Monday, November 23, 2020

Bar Harbor Bank and Trust Supports COVID-19 Testing Program for Island Schools

 


Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is demonstrating outstanding support for the Mount Desert Island community with a $37,400 grant to support MDI Hospital’s COVID-19 testing initiative, developed in concert with the Downeast COVID-19 Task Force. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust’s grant is targeted to benefit the Mount Desert Island Regional School System (AOS 91) as they strive to keep students, staff, and schools healthy and safe.


“MDI Hospital is grateful to Bar Harbor Bank & Trust for their continued leadership support in our community,” said Art Blank, President/CEO of MDI Hospital. “They have stepped up to help our Island schools stay on track during this pandemic, enabling a high-quality, evidence-based COVID-19 testing program.”


Initially, 500 staff members will be tested to establish a baseline and detect any existing cases. This will be followed by weekly sentinel testing of staff in pre-established cohorts. The AOS 91 tests will be conducted by MDI Hospital personnel and processed by Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) Health, an incubator for innovative start-up and testing facilities. CIC collaborates with 100+ organizations throughout the United States, conducting some 4,000 tests daily. CIC Health is a founding partner of the Assurance Testing Alliance, a collaboration of professional organizations working to streamline and lower the costs of COVID-19 testing.


“Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is passionate about supporting the communities we serve, especially MDI which has been our home for more than 130 years. Ensuring the safety of our schools has a significant positive impact to the entire community, and proactive efforts like this testing program will help limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout MDI. We are honored to help support this partnership between MDI Hospital and AOS 91 to help keep our kids, teachers, and neighbors safe.” said Curtis Simard, President and CEO of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.


An additional grant of $40K to support the AOS 91 testing initiative has been received from the Rural Health Hospital Program for expanding testing in rural communities. Thanks to these generous donations, COVID-19 tests will be conducted from November 2020 through June 2021 at no cost to district employees, and with no impact on current school budgets. “This testing program will be used to monitor our schools for evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in concert with current mitigation strategies,” explained Marc Gousse, PhD, Superintendent of the AOS 91 Mount Desert Regional School System.


The Downeast COVID-19 Task Force was established in the early days of the pandemic to explore community-based solutions and provide a forum for discussion of ongoing challenges around COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and education. Current members include area town and chamber of commerce leaders, local legislators and leadership from MDI Hospital, Healthy Acadia, the Jackson Laboratory, Mount Desert Island Regional School System, College of the Atlantic and Acadia National Park.


About Mount Desert Island Hospital
Mount Desert Island Hospital serves the 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 eight regional health centers, including a full-service behavioral health center and a dental clinic. Today, MDI Hospital employs more than 500 people and is the second-largest employer on MDI.


The mission of MDI Hospital is to provide compassionate care and strengthen the health of its community by embracing tomorrow’s methods and respecting time-honored values.

For more information and the latest updates, visit www.mdihospital.org.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Welcome to new member Downeast Scenic Railroad!


 Please join us in welcoming our new Chamber member, Downeast Scenic Railroad.

"Join us on the Downeast Scenic Railroad, the first tourist-passenger rail to grace the historic Calais Branch Line in decades, for the best day trip in Ellsworth!
"A trip on the Downeast Scenic Railroad not only takes you back to a time of elegant travel in lovingly restored rail cars but also travels through a truly beautiful part of Maine.
"From canopied forest where the light sparkles through the treetops as chickadees and nuthatches bounce from limb to limb to open marshland where beavers, herons, turtles, and moose might be seen, the restored section of the Calais Branch Line gives you a view not seen since the wealthy rusticators traveled from the cities to their summer homes on the line.
"You travel over bridges, roll past schools and houses, hear the clack of the rails muffle on the thick woodland moss, and delight in the sound of the horn at the crossing. Watch as the powerful engine moves from the front to the back of the train to take you to Washington Junction rail yard, where you can see the heavy equipment that keeps the rail running and pass train components and cars currently being restored for use on the Downeast Scenic Railroad, before coming back to the Ellsworth depot.
"On the way, be sure to look for the nests of the giant osprey and the big beaver hutches in the wetlands! Enjoy exceptional views of wetland marshes, glacial erratic including massive boulders, and river and stream crossings. While traveling and working on this stretch of the line, we have also observed many forms of wildlife, including blue herons, bald eagles, moose, deer, snapping turtles, and even bears!
"The current traveling time is roughly 90 minutes and traverses a 13-mile section of the restored railroad.
"At the core of the Downeast Scenic Railroad Project is the rehabilitation of the Washington Junction/Ellsworth to Green Lake section of the Calais Branch Line to create a 24-mile round-trip excursion ride. Other project components include the construction of storage/repair facility at Washington Junction."

