Friday, February 3, 2023

Nonprofit Spotlight: Health Choice Maine

Health Choice Maine is working to restore and protect medical choice in Maine and strives to help people find the support they need.

A statewide nonprofit organization under the umbrella of American Citizens for Health Choice, the Health Choice Maine organization offers advocacy services for supporters and Mainers that are navigating complicated situations stemming from vaccine-related issues.

According to Tiffany Kreck of Health Choice Maine, some issues that the organization has assisted with include assisting Mainers that have suffered an adverse event related to the COVID-19 vaccine, schools that she said ignore sections of the immunization law and attempt to discharge students out of compliance, pediatrics offices that have lost vaccination records, and students that have legitimate, lawful medical exemptions that are being denied by schools.

“We also provide resources, and make as much data available as possible, to facilitate informed decisions by individuals and families,” Kreck said. “We work to build relationships with lawmakers to support good policy and oppose bad policy. We also host an array of events to support community building and resource development.”

Overall, Kreck said that Health Choice Maine endeavors to dispel the hyperbole that surrounds this topic in order to facilitate healthy conversation about vaccination based upon real science and fact.

She said what distinguishes Health Choice Maine from other organizations is two-fold.

“We operate within strict principles of honesty and integrity. While other organizations have often become self-serving, or unsupportive, we have maintained a safer community in which people can find the help they need,” Kreck said. “Our supporters span political divides, religious ideologies, and is rich in diversity and experience. We are Mainers of many backgrounds, brought together by a similar experience, that have bonded to create support for one another.”

She said Health Choice Maine is proud of its hard work and success in retaining legal counsel, not only to take on the legal fights that few others will, but also so that supporters have access to legal advice, when they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Health Choice Maine services are 100 percent supported by Mainers that believe in this cause, and believe in the work that Health Choice Maine does, Kreck said.

“We aren't what most people think we are. We don't want vaccines done away with,” she said. “We just want acknowledgment and support for the injured, and we want folks to have the space they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. It really is just that simple.”

She said Health Choice Maine continues to grow and build more support across the state over time.

“If people didn't believe in what we do, and didn't value our efforts, we wouldn't be funded. Our donors aren't wealthy backers, they are families like mine, and yours, that have prioritized us into their budgets,” Kreck said. “We have also never really advertised before, most of the people that seek us out with questions, or in need of help, have found us by word of mouth.”

The organization doesn’t have traditional staff, it’s made up of volunteers from across Maine.

“Our leadership team consists of six individuals, and we have a supporting advisory board made up of five more professionals in related fields and we continue to grow,” Kreck said. “In addition to this, we have almost two dozen active volunteers across the state, and we currently have almost 4,000 members in Maine.”

She said that Health Choice Maine volunteers are constantly monitoring any vaccine-related legislation or rule change actions being taken and also monitor and review all new studies, while constantly updating data regarding complex legal developments and other situations that are important with regard to vaccination issues.

“The most important issue that people need to be taking notice of, of course, is the COVID vaccine safety signals, not only the developing concerns with the safety, but also the unseen concerns,” Kreck said. “There is a lot of confusion, misinformation, and political polarization regarding this issue, and that's unfortunate because it's the everyday person that suffers as a result. With post-market safety monitoring, accurate reporting is paramount."

To reach Health Choice Maine, call 207-801-0227 or visit Healthchoicemaine.org. Find them on Facebook and Instagram under Health Choice Maine. <

Friday, January 27, 2023

Business Spotlight: Armstrong Advanced Dental Concepts

Armstrong Advanced Dental Concepts is the brainchild of Dr. Stanley D. Armstrong. With his mission
of complete, comprehensive care, he has built a practice centered on creating and maintaining functional and healthy smiles for all his patients. “For over three decades I have been improving patient's dental health”, said Dr. Armstrong. “I have come to realize that the smile effects one's well-being more than most of us ever realize. My treatment plans are centered on this realization.”

The list of services provided at Armstrong Advanced Dental encompasses everything from routine maintenance to complete smile makeovers and everything in between to include implants, porcelain laminate veneers, crowns, professional whitening, mouth guards, Invisalign and more. Modern dentistry offers the skilled practitioner a huge variety of materials and treatments to create beautiful and functional smiles. The "art" of dentistry occurs when Dr. Armstrong sculpts naturally beautiful and functional smiles from his personalized treatment plans, completely focusing on his patients' desired outcomes. By working this way, the Armstrong Advanced team can treat cases from the minimally involved to the extremely comprehensive, with little to no pain, and with your absolute comfort and convenience as our first priority.

