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  • 03 Feb 2016 9:38 AM | Deleted user

     The weekly message is available via the Office of the Governor website

    Read to ME Challenge - A Special Message from the First Lady

    We all recall sitting on our parents lap having a story read to us. It’s moments like these that need to take place every day in a child’s life.

    Hello, this is First Lady Ann LePage.

    The Governor and I are pleased to be a part of the Read to ME Challenge that is underway across the state. The benefits of reading with a child are endless. Reading is a gift, reading builds foundations and reading changes lives. Curiosity, creativity and imagination are all developed through reading.

    Research shows that the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child's vocabulary by the time that child is 3. This sets the stage for reading to be an enjoyable, lifelong activity, and it gives the opportunity to build knowledge of the world.

    The month-long Read to ME Challenge simply asks you to read aloud with a child for just 15 minutes, capture that on video or in a picture, post it on social media and challenge others to do the same.

    Did you know that reading for just 15 minutes every day, for 5 years, exposes children to 456 hours of reading? Reading to children stimulates brain development.  It helps them learn to talk and to listen, grows their vocabulary, helps build their attention spans, and encourages them to ask questions.

    Keep reading to children even after they start reading themselves because it provides an opportunity for them to learn about topics and to experience stories beyond what they can read on their own. Even if parents can’t read to their children, listen to books on tape together so you all can experience magical adventures while spending time bonding.  

    What a great gift to have a little one nestled on your lap or beside you enjoy a book together, and what an even greater gift you are giving that child by building a trust, a love, and a dedication to that child’s well-being while investing in their future success, just by reading.

    I will forever cherish the moments I had reading with my children, and I encourage you to appreciate these same moments. Take the Read to ME Challenge today and challenge others to do the same.

    Our children are our future, so let’s invest today in that future by reading aloud with a child. Happy Reading!

  • 03 Feb 2016 9:37 AM | Deleted user


    Governor LePage Urges Citizens and Maine Businesses to Contact Their Legislators about Tax Conformity

    February 2, 2016

    For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 02, 2016
    Contact: David Heidrich, DAFS Communications Director (207) 624-7453

    AUGUSTA – The Office of the Governor is encouraging citizens to contact their legislators to support the LePage Administration’s bill to permanently conform Maine’s tax code to federal tax law, which would prevent a $38 million tax increase on Maine families and businesses.

    Tomorrow at 10:00AM, the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs is expected to conduct a work session on LD 1564, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services’ (DAFS) conformity legislation, which was supported by Republicans on the taxation committee. Appropriations Republicans are also expected to support the Department’s proposal to extend a number of tax breaks permanently.

    Democrats on the appropriations committee are expected to split with their Republican colleagues and instead support a proposal that makes retroactive changes to Maine’s tax law that are only good for 2015, creating uncertainty for all future tax years.

    After years of uncertainty on the federal level, Congress has finally provided the guidance necessary for Maine businesses to make long-term investments in their growth. The discussions this week suggest that Maine Democrats would rather emulate the prior dysfunction of Congress on tax policy than provide a clear path forward for Maine’s small business owners and job creators.

    The Department’s proposal adopts conformity to the permanent Section 179 expensing provision and extends the Maine Capital Investment Credit, which mirrors federal bonus depreciation, through 2019. The Department’s proposal also permanently conforms Maine to the federal teacher expense deduction, an important tax break to Maine teachers who purchase classroom supplies out of their own pocket. In addition to these important provisions, the legislation will also extend Maine’s conformity to federal tax items affecting itemized deductions for mortgage insurance and a deduction for higher education expenses.

    Under the proposal advocated by Democrats in the Maine Legislature, each and every tax incentive included in the administration’s conformity proposal will disappear after the current filing season concludes, creating uncertainty for individuals and businesses planning their 2016 tax obligations. If Maine Democrats truly believe that these are ‘critical tax credits,’ they should make a long-term commitment to Maine families and businesses by supporting our administration’s conformity legislation.

    Whether citizens agree with the Department’s proposal or not, pick up the phone and call your legislators, write them a letter or send them an email.

