Skip to main content
Island Health & Wellness Foundation: Just For The Health Of It Community Discussions

Island Health & Wellness Foundation: Just For The Health Of It Community Discussions

By Anne West
Real conversations with local people who are making Deer Isle-Stonington a healthier place to live, work and play.
Listen on
Where to listen
Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

Talking with Dr. Anthony Fusco, Primary Care Provider at Northern Light Primary Care Stonington

Island Health & Wellness Foundation: Just For The Health Of It Community Discussions

Talking with Jeannie Hatch, Executive Director of Island Community Center
Join me for a very heartfelt conversation with Jeannie Hatch. Jeannie has been the Executive Director of Island Community Center in Stonington for five years. Among other things, in this episode we discuss: What does the Island Community Center do? What kinds of events/programs are held at the community center? How can people contact Island Community Center? How can we all support this incredible community gem? What is helping Jeannie personally get through the pandemic? SPOILER ALERT: Jeannie makes an announcement about this year's Stonington 6 road race at the end of the episode! To contact Island Community Center: Phone: 367-2735 Website: Facebook:
April 2, 2021
Talking with Ashley Pesek, Program Director of Opiate Free Island Partnership, About The Syringe Service Program in Deer Isle
Opiate Free Island Partnership recently started a Syringe Service Program at St. Brendan's Church in Deer Isle. This program runs every Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. In this episode, Ashley Pesek, OFIP's Program Director answers the following questions: What is a syringe service program? Is it different than a needle exchange? What did OFIP have to do to bring this service to the island? How do people use this service? How is the program doing in its first month? What are OFIP's goals in running this program? How can we as a community support this program? To reach Ashley at OFIP: 207-367-5850 or email OFIP's Facebook page:
March 19, 2021
Talking with Anne Schroth of Healthy Peninsula About Vaccination Sign Ups
Anne Schroth is the Healthy Aging Program Coordinator for Healthy Peninsula. Recently, she has been busy navigating the often complicated world of signing up for COVID vaccination appointments on behalf of older Mainers in our area. What helpful hints has she learned? How does patience and perseverance play major roles in the sign up process? What other resources does Healthy Peninsula offer? Last, but not least, what is personally helping Anne to thrive during the pandemic?  Resources: Healthy Peninsula website: Healthy Peninsula phone number: 207-374-3257 Healthy Peninsula email: Anne Schroth's email: Friends in Action (for Vaccination Buddies program): 664-6016 or Healthy Island Project: 367-6332 or  Blue Hill Library: 374-5515 or Surry Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Betsy Armstrong at
March 5, 2021
Talking with Catie Reed, Community Engagement and Activities Manager at Eastern Area Agency on Aging
What does Eastern Area Agency on Aging (EAAA) do? What kinds of activities are available for seniors during the pandemic? How do I sign up for Meals on Wheels? How can I support EAAA? Join me as I talk to Catherine "Catie" Reed, Community Engagement and Activities Manager at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Catie provides a brief overview of EAAA's services (which are available to people living in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington Counties) and talks about upcoming offerings including Tai Chi and Medicare 101 class. To contact EAAA please call: 207-941-2865 or toll free at 1-800-432-7812 If you prefer email, please send a message to: Website:
March 5, 2021
BONUS EPISODE RECORDED 2/19: Talking with Dr. James Jarvis of Northern Light About COVID-19 Vaccinations
I asked you, my listeners, to give me all your questions about vaccinations and boy, did you come through! Dr. James Jarvis, Physician Leader for Incident Command at Northern Light Health and Director of Clinical Education at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center spent a half hour with me this morning answering all your questions, including: 1. Can the hotline number for vaccinations be changed so that it is toll-free? 2. Why do people have to wait 15 minutes after receiving a vaccine before leaving the vaccination site? 3. What does Northern Light plan to do for those who live in rural areas and cannot travel to receive a vaccination? 4. If I am offered a vaccination due to my job, am I taking it away from someone else that needs it? 5. In the tiers for vaccination, where do "front line workers" such as those who work in grocery stores, truck drivers, etc. fit in? 6. Why are we being asked to wear two masks now? This episode is filled with helpful information and explanations of why vaccination clinics are set up as they are.  Please listen and share this far and wide!
February 19, 2021
Talking with Walter Reed, Advanced EMT about Memorial Ambulance Corps
In this conversation, Walter and I cover a number of topics, including the following: 1. What does Memorial Ambulance Corps do? (Hint: It goes way beyond responding to 9-1-1 calls) 2. How did Memorial Ambulance get started?  3. What happens when someone dials 9-1-1? 4. What can we all do to make sure we are prepared in the event we need to call 9-1-1? This episode is rich in island history, stories of neighbors helping neighbors, and is full of need-to-know information.  **For emergencies, please call 9-1-1. The non emergent phone number for Memorial Ambulance in 348-5686 Phone app that lists all locations of AED's on DIS: Pulse Point AED (use the orange app, NOT the red one). 
