Annual Reports and Updates
Annual Reports and Updates start in 2009 and tell the story of Healthy Communities of the Capital Area (HCCA) since. HCCA started as two aligned organizations, Southern Kennebec Healthy Communities, in 1997, and Getting Healthy, a tobacco use prevention coalition, in 2001. (Watch for a History of HCCA section coming in 2021)
Photos of Board Members and staff are sprinkled throughout the reports and updates. Program highlights are documented in narrative descriptions, photographs, signs, logos, numbers served, funders who support our programs, and more.
2022: Better Together
- Patricia Hart – Better Together Award! Community Collaborator Across all Ages – As The Mayor of Gardiner, Business Owner, Rotarian, and Champion for our Youth, you are a stellar example of civic duty, empathy to community members, and encouragement to our youth to succeed and be a part of their community.
- Ken Morse – Better Together Award – For your leadership and vision for a sustainable and just Maine food system, weaving a network of leaders, advocates, and eaters who will continue this work for years to come.
- April Fenton – Youth Advocate Award – For continued commitment to partnering with Healthy Communities of the Capital Area and being an advocate for youth voice and empowering the LGBTQ+ community. Youth at Augusta Schools are extremely lucky to have you as a resource and a friend. Thank you for all of the amazing work you do April!
- Beth Brooker – Youth Advocate Award – For continued commitment to partnering with Healthy Communities of the Capital Area and being an advocate for youth voice and empowering the LGBTQ+ community. Youth at MSAD 11 are extremely lucky to have you as a resource and a friend. Thank you for all of the amazing work you do Beth!
- Hillary Wing – Positive Influence Award – For your continued commitment to partnering with Healthy Communities of the Capital Area to educate and empower students against Big Tobacco’s marketing tactics and the negative effects of nicotine products on young lives. You are a true positive influence in the MSAD 11 community and set a great example for your fellow educators!
- Melissa Small – Community Collaborator Champion – HCCA recognizes you as being a Community Collaborator Champion for your commitment to making environmental change by promoting literacy and physical activity in the Readfield community. Your ability to organize and collaborate with library board members, volunteers, local businesses, school teachers, and students brought to life the vision of a permanent year-round StoryWalk to be a community-wide, free, family fun activity on the Readfield Library Trail. Thank you Melissa!
Outgoing Board Members – Thank you for everything!
- Patrick Cheek
- Colin Webb
- Deborah Emery
- Sarah Miller
- Lisa Miller
- Merry St. Pierre
2021: Be the Seed
- Chrissy Michaud – Cultivating Nutrition Award – In appreciation of your determination to promote free school lunch during the pandemic for all children in RSU 2 throughout the school years of 2020-2021. Thank you for your willingness to speak with the media about free school lunch on behalf of all school districts in S. Kennebec County. Your voice helped to raise awareness and provide nutritional support to so many families in our communities.
Julie Olson – Gleaning Champion Award – Supporting Community through Food Recovery. Providing essential time, resources, and effort to support the initiation and ongoing work of the Capital Area Gleaners. In appreciation of your service, especially during a time of heightened stress and need due to COVID-19, and your commitment to reducing food waste and increasing access to fresh vegetables for individuals and families living with food insecurity.
Augusta Boys and Girls Club – Planting the Seeds of Resilience and Wellness for Young People. Promoting youth leadership and resiliency through your collaboration on youth engagement projects, implementing the alternative to suspension program INDEPTH for tobacco, creating a comprehensive tobacco policy, and your willingness to partner on multiple projects that positively impact youth. In appreciation for your unwavering support of young people, collaborative spirit, and extraordinary partnership with HCCA.
Owen Hines – Youth Leadership Award – Cultivating Supportive Environments for Peers. Promoting youth mental health through your involvement in the MEAA Youth Policy Board, extraordinary leadership, and positive influence amongst your peers. In appreciation for your collaborative spirit, unwavering desire to help others, and partnership with HCCA to address youth mental health.
Town of Readfield – Nurturing Seedlings Award. In appreciation for your comprehensive tobacco-free policy across all Town of Readfield properties to set a positive example for local youth that tobacco use is not a normal adult activity. Your policy also sets a great example for other towns in Maine!