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Southwest Harbor Mourns the Loss of Chief Alan Brown


 Fox Bangor New's Kayla Fish reporting:

"The Hancock County law enforcement community is mourning the sudden and tragic loss of one of its own, as Southwest Harbor Police Chief Alan Brown passed away Friday morning.

"Ellsworth police say Brown was helping family working on a deck at a family camp on Green Lake in Ellsworth, when he suffered a possible heart attack.

"Family members and emergency medical personnel who responded gave Brown CPR, to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Brown was well-respected in the Hancock County law enforcement community, having served as an investigator for many years with the sheriff’s office before becoming chief of the Southwest Harbor police in 2015.

"Ellsworth Police Chief Glenn Moshier said Brown served with expertise, and his impact could be felt throughout the region. He sent his condolences to Brown’s family."


We at the Southwest Harbor Chamber of Commerce will miss Chief Brown. His good advice and assistance made our Fireworks Displays and Oktoberfest Festival events run smoothly and safely. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

Friday, October 9, 2020

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


 Healthy Acadia is thrilled to announce the launch of a second year of mini-grant funding 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 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. “Last year, we funded 13 amazing projects that reached youth and communities throughout the region during a time when supports and opportunities were so needed: new after-school programs, virtual summer camps, outdoor recreation opportunities with corresponding equipment, mental health first aid training, and more.” 

 

Healthy Acadia will host informational sessions via Zoom to provide organizations interested in applying with opportunities to ask questions about proposed project ideas, last year's projects, the evaluation process, and more. Sessions are scheduled for October 21, 2020, at 10 a.m., October 29, 2020, at 3 p.m., and November 3, 2020, at 3 p.m. Contact McConnell at Sara@HealthyAcadia.org for login information. 

 

For more information and to view the request for proposals, visit Healthy Acadia’s website: www.healthyacadia.org, or contact Sara McConnell, Project Coordinator, at 207-255-3741 or sara@healthyacadia.org. Applications are due by Wednesday, November 4, 2020.  

 

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 www.healthyacadia.org

 

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 www.samhsa.gov or by calling 877-SAMHSA-7. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Welcome to New Member, Around the Sound Catering!


 

Please join us in welcoming our newest Chamber Member, Around the Sound Catering!

Owner Dakota Hatton says. "We strive in making every event special, no mater the size big or small. Custom Designed Menus, Wine, Beer, Cocktail Pairing, Rentals, Local and specialty imported foods.

 "Planning an event can be stressful - Contact us today to see what we can do to help. We will arrange a meeting in person or by phone and send you a free estimate with a list of recommendations that your guests will remember. 

"We are a new catering company, However no stranger to the business. Owner and Operator Kelsea Squires and Dakota Hatton have many years in the business from cocktail parties, cooperate events, private dinner parties, backyard BBQ’s and Lobster Bakes and of course Weddings all over the coast of Maine. 

"Visit our website and contact us today: www.aroundthesound.me"

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Christopher Fogg's Obituary and the Fogg Family Memorial Fund

 


Christopher A. Fogg - age 54, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Sept. 12, 2020 at Alfond Center for Health in Augusta, ME. He was born in Peterborough, NH, on April 4, 1966 the son of George L. Fogg and Katherine (McHugh) Long.

Chris grew up in New Ipswich, NH, and attended Mascenic Regional High School. Dubbed “the jock” by his family, he played baseball and many sports. He was always up for an adventure and lived in Florida and California before settling back in New England. It was there he began a long career in hospitality and tourism that culminated with leadership positions at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Bar Harbor Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Tourism Association, where he most recently served as CEO. Chris became an expert in his field and loved the work-especially meeting and working with business owners across the state. Living in Maine, Chris developed a passion for golf and snowmobiling and forged new and life-changing friendships through those outings. He had an itch to travel and had fond memories of trips to China, Alaska and the Dominican Republic.

Always one to march to the beat of his own drum with determination, Chris made his own timeline in life. In his 40s he married his beloved wife, Erin (Hitchcock) Fogg-her practical nature balanced his spontaneity, and his sense of humor balanced her matter-of-fact approach to life. Deep into his career he proudly earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst after having earlier received an associate’s degree.

