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Page 1: Womens Quarterly
Page 2: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 20112 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ IN PROFILE

Page 3: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3Women’s QUARTERLY ~ IN PROFILE

Women’sQ U A R T E R L Y


INSIDE this edition

Every three months we will look at everyday challenges that women of all ages face.

Our next issue is scheduled to publish in July.


Advertising Sales Managers

Business Development ManagerBridget Campbell

Phone: 861-9155

E-mail: [email protected]

Creative/Innovations ManagerDenise VearPhone: 861-9125

E-mail: [email protected]

Special Projects PaginatorDebbie Fuller

Phone: 861-9202

E-mail: [email protected]

Advertising Sales Staff

Advertising Graphic Artists


Homelessshelter director dedicated to mission

4 Nationallyacclaimedjazz singerwith localroots

6 Roberta’sorganic gardens grow

7 Seniors recognizedfor achievements

10 Localwomanlearnslessons from Lybia

Rick DeBruinKennebec Journal

Phone: 621-5651

E-mail: [email protected]

Kirk BirdMorning Sentinel

Phone: 8619156

E-mail: [email protected]

Bonnie N. Davis

Wanda Curtis

Kris Ferrazza

Nancy P. McGinnis

Darla L. Pickett,

Content Editor

Natalie Blake

Karen Paradis

Dawn Tantum

Denise Vear

Chuck Barnes

Pam Boucher

Eric Bourgoin

Harvey Dinerstein

Randy Dutremble

Lori Gervais

Barbara Hendsbee

Carla McGuire

Ron Robbins

Matthew Sargent

Dana Sennett

Page 4: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 20114 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ IN PROFILEWednesday, July 22, 2011


Halley Elwell, still in her 20s, has

become an award-winning jazz vocalist and

composer — in part, she said, because

“nobody ever told me I couldn’t.”

The Hallowell native and Hall-Dale class

of 2002 graduate is living her dream.

Currently a resident of San Francisco,

she made a trip east last month to receive

an ASCAP award at Lincoln Center — and

to appear at a gig at the Higher Grounds,

accompanied by her former music teacher,

Marcia Gallagher. ASCAP stands for The

American Society of Composers, Authors

and Publishers.

“There was a lot of love in that room,”

Gallagher said afterward. The standing-

room-only crowd was a mix of all ages,

including Elwell’s contemporaries and for-

mer classmates, teachers and parents, local

residents, acquaintances and well-wishers,

and folks who hadn’t known Halley Elwell

at all, but love good jazz

“It was sure a lot of fun,” Elwell said,

recalling the steady stream of faces, many

familiar, and all of them thrilled to witness

and hear the poised, successful performer.

“A great turnout and a crowd that is low-

key and forgiving — performing doesn’t

get any better than that,” she said.

Elwell, who moved to California in

2007, gratefully attributes much of her

musical career success thus far to the edu-

cation and encouragement she received in

Maine. She said she is especially pleased

with the support from the two music teach-

ers to whom she feels indebted for their

confidence in her abilities, and their men-


“I started taking piano lessons from

Marcia (Gallagher) when I was 12-years-

old. And I was a freshman when Deb Large

began teaching at Hall-Dale, so she and

Marcia were a large part of my musical

support system.”

Before she graduated in 2002, Elwell had

participated in the Hall-Dale musicals as

Reno Sweeney in “Anything Goes” and as

the Queen in Once upon a Mattress. She

also took part in District Chorus, All-State

and Jazz All-State, as well as the popular

Hall-Dale vocal group, Purple Enigma.

Her mother, Robin Miller, has been

impressed with Elwell’s intuitive talent

since she her daughter was a little girl.

“I remember when she was in the fourth

grade, I heard a woman’s voice singing

upstairs. Thinking I was at home by

myself, I assumed someone had left the

radio on…but it was Halley, and she was

really good.”

After Hall-Dale, Elwell graduated with

honors from the University of

Massachusetts at Amherst with a bachelor

of music degree in jazz and a degree

African American Studies. “I had the great

privilege of studying with Dr. Catherine

Jensen-Hole, and jazz legend Sheila Jordan,

at the Jazz in July Summer Music pro-

gram,” she recalled.

The immersion experience among jazz

giants was a life-changing experience.

Elwell also debuted one of her first original

songs, “Nobody Bothers Me,” which

received accolades from Jordan, Geri Allen

and John Blake, among others and went on

to eventually earn Elwell the ASCAP

Young Jazz Composer award, which she

was presented in New York City last month.

“After I earned my music degree, I fig-

ured the only way to productively pursue

music — without being swallowed whole

by my student loan debt — would be to get

a day job and do gigs at night. Well, the

day job changed everything, including my

musical goals. I ended up recording for free

at a student-run studio at the San Francisco

art school where I worked as an administra-

tive assistant, and that’s how my first

album, “Last Spring,” was born.

Comprised of five original songs, includ-

ing the ASCAP award winner, and three of

Elwell’s favorite standards, the album fea-

tures some of the Bay area’s best musicians.

With the album in its final stages of produc-

tion this summer, Elwell has launched a

fundraising campaign on www.indiegogo.comto help cover expenses.

She has ambitiously set her sights on rais-

ing $2,500 — a goal that will cover studio

fees for extra production sessions, mastering

costs, album artwork fees, compact disc

duplication and payment of royalties.

Incentives to donors, in addition to sup-

porting emerging talent, range from signed

concert posters and copies of the CD, to

original work created by Elwell’s talented

siblings, Cassie Elwell and Angela Snyder,

under their House of Bouton and Nouveau

Abode design labels, respectively, in a show

of support for their sister.

Elwell landed in San Francisco because

she was looking for a welcoming city with a

jazz scene. She knew that wherever she was,

she would have to work hard: “There are not

many jazz vocalists my age. Part of my chal-

lenge is to sing into the music, but also

engage with the audience and build a rapport

with them.”

Performing in venues on either coast,

both jazz standards and her own composi-

tions, Elwell connects with her audience.

Sharing her own experience, along with the

historical anecdotes about the music, helps

her fulfill her personal mission to educate

contemporary listeners about the genre,

while passing on the jazz legacy. Especially

as a young person still in her 20s, Elwell

feels that mastering and embracing the bal-

ance also helps to validate her as a per-


“In order to sing with intent, I’ve learned

you really have to focus, and put time into

it,” she explains. “To succeed you have to

know your own story and be present, with

all your spirit and soul in the moment, rather

than, as musicians say, ‘phone it in.’ ”

Attending the ASCAP awards was “a

much bigger deal than I had thought it

would be,” Elwell confessed. At the event

hosted at Lincoln Center by ASCAP

President Paul Williams, Elwell was one of

about 20 awardees present, before an audi-

ence of about 100 people.

She said performances that evening to

honor legendary composers, such as Louis

Armstrong and Duke Elliott, demonstrated

“such an incredible level of musicianship

that it really motivated me to continue to

practice and perfect my own skill.”

Samples of Elwell’s music, more informa-

tion and details about how to support her

album through the indiegogo campaign, can

be found at www.halleyelwell.com.

Photo by Nancy McGinnis

Accompanied byher former musicteacher and mentorMarcia Gallagher,Halley Elwell,ASCAP (TheAmerican Society ofComposers,Authors andPublishers) award-winning jazz singerand songwriter, per-formed for anenthusiastic home-town crowd at theHigher Grounds inHallowell lastmonth.

Jazz singer with local roots wins national ASCAP music award

Page 5: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 5Women’s QUARTERLY ~ IN PROFILEWednesday, July 20, 2011

“Life is what happens whileyou’re making other plans.”



Betty Palmer, Executive Director of

Waterville’s Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter,

unequivocally believes it takes a village to

raise a child.

