For nine years, Douglas Cornman has been a consistent presence on Maine’s outer islands as the Mission’s Director of Island Outreach. He has taught improv, dance, and movement classes for island children. He has hosted church services, presided over weddings, and conducted funerals. He has also been a compassionate sounding board and confidant for island residents.
As of January 1, Douglas has taken on the role as Director of Island Services in which he will bring together the Mission’s island-based programming. This change allows the Mission to take a more integrated and comprehensive approach to the initiatives offered to island residents and provide greater continuity of care.
“Douglas’s commitment to the islanders served by the Mission is clear. He has been an unwavering community supporter and we are glad that he will now play an even larger role in our work with island residents,” says Mission President John Zavodny.
“I am excited and equally inspired to play a part in creating the space for this work. Maine Seacoast Mission has always wanted island and coastal communities to thrive,” Douglas says. “This shift is yet another step in ensuring that our mission endures.” Douglas stresses that this will not change the access island residents have to either the services that Douglas or the new nurse will provide. It just means that Douglas now coordinates programming offered by the Mission via the Sunbeam. While Douglas will head up Island Services programs, the Sunbeam boat crew will continue to report to Captain Mike Johnson.
“Consolidating the administrative sides of the Island Health and Island Outreach programs makes sense,” Douglas adds. “One reason for doing this is to free up space for me and the next Sunbeam Nurse to spend even more time with islanders, island communities, and the various mainland partners who work with them. This change provides us with additional opportunities to understand what the islands want and need such as access to healthcare. As life on the islands changes, Mission services will continue to evolve alongside it.”
Douglas is working on bringing back programs that were temporarily halted because of Covid. The Sunbeam will continue to do its regular healthcare and outreach trips. “We are also planning a couple of trips to help islands collect beach trash and a few that will allow islanders opportunities to visit islands other than their own,” Douglas says. “Stay tuned. It is going to be an exciting season on the Sunbeam.”