Speaking of comfort, at Armstrong Advanced Dental Concepts they take comfort very seriously and have worked hard creating an environment that is beautiful, relaxing, and comforting - that makes you feel at home. They know that a good 50 percent of Americans, through negative previous dental experiences, are dyed in the wool dental phobes. This is why they offer lots of amenities you won’t find at other practices such TVs in each room with access to movies, headphones for listening to music or a podcast, hot towel service, coffee/beverage center, cozy blankets, TLC system lights, and even paraffin hand treatments.

Sometimes dental hygiene can be downplayed, especially when compared to the extreme change a smile makeover can make in their patients’ lives. But without great dental hygiene, and great dental hygienists, your smile, and your health, can go down the drain. Recently, several studies have found a startling link between heart disease and gum (periodontal) disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, and periodontal disease may be present in up to 75% of Americans over the age of 30. As chairside detectives, the Armstrong team of dental hygienists are doing their part to save hearts every day. Early detection and effective treatment by our hygienists, followed by the proper course of care, can reduce or even eliminate the risk.

Dr. Armstrong is proud to be Maine’s only accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic
Dr. Stanley D. Armstrong of Armstrong
Advanced Dental Concepts
Dentistry. The AACD accreditation requires proven experience, case reviews, and ongoing education that sets members apart in the field of cosmetic dentistry. Members of the AACD stand for the practice of responsible esthetic and is the primary dental resource for patients as they strive to maintain their health, function, and appearance for their lifetime. Cosmetic dentistry encompasses any treatment, application, or procedure that improves the appearance of teeth, gums, and bite.

Sometimes getting a beautiful new smile is as simple, and unobtrusive, as Invisalign. Invisalign is made with 3-D computer imaging technology and has been proven effective. Invisalign allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan when you start so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete. Not only are the aligners invisible, but they are also removable, so you can brush and floss easily, as well as eat and drink what you want while in treatment. They are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. No metal and wires mean you spend less time in our office getting adjustments. You wear each set of aligners for about two weeks. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move - little by little, week by week - until they have straightened to the final position your doctor has prescribed. You'll visit Dr. Armstrong about once every two to four weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 9 to 15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.

Start your journey toward a more beautiful smile and set up an initial consultation with Dr. Armstrong today by calling 207-892-8325. They are located at 744 Roosevelt Trail, Suite 104 in Windham and are open Monday and Wednesday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit armstrongadvanced.com to learn more about their team and the extensive services they provide. Also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. <

Friday, January 20, 2023

Business Spotlight: Mainely Veterinary Dentistry

To say that the opening of Dr. Jennifer Keaten’s new business, Mainely Veterinary Dentistry, is the

realization of a dream come true would be an understatement.

Dr. Jennifer Keaten of 
Mainely Veterinary Dentistry.
Dr. Keaten opened the new practice at 158 Roosevelt Trail in Windham in December and offers dentistry services for cats and dogs while providing veterinary dentistry clinics for other veterinarian practices across Maine and New England.

“We are thrilled to open our doors and begin to help people and their cats and dogs with a wide range of oral health services. With the shortage of veterinary dental service providers, we see this location as a great way to serve Maine cat and dog owners as well as people who will travel from New Hampshire or Massachusetts,” Dr. Keaten said.

She said she chose Windham as the location for Mainely Veterinary Dentistry because of its proximity to the Greater Portland area so she and her team can treat as many patients as possible.

The Mainely Veterinary Dentistry facility features state-of-the-art equipment, and offers an ergonomic workspace with proper seating, lighting, and tools.

“The best thing about what we do is returning cats and dogs to pain-free living,” Dr. Keaten said. "It’s wonderful to hear owners say that they are acting like a puppy or kitten again."

She said that since animals can’t talk, they can’t express pain they experience from dental problems.

“Sometimes because of that, we as pet owners don’t recognize pet dental issues,” Dr. Keaten said. “A big part of our mission at Mainely Veterinary Dentistry is educating the public about pet dental disease and proper oral health.”

According to Dr. Keaten, 80 percent of cats and dogs over the age of 3 have some sort of dental disease and these issues can be corrected to ensure that pets live long, healthy, and pain-free lives.

With four dedicated employees, Mainely Veterinary Dentistry offers a large four-table dental suite and two consultation rooms to provide clients and their pets a wide and complete range of oral health services.

“The misconception may be that we’re just here cleaning teeth and that’s wrong,” Dr. Keaten said. “We do clean a pet's teeth, but we also assess every tooth, perform full mouth dental x-rays, and complete a thorough oral exam with probing of every tooth for pockets or other problems. We offer so much more than just a cleaning and we do offer options to try and save teeth when possible."