    Appropriations Committee Members

    Senator James M. Hamper (R-Oxford), Chair
    Phone: (207) 539-4586 Email: 
    Senator Roger J. Katz (R-Kennebec)
    Phone: (207) 485-2394 Email:
    Senator Linda M. Valentino (D-York)
    Phone: (207) 205-0077 Email:

    Representative Margaret R. Rotundo (D-Lewiston), Chair
    Phone: (207) 784-3259 Email:
    Representative John L. Martin (D-Eagle Lake)
    Phone: (207) 444-5556 Email:
    Representative Linda F. Sanborn (D-Gorham)
    Phone: (207) 939-2879 Email:

    Representative Aaron M. Frey (D-Bangor)
    Phone: (207) 249-9969 Email:
    Representative Erik C. Jorgensen (D-Portland)
    Phone: (207) 939-7120 Email:
    Representative Gay M. Grant (D-Gardiner)
    Phone: (207) 582-5882 Email:

    Representative Tom J. Winsor (R-Norway)
    Phone: (207) 527-2233 Email:
    Representative Robert W. Nutting (R-Oakland)
    Phone: (207) 465-7139 Email:
    Representative Heather W. Sirocki (R-Scarborough)
    Phone: (207) 883-5609 Email:
    Representative Jeffrey L. Timberlake (R-Turner)
    Phone: (207) 225-6016 Email:

    A complete list of members of the Maine Legislature can be found on the House of Representatives' website.

    Nearly two dozen businesses and organizations testified in support of the Department’s legislation at its public hearing. Their statements were chronicled in releases from DAFS focusing on Maine businesses and business trade groups.

  • 02 Feb 2016 11:20 AM | Deleted user


    Cronkhite Appointed Director of Human Resources

    Has extensive experience in human resources



    Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) President/CEO Rebecca Arsenault announces that Cynthia Cronkhite has been appointed director of Human Resources. She brings with her 13 years’ experience in human resources and leadership excellence.


    Before joining FCHN, Cronkhite was manager of Human Resources Operations, Prevention & Wellness, at St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, where she was responsible for implementing and sustaining best practice human resource operations. She additionally managed the full scope of benefits administration with a special focus on prevention and employee wellness programming.


    “Cindy joins us with an impressive background and broad experience in human resources roles,” said Arsenault. “She believes in collaborative management that advocates and supports individuals, and holds them accountable in the performance of their respective responsibilities.”


    Cronkhite received her bachelor’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies from the University of Southern Maine, Lewiston/Auburn (L/A) College, and will receive her master’s degree in Leadership Studies in June 2016, also from the University of Southern Maine, L/A College.


    She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Central Maine Human Resource Association, Maine Society for Health and Human Resources, as well as a Safe Voices board vice president.


    Cronkite resides in Livermore Falls with her husband Roy. They are the parents of an adult daughter and son.

  • 01 Feb 2016 10:41 AM | Deleted user


    Franklin Health Stress Reduction Program Starting Feb. 25

    Participants will learn to apply mindfulness practice to stressors



    Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) is once again offering its intensive nine-session stress reduction program that is designed to teach participants scientifically proven practical skills to reduce stress and improve overall health and happiness. This spring’s program instructor is Dr. Kathleen Hickey.


    “The course is designed for adults and the skills gained will help participants apply mindfulness practice to the many life stressors in everyday life,” said Dr. Kathleen Hickey. “Mindfulness means being completely in touch with the present moment in a non judgmental fashion. Several formal mindfulness practices will be taught including very basic yoga; however, no prior experience with yoga is necessary to take the class.”


    The course consists of eight consecutive 2.5–3 hour Thursday night sessions and includes an all-day retreat on Saturday, April 9. Participants should be committed to performing one hour of daily practice and homework to learn and practice mindfulness meditation, Hatha yoga, and body scan.


    “This course has been incredibly worthwhile for me and would highly recommend it,” a past participant stated. “I really loved this program and looked forward to participating weekly. I have grown to love and look forward to my daily meditation session as I recognize it as a tool to manage my crazy day.”


    The cost of the program is based on a sliding scale fee according to household income.


    Anyone interested in the program is asked to preregister and complete the prescreening form that is available from the FMH Education Department by calling 779-2381. A mandatory orientation session is taking place on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. in the hospital’s Bass Room. After attending the orientation, participants can decide if they would like to move forward with the complete course. Payment will be due at that time for those who wish to continue.


    For additional information contact the FMH Education Department by calling 779-2381.

