MHCA has partnered with Strategic Advocacy, a public affairs management firm, to implement a new advocacy initiative to support our traditional lobbying and grassroots efforts. The firm’s President, Roy Lenardson brings a wealth of legislative and public affairs experience to the job, while Dustin D. Brooks, Client Development Strategist is no stranger to MHCA, having worked with our lobbying team at Preti Flaherty. With an increased focus on nursing home issues this year and several important legislative proposals under consideration, MHCA and the Board of Directors agreed that the time was right to ramp up our efforts to achieve a positive fiscal result for members.

Against this backdrop, we are pleased to introduce a campaign to “fix our nursing home reimbursement.” Click here to see our two-page issue brief that provides an overview of the campaign’s messages. Subsequent pieces will have a similar look and feel and we are currently producing facility-specific profile pieces for member use. Please feel free to contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have questions or comments.

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For the second year in a row, Rima Daudaraviciene, Cook, Karen Marble, Food Service Director, and Jacob Worden, Food Service Worker/Cook of Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough won the Frying Pan trophy in MHCA’s fourth annual LTC Culinary Challenge …cooking for a cause, to benefit the Mike McNeil Scholarship Fund (Fund). On Saturday at Southern Maine Community College, the Maine Veterans’ Home team, along with 7 other culinary teams representing member nursing homes and assisted living facilities from around the state, showcased their talent and creativity to help raise over $2100 for the scholarship fund!

Rima Daudaraviciene, Cook, has 9 years of experience in food service. Favorite Food: Bacon. Why join the competition? The thrill of the challenge.

Karen Marble, Food Service Director, has 24 years in food service.  Favorite Food: Everything. Why join the competition? To try to raise the awareness of all the talented cooks that are in the healthcare field.

Jacob Worden, Food Service Worker/Cook, has 16 years in food service. Favorite Food: Pumpkin anything. Why join the competition? Likes a challenge.

Teams consisted of two cooks and one team manager who prepared a three-course meal using Pineland ball tip beef supplied by Sysco. Teams had two hours to complete the task and were judged on a 100-point scale by a team of certified chefs, which included Sysco Corporate Executive Chef Gary Sheldon, CEC, AAC, ACE, HGT, and Phyllis Flaherty, CEC,CCE, Business Resource; Chef Geoffrey Boardman, CEC, Director of Culinary, Southern Maine Community College; Wilfred Beriau, CEC, CCE, AAC, Director of Curriculum, Maine State Pro-Start; Rick Spencer, Director of Food Service, Gibson Center Senior Meals. While the judges were impressed by all the teams’ efforts, Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough won the competition with the following menu: Appetizer: Polenta Potted Pizza (gluten free); Entree: Oktoberfest ball tip with red wine sauce and spaetzle, roasted parsnips and carrots; Dessert: Chocolate peanut butter pie (gluten free).

MVH-Scarborough Team received the MMSF Frying Pan Trophy, a $300 gift certificate to Direct Supply. Taking second place and a $175 gift certificate to Direct Supply was the Lincoln Home Team of Julie Adams, Chef, Linda Allen, Cook, and Daniel Bailey, Cook. Third place trophy and a $125 gift certificate to Direct Supply went to the Durgin Pines Team of Larry Days, Cook/Supervisor, Theresa Hyatt, Cook/Supervisor/Baker, and Wanda Stadig, Cook/Supervisor.

In addition to the Third Place trophy, Durgin Pines also received the award for Best Overall Appetizer and Best Overall Entrée. Best Overall Dessert was won by the Bartlett Woods Team of Klarita Bicaj, Cook, Aaron Prescott, Dietary Manager, and Pam Stone, Waitstaff. Every team received a certificate of appreciation, 3 hour CEU certificate from Sysco/Casco Bay Culinary Association, and gift bag.

The Culinary Challenge is proudly sponsored by MHCA/MHCA Business Services and our business partner, Sysco Northern New England, with generous contributions from Southern Maine Community College Culinary Arts program, BerryDunn, as well as Sysco manufacturer Fusion Sales.

In addition to those above, we would like to thank all the participants for making this event a great success. They are:

  • Coastal Manor, Yarmouth – Healthcare Services Group Team: Jared Antill, Certified Dietary Manager, Wesley Courtney, Dietary Manager, and Douglas Parker, Food Service Director
  • Maine Veterans’ Home, South Paris: Barbara Hooper, Food Service Director, Cindy Snell, Cook, and Bethany Wing
  • Odd Fellows & Rebekahs Home of Maine, Auburn: Mike Lugner, Dietary Manager, Hilliary Miller, Cook, and Adam Rosado, Cook
  • Orchard Park & Edgewood Rehab & Living Centers, Farmington: Donna Boyce, Cook, Lona Ford, Cook, and Jessica Stevens, Dietary Aide

We offer our special thanks to Sysco Executive Chef Gary Sheldon for donating his time to organize the competition. He not only developed the contest rules, he spent considerable time planning, meeting with the teams, securing judges and managing the event onsite. Thank you Gary!

