Getting by With Help From Our Nautical Friends

BAR HARBOR, Me — When the Sunbeam is in dry dock for it’s annual upkeep, Mission Island Outreach director Douglas Cornman, and Island Health director Sharon Daley, RN rely on alternate transportation to continue their work on unbridged islands. Beal & Bunker Mail Boat & Ferry “Sea Queen,” photographed by director Cornman, is one much appreciated alternate ways of moving among the islands and mainlands.

Mission Attends Counties Public Health Improvement Meeting

CHERRYFIELD, ME — Sunbeam and Downeast Campus staff attended Healthy Acadia Advisory Council’s April 11, 2018 meeting in Machias addressing public health improvements in Washington and Hancock counties.

This photo taken at the Advisory Council meeting shows (L to R) Shoshona Smith (HAAC Development Coordinator), Elsie Flemings (HAAC Executive Director), Wendy Harrington (Mission Service Program Director), Margaret Snell (Assistant to Mission Director of Island Health) and Gabe O’Brian (HAAC Community Health Coordinator).

Learn more about the Mission’s Downeast Campus Community, and more about the Sunbeam‘s Island Services.

Building New Bridges for Islander Health

Photo: Health pros head toward the Sunbeam for the “Meet Your Providers” event. (Courtesy Doreen Willett, Executive Director Island Connections www.islconnections.org)

BAR HARBOR, ME — Tuesday, April 10, the Sunbeam eased away from it’s home dock in Northeast Harbor on a special telemedicine trip that turned out to be more special than anyone imagined.

Island Health director Sharon Daley, RN and Island Outreach director Douglas Cornman have earned islanders’ trust in matters of health care. Over the years the two Sunbeam crew members have served as — in director Sharon Daley’s words — “a bridge from islands to health providers.” Quite often directors Cornman and Daley find themselves explaining to islanders the services of certain mainland health providers.

Then why not host a “Meet Your Provider” event aboard the Sunbeam? Mainland providers could introduce themselves to islanders. Islanders could ask health providers direct questions about their services. So the Sunbeam’s first stop Tuesday morning was Great Cranberry Isle (GCI). Eight mainland health providers met the Sunbeam at GCI ahead of interested islanders who would come to the event from GCI and Islesford.

That’s when the serendipity kicked in. While waiting for islanders, “The providers were so busy talking to each other and networking. Most of them didn’t really know each other or what each other did,” said Sharon Daley.

Photo: Island Health director Sharon Daley (foreground) and Island Outreach director Douglas Cornman (background near staircase) listening to islanders and health providers in Sunbeam salon. (Courtesy Doreen Willett, Executive Director Island Connections www.islconnections.org)

Out of that networking came the first inkling of the providers seeing first-hand the relationship Sharon and Douglas have with islanders. “That insight helps providers integrate what they do with the Sunbeam’s work,” Cornman said.

Coupled with their own networking, the health providers learned where their own services were unique, where services might overlap, and where services are lacking. Plus, said Cornman, “Islanders were able to put a face to the agencies,” he and Sharon talk about. “This will help islanders,” said the Island Outreach director, “feel more comfortable if and when they decide to use agency services.”

Elise O’Neil took part in the Sunbeam “Meet Your Provider” event. Ms. O’Neil, a registered nurse, is Mt. Desert Nursing Association Nurse Administrator. O’Neil, too, thought the event “was a wonderful networking opportunity” for MDNA, which provides home health care to Islesford, Great Cranberry, and other islands. O’Neil said in an email, that her health organization is looking “forward to collaborating with the Seacoast Mission and others. There is so much potential to build upon what the Seacoast Mission has already accomplished,” O’Neil said.

The April 10 Sunbeam telemedicine trip was special for another reason. Acadia Family Center in Southwest Harbor had its executive director, Dr. Dan Johnson, aboard at the “Meet Your Provider” event. But, Dr. Johnson stayed on board, traveling with Sharon on the Sunbeam for the three days (April 10-12).

On Isle au Haut, Frenchboro, and Matinicus, Dr. Johnson offered islanders his know-how with a talk on “Forming Habits: Both Good and Bad,” including Johnson’s exploration of addiction.

“The rest of the trip,” Johnson said, “was a great chance to see how valuable the Sunbeam is to the outer islands. It is amazing to watch islanders come to the boat — almost as a floating community center.”

Maine Seacoast Mission is grateful to the all of the health providers invited to take part in the April 10 “Meet Your Providers” Sunbeam event:

Learn more about the Sunbeam‘s Island Health and Island Outreach programs.

Sunbeam Captain Greets Lobstering Safety Champion

ROCKPORT, ME — Sunbeam Captain Mike Johnson greets Ann Backus of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In April 2017 Ms. Backus traveled aboard the Sunbeam to Frenchboro and and Isle au Haut to give fishermen a presentation on Lobstering Safety and Occupational Health Presentations.

Backus’s presentation included use and care of survival suits, and how to make reboarding ladders, and other quite useful information for keeping fishermen alive and well.

Mike and Ann were both at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum trade show at the Samoset Inn, Rockport, ME.

Meet the Sunbeam crew at Maine Fishermen’s Forum, March 1-3

BAR HARBOR, ME — Meet Maine Seacoast Mission’s Sunbeam crew at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, March 1-3, Samoset Resort, Rockland, ME. According to the Fishermen’s Forum web site, “This is the largest event of its kind in New England – one dedicated to offering fishermen, clammers, lobstermen, aquaculturalists and other related seafood industry participants an opportunity to meet on neutral ground with fisheries managers, state representatives, Congressmen and Senators.”

