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In early June, the Health eVillages team had the opportunity to begin a new partnership in rural Maine, again highlighting the work being done not only across the globe, but at home as well.

Harrington Family Health Center is a truly unique establishment, staffed by some incredible individuals. Harrington resides in Washington County, the poorest and sickest county in Maine. They have above average cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and early death rates. They also serve a population of migrant farm workers who travel to Harrington from places like Florida to aid in seasonal work like blueberry raking and making wreaths.

Harrington Family Health Center offers a holistic approach to each patient’s health. In addition to traditional physical health services, they offer dental and mental health services to their patrons. As a Federally Qualified Health Center with partial public funding, the facility provides all its services despite a patient’s ability to pay for their care.

Because this area is so remote, and many of the patients have difficulty getting to the Health Center, the staff makes the most of each patient interaction. If a local fisherman comes in after an accident with a fish hook, the staff will do an overall assessment while simultaneously treating the injury. The facility also worked out an arrangement with a nearby pharmacy to have patient medication delivered to the Health Center, saving the patient money, and extra trip and increasing the likelihood that the patient will use the medication as prescribed.

One of the most striking things about Harrington Family Health Center is how engaged in the community they are. For example, Maine has a large hunter population and many people own guns. Most counties in the state offer trigger locks at the county’s sheriff’s office to help ensure gun safety in their area. This wasn’t the case in Washington County until Lee Umphrey, CEO of Harrington Family Health Center, purchased trigger locks and began offering them to the patrons when they came in for health services. Lee decided to take on this task “…Because home safety is just as important to your own personal health.” He also revised the Health Center’s code of conduct so that no firearms would be allowed in the building. This focus on the overall health of the community—and not just that of the population—aligns with Health eVillage’s philosophy of “healing the villages”.

No-patient-deniedWhen we traveled to Harrington, we provided five devices and trained ten individuals, from the technical officer to the director of nursing. They were very excited to begin using Health eVillages devices and applications during their patient interactions—not only for their reference and education, but for patient education as well. As this is one location that is close to our Headquarters, we can more easily make visits to the site and see how the staff is utilizing the information that they now have at their fingertips.

“Using these tablets is really going to give our providers one more tool to be armed with knowledge to help our patients.” – Lee Umphrey, CEO.

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