Rebecca Nirza – Youth Leadership Award – Cultivating Supportive Environments for Peers. Promoting youth mental health through your involvement in the MEAA Youth Policy Board and Augusta Boys and Girls Club Youth Policy Board, extraordinary leadership, and positive influence amongst your peers. In appreciation for your collaborative spirit, unwavering desire to help others, and partnership with HCCA to address youth mental health.
- Barbara Ann Moss, DO, MPH. Board Member, 2012 – 2021. Thank you for nine years of support as a Member of the Board of Directors. Your experience, perspectives, smile and enthusiasm will always be appreciated wherever you are. Thank you!
Samantha Deming-Berr, DO, MPH. Board Member, 2018 – 2021. Thank you for your support as a Member of the Board of Directors. Your perspectives, smile, and enthusiasm will always be appreciated wherever you are. Thank you for being a champion for HCCA’s work!
2020: Building Community Connections
- Heather King, Maine Arts Academy principal – Youth Tobacco Prevention Champion Award, Guiding Youth to a Tobacco-free Future, promoting youth tobacco prevention through implementing Sidekicks, partnering to provide vaping education to students, and establishing a youth group to address vaping and tobacco with their peers. In appreciation for your collaborative spirit, unwavering support, and partnership with HCCA to address youth tobacco prevention.
- Southern Kennebec Law Enforcement Task Force – Prevention on the Streets, in Schools, and around Sports Fields Award (includes Augusta, Hallowell, Gardiner, Winthrop, and Monmouth PDs, and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office), for your collaboration with HCCA to reduce underage drinking!
- Martha Poliquin, School Nutrition Director at Falmouth Schools – School Nutrition Champion for Public Health Award, for serving as a Role Model and Network Leader in the Maine Farm to School Movement, promoting farm to school throughout Falmouth Schools and statewide. In appreciation for your commitment to providing youth with fresh nutritious food while supporting Maine growers; and for your collaborative spirit and dedication to supporting the Maine Farm to School Network.
2019: Our Story of Local Public Health
- John Harker, Kents Hill Orchard Operator – Public Health Story Teller Award, Spreading the Story of Health & Wellness, Promoting health and wellness in schools, the greater community, and wherever you go. In appreciation of your advocacy and collaborative spirit to find ways to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
- Rebecca Reynolds, RSU #38 – Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 District Champion of the Year, Promoting the Story of Wellness Wins Everyday. In appreciation of your dedication and commitment to coordinating the RSU #38 Student Health Leadership Council and for coining the phrase “Wellness Wins”.
- Diana Soiett, Angela Palmer, Tori Adams, Wayne Elementary School (RSU #38) – Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Champion Team of the Year, Let’s Go! Fridays at Wayne Elementary. In recognition of your collaboration, enthusiasm and efforts to offer nutrition education and Let’s Go! Friday activities to students at Wayne Elementary School
- MSAD #11 – Public Health Research Journal Award, for English Class Research on Vaping. Received by Patricia Hopkins, Beth Newman, Nora Diversi, Youth Contributing to their Communities through Research, for your creative engagement of students to research Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, ENDS or vaping, as part of their High School English and Middle School Health classes, broadening students’ awareness of the impacts of ENDS and vaping.
- Shara MacDonald, Erskine Academy – The Health Teachers Guide to Public Health Award, Guiding Youth to a Tobacco-free Future, promoting youth tobacco prevention in health class by implementing Sidekicks. In appreciation for your collaborative spirit and your commitment to providing youth with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices.
2018: Bringing Public Health into Focus
- Elizabeth Rollins, Let’s Go! Champion and partner – Room to Bloom Award, for committing to promote healthy eating and active living for children and families in Kennebec County
- Officer Mike Gagnon – Growing Healthier Communities Award, in appreciation of your commitment and flexibility, for meeting the needs of underserved people throughout greater Kennebec County and understanding the value of collaborative partnerships, helping to provide meaningful opportunities for inmates, getting fresh, local, healthy food that would otherwise be wasted to those who need it most, and for your ability to respond on the fly and always keep your sense of humor!
