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SMH Nurses Partner with Norway Family Center

The theme for Nurses Week this year was "Nurses, Making a Difference Every Day."  One of the ways nurses at Stephens Memorial Hospital celebrated Nurses Week (May 4 - 10th) was by making a donation of goods they had collected from hospital employees to the Norway Family Center (formerly known as the Galilee House).  Staff nurses delivered the donation on Thursday, May 8th and were thanked by Paula Paladino, of Rumford Group Homes, Barrie Liebler, Homeless Outreach Coordinator and Jess Smith, Transitional Living Program Youth Worker.

The Norway Family Center is a shelter specifically for women and children in crisis, and is the only one of its kind in Oxford County. The house has the ability to hold 3-4 families at one time.  The staff at the Center has written many grants to get assistance to renovate and repair the home on Deering Street.  A house manager will live on site to help those coming to the shelter and takes referrals 24/7; Barrie Liebler, Homeless Outreach Coordinator works with families to get them on the track to their own home again.  They anticipate the average stay at the home being 6 weeks.  The goal of the shelter is to help families get back on their feet, but helping them obtain the resources and skills to find a job and a place to live while helping them to obtain their Section 8 status and qualify for help.  Rumford Group Homes, Inc. is also partnering with volunteers in the Oxford Hills area to offer parenting classes, cooking classes, and has volunteers that want to do a 'dinner and a movie' night for children staying at the shelter.

Paladino shares that they hope to open the home in June and shares that "partnering with the community has been absolutely huge."  Even given all of the successful partnerships with SMH and other community organizations that have been established, more volunteers are always needed.  Those interested in volunteering or making a referral can call 369-9439 or 357-5579. 

The Stephens Memorial Hospital Community Outreach Council, comprised of staff nurses and other hospital employees decided to give back to the community during the week that celebrates nurses.  Staff organized two collection days in April with their main goal to stock the play room for children as well as gathering things that families might be able to take with them to set up housekeeping after leaving the shelter.  The collection netted new and gently used donations of bed linens, sheets, blankets, comforters, towels, face cloths, toiletries, books for adults and children, children's DVDs, puzzles, toys, new stuffed animals, games, CDs, and pajamas.

Photo Caption: Delivering & Accepting Donations:  L-R Paula Paladino & Barrie Liebler, from Rumford Group Homes Alison Newton, RN, Jeff Rowe, RN, Peggy Holland, RN, Barrett Pottle, RN, Kate Wight, Community Relations Coordinator, Jess Smith, TLP Youth Coordinator and Doreen Taylor, RN, CDE.

Jeff Rowe, RN, Community Outreach Council member and spokesperson shared his thoughts about hosting the donation day, "As a nurse I was excited to participate in an event that exemplifies the Hospital and the Council's mission to support and promote health in the Western Maine community.  We are appreciative of all the employees from all of our departments who took the initiative to donate items."

Other activities commemorating Nurses Week for hospital staff as well as Market Square Health Care Center and the Western Maine Health Practices staff was bowling, a sub sandwich day, drawings for basket giveaways, an ice cream day, and several other events. 

Here, raffle winner Sue Rosenberg holds her prize - a gardening basket.

Stephens Memorial Hospital is part of the Maine Health® family.  Visit Western Maine Health on the Internet at

Rumford Group Homes, Inc. is a nationally accredited (Council of Accreditation [COA]) non-profit social service agency.  For over thirty years Rumford Group Homes Inc. has served abused, neglected, and homeless youth and their families from throughout the state of Maine with an emphasis on the tri-county region of Oxford, Androscoggin, and Franklin Counties.  The agency provides a variety of supportive services through our residential treatment programs, crisis program, housing and case management programs and homeless youth outreach services to children, adolescents, young adults and families in need of treatment, housing, or support due to abuse, neglect, family crisis or abandonment.

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181 Main Street, Norway, Maine 04268 | (207) 743-5933, TTY (for the hearing impaired): (207) 743-1597