Palmer was raised in Phillips, Maine, the

daughter of downtown business owners. A

self-described street urchin, she said she

wandered business to business each morn-

ing, visiting the Phillips Shared Ministry

church as well.

“I am the product of a community rais-

ing a child,” Palmer said.

The glamour of the unknown drew her

away from Maine as a young adult.

Memories of her happy, safe childhood

drew her back to Maine as a single parent.

Here, she followed in her father’s footsteps,

owning a series of retail and service busi-


Life took a few unexpected turns.

Palmer’s focus shifted from the commer-

cial to the liturgical. She attended Bangor

Theological Seminary and accepted assign-

ments in Downeast Maine. She also fos-

tered dozens of children. She adopted three

of those children, doubling her personal

child count to six.

As pastor of the Machias United

Methodist Church, Palmer urged her con-

gregation to meet their neighbors, saying:

“If you don’t know the five people living

closest to your house, you don’t know your

neighbors. Let’s build community.”

And build community they did. When a

group of parishioners knocked on doors

and discovered numerous neighbors in

need, Palmer founded Neighbors Helping

Neighbors, a mission that annually rehabili-

tates about 70 homes for the elderly, handi-

capped and disabled, with the help of 400

to 600 church and community volunteers.

Centered in an area that hires thousands

of temporary harvest workers, Palmer real-

ized that building community should

extend beyond home-owning neighbors.

Her solution? Form a migrant ministry to

provide clothing, personal care items, liter-

acy, and French-, Spanish- and Micmac-

language Bibles to nearly 5,000 blueberry

rakers a year. The two missions have since

merged to form the Downeast Maine


In 2007, life again took other turns.

Palmer returned to central Maine to attend

to pressing family concerns. As outreach

director of Waterville’s Pleasant Street

United Methodist Church, she began volun-

teering with the Waterville Area Homeless

Action Group, a startup gathering of indi-

viduals hoping to make a difference in the

lives of the homeless in Waterville.

This group learned that one of the great-

est needs of the homeless wasn’t occurring

inside the shelter, but rather after they left

the shelter — a dispiriting absence of

household goods with which to furnish a

new living space, not a bed to sleep on, not

a broom to keep the space clean. Palmer

offered a solution: Collect cleaning sup-

plies, linens, used furniture and kitchen

items which are housed in the Pleasant

Street United Methodist Church donation

center for distribution as needed.

Now 250 strong, Homeless Action Group

members also volunteer in the homeless

shelter and at the winter overflow project,

providing winter sleeping quarters in a

church basement when the shelter is full.

They raise funds, and mentor families in

parenting, budgeting and how to find

appropriate support services once they have

left the shelter. They have become a feder-

ated partner of the Mid-Maine Homeless


In September of 2010, Palmer became

Assistant Director of the Mid-Maine

Homeless Shelter. When the executive

director subsequently resigned due to ill

health, she progressed to interim executive

director and then to executive director of a

shelter in the midst of an ambitious capital


According to Palmer, the new shelter, in

addition to providing food and shelter to

the homeless, will feature a family life pro-

gram offering a continuum of services

extending beyond the shelter to continue

shaping sustainable, productive, successful


A portion of the proposed new building

will be dedicated exclusively to homeless


“It is so much easier and more effective

in this current economy to intercede and

partner with people when they’re still under

a roof,” Palmer said.

Palmer said her strong religious core

guides her efforts, puts gas in her engine

every single day and fuels her belief that

one person, one family at a time, we can

end homelessness in central Maine.”

For more information about shelter pro-grams, please call (207) 872-6550. Theshelter’s Facebook page features com-ments on recent activities. Contributionsto the capital campaign may be mailedto Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, P.O.Box 2612, Waterville ME 04903 or visitwww.shelterme.org.

Head of shelter devotes life to homeless



About this sectionThis special advertising supple-

ment was produced by the KennebecJournal/Morning Sentinel. The coverdesign was by Denise Vear,Creative/Innovations Manager.

If you would like information onrunning a section about your busi-ness or organization, call BusinessDevelopment Manager BridgetCampbell at (800) 452-4666, Ext. 155.

Index of Advertisers

ON THE COVER: Halley Elwell, ASCAPaward-winning jazz singer and song-writer, at the Higher Grounds inHallowell last month with her formermusic teacher and mentor, MarciaGallagher.

— Photo by Nancy P. McGinnis

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Page 6: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 20116 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ IN PROFILEWednesday, July 22, 2011


There’s a big blue mailbox and, just

beyond, a gray-shingled Greek Revival house

surrounded by flowers. What better

announcement could there be for the lush,

organically-certified flower and vegetable

gardens of Roberta Bailey of Vassalboro?

For this is no ordinary place, and Roberta

Bailey is no ordinary woman.

Pulling into her driveway, a visitor is greet-

ed by two friendly collies and a big, gray cat.

Nearby, Bearded and Siberian Irises, mounds

of Wild Geranium and Nasturtiums bloom

behind a neatly stacked rock wall.

To the right is a post-and-beam greenhouse

as one goes past another border where lemon

balm smells heavenly, and columbine and

Echinacea stand tall.

“The house is almost as it was when I

moved here 11 years ago,” says Bailey, “but

I’ve added a sunroom where I start all my

seedlings every year, as well as this green-

house where they get moved into larger

growing trays at the end of March before

being transplanted outside.”

Bailey’s soil is heavy clay and water tends

to puddle, but behind the house is some of

the darkest, richest earth in Maine. And it’s

here, in addition to growing most of her food,

that she produces seed for three companies,

including Fedco of Waterville, Wood Prairie

Farm in Bridgewater, and J. L. Hudson of La

Honda, California.

A tour provides a visual feast.

Past a little chicken house, biddies are run-

ning around free, kept in check by Juno the

Border Collie, “who herds them away from

the gardens so they don’t scratch everything

up. He’s so good, that they don’t even come

near the gardens now,” she said with a laugh.

“He also keeps the deer away.”

A small, new herb garden contains lemon

grass, motherwort, black cohosh, arnica

chamissonis and comfrey. “I’m beginning to

take better care of myself,” she said “I’m

going to nurture myself more instead of

working quite so hard. Herbs can help.”

But it’s difficult to envision her ever slow-

ing down. After all, this is a woman who

came to Maine at the age of 18, built a couple

of log cabins in Mt. Vernon, was a ‘back-to-

the-lander’ in Topsfield for 13 years with hus-

band and two children, makes baskets of

spruce tree roots, is a fiber artist, spins,

cooks, and once repaired wood and canvas


Not only that, she has bred the popular hot

pepper, Matchbox; is credited with saving a

feathery-leafed cilantro after a seed company

dropped it and who hopes to resurrect

Maestro peas when the strain “got messed up

with another variety. She literally preserves

summer by canning apple cider with grapes

or berries, produces an elixir of Echinacea for

warding off colds and makes as an elderberry

tonic that a friend said is “so tasty it belongs

on ice cream.”

“Ok, but why comfrey?” a visitor asks.

“Isn’t it toxic?”

“Its deep roots bring up minerals,” she

replies. “I cut it for compost, and at times use

the dirt under its leaves for my house plants.

They like it.”

Gooseberry bushes, selected by distin-

guished University of New Hampshire plant

breeder Elwyn Meader for size and taste,

flourish beside elderberry bushes, which

Bailey said “are antiviral and especially good

for bronchitis.”

Turning to one of her large vegetable

patches, plants seem to rocket out of the dark

soil. A 75-foot row of potatoes, including

Carola and Kennebec, wait to be mulched

with hay causing her to say with a groan, “I

need to simplify.”

Next are peas climbing on nets —

Miragreen are a favorite — then a group of

Welsh Onions, clearly in bloom.

