Update: March 26, 2019
Maine's Public Health Nursing (PHN) Program continues to make progress in the recruitment and retention of qualified nurses. Since the last update, PHN has hired an additional five nurses – three serving the Augusta region, one serving the Rockland region, and one serving the Bangor region. Currently, PHN has a total staff of 35 including the office director, 33 nurses, and one office associate.
PHN is working to keep the public up to date on the program's growing capacity throughout the State. We have created a map showing the current number of PHNs available in each public health district, and contact information for district supervisors. This map will be continuously updated, and serve as a resource for stakeholders, current and future clients, and members of the community. This map can be viewed by visiting: www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/public-health-nursing/districts.shtml
Additionally, staff at the Maine CDC continue to work with the Office of Information Technology to revamp PHN's website presence. With input from PHN staff and various stakeholders, PHN's website will continue to be updated to make it more user-friendly and consumer-driven. Regular updates related to the revitalization of the program, printable PHN and CradleME referral forms, brochures and other resources, updated contact information, and more will be available in the coming weeks. Please check www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/public-health-nursing for updated information.
The Department continues to consider and apply valuable input as we work to identify improvements to the PHN program. On Friday, March 22, Commissioner Lambrew met with all PHN staff to hear their thoughts on the status of the program, its future, and the steps needed to rebuild it to better serve Maine families and communities. The discussion was far ranging: from how to recruit and retain nurses to what is happening in the field, such as the need to connect more women with post-partum depression support groups. The team suggested ways to improve their outcomes such as improved technology from baby scales to tablets, the development of stronger relationships with hospitals, homeless shelters, and other home visitation providers, and the importance of training and connections with nursing schools. These complement many of the comments heard at the PHN Stakeholder Meeting in February.
PHN job postings may be viewed on the DHHS Jobs page: www.maine.gov/dhhs/jobs.