LEWISTON – Healthy Androscoggin recently held its 2014 annual meeting at The Bates Mill Atrium.
The meeting was a time for Healthy Androscoggin to share its successes over the past year with partners and community members of Androscoggin County. This included honoring three coalition partners with its annual Coalition Awards.
The Coalition Awards are distributed to local and regional community partners on an annual basis and consist of the Community Leadership, Will Bartlett and the Partnership awards.
The 2014 Community Leadership Award was presented to Kristen Cloutier, a Lewiston city councilor and center operations and program coordinator for Bates College. The Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has exemplified superior leadership through their work in the community, and is granted for diligent and altruistic work that improves the public health and promotes the ideals of Healthy Androscoggin.
Cloutier helped raise awareness of the high number of childhood lead poisonings in Lewiston-Auburn and how lead poisoning can be prevented. She helped garner support for the city of Lewiston to become a Green and Healthy Homes Initiative site which leverages partnerships and resources to make local housing stock safer.
Healthy Androscoggin also presented the 2014 Will Bartlett Award to Norma Larocque, health coordinator at Androscoggin Head Start and Childcare. This award is given out to a community member for selfless dedication, leadership and compassion in promoting the ideals of Healthy Androscoggin and improving the lives of children.
Larocque plans blood lead screening clinics for children attending Androscoggin Head Start and Childcare. She always promotes nutrition and brings creative approaches to better reach families. For example, after identifying low health literacy skills, she began organizing new trainings to address these gaps.
The 2014 Partnership Award was presented to Michael W. Wardrop, Maine resident agent in charge for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. This award is granted for diligent and altruistic work that helps further Healthy Androscoggin’s mission and vision in the community.
Wardrop has been Maine’s point person and lead on organizing the DEA’s National Medicine Take Back Initiatives since they began in 2010. For the past four years, he and his team have coordinated with every law enforcement department in Maine, as well as many long term care facilities, to carry out these programs. The partnership in Lewiston/Auburn has been extremely successful and has lead to the removal of over five tons of unwanted and expired medicines from area households. Statewide the Medicine Take Backs have collected over 76 tons over the past five years.
“What Kristen, Norma and Mike have done for our communities is immeasurable,” said Healthy Androscoggin’s Executive Director Steven Johndro.
“Each one of these awardees has and continues to significantly contribute to the ideals of Healthy Androscoggin and have been wonderful partners to work with,” he said.
For more information about Healthy Androscoggin, go to healthyandroscoggin.org.