Join the Pink Zone

Raise Awareness About Breast Cancer Detection

The Calais Lady Blue Devils will host the Pink Zone game against the Woodland Lady Dragons on Saturday, February 4 sponsored by Calais Community Hospital to raise awareness about breast cancer screenings.

For this one night fans are asked to drop their team colors and unite together by wearing pink to the game.    As in years past, the Pink Zone is also supported by PCT Communications.   Breast Cancer Awareness information and promotional items will be available at the game.  And one lucky fan will have a try at making a putt across the gym floor for a cash prize during the Pink Zone Putt at half time.    During the event Calais Lady Blue Devils Coach, Sean Cavanaugh, will display a photo of his mother – to represent the fans that are missing.   Fans who have lost a loved one to cancer are invited to bring a picture to add to the wall display.  “We are hoping it will allow people to see the effects of cancer and give us a chance to talk about early detection for breast cancer and the fact it can save lives,” explains Coach Cavanaugh.

Early detection and educating yourself about breast cancer can be two of the best possible “medicines” toward fighting the disease.   Women in their 20’s and 30’s should have clinical breast exams at least every 3 years.   Screening mammograms should begin at the age of 40.  Remember, once is not enough – the key to mammography screening is that it be done routinely each year.   The Pink Zone Game is a great opportunity for attendees to come together and unite as one community to raise awareness, remember those touched by breast cancer and celebrate the many survivors.

Aggressive Behavior in Healthcare

They Protected You From COVID. Now They Need Protection from You?

 The last few years have been difficult to say the least. The many changes that came because of COVID and everything that went with it have resulted in frayed nerves, high stress levels and mounting frustrations. Our staff feel it and so do our patients. Even though we have very little control over the many situations that cause some of these stressors, our staff often bear the brunt of people’s frustration and anger, in person and over the phone. We want to promote a good work environment and a place of heal-ing, but abuse destroys that for everyone. It destroys that for staff who are caring for you and for patients who are here to rest and recover. We are appealing to our community for help in ensuring our healthcare facilities are a safe place for our staff, without the fear of aggression, verbal abuse, or violence.

According to the International Association of Healthcare safety and security, “healthcare workers are five times more likely to be a victim of workplace violence than those in other occupations.” The rise in people’s threatening behavior has risen exponentially in the ER as wait times for treatment grow. Staff members are being yelled at, sworn at, threatened, and even assaulted physically. This is not OK. This kind of behavior threatens the trust and the healing partnership we need to have with our patients and their families and causes additional fear and anxiety for the staff, patients and families who hear and see these altercations take place.

Stress is already high when someone presents for care, especially in the emergency department, and people are generally not in a good frame of mind, but currently there is a disproportionate amount of anger sur-rounding delays, safety policies, visitation, and masking. We remind our staff the anger from patients is not really directed at them, but we also need to protect our staff. Work should never include being verbally or physically assaulted. We know that people are frustrated with the situation and are taking it out on the person in charge. We understand the challenges that patients are facing and the frustration that comes with that. However, people need to understand that what is happening here is happening across the state and across the country and most issues are out of the control of our direct care staff.

DECH and CCH CEO, Steve Lail, “We do our best to meet the needs of our patients and we deal the best we can with circumstances that are beyond our control. People yelling, being disruptive, and getting aggressive with our staff cannot be allowed. So, we must ask that people be more tolerant. It is on us as a community to protect our healthcare workers. Staff are people too. They are just doing their jobs. Taking care of you is part of that job, but tolerating abuse is not. To protect and retain our staff and make sure we continue to have staff to take care of our patients, WE, as a community, must change directions and get back on the road to civility. We need to reset the expectations of our community.”

DECH and CCH CNO, John Marshall, RN, “Instances of aggressive behavior from patients and family are being seen across our organization from the emergency department to provider offices to outpatient services and inpatient care. It is often connected to things we can’t fix such as masking, visitor policies and wait times. No one should come to work and be shouted at and sworn at, it’s not acceptable. Every patient deserves respect and courtesy, but so do staff. We have a responsibility to be kind to one another. We know it can be frustrating when you or a loved one is unwell, but we are just trying to do our job and provide the best care.”

Remember, everything that is taking place in our area is taking place across Maine and across the country. And, it is not just healthcare experiencing this, it is felt throughout most organizations throughout the nation. Let’s reset and work together for the health of our community to foster healing environments throughout our organizations and provide a safe space for our staff to provide the best care.