She said Mainely Veterinary Dentistry believes in and advocates for routine annual comprehensive oral health assessments and treatments for cats and dogs.

“Some patients may even need this service every six months to prevent dental disease from progressing,” Dr. Keaten said. “We encourage dental homecare and educate owners on the best options for their pet; however, a proper oral exam cannot be performed on an awake animal and two-thirds of the pet’s tooth is under the gumline. Dental x-rays ensure that we do not miss any problems that could otherwise go unseen.”

Dr. Keaten grew up in Fryeburg and lives in Bridgton. She studied biology at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont and initially pursued a career in wildlife and environmental ecology. In 2006 she was introduced to the world of veterinary medicine when she took a job at Fryeburg Veterinary Hospital. She was trained to be a veterinary technician and quickly fell in love with the field, developing a passion for veterinary dentistry and preventive medicine.

In 2008, Dr. Keaten applied to veterinary school and earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Iowa State University in 2013. She completed a practicum project for a master’s degree in public health in 2016 from the University of Maine.

She received her certificate as a Veterinary Dental Practitioner (VDP) through the International Veterinary Dental Institute (IVDI) in March 2020 and assisted Dr. Brett Beckman, Board Certified Veterinary Dentist and IVDI founder, in teaching other general practitioners to perform high quality dentistry in a general practice setting before opening Mainely Veterinary Dentistry.

In addition to starting the business, Dr. Keaten will continue to provide educational training and dental clinics at veterinary practices across New England. She hopes that the training she offers will help other veterinarians and veterinary technicians to become more familiar with veterinary dentistry and provide more dentistry services.

Mainely Veterinary Services accepts referrals from other veterinary practices and pet owners are also encouraged to make an appointment to bring their animals to the facility for services and examinations. The business is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For a complete list of available services or to make an appointment, call 207-481-8232, or visit MainelyVetDentistry.com. Find them on Facebook under Mainely Veterinary Dentistry. <

 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Business Spotlight: Sky's Med Spa

Sky’s Med Spa, located at 4 Whites Bridge Road, Suite B-5 in Windham, has quickly become known as the area’s most luxurious and full-service aesthetics facility and med spa. It’s menu of services and list of satisfied clients has continued to surge in popularity not only because it delivers exceptional results but because it places the needs of people first. The quality of products and services along with personal attention is the reason behind their growth and success.

Over the past year they have added several new services offering all the latest and greatest technologies available on the market. Services range from anti-aging and medical aesthetic treatments to skincare solutions, including cosmetic injectables, Botox, dermal fillers, bio-stimulatory collagen fillers, non-surgical thread lifts, laser hair removal, body contouring, radio frequency skin tightening, micro-needling, skin resurfacing, IPL skin rejuvenation, anti-aging and acne facials, chemical peels, teeth whitening, vitamin shots, body treatments, and lash lift and tints.

Sky's is owned and operated by Erin Thompson, an RN, and Licensed Esthetician with more than 10 years of experience in the field. "I have named Sky's Med Spa after my son, Skyler' Sky,'" says Thompson. Since opening in 2021, they have moved to a larger location downstairs and created a calming, inviting atmosphere where people feel comfortable and accepted. The newly renovated space includes three cloud-named treatment rooms and an infrared sauna.

Thompson and her team love helping people feel good and confident about themselves but wants everyone to know that these services are part of personal self-care. Skin is the largest organ, yet often neglected. "We offer free consultations to create a tailored treatment plan and will always go the extra mile to assist clients in reaching their desired look. This includes helping our clients understand the importance of caring for their skin at home to achieve optimal results."

She said that educating customers is a huge component of what Sky's Med Spa does. "Education is huge, and people appreciate the insight we give them," Thompson said. "Often people do not know what to expect, and we can help them understand what services are available for them, which combination treatments complement each other, and provide the guidance necessary to yield the best outcomes." Our staff continues to earn additional certifications for aesthetics to stay up to date with the most innovative trends and techniques.

Their dedicated Licensed Estheticians incorporate therapeutic head, neck, and shoulder massages in every facial. Clients say the facials at Sky's Med Spa are the best, most relaxing they have ever received. The HydraFacial is one of their most popular services. This dermabrasion treatment uses the best serums in the industry and leaves skin refreshed and rejuvenated.

Other new services which are becoming increasingly popular are the Silhouette InstaLift which is used to instantly give lift to sagging skin in the mid-face, jawline neck or brows. The results continue to be apparent for up to two years due to the way it activates your natural collagen production. BellaFill is a treatment that also stimulates collagen for up to five years and not only smooth smile lines but improves overall skin texture and is effective for treating acne scars.