He became a father later than most of his peers, but it served him well, as he had so much experience to share with the two joys of his life: his sons Isaac “Ike” and Lincoln Fogg. To his delight, the boys love sports as much as Chris did and they became inseparable in their passion for professional hockey, golf, baseball and football. He enjoyed coaching their baseball teams. Because of the pandemic, Chris spent the last six months of his life with the boys. He taught his sons to golf and enjoyed playing 18 holes day after day-they made memories to last a lifetime. He will forever be remembered as a devoted husband, a fun-loving and trouble-instigating dad, a carefree little brother, a lover of animals-especially his dogs-and a respected and hard-working professional.

Chris was predeceased by his parents, and by a sister, Kimberlee Fogg. He is survived by his wife and sons of Farmingdale, ME; one brother, Terence Fogg (Cheryl Weeks) of Rindge, NH; two sisters: Monica (David) Lemaire, and Pamela (Tom) Small, both of Shapleigh, ME; his in-laws, many beloved aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and important friends from every stage of his life.


Public Visiting Hours:

Public visiting hours are scheduled from 6-8 PM on Friday Sept. 18, 2020 at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta, ME. Face masks and social distancing are in effect. Limit of 50 people inside at one time. Due to COVID-19, a private invitation-only celebration of life will be held at a later date.


Fogg Family Memorial Fund:

An account has been created to support Chris’ sons in their future endeavors. Contributions can be made payable to the Fogg Family Memorial Fund and be mailed to either Erin Fogg, 50 School House Dr., Farmingdale, ME, 04344, or c/o Kennebec Savings Bank, 1 Northern Avenue, Farmingdale, ME, 04344.


You can view Chris's obituary here:

https://plummerfh.com/book-of-memories/4331906/Fogg-Christopher/index.php?fbclid=IwAR0Hdt6FM6mFtt-t_YDLgsouO99I_UzVEIlafizeQqhBlgyNRU68FVEScMY

Monday, September 14, 2020

Welcome to our New Member, Island Connections!


 Please join us in welcoming our newest Chamber member, Island Connections. You may know that they provide awesome services here on MDI - here's a little bit about them:

Island Connections began in the mid-1990’s in response to an identified need in the Mount Desert Island community. Visiting nurses, social workers, and other health care agency professionals on MDI noticed that seniors and disabled neighbors in the community missed doctor appointments, had difficulty replenishing their food at home, and rarely got out of their homes to socialize with others. Betty Mitchell, director of the Mount Desert Nursing Association at the time, continually observed that transportation was a challenge for seniors and the disabled population.

Through the dedicated concern of area healthcare professionals and the Bar Harbor Housing Authority, the MDI Seniors Task Force was formed early in 1996. The results of a survey of more than 700 seniors and disabled confirmed that readily available transportation was the most basic necessity to maintain quality of life. The mission of “neighbors helping neighbors” was born. The Council of Churches of the Islands helped to spread the word at many church gatherings; the seed was planted and the organization now known as Island Connections: Neighbors Helping Neighbors launched!

In mid-1997, initial funding was awarded by a grant from the Faith in Action Program, underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the funds covered startup costs and the first 18 months of operation. A board of directors was recruited, and in October 1997, Michael Reisman was hired as Program Director. Island Connections received its tax-exempt, 501c-3 status in early 1998; at that time, 25 volunteers served 51 seniors and those with disabilities. With an average of 145 drives per month, Island Connections improved the quality of life for many on MDI.

Now, nearly 22 years later, Island Connections annually provides approximately 3,500 rides for 315 Neighbors, delivers 13,000 meals (averaging 250 weekly), and provides many rides in our wheelchair accessible van. We continue to thrive due to the generous time and compassion of so many, but we always need to recruit additional volunteer drivers to help us to meet the transportation needs of so many. Please consider becoming part of the Island Connections family by clicking here or contacting us at 207-288-4457.

So, now what? We are in our 22nd year of service on Mount Desert Island, we are putting a lot of effort into the sustainability of our organization. We have added new fundraising events to create greater exposure and household recognition as the number one provider of free transportation on MDI for seniors as well as people with temporary/permanent disabilities and to ensure sustainability of the organization for generations to come.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Fund to Support Needs of Cancer Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic


Healthy Acadia’s Cancer Patient Navigation program, with funding support from Maine Cancer Foundation, is offering need-based mini-grants up to $500 for individuals and families impacted by cancer in Washington County, Maine.

