Poland man receives award for excellence


LEWISTON – Common Ties Mental Health recently honored John Coffin of Poland at its annual meeting. Coffin was awarded the Kelsey Award for Quality and Excellence for his promotion of integrated health and wellness care at the agency and in conjunction with the B Street Health Center of Community Clinical Services.

In announcing the award, Denise Simard, board president, said, “We chose John because of his vision, his passion and his desires and abilities to bring lasting change to our communities, for daring to look beyond the horizon and to ultimately improve the quality of life for those people who seek out their respective organizations during times of great need.”

Coffin is the director of programs at Common Ties and led the agency through a two-year project of integrating primary care with behavioral health care. The project, supported by the Maine Health Access Foundation, identified and put into practice a strategic solution to one of Maine’s emerging health care system needs.

In collaboration with St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and the B Street Health Center of Community Clinical Services, a case management model of integrating primary and behavioral health care was demonstrated.

The Integrate Care Medical Home model resulted in an increase of access to primary and behavioral health care at the center, staff advancing their knowledge and skills in working with patients who have a behavioral health diagnosis, and patients appearing more satisfied with the services they received.

Craig Phillips, executive director of Common Ties, presented the award to Coffin, stating, “John’s personal passion, expertise and knowledge have created a very inspiring wellness program as evidenced by people walking, eating better and stopping smoking. John felt that this idea was so important that he needed to give birth and to support the idea of feeling better, bit by bit.”

Common Ties provides community support services to people who have a serious behavioral health illness throughout Androscoggin County. For more information, call 795-6710 or write or visit the agency at 100 Pine St., Lewiston, ME 04240.