Starting in February, PDO (Polydioxanone) thread lifts will be available at Sky's Med Spa. Thread lifts are non-surgical and effective on not just the face, but also the stomach, buttocks, back, inner thighs and upper arms. Threads are anchored and inserted into different layers of the skin using cannulas, instantly lifting, and pulling sagging skin through Neocollagenesis, also known as the formation of new collagen.

Everyone's face and body are different, so there is an art to it all," Thompson said. “We will assess which procedures are best for you and even offer payment plans to make your dreams a reality.”

"Aesthetics help people build confidence and take care of themselves. Our goal is to help people, so I decided to pursue a master's in nursing to expand upon our services in the future. Plans are to incorporate weight loss programs and hormone replacement therapy." Although I started this business on my own originally, I could not be more grateful for my team of trained professionals. They truly are the best in the business and take pride in everything they do.”

Sky's Med Spa offers excellent services at highly competitive prices. With monthly promotions, there has never been a better time to take advantage of their expertise and reach desirable outcomes. "We also have membership programs for a complete skin wellness approach that exceeds expectations," Thompson said.

To learn more about each service, apply for financing or make an appointment, visit skysmedspa.com, or call or text 207-349-4203. Also follow them on Facebook and Instagram @Sky's Med Spa. <

Friday, January 6, 2023

Business Spotlight: Northern Lights Mechanical

Commercial, industrial, and residential customers in Southern Maine appreciate and value the honesty, integrity, expertise, experience, and quality products offered by Northern Lights Mechanical of Windham, a company that takes pride in the work it performs.

Chris and Maureen LaSalle,
owners of Northern Lights
Mechanical, look forward to
helping with all your heating,
cooling and electrical projects.  
SUBMITTED PHOTO
Owned by Chris and Maureen LaSalle, Northern Lights Mechanical has been in business for the past six years and provides heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and electrical services for primarily commercial customers but also handles some residential work.

“We are a one stop shop and this means we can streamline the installation process without relying on other subcontractors,” said Chris LaSalle. “We pride ourselves on being a company that focuses on the needs of the customer at a fair price. We never sell you something you don’t need.”

Northern Lights Mechanical has five employees, all of whom are licensed in their respective fields and is based at 483 Gray Road in Windham and is dedicated to offering highly affordable and energy-efficient solutions for heating, cooling and electrical needs.

Chris LaSalle is a military veteran with more than 25 years of experience working with nearly every fuel source and says the best aspect of his work is using his expertise to help his customers.

“We are fair, honest, and transparent,” he said. “Other companies look at the problem, we look at the whole facility. We establish short-term and long-term plans to provide cost savings to the customer. Preventative maintenance goes a long way. Something as simple as getting your boiler or furnace cleaned on a yearly basis helps save you money in the long run.”

Maureen LaSalle said that the company’s commitment to quality at a fair price is part of the ongoing success story for Northern Lights Mechanical.

“In the six years that we have been in business, we have never had to advertise, simply due to our reputation,” she said. “Word of mouth is how people find us. We stand by our work. If a customer isn’t happy or we haven’t lived up to their expectations, we figure out how to fix it. We never, ever want someone to feel like they did not receive what we promised. Our core customers have been the same since we started the business, and they are happy with the work we do and the service we provide.”

She said that the company consistently looks for ways to help everyone they work with to save money and does so because it cares about its customers and if they’re happy, they will tell others.

“Heat pumps are a hot trend right now and we install these all the time,” Maureen LaSalle said. “Customers should be aware that currently there are a lot of rebates being offered by Efficiency Maine to upgrade your heating and cooling systems and also for your lighting.”

Efficiency Maine was created to offer programs to improve the efficiency of energy use and reduce greenhouse gases in Maine. It provides a wealth of consumer information, discounts, rebates, loans and investments for high-efficiency, clean energy equipment and strategies to manage energy demand throughout the state.

Northern Lights Mechanical installs all the equipment that it sells and never sells customers products and services that are not necessary and designed simply to drive up costs.

According to Chris LaSalle, the team of experts at Northern Lights Mechanical stands ready to help, no matter what the circumstance.

“Heat pumps? We do that. Natural Gas installs? We do that,” he said. “Generators? We do that. In fact, we do everything HVAC and electrical-related. And we do it well. Let us know what you need. “We help people consistently and that’s being a part of the community. We want people to say, ‘Hey who installed that?’ because we take great pride in our work and our products.”

To reach Northern Lights Mechanical, call 207-749-7456, or visit its website at www.northernlightsmechanical.com Find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/northernlightsmechanical <

Friday, December 30, 2022

Spotlight: St. Ann’s Episcopal Church

Often as you enter a town or city in our great country you will see a sign which states “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.” Have you ever seen one of these and wondered to yourself, does that really mean me?

