Improving Health with Technology

Improving Health with Technology

For Sharon Daley, RN, telemedicine enables everything she does for the Mission’s Island Health program. From scheduling and coordinating care, lab draws, and flu vaccines to meeting with the eldercare partner network and holding her own patient appointments, connecting virtually is essential. “It allows for a wide range of health services, including primary care, medical specialties, behavioral health, and substance abuse,” she says.

Color photo of Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, RN, using a smart phone while aboard the boat Laura B in 2021

Islanders can stay in their communities obtain medical services and stay in touch with loved ones, which is something everyone deserves.

– Sharon Daley, Director of Island Health

While regions of Maine struggle for reliable internet connectivity, islands tend to fare better. “I think that’s why islanders responded so positively and quickly to telemedicine. It’s hard to get off the island for services,” remarked Sharon. “It’s not just a one-hour session with a provider. Islanders must factor in water crossings by mail boats or ferries as well as additional commuting by vehicle. During this time of year, weather affects boat schedules, which in turn means canceling and rescheduling health appointments.” With a decrease in staffing at many provider sites, it takes more time to rebook those appointments.

A recent grant award from the Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation will help Sharon and the Mission diminish those challenges. The Farris Foundation supports projects designed to enable people to help themselves lead successful, inspired, and fulfilling lives. Further, these grants focus on supporting projects that stimulate innovation, strengthen individuals and families, and can demonstrate a sustainable impact.

Sharon explained, “The Farris Foundation grant gives us the ability to furnish islanders with iPads. In addition to placing the technology, it also means providing education on how to use it.”

The option to meet virtually will allow essential health services. For island residents, technology also increases connectivity to family, friends, and ordering supplies like food. This means decreasing isolation. If there’s an older adult in a home, they can connect to family members, friends, and the world off-island. This alleviates the sense of remoteness and improves cognitive and emotional health. 

In addition, Sharon’s team is identifying people to use iPads for medical visits, counseling, and to attend meetings like AA. “Telemedicine and technology exists for people to access services they would otherwise obtain on the mainland. It means islanders can stay in their communities obtain medical services and stay in touch with loved ones, which is something everyone deserves.”

For a window into Sharon’s work and the Island Health program, watch In Our Words, presented by Walgreen’s Studios. 

To learn more about older islanders access to health services, visit Hannah Pingree’s 2016 documentary, Aging On An Island – Voices from North Haven, Maine. 

Island Health Director Sharing Front Line Work on Aging on Islands (Video)

Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, RN is a leader in finding best ways to enable aging Maine islanders to live in their homes, communities. Maine Seacoast Mission was a cosponsor of this 2016 Aging on Islands Conference.

In this 38-minute presentation, you will hear Director Sharon Daley and colleagues give the conference audience their Perspective from the Islands. This work, panel Moderator Wendy Wolf reminds the audience, is “work” these professionals do “day-to-day.”

The Panel: Moderator: Wendy Wolf, President, Maine Health Access Foundation, Panelists: Sharon Daley, Maine Seacoast Mission and Islesboro Boardman Cottage, Maura Michaels, Islesboro Boardman Cottage, Lindsey Beverage, Southern Harbor Eldercare Services, Del Webster, Vinalhaven.

Aging on Islands Conference 2016 Poster


Maine Seacoast Mission Launches Land & Sea Giving Tuesday Campaign

Maine Seacoast Mission Launches Land & Sea Giving Tuesday Campaign

Monday, November 21, 2017

BAR HARBOR — For the first time, the Maine Seacoast Mission is joining the Giving Tuesday global movement and launching our own Giving Tuesday campaign. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season. In 2015, it helped raise $116.7 million dollars online.

By tapping into global excitement and support for Giving Tuesday 2016 through social media, the Mission’s goal is to attract new donors, build awareness for its programs, and encourage existing supporters to spread the word.

The Mission 2016 campaign is focused on suggesting donations to our Housing Rehab Program (land), and our Island Health & Telemedicine Program (sea).


Everyone deserves to live in a warm, safe home. But housing in Washington County, Maine is often old, hard to heat. Especially on a limited budget. Maine Seacoast Mission’s Housing Rehab Program, with 350 amazing nationwide volunteers, and collaborating with other housing agencies, each year fixes or rebuilds twenty such houses for local families.

Since 1905, Maine Seacoast Mission has played a vital role in connecting residents of Maine’s most isolated islands with medical care. For island residents, accessing even basic health care, when possible, is expensive and time consuming. Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, RN, meets with islanders on the Sunbeam, in their homes, and keeps in touch by phone and internet.


We thank you in advance for helping us spread the word about the Mission’s Giving Tuesday Campaign. Please contact Ellen Pope, Maine Seacoast Mission’s Director of Development with questions and comments at 207-288-5097 or by email.

Learn More

Island Health & Telemedicine: Help Island Residents Access Health Care

Island Health & Telemedicine: Help Island Residents Access Health Care

I’ll help. Take me to the Giving Page 


Since 1905, we have played a vital role in connecting residents of Maine’s most isolated islands with medical care. Our Island Health Program carries on the tradition, and there is never a charge for any Mission staff member’s services.

For 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, Maine Seacoast Mission offers personal care, modern technology, and educational services. Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, RN, meets with islanders on the Sunbeam V, in their homes, via phone and internet. The Sunbeam state-of-the-art telemedicine facilities offer islanders virtual office visits with mainland doctors. Telemedicine is increasingly important in connecting islanders with mental health and substance abuse counselors.

The Island Health program also arranges for medical specialists to visit the islands. Sharon sets up on-island screening clinics for conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and arranges educational talks. Each year, Island Health sponsors a free two-day conference focusing on how to help elders from island communities age in place.

The short film below shows a day in the life of Sharon Daley as Director of Island Health.

Thank you.

I’ll help. Take me to the Giving Page 

Maine Hospice Council’s Visit with Sunbeam Island Health

Maine Hospice Council’s Visit with Sunbeam Island Health

August 30, 2016

Kandyce Powell and Sharon Daley

L-R: Kandyce Powell and Sharon Daley

BAR HARBOR — Earlier this month, Maine Hospice Council (MHC) and Center for End-of-Life Care Executive Director Kandyce Powell, RN, MSN, traveled aboard the Sunbeam with Mission Director of Island Health, Sharon Daley, RN. Kandyce’s primary MHC responsibilities include improving the quality of life for the dying and bereaved. She is a tireless advocate for the underserved, including rural Maine communities.

Kandyce Powell sent us this photo taken during her August trip with this note:

“My gratitude to Sharon Daley and the crew of the Sunbeam for the opportunity to make a trip to Eagle Island, Matinicus, and Isle au Haut. Learning about the work of the Seacoast Mission has been richly rewarding, giving additional meaning to the phrase ‘rural outreach.’ Meeting the wonderful people who live on the islands, learning of their challenges, and hearing about their appreciation for the kindness, skill, and service of the Seacoast Mission crew is very touching. There’s no doubt this treasured organization with its rich history serves an incredible need for residents of the outer islands.”

Sharon Daley said, “Having done hospice work and knowing of Kandyce’s work, it was a real pleasure and honor having her along. I have always seen similarities between the work of the Mission and hospice. It is all about caring for the whole person: physical, spiritual, and mental. And this is what I see myself and the Sunbeam crew trying to do to the best of our abilities.”

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