CCC Wednesday Communique — March 17, 2021


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Happy Wednesday!

Today, March 17th, is the traditional day to celebrate St. Patrick in places where people claim Irish ancestry.  Did you know that the first St Patrick’s Day parade was held in 1737 in Boston — not somewhere in Ireland?  And what’s with St. Patrick and the snakes?  Learn more in the Updates section of this Newsletter.

In this Newsletter:

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New this Week


So You Want to Farm in Maine?

University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a seven-session online course for aspiring farmers starting March 29. The class meets from 5:30–7:30 p.m. twice per week through April 22. Individual consultations will be scheduled April 26 and April 29.  “So You Want to Farm in Maine?” is designed for those wanting to start or expand to a profitable farm operation. Topics include starting a land-based business, business planning and record-keeping, marketing and available resources. Instructors include UMaine Extension educators and guest experts. Successful course completion qualifies participants for USDA Farm Service Agency Borrower Training credit.  The sliding-scale fee is $50–$150 per person; registration is limited to 40 participants. Register on the program webpage. The required text, “Building a Sustainable Business” by SARE, is available for free download. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Melissa Freeman, 207-353-5550;

Substance Use and Recovery Virtual Event

Save the date of April 9th for Substance Use and Recovery in Washington County: Responses Across and Beyond the Pandemic, 9 — 11 am.  Healthy Acadia, Sunrise County Economic Council and the CCC are teaming up to present a virtual event with  Ann O’Brien, PMH-NP of Eastport Health Care Inc., as the Keynote.  Registration and details coming soon.

30th Annual Maine Geriatrics Conference POSTPONED

The Maine Geriatrics Conference Planning Committee has decided to POSTPONE the Conference one more year until June 9 & 10, 2022.  Please spread the word – Our contract is firm for 2022 – although it would have been our 32nd conference (if not for COVID) we definitely plan to celebrate our 30th conference in a big way!!

Maine Veterans’ Home — Space Available
The Maine Veterans’ Home in Machias has openings for 5 residents.  Eligibility requirements include:
  • Veterans who were residents of Maine at the time of their entry into the U.S. Armed Forces or who are residents of Maine at the time of application to Maine Veterans’ Homes.
  • Spouses, widows or widowers and Gold Star parents of eligible Veterans.
FFD Accepting Applications for Cohort 6

Do you want to attend college but do not know where to begin? If you have a child under 8 years old and are a Washington County Resident, Family Futures Downeast may be able to assist you. Contact us today for more information! Email Angela, call/text 812-2005, or check out our website!

SAMHSA to receive Nearly $2.5 Billion

The federal government will provide nearly $2.5 billion in funding to states and territories to address the nation’s mental illness and addiction crisis, which has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will direct $1.65 billion in Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant funding and $825 million in Community Mental Health Services Block Grant funding to states and territories.  Read more here.

OSHA Issues New Direction on COVID-19 Issues
From Rudman Winchell: On March 12th, OSHA issued a new direction, effective immediately, which describes policies and procedures for its implementation of a National Emphasis Program (NEP). A NEP is a temporary enforcement initiative with the stated purpose of ensuring “that employees in high hazard industries or work tasks are protected from the hazard of contracting” COVID-19.  The Direction states that the NEP is intended to “add a component to target specific high-hazard industries or activities where this hazard is prevalent.” Those industries that are the focus of the NEP include, but are not limited to:
Home health care services;
Ambulance services;
Hospitals (including …Continue Reading


Updates on programs, research, initiatives and pending legislation

St. Patrick and the Snakes
[Wigington, Patti. “St. Patrick and the Snakes.” Learn Religions, Aug. 28, 2020,]
The real St. Patrick was believed by historians to have been born around 370 c.e., probably in Wales or Scotland. Some accounts hold that his birth name was Maewyn, and he was probably the son of a Roman Briton named Calpurnius. As a teen, Maewyn was captured during a raid and sold to an Irish landowner as a slave. During his time in Ireland, where he worked as a shepherd, Maewyn began to have religious visions and dreams — including one which showed him how to escape captivity.

Once back in Britain, Maewyn moved on to France, where he studied in a monastery. Eventually, he returned to Ireland to “care and labour for the salvation of others,” according to The Confession of St. Patrick, and changed his name. He was known alternately as the Roman Patricius, and its Irish variant, Pátraic, which means “father of the people.”  Our friends over at say,

“Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.”

One of the reasons he’s so famous is because he supposedly drove the snakes out of Ireland, and was even credited with a miracle for this. There’s a popular theory that the serpent was actually a metaphor for the early Pagan faiths of Ireland. However, the idea that Patrick physically drove the Pagans from Ireland is inaccurate; what he did do was facilitate the spread of Christianity around the Emerald Isle. He did such a good job of it that he began the conversion of the entire country to the new religious beliefs, thus paving the way for the elimination of the old systems. Keep in mind that this was a process which took hundreds of years to complete, and lasted well beyond St. Patrick’s lifetime.Over the past few years, however, many people have worked to debunk the notion of Patrick driving early Paganism out of Ireland … .