“They’re the first thing up every spring,”

Bailey said. “I use them as green onions, save

a little seed for the Seed Savers Exchange,

remove the seed stalks and with fall there are

green scallion types all over again.” The Seed

Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization

dedicated to the preservation of heirloom

seeds on their 890-acre Heritage Farm near

Decorah, Iowa.

Visitors side-step a spatter of tiny, bright

green calendula and Elka Breadseed poppy


“I like to have lots of flowers for bees and

love the idea of survivors popping up through

the rows so a little bit of wild peeps through,”

Bailey said.

Beyond are row-after-row of tall garlic

plants including Russian Red, which Bailey

said she has kept for almost 30 years. Nearby

are brassicas, protected by Agribon row-cov-

ers until they get established.

Then come cucumbers, including the

sunny heirloom, Boothby’s Blonde, varieties

of squash, musk melons, watermelons —

Peace has incredible flavor — dozens of

tomato plants producing seed for Fedco, and

rows of covered peppers.

“One row of sweet peppers is for personal

use,” she said. “The others are for seeds.

Peppers self-pollinate, but they could possi-

bly get a little bit of insect pollination, so row

covers keep them isolated. Chilipeno is in the

first year of a 10-year breeding project, while

Thai Hots, repotted into 71, two- and three-

gallon containers, remain in the greenhouse.”

By this time a visitor’s sense of awe has

mushroomed: There will be no Maestro

messes in this garden.

Under High Bush blueberries is a blanket

of Sparkle strawberries; cranberries beneath a

plum tree. There are kiwi vines, 12 varieties

of grapes espaliered along metal wires and a

120-foot-by-80-foot orchard of cherries,

plums and apples enclosed by an eight-foot

fence with bird houses for tree swallows and

bluebirds on 27 posts.

But her greatest surprise comes last.

Several rows of plants look like grass.

“What is that?” the visitor asks.


“Rice in Maine?” she is asked. She’s

growing a hardy, short-season Russian vari-

ety called Duborskian that, in 2010, actual-

Roberta’s organic gardens grow in life-giving abundance

Jean Ann Pollard photo

Roberta Bailey of Vassalboro washing off garlic bulbs fresh from her garden.

More on GARDENS, Page 7

Page 7: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 7Women’s QUARTERLY ~ IN PROFILEWednesday, July 20, 2011

ly produced heads of grain.

“You know,” Bailey says, “as experi-

enced gardeners, it’s rare that we walk into

a garden with no idea of what to do, but

that’s how I felt about trying rice. I didn’t

know what to do or how to do it. I often

work with people who don’t know how to

plant or grow anything, and I have a lot of

patience and am pretty good at educating,

but it’s really good to remember what it

was like at first.

“I feel like I’m at a place in my life now

where it’s time to share and do more teach-

ing. I’m not a doomsday person, but who

knows what’s going to happen with this

society or the financial world?” Bailey

wondered aloud. “ Who knows what’s

coming down the pike? I’m trying to give

people a lot when I can. And if the need

ever arises, I’ll teach the whole town how

to garden.”

Roberta offered me lunch and who could

refuse? In her charming kitchen she served

“Cream of asparagus soup with spring

peas.” Made of new asparagus with some

fresh Miragreen peas scattered on top, it

was a work of art.

“Because I didn’t know if you ate dairy or

not, I thickened it with some cooked oat-

meal, blended in a little potato water and

some very new asparagus,” she said.

There was also a superb salad of Quinoa,

fresh parsley, garlic, mint, lemon and tiny lit-

tle red grape tomatoes; some hard-boiled

fresh eggs from her own hens; herb tea, and

a lovely, strong grape ‘pick me up’ that one

didn’t want to stop drinking.

No matter how much you love it, growing

food is hard work, so she was asked why she

does it to such perfection.

After thinking a moment she said, “It’s

very important to me to have food that tastes

incredibly good. Asparagus picked from the

garden and brought inside is sweet; broccoli

that you get fresh from the garden is sweet.

Once you’ve had truly fresh food there’s no

going back to store-bought. Even “organic

food” in supermarkets is not as good. So

there’s a flavor element.

“Aside from flavor, for me it was original-

ly an attempt at more self sufficiency and

cost-effectiveness, but I think quality became

more and more an important part of it.

“I don’t think it was control of my food at

first but it’s become more that way now with

all the problems of genetically modified

organisms, chemicals, salmonella and E

coli,” she said. “Now I feel that I need to

protect my food and do more for myself

because of that. I know my food is safe. I

think that health issues come in on large-

scale factory farm levels.”

Contributed photos

An overview of Roberta’sbeautiful lush gardens.

Inside Roberta’s new post-and-beam greenhouse withtomatoes and otherseedlings. The greenhousewas built by Baileys hus-band, Rob Lemire.

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Please call 873-2158 for more information or to make an appointment

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John E. Burke, M.D. of

Rodrigue & Associates 58 State Street, Augusta, Maine 04330

GardensContinued from Page 6

Page 8: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 20118 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ FEATUREWednesday, July 22, 2011


A generation of men and women, many

of whom contributed to their country, their

state and their community, are quietly living

out their days in nursing homes or residen-

tial care facilities. Often, few people are

aware of their unique or interesting accom-


The Maine Health Care Association has

been changing that.

For nine years, its project, known as

Remember ME, has honored those who

spent the best years of their lives making a

difference for their families and communi-


Each year, the call goes out for nomina-

tions to association members who care for

Maine’s older populations, asking them to

identify honorees who have a history of vol-

unteerism and civic engagement.

Those selected by a panel of judges have

included decorated war heroes, community

leaders, health care professionals, educators,

homemakers, farmers, performing artists,

writers, loggers, mill workers, grange mem-

bers, scientists, entrepreneurs and business


Some overcame extraordinary hardships.

Others helped build strong communities,

were pioneers, broke barriers, or were swept

up in historic events.

Many are veterans, such as the man who

was among the American troops who liber-

ated a Nazi concentration camp and then

became the only survivor of a land mine that

blew up the vehicle in which he was riding.

Or, a woman who helped organize a

secret intelligence, code-breaking team that

analyzed Japanese military and government

communications during World War II.

For Nadine Grosso, vice-president and

director of communications for the Maine

Health Care Association, one woman’s story

as a Holocaust survivor still moves her.

“It’s hard to truly imagine what this

woman witnessed as a child and I was very

impressed with how she used this negative

experience to later have a positive impact on

others as an educator, mentor and parent,”

Grosso said.

“I think the Remember ME program

caught on quickly and has remained strong

for nine years because of the genuine com-

mitment by all involved,” said Grosso, who

launched the project in 2003.

“Not only are we committed to the project

and honoring residents, but so are our mem-

ber facilities and their staff,” she said.

“Maine’s long-term care providers believe

that each individual resident’s life story is

important and worthy of recognition. This

program has simply provided them with a

statewide vehicle to share that belief with


Each year, the Remember ME project

publishes a booklet and puts on a photogra-

phy exhibit of black and white, current and

past, photos of 35 honorees accompanied by

brief biographies. An additional 20 nomi-

nees receive honorable mentions.

The annual recognition is held in April,

when the residents are presented with

Certificates of Lifetime Achievement in

front of an audience of family members,

staff, officials and legislators.

The event is specifically held in the Hall

of Flags at the State House in Augusta to

remind legislators and the public that state

house decisions have a local impact on

human lives, Grosso said.

Claire Meuse is one of this year’s hon-


Meuse continues to tutorOnce or twice a week, Meuse, 86, and

Alberta Tracy, 68, find a quiet place to sit at

the Sandy River Center in Farmington where

they are reading together on the young adult

edition of Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of


Meuse, a 25-year tutor with Literacy

Volunteers, has been working with Tracy for

three years.

Originally from Melrose, Mass., Meuse

and her late husband, Robert, had one

daughter, Lori, a veteran English teacher at

Mt. Blue High School in Farmington.

