Imagine living on a coastal Maine island where you have to schedule a three-day trip to the mainland and back for a routine eye exam. Well, this month, Sharon Daley, the Mission Director of Island Health boarded the Monhegan mail boat with Kurt H. Kelley MD, President-Elect of the Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (MSEPS).
“Kurt saw 20 people for eye exams and Monhegan was very appreciative to have him,” Sharon Daley said. “We held the exams in the parsonage on the island, and as you can see by the picture, Kurt is very good at making do by putting blankets over windows etc.”
Here is a look at the cutting edge equipment Dr. Kelley used to “read prescription eyeglasses and perform refractions,” he said in an email, adding that having this portable equipment is “definitely a time saver.”
Bar Harbor, ME — Sharon Daley, the Mission Director of Island Health, sent this poster and photo from the Lobstering Safety and Occupational Health Presentations aboard the Sunbeam V on April 27, 2017.
Bar Harbor, ME — Sunbeam V Engineer Storey King sent this photo “from Matinicus this morning” on Wednesday, 3/22. In a separate email that day, Mission President Scott Planting emailed Sunbeam V Captain Michael Johnson:
Mike — we’re getting a pretty good snow squall this afternoon. How is it where you are?
To which Capt. Johnson replied:
Good, Scott. Due to heavy wind we are spending a second night on Matinicus and leaving for Isle au Haut in the morning. It snowed here, but only a little.
The crew just had a CPR class by Eva Murray that took most of the morning.
Sharon and Douglas are out doing rounds, Storey is working on the hull, and I am doing some work on my computer. We had a pretty good crowd for dinner last night, and Douglas showed a movie after dinner with was fun.
“We wanted to go back,” said Director of Island Services Douglas Cornman. “Last year was our first year” at the Forum Trade Show. “We connected with fishermen and fishermen’s families who had relationships with the Sunbeam — whether it was Sunbeam V or Sunbeam IV, and in some cases, even Sunbeam III — and it was fantastic to reconnect with these families, whether they were on islands we don’t visit regularly, or in coastal towns and villages,” said Director Douglas Cornman.
“It was a great opportunity to build awareness and educate people on what the boat’s currently doing. How we’re using telemedicine, telehealth, and island outreach.”
The Sunbeam V crew will have a booth at the Trade Show. “Our display this year will be our current literature on the Seacoast Mission, on what’s happening at the Mission’s Downeast Campus in Cherryfield, and what’s happening on the outer islands,” said Douglas.
“We are going to have the laptop with the videos. Sunbeam V Captain Mike Johnson has also put together a slide show of past images of Sunbeams, the current Sunbeam. Each day — Friday and Saturday — we’ll have boat crew and boat staff available. So people can ask questions about the Sunbeam itself, or questions about the programs offered from the boat. There’ll be a boat person and a program person at our table each day,” said Douglas Cornman
For Maine island residents, accessing even the most basic health care is a significant challenge. Not every island has daily ferry service, and a trip to the mainland, when possible, is expensive and time consuming.
In response, the Mission offers personal care, modern technology, and educational services. Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, R.N., meets with islanders on the Sunbeam V and in their homes, and keeps in touch between Sunbeam trips via phone/internet. The Sunbeam is equipped with state-of-the-art telemedicine facilities so islanders can have virtual office visits with doctors on the mainland.