People & Business: June 21

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Pownal, Freeport families celebrate pregnancy program

More than 150 families gathered at Winslow Park in Freeport in late May to celebrate Mid Coast Hospital’s CenteringPregnancy program offered by Mid Coast Medical Group–Women’s Health Care.

The program is a model of group prenatal care that integrates basic prenatal health assessment and education with social support. Facilitated by a nurse and one of five certified nurse midwives on staff, it allows women due in the same month to receive care in a group setting. Each pregnant woman is able to bring a support person to the two-hour group visits. 

Heather and Andy Seymour of Pownal joined a CenteringPregnancy group at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick in 2016. They had some initial concerns that group care would not be as attentive as individual care, but it did not take long before they realized the benefits. “We recognized the unique benefit of having high-quality care partnered with group education and support. It was truthfully unexpected,” said Heather. “We have both become strong advocates for Centering and the midwives at Mid Coast Medical Group–Women’s Health Care. Andy is just as involved and enthusiastic, even a year after giving birth.”

The Centering program at Mid Coast Hospital has resulted in better preparation for birth and parenting, as well as a decrease in the cesarean section rate, decrease in premature and low birth weight births, and an increase in breastfeeding rates. As an additional benefit, families create a community of support for before, during, and after birth. Families often get together frequently during the post-partum period and often stay in touch for many years after.

As the only nationally certified site in Maine, families travel from Freeport to Damariscotta and beyond to attend the Mid Coast Hospital CenteringPregnancy program. When Annie Smith of Freeport became pregnant, she visited a physician  who discussed different options for prenatal care at Mid Coast Hospital. “I ended up switching to a midwife so that I could take part in the Centering program,” said Annie. “I was looking for the group interaction and the opportunity to connect with other parents.” Her husband Josh commented, “I wanted to learn information and be present. Centering really solidified our decision to switch.” They mentioned that since participating, they recommend the program to everyone they meet who is expecting a child.


The American Cancer Society of Maine awarded New England Cancer Specialists’ Relay For Life team with the Brendan Horton Spirit of Relay Award on May 6 at Thompson’s Point. The award was given to the Relay team the best embodies who Brendan Horton was as a person and volunteer. Horton was a former South Portland High School graduate and standout athlete who died of cancer in March 2016. He and his entire family had been active supporters and volunteers with Relay for years.

Hires, promotions, appointments

The Telling Room, a Portland nonprofit that teaches writing programs to 3,500 students statewide, announced that the board of directors has hired Celine Kuhn as the organization’s new executive director. The selection was made after a national search and selection process, during which Kuhn served as the interim director. Kuhn replaces Heather Davis who departed last June to serve as executive director of Learning Works.

Vreeland Marketing & Design, a branding and marketing agency in Yarmouth, has a new art director, as well as a new human resources manager. Michael Demmons’ work includes design for both local and national brands such as Northeastern University, IBM and Baskin-Robbins. Marti Northover joined Vreeland as accounting and HR manager, bringing more than 20 years of experience in financial and personnel administration as well as systems and logistics management.

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development has appointed Todd Keiller, director, Intellectual Property and Innovation at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Brian Whitney, president, Maine Technology Institute to the MCED Board of Directors.

New Ventures

The University of New England will establish a Center for Excellence in Aging and Health, thanks to a recent gift of $1 million from Housing Initiatives of New England. UNE is the largest provider of health care professionals for Maine, with Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Pharmacy, Dental Medicine and the Westbrook College of Health Professions, which trains students in several disciplines including nursing, physician assistant, physical therapy and social work.

Giving back

As a way to show love and appreciation for mothers this past Mother’s Day, Two Men and a Truck in Portland hosted a Movers for Moms collection drive to provide critical gifts to local women staying in community shelters this spring.

This year, the Portland moving company worked with local schools, businesses and organizations that included, Palmer & Krause Dentistry, New England Chiropractic, Rowe Ford Westbrook, The Academy for Active Learners, Dora L. Small Elementary and the Portland Seadogs to collect essential and comfort items. More than 1,450 donations were collected and delivered for Mother’s Day to those living in Family Crisis Services 16-bed emergency shelter.


The Maine Women’s Fund has released its local grant-making designations for 2017: $3,700 for Empowering Girls through the Arts; $10,000 for Expanding Health Care for Uninsured LGBTQ People; $10,000 for Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault; $10,000 for Maine Inside Out’s transitional employment program for young women leaving Long Creek Youth Development Center; $10,000 for Rural Human Trafficking Educational Initiative Safe Voices; $10,000 for Oasis Free Clinics; and $6,300 for Girl’s Leadership Circle. 

Save the Date

Brews & Backpacks, is scheduled for June 22 at 5:30 p.m. at Shipyard Brewery, 86 Newbury St. in Portland. This interactive public event offers Shipyard beer, appetizers from established Portland restaurants, and a chance to do good. Attendees will put together 200 backpacks filled with care items, which will be distributed to children in residential, day treatment, child abuse treatment, and foster care programs throughout Maine, as well as families served by Spurwink’s clinicians in the outpatient program.

The event is sponsored by CBRE | Boulos Asset Management, with backpack items donated by Hyatt Place – Portland, Rainbow Toys, Geiger, Bangor Savings Bank, Foreside Financial, Northeast Delta Dental, and Mad Gabs. Appetizers are from Portland Pie, Binga’s Wingas, and Aura.

Heather and Andy Seymour of Pownal celebrate with 1-year-old Emmet at the Mid Coast Hospital CenteringPregnancy reunion, May 20 in Freeport.