Monday, June 26, 2017

Maine Cancer Registry Recognized

Maine CDC's cancer registry has again been recognized as a Registry of Excellence by U.S. CDC's National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) for its high quality data for cancer prevention and control activities.

The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries has recognized Maine's cancer registry for meeting its Gold Standard on quality, completeness and timeliness of data every year since 2004.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Study Shows Effects of Heat on Health, Prompts Changes to Local Advisories

A new study of heat and health shows that hospital emergency department visits and deaths from all causes in Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island increased significantly, by 7.5 and 5.1 percent respectively, on days when the heat index reached 95 degrees as compared to days with a maximum heat index of 75 degrees.
Based on the study findings, the National Weather Service (NWS) Northeast Region forecast offices will now issue heat advisories when the heat index is forecast to reach 95 degrees on two or more consecutive days or 100 degrees for any amount of time. The previous NWS regional threshold was a maximum daily heat index of 100.
In Maine, the results of the study and the NWS policy change are driving public health officials to develop local heat response plans. In 2015, Cumberland County was the first area in Maine to develop a comprehensive plan to identify what state and local officials will do during different hot weather scenarios. In addition, Maine CDC will begin issuing health warnings for the public at the lower threshold adopted by the NWS.
The study, “Heat-related morbidity and mortality in New England: Evidence for local policy,” was published in the journal Environmental Research and led by Gregory Wellenius of the Brown University School of Public Health, and co-authored by Andrew Smith and Rebecca Lincoln of the Maine CDC, along with colleagues from the state public health agencies in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
For More Information:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Change to Rulemaking Notification

Maine CDC has a new way to communicate about agency rulemaking with its updated Maine CDC Rules webpage.
Interested parties may sign up to receive updates on specific topics:  
  • Disease Management (includes health data and reporting, disease detection and prevention programs, mortality review, etc.)
  • Environmental/Public Health (includes radon, tanning facilities, child lead poisoning prevention, public water systems and health, environmental testing laboratory, etc.)
  • Healthcare Access/Sustainability (includes Certificate of Need, designating underserved areas,  free care guidelines, etc.) 
  • Infectious Diseases (includes immunizations, epidemiology, notifiable diseases, etc.)
  • Licensing, Certification and Professional Standards (includes licensed medical facilities, services and professionals, health inspections, licensed body artists, child care licensing, eating and lodging places, campgrounds, medical marijuana, tobacco licensing, etc.)
  • Maternal Health and Family and Children (includes child/newborn screening and testing, children with special needs, WIC, out-of-home investigations for reports of child abuse and neglect, etc.)
  • Vital Records (includes birth, death, marriage, data release, etc.) 

To subscribe to these and more topics, visit our subscription page

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Poster Contest Winners Selected


Lyme poster
Congratulations to the 2017 Lyme Disease Awareness Month poster contest winners. Winning entries are posted at

The winners from Maine CDC’s 8th annual Lyme Disease Awareness Month poster contest were:
  • Lylah Shanz, 1st grade, Stratton School
  • Allison Hanscom, 3rd grade, Miles Lane School
  • Jayvin Saint Louis, 4/5 grade, Spruce Mountain Elementary School
  • Emily Seavey, 6th grade, Lyman Middle School
2017 Honorable mentions:
  • Kenzi Jo Richards, 4/5 grade, Spruce Mountain Elementary School
  • Noah Koenig, 7th grade, Stratton School
Winning entries are posted at

Thursday, June 1, 2017

News from the Districts - Penquis

The Bangor International Airport conducted its tri-annual airport disaster drill on May 16. The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports across the country to conduct full-scale disaster exercises once every three years. The exercise is usually designed around a mass causality scenario. The Northeastern Maine Regional Healthcare Coalition, 26 health care and behavioral health partners, participated in the drill as well as Maine CDC’s District Public Health Liaisons and the director of Disaster Behavioral Health. Maine CDC staff was assigned in different roles including as observers, evaluators, and debriefing throughout the exercise.

One of the elements of the exercise involved moving behavioral health patients from emergency departments to behavioral health care facilities. This involved new health care partners in the behavioral health care sector that have not participated in a drill of this scale in the past. The long term care and home health partners tested new plans to assist with decompressing hospitals during time of medical surge.

The participants in the exercise then attended a ‘Hot Wash’ that illustrated strengths and weaknesses that were observed by the evaluators. There were many lessons learned and captured to assist in future development of disaster plans.