Maine CDC Press Release

March 31, 2009

Maine CDC names new Maternal and Child Health Director

Stephen J. Meister, M.D., was recently chosen as the new Maternal and Child Health Medical Director for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, Director
Maine Center for Disease Control

AUGUSTA – Stephen J. Meister, M.D., was recently chosen as the new Maternal and Child Health Medical Director for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meister’s resume is deep and diverse, with more than 25 years of experience in primary care pediatrics. The last 12 years, the Winthrop resident has been employed at Kennebec Pediatrics in Augusta.

A graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, he served his internship and residency at The Children’s Hospital of New York at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. He later was awarded a Masters in Health Management and Policy from The George Washington University.

During active duty in the US Navy, Dr. Meister directed an emergency department in a forward placement with the First Marine Division in the 1990-91 Gulf War. He also served as Division Head of the Pediatric Acute Care Clinic, and Teaching Staff Pediatrician at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.

Meister is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has been an instructor in Pediatric Advanced Life Support, a member of the International Society for Stress Trauma Studies and a member of the Maine Medical Association. “We are excited to have a physician with this level of diverse expertise to lead this program that focuses care and wellness efforts for Maine’s mothers and children,’’ said Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Brenda Harvey. “Dr. Meister is well-known, highly regarded and I am certain that he will provide strong leadership.”

Meister has a passion around the health care needs of foster children which dates back to Junior High. He’s been successful in engaging several foundations to help provide funding for many projects, including the Pediatric Rapid Evaluation Program, which evaluates the medical and mental health needs of children entering foster care. Meister has received two Special Achievement Awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics for his work in this arena.

Dr. Meister has many areas of focus in his new role. He’s active in a program to combat Shaken Baby Syndrome; working to decrease the number of babies being exposed to narcotics prior to birth; striving to address developmental delays and autism with better screenings and evidence-based intervention plans; and the implementation of the Immunization Registry.

Meister is also a member of the Patient-Centered Medical Home Work Group.

“A medical home is not just establishing contact with a Primary Care Physician,” Meister said. “It is about access and coordination of care and a place where barriers can be knocked down. All medical records, including mental health records, should be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and communications support must be available.”

Overall, Meister said, access to data and the ability to aggregate data remains critical. A key piece is establishing electronic medical records, a technological improvement that is a pricey prospect for providers.

Dr. Meister lives in Winthrop and is married to Dr. Dervilla McCann, a cardiologist, and has two grown children.