Maine CDC Press Release

December 19, 2012

Maine CDC Recognizes Efforts To Ward Off Infectious Disease

AUGUSTA – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently recognized two organizations and two individuals by presenting them with the Pump Handle Award for their contributions to help reduce the impact of infectious diseases in Maine.

Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan was honored for its efforts to prevent an outbreak of pertussis by holding public clinics to provide vaccinations, while Maine’s Summer Camps were also recognized for its efforts to contain illnesses and minimize the spreading of infectious diseases.

Dr. George Stockwell, who practices in Windham, earned the distinction for his leadership in collecting data and reporting in to Maine CDC to help statewide tracking of influenza; and Paul Gauvreau, Esq., of the Office of the Attorney General, was recognized for the legal advice he has provided based and his insight on disease reporting and outbreak management.

The Pump-Handle Award has been given for more than a decade in Maine. The award’s name is a tribute to Dr. John Snow, who is considered by many to be the father of epidemiological science. Snow identified that a public water pump was the source of a cholera outbreak in London in 1854. Snow convinced authorities to remove the handle of the pump, preventing any more of the infected water from being collected. The spring that fed the pump was later found to be contaminated with sewage.

“Maine CDC has long-held relationships with people across the state whose work helps prevent the spread of infectious disease,’’ said Dr. Stephen Sears, State Epidemiologist. “This award is just one small way to recognize and thank them for a job well done.”