  • 01 Feb 2016 10:30 AM | Deleted user


    Mental Health Services for Children now Available

    Services available for children age 5 and older




    Franklin Health Behavioral Services in Farmington is once again providing mental health treatment for children ages 5 and older. Suzanne Alexis, PMH-NP, now offers psychiatric evaluations and expertise in mental health medication management.


    According to Alexis, she treats children with depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorders, and mood disorders, among others. Her treatment includes assessments, medication management, and referrals to counseling, case management, and other services as needed.


    Referrals are currently being accepted from Franklin Health primary care practices only: Pediatrics, Farmington Family Practice, and Livermore Falls Family Practice.


    Alexis is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who received her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Maine. She has more than 15 years of extensive experience working with children and families.


    Franklin Health Behavioral Services is located in the Mt. Blue Health Center on the Franklin Memorial Hospital campus. A referral from a patient’s Franklin Health primary care provider is needed for appointments. For additional information call 778-0035.


  • 29 Jan 2016 11:22 AM | Deleted user


    President and CEO of Franklin Community Health Network announces retirement


    Rebecca Arsenault has led FCHN for seven years, overseeing its joining MaineHealth.


    FARMINGTON, Maine ­– Rebecca Arsenault, president and CEO of Franklin Community Health Network and Franklin Memorial Hospital for the past seven years, has announced her retirement effective Feb. 29.


    “It has been a wonderful experience leading this incredible team of professionals,” said Arsenault. “But we are at a place of envisioning a new future for our organization. That work should be undertaken by a leader whose expected tenure extends beyond the time I’ve planned to retire. Therefore, this is both the right decision for FCHN and for me.”


    Arsenault took over as the leader of FCHN in January 2009. Before that, she served in various executive health care positions with Intermountain Health Care in Utah, Providence Health Services in Washington and Universal Health Services in Texas. A nurse, she has held positions as chief executive officer and chief operating officer in small and large hospitals, in urban and rural areas.


    During her career she has always been active in hospital leadership organizations, including serving as the board chair of the Maine Hospital Association as well as a state delegate to the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) policy advisory committee. In 2013 she was awarded the AHA’s Grassroots Champion Award in recognition of exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of her hospital’s mission.


    As the leader of FCHN, Arsenault brought focus to the organization’s role in the community and to improved quality.


    Working through the Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, Arsenault supported a range of community health initiatives including programming aimed at tobacco cessation, cancer prevention, worksite wellness and several other priorities.


    FCHN also received numerous recognitions for the quality of its care during Arsenault’s tenure. These included two certifications from the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program awarded to the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center. Also, for the past three years, Franklin Memorial Hospital has received an “A” rating for hospital safety from The Leapfrog Group, a nationally recognized nonprofit that tracks hospital quality.


    This good work did not make FCHN immune from the mounting pressures that small, rural hospital networks have been experiencing in recent years, however. It became apparent that FCHN needed to partner with a larger organization if it was to continue to thrive. Arsenault took on this task, and that work led to FCHN’s decision to become a member of MaineHealth, the state’s largest health care system, on Oct. 1, 2014.


    “Becky led us through a time of great challenge,” said Clint Boothby, Chair of the FCHN Board of Directors. “When it became apparent that we needed to partner with another organization, she led our Board and the community through a thoughtful process that culminated in our joining an outstanding organization that shares our values of excellent patient care, a healthy community and fiscal responsibility.”


    Since joining MaineHealth, Arsenault has overseen FCHN’s initial integration into the system, starting with operational issues such as IT infrastructure, employee benefits and purchasing. Now the work at FCHN is turning to crafting a larger strategic vision in partnership with MaineHealth, a process that will take years to fully implement.


    “Continuity through this strategic visioning process will be very important,” said Arsenault.  “It wouldn’t be fair to the community, our patients or the wonderful people who work here for me to start down this path and then have my personal priorities interrupt that process. And I have to say, I’m very much looking forward to this next chapter.”


    Boothby said the Board on Tuesday discussed the process for selecting a new CEO and options for an interim leader. He said he expects the board will have an announcement with regard to interim leadership within two weeks and a national search for a permanent leader will get underway shortly thereafter.


    Bill Caron, president of MaineHealth, praised Arsenault for her transformative leadership at a time of change and challenge in the industry.


    “When it came time to find a partner for FCHN, Becky engaged her organization and the community in a thoughtful and deliberate process,” said Caron. “Her professionalism and leadership played a crucial role in positioning FCHN for the future. We are all grateful for her contributions.”


