Julie at the helm of our Athletics, Fitness and Recreation endeavors for over two decades,” said Edward Serna, UMF president, according to a news release from the university. “Under her leadership, our Division III athletic programs have expanded, thrived and inspired. New sports-related academic offerings have been developed, and outdoor recreation has become a signature program. We will miss her energy and dedication and wish her all the best in the future.”
UMF’s strong competitive tradition in NCAA Division III athletics has been led by Davis since 2000, including 19 conference championships in the North Atlantic Conference and more in the preceding Maine Athletic Conference/Sunrise and the Reynolds division for alpine ski. Many regional championship appearances and national championship berths for the NCAA and USCSA programs were also garnered.
“The NAC will miss Julie tremendously. She is our voice of reason, a voice of our history, and a strong moral compass. She is thoughtful and reasoned. Her impact on the conference is long-standing. Julie just makes the NAC better,” said Marcella Zalot, commissioner, North Atlantic Conference. “On a personal note, I will miss her friendship, her sound advice and her wisdom. Julie has given so much of herself to the conference and to others. I am excited she can now take some time for herself. She is one of the most exceptional administrators and exceptional people with whom I have had the good fortune to work.”
During her tenure, the quantity and quality of programs has expanded, participation has increased, and facilities have seen numerous upgrades, renovations, and expansion. NCAA sport offerings increased from nine to 15, and competitive snowsports were reintroduced, more than doubling student athlete participation. This growth and development has extended beyond Athletics to Fitness and Recreation, Mainely Outdoors, the Alpine Operations Certificate, the Coaching Minor and PHE (First Year Physical Activity Program).
“Julie has directed the Department of Athletics with the utmost integrity and heartfelt passion, while always putting the needs of UMF student athletes and her staff first. Every decision Julie made was geared toward enriching the student athlete experience during their time at UMF. She has been a dedicated advocate for the entire campus and I wish her all the best,” said Cyndi Pratt, assistant athletics director and head field hockey coach.
Davis was instrumental in increasing alumni engagement by way of participation in alumni games, events and giving. Notably the Leib Field and Len MacPhee Court campaigns resulted in significant enhancements, including the establishment of a state of the art varsity weight room and health and performance strength and conditioning program. The campaign for the Dick Meader Hall of Fame room is underway and has exceeded the original funding goal.
“Julie is a champion and an advocate on our campus for the holistic development of all of our students. She is committed to an environment of equity, inclusion and diversity,” said Jamie Beaudoin, UMF associate athletics director, women’s basketball coach and instructor. “She is the driving force in our continued development in moving our department forward. We have been fortunate to have her for all of these years, and I am lucky to have had her as a mentor, a teammate and a friend.”
Throughout her time at UMF, academic achievement and community engagement became trademarks of the program. Farmington has routinely been the leader in the number/percentage of student athletes earning scholar athlete accolades. The average student athlete GPA has been above a 3.0, several teams have been ranked high nationally for their team GPA, and three alumni earned NCAA postgraduate scholarships. The most recent student athlete graduation rate was 80%, a high mark for a public University. Beyond the classroom, student athletes have engaged in more than 800 hours of community service in a given year.
“I am proud that my advocacy and efforts resulted in increased opportunities for students that positively impacted their experience in ways I trust will help them be more healthy and successful in life beyond UMF. This is true in both athletics and fitness and recreation. It has been a pleasure to work with the staff to build a positive and strong student centered culture, striving for excellence in competition and in character,” said Davis. “Furthermore, I’m appreciative of the teamwork with colleagues across campus, and the support of leadership, alumni and partners in the community. I know that progress and accomplishments attributed to my leadership are the result of teamwork and collaboration. I am so appreciative of the people, the community and the opportunity.”
“In an occupation where the only constant is change, Julie has always put her staff first, caring about them as people and not just as employees. She consistently advocated for healthy work-life balances in professions known for burn-out, and was generous with praise and encouragement in favorable and challenging times. Perhaps most of all, her focus on inclusivity, equity, and belonging will be a model for our department in the years to come,” said Molly Wilkie, UMF head women’s soccer coach.
In 2010, Davis was awarded the National NCAA Division III Administrator of the Year Award from Women Leaders in College Sports, (NACWAA). She has continued to serve in a leadership role at the conference, regional and national level. At UMF she has served on numerous leadership committees. Most recently she was recognized with the 2019 distinguished staff “Above and Beyond Award,” nominated by staff, for her contributions to the UMF community.