A cancer diagnosis has an impact on many areas of life for patients and their caregivers. Diagnosis and treatment can cause financial stress, which may hinder the patient’s ability to meet critical needs for themselves or their family. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified these stressors for many. Our Maine Cancer Foundation COVID-19 Fund can help cancer patients and caregivers meet critical needs by offering direct, immediate support.

To be eligible for support through the Maine Cancer Foundation COVID-19 Fund, applicants must reside in Washington County, Maine, have a cancer diagnosis, be currently undergoing cancer treatment, including any form of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, or have undergone treatment within the preceding six months, and seeking help with meeting a critical need. Critical needs may include but are not limited to assistance in paying for groceries, home heating and/or necessary utilities, transportation, specialized equipment related to the cancer diagnosis, housing expenses, or critical home/car repairs. 

The Fund may provide one-time monetary assistance and/or may consult with local business partners who have agreed to provide services at a free or reduced rate for  Fund recipients. Funds awarded will be paid directly to the vendor in all cases and cannot reimburse a patient or family member directly.  

Enter the following URL into your web browser to access and download an application: https://healthyacadia.org/documents/Final_MCFCF_Application.docx  For more information, and/or to inquire about cancer patient navigation services in Washington County, please contact Angela Fochesato at Angela@HealthyAcadia.orgor (207) 255-3741 Ext. 103.

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 www.HealthyAcadia.org.

The Colorectal Cancer Screening Support Fund is supported by a grant from Maine Cancer Foundation. Maine Cancer Foundation's grant is offered as part of their ongoing Challenge Cancer 2020 initiative, aimed at reducing cancer incidence and mortality in Maine. They have awarded over $11 million since 2015 in support of this initiative, focused on prevention, early detection and screening, and access to care for all Mainers. To learn more about Maine Cancer Foundation, visit www.malnecancer.org, or contact Katelyn Michaud, katetyn@mainecancer.org, (207) 773-2533.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

August 2020 President's Letter


 August, 2020

Dear Chamber Member:

We all know just how difficult the last six months have been on you personally and on your business. The chamber is like your business - dependent on individuals to make things work. We have only one paid position and that is for our invaluable Visitor Center Manager, Cynthia Crow.

We are dependent on dues, advertising and events to bring in our income. At this point, we have had to cancel our Fireworks and Oktoberfest for 2020 so that leaves us only with the dues you pay. Up until now, the town of Southwest Harbor has not committed any funds to our running of the visitor center. By contrast, both Bar Harbor and Mount Desert help fund their visitor centers.

So what does the Visitor Center provide? Most years, we have 50 or more visitors drop by every day, looking for places to eat, stay and for things to do. This year, of course that number has been lower, but our Visitor Center, located at Harbor House, has still seen 700 people. We publish our own maps and guides, and display our member's brochures and rack cards. We also host events like the Fireworks and Oktoberfest, which bring visitors to town and to your businesses.

As a consequence of the current state of affairs, your board of directors has changed our dues structure in hopes of helping you out in 2021. The new format makes it easy for you to choose exactly which Chamber services you want. Please review the A La Cart Dues Description to learn about your base dues and the new options packages.

You will be receiving an email which contains a link to your dues page, where you will be able to select membership options and immediately see the impact on your dues. We have initially set it up so that it includes your base dues and two option packages, plus any extras you are currently signed up for. We are offering a discount on your 2021 dues, but if you can afford it, please help us out by paying the full amount. Please make any desired changes by September 30, 2020, after which the page will be locked and changes cannot be made. We will then email your final invoice in early October. If you need assistance, please contact Cynthia in the office.

Your membership dues invoices will be coming to you via email, beginning this year. Other invoices, such as billing for Trail Map ads and monthly statements on past due accounts, will still be mailed to you. As always, you can set up a payment plan for any amounts due, and if you would like to pay by credit card, simply call Cynthia at the office.

Lastly, our Annual Meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 19th at 5:30PM. This year, the meeting will be held “virtually”. Details will be emailed to you as soon as they are finalized. Please plan on attending. We will recap 2020; talk about a few plans for 2021 and would like to hear from you about your needs from the Chamber.

Thank you for supporting the Chamber in 2020. We count on your support for 2021 and beyond.