Mammography Services Resume at CCH

Calais Community Hospital is pleased to announce the return of digital mammography services at the hospital.  The service has been on hiatus due to lack of staffing.  Beginning in January, mammograms will once again be available locally on Thursdays and Fridays.  Mammography certified radiology technologist Billie Jo Ham will be returning to CCH to provide the service each week.   Billie Jo has many years of experience and is dedicated to excellence in patient care provided in a friendly and compassionate manner.  “I’m very excited to reinstate this line of service for our patients and our community,” stated Billie Jo Ham B.S., R.T. (R).  “And selfishly I’m very happy to be able to return to Calais and see my patients.”

If you are due for a mammogram and have been putting it off, contact your primary care provider about sending a referral to CCH.  Start the New Year by taking care of yourself and checking that item off your to do list.   Many women in our community have postponed this vital screening during the time the mammogram service was suspended.  It is an important screening to get up to date on.  If breast cancer is found early, there are more treatment options and a better chance for survival.  Women whose breast cancer is detected at an early stage have a 93 percent or higher survival rate in the first five years.

To the women in our community – remember to take care of yourselves so you can continue to care for those you love.

To the men in our community – remind the women important in your life that screenings are essential and help them remember to schedule it.

Protect your health and support your local hospital and its staff by requesting a mammogram referral to Calais Community Hospital from your primary care provider today.


CCH Nursing Service Manager Luann Reppert Retires

Luann was born in Bethlehem Pennsylvania on December 7, 1957.  She was raised in Bethlehem with her two younger brothers.  Her father spent his entire career with the local post office, while her mom had every teenage girls dream job working in the office of Piercing Pagoda providing Luann and her friends with the newest jewelry and a sweet discount!

     Prior to her career in nursing, Luann worked various jobs in the healthcare field such as pharmacy tech, house parent for mentally and physically handicapped children, and assisting adult cerebral palsy clients transition to living on their own through the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation.  Eventually Luann returned to school, earning her nursing diploma from St Luke’s School of Nursing in 1991.  A couple decades later she once again picked up the books and earned her Bachelors in Nursing degree from DeVry University / Chamberlain College of Nursing in 2013.   During her career she has worked in various roles including cardiac nursing, emergency and med/surg staff, case management, inpatient manager and nursing management.

Luann met her husband Bill at the Broadway Tavern in Pennsylvania on a Monday night while Bill was busy watching football.    They were married on August 1, 1977 and traveled all over different parts of the United States until returning back to Pennsylvania to welcome their first son Levi Reppert on December 29, 1985 in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania.   As a family they moved to Lakeland Florida when Levi was 7 and welcomed their second son William (Bill) Reppert on April 25, 1994. They lived in Lakeland for 9 years and moved to Satellite Beach Florida for an additional 5 years.

In 2007 the Reppert’s moved to Princeton, Maine. Luann worked at Calais Regional Hospital as a night shift supervisor and then transitioned to the Inpatient Care Unit Manager. They loved the Maine outdoors and enjoyed all Maine had to offer like ice fishing, being outdoors and sitting around the fire with family and friends.    Maine was wonderful but Luann and Bill missed Satellite Beach. Levi stayed in Maine in the family home while Luann and both the Bill’s moved back to Florida.

In 2017 Luann and Bill found out they were going to be grandparents! Levi and his wife Jamie were expecting a baby girl.  Naturally, the soon to be grandparents desired to be back in Maine close to their family.  In 2018 they bought a house in Baileyville where they still reside.

Luann and Bill have 2 dogs Snoop and Nadja, 1 cat Edna and Ricky the tortoise. They now have 4 grandchildren Cameron, Faith, Elaine and Ada.   Luann enjoys baking, canning, fishing, hunting, BBQ’s, the beach, backyard fires and anything outdoors.   She will surely keep herself busy in retirement and looks forward to seeing her family more and enjoying her grandbabies.  One thing Luann hates to do is clean, so Bill plans on teaching her a few new tricks so he can now transition some household chores her way.  However, Luann says why mess with perfection when he’s already doing such a great job!

Congratulations Luann and Happy Retirement!

CCH Begins Fundraising for Digital Mammography Equipment Upgrade

Calais Community Hospital is excited to kick off fundraising efforts to update its digital mammography equipment with a $10,000 donation from the CCH Auxiliary.  The goal of the campaign is to raise half of the funds from individuals, businesses, and foundations towards the $375,000 new digital mammography unit.  The hospital will fund the remaining portion of the purchase.  “The CCH Auxiliary is pleased to be able to support the purchase of the new mammography equipment,” stated CCH Auxiliary President Kathy MacLaughlin. “Access to quality mammogram services is good for preventative health and important for our community.” 

CCH Auxiliary President Kathy MacLaughlin (l) and CCH Auxiliary Treasurer Art Carter (r) present DeeDee Travis, CCH Community Relations Director with a $10,000 donation towards the campaign to upgrade the Digital Mammography Equipment at the hospital.