Hammond Lumber Company wins 2020 Industry Leader Award
The National Safety Council recently announced that 13 Hammond Lumber Company stores have won the 2020 Industry Leader Award for outstanding safety. The award goes to the top 5% of council member companies, units and facilities that have qualified for the Occupational Excellence Achievement Award based on 2019 safety data.
The Hammond stores recognized as NSC Industry Leaders are Auburn, Belgrade, Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick, Bucksport, Cherryfield, Damariscotta, Fairfield, Farmington, Greenville, Machias, Portland and Rockland.
According to Hammond Safety Director Bruce Pelletier, the 13 stores had no lost-time accidents last year, a reflection of the company’s emphasis on safety.
“We strive to have no lost time,” said Pelletier, who became Hammond’s first full-time safety director in 2005, according to a news release from the company. “And by lost time, we mean not only time lost here at work, but also time lost at home with loved ones. As a third-generation family owned company, the Hammonds understand what it’s like for other families. They want to keep everybody safe.”
Hammond Lumber’s Belgrade store won the NSC’s Million Work Hours Award after going more than a million consecutive hours between Feb. 11, 2005 and April 19, 2008 with out a job-related injury or illness that resulted in lost time. More recently Belgrade has received a second NSC Million Work Hours Award after going 2,003,623 consecutive hours between May 24, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2018 without job-related injuries or illness that resulted in lost time and this record continues since Dec. 31, 2018. Belgrade is still gaining consecutive hours without job related injuries or illnesses that required lost time. Additionally, the Auburn Store has not had an incident that resulted in lost time since 2010 and they are approaching the million-man hours worked without a lost time incident and the Boothbay Harbor Store is also gaining ground on this award not having had a lost time incident since 2011.
With the addition of the stores and staff of EBS Building Supplies in June 2018, Hammond Lumber now has 21 stores and more than 800 employees in southern, mid coast, western, central, downeast, eastern and northern Maine. In addition to the 13 NSC Industry Leaders, there are also Hammond stores in Bangor, Bar Harbor, Belfast, Blue Hill, Calais, Camden, Ellsworth, and Skowhegan.
UCP of Maine hirers first outpatient mental health therapist
UCP of Maine has been working hard to expand services to central Maine. The first step in the process is hiring exceptional staff. UCP has hired Emma Hill as the first outpatient mental health therapist to its Waterville Expansion that will be happening this summer.
Hill specializes in working with LGBTQIA+ youth and folks of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). She recently shared, “I have a particular interest and background supporting people as they navigate grief, crisis, and the process of building a strong, genuine and bold sense of self. The value of self-determination and practice of anti-oppression are central to her work,” according to the release from UCP.
Hill received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Maine in 2019, where she focused on disability justice. Before coming to UCP she spent two years working with child survivors of abuse and neglect, helping them understand their histories, process their feelings and embrace their individual strengths.
She approaches her clinical work using a harm-reduction, trauma-informed model and uses elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, play therapy, attachment theory, somatic therapies, narrative therapy, and polyvagal theory. She is also trained in providing a sex education curriculum for adults with IDD and their caregivers and looks forward to providing a safe place to explore this challenging and essential information.
Two nurses earn medical-surgical registered nurse credential
FARMINGTON — Two Franklin Memorial Hospital nurses, Sandra Howe and Kelly Salminen, recently earned the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) credential from the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) joining a prestigious group of more than 24,000 CMSRNs.
Howe, RN, CMSRN, started her health care career at FMH as a certified nursing assistant and staffing coordinator more than 40 years ago. She then attended nursing school and after graduating has worked in nursing leadership roles in other medical centers in Maine before returning to Franklin four years ago to provide bedside nursing care.
Salminen, RN, CMSRN, started at FMH on the Med/Surg third floor unit seven years ago. She also has nursing experience in psychiatric care, primary care, and care management/utilization review. Salminen has twice been nominated for Franklin Memorial’s Nursing Excellence award for demonstrating exceptional clinical practice and professionalism.
Medical-surgical nursing is a specialty with a distinct body of knowledge, skills, and abilities. CMSRN certification validates that a nurse possesses advanced clinical knowledge and demonstrates that the highest standards of medical-surgical nursing practice have been achieved.
