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Augusta dentist wins Fulbright grant to improve oral health in Belarus

Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a pediatric dentist in Augusta, was recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright award that will fund work to improve the health of children in his ancestral homeland of Belarus. The Fulbright Specialist Program grant in public and global health promotes collaboration between U.S. scholars and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions across the world. Shenkin — a […]

Vital Signs: Health cuts in LePage budget decried

Maine’s health community still digesting the budget proposal Gov. Paul LePage just unveiled, but the outcries have begun. The governor’s plan would slash funding for methadone treatment and anti-smoking programs, reduce the ranks of public health staff, and allow cities and towns to collect taxes on nonprofit property, prompting one hospital lobbyist to label the provision a “sick tax.” At the […]

Despite progress, Maine hospitals fall short of goals to reduce common infections

Maine hospitals are falling short of national goals to reduce several types of potentially life-threatening infections, according to new data released Wednesday. Still, the state’s medical centers dramatically cut infections from one kind of “superbug” that often strikes the elderly, and modestly reduced several others. On any given day, one in 25 hospital patients in the U.S. contracts an infection […]

Vital Signs: Nurse Kaci Hickox details Ebola mission

The Vital Signs newsletter is back in the saddle this week, wishing you all a healthy 2015. The new year brings us a familiar face: Kaci Hickox, the Maine nurse who garnered international attention after defying quarantine orders in two states. She spoke in South Portland on Tuesday about her experience treating Ebola patients at the heart of the devastating […]

Maine drops to 20th in healthiest state ranking

Maine fell from 16th to 20th in an annual national health ranking, dragged down by poverty and low vaccination rates among children, among other factors. The state’s finish marks its worst since the nonprofit United Health Foundation launched its “America’s Health Rankings” in 1990. Nearly 21 percent of Maine children live in poverty, a rate that remains largely unchanged […]