Meuse, over her career, worked as a math

and science junior high and high school

teacher in several states, was a lifelong com-

munity volunteer and for 50 years, a Girl

Scout leader and a Scouts’ summer camp


As a tutor, she taught individuals and

groups, worked with people with develop-

mental disabilities, with youngsters who

needed to improve their skills, and now,

with senior citizens.

“After teaching eighth-grade boys, you

can teach anything,” she said with smile. “I

will take on any student.”

Meuse moved to Farmington 10 years ago

following the death of her husband, so she

could be near her daughter. Shortly after

Seniors are recognized for lifetimes of achievement

Contributed photo

Claire Meuse, one of the honorees of the Maine Health Care Association’s annual recognition project, Remember ME, is congratulatedby First Lady Ann LePage at the event and photographic exhibit in April held in the Hall of Flags at the State House in Augusta. Meuse, ateacher, long-time community volunteer and tutor is a resident of Sandy River Center in Farmington.

More on SENIORS, Page 9

Page 9: Womens Quarterly

arriving, she contacted Literacy Volunteers

and began tutoring, a commitment she con-

tinued until she suffered a stroke three years

ago that left her wheelchair-bound.

Soon after getting settled at Sandy River,

however, she found a reading student in


“Claire is very compassionate and a

great tutor. For years, she worked with a lot

of youngsters who get referred to us by

parents or their schools, and all the students

liked her because she made learning fun,”

said Joan Moes, the director of Franklin-

Somerset Literacy Volunteers of America

who retired last month.

“I am so pleased. There is a need for

tutors at nursing homes but we don’t have

the people to do it,” Moes said.

Sandy River Center’s activities director,

Lynette Hinkley, said the example Meuse is

setting shows that the elderly want to

remain active and involved.

“This is a very good learning experience

for both of them, and it gives Claire a sense

of being useful and valued,” Hinkley said.

Grosso said the stories she reads through

the Remember ME project inspire her.

“I am consistently amazed by the

responsibilities and goals they took on,” she

said. “I firmly believe that we live in a soci-

ety that tends to forget about its long-term

care residents for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps it’s because they may not be as

visible in their communities as they once

were. But more so, I think it is because of

widely-held misconceptions about the

aging process and even long-term care in


Grosso said in creating the project and

naming it Remember ME, she wanted to

give long-term care residents the recogni-

tion they have earned and at the same time

remind Maine lawmakers, regulators,

media and the general public of the value

of these residents’ contributions.

“They have spent the best years of their

lives creating families and building com-

munities. As they come to us for long-term

care, it is our privilege to serve them,” she


And the feedback from residents, consis-

tently, is that they are so very humble,

Grosso said.

“While their accomplishments are so

great and their actual experiences are often

once-in-a-lifetime, they can’t imagine why

they deserve this lifetime achievement

award,” she said.

“I can’t tell you how many times in nine

years I’ve heard residents say they were

just living their lives, nothing out of the

ordinary,” she said.

The Maine Health Care Association is a

statewide association of providers of serv-

ices to Maine’s older and disabled popula-

tions. MHCA represents more than 300

adult day service providers, assisted living-

residential care facilities, home health

providers, independent living-congregate

housing providers, nursing facilities, reha-

bilitation and skilled nursing providers,

and other organizations and individuals

who provide housing, health care and sup-

portive services to more than 10,000

Maine residents.

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9Women’s QUARTERLY ~ FEATUREWednesday, July 20, 2011

Contributed photo

Remember ME, a project of the Maine Health Care Association, annually recognizes thelifetime achievements of men and women currently in nursing homes and residential carefacilities. At the recent recognition event held in the Hall of Flags at the State House,Richard A. Erb, president and chief executive officer of the association, addresses hon-orees, their families and officials as he presents the Lifetime Achievement Awards. HouseMajority Leader Rep. Philip Curtis, R-Madison, is on far left, and First Lady Ann LePageand Senate President Kevin Raye are on right.

SeniorsContinued from Page 8

Page 10: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 201110 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ FEATUREWednesday, July 22, 2011

BY J.A. POLLARDCorrespondent

Lesson #1I couldn’t believe what I was doing.

Kneeling right there on the runway. Big jets

grumbling all around and I in my white

trousers and lacy, long-sleeved blouse, silver

loops in my ears, hair all sleek, eyeliner

applied, baby quiet in my tummy as if she

knew this was a special moment. And there I

was, kissing the tarmac!

People stared. I even stared at myself, felt

as if I was floating somewhere above.

Watching. Shocked.

Because I WAS shocked. Culture-shocked.

I’d just landed in New York, 20 hours out of

Libya, a country on the southern shore of the

Mediterranean Sea, northern edge of the

Sahara right next to Egypt — and a woman

stalked past pulling a little wheeled suitcase,

face uncovered, clicking along in stiletto

heels, waggling her bottom.

For a moment I was stunned: “My god!

No barracan!” And suddenly knew fully,

completely, that where I’d been living had

roiled me, burned me into someone else.

Lesson #2Once upon a time the country of Libya

was the breadbasket of Ancient Rome. The

ruins of Leptis Magna and Sabratha — beau-

tiful and golden — still rise out of smother-

ing sand after 2,000 years. Tesserae from

long-ago villas on the coast lie scattered.

Even ochre-pocked Tripoli, once called the

White City, is impressive. It’s a beautiful, dry,

sometimes forbidding world where hippos

once wallowed in rivers, elephants trumpeted

and a forgotten people 10,000 years ago drew

pictures on Saharan sandstone.

I was afraid. It began in Tripoli’s airport

where men in dark trousers, white shirts and

maroon skullcaps stared as if I were wild

game, or maybe a prize goat. Two women

shrouded in pinkish-tan sheets from head to

ankle clutched children’s hands, Barracans,

are worn by Libyan women to prevent them-

being seen by men. We headed for the ‘ladies

room,’ all the men staring at me. I ducked

inside where walls were smeared with feces.

Watch where you step and bring your own


Lesson #3Other Arabs, someone said, called Libya

“the armpit of the Arab world.” But my hus-

band was teaching geology at the University

of Tripoli, and I was an author/artist. I’d read

Muslim history, loved the domes of mosques,

minarets, fabulous tiles and desert oases.

This lesson occurred on a sandy peninsula

called Farwa jutting into the Mediterranean

close to the border of Tunisia. With an oil

company secretary and medical doctor friend,

we crossed a shallow lagoon by rickety boat,

chose a picnic spot in dunes, stripped down

to bathing suits. My husband marched off to

find some rocks. We women flung ourselves

onto blankets.

Silence. Peace.

Until a shoeless boy in tattered trousers

and flapping shirt came out of nowhere.

Staring. Followed by more boys and a crowd

of men. All staring. Next, they slaughtered an

unwilling sheep, built a fire and proceeded to

barbecue. There were no women.

“Why do they stare?” I asked the Doc.

“They don’t see many female faces, much

less bodies. They watch Hollywood movies,

believe all of us are evil. Also available.

Quadaffy made Egyptian women furious

when he said that women are biologically

defective. If we were equal to men, he said,

“ ‘we should be willing to jump out of

planes in parachutes while pregnant.’ ”

“You can’t be serious.” I said.

I was carrying my first child.

Lesson #4, Part 1Geologists, as everybody knows, study the

Earth. Scooting along the coast road of Libya

in our Volkswagen ‘bug’, I double-checked

the contents of my husband’s rucksack.

Along with charts from the U.S. Army Corps

of Engineers was his geologist’s hammer,

binoculars, research notebooks and a letter

written in English and Arabic from his Head

of Department: “Dr. Peter Garrett, the bearer

of this note, is a staff member of the faculty

of science, University of Tripoli. He is study-

ing the rocks and coast of Tripoli. Please

offer him any assistance you can.” It was

stamped with a blue, official-looking seal.

