February 26, 2020

Health news

Miles for Smiles

BANGOR – More than 6,000 children from rural Maine have received more than 21,000 dental procedures in a mobile dental clinic whose second anniversary is being celebrated this month. The clinic is run by the Penobscot Community Health Center with major funding from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The Miles for Smiles mobile clinic provides dental care to low-income children and teens from under-served areas of Maine and makes regular visits to Dover-Foxcroft, Pittsfield, Skowhegan and the Presque Isle-Houlton area. A dentist, dental assistant and hygienist work in the 42-foot-long, brightly colored van. The staff provides dental screening, cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, fillings, root canals, extractions and case management for specialized care.

The 2004 Maine Child Health Survey found that 15 percent of children of kindergarten age and 41 percent of third-graders already had tooth decay. More than one of 10 kindergartners had never seen a dentist. Part of the challenge is that Maine’s dentist-to-population ratio is twice the national average. In many parts of Maine, the nearest dentist may be more than 50 miles away.

Miles for Smiles serves children from infancy to 18 years of age and welcomes families with incomes below 200 percent of federal poverty level. Penobscot Community Health Care provides the staff and oversees operation of the Miles for Smiles program. Program costs are covered through MaineCare reimbursements and substantial support from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine.

Residents in the program’s service area – Aroostook, northern Penobscot, Somerset, Piscataquis and Washington counties – may learn more about the program and ask about their children’s eligibility by calling the Miles for Smiles patient line toll-free at (866) 298-0893.

Cover story

BANGOR – LifeFlight of Maine is the cover story for the November issue of Vertical Magazine, which serves the civil helicopter industry.

The story highlights how LifeFlight was established seven years ago to provide a service that was unavailable then. The article details LifeFlight’s development of air medical infrastructure, including 15 new helipads, global positioning system approaches, on-site fueling at rural hospitals and improved weather reporting at eight small airports. More information is available at www.lifeflightmaine.org and www.verticalmag.com.

Director of admissions

Nurse Laura Fortin of Levant has joined Orono Commons as director of admissions and marketing. Orono Commons is a 90-bed community serving the rehabilitation and skilled nursing needs of Orono and surrounding towns.

A graduate of St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Fortin holds a master’s degree in business science from Husson College. She has extensive experience in health care in the Bangor area as a former area manager for Community Health and Counseling, clinical director of home health and hospice at St. Joseph Healthcare, supervisor at the Maine Veterans Home and charge nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

At Orono Commons, Fortin will assess patients’ health needs and assist families exploring care and rehabilitation options.

Weight loss program

BANGOR – Eastern Maine Medical Center’s surgical weight loss program has been recognized by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery as a Center of Excellence. The program was among the first to be established in the nation and the only one on the East Coast to perform robotics-assisted surgery.

Provider of the Year Award

BANGOR – Dr. Bill Patterson, chief medical officer at Occupational Health and Rehabilitation, announced that this year’s Provider of the Year Award was given to Dr. Marcos Iglesias, medical director of the Bangor Occupational Health and Rehabilitation clinic.

Out of 83 providers nationwide, Iglesias was recognized as consistently displaying the attributes of 14 core behaviors developed by Occupational Health and Rehabilitation. Employees cited work ethic, flexibility, happy patients and the ability to treat staff and employers with respect and friendliness among Dr. Iglesias’s many attributes.

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