LEWISTON —Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Katie Boss, a public health professional with Healthy Androscoggin, will be featured at Thursday’s virtual Great Falls Forum.

The forum, which will be held from 1 to 1:45 p.m., is titled “New Year’s Resolutions for Maine’s Health: COVID-19, Vaccines, Mental Health and Looking Ahead.”

The program will be presented via Zoom and registration is required. It will also be livestreamed on Facebook pages of the Lewiston Public Library and the Sun Journal.

As COVID continues to dominate headlines in the new year, Boss will question Shah about what Mainers should expect the course of the pandemic to look like in 2021 as vaccinations increase. In this Great Falls Forum, they will examine how the state of Maine and Maine CDC are working to protect the mental health of Mainers and what other health issues Shah is concerned about that may be out of focus for the general public.

The former director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, where he implemented key initiatives to address the state’s opioid crisis, reduce maternal and infant mortality, and reduce childhood lead poisoning, Shah was appointed director of the Maine CDC in June 2019.

Dr. Nirav D. Shah is director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

As an attorney and public health economist, he has advised professionals and governments around the nation and globe on improving the delivery of health care. Earlier in his career, he worked for the Ministry of Health in Cambodia, where his work included investigating and managing disease outbreaks as an epidemiologist.

Shah received both medical and law degrees from the University of Chicago. He also studied economics at Oxford University.

Auburn City Councilor Katie Boss is a health care professional with Healthy Androscoggin.

Boss is a public health professional and grant writer, representing Androscoggin County’s local public health nonprofit, Healthy Androscoggin. Throughout her public health career, Boss has focused on healthy housing, physical activity, nutrition and food systems. Boss is a city councilor in Auburn, chairwoman of the Auburn Agriculture Committee, and has served on the Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn for the last three years.

Healthy Androscoggin is a community health nonprofit serving Androscoggin County whose mission is to empower people to live healthy lifestyles and to improve public health through ongoing planning, community action, education and advocacy.

The Great Falls Forum is a monthly, brown-bag speaker series featuring statewide and regional leaders in public policy, business, academia and the arts. Admission is free to all forum events.

The forum is a co-sponsorship of the Sun JournalBates College, and LPL. Recordings of the virtual Great Falls Forum programs will be archived on the Library’s YouTube channel following the live event.

For more information, contact the library at 207-513-3135 or [email protected]. To register, go to: lplonline.org/events.

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