DHHS Convenes Public Health Nursing Stakeholder Group
AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) officials met today with stakeholders from across the state to discuss a vision for the future of Maine's Public Health Nursing (PHN) program.
Governor Janet Mills prioritized filling vacancies in the public health nursing corps in her February 11 State of the Budget Address. To start on that path, DHHS has already streamlined hiring and the reporting structure for the program and begun advertising. Audio of the four radio ads currently running to assist in the recruitment of qualified nurses, specifically targeted in the rural regions of the state can be heard through the links below.
Maine's public health nurses represent the front lines of the state's efforts to promote healthy communities. Their work includes visiting new mothers and their infants, administering flu shots in rural schools, and responding to public health emergencies.
Led by DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, the meeting focused on a review of the Department's strategic plan for the program, an interactive discussion surrounding current needs, how to better support nurses through technology and integration in the communities they serve, and the development of next steps aimed at ensuring PHN's long-term success.
Commissioner Lambrew was joined by Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Acting Director Nancy Beardsley, PHN Director Kate Downing, and the program's former director, Jan Morrissette. Also in attendance were representatives of various Maine hospitals, community partners, front-line public health nurses, and other interested stakeholders. This group represented key entities that utilize and promote PHN services and supports throughout the state.
"Today's meeting was an encouraging step forward for Maine's Public Health Nursing program," said Commissioner Lambrew. "This type of direct stakeholder engagement is crucial as we work to rebuild and revitalize this program that provides critical supports and services to some of Maine's families and communities."
As recruitment efforts continue, the Department will incorporate input received into job descriptions and its strategic plan. It will periodically provide updates on changes and progress and offer additional opportunities for engagement as revitalization of this important program continues.
Anyone interested in joining Maine's Public Health Nursing team may visit www.maine.gov/dhhs/jobs, and search for available PHN positions.