Since its inception in 2007, the scholarship fund has enabled 59 individuals to pursue their educational goals in long term care. Eligible fields of study include nursing, physical or occupational therapy, speech pathology, social work, activities and food service.

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We will be presenting awards in the following categories:

•       Caregiving  – Nursing and all other disciplines
•       Quality
•       Innovative Programming

We sent one awards packet via mail to all MHCA member homes last week. If you prefer, you may download the nomination forms and more information on the criteria for each award, by visiting our website at celebrating excellence program.

The Celebrating Excellence Award Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the long term care community will review all nominations submitted. The presentation ceremony and luncheon will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Thursday, September 26, 2013. Please mark your calendar now and additional event details will be forthcoming.

Completed, typed nominations must be received or postmarked by July 24, 2013 and should be sent to the attention of:

Maine Health Care Association
317 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: 623-1146   Fax: 623-4080
Caregiving awards:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Quality and Innovative Programming awards:
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Please feel free to contact either of us if you have questions or comments. Thank you and we look forward to learning more about how you Celebrate Excellence in your facility!


Nadine Grosso, Vice President & Director of Communications
Holly Harmon, Director of Quality Improvement & Regulatory Affairs

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The Mike McNeil Scholarship Fund is currently accepting applications for the 2014 school year. Administered by MHCA in partnership with BerryDunn, the Fund promotes careers in long term care through scholarships for individuals affiliated with Maine’s long term care facilities. Scholarships are open to facility employees, their immediate family members and volunteers wishing to pursue post secondary education and training in the areas of Nursing, Physical or Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Social Work, Activities and Food Service.  We encourage you to share the attached scholarship information with potential applicants. Scholarships are renewable for up to three years at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee so previous winners are encouraged to reapply.  All applications for the 2014 school year will be accepted until August 1, 2013. To obtain an application, click mmsf_application_2013-14. For the guidelines, see mmsf_guidelines_2013. For more information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at 207-623-1146.

Staff Contact:
Nadine Grosso
Vice President & Director of Communications

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Maine First Lady Ann LePage opened the 11th annual Remember ME Photography Exhibit and Recognition Ceremony held in the Hall of Flags on Friday, April 12, at the State House and personally presented each award to this year’s winners. To a crowd of 300 residents, staff members, friends and family, the First Lady told our long term care residents how much she appreciated all that they’ve accomplished and sacrificed to build the foundations of our country and the great State of Maine. Several legislators also joined us to help present constituents with awards.

Awards were presented to 34 individuals: 15 women and 19 men, ranging in age from 61-107. MHCA President and CEO marked the 11th anniversary of the project by noting that we have now honored 400 deserving individuals since the inception of the program. He told the crowd,

“In some ways, your stories are even more important today as they were when you blazed the trails, fought the wars, and raised your families with conviction. You represent a generation who understands challenge and how to rise above it. Yours is a generation that saw a problem and took matters into your own hands to fix it. You are part of a generation that has wisdom and lessons to share with those who follow so that we might learn from your mistakes and be inspired from your achievements.”

This year’s event was well covered by the media, including Channels 5, 6, and 13. Tune in to the news tonight! The SunJournal newspaper previewed the event this morning; to read coverage of Lewiston/Auburn area recipients, click here:

MHCA would like to thank this year’s judges: Ashley Ellis, MHCA Staff Support Specialist; Venise Minkowsky, CEO of Continuum Health Services; and Lori Parham, State Director of AARP Maine. We also thank our sponsors for their financial support:  Maine Veterans’ Homes for program books; First Atlantic Healthcare for breakfast; MHCA Workers’ Compensation Fund for flowers and OfficeMax for awards.

As always, we thank the staff that makes it possible for the residents to attend the event, for we know that they not only provide transportation, they lend moral support and comfort too. Congratulations to all of our honorees – it’s our pleasure to salute you!

