It’s Thank you Thursday. Today’s shout out of Mission love goes to Good Shepherd Food Bank.
Good Shepherd helps the Mission provide healthy, nutritious food to thousands of people in Washington County. They help us feed people who can’t quite make ends meet. People who make difficult decisions each week or month about what bill to pay: rent, electricity, heat, gas, car repairs, a trip to the doctor, medicine or food.
The caring, capable, and knowledgeable staff at Good Shepherd have provided the support the Mission needs to stock our food pantry, and expand our reach to schools, families, and the elderly.
“Often, when I speak with a Good Shepherd staff member,” said Mission Service Program Director Wendy Harrington, “they thank me for everything my organization and staff do to help feed people in our community.”
The Mission would like to say “thank you” back. Thank you for taking such good care of us and the people we serve.
NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME – The Mission Covid-19 vaccination clinic team heads out on March 19th morning aboard the mailboat, Sea Queen, for clinics on Great Cranberry island and Islesford.
The Maine CDC gave permission for the Mission Covid vaccination medical team to administer vaccines to island residents 18-years old and up on Great Cranberry and Islesford. The CDC’s decision was a huge nod to efficiency and common sense. Registering island residents, and then transporting the medical team with vaccines to them, is tricky under the best circumstances. So once the team is in place — on an island community center, or a ladies club — why not vaccinate as many people as possible?
Mother Nature decided to rough up an otherwise smooth plan for these clinics by delivering winds heavy enough to make traveling aboard the 74-foot Sunbeam out of the question. If you think of a tractor trailer rolling across a flatland meeting a strong crosswind, you get a sense of how wind can prevent the Sunbeam from easing into a dock, or staying tied to a dock.
So this trip, on March 19, the medical team traveled aboard the much more wind-friendly mail boat that travels between Northeast Harbor and Great Cranberry Island. The team consisted of Sharon Daley (Lead Nurse), Maureen Giffin (Nurse), Douglas Cornman (ImmPact Recorder), John Zavodny (Registrar), Kathy Cheney (Monitor), and Katelyn Damon.
The team was joined by Maine Public Radio’s Patty Wight, who reported on the trip on March 26, 2021.
Forty-four islanders received Covid-19 vaccinations this day. As teacher Lauren Gray told MPB’s Patty Wight, ““It just feels like there’s a light. Even in our small community, we haven’t been gathering indoors. Out here on the island that makes such a big difference in getting through the winter, is being able to go to people’s houses and share a meal on this rock that’s three miles out.”
NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — The Mission medical team held back-to-back clinics on Monhegan island (March 3) and Matinicus island (March 4). Sunbeam Captain Mike Johnson, Engineer Storey King, and Steward Jillian, were resting from their second Covid-19 vaccinations, so the medical team traveled to these two islands by means other than aboard the Mission’s boat, Sunbeam.
Monhegan Boat Lines’s Laura B carried the team to-and-from Monhegan. The team was Island Services Director Sharon Daley, RN; Maureen Giffin, RN; Peggy Akers, NP; Island Outreach Director Douglas Cornman, and Mission President John Zavodny.
Forty three people received vaccinations at the Monhegan Community Church and Parsonage. The crew of the Laura B was good enough to hold the boat to allow time for the medical team to finish its work and travel back to the pier aboard a Kubota 4×4.
The following day, the Mission’s old friend, Penobscot Island Air, carried the same team by air to-and-from the Matinicus Island International Air-Strip. The airport is named somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It is a strip of land cut through a grove of pine trees.
The team was also joined again by Boston Globe photographer Erin Clark, and Boston Globe reporter Brian MacQuarrie. Erin’s wonderful photos accompanied Brian’s fine story in the March 9Boston Globe.
Thirty one people received vaccinations at Matinicus Island School.
President Zavodny produced a video vignette with narration capturing the flavor and highlights of the Monhegan clinic.
NORTHEAST HARBOR — The Mission’s second Covid-19 vaccination clinic trip (Feb. 26-27) relied on the Sunbeam for travel, accommodations, and vaccine safekeeping.
The day began at the Sunbeam‘s berth in Northeast Harbor where the Clinic Team met local tv news multimedia journalists from WABI, Newscenter 6, and WVII to answer questions about the island Covid vaccination clinics.
Photographer Erin Clark, who also traveled with group, captured the clinics in pictures for a piece in the Boston Globe. Ms. Clark tested negative for Covid as a safety precaution.
The two-day trip reached communities on four islands. The first day registered residents were vaccinated on Great Cranberry at the Ladies Aid Community Center, Islesford at Neighborhood House, and Frenchboro inside the Town Office.
The Sunbeam, crew, and medical team then traveled two hours that day to Isle au Haut, overnighted aboard the boat, and held an Isle au Haut vaccination clinic before traveling back to Northeast Harbor the next day.
The Clinic Team for these islands was:
Sharon Daley R.N., Mission Director of Island Health Services (lead nurse)
Maureen Giffin R.N. (visiting nurse)
Douglas Cornman, Mission Director of Island Outreach (The Maine Immunization Information System [ImmPact] vaccination database recorder)
John Zavodny, Mission President (vaccination registrar)
The Sunbeam crew was Mike Johnson (captain), Storey King (engineer), and Jillian (Steward). Directors Daley and Cornman are also Sunbeam crew members.
In total, 75 people were vaccinated at the four clinics.
NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — On the windy, brisk, February 25th, Mission Island Health Services Director Sharon Daley, MDI Hospital nurse Maureen Giffin, Mission Island Outreach Director Douglas Cornman, and Mission President John Zavodny eased their car onto the Swan’s Island ferry to deliver their first Covid-19 vaccination clinic since partnering with the Maine CDC and local hospitals. And there was no better way to do it than by teaming up with Executive Director Donna Wiegle and the Swan’s Island Mill Pond Health Clinic.
For weeks beforehand, Sharon and Douglas went over the variables for launching a series of vaccination clinics for several remote Maine island populations. How to let islanders know, and then register them, for the clinics? Suppose we schedule a clinic and the weather rebels?
Receiving the vaccine depended on the weather too, plus the cooperation of other entities. There were already times went promised vaccine deliveries fell through for one reason or another, usually weather related.
Sharon and Douglas put in place a plan, a template for running the island clinics without a hitch. Would the plan work? Would it need revision?
Swan’s Island was the first chance for answering all those questions while in the field.
The clinic went off without a hitch. Sixty-one people were vaccinated. Sharon Daley told one reporter, “It feels like a big party because everybody is so happy to get this vaccine and it is a real sign of hope.”
President Zavodny, who was taking notes, pictures, and assisting with registrations, sent back to the Mission an 11:45 am email. He said, “System’s working well. Folks are showing up early and are very excited and grateful to the Mission and to the Health Center here.”
Maine Seacoast Mission’s Thomas Thompson had designed “I got my Covid-19 vaccination!” stickers. They were a real hit with clinic goers. EMT Tammy Tipler’s carnations were the perfect touch to send each individual on their way.
At day’s end the Swan’s Island clinic was, in every way, a success.
Next, the Mission crew aboard the Mission boat Sunbeam, with nursing assistance and a Boston Globe photographer, would host four clinics for four islands over two days. Sixty-one down, 147 to go.