- Stephen Knight – Growing Healthier Communities Award, in appreciation of your collaborative spirit, for meeting the needs of underserved people throughout greater Kennebec County and understanding the value of collaborative partnerships, helping to provide meaningful opportunities for volunteers, getting fresh, local, healthy food that would otherwise be wasted to those who need it most, and for your ability to recognize natural collaborations and opportunities.
- Cheryl Daggett – Focusing on a Healthier Environment Award, in appreciation for your commitment and passion for providing a healthy environment for students and staff by promoting tobacco-free college campuses, and your collaborative spirit, enthusiasm, and partnership.
- Kristine Longstaff – The Kaleidoscope Award, in appreciation of your ongoing partnership with HCCA and your unfailing advocacy for women and children.
- Sue Sidelinger – Focusing on Healthy Families Award, in appreciation for all that you do in your work with children and families in the community and for your collaborative spirit with all of us here at HCCA!
2017: Opening New Doors to Healthy Communities
- Jody Bucknam – Keys to Volunteerism Award, presented in honor of your dedication to the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Time for Meaningful Engagement project
- Mike Perisho – Keys to the Farm Award, presented in honor of your dedication to connecting Gardiner students to local food, for opening the world of food and farming to youth by sharing your wealth of knowledge with students on field trips and in the classroom.
- Brandi Grady – Keys to Health Award, in honor of your work connecting students to healthy food at Lincoln Elementary School, for sharing your classroom with FoodCorps and SNAP-Ed and opening the door for other teachers to do the same.
- Cony High School Leadership (April Fenton) – Opening the Door Award, in honor of your work connecting the school and students with a variety of substance misuse prevention activities, for your time and dedication to prevention and education.
- Jada Wensman – Revolving Door Award, in honor of your dedication to FoodCorps Programming at HCCA, for serving two terms that resulted in strengthened relationships, effective fundraising, and consistency and sustainability in two new Southern Kennebec FoodCorps schools.
- Cathleen Dunlap – Keys to the Community Award, in honor of your leadership in providing healthy smoke-free environments for both staff and clients
2016: The Many Ways We Invest in Our Communities
- Augusta Opiate Forums Planning Team – Outstanding Service Award, for commitment and leadership in responding to the opiate crisis in the greater Augusta community
- Gardiner Opiate Forums Planning Team – Outstanding Service Award, for commitment and leadership in responding to the opiate crisis in the greater Augusta community
- Recovery Coaches – Outstanding Service Award, for your tireless commitment and volunteer service in supporting people in recovery
2015: Mission Possible
- Neill Miner – Outstanding Service Award, presented in appreciation for your leadership in establishing the local Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, authoring award winning grant proposals and leading the organization in effective substance abuse prevention initiatives
- Karen Moody – Agent All In, for making our “Mission Possible” and for all of the time and effort you have taken as Principal of Laura E. Richards Elementary School to be sure every classroom received Nutrition Education programs through SNAP-Ed.
- Frank Lyons – Agent Irreplaceable, for your commitment to keeping youth safe and liquor retailers in compliance by providing a high quality, fun, and impossible-to-replicate Responsible Beverage Server/Seller training over the years.
- Julie Armilotti – Agent “Can-Do”, for supporting the World of Work program for many years with your belief in the program, positive attitude, and ability to problem solve any number of scheduling conflicts that arise for students.
- Pat Stanton – Agent Renaissance, for supporting the wellbeing of students at Maranacook Community School by being an all-around advocate for the plethora of public health initiatives on which you have worked.
- Jeff Bridges – Change Agent Award, for your leadership and collaboration in changing the food scene and moving Farm to School efforts forward in Maranacook Area Schools. Your can-do attitude and unassuming approach engages and motivates everyone involved and sets an example for other schools across the state.
2014: Local Public Health Across the Lifespan
- Healthy Start – Starting Out Right Award, for your exemplary commitment to helping children enter school lovable, capable, healthy, and secure
- Rebecca Savage – Sowing Seeds Award, for being the force behind the garden at Gilbert Elementary School in Augusta and for sowing the seeds of discovery to spark curiosity in our little ones
- Marge Kasolski
- Gardiner Boys and Girls Club – The Sweet Street Sweep Award, for serving your community by assessing the downtown and neighborhood streets for their “active living friendliness” as part of conducting the Rural Active Living Assessment for the City of Gardiner during the summer of 2013.
