Patty Wight

News Producer

Patty is a graduate of the University of Vermont and a multiple award-winning reporter for Maine Public Radio. Her specialty is health coverage: from policy stories to patient stories, physical health to mental health and anything in between. Patty joined Maine Public Radio in 2012 after producing stories as a freelancer for NPR programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She got hooked on radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and hasn’t looked back ever since.

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Patty Wight / Maine Public

In less than two weeks, Mainers will cast their votes on a referendum that seeks to repeal a new law that removes religious and philosophical exemptions for vaccines.

A child in Maine has died from the flu, according to the state Center for Disease Control.

Winters are warming faster than other seasons across much of the United States. While that may sound like a welcome change for those bundled in scarves and hats, it's causing a cascade of unpredictable impacts in communities across the country.

Temperatures continue to steadily rise around the globe, but that trend isn't spread evenly across the map or even the yearly calendar.

Sam Edwards / Getty Images via NPR

Two Maine hospitals are listed on a federal government website that tracks the most serious quality deficiencies cited in the past six months. As the Bangor Daily News first reported this week, Maine Medical Center and York Hospital were both identified for patient safety issues.

Joel Page / AP File

A bill before state lawmakers would allocate $2 million to Maine Family Planning to make up for lost federal funds after the organization withdrew as a statewide grantee from the federal Title X program last year

Cases of Hepatitis A rose sharply last year in Maine, according to the state Center for Disease Control.

Democratic lawmakers in Maine unveiled a suite of health care proposals in Augusta on Tuesday that aim to protect patients from expensive medical bills. They’re calling it the Patients First Health Care Package.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Update: Feb. 13, 2020: In a press release, the DHHS announced that the individual in Maine tested for the 2019 novel coronavirus tested negative. Maine has no confirmed cases and the risk to the general public remains low.

The Maine Center for Disease Control is testing the first individual in Maine for the coronavirus.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Over the past several decades the use of therapy dogs has grown in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, schools and hospitals. But it's within the past 10 years that they've started to appear in airports. Last fall, the Portland International Jetport introduced a dog therapy program that has become popular with stressed travelers and workers.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

The opposing sides in Maine’s upcoming vaccination referendum officially kicked off their campaigns Tuesday in Augusta.

On March 3, Maine voters will be asked to overturn a new law that eliminates religious and philosophical exemptions for child vaccinations. The campaigns both for and against Question 1 say there’s much more at stake than the fate of the new law.

The Yes and No campaigns for Question 1 held back-to-back press conferences in packed rooms at the State House Tuesday morning. The Yes campaign, which spearheaded the veto referendum, was first up.

Two schools in southern Maine were closed Monday due to flu outbreaks.

Getty Images via NPR

The announcement this week that a Maine home care agency is closing due to financial challenges means that nearly 600 seniors will have to find services elsewhere. But advocates say Maine lacks the capacity to absorb these clients, and that the situation underscores a crisis that has been building for years.

Waste management company ecomaine says a pilot project that sent recycling interns into several communities last summer was a success, reducing contamination by about 5 percent.

Adam Lister / PBS Newshour

Some environmental health advocates say the final recommendations released this week from a state task force examining a family of chemicals known as PFAS are too weak.

Shalom House

A program in Portland that helped 170 people with serious mental illness live in the community has been shut down.