Thursday, September 30, 2021

Mount Desert Island Hospital Organization Increases Minimum Wage

 Mount Desert Island Hospital today announced it will increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour effective immediately. In addition to the minimum wage increase, the majority of hourly (non-exempt) employees at MDI Hospital and Birch Bay Retirement will receive an increase to their current compensation.

“We are very fortunate to have an incredible team that puts our patients first each and every day,” said Chrissi Maguire, MDI Hospital President/CEO. “Our dedicated employees are our greatest asset, and this wage increase acknowledges their vital contributions and outstanding commitment to the health and safety of our community.”

More than 300 employees will benefit from the wage increase—nearly 60 percent of all staff. This group includes certified medical and nursing assistants, environmental and nutrition services employees, reception and registration staff and many other frontline employees. The wage increase represents an investment of more than $1 million in employee compensation annually.

With 65 open positions currently available between MDI Hospital and Birch Bay Retirement Village, MDI Hospital’s increase in its wage scales will also help boost employee retention and recruitment said Sara O’Connell, Director of Human Resources at MDI Hospital.

As part of the MDI Hospital team, employees have access to a comprehensive benefits package including health and dental benefits, continuing education opportunities and tuition reimbursement, a robust employee wellness program and an employer retirement contribution match of up to 4 percent of annual earnings.

MDI Hospital has maintained a solid financial foundation throughout the pandemic, allowing for resiliency bonuses to be paid to all staff in December of 2020. The hospital has also offered employees flexible scheduling options, childcare services, mindful change management workshops and additional resiliency resources.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have been striving to support our invaluable employees and help them remain resilient in the most challenging of circumstances,” said Maguire. “This increase to our wage scale reaffirms this commitment.”

About Mount Desert Island Hospital
Mount Desert Island Hospital serves a close-knit island and surrounding communities through a 25-bed critical access facility in Bar Harbor and a network of area health centers—all designed to provide comprehensive healthcare for residents and visitors. Since it was established in 1897, the nonprofit hospital has grown into a premier rural healthcare organization with a retirement community and six primary care health centers, as well as a full-service behavioral health center and a dental clinic. The hospital’s Emergency Department, a critical link in Downeast Maine's trauma delivery system, serves the Mount Desert Island community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. MDI Hospital received a five-star rating, the highest awarded, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2020. In addition, the organization’s inpatient, outpatient, emergency, and surgical care services have been consistently recognized by Avatar International, the Leapfrog Group, the National Rural Health Association, Harvard Pilgrim and Healthgrades.

Monday, September 20, 2021

ArtWaves October Exhibit at the Southwest Harbor Public Library


ArtWaves artist members will have work on exhibit at the Southwest Harbor Public Library during the month of October. This dynamic art exhibit will showcase a wide variety of works including landscape and portrait oil paintings, some painted on site, “en plein air”, and oil paintings of Peru by Brian Caine. Gloria Avner’s batik work and the paintings of Art Paine known for his marine paintings will be accompanied by April Karan’s intricate crosses. Other artists showing in October include Liz Cutler, Elizabeth Keenan and Sally Littlefield and more. ArtWaves is a nonprofit on MDI that seeks to make art accessible to the Mount Desert Island and surrounding communities.

The library is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Fridays, and 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays. For more information about the exhibit, call the Library, 244-7065 or visit Visit for more about the ArtWaves.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Healthy Acadia Announces Third Year of Mini-Grant Opportunities for Community Partners to Expand Youth Substance Use Prevention Initiatives

Healthy Acadia is thrilled to announce the launch of its third year of mini-grant funding opportunities available to community partners working with youth. The Downeast Maine Partnerships for Success (PFS) initiative, coordinated by Healthy Acadia, is a collaborative effort to prevent youth substance use across Washington and Hancock counties, with a focus on alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use prevention. Mini-grants awarded will support community-driven, collective efforts to prevent substance use and promote the health and well-being of youth aged 9 to 20 years throughout the region. 


Healthy Acadia and Downeast Maine Partnerships for Success will provide mini-grant sub-awards of $1,000 to $10,000 to community groups, such as schools, community centers, and non-profit organizations, that seek to provide new opportunities that support positive social development, resilience, peer-based mental health support, and/or structured, pro-social activities to support substance use prevention for youth. 


“I am so excited to see more projects in Hancock and Washington counties with the opportunities this funding creates to provide support and create positive social interactions and activities for youth,” said Sara McConnell, PFS Initiative Coordinator. “In the last two years, we awarded 28 amazing projects that reached youth and communities throughout the region during a time when support and opportunities were so needed: new after-school programs, virtual and in-person summer camps, outdoor recreation opportunities with corresponding equipment, and so much more.” 


Healthy Acadia will host informational sessions via Zoom to provide organizations interested in applying with opportunities to ask questions about proposed project ideas, previous year's projects, the evaluation process, and more. Sessions are scheduled for September 21, 2021, at 10 a.m., and September 29, 2021, at 3 p.m. Contact McConnell at for login information. 


For more information and to view the request for proposals, visit Healthy Acadia’s website:, or contact Sara McConnell, Project Coordinator, at 207-255-3741 or Applications are due by Wednesday, October 13, 2021.  


Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. Learn more at


This project is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under Partnerships for Success Grant # 1H79SP081695. Learn more by visiting or by calling 877-SAMHSA-7. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Forum on Women's Health, Pregnancy and COVID-19


Join us for a community forum featuring Maine experts on women’s health, pregnancy and early childhood education as they discuss the latest COVID-19 vaccination recommendations. Speakers will share their perspectives on the role COVID-19 vaccines play in keeping pregnant women and young children as safe as possible, and answer audience questions. 

Forum speakers include:

  • Dr. Olamide Sobowale, MD, FACOG, FRCSC, OB/GYN at Northern Light Women’s Health

  • Hollie McLachlan, M.Ed, co-owner of Chickadee Infant and Toddler Care 

  • Linda Robinson, CNM, President of the Maine Affiliate of American College of Nurse Midwives 

Moderator: Jennifer Gunderman-King, M.P.H. 

WHEN: Thursday, September 2nd 6-7pm ET. 

WHERE: Via zoom, register at to receive the webinar login information.

Friday, August 27, 2021

MDI Hospital's Press Release August 27, 2021 regarding increased COVID cases in Hancock County

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Maine hospitals are nearly full across our state

and health system leaders are calling on Maine communities to help mitigating the

spread of COVID-19. Mount Desert Island too has seen an increase in positive COVID-

19 cases, with more than a dozen positive cases resulted at MDI Hospital this week.

A joint press conference of four major Maine health systems Thursday sounded the

alarm that Maine hospitals are nearing ICU bed capacity. Leaders from MaineHealth,

Northern Light Health, Central Maine Healthcare and Maine General Health attended

the press conference to urge Maine people to get vaccinated if they have not done so

already, wear masks when indoors and be cautious about indoor gatherings.

As hospitalizations increased across our state, Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the Maine

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tweeted statistics Thursday afternoon.

“Stat(s) of the day: there are 133 people in the hospital with COVID-19 in Maine right

now. Fifty-nine are in the ICU and 27, on ventilators,” said Shah, in a tweet on

Thursday. “Of the 332 total ICU beds in Maine, only 34 are available. Yesterday, there

were 39 available beds. And on Tuesday, there were 52.”

With cases and hospitalizations on the rise, MDI Hospital calls on our dedicated

community and business partners to rise to the occasion once again by reinforcing the

critical protection measures of vaccination, masking, and distancing. We urge all

area businesses to reinforce vaccination, masking, distancing, hand hygiene for all

customers and staff and to display posters and signage on effective mitigation

strategies and to implement masking immediately for all workforce and visitors.

Mount Desert Island has done an amazing job of managing COVID-19 through

community cooperation and collaborative partnerships, and we need to call on our

dedicated community members and business partners once again to reinforce our best

mitigation strategies—vaccination, masking, distancing, and avoiding large gatherings

and crowded situations. We know these safe, effective strategies work, and we know

that together we can begin to reverse this troubling trend for our region.

Please visit our website or the Maine CDC website for additional

information on prevention and mitigation information


–Chrissi Maguire, President/CEO, MDI Hospital

–J.R. Krevans, Jr., MD, Chair, Infection Control, MDI Hospital

-Stuart Davidson, MD, Chief Medical Officer


Friday, August 20, 2021

Welcome to New Chamber Member, Maine Solar Choices!

 Please help us welcome our newest Chamber Member, Maine Solar Choices!

Owner Don Willet says, "I'm independent so I can find the best community solar program for your home and/or business.

"You've heard about Community Solar - the new state sponsored money saving energy program - but there are a number of companies offering it and you're not sure who to go with. This is where I come in. I am an  independent Community Solar Advisor and I will find the best possible program for your home and/or company. I have access to a number of different  programs offered by different developers. Not all these programs work best for every situation. Let me do the homework for you and get you the best program.   

• Some programs are offering a 10% discount off electric bills - others are offering 15% with more restrictions  

• Some have strict qualifications, i.e. credit score minimums and/or  personal guarantees - some do not have these qualification requirements for any except the biggest clients.  
• Some require long term (5, 10, 20 years) commitments or a penalty to leave. Some have a 90-120 day opt out with no penalties to leave at any time.   

These solar farms are being built now and the power allocations are being reserved. All solar farms are fully allocated to local businesses, residents and municipalities long before they are producing power. The expected time frame for these farms to begin producing power is from June to December of this year."

To learn more, visit Maine Solar Choices website at or their facebook page at If you have questions, Don would love to chat - just give him a call!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Southwest Harbor Public Library Presents: Hooked Rugs Exhibit in September

Adaptation of Frederick Church’s ‘Otter Creek’ by Mary Hays

Rugs like you’ve never seen. Don’t miss the annual exhibit of Mount Desert Island’s rug hooking group, Hook ‘n I on display at the Southwest Harbor Public Library during the month of September. Members of Hook ‘n I have created original designs while also working from traditional and modern hooking patterns. The Hook ‘n I group was formed more than 13 years ago, and the group meets during the winter months at the Southwest Harbor Library.