Read full article here

One-Time Events  

Fairs, trainings, conferences and more in the state of Maine

Protecting Fruit Trees from Insects and Diseases
March 24, 2021
University of Maine Cooperative Extension and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension will offer a webinar for home gardeners about caring for fruit trees 6–7 p.m. March 24.  “Protecting Fruit Trees from Insects and Diseases” features UMaine Extension integrated pest management associate scientist Glen Koehler and UNH Extension fruit and vegetable production field specialist George Hamilton, who will discuss low-input approaches to protecting fruit trees from pests and recommendations for disease prevention and management in the home orchard.  Registration is required; a $5 donation is optional. Register on the event webpage to attend live or receive a link to the recording. This is the last in a six-part winter gardening webinar series. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Pamela Hargest, 207-781-6099;

Food Box Distribution
March 26, 2021

Healthy Acadia is distributing free food boxes on March 26th at Whitney Originals, 600 US Route 1, Whitneyville.  Distribution starts at 9 am and goes until boxes are gone.  See flyer for details.

Free – Virtual Abilities Expo in March
March 26-27, 2021

Abilities Virtual Experience is coming March 26-27th.  The show will go on this spring, connecting you with the products and resources you need at the must-see Abilities Virtual Experience!  Why you can’t miss Abilities Virtual: The virtual platform delivers next-level engagement, interactivity and resources to you safely at home (or wherever you have Internet access). Register right now to enjoy:
  • The latest game-changing tech. The new virtual show will also allow you to search specifically for the products you need.
  • Fan-fave and live host Paul Amadeus Lane is back to emcee the show!
  • Live chat with other attendees and 1-on-1 video chat with exhibitors.
  • In-depth interviews with stand-outs in the disability community.
Resources for maple sugaring from UMaine Extension
March 27-28, 2021
Maine Maple Sunday is scheduled March 27–28 and maple trees are being tapped in preparation for this traditional spring celebration.  University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers a selection of bulletins and videos relevant to Maine’s maple syrup season, such as how to plan for open-farm events during COVID-19. The publications include:
Educational videos for the home producer also are available:
UMaine Extension bulletins may be ordered or downloaded from the publications catalog, or by calling 207-581-3792 or emailing
Mandated Reporter Training
March 30, 2021
Sunrise Opportunities’ Prevention Council is hosting a free, virtual mandated reporter training on March 30th from 5 — 7 pm. Certificates will be provided by email.  See flyer for details.

Calais Suicide Prevention Training
April 2-3, 2021

Johnny Chambers, Pastor of Common Ground Church, has organized an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid presented by the non-profit LivingWorks in Calais on Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3.  The ASIST program is the world’s leading suicide intervention training program.  Learn more here.

Parent Child Interaction Therapy

April 5, 2021

G.E.A.R. Parent Network is exited to announce that on April 5th we will be offering a free informative special event educational webinar on “Parent Child Interaction Therapy” (PCIT).  PCIT is a powerful coaching model that helps parents and their children, who are ages 2 to 7, reintroduce joy to their relationship, calm challenging behaviors, increase child self-esteem, and help the child learn to follow the parents’ directions.  Check out our newly updated website for more details posted in the near future or wait to receive additional registration information in the next few weeks!

Substance Use and Recovery Virtual Event
April 9, 2021

Save the date of April 9th for Substance Use and Recovery in Washington County: Responses Across and Beyond the Pandemic, 9 — 11 am.  Healthy Acadia, Sunrise County Economic Council and the CCC are teaming up to present a virtual event with  Ann O’Brien, PMH-NP of Eastport Health Care Inc., as the Keynote.  Registration and details coming soon.

Bias is Getting Old
April 20, 2021

Save the Date of April 20th for the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging Summit – Bias is Getting Old: Challenging age bias together to build healthier communities and economies.  This is a virtual event from 9 am — 12 pm and 1 — 3 pm.  Join the TSLCA for an interactive and engaging one-day virtual event that will explore age-related bias and the actions we can collectively take to change the narrative on aging and older people. Learn how to identify, talk about and engage on the issue across sectors with powerful tools for positive change.  In the morning session, we’ll explore both overt and implicit age-related bias and the impact age-bias has not only on us but on the systems around us. We’ll work together, using the “Reframing Aging” tools, to create messaging to address age-related bias. The afternoon will feature breakout sessions that take a deeper dive into the ways age-related bias shows up across sectors. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in conversations about the following topics:

  • Healthcare
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Employment
  • Community

This Summit will bring together thought leaders in aging, healthcare and community to connect, collaborate and talk about what is possible when we understand how bias works and how to inspire change within the aging narrative.
Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available. Contact Krista George for more information. Watch our website for detailed agenda and registration information. Coming Soon!

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Serial Classes & Groups  

Classes, play groups, support circles and other repeating events

So You Want to Farm in Maine?

University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a seven-session online course for aspiring farmers starting March 29. The class meets from 5:30–7:30 p.m. twice per week through April 22. Individual consultations will be scheduled April 26 and April 29.  “So You Want to Farm in Maine?” is designed for those wanting to start or expand to a profitable farm operation. Topics include starting a land-based business, business planning and record-keeping, marketing and available resources. Instructors include UMaine Extension educators and guest experts. Successful course completion qualifies participants for USDA Farm Service Agency Borrower Training credit.  The sliding-scale fee is $50–$150 per person; registration is limited to 40 participants. Register on the program webpage. The required text, “Building a Sustainable Business” by SARE, is available for free download. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Melissa Freeman, 207-353-5550;

Partners in Entrepreneurial Pathways 2.0 

Washington County Community College is offering a sequel to Entrepreneurial Pathways 1.0 every Wednesday evening between March 17th and May 26th.  The new course is Partners in Entrepreneurial Pathways 2.0 – Beyond the Business PlanDownload this flyer for details.

