Health and health care news

The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Maine, NAMI, has come out with a list of recommendations to reform the state’s mental health system. They include establishing assessment centers, mental health liaisons in law enforcement agencies and reducing deaths by suicide.

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - Police in coastal Maine say a person attempting to nurse an injured rabid raccoon back to health got bitten multiple times and will now undergo rabies treatment.

Kids In Maine Are More Likely To Get Cancer, And No One Really Knows Why

Aug 20, 2018
Courtesy Tabaitha Steward / via Bangor Daily News

Tabaitha Steward has come to expect the averted eyes and downcast glances when she works to raise awareness about childhood cancer.

AP Photo

The federal government this week awarded community health centers in Maine $1.4 million in quality improvement grants.

The number of overdose deaths in 2017 increased more in Maine than in almost any other U.S. state, and more than in any other state in New England.

A third Maine beach has closed this week due to E. coli contamination. Swimming has been banned at Highland Lake Beach in Bridgton after testing revealed bacteria levels in the water that are above the acceptable limit.

A nursing home in West Paris that cares for 72 residents has announced it will close in 60 days.  The business manager of Ledgeview Living Center, Roger Wilday, says insufficient Medicaid reimbursement rates are the driving factor.

Maine had among the highest annual rate of increases in the number of U.S. mothers who had opioid use disorder at the time of labor and delivery during a recent 15-year period.

Another beach is closed emporarily because of E. coli contamination.

More than 100 experts on aging are in Portland this week for a summit on rural seniors and isolation.

Jess Maurer, the executive director of the Maine Council on Aging, says Maine needs to do a better job making sure seniors are socially connected.

The board of Central Maine Healthcare has affirmed its support of CEO Jeff Brickman after medical staff at its three member hospitals recently took no-confidence votes.

Chair Deborah Dunlap Avasthi issued an email to staff Wednesday, saying the board has also amended the organization's bylaws to allow medical staff to have a more active role in governance.

AP Photo

More than 500 lives have been saved over the past 2 years across Maine using the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

That’s according to the Maine Attorney General's Office, which has provided the drug to 84 agencies across the state over the past two years.

In a written release Maine Attorney General Mills says the statistic is "another grim milestone in our state's fight against opioids," and that more can and should be done to address Maine's opiate epidemic.

For the second time this in July, the Cumberland County town of Bridgton has closed a public beach due to water contamination, but for two different reasons. The town says that a routine water test performed on Monday found higher than acceptable levels of E coli.

Town Manager Robert Peabody says the cause isn't yet clear, but ducks could be the culprit.

“Which is aggravated by people feeding them, so they are tending to flock to that area. We also know that they water level has been low for the lake, so you're not getting as much movement.”

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo

Four nursing homes in Maine have received the lowest possible score for staffing levels, according to an analysis of federal data by Kaiser Health News.

Two nurses and a Democratic lawmaker have filed suit against the LePage administration for failing to fill vacant public health nursing positions.

The lawsuit seeks a court order to force Maine's Department of Health and Human services to obey a law passed in 2017 that requires the department to fill all 48 public health nurse positions in the state.

Sarah DeCato, who worked as a Maine public health nurse from 2008 to 2014, says DHHS is not making an effort to hire anyone.