Turning down a sandy track, we passed a

zariba of stacked brush corralling jumping

goats, scrawny dogs, screeching children and,

just beyond, a domed, whitewashed Holy

Man’s Tomb overlooking a subkha or salt flat

and the sea. Land Rovers were parked beside


We joined the line — and an army came

pouring out like mad hornets.

“Uh oh!” the secretary said.

“Hm,” from the doctor.

Peter got out calmly, shrugging on his

rucksack, juggling binoculars with one hand,

camera with the other. “Salam Alaykam.” he


No one replied.

“Great,” I thought. “Maybe we’ll be shot

for spies.”

He was jostled, rucksack grabbed. Soon

hands were waving charts, trying out binocu-

lars. As he rummaged through pockets, rifles

were raised, but he paid no attention, offered

his official letter to a big black officer who

burst out of the building shouting orders.

I was terrified. The letter was seized, held

upside down, soldiers grabbed it, held it

every which-way, arguing.

“They can’t read,” the secretary said.

“They’ll rip it.” I squeaked.

The officer pocketed the letter, returned the

rucksack, made a gesture saying, “Do your

thing,” and we headed down-slope to the sea.

“What was that about?” I said.

“They were just checking,” Peter said with

a smile.

But I discovered what checking meant.

Lesson #4, Part 2Sliding down the steep, sandy slope to the

wide subkha below the Holy Man’s Tomb, I

was about to say, “I wonder what soldiers are

doing in there?” when one of their Land

Rovers roared to life and came plunging after

us, its driver and buddies braking to a wild

stop, leaping out.

“No!” they shouted, waving away my hus-

band while flapping their arms at we women

like farmers shooing brainless hens.

“They want us to go back up the hill,” the

secretary said.

I couldn’t believe my ears. Awkward with

Local woman learns lessonsfrom Libya; grateful to be home

More on LYBIA, Page 11

Jean Ann Pollard photos

Above, the pregnant authorduring her time in Tripoli, in acitrus, date palm, olive grovewhere plots of barley hadbeen planted between trees.

Left, in the 1970s the Soukal Juma, a market on theHoms road to the west ofTripoli, was busy everyFriday. A market full of menand boys turned hostile ,some even stoning theauthor.

Left, Desert Tuarg in Germa,far south of Tripoli in theSahara.

Page 11: Womens Quarterly

pregnancy, I stumbled.

Voices barked.

“La!” exclaimed the doctor. “Tabib,” I

heard her say. Then Arabic for “mother,


I thought of the Koran, Sura 31: “We

enjoined man to show kindness to his par-

ents, for with much pain his mother bears


The soldiers drove us, flapping. I was

afraid for the baby, shuffled up the slope to

our Volkswagen, threw myself inside and

locked the doors.

They rocked the car. Boys. I thought.

They’re stupid boys.

One rapped the windshield hard and I

heard the doctor say, “La! Imshi!”

Heart pounding, I picked up a book, pre-

tended to read. He fingered his rifle. Then

the big officer reappeared, shouting orders,

and the Rover sped off again. Below, my

husband ambled unconcernedly.

“They’ll kill him!” I could hardly breathe.

The Rover braked, he got aboard.

Delivered to the parking lot, he shrugged.

“They want us to go somewhere.”

So, hemmed in by army vehicles, we

made a tight convoy back to the coast road,

parked before a mud-brick building with an

old green door, a Rover blocking all escape.

I wanted to screech. Until, inside, a hand-

some senior officer took our passports,

checked our photos, fingered the letter,

thought a moment, handed them back.

“I trust you have good researching, Dr.

Garrett,” he said.

Ignoring me, he turned to the unmarried

women. “Why have you no husbands?” he

asked. And got their addresses.

I didn’t know what to feel.

Lesson #5The farm villa my husband and I rented in

Libya was in a citrus grove. Solid and

square, it was built by Italians in the early

1900s before Quadaffy threw them out, con-

fiscated their property, banned foreign lan-

guage signs, pork and alcohol. Close by was

the Souk al Juma — the Friday Market.

The road to the souk wandered between

red-dirt berms topped with prickly pear.

Driving our ‘bug’ we passed a small, white

camel tethered to a date palm, yellow acacia

in bloom, tall eucalyptus lining the way.

Ahead and behind were Peugeot pick-ups

loaded with sheep.

It was hot. I was doing my best to respect

the culture, wearing a flowing dress with

full-length sleeves. Beyond a line of open-

sided, garage-like stalls — one with a

camel’s head dripping blood — was an open

area partly walled by crumbling stone, where

farmers offered pyramids of new potatoes,

fennel, tomatoes, eggplant, green peppers,

onions, broad beans, peas, even bananas

from Ecuador.

Parking, we went inside. I was choosing

peppers when the first stone hit. At first I

didn’t understand. There was no parting of

the crowd. Nobody shouted. The stone hit

me on the side, skittered down my skirt.

Another hit my hand. I stood stock still in

disbelief. Then came a handful of pebbles.

Someone hated me. I remembered the

princess who’d been stoned to death in


Twenty feet away my husband placidly

bought beans. Easing over, I clutched his

arm. “I’m being stoned!”

“Beg pardon?”


“I don’t see anything.”

“Get me out of here.”

The souk was crowded. There was no rush

of feet, no yells. But suddenly I realized

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 11Women’s QUARTERLY ~ FEATUREWednesday, July 20, 2011

LybiaContinued from Page 10


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More on LYBIA, Page 13

Page 12: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 201112 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ BOOKTALKWednesday, July 22, 2011



In this appealing cookbook, “Jacques Pepin's Kitchen:

Cooking With Claudine,” popular classical French chef

Jacques Pepin is matched up in the kitchen with an

irreverent red-headed twenty-something sous-

chef — his daughter Claudine. No, she didn ‘t

genetically inherit the ability to create memorable

French cuisine.

“If my father were a surgeon, would I necessari-

ly know how to operate?” she asks.

Only after purchasing a copy did I realize that it

is apparently a companion cookbook for a PBS

series by the same name that aired some time ago. I

never saw the TV versions, but the cookbook is

handy to browse through for specific recipes and

entire menus — or for the purpose of armchair day-

dreaming or nitty gritty event planning.

Sprinkled here and there are adorable snapshots of

father and young daughter working together in the

kitchen years ago — but this book, while sometimes

whimsical, is absolutely serious in its dedication to the

pursuit of good food rather than cuteness.

Conversational comments and anecdotes, as well as

practical tips quoted in the margins make the reader feel

as if Jacques and Claudine are right there in the kitchen;

a detailed nutritional analysis of every recipe is helpful

for people with allergies or dietary restrictions.

Pepin’s approach is unabashedly artful but not the

least bit pretentious. It also is mindful that Claudine’s

generation often has limited time and funds, along with

a concern for healthy eating. Respect for tradition and a

willingness to learn are combined with a respect for cre-

ativity and the challenge of making something out of

what one has on hand.

In short, it is simple cooking that pleases and nur-

tures, without straining to impress A cookbook for sum-

mer — or anytime — in Maine.

I know from experience that one can easily Google

any recipe one can imagine on the Internet, but that’s

not the point. Just like curling up with a great fiction

hardcover, in an all too electronic world, sometimes a

person just wants to sit down and flip through the pages

of a well thought out and attractively designed cook-


When I turn my attention to food, I prefer to be think-

ing of the cutting board, not the keyboard. From the

older family members — European and Caribbean her-

itage to Claudine’s childhood summers spent on the

New England coast — this book reinforces Pepin’s

notion of affective memory versus intellect. Simply put,

our own emotional and personal experience that we

bring to the kitchen and to the table is embodied in the

food we eat and how we prepare it.

