Celebrating the Recipients of the 2023 Sunbeam Award 

by | Jul 24, 2023 | News

Join Mission for the 2023 Sunbeam Award Gala to honor two awardees for their unwavering commitment to provide exceptional care to island residents. On Thursday, August 17 at the Bar Harbor Club, will honor Mission’s former Director of Island Health, Sharon Daley, RN, and the Mission’s Healthcare Partners: the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC); Mount Desert Island Hospital; Dan Johnson, Ph.D., LCPC, CCS; Brien Davis, APRN-FNP; Scott Schiff-Slater, MD; and Anand Viswanathan, MD, PhD.  

When Daley was hired in 2001, she began the telehealth program on the Sunbeam, which connected island residents to mainland providers. During that time, she developed a nascent initiative into a robust program that today includes vaccination clinics, home health, specialist visits, eldercare support network, and more. Through her tireless work, Daley gained the trust and respect of hundreds of her patients. She retired at the end of 2022 and lives on the unbridged island, Islesboro. 

The other Sunbeam awardee are the Mission’s Healthcare Partners who provided support, consultations, and telehealth for island residents. “These healthcare partners ensure Mainers receive quality health services and continue to live on the islands they call home,” says Mission President John Zavodny. “Through the Mission’s partnership with these organizations, the Mission continues to support and strengthen island communities.”  

Maine CDC will be honored for its partnership in the Mission’s to Covid vaccination effort on outer unbridged islands. The Mission connected to Maine CDC in early 2021 to collaborate on vaccine administration for islanders.  By March, the Mission became an official vaccination provider and within three months staff vaccinated 343 residents on seven unbridged islands. The Mission has administered a total of 1,287 Covid vaccines and boosters as of spring 2023.  

The Mount Desert Island Hospital has been a strong partner for the Mission providing both in-person specialists, telehealth visits, behavioral health counseling, and pharmacy assistance. In fact, the history of this partnership dates back to the 1920s.

Dan Johnson, PhD, LCPC, CCS, provided both telehealth and in-person behavioral health and addiction counseling. Johnson, the former director of the Acadia Family Center, began working with the Mission in 2014. In addition to counseling, he often traveled to islands for talks about addiction and other mental health issues, which led some residents to reach out for support. He also offered Suboxone clinics for island residents. Johnson says his role fit perfectly with his work, “I really loved it. These are people in my community who I could help and support.” 

Brien Davis, FNP, works at Waldo County General Hospital, but formerly ran Hope Health based in Camden. During his time running the practice, he provided telehealth and in-person services to islanders. Daley recalls when Davis made time in his already busy schedule to see two lobstermen who lacked primary care providers and no insurance. Davis prioritized islanders’ health as much as he did the patients in his own practice. 

Scott Schiff-Slater, MD, runs the Hallowell Family Practice and started working with the Mission in 2001. He and Daley partnered in the first days of the telehealth initiative. As a summer resident on Isle au Haut, he also uniquely understands the needs of residents living on unbridged islands. “Telemedicine was new and not practiced widely, but it made sense for the islanders to receive services at home without disrupting their lives by traveling to the mainland.” He has provided telehealth appointments, wrote prescriptions, and referred island residents to specialists.  

Anand Viswanathan, MD, PhD, a neurologist, and Associate Director of the Mass General Brigham Telestroke Program, has provided consultations and telehealth visits. In addition, he has been a speaker at the yearly Eldercare conference, giving insight and support.  

The Mission would like to thank its Corporate Sponsors for continued support. his year’s Platinum Sponsors are Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and Wyman’s of Maine; Bronze Sponsors include Billings Diesel & MarineCoastal Kayaking ToursFirst National BankMaggie Keohan—Goldman Sachs, and The Snowman Group; and Copper Sponsors are Brookings-SmithEaton-Peabody, and Front Street Shipyard

Seats are still available for the event. Contact Development Operations Associate David Snyder at (207) 801-6010 or by email at [email protected] for reservations.  

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