St. Ann’s Episcopal Church is a welcoming, affirming, and inclusive Christian community striving through worship, love and service to embrace all people.

We as Episcopalians, believe in a loving, liberating, and life-giving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

As constituent members of the Anglican Communion in the United States, we are descendants of and partners with the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church, and are part of the third largest group of Christians in the world.

We believe in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world.

We have a legacy of inclusion, aspiring to tell and exemplify God’s love for every human being. Women and men serve equally as bishops, priests, and deacons in our church. Laypeople and clergy cooperate as leaders at all levels of our church.

You are welcome in our church regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, marital status or national origin.

We believe that God loves you – no exceptions. And so do we.

St. Ann’s has been a vibrant part of the Lakes Region communities of Maine for over 50 years. Our message continues to be that we welcome you into this adventurous life and faith in Christ…whoever 'you' may be.

Please consider joining us on Sundays at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. We are located at 40 Windham Center Road in Windham. Also visit them at www.stannsepiscopalchurch.com and follow them on Facebook to keep up with events throughout the year and live services.<

Friday, December 16, 2022

Business Spotlight: FirstLight Home Care

Going above and beyond to provide quality care for its clients and sharing a lasting commitment to treating clients and staff as family is at the heart of the ongoing success of FirstLight Home Care of Windham.

The company’s dedication to health and wellness is exemplary and its team of compassionate caregivers has made a difference in the lives of countless community residents. Located at 944 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, FirstLight Home Care is family owned and operated and devoted to giving everyone the peace of mind to enjoy the quality of life they deserve.

Recently honored with the national distinction as a Best of Home Care Provider of Choice for exhibiting highest levels of professionalism, quality and expertise in home care, FirstLight owners Peter Gartland and Carol Larkin give credit for the award to the company’s focus on exceptional customer service delivered by an extraordinary team of skilled caregivers.

FirstLight Home Care offers senior care, personal care, companion care, dementia care, respite care and specialty care that’s affordable, reliable, and trustworthy. It offers care for those recovering from surgery, or anyone who just needs a little assistance.

Care services range from friendly conversation to helping with basic household tasks and individual needs like bathing and personal hygiene. From a few hours a day to 24-hour care, FirstLight caregivers exceed expectations to help with daily tasks and activities that may become difficult for individuals to manage as they age.

The goal for FirstLight caregivers is to keep clients in their own homes and provide them with the support they need to maintain their independence.

In business for the past 11 ½ years, FirstLight Home Care offers a highly experienced, and long tenured team of caregivers that are thoroughly screened and vetted before working with clients. Caregivers are compassionate and empathetic, undergo a rigorous background check and are drug-tested.

The Gartland Family believes in taking care of its caregiving staff and always treat them like members of their own family, who in turn then pass that on to the clients.

Jessie Gartland of FirstLight Home Care said that sometimes clients are hesitant to obtain home care service and are under the misconception that caregivers are going to come in and take over.

“We work with our clients, so they are comfortable with the caregivers. Needs change over time and we certainly adapt to them,” she said. “It’s more economical to stay in your own home and many of our clients look forward to the visits from their caregivers who are there to help them.”

She said sometimes it may be necessary for a client to go into a nursing home, but otherwise FirstLight Home Care is available as an option.

The quality of services rendered to clients is exceptional and ranges from one single shift to complete 24/7 care.

For families, communication about the care that their loved ones receive is paramount, so all client care notes, caregiver schedules and even the option to pay a bill is available online.

FirstLight Home Care reviews on social media are outstanding.

“All sorts of reasons to recommend them. They are professional, helpful, and understand caregiving from their own experience. The people that work for them are wonderful with my aunt, and help me when I ask questions about dementia, aging, or their own experiences with elderly. When I needed more hours, or an extra day because I had an appointment, there was no problem.” Ann D.

“This company has been working with my mom and her friend for 6 months. They have been amazing people to work with. Mom is 96 and her friend 100. Their health and home needs have changed several times in the 6 months we’ve had their support. I have never dealt with nicer group of accommodating people. Whenever we need time adjustments it’s done or add on another task it’s done. I have never heard “we can’t do that”; it’s always “yes we can do that.” The agency has been a Godsend helping to care for the aging parents we love so much. Thank you First Light!!” Cheryl C.

For more information about FirstLight Home Care, call them at 207-627-1125 or visit their website at www.firstlighthomecare.com/ Find them on Facebook at FirstLight Home Care of Southern Maine.