AUBURN – Lois Hamel, Ph.D., adult nurse practitioner, received a national award on Sept. 29 at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., for her work with the Grange/Elks hypertension and diabetes statewide mobile screening lab and her teaching innovations of having her nurse practitioner students work with elders in the community.

The “excellence in community service” award was given by the National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners Research/Awards Committee.

The van provides free blood pressure and blood glucose testing to the public and is visible at agricultural fairs, summer festivals and other events statewide. The van can be scheduled for health fairs, craft fairs and other events by contacting Richard Willette Sr. at 872-2555.

Hamel was instrumental in writing the policies, procedures and filing paperwork to the Department of Health and Human Services for the van to be in state compliance as a mobile lab.

She conducts the follow-ups for positive screens to refer folks to providers and has completed a descriptive quantitative study with the data. Her innovative teaching has included various civic engagement opportunities for graduating NP students to interact with older adults in the community.

One was to have the students do a focus group educational needs assessment in an assisted living facility, then have those students provide educational seminars for the older adults and have the older adults help evaluate the students’ teaching abilities as advanced practice nurses.

Hamel also organized a Medicare Part D enrollment event in April in Augusta with State and National Grange, national Medicare representatives and Region 1 Medicare representatives where they helped seniors to understand the benefit and enroll if it was applicable.

Hamel teaches nursing at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Southern Maine Portland campus. She live in Auburn with her husband of 18 years, Dennis.

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