So this father-daughter pair shows us how to eat

locally and think globally, from New England clam frit-

ters to continental clafoutis (a thick fruit custard dish, a

European classic). Dig in!

Cookbook offers father-daughter team advice


Serves 8

Total time about 30 minutes, plus 12 to14 hours freezer and refrigeration time.

1 medium watermelon (about 12 pounds)3/4 cup lime or lemon juice3/4 cup sugar

1. Cut the watermelon into 2-inch wedges.Remove and discard the rind, black seeds

and as many of the softer white seeds aspossible. Cut the flesh into one-inchchunks, and place them in the bowl of afood processor. Process until liquefied.(Some small chunks may remain.) Thiswill yield about 10 cups. Add the limejuice and sugar, and process just untilincorporated.2. Transfer the watermelon mixture to astainless steel bowl, cover, and freezeuntil solid, for 8 to 10 hours.3. At least 3 to 4 hours (but as long as 5hours) before serving, move the bowl to

the refrigerator to soften the mixture. Inthe last hour before serving, use a fork tobreak the softened mixture into shavings.Serve in cold glass goblets or bowls.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS:Calories 209.6Protein 2.6 gm.Fat 1.8 gmSaturated fat 0 gmCholesterol 0 mgSodium 12.1 mg

Page 13: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 13Women’s QUARTERLYWednesday, July 20, 2011

Nancy P. McGinnis

A double page spread shows Jacques Pepin’s exuberant, casually hand-drawn and decorated menu for a bridal showerbrunch created for one of daughter Claudine’s friends. On the opposite page, a mouth-watering photo of a tray of open-face sandwiches features several “colorful and complimentary tidbits of food layered on a single thin slice of bread, toastor a cracker,” spotlighting fillings such as salami, mozzarella, scrambled egg, blue cheese, herring, tuna, smoked mus-sels, brie, and more.

something horribly significant: In all that gathering of carts,

donkeys, boys, and men wearing toga-like capes over white

shirts and dark trousers, mine was the only female face. I

was the only woman there.

I thought I’d faint, and for some reason remembered the

small white camel tethered to the palm.

My husband walked me out of there.

I’d never visit the souk again.

Lesson #6So there I was kneeling on the tarmac. The baby kicked.

“Never mind, little one,” I murmured. “We’ll be all right.”

I’d said it so many times in Libya. In so many places. And

for just a moment actually missed the clacking of date palms

overhead rather than the grumbling 767s and 727s and all

the little carts with luggage and men with flags.

Then someone put his hand on me, stood me up.

“Thanks,” I said.

“All right?”

“Yes. Now.”

He looked concerned, eyes bright, uniform immaculate.

“OK,” he said.

Sorry. Sorry. I lied about that, dear reader. There was no

freshly-pressed, official, young American. I was all alone[4].

Cut off. The same way I’d felt in the Sahara, in the World of


And wondered what it was like for Muslim women in


Lybia Continued from Page 11

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Page 14: Womens Quarterly

BY BONNIE N. DAVISCorrespondent

When 800 hundred adults and children

gathered last month for the Fourth

Annual North End Night at Dave’s Place

— the small park located on Drummond

Avenue between Oak Street and High

Street in Waterville — community advo-

cates saw the fruits of their labor.

Hosted by the North End Boys and

Girls Club and Living Water Community

Church, the community bash offered a

free evening of fun and food in a safe


People of all backgrounds mingled, as

their children played. The Alfond Youth

Center, the parent organization of the

boys and girls club, offered karate

demonstrations. Dance performances,

face painting, music and games delight-

ed the children.

“I think it’s huge,” Connie Turmelle,

area landlord and neighborhood beautifi-

cation advocate, said about the event and

the presence of the North End Boys and

Girls Club. “Steve Aucoin is amazing.

He’ll go door to door, to all the houses

with kids. It’s a huge draw when people

move to the neighborhood.”

“With each year, I think people now

have an expectation that this event will

happen and they look forward to it; it’s

great to create an event that has longevi-

ty,” said Steve Aucoin, event organizer

and director of the North End Boys and

Girls Club. “Over half the tenants in

public housing were there. The kids con-

ducted themselves very well.”

Turmelle agreed.

“From my end, I have a lot of social

worker skills, people want safe homes,”

she said. “We’re seeing more neighbors

taking care of neighbors and taking pride

in the neighborhood. I just want people

to know that the North End is alive and

well and that we have earnest, hard-

working people in this neighborhood.”

According to Turmelle, her husband

Arthur remembers large North End block

parties from the past. At that time,

Frieda Levine spent countless hours

working to help woman and single moth-

ers in the North End, she said.

“She helped a lot of single women

when no one else would,” Turmelle said.

“One woman, now in her 90s, is still in

the neighborhood. For me, that’s a huge

legacy. To try and fill her shoes is not

easy. It’s not one of my goals, it’s my


When Turmelle and her husband pur-

chased a double square block of the

North End 25 years ago, the property

was added to smaller holdings.

“We wanted to flip the neighborhood,

but not to sell,” Turmelle said. “Besides

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 201114 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ FEATUREWednesday, July 22, 2011

North End gathering breathes life into the community

Bonnie N. Davis photo

Jo Horn and her granddaughters, Aiydna and Dasey McNeill, came to North End Night forthe first time. More on GATHERING, Page 15

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KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 15Women’s QUARTERLY ~ FEATUREWednesday, July 20, 2011

the beautification, you want to offer a

nice place to live — clean and safe, with

respectful neighbors.”

As Ziyadah Montas walked around

the party with her friend’s daughter,

Airyanna, she wore a broad smile.

“I moved here a few months ago from

Massachusetts, so this is really different.

There are things for everyone to do,” she

said. “When I went to school, no one

would talk to me, but I came here and

they do.”

For Jo Horn, the party was a great

place to bring her granddaughters,

Aiydna and Dasey; it was their first


“I think it’s awesome. The lines are

long, but the girls are patient and they’re

having a blast,” Horn said. “A lot of

people are struggling right now, so it’s

great this is free for donations.”

Craig Sargent, sensei of Club Naha —

the karate school at the Alfond Youth

Center — was pleased with the turnout.

“I think the block party is a great

idea,” Sargent said. “It gets the commu-

nity together for bonding and to have a

little fun. We enjoy coming out here and

showing the community the program the

Alfond Youth Center has to offer.”

Aucoin, along with volunteers, gath-

ered goods and funds from local mer-

chants, businesses and individuals so

that free hamburgers, hotdogs, chips,

water and soda could be served at the

block party.

“Food is an introduction to something

larger,” Aucoin said. “Breaking bread

has a unifying quality.”

Mike Nerney, pastor of Living Water

Community Church, and his wife, Sue,

have an active role in the neighborhood,

which includes the North End Ministry

Center located at 10 Toward Street. His

Oakland congregation offered games,

free popcorn and cotton candy. Sue

Nerney provided vouchers for free back-

packs and youth camp. Other church

volunteers offered information on

women’s activities and Bible study


“Mike brings the spiritual part to the

North End,” Turmelle said. “They offer

support, programs for women and help

you feel like you’re not alone. I loved

seeing the volunteers from Inland.”

Medical assistant Jessica Gammon

felt their Inland Family Care booth —

Bonnie N. Davis photo

Living Water offered a week full of fun for neighborhood kids, free of charge.

GatheringContinued from Page 14

More on GATHERING, Page 17


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Page 16: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 201116 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ FEATUREWednesday, July 22, 2011

BY WANDA CURTISCorrespondent

The month of July has been designated as Sandwich

Generation Month, an annual national observance.

The purpose is to recognize the thousands of Americans

who are part of the Sandwich Generation, those sand-

wiched between raising children and caring for aging fami-

ly members.