    Franklin Community Health Network is a locally controlled, nonprofit, integrated network of rural health care providers, created by Franklin Memorial Hospital in 1991. Its affiliates include Franklin Memorial Hospital, Franklin Health, Evergreen Behavioral Services, Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, and NorthStar EMS.


    FCHN is a member of MaineHealth, the state’s largest health care system with member and affiliate hospitals throughout southern, western and central Maine, as well as Carroll County, N.H. Oher Maine Health members include: HomeHealth - Visiting Nurses of Southern Maine in Saco, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine Behavioral Healthcare

    In South Portland, the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland, Memorial Hospital

    in North Conway, N.H., NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in

    Westbrook, Synernet in Portland and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include MaineGeneral Health in Augusta and Waterville, Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston.


  • 29 Jan 2016 10:14 AM | Deleted user


    Primary Care Medical Practices Create Open Access Scheduling for Behavioral Health Services

    Change enables patients to be seen sooner when it is clinically necessary




    All four Franklin Health primary care medical practices—Pediatrics, Internal Medicine Farmington Family Practice, and Livermore Falls Family Practice—now have open access to schedule patients to be seen at Franklin Health Behavioral Services. This means that staff in the primary care setting can directly schedule appointments for their patients needing mental health and behavioral services.


    This change enables patients to be seen sooner when it is clinically necessary, or when the primary care provider feels that the patient needs high quality psychiatric expertise. The staff includes one psychiatrist and two psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners.


    The clinicians at Behavioral Services are: Arthur Dingley, DO, JD; Suzanne Alexis, PMH-NP; and Rebecca Chandler, PMH-NP, CS; who provide psychiatric evaluation and treatment and are specialists in mental health medication management.


    There are many different complex types of medications for mental health conditions. And, because medication effectiveness can change over time, it is important for people receiving medications for behavioral health problems to have regular contact with the prescribing provider to ensure that the approach being used continues to be safe and effective.


    Franklin Health Behavioral Services is in the Mt. Blue Health Center, which is located on the Franklin Memorial Hospital campus. A referral from a patient’s primary care provider is needed for appointments. For additional information call 778-0035.


  • 29 Jan 2016 8:30 AM | Deleted user


    Governor LePage Announces Judicial Re-Appointment of Chief Justice

    January 28, 2016

    For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 28, 2016
    Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

    AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the re-appointment of Hon. Leigh Ingalls Saufley, Chief Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court. This marks the third term for her as Chief Justice.

    “The highest standards of integrity both professionally and personally are required of our judges and justices. Chief Justice Saufley has demonstrated these qualities and is widely admired in the judiciary. I have confidence that she will continue to prove to be a great Chief Justice,” said Governor LePage.

    In April of 1990, Governor John R. McKernan appointed Chief Justice Saufley to the District Court. Governor McKernan appointed her to the Superior Court in 1993, and in 1997 Governor Angus S. King appointed her to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. On December 6, 2001, Governor King swore her in as Maine’s first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. Governor John E. Baldacci swore in Chief Justice Saufley for a second term as Chief Justice on February 27, 2009.

    Chief Justice Saufley graduated from the University of Maine at Orono, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1976. She is a 1980 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. She was with Office of the Maine Attorney General for nearly ten years, becoming one of Maine's first female deputy attorneys general.

    Chief Justice Saufley is a member of the Conference of Chief Justices, the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Women's Forum, Woman Who Makes a Difference Award.

  • 28 Jan 2016 10:18 AM | Deleted user


    Statement of Governor on Taxation Committees Delay of Tax Conformity Legislation

    January 27, 2016

    For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 27, 2016
    Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

    AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released the following statement Wednesday afternoon, after legislators voted to delay a bill adversely affecting hundreds of thousands of Maine taxpayers.

    Today, the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Taxation held a work session on LD 1564, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services’ (DAFS) legislation to conform Maine’s tax code to the federal Internal Revenue Code. At the conclusion of the work session, the committee voted to delay final consideration of the legislation until next Wednesday


    “Taxpayers need to know what policy the legislature supports, and, to date, they’ve failed to provide that guidance,” said Governor LePage. “In essence, Democrats on the Tax Committee have abdicated its responsibility to make a timely decision on a topic of the utmost importance to both Maine businesses and individuals. Businesses have already begun filing their returns. Failure to enact legislation that is consistent with the department’s proposal will require taxpayers who have already filed to amend their returns at a later date.”