Inaugural TV series celebrate Maine Business Diversity Wraps Up
BANGOR — “Elevating Voices,” the series born from longstanding racial injustices that were intensified by events over the past year, has just completed its first season — a six-week run that told the compelling stories of a dozen diverse businesses and their importance to Maine’s economy.
Produced by Greenlight Maine and sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, the 30-minute “Elevating Voices” episodes spotlighted the challenges faced by these diverse business owners, often-unsung heroes who are enriching, expanding, and driving Maine’s culture, community, and economy. Some of these entrepreneurs immigrated from the other side of the world, some launched new products during the pandemic while others were forced to reinvent their businesses during the pandemic just to stay financially afloat. All have the common threads of innovation, activism, perseverance, ambition, and collaboration.
“We are proud of the ‘Elevating Voices’ series and what it has done to create broader awareness of Maine’s innovative and diverse talent,” said Bob Montgomery-Rice, president and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank, according to the news release. “Maine is a special place — that’s why we choose to live and work here — and these business owners brought to light the tremendous impact that diversity can have in creating a thriving economy and the well-being of our communities.”
During the series, which ran from April 29 to June 3 on Maine Public Television, “Elevating Voices” generated the following interest:
• Viewed by tens of thousands;
• 2,269 unique visitors to the Elevating Voices website;
• 722 followers on Instagram and Facebook;
• 765 shares;
• 3.81 billion potential reader audience of stories in local/national print/online outlets; and
• 1,522 listener sessions during radio news segments.
Chosen by a selection committee, the following Maine businesses were the focal point of the six episodes:
• Adele Mansengo Designs; Antoine’s Tailor Shop and Formal Wear, Portland;
• Akakpo Design Group, Westbrook;
• C. Love Cookie Project, Portland;
• Cross Cultural Community Services, Portland;
• Decontie & Brown, Bangor;
• Deko’s Kutz Barber Shop, Orland;
• Douglas, McDaniel & Campo, LLC, Pa, Westbrook;
• Empanada Club, Portland;
• Indigo Arts Alliance, Portland;
• Little Jubba, Wales;
• Marin Skincare, Portland; and
• Mumbai To Maine, Boothbay.
Along with the visibility, each featured business owner received a $5,000 grant from Bangor Savings Bank.
“For years, Greenlight Maine has encouraged our state’s emerging entrepreneurs and helped them bring their visions to life — and with this track record of success, I’m looking forward to their team’s newest venture, Elevating Voices, which will highlight the everyday success stories being written by Maine’s minority communities,” said Maine Sen. Angus King. “Viewers will learn from the honorees’ dedication and commitment; it’s important to remember that the longest journey starts with a single step — the step that can be the steepest — but it’s all worth it if you’re following your dreams. Greenlight Maine’s commitment to helping Maine people begin their journey continues to inspire people throughout our state, which is why I can’t wait to see these new business leaders break ground and share their ideas with all of us.”
“The small business owners featured in the ‘Elevating Voices’ series showcase the determination, skill, and work ethic for which Mainers are known. At the same time, these Maine entrepreneurs draw upon their unique heritages and experiences in order to enrich our state’s business community and culture,” said Maine Sen. Susan Collins. “As the author of the Paycheck Protection Program, I know that Maine’s small business owners have experienced an extraordinarily challenging year. As we finally begin to emerge from this pandemic, the success of small businesses across our state will be key to rebuilding our economy, creating jobs, and restoring our communities. I am proud to represent them in the Senate, and I will continue to champion policies that support small businesses.”
Plans for Season 2 of Elevating Voices are underway; a few dozen businesses have already been suggested for consideration by the soon-to-be-created new selection committee.
“The interest we saw while shooting this series was something else – people would come up to us and say how appreciative they were of the stories being told,” said Greenlight Maine Host and Producer Julene Gervais. “We learned so much is talking to these incredible business owners who have accomplished so much and who truly represent all that is good about Maine. We can’t wait to see what Season 2 brings us.”
Reruns will begin July 1.
Osteopathic association honors Maine DOs, inaugurates new president
The Maine Osteopathic Association held its first live event in more than a year on June 12 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. The hybrid event allowed osteopathic physicians and guests to gather in person or virtually via live stream online to partake in continuing medical education sessions. During the convention, the association also held its Awards Luncheon (typically an annual event, but interrupted last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic) to honor the contributions of osteopathic physicians in Maine. Incoming President Brian Kaufman, DO, of Kennebunk, was also inaugurated during the proceedings at the resort June 12 by American Osteopathic Association President Thomas Ely, D.O. and mentor and AOA Past President Boyd Buser, D.O.