Signs of the Seasons training 

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant will offer four free ‘Signs of the Seasons’ training options for volunteer citizen scientists around the state. The training options include:
  • A three part webinar series from 4–5 p.m. on March 22, 24 and 26.
  • Online training co-hosted by Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve from 3:30–5 p.m. on March 23.
  • In-person, socially-distanced training co-hosted by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens from 10 a.m.–noon on May 5 at 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay. The training is limited to 10 participants.
  • Online training co-hosted by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens from 4–5 p.m. on May 5.

Each training includes information about the importance of studying phenology in a changing climate, the relevance of indicator species to New England, and how to set up a site and start observing. Data collected by volunteers contribute to an online database hosted by the National Phenology Network. All trainings are free and open to the public; registration is required for each session. Register and find full details on the program website. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Esperanza Stancioff, 207-832-0343;

UMaine Extension compost webinar series

University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a three-webinar series about compost issues in agriculture and waste management from noon–1 p.m. March 11, March 23 and March 30. This compost webinar series first examines the organic certification process for compost usage with Caleb Goossen, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) organic crop and conservation specialist; followed by carcass composting with Krishona Martinson, University of Minnesota professor and Extension equine specialist; and composting hemp residual with Mark King, Maine Department of Environmental Protection environmental specialist and Maine Compost School educator. The fee is $10 per session, $25 for the series; registration is required. Register on the event webpage to receive webinar links. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Pamela Doherty, 207.832.0343;

Cooking With the Maine Harvest March Webinars

UMaine Extension Food & Nutrition staff are offering two webinars in March to help you prepare for the upcoming food preservation season. We are halfway through winter, so it’s time to begin using up your precious cache of frozen berries or canned vegetables. On March 9, we’ll share tips for using your home frozen fruit in cooking and baking. On March 23, discover creative uses for home canned goods in your cooking. Registration is required; a $5 donation per session is optional. Register on the program webpage to receive the link and resources. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Kate McCarty, 207.781.6099;

Food, Fun, and Reading

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Washington County is offering a free, online read-aloud program for youth ages 4 to 9 beginning March 9 from 3:30–4:15 p.m. The series continues each Tuesday through April 13. “Food, Fun, and Reading” will feature an interactive activity about MyPlate, based on the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines, and a read-aloud story with a different Washington County library each week. The series is free; registration is required. Register on the program webpage. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact 207.255.3345;

Personal Support Specialist

Axiom Education & Training Center is holding a 50-hour PSS training class online  that will teach you basic care and rules and regulations needed to work in an assisted living or group home as a Patient Service Specialist. Plus, with this certificate you can also work for a private in-home care company.  Cost is $425 (scholarships available at SCEC call Jen @ 255-0983!). Classes run from April 19th through April 30th, Monday-Friday, 9 am to 2 pm.  WiFi and a computer are required along with a reading assessment done over the Zoom platform.  Instructor: Brenda Duggan, R.N.  To sign up please call 207-370-4139 or email Financial assistance may be available for qualified students for tuition, childcare, and transportation.

Downeast Rainbow Alliance 10 minute Self-Care Zoom

Fridays at noon.  Join Annie Hopkins and Guests!  10 minutes of centering & connection.  zoom link at

4-H virtual science cafés

University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H will offer virtual science cafés for teens in grades 7–12 from 4–4:45 p.m. each Tuesday beginning March 2. Maine 4-H Virtual Science Cafés will feature informal sessions with University of Maine scientists discussing their research and what led them to their work. In the first webinar, UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center business development manager John Arimond will discuss wind energy research and development, wind blade testing and 3D printing production. Future topics will include studies of wildlife, archaeology and sharks. The webinars are free; registration is required for each session. Register on the program webpage. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Jessy Brainerd, 207-581-3877; More information also is available on the UMaine Extension 4-H Learn at Home webpage.

4-H for All Club

University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H is offering a second session of the 4-H for All club for youth ages 5–13 who are new, or interested in becoming, 4-H members. Meetings will be held online from 6–7 p.m. starting Feb. 17, and continuing March 17 and April 21. The 4-H for All club gives youth and families a way to explore 4-H and connect with others across Maine. Youth will participate in projects, and learn what 4-H has to offer and how to become more involved in the program.  The club is free to join; registration is required. Register on the 4-H for All webpage to receive the meeting link. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Sara King, 207-743-6329;

Online CRMA Class-Spring

Washington County Adult Education and Axiom Education & Training Center are offering an Online Certified Residential Medication Aide (CRMA) training this spring to get you started working in assisted living or group homes administrating medications. This will be an online class except for the mock med pass at the end.
Class Dates: Tuesday/Thursday evenings April 13th to May 13th
Time: 5:30PM- 9:30PM
Location: Online/Zoom – A computer and an internet connection is required.
Instructor: Brenda Duggan
Fee: $395
To sign up email or call 207-370-4139.

Recovery Coaching Basics

Healthy Acadia is excited to offer 12 free CCAR Recovery Coaching Basics training from 9 am–2 pm.  CEUs and contact hours provided.  Download flyer for dates and other details.