Sincerely,

Ruth Davis

President

Southwest Harbor & Tremont Chamber of Commerce


Friday, August 28, 2020

Healthy Acadia to Offer Responsible Sales Training September 24


 Healthy Acadia is offering Responsible Beverage Server and Seller training for stores, restaurants, and taverns to help them safely sell or serve alcohol. “Two things have changed with our state-certified server/seller training this year,” said Tara Young, Drug-Free Communities Coordinator, and one of the trainers. “We will be offering training online using the Zoom platform to maintain social distancing protocols. And, since so many small businesses in our area are experiencing financial difficulties, we will not be charging $25 for the training. It will be free for anyone, whether they are a new staff member getting their initial training, someone who needs recertification, or someone who would like to become a server or cashier in the future.” 

The course emphasizes increasing employees’ knowledge about liquor laws, the importance of preventing underage sales, and sales to visibly intoxicated individuals, as well as building the skills necessary to handle refusing service when necessary. Employees will receive training on best practices to identify minors, false identification, and signs of visible intoxication, as well as develop the skills needed to refuse service, when necessary. Training employees through this 3-hour course may lead to reduced insurance rates for businesses and will help reduce the risk of making costly and/or tragic unlawful sales.

On September 24, 2020, the off-premise course for stores licensed to sell alcohol for consumption at another location will begin at 8:30 am, and the on-premise course will begin at 12:30 p.m. To register, click on this link: https://forms.gle/yukk69U7u41RQwGKA and choose the session you would like to attend, provide the information needed for your certificate, and take the pre-test.

For more information or to schedule a dedicated training for 6 or more employees, please contact Tara Young at 667-7171 or tara@healthyacadia.org.

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 www.HealthyAcadia.org.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Women’s Recovery Residence Now Accepting Applications

 

Washington County's first recovery residence for women and their children is now accepting applications for residents. Safe Harbor: A Recovery Home for Women and Children, is the result of a collaborative effort between Healthy Acadia, Downeast Community Partners, Aroostook Mental Health Center, and the Community Caring Collaborative (CCC) to provide a safe, supportive, affordable living environment for women in recovery. The partners are part of the Washington County Substance Use Response Collaborative, a collaborative of over 25 Washington County nonprofit partners and individuals in recovery which has convened regularly since 2016 to address the broad impacts of substance use disorder. 

 

One of the many adverse impacts of living with substance use disorder is the toll it takes on financial stability, employment, criminal records, and other aspects of life necessary to secure housing. The profound impact of Maine’s growing housing shortage on people entering recovery prompted the Collaborative to form a housing subcommittee in early 2019, with individuals in recovery or with loved ones facing substance use disorder as leading voices. 

 

The Collaborative’s decision to open a recovery residence in the region is based on acute need, as well as successful models established elsewhere in Maine and across the country. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, recovery homes are viable and cost-effective alternatives to established recovery-oriented systems of care because they provide safe and healthy environments that support residents in their recovery. These communities empower people by providing support as they transition towards living independent and productive lives.

 

"People in recovery require more than clinical treatment to succeed," says House Manager, Katie Sell. "At a minimum, they need a safe place to live: a place that supports their efforts to do the difficult work of rebuilding their lives."

 

Safe Harbor is the first recovery residence in Downeast Maine to be certified by the Maine Association of Recovery Residences. The home will operate as a non-clinical Level 2 program, and will not provide treatment, but will support multiple and diverse pathways to recovery, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which is considered a best practice in the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD).

 

Healthy Acadia will manage staffing and programming at the Recovery Residence. Residents will participate in a variety of programmatic activities, including house meetings and recovery coaching. Coaches will work with residents who seek treatment, whether it be medication-assisted treatment, counseling, primary care, or a combination, by referring and connecting them with treatment providers. 

 

“Every resident will have a set of goals and will work with a Healthy Acadia Recovery Coach and will connect with other resources in the community in order to make progress toward those goals,” said Abby Frutchey, Substance Use Response Coordinator at the CCC. “For some, finding employment and being able to pay some level of rent will be a goal right away, but for others, it may be different.” 

 

The building, located in the town of Machias, has been renovated with support from a $150,000 grant from the Maine Housing Authority. Renovations are nearly complete, and the building, which is managed and maintained by Downeast Community Partners (DCP), will provide housing for up to five women and their children. Donations of household goods, toiletries, and other gently used items are welcome. 

 

Safe Harbor will serve people from Washington and Hancock counties, but residency in either county is not a requirement. Often, individuals in recovery seek to relocate temporarily in order to change patterns, be around different people, and avoid triggers that could lead to relapse. While there is much-needed focus on opioids currently, Safe Harbor will also serve women seeking recovery from other substances such as alcohol. 

