‘Sustaining Islands’ – ‘The Island Reader’ 15th  Annual Edition Available Now

‘Sustaining Islands’ – ‘The Island Reader’ 15th Annual Edition Available Now

Front cover of The Island Reader 2021 with a photograph from by book by Islesford’s Pat Mocarsky.

Celebrating poetry, prose, photography, and art, 2021 marks 15 years Maine islanders have shared their creativity and creative voice through the pages of The Island Reader. Sustaining Islands, this year’s theme, highlights islanders’ excellence as stewards of island resources and place.

We invite you to join us on island as you stroll through the pages of the 15th Anniversary The Island Reader. Enjoy!!!

The Island Reader is available free of charge. Please consider a donation when ordering your copy. Your gift will directly help the Mission Outreach program.

The Island Reader is available as a hard copy or in PDF format. Read or download your copy here.

High Vaccination Rates on Islands

High Vaccination Rates on Islands

Our Community
Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 27, 2021
High vaccination rates on islands, peninsula
by Leslie Landrigan

At least 70 percent of local town residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except for Castine, according to the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Across the state, the CDC estimates 59.45 percent of Maine residents have had at least one shot.

Isle au Haut tops the chart with 98.99 percent of the population vaccinated. Maine Seacoast Mission brought the vaccine to the island by the Sunbeam.

Full report

Hannaford Selects Mission as Benefiting Non-Profit in Fight Hunger Bag Program

Hannaford Selects Mission as Benefiting Non-Profit in Fight Hunger Bag Program

Maine Seacoast Mission Food Pantry has been selected by local Hannaford store leadership as the benefiting non-profit in the Fight Hunger Bag Program!

For the month of July 2021, Maine Seacoast Mission Food Pantry will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable Fight Hunger Bag at the Hannaford store located at 86 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor ME.

In this time of uncertainty due to COVID-19, supporting local non-profits has never been more important. We welcome you to promote the program as much or as little as you feel comfortable in your unique situation.


Kim Monaco
Program Manager

Island Health Care: How Island Communities Access Medical Care

Island Health Care: How Island Communities Access Medical Care

Island Health Care: How Island Communities Access Medical Care
Published May 5, 2021 at 7:00 AM EDT

Host Jennifer Rooks. Guests include Mission Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, RN.

Getting medical care can be difficult under the best of circumstances. For those living in one of Maine’s many island communities, accessing health care is a particular challenge. We’ll hear from a doctor who’s spent much of his career serving Mainers who live on an island, as well as others who are helping to find solutions.


Full story

Jillian – The Heart in the Song Always Comes Through

Jillian – The Heart in the Song Always Comes Through

Our Zoom Open Mic sessions end soon. For a few months now, on Wednesday’s, 6 to 8 pm, we gather online to play and listen to music. It is a Covid adaptation of the Open Mic events we held live in colder months at our Weald Bethel Community Center in Cherryfield.

Art and I and a handful of regulars join in every week to listen. Art sets his computer on his kitchen table and putters while listening. So does Alane. I find it entertaining to watch them move about, doing their thing. A few of us eat while watching. When he’s not playing guitar, Scott sometimes plays cribbage.

What started as a handful of regulars grew to 14 households joining online. Lots of smiling faces on the computer screen. Not being limited by our Downeast location was a pleasant surprise.

George, Lynne, and John each joined and played from different spots in Florida. Linda Zoomed in from Northern VA. Steve’s high school friend from Portland, OR sang last week. My nephew watched from NH. Josh set up a stage at his place with fancy blinking lights. His family participated from various ME locations. Before Josh headed to tree plant in PA, his own crowd and fan club was online for his exit performance.

My extended Family from Easthampton, MA – including Chris and Jim – have been regular audience members. Chris is my brother-in-love’s sister. I usually only see them at Thanksgiving dinners. It has been wonderful getting to know them better while singing their folk song duets and Beatles covers. My friend Art said, “I’m going to miss Chris and Jim when our Zoom Open Mics end this month.” I know exactly what he means. Maybe they will visit Cherryfield when our Open Mic is in-person again. I hope so.

To be sure, Open Mic via Zoom has its limitations on sound quality. Scott Shaw, and my partner, Steve, oversee the live Open Mic events. They have spent hours trying to figure out the sweet spots within Zoom.

Weak internet connections can make performers volumes drop out for a second. Or if their sound is too busy or full it starts clipping.

But all that matters not so much. We were glad to support each other and hear live music. We all pretty quickly accepted the reduced sound quality, because the heart in the song always comes through.

Island Clinics – Hope and Relief

Island Clinics – Hope and Relief

The Mission medical team traveling between islands aboard a lobster boat. Maine Public Broadcaster Patty Wight is traveling with them.

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — After weeks of planning and operating Covid-19 vaccination clinics for residents of seven Maine islands, the Mission medical team remains hard at it. Mission Island Outreach Director Douglas Cornman notifies island populations of upcoming vaccination clinics, registering island residents who want vaccinations. Bad weather or a changed vaccine delivery schedule means Douglas must reschedule everyone. He also provides the Maine Immunization Information System (ImmPact) with current, accurate island clinic immunization records.

Mission Island Health Services Director Sharon Daley, RN is the team’s lead nurse. She stays in almost constant touch with the Maine Center for Disease Control, local hospital pharmacies, island and mainland medical workers. Sharon ensures the safety of vaccines, that there are safe places on islands to have clinics, that all the necessary clinic supplies are in place, and that there are enough medical workers available.

Everyone involved looks for the fair weather that allows the medical team to travel to the island by water or air.

The experienced Mission team always has a backup plan. The preferred means of clinic travel is aboard the Mission’s 74-foot boat Sunbeam. It has state of the art navigation gear and a telemedicine room with a medical grade refrigerator tailor made for preserving vaccinations.

Those days the wind is steady and forceful enough to prevent the Sunbeam from docking, the medical team travels by small boats able to avoid the wind, or by small airplanes able to ride the wind.

The team makeup varies clinic to clinic, but its members include Mission staff and non-Mission medical pros. The Mission team members are Director Sharon Daley, RN ; Director Douglas Cornman; President John Zavodny, and the Sunbeam crew: Captain Mike Johnson, Engineer Storey King, and Steward Jillian.

Nurses Maureen Giffin, Peggy Akers, island EMTs, and other helpers complete the medical team lineup.

What really changes — island clinic to island clinic — are the residents receiving vaccinations. News from people at the island clinics all report island residents’ joy, relief, and happiness. That’s true of news account from professional reporters traveling with the medial team, or email and social media accounts from medical team members.

Earlier in this effort, Mission President Zavodny told a reporter the clinics will continue until all of the island residents we serve who want to be vaccinated are vaccinated. “Now that we’re closing in on the end of the formal clinics,” said President Zavodny, “Sharon will be working to secure smaller caches of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We won’t keep doing clinics per se.”

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