Online Nutrition Series for Families

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free, online nutrition series for families in Washington, Hancock, Androscoggin and Sadagahoc Counties beginning Feb. 11 at 3:30 p.m. and continuing each Thursday until April 1. “Create Family Meals” will include healthy recipes and tips for making healthy meal choices. Participants who join four or more classes will receive a gift bag with cooking supplies and a cookbook. The classes are free; registration is required. Register on the program webpage. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact 207.255.3345 or email

Free, Virtual Parent Support Groups
Sunrise Opportunities Prevention Council offers a variety of parent support groups.  All are free, held virtually and open to the community. It’s a wonderful place to meet other families and talk about your successes and challenges in an open environment.  Download flyer. To register or for more information please contact Monica Olivares at 263-5270. Use Zoom ID: 384-800-5813 and Password: Support to attend these Zoom groups:
  • Circle of Parents: Parenting in Recovery, every Monday at 11:30 am-12:30 pm
  • Circle of Parents: General Parent Support Group, 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 4:30pm-5:30pm
  • Circle of Parents:  Parents with children who have special needs, 2nd and 4th Mondays of the Month at 5:00pm-6:00pm
The Prevention Council also offers virtual playgroups!  All are free, held virtually and open to the public.
Get a chance to meet other parents in your area and talk about the ups and downs of parenthood. To register or for more information please contact Monica Olivares at 263-5270 (use same Meeting ID and Password above):
  • Calais Area Virtual Playgroup– Every Tuesday at 10am – new time (see flyer)
  • Machias Area Virtual Playgroup – Every Wednesday at 10 am – new time (see flyer)

Free Online Parenting Workshops

Sunrise Opportunities Prevention Council is hosting free parenting workshops held via Zoom that are open to the Public. Our workshops are designed to give parents tips and tricks to help navigate through the different challenges of parenting. Come to one or come to all! All workshops are one hour. For more information download a flyer, or to register please call/text Monica Olivares at 263-5270.  Workshops include:
  • Praising Children and their Behavior – Wednesday, January 27 at 4:00pm-5:00pm
  • Alternatives to Spanking – Wednesday, February 24 at 4:00pm-5:00pm
  • Positive Ways to Deal with Stress & Anger – Wednesday, March 31 at 4:00pm-5:00pm

Community Circle Series

Teens and young adults are invited to a series of community circles hosted on Zoom by different community organizations once a month between January 21st and April 22nd as a space for people to connect, share their experiences, and imagine the future.  See flyer for details.

AETC Winter/Spring 2021 Catalog

Washington County Adult Education/Axiom Education & Training Center offers a variety of courses from HiSET Prep to High School Diploma, College Transitions, Career and College Advising, and much more! Download our winter/spring 2021 catalog of courses.  we are currently offering remote learning to all students.  Visit our website to browse our courses, call our office, 207-370-4139, or email for more information.

Monday Night Music

Cobscook Institute’s longstanding Monday Night Music Circle is taking place weekly over Zoom during the pandemic. Community members near and far are invited to drop-in to participate or simply listen. Staff is available to provide tech support for anyone that needs it. Details here.

GEAR Upcoming Events and Winter Quarterly Flyer

The G.E.A.R. Parent Network has many workshops and learning opportunities for winter/spring 2021.  See their Winter Quarterly Flyer for details.  There are  a two ways for you to register: 1) You can register online or call 1-800-264-9224.

Workforce Certificate in
Substance Use Disorder & Recovery

Washington County Community College is excited to announce a free program in Substance Use Disorder & Recovery that results in a certificate and 30 credit hours transferable to their Associate of Applied Science in Health and Human Services degree.  Successful completion also meets requirements to apply to sit for the Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor exam.  See flyer for details. Technology resources are available for students without access to wireless and/or tablets, as well as potential student supports from partner services.

ECHO now open to non-medical providers
ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is an evidence-based educational model developed by researchers at the University of New Mexico using videoconferencing to connect interdisciplinary specialist teams with primary care clinicians. Each 90-minute ECHO session will include a brief lecture, a case presentation and discussion between participants and faculty. CME credits are available. These are now open to non-medical providers that are engaged in substance use response (i.e. recovery coaches).  See flyer for details and schedule.

GEAR Support Groups 2x/ Week

G.E.A.R. Parent Network is offering offering support groups twice a week in an effort to accommodate more people’s schedules. They will be held on Monday evenings from 7 pm-8 pm and Wednesday afternoons from 1 pm-2 pm, and you may sign up to attend one or both if you like.  See flyer for details.

3 upcoming Virtual Recovery Coach Trainings
Healthy Acadia is holding 3 virtual recovery coach trainings in academic year 2020-2021:

For more information, contact Terri Woodruff.

FrontLine WarmLine

Maine DHHS is launching a volunteer support service to Help Maine’s Health Care Workers and First Responders Manage Emotional Toll of COVID-19 — FrontLine WarmLineRead the full press release here.