 

Women interested in living at Safe Harbor can find the application by visiting www.HealthyAcadia.org

 

Healthy Acadia is currently seeking applicants for recovery residence staff, various shifts are available. Visit www.HealthyAcadia.org for more information. 

 

For more information about the recovery residence, including questions about donations, contact Katie Sell at (207) 255-3741 or by email at Katie.Sell@HealthyAcadia.org

 

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 www.HealthyAcadia.org.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Acadia National Park Announces Vehicle Reservations for the Sand Beach Entrance and Cadillac Summit Road



The National Park Service has developed a vehicle reservation system to reduce severe traffic and parking congestion so visitors can plan ahead and have a more enjoyable visit to Acadia National Park. As a pilot to prepare for the 2021 season, reservations will be required for vehicles to enter the Sand Beach Entrance and Cadillac Summit Road from October 1 to 18, 2020. Vehicle reservations are available for purchase only online at Recreation.gov.

“The majority of the park is open just as it has always been, including access to all of the carriage roads and all but a few hiking trails,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “If you want to visit the park’s most popular areas during peak times with your vehicle, you now have the opportunity to guarantee access with a reservation. If you walk or bike into a vehicle reservation area, reservations are not required.”

The Sand Beach Entrance will require vehicle reservations from 7 am to 5 pm. The Cadillac Summit Road will require vehicle reservations from 4:30 am to 6:30 pm. All reservations provide a timed entry, but do not require a departure time. Reservations do not guarantee a specific parking space. If you leave the area with your vehicle, you need another reservation to re-enter. In addition to having a valid entrance pass, reservations must be purchased for $2.00 each online; reservations will not be sold at the park. Commercial tour operators with a valid Commercial Use Authorization and accredited school groups with an authorized entrance fee waiver do not require a vehicle reservation during the pilot in October. Conducting a pilot of the vehicle reservation system in October will help the park prepare a full season of vehicle reservations in 2021.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Healthy Acadia Presents New Programs That Will Explore Nature-Based Restorative Practices



Healthy Acadia and Maine Outdoor School are excited to announce two new exploratory summer programs. “Nature-Based Restorative Practices,” a three-day program scheduled for Tuesday, August 18 through Thursday, August 20, 2020, will introduce youth entering grades 7 through 12 this fall to restorative practices and how they tie into our natural world. Restorative practices are rooted in First Nation and indigenous community traditions and philosophies and designed to proactively build healthy relationships and a sense of community to prevent and address conflict and wrongdoing. The program will be facilitated by Corrie Hunkler, Healthy Acadia’s Youth Engagement Coordinator, and Hazel Stark, Registered Maine Guide and co-founder of Maine Outdoor School, L3C, and will pair the Maine Youth Action Network’s Restorative Practices curriculum with fun and engaging activities such as hiking, listening, reflecting, being curious, and responding to our natural surroundings. The program is designed to help youth develop outdoor and conflict-resolution skills and an increased awareness of their community and the natural world. On day three, the group will apply what they have learned by engaging in a community project. The program will be held at the Machias River Preserve, a 5.5-mile network of trails managed by the Downeast Coastal Conservancy and located off Route 1A in Machias. Sessions will meet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, and participants are asked to bring their own bagged lunch. Snacks and water will be provided. All COVID-19 prevention guidelines for Maine summer youth programs and outdoor recreation activities will be followed. Restorative Practices Training for Adults On Thursday, August 20, 2020, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Healthy Acadia, Maine Youth Action Network, and Maine Outdoor School will host a training session for educators and others who work with children and young adults. Participants will explore Restorative Practices and ways to incorporate them into their work. The training session will be held at Middle River Park in Machias. Please bring a camp chair.

There is no cost to participants for either program, however, advance registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Corrie Hunkler at (207) 598-8519 or corrie.hunkler@healthyacadia.org. 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 www.healthyacadia.org. Maine Outdoor School’s educational programs focus on personal and community resilience through custom-tailored outdoor, place-based experiences. Learn more at www.maineoutdoorschool.org.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Fund to Help Those in Recovery Stay Connected


