NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME – Two weeks into the New Year, Island Health Director Sharon Daley, RN noticed on Facebook a call for help from Terry Staples at Swan’s Island Bread of Life Food Pantry. While no one was on duty, the pantry freezer quit. “The end result,” wrote Mr. Staples, “was the loss of several hundred pounds of meat.” It will take time to replace the freezer, said Terry. Meanwhile, “if you are…grocery shopping and…could pickup a couple extra meats for us it would be a great help…,” he said.
Sharon asked Mission President John Zavodny and Downeast Director Mel Adams if the Mission could help the Swan’s Island food pantry. The answer was: Yes.
Mission Food Security and Sustainability Programs Coordinator Megan Smith partnered with Downeast Campus Facilities Manager Scott Shaw. They identified ten frozen turkeys and 210 pounds of additional frozen meats which Scott Shaw delivered 45-miles from Cherryfield to Northeast Harbor.
Meanwhile, Terry Staples told Sharon Daley the mail boat to Swan’s Island from Bass Harbor would transport the meat one hour over the water if the Mission could get the meat to the ferry by 11:00 am Monday, January 24.
On the 24th, Sharon Daley and Mel Adams received an email from Megan Smith. She said, “The frozen meat and turkeys are on the ferry heading to Swans Island…. I am so glad that we could help Terry and the Swans Island pantry.”
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.
NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — I wanted to bring this news story to your attention. Tuesday, September 1, Sage Dentremont, a current senior at MDI High School and a Swan’s Island resident, swam six miles — Swan’s Island to Bass Harbor — to raise money for other Swan’s Island kids to take swim lessons at the Ellsworth YMCA.
The $10,000-plus Sage raised will help pay for ferry tickets and swim fees at the YMCA.
Sage is an amazing young person. She attended the Mission’s middle school retreat while still an island student, and as a high school student, she participated on the retreat Q & A panel. She is just a great kid!
Dr. Kelley’s eye exam room inside Swan’s Island Public Library.
L-R: Dr. Kurt Kelley, Sharon Daley, RN, and Librarian Jeanie Hoyle
BAR HARBOR, ME — On August 30 Dr Kurt H. Kelley, MD of Mid Coast Eye Associates, Bath, ME and Island Health Services Director Sharon Daley, RN traveled to Swan’s Island aboard the Mission’s interim boat, Moonbeam, to provide free eye exams.
Dr Kelley is able to provide screenings for glaucoma and cataracts and prescribe eye glasses. Eighteen people saw Dr. Kelly that day. Thank you, Dr. Kelley for the donation of your time and skill in providing this great service.
Also, thank you Swan’s Island Library librarian Jeanie Hoyle for letting us use the library, and also coordinating appointments and transportation.