Daily Virtual Recovery Support

The Downeast Recovery Support Center is offering daily virtual recovery support meetings Monday through Friday from 10-11 am and 4-5 pm.  Open discussion, all recovery meeting are for individuals impacted by substance use disorder or affected others.  Visit their facebook page for more information.  To join a group by Zoom:…

Meeting ID: 373 022 686
Password: 091927

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Caregiver Monday:
An Initiative Dedicated To Helping Caregivers Take Care of Themselves

The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit public health initiative, has announced Sherri Snelling, caregiving expert and corporate gerontologist, is taking a leading role with Caregiver Monday, a program dedicated to supporting the self-care of 65 million family caregivers by offering weekly health and wellness practices, research and collaborative activities through partner organizations. Family caregivers are under added stress now, with older people being more vulnerable to COVID-19.  The Caregiver Monday program will be offered through Caregiving Club, a leading organization founded by Snelling that calls attention to the issues facing caregivers by offering practical health, wellness and resource-based information. Every month, the program will offer a themed article with evidence-based research information on specific topics related to caregiver self-care, as well as provide weekly practices and health promotions related to that monthly theme. Organizations supporting the campaign can access these materials on the updated Caregiver Monday site.

Caregivers Facebook Group

The CCC is launching a private facebook group for caregivers in Washington County – professional caregivers like RNs and CNAs, and informal caregivers like family members providing care for a spouse, parent, specials needs child, sibling or the neighbor across the street.  Our goal is for this group to provide a platform for caregivers to talk to each other, ask questions, offer solutions based on experience with similar challenges, and point to helpful resources.  Use this link to join.

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Standing Meetings & Calendars

Monthly and quarterly meetings, agency/initiative calendars at a glance and other meeting schedules 

DE Recovery Support Center Calendars

Download the Downeast Recovery Support Center calendar of events for March:

Downeast Public Health Council Meetings

Schedule for Downeast Public Health Council Meetings in 2021, for Downeast Public Health Council Members and Stakeholders: Third Friday of the month in January, March, May, July, September, and November 2021.  Meetings will be virtual until in-person meetings are allowed.  Contact Maura Goss with questions at  Zoom Meeting Information for March Meeting: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 868 5375 8508 Passcode: XFef^Ef1

Downeast Public Health Council PC & HA March Meeting

The next meeting of the DEPHC Palliative Care/Hospice and Healthy Aging Committee is March 24th at 1 pm.  Contact Maura Goss with questions at  Zoom Meeting Information for March Meeting: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 893 3833 2860 Passcode: T+kzLiw1

Maine Roads to Quality

Our Community of Practice meetings continue in Washington County!  For now, we have combined our Calais and Machias groups, and are meeting every other week via Zoom.  Please contact MRTQ District Coordinator Theresa Fisk for more information: or 207-956-2070

Work Group & Poverty Busters

This is a meeting of direct service providers to share resources and network with other providers in your area.  This group meets on the first Wednesday of the month from 1 — 3 pm.  Due to  the current public health COVID-19 shutdown, we are meeting via Zoom.  Notes from the March meeting coming soon. Our next meeting is April 7th – register here.  Send your questions about this meeting to Christine.

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Needs & Offers 

Send us your agency/community needs or offers, such as job recruiting
or housing needs.

FFD Accepting Applications for Cohort 6

Do you want to attend college but do not know where to begin? If you have a child under 8 years old and are a Washington County Resident, Family Futures Downeast may be able to assist you. Contact us today for more information! Email Angela, call/text 812-2005, or check out our website!

Hospice Volunteers 30th Anniversary Cobscook Bay Race

Down East Hospice Volunteers of Washington County will be having our 30th Anniversary Cobscook Bay Race Challenge 2021 taking place in early June. Just like last year, there will be no group race, no prizes and no post race get together.  No meeting of a large group in one place.  Each participant will run or walk a 10K or 5K course where it is safe and convenient for them to do so due to the Covid-19 restrictions.  Folks can run in their own backyards if they want to.  We want to keep our organization’s financial situation viable by holding onto this event with this new approach until it’s safe to have a group gathering once again.  DEHV depends on donations, grants and fund raising events such as the Cobscook Bay Road Races – Challenge 2021.  Sponsors are needed to make this event happen.

You can become a sponsor/donor with a donation in your name and/or in someone’s memory or honor.  Sponsor/donor categories: Platinum – $1000 +     Gold – $500 – $999     Silver – $250 – $499     Bronze $100 – $249. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me,  Barbara Barnett, directly at 207-726-5087 or   Last year was our most successful hospice race to date even though it did not take place as an in person event.  Help us reach that goal again this year.  Register here to participate in this event as a walker or runner.

FFD Recruiting for New Student Cohort

Family Futures Downeast (FFD) is currently recruiting for a new cohort of student-parents that would begin at the University of Maine at Machias and Washington County Community College at the end of July.  FFD is a 2-generation program where parents are enrolled in college prep classes and 15 college credits over a one-year period at the same time their children are enrolled in a high-quality early education program. Each parent is assigned a family coach who helps them access education and remove barriers to participation. Parents must have a child under 8 years of age, live in Washington County, and meet financial requirements (200% under federal poverty guidelines). You or your clients can contact our Enrollment & Eligibility Assistant, Angela Cox, by phone or text at 812-2005, or email her at  Potential parents can also apply online at and Angela will contact them directly.  Download a flyer to share.

