Kate Martin, Director at Healthy Lincoln County of Healthy Lincoln County, presented the data from last year’s 2017 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey conducted by the Maine Centers for Disease Control at the Lincoln Academy Community Meeting on Friday, November 30. 

On Friday, November 30, public health professionals from three local organizations visited the Lincoln Academy Community Meeting to present presented findings from the 2017 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey conducted by the Maine Centers for Disease Control. This survey is conducted every year to track public health in counties across Maine.

The presenting team, made up of Kate Martin, Director at Healthy Lincoln County, Kelsey Robinson, Project Assistant at MCD Public Health, Kristina Verney, Project Coordinator at Lincoln Health, Jess Breithaupt, Project Coordinator at Healthy Lincoln County and Phoebe Downer, Council Coordinator for Midcoast & Penquis Public Health District Councils, rolled out newsprint that was more than 50 feet long and graphically illustrated statistics from the 2017 Maine Integrated Health Survey.

Topics covered by the survey include sexual health, nutrition, exposure to violence, drug and alcohol use, access to health care, and mental health in Lincoln County.

Among the more surprising facts presented to the student body was the rate of gonorrhea, which has nearly doubled from 277 to 581 cases in Lincoln County in the last year, and the fact that 54% of students who have vaped recently believe their vaping device contained only flavoring, when in fact 99.6% of all vape products sold contain nicotine.

One of the goals of the presentation was to illustrate public health trends that directly impact to teens in Lincoln County. Many of these trends involve risky behavior, such as use of contraception and illegal drugs. A second goal of the presentation was to introduce the collection of more survey data. LA students are filling out another health survey to help prioritize local resources in their advisory groups this week.

Eric Duffy RN, Director of the School Based Health Center at Lincoln Academy, organized the presentation. When introducing the guest presenters he told the gathered students, “the answers you give on this survey help us take better care of you. When if comes to providing healthcare, information really matters.”

After the assembly he reflected, “we are so fortunate to have the kinds of resources we do in this community. The active engagement of LincolnHealth, Healthy Lincoln County, and the Maine CDC has been tremendously helpful to us in the School Based Health Center. They processed data from the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, collated it, and presented it in a way that was was both engaging and challenging to our students.”

Paige Camp is an LA senior who was present for the presentation on Friday. “The graphic was impressive,” she said. “Seeing the statistics about Lincoln County in that format helped put actual numbers to issues I knew were out there.”

Kate Martin, Director at Healthy Lincoln County of Healthy Lincoln County, explained the purpose of the presentation in an email. “Every three years, the Maine Center for Disease Control, LincolnHealth, and Healthy Lincoln County identify health priorities to address in the coming years. What health data tells us is an important part of the picture, but community input is also essential. Feedback on local data from community members means their opinions, expertise, and experiences can help determine health priority areas for the next three years. The presentation at Lincoln Academy was an opportunity for us to provide students with youth-specific data and get feedback on what they think are the greatest health challenges for youth in Lincoln County. We are so happy to have had the opportunity to hear their opinions, and their insights will guide our three year long, county-wide health improvement plans.”

To see the complete data presented to LA students, click here.