The Sunbeam crew was featured last month in the New York Times piece, Life on an Island: Silence, Beauty and a Long Wait for the Ferry.

The Sunbeam table is part of the Forum Trade Show in the Spruce Head Room.

Since its founding in 1905, a Maine Seacoast Mission boat has always served the islands. The Sunbeam V is 75-feet long with a beam of 21 feet and a seven foot draft. The boat has state-of-the-art telemedicine equipment and a salon that serves as a meeting place for fellowship, meals, and meetings. The Sunbeam also sometimes hosts weddings and funerals.

Life on an Island: Silence, Beauty and a Long Wait for the Ferry

Dale Libby, 8. He and his brother, Hayden, 10, are the only year-round students at the one-room school on Matinicus. Credit Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

The New York Times
Life on an Island: Silence, Beauty and a Long Wait for the Ferry
On remote islands off the coast of Maine, small bands of residents stay through the long winter. They embrace the emptiness and a frontier sensibility.
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE – FEB. 23, 2018

[T]he 75-foot vessel Sunbeam, which is operated year-round by the nonprofit group Maine Seacoast Mission, is seen as a lifeline, especially in winter. Often breaking the ice in the coves and harbors it visits, the Sunbeam provides a communal gathering place for islanders, who go aboard for meals and stay for the fellowship.

[Island Health director Sharon] Daley has been the Sunbeam’s nurse for 17 years, and has built up relationships with many of the islanders.

She makes home visits on the islands and sees patients for routine procedures like flu shots. Using specialized equipment, she also conducts telemedicine sessions from the boat with doctors from the mainland, tackling physical ailments and mental health issues, including depression, addiction and even marriage counseling.

Douglas Cornman, another Sunbeam crew member, is the boat’s director of island outreach and its chaplain. He tries to combat the islanders’ feelings of isolation, publishing an anthology of their creative writing, counseling island students on the transition to mainland high schools, and officiating at weddings and funerals.

Full Story

‘Sunbeam’ Schedule: Island Telemedicine Visits Feb. 13-15

Please check the Sunbeam Island Services Schedule Calendar for any schedule changes due to weather conditions or other considerations.

The Sunbeam V is scheduled for a February 13-14 visit to Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, Matinicus.

Questions about Island Health Services and Telemedicine? Please contact Director of Island Health Services Sharon Daley, RN.

For other inquiries about the Sunbeam, contact Director of Island Outreach Douglas Cornman.

Island Health Director is Go-Between with Island Elder Care Administrators, State DHHS

Island Health Director Sharon Daley is standing fifth person from the right.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2018

For more information:
Contact: Scott K Fish, Communications & Marketing Director
Maine Seacoast Mission
207-458-7185 or [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2018

For more information:
Contact: Scott K Fish, Communications & Marketing Director
Maine Seacoast Mission
207-458-7185 or [email protected]

Island Health Director is Go-Between with Island Elder Care Administrators, State DHHS

BAR HARBOR — With a group of Maine island elder care Administrators she organized, Mission Island Health Director Sharon Daley traveled to Augusta, January 26, to participate in a Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) meeting on elderly care regulations affecting Maine island residents and caregivers. The group meets a few times each year in Augusta with State regulators “to make things better,” said Director Sharon Daley, who is the go-between among the group Administrators and the State.

The two-hour DHHS meeting agenda included discussion on new State regulations requiring time consuming background checks on caregiver staff members and board members. Compliance is expensive for island elder homes who are sometimes under the same regulations as large nursing homes; regulations that do not fit the island elder homes, and “make it difficult” for administrators, said Daley.

State regulators offered the visiting group ways to relieve the burden of compliance by pointing out features on the State website, and identifying a specific DHHS contact person. “This is a chance for DHHS and administrators to work together, with increased understanding by all parties,” Daley said.

Part of the discussion centered on making sure caregivers are aware of new or changed State regulations, and that caregivers understand the regulations.

Also, when island elder care residents need to travel to the mainland, an elder home staff member must accompany the traveling resident. Attendees shared ways their communities are dealing with this by using grant money and community support for a new staff position.

Finally, the State is looking at rewriting all smaller elder care home regulations. The island administrators submitted suggestions. “We will meet again and continue to have input” on that process, said Director Sharon Daley.

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Rain, Snow, Sleet, Hail – The Mail and Sunbeam Crew Get Through

L-R: Douglas Cornman, Sharon Daley

NORTHEAST HARBOR — Tuesday, January 30th, the Sunbeam curtailed certain trips because of 30 knot (34.5 mph) high winds. Still, as Island Health Director Sharon Daley points out in her email, she and Island Outreach Director Douglas Cornman hopped aboard a mail boat and kept their appointments on Great Cranberry Isle.

‘Sunbeam’ Schedule: Island Telemedicine Visits Jan. 30-Feb. 1

Please check the Sunbeam Island Services Schedule Calendar for any schedule changes due to weather conditions or other considerations.

The Sunbeam V is scheduled for a January 30 – February 1 visit to Great Cranberry Isle, Isle au Haut, Matinicus.

Questions about Island Health Services and Telemedicine? Please contact Director of Island Health Services Sharon Daley, RN.

For other inquiries about the Sunbeam, contact Director of Island Outreach Douglas Cornman.