Housing Barrier Removal Fund

Mano en Mano and community partners announce Round 2 of the Housing Barrier Removal Fund. Round 2 of this fund opens Mar 1, 2021 and we will make up to 20 awards in this round. Applications are due April 30, 2021.  Learn more about this exciting opportunity in this press release.  If you have questions about the fund, please email or call Elan Gabel-Richards at (207) 266-1238 or

Hannaford Bags for Hospice

Down East Hospice Volunteers of Washington County is celebrating 40 Years of Compassionate Care. For the month of March 2021, Down East Hospice Volunteers will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable Community Bag at the Hannaford store located at 149 Dublin Street, Machias ME.  Every bag that is bought will make a difference.  If you cannot find the correct bag that will benefit Down East Hospice Volunteers, please ask a staff person.

Free Tax Prep from Eastern Maine Ca$h

The Eastern Maine CA$H Coalition is offering FREE tax prep at several sites in Washington County. Use this link for site locations and COVID guidelines. Most are offering these supports through drop-off sites where community members drop off paperwork to be prepared and pick up their completed tax form.

Peer Specialist Opening in WC
Community Health & Counseling Services is seeking a Peer Specialist in Washington County.  View job description and apply here.

SUD Patient Navigator

The Regional Medical Center at Lubec Northern Maine HIV Program is excited to add a new staff member to the team and tailor this outreach service to meet the needs of people living in Washington County. If you know someone who is passionate about reducing overdose deaths in our community and supporting those wishing to begin their journey of recovery, please pass this along and feel free to contact Erica Famous, Director of HIV Programs, with any questions.  Read Job description here.

Get up to Speed

The Maine Broadband Coalition is launching a statewide speed test mapping initiative. The goal of the “Get Up To Speed” initiative is to gather data from across the state to generate the most comprehensive map of both the presence and quality of internet in Maine to date.  Residents are being asked to help the initiative by taking this less-than-a-minute test to map their own speed through the Maine Broadband Coalition’s website. We strongly encourage you to share this link with your community, so that we can get the most accurate map possible. The Maine Broadband Coalition will aggregate, document, and visualize the speed testing information to provide users and state officials with up-to-date service maps. Participants can view their results (while personal information remains confidential) and watch the public map of Maine grow in real time.

Q+ Youth connect on Discord

The Downeast Rainbow Alliance (DRA) and Healthy Acadia have joined together to create a new forum for LGBT2Q+ youth, ages13-22, to connect. “Downeast Q+ Discord” is available 24 hours a day for peer to peer support. Discord is a secure online server that is often used as a communication tool for gaming communities. There are youth and adult moderators present in the space for safety. Q+ youth need open and affirming environments and time and time again we find that our schools are not able to create a reliable network of Q+ youth,” says Anne Shields Hopkins, lead administrator for the DRA. “Being affirmed of your identity as LGBT2Q+ can literally be life saving. This project is being created out of that need.”  Join the server or contact Corrie Hunkler with questions.

Narcan by Mail

Healthy Acadia is now offering free Narcan through the mail (or a person can schedule a time to pick it up).  Use this link to a Google form to request this service.  Please share this information.

Safe Harbor Accepting Applications

Safe Harbor, a recovery residential program in Machias, is now accepting applications! Safe Harbor was created in partnership with Healthy Acadia, The Community Caring Collective, Downeast Community Partners, and Aroostook Mental Health Center. Our mission is to provide safe, supportive, housing for women in recovery and their children. This program is appropriate for women (18 years or older) with or without children who self identify as in recovery from substance use disorder. We require a negative screen for alcohol, THC, and medications or drugs not prescribed by a doctor upon admission. We also require an ability to pay rent, however temporary scholarships may be available. Most importantly applicants are expected to show a commitment to recovery and personal growth as well as a willingness to actively engage in recovery goal settings. Our residence features 5 furnished units, 3 full bathrooms, and a kitchen fully stocked with cooking supplies and plenty of room for food storage. Thanks to community support, Safe Harbor is well stocked with supplies, furniture, food donations, and a helpful network of recovery resources. See flyer for details.

Operation Warmth

Fedcap Inc. provides an array of services to individuals receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits throughout the state of Maine.  The Washington County office is asking for gift cards or new winter clothing for children and adults to support their “Operation Warmth” project for program participants and their families living in poverty.  Interested donors may contact Mary Pelletier, Calais/ Machias Site Manager, at, or 207-454-4480.

PTLA Tuesday Eviction Info Sessions

Join Pine Tree Legal Assistance online every Tuesday at 9 am to get your questions answered about eviction.  Learn about the process and how it differs right now during the COVID lockdown.  See flyer for more information.

   Donations Needed for Shelter Guests

NextStep DV Project is gratefully accepting donations of new & unused household items for their shelter guests.  See list of items needed.  Please contact Marcie or Jasmine to arrange for drop-off of items or for more information.

Social Call Service

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many new challenges. It has also offered an opportunity for our community to come together in support of one another. Healthy Acadia’s Maine RecoveryCorps and MDI Hospital are partnering to respond to the isolation many community members are facing through a new Social Call service.

Social Calls are to be made by trained recovery coaches. Their recovery coach training and background has steeped them in a culture of empathy, support, compassion, and resilience. The callers are able to provide information on resources and offer reflective listening, encouragement, and honesty.

There are several avenues available to request a social call. One may discuss it with their provider who can send a referral on their behalf. The Healthy Acadia website has both on online form and one to print and return. Additionally Beth Alteri is available to 207 – 460 -2312 to take requests over the phone as needed. She can also be reached at or receive faxes at 207-331-5423.