Staff Contact:
Nadine Grosso
Vice President & Director of
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We are pleased to announce this year’s Remember ME Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.  The judges selected 35 Recipients and 24 Honorable Mention Awards from the pool of 59 applicants.  Award recipients will be contacted regarding a photo shoot over the next two weeks.  Their photos and biographies will be included in the program book and in the Friday, April 12th exhibit at the Hall of Flags, where they will receive their Certificate of Lifetime Achievement. Honorable Mention recipient bios will also be featured in the program book and we will mail their Honorable Mention Certificates of Lifetime Achievement the week of April 15th. Please know that all are welcome to attend the Hall of Flags ceremony, which will begin at 10 am. Please RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at the Association by April 8th.

Lifetime Achievement award recipients

Honorable Mention award recipients

MHCA would like to thank this year’s judges for lending their time and expertise. They indicated that it was very difficult selection process because all of our candidates deserve recognition for their important contributions in their lifetime.

Ashley Ellis, Staff Support Specialist, MHCA Staff Representative

Venise Minkowsky, CEO, Continuum Health Services, MHCA Board Representative

Lori K. Parham, State Director, AARP Maine, Outside Agency Representative

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As announced in a previous MHCA E-News, the Division of Licensing & Regulatory Services has scheduled a Licensing Forum for long term care and assisted living on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1pm-4pm at MHCA.

Please RSVP by April 1, 2013 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at MHCA via email or via phone at 623-1146.

Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at MHCA by April 1, 2013 if you would like to suggest topics for review at the Licensing Forum.

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Who will you nominate to the Remember ME program?

Have you submitted your nomination to MHCA’s annual Remember ME program? We know that every resident has a unique story and narrowing it down to one entry is difficult, but space is limited in the Hall of Flags and the deadline is this Friday, January 25th!  Please visit to download a nomination form, and send it along with a one-page narrative, to tell us about a resident you believe fits the criteria.

This year’s photography exhibit and recognition ceremony will be held in the State House Hall of Flags on Friday, April 12, 2013. In addition to the display of black and white photographs and biographies, we will honor your residents with Certificates of Lifetime Achievement. Previous participants know firsthand how special this event is for residents and their families. Join us in honoring another round of deserving residents this year!

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at 623-1146 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Nadine L. Grosso
Vice President and Director of Communications

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MHCA Partners with QIO to offer education on Methods for Reducing Hospital Readmissions

In partnership with The Northeast Health Care Quality Foundation, MHCA is pleased to offer the program, Exploring Transitional Care: Methods for Reducing Hospital Readmissions, in four locations after the New Year: January 15 – Caribou Rehab & Nursing Center, Caribou; January 17 – Hilton Garden Inn, Bangor; February 5 – Hilton Garden Inn, Freeport; and February 7 – Maine Health Care Association, Augusta. This workshop has been approved for 6 continuing education units (CEUs) by the Maine Nursing Home Administrators Licensing Board. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the program running from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

It is a startling fact that one fifth of all Medicare patients who are discharged from a hospital will be readmitted within thirty (30) days, costing the healthcare system billions of dollars and often resulting in poor patient outcomes. This session is designed to help participants develop a comprehensive understanding of care transitions. You will learn ways to reduce hospital readmissions by adopting evidence based practices. You will discuss techniques for preventing conditions from becoming severe enough to require hospitalization through early identification and assessment of changes in the residents’ health status. You will develop strategies for managing some common health conditions when it is feasible and safe thereby reducing unplanned transfers. Finally, you will discuss best practices for effective communication of pertinent medical information between health care providers. If you’re looking for resources to assist you in establishing an excellent care transition program within your facility as well as facility-based technical assistance, don’t miss this opportunity.

MHCA Partners with the Maine Alzheimer’s Association to Improve Dementia Care

In partnership with The Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, MHCA is pleased to offer the workshop ‘I Already Told You… Don’t You Remember?’ Tips for Becoming an Effective Dementia Educator and Coach on January 30, 2013 at the Augusta Civic Center.   Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the program running from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Despite efforts to educate individuals on how best to communicate with residents who have dementia, phrases like these are still all too common:   ‘You can’t go home – you live here now, remember?’ ‘You already had breakfast, remember?’ ‘You know me!  Do you remember my name?’  Would you like to grow your skills as an effective dementia educator and dementia communication coach? Don’t miss this opportunity. This program is designed to offer proven (& fun!) education tools for dementia education including coaching techniques for effective dementia communication and behavior prevention. In addition, you will hear from the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, about resources and services available to you to help you provide good care to residents with dementia.

For more details and/or registration form, click here for MHCA’s current edition of the Education Quarterly.

To register, you may either (1) fax your completed registration form to MHCA at 623-4080 and send the original by mail, along with your payment, to MHCA, 317 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330, OR (2) click here to register online. If you have any questions, feel free to contact MHCA (623-1146).

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