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Pride for Our Community

On June 22, Bangor wrapped up a week-long series of Pride events including the Pride Parade. Northern Light Health had more than 50 volunteers march in the parade with the theme, “Celebrate Diversity.”Despite the many social and political changes in the last several years, individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) still have significantly higher rates for risk factors such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, homelessness, and suicide. That is why each year in June, communities all over the world host celebrations of LGBTQ+ Pride to celebrate diversity. In Maine, approximately 10 communities host Pride events across the state. 

“At Northern Light Acadia Hospital, we certainly see these risk factors with our LGBTQ+ patients of all ages. Now, more than ever, is the time to celebrate diversity and demonstrate our acceptance, unconditional support, and compassion for all members of the LGBTQ+ community,” says Chris McLaughlin, LCSW, associate vice president, Northern Light Acadia Hospital Community and Pediatric Services.

On June 22, Bangor wrapped up a week-long series of Pride events including the Pride Parade. Northern Light Acadia Hospital had more than 50 volunteers from across the system march in the parade with the theme, “Celebrate Diversity.” Chris organized volunteers and believes there was something special about this year’s events, “The community response to this year’s parade was the largest Bangor has ever seen!  Northern Light Acadia Hospital was again a proud sponsor of this year’s Pride week and is thrilled to be able to partner with other Northern Light Health members to take part in this important event.” 

Northern Light Health is supporting the LGBTQ+ community in other ways too. We submitted testimony recently in support of LD 1025 which sought to prohibit state-licensed counselors, therapists, psychologists, social workers and other professionals in those fields from advertising, offering, or administering conversion therapy to individuals under the age of 18. Governor Mills signed this bill into law in May making Maine the seventeenth state to ban the practice of conversion therapy for minors. 

For information about how you or your staff can be trained on LGBTQ+ issues for all ages, contact Chris directly at

We also encourage you to watch and share the Child-Adolescent Resource and Educational Series, or CARES, videos in your organization. This series highlights crucial youth mental health and wellness issues and provide adults with important, expert information that can be used to keep children and teens safe.
Additional resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays:
The Trevor Project (a national suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ+ youth):
Human Rights Campaign:
Equality Maine:
Health Equity Alliance:

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Necessity Meets Opportunity

Bin-system-story-photo-1.jpgAs regional director of Supply Chain for Northern Light Inland, Sebasticook Valley, and CA Dean hospitals, along with Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood, Joe Theriault has been supporting a team comprised of Abigail Sears, RN, and Leigh Michaud, RN, as well as materials specialist Mark Noble, to come up with a better way to manage supply in Inland Hospital’s emergency department (ED). The result? A new periodic automatic replenishment (PAR) system made up of plastic bins of various sizes. The system, now in operation at Inland Hospital and consists of metal panels that are mounted to the walls with bins that hang securely from them. The bins are matched by size to the item and quantity that is maintained on the PAR. It has been beneficial for both the clinical and supply chain staff.

Regarding the involvement of nursing staff in the process, Inland Hospital’s ED director, Christin Rodriguez says, “I am happy that Abigail and Leigh are being recognized for their hard work. They worked for months cleaning up and organizing the ED along with Mark—this was truly their project. All of them completely deserve the recognition for their hard work.”

If an item has a lower turnover rate than another, a smaller bin can be used for that item, which allows space for a larger bin for an item with higher volume. The bins will also allow supply chain to rotate stock on a “first in”, “first out” process, meaning the stock that arrives first is the one used first. This greatly reducing outdates and stock outs. Overall, it is a better PAR management system.

“We are now in the middle of the process of setting up the same system at both Sebasticook Valley and CA Dean Hospitals with the same goal of satisfaction in mind,” says Joe. “Currently, the storage areas do not allow clinical and supply chain staff to be as efficient as possible. The new bin system will allow us to customize by size using the required storage area needed for items.”

An added benefit is that the bins are easier to clean than shelves and closets and help staff to comply with infection control. The flat front also enables supply chain to affix the bar code labels to them which makes the process of ordering the PARs faster and more efficient. With the assistance of a clinical champion, the flow is not only efficient for supply chain, but for the clinical staff who can then take care of patients in a more efficient manner.

“Joe and all the supply chain regional directors are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the availability of critical items,” comments Mike Whelan, vice president of Facilities and Supply Chain. “The creative use of a bin system is a great example of working with our clinical staff and being allowed to ask, ‘what if we try this?’ and then testing new methods. In this case, it looks like we have a winning approach that can be replicated throughout Northern Light Health.”

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Let’s focus on you.

POD-Thumbnail.jpgWhether you’re new to your career or have decades of experience, this program is for you. Northern Light Health’s Professional and Organizational Development program (POD) is designed specifically to give you the tools and knowledge you need to take you where you want to go.
The POD program is designed in partnership with Husson University to give our team members leadership skills you can apply right away, an in-depth understanding of our system and the healthcare industry, networking opportunities with colleagues from around the system, and a chance to earn college credits at a significantly reduced rate.

The 12-month program runs annually from September through August and includes online participation, in-person learning, and group projects. These projects tackle actual issues our system is facing that tie directly to initiatives from our system’s strategic goals. Past classes have tackled topics like integrating veterans into the workforce and finding solutions to creating better patient safety communications with frontline team members. “We are able to link the POD classroom topics to real life project work happening in our system today. These projects have been a great learning experience for participants and provided real solutions to all of our member organizations,” says Janet Nelligan, Northern Light Health Talent and Diversity specialist.

You do not need to be enrolled in a college or university to participate in POD, however through this partnership with Husson University, we are able to give participants academic credits just for successfully completing the program. “I was so impressed with the extraordinary quality of professors from Husson University. They not only brought their academic expertise to the POD program, but a tremendous amount of world experience tailored to our goals,” says Jennean Hunter, LMSW, care manager at Northern Light Mercy Hospital.

Learn More
We will be holding several informational Skype sessions happening now through July 17, where you can get your questions answered. Visit to find the schedule of informational calls, program FAQs, your application, and more. Applications for the class of 2019 - 2020 are being accepted June 27 – July 18.