The Pew Research Center has reported that approxi-

mately one of every eight Americans from age 40 to 60 is

raising a child and caring for a parent at the same time.

Plus, seven to 10 million adults are caring for their aging

parents long distance.

In a Feb. 20, 2007 Money Magazine article, Walecia

Konrad described this phenomenon as the “midlife tug of

war.” She offered the following suggestions for dealing

with these difficult situations.

• Talk to parents about their finances and about what

plans they’ve made if they become ill or incapacitated.

• Make sure that parents have a durable power of attor-

ney who can sign checks, pay bills, and make financial

decisions for them if they become unable to do so. They

should also have a living will outlining their wishes

regarding healthcare if life-sustaining medical care is


• Take care of yourself. Make plans for your own retire-

ment and for future college costs.

• Find out about benefits for which parents may qualify.

Visit eldercare.org which can link you to the elder care

agency closest to your parents’ home.

In Maine, Peg Soucy, owner of Elder Care Planning and

Solutions, assists local residents in finding resources to

meet the needs of aging family members. Soucy has

reported an increase in sandwich generation members

seeking her services to find out what is covered by insur-

ance, which resources are available in their area, and how

to plan for aging parents.

Soucy said that sandwich generation members must

juggle the responsibilities involved in maintaining two

households — getting groceries, preparing meals, doing

laundry, managing medications and appointments, paying

bills and splitting time between their spouse, children and

aging family members. She commented that the increased

demands on time, energy, health, and finances involved in

caring for aging family members can place a strain on the

caregiver’s marriage and relationships with their own

children. She explained that, members of the sandwich

generation feel torn between the needs of their own fami-

ly and the needs of their aging parents and “are often left

with feelings of inadequacy.”

Soucy said that professional geriatric care managers,

like herself, are trained to assess family situations, identi-

fy problems, develop a plan, recommend services and

arrange for and monitor services, as well as act as a liai-

son for family members who live at a distance or out of


“Sometimes, they are called in to work with families,

physicians, attorneys and guardians to assess, plan and

coordinate care while maintaining the dignity and respect

of the person needing assistance.”

Soucy travels throughout central Maine visiting homes,

conducting assessments and assisting families in develop-

ing a plan of care.

Her website is www.ecpsme.com, or contact her by

emailing [email protected] has reported that by 2024 there will be

60 million Americans between the ages of 66 and 84

years, many of whom may need part or full-time care.

The website for the National Association of

Professional Geriatric Care Managers is www.caremanag-er.org. Included on that website are frequently asked

questions, information regarding how to find a care man-

ager in a particular geographic area and articles related to

specific topics of interest to caregivers.

July is designated as “Sandwich Generation” MonthA midlife tug of war phenomenon

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Page 17: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 17Women’s QUARTERLY ~ FEATUREWednesday, July 20, 2011

serving downtown Waterville — gave

people an opportunity to learn about

health issues in a comfortable forum.

“This is our first year. We wanted to

reach out to the community; not every-

one can afford healthcare,” she said.

“We want to be help for people who

don’t go to the doctor. It’s been mostly

woman. We give them the educational

piece. When we take their blood pres-

sure, we give them a ‘smiley face’ if it’s

normal or we tell them to go to a

provider or the ER(emergency room).”

“It’s such a good example of people

working together to build community; I

hope people in the North End see it and

learn from it,” said Aucoin. The organiz-

ing groups thanked everyone for dona-

tions and support, handing a special

thanks to Arthur and Connie Turmelle.

“It was a great event. About 6 p.m.,

straight overhead, there was a big old

rainbow,” Aucoin said. “It was really

cool, with over a 100 people looking up.

It was a nice little touch; however, we

got it.”

Bonnie N. Davis photo

Stephanie and Caitlin Blair ran the Inland booth with Jessica Gammon.

Bonnie N. Davis photo

Ziyadah Montas with her neighbor’s daugh-ter, Airyanna, enjoyed the summer fun.

GatheringContinued from Page 15

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Page 18: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 201118 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ HEALTHTALKWednesday, July 22, 2011


A silent threat rests in many prescrip-

tion cabinets across the state of Maine

and a recent report points to what may

appear to be an unlikely abuser popula-

tion — older women. A recent report by

the federal Substance Abuse and Mental

Health Services Administration shows a

49 percent rise in emergency department

visits for drug-related suicide attempts

by women aged 50 and older between

2005 and 2009. These attempted suicides

are closely related to prescription drugs

intended to treat pain, anxiety and

insomnia such as OxyContin,

hydrocodone and zolpidem.

Unfortunately Maine is at the foreground

on the war against prescription drug


Making Sense of the Threat“Maine is number one per capita for

the use of pill-form opioids,” said Peter

Wohl, Director of Outpatient Services at

Crisis & Counseling Centers. Many

Mainers – adolescents and older adults,

particularly – mistakenly assume that

prescription medications are safer and

involve no risk.

“There’s fewer stigmas around taking

them so many people get trapped into

addictions by underestimating the dan-

gers associated with taking them,” Wohl


According to Wohl, class and age bar-

riers prevent many from seeking help.

“If you are an older person living a

solid middle-class life, you may feel

uncomfortable with the idea that you are

addicted. You may not seek the help you

need because you don’t want to be asso-

ciated with the stigma of addiction.”

“The sooner people get help, the bet-

ter they will be both in the long term and

the short run.”

Why Middle-Aged women? Why Now?

For many older women, powerful and

addictive prescription drugs are more

available and socially acceptable than

illegal counterparts. Variants are adver-

tised on television, they often don’t carry

the stigma associated with hardcore

street drugs, and American culture often

encourages people to combat pain, anxi-

ety or insomnia with prescription drugs.

In addition, females are more likely to

attempt suicide, according to Abby

Lourie, Director of Crisis Programs at

Crisis and Counseling. “Many choose to

overdose, which may be one reason for

this trend. Older women have easier

access to powerful prescription pain

killer medication than ever before.”

Crisis & Counseling Centers is the sole

provider of 24-hour mobile crisis

response and stabilization in Kennebec

and Somerset counties. Staffing the

emergency response line means Crisis

and Counseling staff are often the first

line of defense. “Approximately 20 per-

cent of our clients are age 60 or older,”

Lourie said, adding that in her experi-

ence all age groups and both sexes

attempt suicide. “Virtually anyone under

the influence is more prone to attempt

suicide,” she said.

Know the Warning SignsWhen in doubt, call the experts if

someone you know seems unstable and


• Sudden change in personality,

increased risk-taking and / or irritability.

• Stopped taking prescribed medi-


• Stopped seeing a mental health

provider or physician.

Prescription cabinets hold silent threatsMany mistakenly assume prescription medications safer and involve no risk

“Maine is number one per capita for the use of pill-form opioids.There’s fewer stigmas around taking them so many people gettrapped into addictions by underestimating the dangers associatedwith taking them.”


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Page 19: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 19Women’s QUARTERLY ~ HEALTHTALKWednesday, July 20, 2011

• Written a suicide note or will.

• Given possessions away.

• Been in or is currently in an abusive


• An upcoming anniversary of a loss.

• Started abusing alcohol or drugs.

• Already attempted suicide or has

talked about suicidal thoughts.

For questions, contact Crisis and

Counseling at its 24-hour toll-free crisis

number: 1-888-568-1112. For more

information, (including free brochures,

visit www.crisisandounseling.org.

ThreatsContinued from Page 18

Photo provided by

Crisis & Counseling Centers

At risk: Nationally women aged 50 andolder are being treated in emergencydepartments at alarming rates, due to drug-related suicide attempts. If someone youcare about is at risk, please call thestatewide 24-hour emergency responseline: 1-888-568-1112, or Crisis &Counseling Centers’ local number(Kennebec and Somerset counties), 621-2552.