    “This is not a complicated issue. Does the State want to encourage businesses-owners to make investments in their businesses, employees, and Maine or not? Our businesses deserve to know whether the 127th Legislature intends to increase their tax burden,” Governor LePage said.


    December 18, 2015 – Congress passes and the President signs a federal spending bill that includes long-term or permanent extensions of the so-called “tax extenders”

    December 22, 2015 – Governor LePage announces the State of Maine will consider conformity options, provided support exists among legislative leadership to continue Maine’s conformity the federal Code

    January 8, 2016 – DAFS announces plans to submit legislation that will continue to conform Maine’s income tax law to federal tax law

    January 19, 2016 – Income tax filing period opens in Maine

    January 25, 2016 – Public Hearing Held

    January 27, 2016 – Work Session Held

    February 3, 2016 – Next Work Session Scheduled

    Public Hearing

    At least 15 individuals or groups spoke or submitted testimony in support of the Department’s legislation.

    • 10 business owners or organization
      o Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine
      o AdvancePierre Foods
      o Cianbro
      o J&S Oil
      o Maine State Chamber of Commerce
      o Maine Motor Transport
      o Volk Packaging
      3 State Representatives
      1 Senator
      1 Commissioner
  • 27 Jan 2016 10:01 AM | Deleted user


    Health Network Staff Presented with EPIC Awards

    Four recipients announced quarterly



    January’s recipients of the EPIC awards established by the Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) Spirit Committee and announced quarterly include: the Androscoggin Valley Medical Arts Center (AVMAC) Angels (Ashley Provencher, Lenia Coates, and Leslie Adams); June Hostetter, dietary; Darlene Dipompo, radiology; and Laura Ward, nursing.


    The EPIC awards were developed as a way to recognize employees who demonstrate on a daily basis their commitment to FCHN’s values of Excellence, Pride, Innovation and Caring.


    Joel Chandler, representing the Spirit Committee, presented each recipient with a trophy and monetary gift at the Jan. 26 FCHN board meeting to the applause of its members. Each also has a designated parking spot of his or her choice for the next three months.


    The AVMAC angels, three staff members that include intake nurse Ashley Provencher, physician assistant Lenia Coates, and registered nurse Leslie Adams, received their nomination from Dr. Heidi Decker who described a patient caring for his ill mother who lacked the basic needs and necessities to take care of himself. The angels working together with Livermore Falls Family Practice staff collected enough food, clothing, and personal hygiene products to fill four boxes for this family and personally delivered the items to them. “These women inspired an entire office to give and participate in such a wonderful gift of human spirit, and demonstrated what we are all about—taking care of each other as human beings,” Decker stated in her nomination.


    June Hostetter’s nomination from Gearry Judkins and the entire Information Systems team said, “The quality of the food presented in the cafeteria recently has seen a marked improvement and it did not take long to figure out that this was due to June’s contributions in the kitchen. The entrees she prepares are tasty, nutritious, and affordable. It is an inspiration to see an employee who clearly pursues excellence beyond what might normally be expected.”


    Darlene Dipompo’s nomination from coworker Mackenzie Dudley described an employee who nurtures pride and enthusiasm and displays excellence, innovation, and caring. “She is a great mentor to her peers, as well as a student mentor. She is task oriented, reliable, flexible, and most of all kind, compassionate, and caring to everyone,” cited the nomination.


    Laura Ward’s nomination from Pat Magnusson described an exceptional and extremely knowledgeable nurse who maintains a positive “can do” attitude. “She is always available to offer help and can anticipate when help is needed. She is genuinely caring and respectful and makes patients and staff feel special and cared for. As clinical coordinator, Laura uses her skills in whatever area she is needed. She is a valuable asset to the hospital. There is not just one situation that leads me to nominate Laura—but many,” stated Magnusson.


    Tina Smith, Franklin Health Orthopaedics; Stephanie MacDonald, radiology; Jolene Libby, administration; and Cheryl Bunker, accounting; were also nominated for the award.


    All nominees received a certificate, pin, and a copy of their nomination form.


Contact us at:

Phone: (207) 500-2464


Mail: P.O. Box 458 Livermore Falls

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