For people struggling with substance use disorder, COVID-19 has created new challenges and barriers for those seeking recovery. Support meetings, coaching sessions, and many clinical treatments have moved to online or virtual formats. Not everyone in this corner of the state has access to reliable cell phone or internet service. The economic impact of the pandemic on many of the region’s business sectors has also meant that many people have lost income, making it even more difficult for them to access virtual support. Healthy Acadia has received grant funding from the Elmina B Sewall Foundation and Machias Savings Bank to help remove these technology and communications barriers for people in recovery who reside in Hancock or Washington County. “It is more important than ever that community members in recovery have reliable communications,” said Penny Guisinger Healthy Acadia’s Recovery Programs Director. “Staying connected to peers and other supports can be vital to an individual’s recovery success.” Donna Mitchell, Program Administrator for the Maine Alliance for Recovery Coaching (Maine-ARC) recalled a recent conversation with someone who has been sober for 20 years but is having a struggling without traditional support meetings. “If it is this [pandemic] hard for someone with that much 'time', it must be crushing for a person considering recovery or newly into the recovery process,” said Mitchell. Individuals in recovery can apply for funds to cover the cost of a cell phone, assistance with covering the cost of home internet, cell phone service or an upgrade to service, phone cards with minutes and data, as well as other possibilities that will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The application can be completed online at https://forms.gle/QqZHDvmCiT7XwY4v6. For more information about the grant, or to request a printable application, contact Beth Alteri at (207) 460-2312 or at beth.alteri@healthyacadia.org 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 www.healthyacadia.org.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Welcome to our new Chamber Member Great Cranberry Island Historical Society!


Please join us in welcoming Great Cranberry Island Historical Society to the Chamber. GCIHS runs a beautiful museum on gorgeous Cranberry Island - as they declare proudly, "It's worth the trip"!
"The Great Cranberry Island Historical Society (GCIHS) collects, preserves and studies the history and genealogy of Great Cranberry and its neighboring islands, and presents diverse cultural and educational programs.The GCIHS promotes a strong sense of community through its museum, archives, cafe, and lively arts center in the Cranberry House. The grounds also include a public trail to the shore, three gardens, and Sammy Sanford’s Cabin. Every day during the summer, a free shuttle carries visitors from the town dock down the length of the island and back."
Check them out at: https://www.gcihs.org/ and when you get a chance to visit, stop in and say "welcome"!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Welcome to New Chamber Member - A Climate to Thrive


Please join us in welcoming our newest Chamber Member - A Climate to Thrive!

A Climate to Thrive seeks to achieve energy independence for Mount Desert Island by 2030. Decentralized, local, renewable energy solutions will reduce pollution, create new businesses, generate year-round jobs that pay a living wage, and bring the community together around the shared goal of preserving our environment.

 A Climate to Thrive is bringing all four MDI towns together and making the island an epicenter of citizen engagement, environmental sustainability, and economic vitality. ACTT is making MDI a model in these respects, showing other communities across Maine, New England, and nationally that these actions simultaneously enhance economic well-being and quality of life. 

A Climate to Thrive is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization. Learn more at their web site: https://www.aclimatetothrive.org/ or at their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AClimatetoThrive/

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

MDI Hospital Names New Emergency Department Medical Director


David Sugerman, MD has joined Mount Desert Island Hospital as the new medical director of the hospital’s emergency department. Dr. Sugerman assumes the role from former medical director Nathan Donaldson, DO, MHA, FACEP, who will continue to serve as an emergency department staff member.
Before assuming his new role, Dr. Sugerman spent three previous summers in MDI Hospital’s emergency department as an attending physician. As a board-certified physician specializing in emergency medicine, Dr. Sugerman has served as an emergency physician and medical director in several emergent care settings in the state of Ohio. He has also been a clinical faculty member at University Hospital Ahuja Medical Center and South Point Hospital, Cleveland Clinic System. “In the emergency department,” Dr. Sugerman says, “I strive to listen diligently, and connect with patients so that I can stabilize any life-threatening situation, or treat an acute illness or injury effectively and with compassion.”
Dr. Sugerman graduated from Bowdoin College in 1982 and received his MD from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA in 1987. He interned at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT, and completed his emergency medicine residency at Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York. In 1994-95 he was a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellow at The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Salt Lake City. Over the years, Dr. Sugerman has held several positions relative to his sports medicine training, including Event Physician for the United States National Figure Skating Championships (1998), Team Physician for the United States Freestyle Ski Team (1994-98) and Race Physician for America’s Opening World Cup Ski Races (1994-95).
When asked what drew him to MDI Hospital, Dr. Sugerman explains, “I was intrigued by the unique combination of a very high quality of care, and teaching opportunities through the MDI Hospital-Penn Medicine Collaborative program, in a rural and picturesque setting.”
Outside of the office, Dr. Sugerman enjoys hiking, biking, sailing, and skiing.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Welcome to New Chamber Members, Acadia Ebike Rentals and Quietside Electric!


