All Course Projects Are Stories of Change

Most of our courses feature collaborative projects centered on current issues in health and healthcare. Participants in our Health Leadership Development (HLD) course select and develop projects to practice and apply the skills and tools learned throughout the various sessions.

These projects fuel participants’ passion for improving health and healthcare, and enhancing the wellbeing of all Maine communities. Each project represents a personal and professional story of change.

Health Leadership Development Course Projects

Project Theme 2023-2024: Ageism, Age-Equity and Age-Positivity

Ageism and its Impact on Health and Healthcare Workforce Development

Ageism and its Impact on Health and Healthcare Workforce Development aims to create a statewide impact on the health of Maine and its aging population by addressing workplace ageism within the recruitment, hiring, and retainment process, specifically in healthcare. The group created a toolkit for hiring managers and HR managers at healthcare organizations, which includes a survey and resources for their feedback regarding ageism within their workplace. The project’s vision and goal is to provide awareness and resources to these hiring managers and HR managers to address ageism in the workplace. 

Group Members:

  • Stephanie Kadnar, DHHS/State of Maine
  • Courtney Vannah, MCD Global Health
  • Jessica Rubashkin, Mid Coast Medical Group Pediatrics
  • Amy Orewiler, MaineGeneral Medical Center
  • Jason Adams, Wabanaki Public Health
  • Lauren Gauthier, Maine Department of Health and Human Services

Project material(s): Combating Ageism in the Health Care Workforce

Countering Ageism Through Public Policy Actions

Countering Ageism through Public Policy Actions focused on addressing transportation, ageism, and healthcare access issues in local Maine communities. The project began with a community survey and follow-up phone calls to explore initiatives supporting transportation and enhancing mobility for Maine’s older populations. The group reached out to hospitals, requesting their collaboration in sharing flyers detailing transportation resources with patients and community members, and extending telehealth services, while ensuring language accessibility. To showcase the most influential areas and daily challenges faced by community members, and how their health is impacted, the group created an interactive board game. Through this practical approach, the group felt motivated to make a difference in their community by researching and addressing issues that matter to them. 

Group Members:

  • Mindy Gammon, Northern Light Mercy Hospital
  • Lisbeth Balligan, MaineHealth Institute for Research
  • Kelly M. Hoffman, Norman, Hanson & DeTroy, LLC
  • Cynthia Simpson, Mano en Mano
  • Lillian Shields, InterMed P.A.
  • Kim Lajoie, Maine Community Health Options
Age Positivity Podcast

Age Positivity Podcast studied ageism in Maine by creating a podcast series. The group collaborated with local community members to curate a list of subject matter experts and older adults who offered perspectives on the topic. Interviews were conducted with four subject matter experts of varying ages, using questions developed collaboratively. Our goal is to make this video series accessible to interested agencies and the public, aiming to raise awareness about how data shapes our actions and attitudes towards older adults. 

Group Members:

  • Kelly Creamer, LincolnHealth
  • Emily D Follo, Maine Medical Center
  • Lissa Merrill, MaineHealth- Stephens Memorial Hospital
  • Elizabeth Ciccarelli, Maine Medical Association
  • David Pied, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Bill Bourassa, Point32Health/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Project material(s): Age Positivity Team

Intersectionality of Age and LGBTQI Health

Intersectionality of Age and LGBTQI Healthexamines the intersection of age and LGBTQI health by partnering with Equality Maine’s Network for Older Adults and distributing a survey to over 100 members. 80 participants were surveyed about their experiences with sexual health and interactions with healthcare providers. Overall, the survey found that sexual health history documentation among older LGBTQI adults was largely inadequate compared to recommended standards, leading to ostracization and potential medical errors. The group will share this information with Equality Maine, along with recommend initiatives and resources to help providers in Maine deliver quality sexual healthcare for older LGBTQI people. 

Group Members:

  • Maryann Harakall, State of Maine CDC
  • Karen Gurney, Mainehealth Medical Group
  • Naneen Chace-Ortiz, MaineHealth
  • Michael Madaio, Maine Medical Center
  • Brendan Prast, Maine Medical Center
  • Melissa Fochesato, Mid-Coast Hospital, MaineHealth

Project material(s): Intersectionality of Age and LGBTQI Health

Exploring Structural Ageism in Governmental Health & Healthcare Programs - Changes to Improve

Exploring Structural Ageism in Governmental Health & Healthcare Programs – Changes to Improve aimed to support the Lewiston Housing Authority’s efforts to expand the CAPABLE (Community Aging In Place—Advancing Better Living For Elders) Program, a home-based program to help older adults improve their health, independence, and safety. By creating a contact spreadsheet for community resources in all five counties, and culturally responsive engagement strategies to approach community leaders, organizations, and faith leaders with respect, empathy, and compassion, this project develops a thorough communication plan to support the necessary growth of the CAPABLE program and work towards providing Maine’s older populations with resources needed to live their fullest life. 

Group Members:

  • Betty St. Hilaire, MaineGeneral Medical Center
  • Chanbopha Himm, DHHS: Office of Child and Family Services
  • Nicole Yeo-Fisher, HealthInfoNet
  • Dan Demeritt, Maine Association of Health Plans
  • Maddison Bourassa, State of Maine / Department of Health and Human Services
  • Jenn Toms, OnPoint Health Data

Project material(s): Exploring Structural Ageism in Governmental Health & Healthcare Programs – Changes to Improve

Ageism in Primary Care

Ageism in Primary Care  addresses the issues of ageism by defining it as dismissive attitudes, patronizing communication, stereotyping, limited treatment options, lack of respect for autonomy, or underestimating abilities. The group interviewed patients, caregivers, and providers, with lived experiences of ageism from five organizations.

Using these testimonials, consistent messaging and a teaching tool were developed and distributed to health systems in Maine. The tool kit, designed for distribution to primary care offices across Maine with the help of the MPCA, contains flyers, brochures, QR codes directing staff to the testimonial video, and FAQs.

Group Members:

  • Fides Nduwimana, WIC
  • Emily Walters, MaineHealth
  • Rachel Grant, Redington Fairview General Hospital
  • Mike Hersey, MaineHealth
  • Diandra Staples, HealthReach Community Health Center
  • Sharon McAllister, MaineGeneral Health

Project material(s): Ageism in Primary Care