February 19, 2021
Talking with Dr. Anthony Fusco, Primary Care Provider at Northern Light Primary Care Stonington
Dr. Anthony Fusco has been practicing at Northern Light Primary Care Stonington for over a year now. What brought him to Stonington? When did he decide to be a doctor (and what did a homemade first aid kit have to do with it)? What does he recommend as something we can all do to improve our overall health? Dr. Fusco and I even talk about my one and only detention in high school. . .this discussion is full of gems that you won't want to miss. Northern Light Primary Care Stonington/Island Family Medicine: 367-2311 (to make an appointment with a provider or find out about becoming a patient of this practice) Book recommended by Dr. Fusco: "Learned Optimism" by Martin E.P. Seligman
February 5, 2021
Talking with Dr. Wendy Alpaugh of Island Dental Offices
How did Dr. Alpaugh end up practicing dentistry on Deer Isle? Did she always want to become a dentist? Why is oral health important? What has changed about her practice during the pandemic? We talk about all this and more.  Island Dental Offices-367-2631 To inquire about the Reduced Fee Dental Program call Anne West at 367-5851. Websites referenced by Wendy during our conversation: American Dental Association: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: American Academy of Periodontology National Institutes of Health National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
January 29, 2021
Talking with Marnie Crowell, Brain Injury Survivor and Thriver
How did Marnie Crowell end up as the island's first LifeFlight patient? Following her injury, what has helped her to lead a life filled with caring, compassion, service and positivity? What is Surimono and how does this art form play a part in Marnie's work? What is Marnie's biggest wish? You don't want to miss this episode-at the end you will emerge with a new appreciation for the healing powers of nature and the human brain! Link to Marnie's website:
January 15, 2021
Talking with Jo Cooper, Executive Director of Friends in Action
What services does Friends in Action provide to the Deer Isle-Stonington community? How do I sign up for transportation services? How do I volunteer with Friends in Action? Why is a ride so much more than just getting from Point A to Point B? I talk about this and much, much more in my conversation with Jo Cooper, Executive Director Friends in Action.  Friends in Action: Phone Number: 207-664-6016 Website: Recommended Book: "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" by Roz Chast
January 1, 2021
BONUS EPISODE RECORDED 12/29: Talking with Matthew Trombley, Senior Executive Director of Island Nursing Home
Do not miss this feel good episode! If you have been following the COVID outbreak at the Island Nursing Home over the last six weeks, this conversation with Matthew Trombley will warm your heart. Hear about the health status of residents and staff (spoiler: it is GOOD news) and the wonderful Christmas the residents of INH were able to have thanks to this community's generous support. Also, hear about how the Island Nursing Home's COVID outbreak has led to ongoing partnerships with local colleges and how INH administration is using their lived experience to help other facilities facing similar challenges. Just a little note on this episode: We were dealing with some unreliable internet this morning. You may hear some pauses, skips, etc. I apologize for this inconvenience. To access Island Nursing Home's donate page, use the link below:
December 29, 2020
Talking with Rene Colson-Hudson, Executive Director Healthy Island Project
In this conversation with Rene Colson-Hudson, we discuss:  1. How she ended up in Deer Isle-Stonington.  2. How her role has expanded since COVID arrived (she explains the process of organizing, cooking, assembling and delivering over 5,500 meals). 3. How Healthy Island Project is meeting the current needs of our community.  4. How we can all support Healthy Island Project fulfill it's mission.  How to contact Healthy Island Project: website: email: phone number: (207) 367-6332 Rene's book recommendation: "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere" by Pico Iyer Link:
December 25, 2020
BONUS EPISODE RECORDED 12/22: Talking with Matthew Trombley, Senior Executive Director of Island Nursing Home
In today's episode Matthew Trombley updates the community on the recent COVID outbreak at Island Nursing Home in Deer Isle. We talk about the following: 1. What is the current condition of residents and staff who have tested positive for COVID? 2. When will the first doses of vaccine arrive at INH and will residents and staff who have already tested positive still be vaccinated? 3. How is staffing at the facility? 4. What was the final result of the recent State survey conducted within the facility following report of the outbreak? 5. How has the INH Board of Directors helped out during this time? 6. Are there any needs the community should be aware of? You will not be able to listen to this episode without coming to the conclusion that there is no place like Deer Isle-Stonington!
