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2014 October E-newsletter

Time to Ask - Education that transforms conversations about alcohol use

We are very pleased to officially announce a new initiative in Maine called Time to Ask.

Time to Ask - Education that transforms conversations about alcohol use In partnering with a team of Maine-based experts and community stakeholders on this program, our focus is to become leaders in innovative approaches and cultural shifts in interprofessional alcohol education and care practices. Designed for primary care physicians, all professionals on their teams, and other non-addiction health care professionals, the overarching objective for the program is to help these clinicians increase their knowledge, skills and comfort to properly identify, assess, and recommend treatment for patients who may be affected by unhealthy alcohol use. It is our vision that this program will raise awareness, change attitudes, and address the gap between education and treatment of unhealthy substance use.

Alcohol use is often under-identified, and as a result, undertreated. It is a major public health issue in Maine and nationally. In addition, unhealthy substance use is one of the most requested health education topics among Maine health care professionals. Substance use is a topic infrequently addressed in professional development programs. The social stigma surrounding substance abuse makes it difficult for health care professionals to discuss it with their patients, and the lack of training leaves providers without the knowledge and skills to identify, address, or recommend evidence-based treatment options.

Alcohol remains the substance most often used by Mainers across the lifespan. In 2012, 18% of Maine adults over 18 reported binge drinking at least once in the past 30 days. (Source: Maine Department of Health and Human Services). Subject matter experts in Maine also cite that 30 to 60 percent of all hospital visits in Maine, and nearly 30 to 40 percent of primary care visits, are alcohol-related. With proper screening and counseling, there will likely be a reduction in the amount of alcohol Mainers consume and in related health care costs.

The next phase of development for Time to Ask will include the planning and design of a needs assessment. This will inform the educational program, which will launch in select federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and primary care practices in rural Maine where there are few addiction specialists. We plan to implement, evaluate, sustain, and broaden the model during 2015.

Learn more about Time to Ask at

Lunder-Dineen Senior Program Manager Denise O'Connell, LCSW, CCM, CCP and Chief Medical Officer of Penobscot Community Health Care Noah Nisen, MD, FAAP discuss the importance of the new Time to Ask pilot.

Communities in Action Symposium: Community Roles in Supporting Children's Health and Well-Being

This webinar presents information about the behavioral and mental health challenges facing very young children, young adults, and families — including a focus on recognizing and addressing early childhood mental health issues, which is an important community concern.

Faculty: Sandra Fritsch, MD;
Deborah Hagler, MD

This program is intended for family physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, and nurses.

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias: Guidelines for Assessment and Differential Diagnosis

This session provides an overview of Maine's State Plan for Dementia and the American Geriatric Society's Guide to Dementia Evaluation and Management, as well as a review of general clinical aspects of dementia diagnostic assessment and treatment and examples of cognitive diagnostic tools.

Faculty: Cliff Singer, MD

This program is intended for physicians (DOs and MDs) and physician assistants.

MGH Nurses Week 2014: Self-Care Palette for Nourishing the Mind, Body and Spirit

This program reviews the components that comprise a self-care palette and provides an overview of four self-care practices: centering; meditation, including guided meditation and the relaxation response; chair yoga; and aromatherapy. The activity also includes the unique opportunity to participate in guided exercises to experience self-care practices.

Faculty: Kathleen M. Miller, RN, PhD, MA, AHN-BC;
Joanne Rowley, RN, MS, CS, HNB-BC

This program is intended for registered nurses.

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October 2014


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To learn more about Lunder-Dineen and our free education offerings, visit

To collaborate with us on education, contact Denise O'Connell, Senior Program Manager, 207.747.3448 or