All posts by Jackie Farwell

Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.

Here’s what an obese body looks like — from the inside

PORTLAND, MAINE -- 11/24/15 -- A museum-goer walks by a display on obesity at the Body Worlds exhibit at the Portland Science Center on Tuesday. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

The newly opened Portland Science Center recently invited me to tour its “Body Worlds” exhibit, a striking collection of preserved human cadavers and organs designed to illustrate, in the most graphic of detail, the consequences of unhealthy living. The displays related to obesity seemed particularly worth checking out as we head into the Thanksgiving and holiday season, when […]

How decorative contact lenses could damage your eyes this Halloween


Halloween shoppers can buy decorative contact lenses online, in beauty supply and costume stores, and even at gas stations. But before you don a pair to complete your vampire look this weekend, health officials warn that they could damage your eyes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Ophthalmology caution consumers against purchasing decorative […]

Due for a medical procedure or blood work? Maine patients, use this new tool to shop around.

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You can’t always shop around when it comes to your medical care. The back of an ambulance is no place to start Googling hospitals to find out which one provides the best and most affordable treatment for the heart attack you’re experiencing. But when you can plan ahead — think an elective procedure or imaging test — it […]

Maine woman celebrates Macy’s pledge to stop selling furniture with flame retardants

Jenny Rottmann of Portland was nine months pregnant. in Nov. 2012 when she spoke out against potentially harmful flame retardant chemicals in her couch. BDN | Troy R. Bennett

Three years ago, I interviewed a Portland woman who had just learned that potentially toxic chemicals were lurking in her house. Jenny Rottmann, due to give birth to her first child in a matter of days, worried the couch she’d purchased at a local department store could harm both her and her baby. The pale green couch had been treated […]

State identifies Maine schools hit with chickenpox outbreaks

Source: U.S. CDC

The state has released the names of three schools and a childcare facility where chickenpox broke out during the 2014-15 school year. While months have passed since the outbreaks occurred, the disclosure finally publicizes information that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has resisted releasing. Both the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald requested […]

The innocents in Maine’s drug crisis: Almost 1,000 Maine babies exposed in the womb

A one-month-old baby cries in July 2013 at Eastern Maine Medical Center, where Dr. Mark Brown treats drug-affected newborns. Brian Feulner | BDN

Eight percent of all babies born in Maine during the last fiscal year entered the world affected by drugs. That’s nearly 1,000 infants exposed to drugs in the womb, the highest number on record and a more than fivefold increase since 2006. This chart reflects instances where health care providers reported to the state that they had reasonable cause to […]