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Page 20: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 201120 Women’s QUARTERLY ~ HEALTHTALKWednesday, July 22, 2011

BY DIANE E. PETERSONSenior editor at MaineGeneral Health

Judy MacKenzie’s day started, like so

many do, at a local obstetrician-gynecolo-

gist’s office.

She was there to lend support and guid-

ance to a woman who had called her, des-

perate for help with incontinence. After

reassuring the woman that treatment was

available and learning more about her spe-

cific problem, Judy helped set up the

appointment for her to be evaluated and

have treatment options explained.

For MacKenzie, MaineGeneral’s

women’s health navigator, fielding tele-

phone calls, going with women to doctors’

appointments, helping them understand

often-confusing medical information,

being there for their surgeries, providing

comforting support afterward and check-

ing on their progress is all part of her

day’s work.

“It’s so important for women to have

personal, face-to-face support when deal-

ing with incontinence. They often are

embarrassed or uncomfortable discussing

it. Being there during their appointments

makes it easier to talk about it and I can

help process the medical information,” she


“I often get a big hug after the appoint-

ment so I know I’ve helped,” she said.

Treatments vary from simple changes in

diet, to pelvic floor exercises, medications,

physical therapy and surgery.

“Judy’s role is a unique service

MaineGeneral started last year,” said

Jennifer Riggs, administrative director of

women’s services. “She offers women

personalized and confidential support to

connect them with the services they need,

help coordinate their care and, if neces-

sary, be an advocate.”

Women feel safe and have a friendAfter suffering from incontinence for

more than 10 years, Debbie Hamilton

credits MacKenzie with giving her the

support she needed to have surgery that

has been a huge success.

“I don’t think I would have had the

operation if she hadn’t made me feel safe

in deciding to have it done. She went

with me to every appointment, was there

when I had the surgery and calls me to

keep in touch. She’s awesome.”

Hamilton’s surgery was done by urolo-

MaineGeneral photo

Judy MacKenzie, registered nurse andwomen’s health navigator, connects womenwith the treatment they need. MacKenzie isjust a toll-free phone call away at 1-877-894-2282.

MacKenzie helps women navigate the issues of incontinence with reassurance

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“It’s so important for women to have personal, face-to-face supportwhen dealing with incontinence. They often are embarrassed oruncomfortable discussing it. Being there during their appointmentsmakes it easier to talk about it and I can help process the medicalinformation.”


Page 21: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 21Women’s QUARTERLY ~ HEALTHTALKWednesday, July 20, 2011

gist Dr. Ravi Kamra, at Kennebec County

Urology. “I had been wearing inconti-

nence pads for more than a decade. Now

I can sneeze, cough, run and it’s wonder-


For Doris Jorgensen, MacKenzie has

become a friend.

“Judy is a newfound friend that I can

confide in,” said Jorgensen, who had sur-

gery last year, which she said gave her a

second chance at life.

She called MacKenzie after her pri-

mary care physician, Dr. Jenny Pisculli at

Maine Dartmouth Family Practice recom-

mended her.

“She has the personality to put you at

ease to be able to talk about personal

things. You need a friend like that

because it’s an intimate thing you don’t

share with everybody,” Doris said.

Physician supportAlthough skeptical about Judy’s role at

first, Dr. William George, an OB/GYN at

Waterville Women’s Care, is a strong

believer in its benefits.

“Having Judy there during appoint-

ments is very reassuring to patients,” he

said. “And it’s good to have someone

who knows our health care system so

well to literally navigate them through it.

People have a hard time knowing where

to go. I think Judy makes their lives a lot

easier. It’s wonderful to have that.”

And, because MacKenzie has already

talked to patients extensively beforehand,

they often are better prepared, he said.

Not just incontinenceTo date, much of Mackenzie’s time has

been devoted to helping women with

incontinence problems.

“We started promoting that because we

knew there are a lot of women in our

communities who don’t realize there are

treatments available. If we can connect

them to those services, they shouldn’t

have to live with the problem,” Riggs


But, she emphasized, the goal of the

Women’s Health Navigator Program is to

help guide women through any services

they need during all stages of their lives.

“A lot of women have felt comfortable

asking her about different services. Any

health care issue has the potential to be

scary and confusing,” Riggs said.

“Having somebody physically go with

you is such a huge relief. Not all women

need that, some just want to know what

to expect.”

HealthContinued from Page 20

Compassion - Leadership - Excellence Compassion - Leadership - Excellence

Page 22: Womens Quarterly

SUBMITTED BY INLAND HOSPITALSpecial to Women’s Quarterly

OneMaine Health, a collaboration betweenEastern Maine Healthcare Systems (which isInland Hospital’s parent company),MaineGeneral Health and MaineHealth,recently announced the release of Maine’sfirst comprehensive, statewide CommunityHealth Needs Assessment.

The three health systems will work closelywith the state’s hospitals and Healthy MainePartnerships to host local forums to share theinformation, begin discussions and developaction plans based on the report’s findings.

The Community Health Needs Assessmentexamined health status, use of health servic-es, access and barriers to care, and other fac-tors affecting the health of Maine people. Thein-depth report will help local communitiesand health-care professionals make decisionsabout the future of health care and preventionin their areas by identifying how their com-munities compare to the state on manydimensions of health

The findings point out several major healthissues facing all communities, includingchronic disease burden, such as diabetes,heart disease and respiratory disease, cancerrates, levels of obesity, smoking and illicitdrug use and access to dental and mentalhealth services. Visit www.chna.emh.org or

www.inlandhospital.org for the full report andfor specific results about Kennebec Countyand Somerset County.

In Kennebec County, the report indicatesthat a high percentage of males are without ausual source of care when compared to thestatewide rate. Tobacco, both smokeless andin the form of cigarettes, continues to be anissue requiring attention and action. Anothercompelling finding is that seniors in centralMaine are more likely than others their age inMaine to be chronic heavy drinkers and bingedrinkers.

Numerous presentations are planned incommunities across the state so healthcareproviders, citizens, business and legislativeleaders can learn firsthand about the report’sfindings. These sessions will also provide anopportunity to share thoughts about the futureof health care in Maine and how to effective-ly address local health issues. For more infor-mation on the Waterville Community HealthNeeds Assessment forum set for Aug. 30,contact Ellen Wells, Inland Hospital’sCommunity Wellness Coordinator at 861-3292 or [email protected].

OneMaine Health contracted with theUniversity of New England’s Center forCommunity and Public Health to conduct theCommunity Health Needs Assessment. TheMuskie School and Market Decisions, Inc.helped complete the report. The Community

Health Needs Assessment process includeddeveloping and analyzing a comprehensivehealth profile by county using data from a

health survey of more than 6,400 householdsand Maine vital statistics, cancer registry andhospital and emergency department data.

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 201122 Women’s QUARTERLYWednesday, July 22, 2011

Inland Hospital is a member of Eastern Maine Health Care Systems (EMHS), whichserves as a foundation for more than 30 healthcare organizations in central, easternand northern Maine. Together EMHS members work to ensure safe, quality care isavailable to Maine people.The OneMaine Health Collaborative was formed in 2007 by EMHS, MaineGeneralHealth and MaineHealth to produce cost savings, share information and collectivelybetter understand Maine’s community health needs. While each system has previouslyoffered its own individual Community Health Needs Assessment focused on its region,the larger OneMaine Health study provided an opportunity to lower costs and delivertimely and comprehensive statewide information.

Community Health Needs Assessment plan is released


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Page 23: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 20, 2011 23Women’s QUARTERLYWednesday, July 20, 2011

Page 24: Womens Quarterly

KENNEBEC JOURNAL • Morning SentinelWednesday, July 20, 201124 Women’s QUARTERLYWednesday, July 22, 2011