Update: April 10, 2019
The Department continues to recruit qualified nurses to join Maine's growing Public Health Nursing (PHN) Program. The program now has a total staff of 38, including 11 PHN Is and 18 PHN IIs, the positions that make up the program's frontline staff in communities across Maine. Nine of these nurses have been hired since January, and join the ranks of Public Health Nurses providing direct care to some of Maine's most vulnerable populations, including children, mothers, and seniors.
The PHN program is seeking qualified nurses to serve in the Machias area. The program will host an open house at the Machias Career Center on April 24 from 5:00pm-7:00pm for any registered nurses interested in becoming a public health nurse. PHNs in the Machias area will have an opportunity to form a highly skilled team to care for local residents, identify emerging health concerns, organize health care clinics for the community, conduct home visits, and more. Additionally, these nurses will help advise our state's leaders on health care needs unique to this region.
The PHN program also is expanding its reach statewide, launching a new initiative announced this week by DHHS Commissioner Lambrew to offer extra home visits to Maine families in concert with the Maine Families Home Visitation Program. Targeted families with children two years of age and younger will receive parenting guidance and be connected to community-based supports to help ensure safe home environments and the wellbeing of children across the state.
Our nurses are advancing their skills to better serve Maine families, particularly those with young children. Last week, five PHNs attended a Certified Lactation Counseling Course to assist new moms in successful breast feeding. Pending final examination results, the number of Certified Lactation Counselors in the program will double to 10 nurses.
The entire PHN staff will also attend the Maine CDC's Maternal and Child Health and Substance Exposed Infants Conference in May. The conference, titled "Building Pathways of Hope and Success," is an opportunity for professionals who work with families to discuss strategies to improve maternal and child health in Maine. Experts will present current research on topics such as social determinants of health, trauma-informed care, parental substance exposure, and more-further equipping PHN staff with the tools they need to effectively serve Maine communities.