- Alyssa Wingate – Shop, Stop and Chop Award, or your efforts in volunteering for Cooking Matters and being always willing to gather anything needed to improve the program!
- Kailee Mullen – Shop, Stop and Chop Award, for your efforts in volunteering for Cooking Matters and being always willing to gather anything needed to improve the program!
- Shelly Simpson – Reinventing Prevention Award, for showing leadership and undying commitment for student and staff wellness throughout MSAD 11.
- Cindy Flye – Reinventing Prevention Award, for showing leadership and making connections to support student and staff wellness in Maranacook Schools.
- Dick Dyer – The Show Must Go On, for health and human performance
- The Southern Kennebec Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention Leadership Team – Many Hands Make Light Work Award, for exemplary commitment to building community and preventing substance abuse among our youth
2013: Expanding Efforts in Local Public Health
- Ron Violette, Maranacook Market – Community Star Award, our thanks for your exemplary commitment to keeping tobacco products out of the hands of our youth.
- Archie and LeeAnn Miller, Fayette Country Store – Community Stars Award, our thanks for your exemplary commitment to keeping tobacco products out of the hands of our youth.
- Debbie Barnett, University of Maine Cooperative Extension – Plays Well With Others Award, our thanks for your ongoing engagement, enthusiasm, and willingness to collaborate with others to meet our community members’ needs.
2012: Celebrating Local Public Health
- Leif Dahlin, Community Services Director, City of Augusta – Sharing the Road Award, for his collaborative work in bringing Public Health Policy & Practice to Augusta. For his open door and consistent interest in partnering with local resources, with an eye to improving health and safety for people in Augusta.
- Chef Mike Flynn, Food Services Director MSAD#11 – Hit the Ground Running Award, for taking on multiple nutrition initiatives to make student health & wellness a priority in his 1st year. For promoting healthy eating, incorporating local foods & bringing nutrition to classroom and lunchroom. For bringing nutrition alive in the schools, and making eating new, healthy foods a fun adventure.
- Patrick Flood, State Representative HD 82 – Maintaining Connections to the Community Award, for his level of involvement and first hand knowledge of Public Health & Prevention in his District. For consistently showing up at local forums & gatherings to listen, ask questions & act accordingly
2011: Your Local Public Health Plan: Creating Healthier Communities
- Ginny Gyer, Physical Education and Health Teacher, Winthrop Schools – Staying the Course Award, for patiently and consistently working toward increased and improved opportunities for physical education and physical activity for all Winthrop School students and for pushing and supporting policy, program, and individual student changes to reduce and prevent substance use.
- Joe Viselli, Physical Education Director, Hall-Dale Elementary School – Walking the Talk Award, for going above and beyond to work toward improved student and staff wellness at Hall-Dale Elementary School and all RSU 2 schools and most importantly, being a role model for all.
2010: This is Local Public Health
- Shelly Simpson, Principal, Pittston Consolidated School – Big Public Health Picture Award, for prioritizing integration of physical activity during each school day as a mechanism to improve student health and academic outcomes.
- Danielle Doucette, Youth Voices Coordinator, Winthrop High School – The Earlier the Better Award, for leading and guiding students to advocate for better policies and healthier choices around substance and tobacco use.
- Dick Dyer, Dyer Associates, Winthrop – Surprise! You Are Working in Public Health Award, for sharing your professional expertise, professional contacts, and boundless personal energy and enthusiasm.
- Christina Harmon – Worksite Wellness Spirit Award, for her excitement and implementation of KeepMEWell into the intake process at Concentra Medical Centers in Augusta and being part of a team that is always ready to collaborate to improve their community
- Monica Conant, RLC Engineering Inc. – Worksite Wellness Leadership Award, as co-owner of a small business that has developed a worksite wellness program with potential for great returns on investment. Strong leadership is key to a successful worksite wellness program.
