Jennifer Thibodeau here…
It’s been almost a year since Maine Family Planning assumed the management of Fort Kent, Houlton, and Presque Isle Family Planning health centers in Aroostook County, and the staff there have been doing amazing work in their communities!
Last week, I took a trip up to The County to meet with some local community partners and our own staff. It was a lovely few days in northern Maine, and I thought I’d share some photos and notes with our readers.
It’s a long drive from the southern part of the state ~ luckily, I had lots of great podcasts to listen to and I entertained myself by watching for planets along Route 1. Did you know about this scale model of our solar system? Here’s one of my favorites:
My first stop was the University of Maine in Presque Isle. It’s so important for Maine Family Planning to work with local colleges for many reasons. Students are often uninsured or underinsured, so family planning clinics can be one of the most affordable health care options for them. We also know that unplanned pregnancies are one of the biggest barriers to completing college, so while people don’t often think of birth control as an essential part of a person’s education, being able to prevent pregnancy until graduation helps students succeed.
I also spent some time with family planning staff. We welcomed Marlene to the Presque Isle team a few months ago, while Pam and Corinne are familiar faces at our Fort Kent, Houlton, and Presque Isle health centers. Christina Perry, NP is a relatively new addition to our team ~ and a bit of a celebrity! (watch the video on our homepage) Cheryl Sue Olmstead, NP was on vacation, so I didn’t get to see her (bummer!) but I know that many family planning patients have been happily seeing her for years.
The Family Planning staff in Aroostook County are a particularly skilled and friendly bunch who value connection to their communities and are dedicated to the work they do. You’ll find them at these three locations.
Of course, sexual and reproductive health are just two aspects of everybody’s general health and well-being. I took my own body out for a trail run after Tuesday’s meetings. Here’s a scenic view from the Nordic Heritage Sport Club in Presque Isle:
Pam and I got up bright and early on Wednesday to meet with the staff of the Aroostook County MaineFamilies home visitation program. MaineFamilies supports pregnant moms and new parents in many aspects of parenting, including breastfeeding, baby-proofing, finding services, and thinking about spacing the births of their children. We have strong partnerships with MaineFamilies programs across the state and we’re so proud that MaineFamilies in Hancock County is a program of Maine Family Planning!
If you haven’t visited Aroostook County yet this summer (or ever!), get yourself up there! It’s a gorgeous region full of really friendly people doing amazing things. And be sure to stop in at our Houlton, Presque Isle, and/or Fort Kent health centers and say hello ~ you’ll be glad you did.