Each year over 250,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Meaning many of us know someone; a mother, sister, friend, who has had it.   Mammography is an important tool used to screen for and diagnose breast cancer.  If breast cancer is found early, there are more treatment options and a better chance for survival.  Women whose breast cancer is detected at an early stage have a 93 percent or higher survival rate in the first five years.

Although still operatable, the hospital’s current mammogram system was installed in 2010 and is due for replacement.   The new digital mammography equipment will have the latest technology, including 3D tomosynthesis diagnostic accuracy at the same low dose as a 2D view.  The system has a patient focused comfort design with a variety of paddles to accommodate all women.  Enhanced ergonomics and workflows make the technologists jobs easier, enabling a faster and smoother experience for both patient and staff.

CCH is working to ensure continued local access to advanced imaging equipment such as digital mammography, so community members are able to receive their care here, at home. Especially as some may find a hardship in accessing the service if travel is required, or, even worse, may opt not to follow up with recommended screenings.  We have found this to be true currently while our mammogram services have been suspended due to a lack of mammogram certified staff.  A plan is in the works to bring mammogram staff to CCH one to two days a week beginning in January 2023.

The hospital has and is investing in the future of this area through improvements in our facilities, technology, and services.   Join us as we work to sustain CCH as a resource where all people can turn for excellent medical treatment and compassionate care.  Show your support in us as we do in you and consider a donation to support the new digital mammography equipment.  For more information or to submit a donation, contact DeeDee Travis in the CCH Community Relations office at 207-454-9227.

CCH Hosts Orthopedic Mobile Learning Center Bus

Calais Community Hospital will host the Zimmer Biomet Mobile Learning Center (MLC) next week in Calais. Tour the bus and speak with orthopedics staff to learn what CCH has to offer for joint replacement options.


The MLC is a handicap accessible traveling education vehicle that provides training to health care professionals and also educates the general public on a wide range of orthopedic topics and treatment options. The vehicle offers a spacious viewing area, complete with audio/visual equipment, implant exhibits and workshop equipment. Participants will see demonstrations via LCD displays and workstations and take part in interactive experiences.

This is a great opportunity to learn about what goes into joint replacement surgery, get to experience hands-on joint replacement devices, and find out about the latest technologies to help restore mobility, alleviate pain and improve quality of life for patients.

The MLC will be available for visits on two dates next week:

Monday, August 1, the MLC will be onsite at Calais Community Hospital.  CCH Board members and Leadership will also be in attendance from 5-7 p.m.

Tuesday, August 2, the MLC will be at Triangle Park, 5-7 p.m. before Music on the Green.  Stop by the bus, speak with staff and see the hardware that typically only surgical staff see!

Stepping Out to Enjoy Spring?

By: Dr. Nima Moghaddas, Podiatrist

April is National Foot Health Awareness Month.  April is also the beginning of Spring in Downeast Maine, and a time when most people decide to start walking for their health.  Before you dust off your sneakers and take on that adventure, keep these foot tips in mind.

Dr. Nima Moghaddas, CCPP Podiatrist

Start with a new pair of sneakers that have been properly fitted to your feet.  The ideal time to purchase sneakers is in the afternoon or evening.   Be sure your shoes have shock-absorbent soles and supportive heel counters.  Purchase shoes for the specific activity in mind.  Please don’t hesitate to purchase new shoes when there are signs of wear and tear on the heels and soles.

Don’t forget the moisture-wicking socks to prevent excessive moisture which can lead to blisters and fungal foot infections.  If you are one of those athletes that ends up with “athletes foot,” remember to change your socks frequently, keep your feet dry, and if you develop a rash or an itch that doesn’t go away, see your podiatrist for treatment.  Don’t just ignore it, because it usually doesn’t go away on its own and can lead to further problems.

Lastly, start slow if you haven’t walked all year.  Stretch before and after you walk. If you develop heel and arch pain, reevaluate your sneakers and make sure you have good support.  If you have consistent pain, don’t walk through the pain – seek medical attention.

And most important of all, enjoy your walk!

Dr. Nima Moghaddas is a Podiatrist at Calais Community Provider Practices.  She sees patients for a variety of podiatry issues such as diabetic and geriatric care, heel pain and spurs, ingrown toenails, sports medicine, sprains or injuries of the foot, ankle or heel, and much more.  Call 454-9472 for more information.

Meet Our New Provider – Shannon Munro, FNP

Shannon Munro, FNP

Calais Community Hospital is pleased to welcome Family Nurse Practitioner Shannon Munro.  Ms. Munro will be providing primary care services in the Family Medicine office of Calais Community Provider Practices.  She brings over 16 years of primary care experience but shares that geriatric medicine occupies a special place in her medical practice.    