- Janna Gilbert, RLC Engineering Inc. – Worksite Wellness Leadership Award, for providing support, organization and momentum to a small team that accomplishes so much.
2009: This is Public Health
- Rich Abramson Superintendent, Maranacook Area Schools – The Big Picture Award, for your prioritization and integration of student and staff wellness in Maranacook Area Schools.
- Nick Alberding, Co-Owner, Pine State Beverage Co. – Pioneer Award, for providing the leadership and support to Pine State Beverage Company Wellness Team
- Scott Bell Principal, Monmouth Academy – Hit the Ground Running Award, for immediately focusing on student wellness issues in your first year as principal at Monmouth Academy.
- Crystal Berry, Health Services Manager, Concentra Medical Centers – Sharing the Road Award, for your willingness and ability to advance Worksite Wellness in Southern Kennebec County and beyond.
- Sonia Godbout, Wellness Coordinator, Maranacook Area Schools – Big Impact on a Part-Time Schedule Award, for your ability to implement a Coordinated Approach to School Health in Maranacook Area Schools.
- Brooke Jansen, Consumer Information Specialist, Spectrum Generations – Worksite Wellness Spirit Award, for your endless and tireless efforts to promote worksite wellness within your organization.
- Lynne Kelly, Human Resource Manager, Pine State Beverage Co. – Pioneer Award, for your vision and tireless energy to create a wellness culture in an unlikely environment
- Jonathan Leach Executive Director, The Children’s Center – Worksite Wellness Leadership Award, for your prioritization and integration of staff, children and families’ wellness into the Children’s Center Worksite Wellness Program.
- Randall Liberty, Sheriff, Kennebec County – Surprise! You are Working in Public Health Award, for your consistent, passionate leadership and partnership with HCCA to reduce substance abuse across Kennebec county.
- Rachael Newman, Family Services Coordinator, SKCDC Head Start – The Earlier the Better Award, for your willingness and ability to engage families of young children to improve nutrition.
- Muriel Scott President/CEO, Spectrum Generations – for your support of Adult and Worksite Wellness at Spectrum Generations.
2008: First HCCA Annual Meeting
Honors for School/Youth Initiatives
- Cheryl Soquet: Special thanks for your leadership in prioritizing physical activity, nutrition, and tobacco use prevention efforts with SKCDC staff and families.
- Claire Welch: Special thanks for your ongoing participation on the HCCA Board and Action Team and for persevering in Student Wellness efforts in School Union #44.
- Deborah Emery: Special thanks for your leadership in the Monmouth School Department to implement Coordinated School Health Programming and for being a role model for other schools to follow.
- Debra Cote: Special thanks for your tireless efforts to improve Student Wellness in the Monmouth School Department.
- Megan Karges: Special thanks for your ingenuity in engaging youth in substance abuse and tobacco use prevention efforts, and for bringing overall Student Wellness to the attention of Winthrop Public Schools.
- Bobbie Jordan: Special thanks for your leadership in Augusta Public Schools to implement Coordinated School Health Programming and for recognizing the role of overall Student Wellness in academic achievement.
- Brenda Weis: Special thanks for your tireless efforts to improve Student Wellness in Augusta Public Schools.
- Aryn Bolster: Special Thanks for Representing the Youth Voice and Linking the Winthrop Community With the Southern Kennebec Underage/High Risk Drinking Work Group
Honors for SA Prevention
- Senator Beverly Daggett: Special Thanks for Leading, and Co-Chairing the Southern Kennebec Underage/High Risk Drinking Work Group
- Chief Joseph Young: Special Thanks for Leading, and Co-Chairing the Southern Kennebec Underage/High Risk Drinking Work Group
- Garrison Beck: Special Thanks for Representing the Youth Voice and Linking the Monmouth Community With the Southern Kennebec Underage/High Risk Drinking Work Group
- Doreen Walters and C. N. Brown, Inc: Special Thanks for Representing the Retailer Perspective at the Southern Kennebec Underage/High Risk Drinking Work Group and Implementing Exemplary Alcohol Retailer Strategies Across HCCA’s Service Area