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Maine Women’s Fund awards dental grant

April 6th, 2016

Waldo County Dental Care has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Maine Women’s Fund: “To help vulnerable Waldo County women improve their health, wellness and economic security by providing timely dental care, oral health education and referrals for community support services.”


The dental clinic has been providing dental care to low income residents since 2013. More than 50% of the patients treated last year had not been to a dentist in five years or more. In 2015, 177 women visited the hospital’s emergency department for dental pain. The emergency department is able to provide short-term relief but in most cases the pain and infection returned. Tooth decay and infection have long lasting impacts on health, self-esteem and employability and
untreated can lead to more serious health problems, including premature births and chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.


Currently, there is a five-month waiting list for new patients at the clinic. Even with an expansion in the clinic last December, the need far exceeds the capacity, so a priority list was established. The four priority criteria are:


•  Have a co-occurring medical condition that is compromised by dental infection, such as diabetes


•  Be pregnant. Maine is one of only 10 states that does not provide dental care to pregnant women through Medicaid. Tooth decay and gum disease during pregnancy are linked to low birth-weight babies and pre-term birth


• Be a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. Many of these women have never had access to dental care and have damaged or knocked out teeth


•  Need dental care to secure or improve employment, including those transitioning off Temporary Aid for Needy Families.


Beginning in June 2016, the clinic will serve as a clinical work site for fourth-year dental students from the College of Denistry at the University of New England allowing 16 additional appointments each week. These expanded slots will be set aside for emergency and priority care appointments.

Posted in Hospital News, In Pulse March 2016, In the Community

WCGH welcomes OB/GYN

April 6th, 2016

Waldo County General Hospital is pleased to welcome Anne Stohrer MD, MPH to the Women’s Health practice.

Anne Stohrer

Dr. Stohrer comes to Maine from The Women’s Center at Copley Hospital in Morrisville, VT where she worked as a generalist OB/GYN physician and
supervised and provided backup for midwives.


She is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.


Dr. Stohrer received her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA and then completed her internship and residency at Washington
University of St. Louis, MO. In 1997, she earned her degree in Masters Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health.


Dr. Stohrer will join the Women’s Health practice in Suite 108 of the Cobb Medical Building, 16 Fahey St., Belfast. Appointments with Dr. Stohrer may be made by calling 338-9939.

Posted in Hospital News, In Pulse March 2016, New Staff

Belfast has a new public health nurse

April 6th, 2016

When Samantha Paradis, RN, BSN, finished her degree with a double major in nursing and psychology at the University of Maine, she started heSamanthar career at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. What she saw there changed her career path. “Early on I saw things being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that could have been prevented with health education and health literacy. I decided I wanted to do health care, not sick care. I felt I could make more of a difference by teaching people how to live healthier,” Samantha says.


Earlier this year, she was accepted as a Global Impact Fellow and traveled to Ghana to work for five weeks at an eye clinic, a US based non-governmental
organization, Unite for Sight. She worked teaching patients how to put their eye drops in correctly, especially the older population. She also worked as an RN at WCGH and will continue to work shifts as appropriate. She became the Belfast Public Health Nurse on February 22 of this year.


Samantha is hoping more of her time, 20 hours a week, can be devoted to looking at the socioeconomic status of those with health problems and figuring out how to prevent those issues. “I have been meeting with stakeholders to learn their roles in the community and to see how they see my role evolving,” says Samantha.


Samantha, who comes from the Fort Kent area, is also working on her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of New England.

Posted in Hospital News, In Pulse March 2016, In the Community

Medical Assistants earn certifications

April 6th, 2016


group MAs


After nearly a year of work and passing a state exam, 12 medical assistants at Waldo County General Hospital earned their certifications. Graduating March 18 were, front row from left, Rapunzel Baughman, Heather McLaughlin, Cassie Carpenter, Kathy Chambers, Polly Temple and Danielle Littlefield. In the back row from left are Jen Schofield, Amy Bonin, Cheryl Hibbard, Mary Wardwell, Denise Harriman and Leanne Temple. Dan Bennett, Chief Operating Officer, in back, was the speaker at the celebration. He said it is very important for the hospital to have certified Medical Assistants and they are a real plus for patients, co-workers,
physicians and nurse practitioners. “We need a highly skilled, qualified work force. We thank you very much for working on this.”

Posted in Hospital News, In Pulse March 2016, Recognition and awards

Going to North Carolina without leaving the gym

April 6th, 2016

The 2016 World Heart Games will take place in Charlotte, NC in May. Although none of the Waldo County General Hospital rehab patients will be in attendance, they wanted to figure out a way to participate.


Since January 5, attendees in the outpatient supervised exercise program have been keeping track of the distance they have walked on the treadmill,
pedaled on the stationary bike and climbed on the stair steps.