Social calls offer an opportunity for connection and can serve to buffer the negative effects of physical distancing. These calls are not intended to replace an individual’s need to connect with their mental health professional, but rather be an additional service for them to tap into. If you or someone you know could benefit from a Social Call please reach out to us. We are here to help.

Sunrise Scholarship Fund

Has your job been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic? For the immediate future, Washington County residents who answer yes to that question are eligible to apply for up to $500 to assist with training that will increase your opportunities for employment regardless of prior income levels!  Click here for an application.  Visit  Call Jen at 255-0983 with any questions.

DCT Offers Virtual Services to Support Opioid Recovery

As a result of new virtual services, same-day access to anyone with opioid use disorder (OUD) who wishes to begin medication assisted treatment (MAT) is now available to anyone across Washington and Hancock counties. In response to the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, the Downeast Treatment Center (DTC) in Ellsworth has begun offering immediate, virtual, rapid access to MAT for all in the Downeast region…. Patients can expect a virtual intake over phone or Zoom, prescriptions called to pharmacies near them; ongoing, remote access to a medical provider, and access to virtual group or individual sessions with a behavioral health provider. Anyone who does not have insurance or who cannot afford their insurance deductibles or copays can apply for financial support from Healthy Acadia’s Treatment Fund.  Read the full press release from Healthy Acadia.

If you are Aware of a Senior in Need….

Healthy Acadia would like to share an Eastern Area Agency on Aging link to refer people for all services including the Meals on Wheels program. Please share this information widely!

 Free Financial Coaching
Thanks to support from Downeast Community Partners, Joseph Connors has been able to continue offering free coaching on any financial matter to individuals and families in Washington County, following the termination of this program at the end of March by the Consumer Protection Bureau.  To make an appointment with Joe, call him at 207-598-5657 or email

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Favorite Resources  

Send us your favorite links to share with other Communique readers.’s mission is to support and build confidence in women who are managing their parents’ care. The daughterhood blog, website and social media links connect you — the care manager — to resources and a wholly unique perspective on our health and elder care systems. Through her writing and curation of resources, daughterhood’s founder, Anne Tumlinson, coaches women and men to insist on excellent care and a meaningful experience for their parents.  Daughterhood is what happens when we put our lives on hold to take care of our parents. Unlike motherhood, we don’t expect daughterhood. And, even if we did, it’s shocking how hard and time consuming it is. is an incredible resource for caregivers offering informational podcasts with show notes you can download on topics such as Elder Law and 911 Emergency! Now what?  The website also offers inspirational blog posts, recommended reading lists, and support on how to start a local support group “daughterhood circle” and private facebook group to stay in communication.


The Overdose Prevention Through Intensive Outreach Naloxone and Safety (OPTIONS) initiative is a coordinated effort of the Maine Office of Behavioral Health and other state agencies to improve the health of Mainers using substances through harm reduction strategies, helping them on the road to recovery, and dramatically reducing the number of fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses.  Visit the OPTIONS website for information on how to respond to an overdose, view data, search for resources by county and topic, listen to personal recovery stories or share your own story.

Connecting with Opportunities

Eastern Maine Development Corporation would like your help sharing the exciting news about Maine’s Connecting with Opportunities Initiative.  It’s focused on addressing the opioid crisis by providing support, encouragement and financial resources to people impacted (personally or indirectly) by opioid use disorder.  There are lots of resources right now. Participants are needed.  This initiative is also available to unemployed workers who haven’t been impacted by opioid use disorder, but want to play a role in addressing the opioid crisis. For these non-impacted individuals, the career paths are focused in the substance use disorder treatment, mental health or recovery fields.  Connecting with Opportunities complements Maine’s other workforce development offerings, such as the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) program. If you know anyone who could benefit from financial assistance and a supportive team to start school, enter a training program or move directly into meaningful employment, please contact  If you or your organization would like to receive a brief presentation, contact Doug Dunbar (

Seeds & Sprouts

Introducing “Seeds & Sprouts,” a family-friendly garden blog, collaboratively created and edited by Incredible Edible Milbridge and the Community Caring Collaborative.  Seeds & Sprouts feaures monthly posts about family-friendly gardening activities, tips and tricks for your garden, and more.  Check us out here.

Child Care Business Lab

CEI is starting an intensive 6-month program to help people interested in starting a child care business in selected counties, including Washington. The program, which starts in March, is called the Child Care Business Lab: we integrate small business start-up education with child care management techniques and coaching through the licensing process.  Access to capital in the form of loans is also available. The Child Care Business Lab consists of formal workshops delivered via video, an online, on-demand component, live panels with existing child care providers who provide “been there / done that” insight – and participants work one-on-one with a business advisor and a child care mentor to tailor plans that work for them and their community. CEI Business Advisor Ruth Feldman encourages people to “take a look at the Child Care Business Lab website and let me know if you have any questions. (My colleague @Cynthia Murphy (, who runs the program, is also happy to answer questions.) I hope you’ll consider applying!” Ruth can be reached at

National Digital Equity Center Upcoming Webinars

What else would you like to learn? Most of our online classes are now offered at various times in the next month. Topics range from learning new devices, programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and more, Using Online Games for Age 55+, Social Media platforms, Word Press, QuickBooks, Online Safety & Much More! Click here to register for upcoming online courses.