December 22, 2020
Talking with Doug Dunbar of Eastern Maine Development Corporation about Connecting with Opportunities
**If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, there are local resources available. You can reach out to Ashley Pesek at Opiate Free Island Partnership by dialing 207-367-5850 to be connected with these resources in a safe, confidential manner.** Doug Dunbar is one of the few people (maybe the only person) who can say that he has had dinner at both the White House and at Penobscot County Jail. Today, Doug is in long term recovery and is working at Eastern Maine Development Corporation to bring workforce opportunities and support to countless people in our area.  We discuss how jail impacted his work now, what workforce opportunities are available and how people can access career help. This is a story of hope and hard work.  It is also a reminder that substance use can affect anyone of us no matter our economic, education or family history.  Eastern Maine Development Corporation Connecting with Opportunities Program From the EMDC website: If you’re someone who has been impacted by opioid use disorder and needs help, email or call EMDC’s Workforce Development Specialist, Doug Dunbar at (207) 299-5626. If you’re an employer or service provider that would like to partner, email or call EMDC’s Workforce Development Specialist, Doug Dunbar at (207) 299-5626. For general information, email Doug recommended TED talks by Johann Hari which can be accessed here: He also referenced the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey, link below:
December 18, 2020
BONUS EPISODE RECORDED 12/15: Talking with Matthew Trombley, Sr. Executive Director of Island Nursing Home
In this episode, Matthew provides an update on the COVID situation at Island Nursing Home and answers community questions including: How many residents have passed away? How are other residents and staff members being helped to cope with these losses? Is the National Guard still on-site? What personal protective equipment does staff wear in the building? How long can staff stay in a patient's room? Why is Matthew primarily working from home? How does the recent news that a COVID vaccine is being distributed impact the nursing home residents and staff?
December 15, 2020
Talking with Paul Sacaridiz, Executive Director Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
Since the pandemic began, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts has seen many changes. What decisions were made by administration for the safety of the island? How did Haystack switch gears and begin producing free personal protective equipment? How many people have been helped through this innovative use of technology and art? Join me for a heartfelt conversation with Paul Sacaridiz, Executive Director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Throughout our discussion, it is evident that Paul leads with knowledge, experience and compassion and we are lucky to have him here on Deer Isle-Stonington. Haystack Website for ordering personal protective equipment and/or making a donation: Healthy Island Project website for contact information on obtaining personal protective equipment:  email: Paul's Book Recommendation: "What Can a Body Do?" by Sarah Hendren
December 11, 2020
BONUS EPISODE RECORDED 12/8: Update on Island Nursing Home with Matthew Trombley, Senior Executive Director
Please listen to this bonus episode of the "Just For The Health Of It" podcast to hear an update on the COVID outbreak at Island Nursing Home as of 12/8.  How are patients and staff doing?  What challenges does the nursing home face? How can the community continue to help?  Matthew references a benefit at the nursing home to help those who want to pursue a health related field including nursing, certified nurses assistant programs, etc. For more information about this, please contact the nursing home directly at Links: To reach out to the Island Nursing Home directly: To reach out to Barrett Gray about helping with food deliveries: or 367-2253
December 8, 2020
BONUS EPISODE RECORDED 12/1: Talking with Matthew Trombley, Sr. Executive Director of Island Nursing Home about COVID
Most of us know by now that there has been an outbreak of COVID at our beloved Island Nursing Home. How are the residents and staff holding up? How are the administrators meeting staffing needs? What part can all of us play in helping INH through this difficult time? Please take a few minutes out of your day and listen to my conversation with Matthew Trombley, Sr. Executive Director of Island Nursing Home. To volunteer to help, please email
December 1, 2020
Talking with Ashley Pesek, Program Director for Opiate Free Island Partnership
How did Ashley go from wanting to be an OB doctor and delivering babies to a substance use and mental health counselor? What does Opiate Free Island Partnership do and why should we all keep Ashley's phone number handy? As a mother of nine children (yes you read that right), what advice does Ashley have for parents to help protect their children from substance misuse? Ashley and I discuss these questions and a whole lot more in this episode. Phone number for Opiate Free Island Partnership: 207-367-5850 OFIP Facebook page: Ashley's book recommendation: The Big Book by Alcholics Anonymous Link on Amazon:
November 27, 2020
Talking with Jody Wolford-Tucker, Executive Director of Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County