Acadia EBike Rentals is a local family-owned business that strives to show visitors around Acadia National Park. Our Mission is to create unforgettable memories that you will cherish. On an electric bicycle, you will be able to explore more of the island beauty than walking or on a regular pedal bike. Learn more about them at: https://acadiaebikerentals.com/ and stop in to say hi when you get a chance!

Quietside Electric is also owned by Ross Horne, and offers Commercial and Residential wiring, Heat Pump installations, Standby Generator systems. Check out his Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Quietside-Electric-108716840786512/

Certificate Training Program Offered for Local Teenagers


Despite making the difficult choice to suspend Summer Camp programs this year, Camp Beech Cliff, with the generous support of Healthy Acadia, is offering a free one-week virtual certificate training program for high school-aged teenagers in Hancock and Washington counties. Focused on youth leadership and development, the program will also address safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re aware that there will be a significant gap in childcare options this summer, and we wanted to find a way to help bridge that gap, while also providing a service to our local High school students.”  Camp Director, Matt Cornish stated.  “We hope to help them work directly with local families to meet the need that will be very apparent this summer, as well as prepare them for future employment opportunities.”
The program, Filling Your Leadership Toolbox, will be offered the week of June 29 – July 3, 2020, and consist of three hours of training per day, either in the morning or afternoon.  Training will cover topics including creating activities outdoors, behavior management and conflict resolution, resilience in the face of challenging situations, and more. At the end of the week, participants will walk away with a certificate of course completion, as well as a $100 stipend for their time and dedication to the work.  Sara McConnell of Healthy Acadia said, “We love [this] new, creative way of reaching youth during these times.”
Interested young people between the ages of 13 and 18 should contact Matt Cornish, matt@campbeechcliff.org, for more information, or register at campbeechcliff.org.                       
Enrollment is limited, so register by June 24, 2020.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Social Call Service Offers Connection During Isolation


Healthy Acadia’s Maine RecoveryCorps and MDI Hospital are partnering to offer a new Social Call service to respond to the isolation many community members are facing during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Social calls can be a welcome break from the isolation of the physical distancing restrictions in place as part of efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19. Through a newly launched pilot program, Social Calls are being made upon request by Healthy Acadia’s trained Recovery Coaches, who connect community members to needed resources and support services or simply provide a kind ear for those wanting to talk. 

Social calls offer an opportunity for connection and can serve to buffer the negative effects of physical distancing and are not intended to replace an individual's need to connect with their mental health professional. And the calls are proving beneficial to all involved. "Our Social Callers are finding that the peers they are reaching out to are not the only ones benefiting from this service. They are also developing social relationships that are helping them to stay better connected to the communities they live in. They are excited to connect with more people in our area," said Beth Alteri, Recovery Volunteer and Office Coordinator. 

Fourteen community members have utilized the Social Call service since the pilot program was launched two weeks ago on MDI. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. “It feels rewarding to know that they appreciate the calls. I really hope that it is helping them during this difficult time. I look forward to calling them back to hear about their week,” said BillieJo Warren, a volunteer Recovery Coach and Social Caller.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Healthy Acadia to help provide the Social Call service to our community at this critical time,” added Arthur Blank, President/CEO, MDI Hospital. “As we all work together to slow the spread of this global pandemic, maintaining our connection to one another in a safe, accessible way is so important.” 

Healthy Acadia’s Maine RecoveryCorps are also exploring ways to expand the Social Call service beyond the Island to reach more residents in Hancock County.  

If you would like to receive a social call from a trained volunteer from Healthy Acadia, click here to submit your request online, or visit www.HealthyAcadia.org or www.mdihospital.org to print a form to complete and mail or fax. You may also connect with your health care provider who can submit a referral on your behalf. 

If you need help filling out this form, or would like to provide the information over the phone, please call Beth Alteri at (207) 460-2312 or email SocialCalls@HealthyAcadia.org.  
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 www.HealthyAcadia.org

Established in 1897, Mount Desert Island Hospital provides comprehensive healthcare for residents and visitors through a 25-bed critical access facility in Bar Harbor and a network of eight regional health centers, including a full-service behavioral health center and dental clinic. Learn more at www.mdihospital.org