AMHC 24-hour Recovery Resource & Support Referral Line

AMHC has launched a 6-month pilot program providing a 24-hour recovery resource and support referral line: 1-833-NVR-GVUP or 207-454-1999.  Read more about this here.  Share this flyer.

Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19

SAMHSA is committed to providing regular training and technical assistance (TTA) on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field as they deal with COVID-19.  Our TA programs are delivering great resources during this time. View the updated available TTA resources to assist with the current situation.  Download flyer for more information.

Neighbor4Neighbor Fund

The “neighbor4neighbor” Fund (n4n) a program of Healthy Acadia, provides one-time mini-grants of up to $500 to seniors in Washington and Hancock counties who are facing any one of many life crises that can arise unexpectedly and for which they may not have adequate funds. n4n funds may be used for eyeglasses, dentures, medical equipment, emergency household repairs, or other one-time challenges which may undermine a senior’s ability to live independently and have a high quality of life. Learn more about n4n here.  To apply for a n4n Fund mini-grant, click here.

Financial Planning for Memory Loss Caregivers

 “Becoming a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is demanding. You’ll need to help your loved one with daily tasks as well as with financial decisions. Despite the challenges, being a caregiver can also be rewarding. It provides the opportunity to oversee important decisions and to ensure quality support for your loved one.  This guide helps caregivers prepare for the expenses associated with caring for someone with memory loss and offers caregiver resources that can help make the journey easier.”

From: | June 29, 2020 — See more.

VA Maine Caregiver Support Program

The VA has a new caregiver support program that provides a range of supports to caregivers of veterans, including education & training, peer support mentoring, home and community based care, and more.  They will be holding their first ever summit which will be on a virtual platform.  Details about that coming soon as this is still under development.  See their fact sheet and flyer.

Helpful Wifi Resources

Lois-Ann Kuntz has 2 free WiFi resources to share:

  • An updated map of ‘Study-From-Car’ sites where WiFi guest access is available for outside of buildings is now available.  For each site, please check the website information provided for availability and connection information.
  • The Maine State Library has this on their website a list of libraries that have their WiFi on 24/7 with available parking within range. I don’t see how to sort this by county.
Maine Families of Washington County publishes a comprehensive list of free Wi-Fi access in their online community resource guide.

Washington County Recovery Resources

The CCC in collaboration with Healthy Acadia has created a comprehensive, up-to-date list of recovery resources with contact info for Washington County.  As we know, services have shifted in light of COVID-19.  We want to ensure providers and community members are aware of the current available resources to support individuals impacted by substance use disorder. Here is a link to a “live” document that will be updated regularly.  Please keep checking back for the most up-to-date information.  We will be adding a Hancock County resource list soon!  If you are aware of other recovery resources in Washington County or believe an edit needs to be made to this document, please contact Abby Frutchey at or Penny Guisinger at

Bolstering General Assistance

Under the Governor’s March 31 Executive Order, all applications for General Assistance will be processed as emergency applications for eligibility purposes, and certain other requirements are waived. The order also allows eligible individuals to reapply after 60 days rather than 30 days for ongoing assistance.  General Assistance is funded through communities, with DHHS reimbursing 70 percent of municipalities’ costs. Under the Executive Order, DHHS will use existing funding to increase reimbursement to Maine Tribes to up to 100 percent. General Assistance can be used for basic necessities including food, housing, electricity and medical expenses. Assistance is not provided directly to eligible individuals, but rather it is issued in the form of vouchers used to pay vendors who provide goods and services to eligible individuals.

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CCC’s Response to the COVID-19 Situation

In light of CDC recommendations about physical distancing, all ECCO services have moved to phone or tele-health connections. Any new referrals will be contacted via phone and follow similar protocols.

CCC staff will continue to work from home, and meetings will be held using Zoom technology until further notice.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us using either the form or email/phone contacts listed on the Contact Us page of our website.  We also encourage people to share needs and offers in this newsletter, and remind service providers that we have a needs & offers platform for you on facebook: Poverty Buster Resource Connection.

We encourage people to consult the Maine CDC website which provides helpful guidance in the FAQ section.  We are developing our own resources that we will share with you asap and are gearing up to respond to any requests for help with online trainings and convenings as you and your staff lean more on virtual tools to conduct business, provide services and address community needs.  To request an online training, please use our Training & Technical Assistance Request form.

About the Wednesday Communique

This is the Community Caring Collaborative’s weekly newsletter where we share announcements about trainings, meetings and other events, including announcements from our collaborative partners.  Look for links to meeting minutes and agendas in the Meetings section, training registration forms and flyers in the One-Time Events section, and job postings and announcements about services and programs in the Needs & Offers section.  Subscribe here to get the Communiqué.  Make sure to add Community Caring Collaborative to your contacts at  Gmail users, check for the Communiqué under the Promotions tab.Want to change how you receive these emails?  You can  update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

This mailing goes out every Wednesday, so if you have announcements, please send them to Christine by 5 pm Monday to be included.   Thanks!

The mission of the CCC is to nurture and sustain collaboration that expands resources and results in greater hope, health and wellbeing for Washington County people.

Contact: Christine Laurel, Communication & Training Coordinator
Community Caring Collaborative

PO Box 224, East Machias, ME 04630
Phone: 207-249-3318
Fax: 207-835-4500


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