November is National Hospice Awareness Month. What does Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County do? What programs are offered to help caregivers and those who are coping with the loss of a loved one? These questions and more are answered in this heartfelt discussion with Jody Wolford-Tucker, Executive Director of this 40 year old organization.  Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County website: Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County phone number: 667-2531 Anne West's email address: Anne West's phone number: 207-367-5851 Jody's book recommendations: At Peace Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life by Sam Harrington (DIS local!) The Four Things That Matter Most by Dr. Ira Byock Peace at Last and other works by Deborah Grassman The Art of Comforting by Val Walker
November 13, 2020
Bonus Episode: Talking with Dr. Charles Zelnick about Deer Isle Stonington and COVID-19
This is a special bonus episode and a must listen. Dr. Zelnick posted on his personal Facebook page this past weekend that COVID has reached the Deer Isle-Stonington community. What does that mean for us? What can each of us do to prevent further spread of this virus? What are the symptoms of COVID and what can we do if we experience one or more of them? Where should we go for reliable information? What will the holidays look like this year? Dr. Zelnick talks about his medical career and  guides us through this latest challenge with his trademark calm, compassion and humor.  Phone number for Northern Light Primary Care Stonington: 207-367-2311 Northern Light COVID Resources and Testing Website: Websites Recommended by Dr. Zelnick: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website regarding holidays: Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Website: BBC news: Scientific American: WERU for transcriptions of Dr. Shah's updates: Articles/Links recommended by Dr. Zelnick: and for those interested in the historical perspective, this is one of the most fascinating stories of modern science figuring out the mystery of the 1918 flu;  the 2 guys who figured it out had a chance meeting in a cafeteria at the University of Iowa; they got talking over lunch and realized that together they had to key to the story…
November 11, 2020
Talking with Michael Reisman, Executive Director of the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center
What does the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center do? What can I expect if I call their number for help? How can I get involved in assisting my neighbors who may be facing a cancer diagnosis? All this and more is covered in my conversation with Michael Reisman, Executive Director of the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center. Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center Phone Number: 207-664-0339 Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center Website: Link to Michael's recommended book:
October 30, 2020
Talking with Debra Matteson and Gail Senecal About Recovery Coaching
What is the opposite of addiction? What is a community recovery coach? How can I become a recovery ally? These questions and more are answered in my conversation with Debra Matteson, Hancock County Community Recovery Coach Coordinator for Healthy Acadia and Gail Senecal, a volunteer Recovery Coach on Deer Isle-Stonington. Show Notes: To access a recovery coach, find out more about becoming a coach or sign up for an upcoming class through Healthy Acadia, please email Debra Matteson at or call her at 207-479-6278. Healthy Acadia's website can be found at: To find out more about the Deer Isle Stonington Community Coalition on Substance Use please email me at Third Annual Maine Harm Reduction Conference, Friday, October 30th, 8:00am  - 2:00pm. To access additional harm reduction information, please follow the link below. I was unable to link the Maine Opioid Summit that the Governor's Office hosted and Debra referenced as it was already past. Listeners may be able to find it by searching YouTube. Gail's book recommendation: The East Side of Addiction by James DiReda, Henry Grosse and Jack Maroney
October 20, 2020
Talking with Dr. Timothy Cobb
How did Dr. Timothy Cobb go from being an electrician and a truck driver to a primary care provider in Deer Isle Stonington, Maine? Why did a move to Maine win out over a move to Alaska when his family was deciding where to live? What is Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy? What can we all do today to improve our overall health? These answers and more are contained in our conversation.  Phone number for Northern Light Primary Care Stonington (to make an OMT appointment): 207-367-2311 Link to the book "The Edge Effect" by Dr. Eric Braverman
October 16, 2020
Talking with Dorathy Martel, Executive Director of Next Step Domestic Violence Project
What does Next Step Domestic Violence Project do? What is abusive behavior?  What happens when someone calls the helpline number? How has the pandemic impacted cases and reports of domestic violence in our area? How can we help? Dorathy and I spend a few minutes talking about this important subject and how it impacts the Deer Isle-Stonington community. Here are some notes that are referenced in the episode: Next Step Domestic Violence Project Helpline 24 hours/7 days a week: 1-800-315-5579 Next Step Domestic Violence Project website: "No Visible Bruises" by Rachel Louise Snyder:
October 2, 2020
Talking with Denise Antonition, LCSW
Why is mental health important? What is one thing we can all do today to improve our mental wellness? This conversation with Denise Antonition, LCSW is full of wisdom, wit and warmth-just like Denise herself.  In the episode, Denise recommends a book called "The Little Book of Mindfulness" by Patrizia Collard. This book can be purchased through Amazon. Following this podcast, the Board of Directors of Island Health & Wellness Foundation generously purchased 20 copies of this book for Denise and the other providers at Island Medical Center to use when working with patients.
September 18, 2020