Those miles have been recorded on a map with the route from Belfast to Charlotte. So far participants have traveled 1,378 miles and are on the return trip to
Belfast. The program, created and monitored by Mary Hanrahan, RN and Sue Driscoll, RN has helped to motivate their patients.


“It gives me a short-term goal,” said one participant, adding that the ultimate goal is to “lose weight, stay healthy and not have another heart attack.”

Posted in Hospital News, In Pulse March 2016

Driving evaluations being offered to the community

April 6th, 2016

Waldo County General Hospital is offering driving evaluations to members of the community. Anyone with a doctor’s referral is eligible to have an evaluation conducted at the hospital.


The program is managed by Skip Philbrook, PT, Director of Rehab Services. The O.T. Driver Off Road Assessment Battery (OT-DORA) is completed by occupational therapists on staff. After a brief interview, the following areas are evaluated: range of motion, strength, visual skills, balance, coordination, reaction time and awareness of road laws. Collected data is then submitted for review by the requesting doctor in order to assist in determining if a person is safe to drive or is ready for an on the road test. The assessment lasts about 90 minutes.


“After working with patients for a few years in this community, I have heard multiple individuals and family members express concern about loved ones ability to drive,” said Moriah H. Grant, OTD, OTR/L. “This assessment process is helpful and easy for all those involved. The results of the evaluation will be explained to the patient and family so if they have any questions, they can be answered right away. I hope that this makes this very difficult decision easier for the providers, patients and families.”


“The decision to stop someone from driving can be a very difficult and emotional one for all those involved. This assessment will offer some objective data which can be used to help that process move forward or to show that someone may actually be safe to continue,” said Philbrook. “Either way, it prevents the decision from being totally a judgment call.”


A limited number of insurance providers cover this evaluation. Potential patients or family members should contact their insurance provider to see if the evaluation is covered. Office personnel are able to answer questions about the cost of the evaluation.


For more information, contact the Waldo County General Hospital Rehab Department at 338-9316.

Posted in Hospital News, In Pulse March 2016, In the Community

Social Worker in ED

April 6th, 2016

Social Worker Ashley Hoffman is now providing social services to patients in the Emergency Department (ED) from 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Thursday.


She is helping patients to find primary care providers, connecting homeless patients with social services, initiating Home Health Services and collaborating with Care Coordinators on frequent visitors to the ED.  She will also be assisting with extended stay psychiatric patients and helping patients with insurance and medication coverage.


ED Nurse Manager Kim Spectre says, “Ashley’s kind and caring approach combined with her easy going personality, makes her a perfect addition to our team as well as an effective support person to patients in the ED who are in desperate need of her services.”

Posted in Hospital News, In Pulse March 2016

Keeping smiles healthy

April 6th, 2016



Julie Page, second grade teacher at the East Belfast School, and Gary Gale, a third grader at the school, are all smiles after receiving tooth brushes, tooth paste and floss from Belfast Public Health Nursing Association. The items will be distributed as needed to students attending Belfast schools.

Posted in In Pulse March 2016, In the Community

Community Health & Wellness Briefs

April 6th, 2016

Registration required for all events, please visit or call 921-3950


Introduction to Meditation
Are you interested in meditation but don’t know where to begin? Join Health Coach Barbara
Crowley for this three-session series to learn about meditation.
April 6, 20 & May 4
5:00 – 6:30 pm
Registration fee is $15 for the series
Waldo County General Hospital Classroom, 116 Northport Ave, Belfast


Move it to Lose it
This low-impact exercise class is designed for participants with a BMI of 30 or higher and is led by Mirja Pitkin.
April 7, 14, 28 & May 5, 12, 19
5:15 – 6:30 pm
Registration fee is $37.50 for the six-week session
East Belfast Elementary School Gym, 14 Swan Lake Ave, Belfast


Fresh Salads in a Jar
Mason jars aren’t just for canning – they make portable, portion-control meals simple and keep salads fresh for up to a week. Join the Community Health & Wellness team to learn how to make perfect and tasty mason jar salads. Participants will create their own salads to take home.
Tuesday, April 26
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Registration fee is $10
Waldo County General Hospital Classroom, 116 Northport Ave, Belfast


A Peaceful Night’s Sleep
Sleep is important for overall health. Learn how much you should be getting and why it’s important, find out what happens when you don’t get enough and learn practices that can help you sleep better.
Thursday, April 28
5:00 – 6:15 pm
There is no cost to participate in this course
Waldo County General Hospital Classroom, 116 Northport Ave., Belfast

Posted in In Pulse March 2016, In the Community, Journey to Health, Uncategorized

Waldo County General Hospital Aid Briefs

April 6th, 2016

Yard Sale


Saturday, April 23
8:00 am – noon


Large indoor yard sale, rain or shine. Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 23 Mill Lane, Belfast. Donations welcome at the church on Friday, April 22, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. No televisions, computers or large appliances. Open to the public. For more information, call 323-3901 or 548-0232.

Posted in In Pulse March 2016, In the Community

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