MOA 2020 and 2021 Award recipients were as follows:
Richard DeCarolis, D.O., of Bethel, was the 2020 Louis Hanson D.O. Physician of the Year Award recipient.
Elisabeth DelPrete, D.O., of Biddeford, was honored with the 2021 Louis Hanson D.O. Physician of the Year Award. Her son, Benjamin DelPrete, D.O. presented the award virtually.
Christine Munroe, D.O., of Elliot, was honored as the recipient of the 2021 Roswell P. Bates, DO Public Service Award.
The University of New England student organization “Maine COVID Sitters” was honored with the Osteopathic Champion Award for 2020.
In March 2020, as more and more doctors, nurses, primary care physicians, and others were called to work in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, many found it increasingly difficult to find care for their children, who would otherwise spend their time in school or in daycare. Rather than sitting it out on the sidelines, five students in the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine saw this burden and knew they needed to take action. Together, they formed the Maine COVID Sitters, a group of health professional students providing child care, pet care, and household services to health care families in the Greater Portland area.
At the height of the pandemic, more than 65 UNE students across multiple disciplines, including osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, occupational therapy, dental medicine, and more were volunteering as Maine COVID Sitters. While the group may not be operating any more, their organization helped so many healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic at a time when uncertainty seemed to be the only thing to count on. Their innovation and adaptability in a time of need deserves the greatest recognition and we thank them for their selflessness, generosity and grit.
Laura Knapik, OMS-III; Maggie Calamari, OMS-II and Rachel Hampton, OMS-I were present to accept the award on behalf of the COVID Sitters.
Susan E. Strout was honored with the Osteopathic Champion Award for 2021.
The MOA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, was also presented to 2020 and 2021 recipients at the June 12th MOA Awards Luncheon.
Jane Carreiro, D.O., vice president of Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of New England was honored as the 2020 Distinguished Service Award recipient.
Rick Snyder, D.O., of Kittery was the 2021 MOA Distinguished Service recipient.
In addition to these awards, Osteopathic Physicians were also recognized for their years of service to the people of Maine, including Earl Freeman, D.O., of Kennebunkport, and Ira Stockwell, D.O., of Scarborough, who as of 2020 and 2021 (respectively) have each been practicing osteopathic medicine in Maine for 50 years.
During the convention weekend the association also elected new leadership for its Board of Directors. Kaufman was inaugurated as the association’s new president.
Elected to the MOA Board of Directors were Jerald Hurdle, DO, of Oakland; Ryan Smith, DO, of Portland; Daniel Pierce, DO, of Scarborough; and Karen Benezra, DO, of Kennebunk. Jodie Hermann, DO, was elected at the president-elect and Kathryn Brandt, DO, was elected to the office of treasurer.
MOA Board Members Lisa Gouldsbrough, D.O. and Merideth Norris, D.O., were also recognized for their respective 18 years and 14 years of service on the MOA Board.
Real Estate developer purchases 350 Kennedy Memorial Drive
WATERVILLE — Bill Mitchell of Waterville has purchased 350 Kennedy Memorial Drive and plans to make major renovations to the property and make it available for lease. The building currently houses Subway and Portland Glass, and will be subdivided into different size spaces as prospective tenants move into the building.
“350 KMD is a great property. Like most of the properties I purchase, it just needs some ‘TLC.’ We’re starting with tightening up the roof membrane, tuning up HVAC units, upgrade the sprinkler system, refresh the façade, give the building a coat of paint, a new pylon sign, and clean up the yard” said Mitchell, according to a news release. “I’m very excited to add this property to my real estate portfolio given the close proximity to Exit 127 on I-95, and all the surrounding outstanding businesses and high traffic flow. KMD is one of the busiest and best locations in Waterville to own commercial real estate.”
Mitchell began his career in real estate development in 2000 with the purchase of KMD Plaza. His properties include Penny Hill at 295 KMD, several commercial and residential properties in and around downtown, and is a partner in the JFK Plaza. He also owns GHM Insurance in downtown Waterville, The Elm Event Center, and is co-owner of The Proper Pig Restaurant.
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