Ms. Munro began her career in healthcare as a social worker.  After spending a few years working at Maine Medical in Portland, Maine, she realized she preferred the medical side and headed back to school.  She earned her Bachelors Degree in Social Work and her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Southern Maine.  She spent five years practicing in South Portland and Berwick, before moving to the small western Maine town of Kingfield, where she provided care for the local community for over ten years. 

Ms. Munro grew up in Saco but has been a frequent visitor to the Down East area thanks to a family camp located on Meddybemps Lake.  A couple of years ago the opportunity to live year-round on the lake in a home full of family memories became a possibility.   Ms. Munro made Meddybemps her permanent home in February.     

Ms. Munro and her partner enjoy outdoor activities such as boating, swimming, cross-country skiing, hiking, biking and just wandering around in nature.  Their family includes an elderly greyhound lab mix, Daisy, and a youthful one year old lab, Finley who keeps them on their toes.  

Ms. Munro will begin seeing patients at the Family Medicine office in mid-January.  Call 454-8195 to schedule an appointment.  New patients are being accepted.  If the chance arises, please take the time to welcome Ms. Munro and her family to Calais Community Provider Practices.

Meet Our New Orthopedic Surgeon – Dr. John Gluscic

Calais Community Hospital is pleased to welcome Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. John Gluscic.   He will begin seeing patients in the office by the end of October.   Dr. Gluscic’ s procedures include, but are not limited to, ACL repair, arthroscopies, carpal tunnel release, knee and hip replacements, rotator cuff repair, nerve decompressions and sports medicine.   

Dr. John Gluscic, New CCH Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Gluscic is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon with over 30 years of experience.  He earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia.   His internship and residency were both completed at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.    Dr. Gluscic most recently practiced in Millinocket, which he considers his hometown, despite growing up in Pennsylvania.    He is thrilled to bring orthopedics back to Calais and has been working diligently with the CCH staff to prepare.      

Dr. Gluscic and his wife, Christine Lang, look forward to exploring the area, getting to know the community, and taking on some home projects around their new home.   His family also includes four adult children, whom he is proud to boast about.    Dr. Gluscic is an avid yogi, having been introduced to the practice by a highly regarded physical therapist (his wife).   He also enjoys the outdoors, biking, hunting, and traveling in his down time.     

Referrals for orthopedic consults can be made at the Calais Community Orthopedics Office at 454-8432.    Calais Community Hospital looks forward to once again serving the orthopedic needs of the greater Calais area.    If the chance arises, please take the time to welcome Dr. Gluscic and his family to our community.

Meet Our New Surgeon – Dr. Luis Santiago

Calais Community Hospital is pleased to welcome General Surgeon Dr. Luis Santiago.   Dr. Santiago looks forward to providing quality services to the people of Downeast Maine.   His surgical expertise includes, but is not limited to, abdominal surgery, endoscopy, colonoscopy, vascular operations, laparoscopic procedures and surgery of the breast and bowel.

Dr. Luis Santiago, New CCH General Surgeon

Dr. Santiago’s occupation as a surgeon is actually his second career.   He first graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an engineering degree and spent a few years working in the field.   He agreed to do some volunteer work while his sister was in medical school and ended up spending time at a children’s hospital where he was exposed to the medical field for the first time.  After much contemplation, he decided to follow his heart and head to medical school.   During his time at MIT, Dr. Santiago shared that he roamed all over New England and came to love the area, which is why he chose to move his family to Northeast Maine.  “I’m looking to grow roots and be somewhere my family can be happy and have a peaceful life,” shared Dr. Santiago.  “My wife and I prefer the small-town life and are excited to be a part of the community.”

Dr. Santiago earned his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.   His general surgery residencies were at the University of South Florida, University of Puerto Rico, and Hospital Episcopal San Lucas.  He also completed two research fellowships at the University of Colorado in Denver and the University of Texas at Houston. 

Dr. Santiago relocated to Calais from Trinidad, CO with his wife Awilmarie and three-year-old daughter Clarisse.   He was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where his parents still reside.   He has two younger siblings, a brother in the US Air Force stationed in Florida and a sister who is a radiologist in Houston, Texas.     Dr. Santiago and his family look forward to exploring the many outdoor activities in the area, completing projects around their newly purchased home, and getting to know the community. 

Dr. Santiago will begin seeing patients at the General Surgery office later this month.   Call 454-8432 for an appointment or to inquire about services.  If the chance arises, please take the time to welcome him and his family to our community.