Saint Joseph’s College professor earns public health award

The Maine Public Health Association recently presented the Phebe Conrey King Access to Health Care Award to Patricia Thompson Leavitt of Buxton at a ceremony on the State House grounds during Maine Public Health Week in early April. The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to improving access to health care in Maine as well as demonstrating leadership abilities in promoting increased access. Leavitt, a nurse practitioner, is founder and executive director of Leavitt's Mill Free Health Center in Bar Mills. She was nominated by her peers and colleagues for her dedication to helping underinsured people receive health services, including primary medical and nursing care, chronic disease management, dental hygiene, prescription assistance, physical therapy, advocacy and counseling.

Leavitt, a nursing faculty member at Saint Joseph's College, not only serves as an administrator at the clinic, but provides direct services to clients and maintains a strong network of partners and volunteers to keep the clinic running. The Leavitt's Mill Health Center has been in operation since 2003 with the mission to improve the health of its community by providing health care services to people who have no insurance or inadequate insurance, as well as sponsoring health promotion activities for the entire community.

"Ms. Leavitt is the epitome of a health champion. She saw a need and she filled it. She is an inspiration to MPHA and to all her peers," said Tina Pettingill, executive director of the Maine Public Health Association.

Maine Public Health Award

State elected officials and Leavitt’s Mill Free Health Center staff and Board members attended the Maine Public Health Association award ceremony for health center director Patsy Thompson Leavitt in Augusta recently. Left to Right: Rob Hunt, state representative from Buxton/Bar Mills; Dr. Al Lemons, Board member LMFHC; Paul Hitchcox, board member LMFHC; Patsy Thompson Leavitt; Dr. Lois Hamel, clinic volunteer (and SJC program director); Cile Lemons, volunteer; Shelby Zaner, volunteer; Nancy Burnham, volunteer; and Dr. Linda Sanborn, state representative from Buxton.