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EMHS Employees Summon the Halloween Spirit

A minion in Accounting, scarecrow in Payroll, a pirate in Communications! Was that Batman at the water cooler?

On Friday, October 28 the typically mild-mannered EMHS fourth floor Cianchette building employees had some fun celebrating Halloween with a costumes and (of course) candy. Employees took a moment out of their busy Friday afternoon to snap a quick photo which was sent out to the entire floor to choose the winner of best costume. Congratulations to Jo-ann Morin, accountant, for winning first prize for her minion costume! 


Pictured from left to right. Back row: Chris Ogonowsky, Brenda Volz, Debbie Boss, Glory Pike, Nicole Manchester, Andrea Wellman, Courtney Corriveau, Shane Perry, Karen Cashman. Front: Lawrence Whittemore, Jo-ann Morin, Matt Alaimo, Beth Flanders, Sandy York, Samantha Haynes, Odette Holland. Not Pictured: Kimberly Dubois (helping a customer on the phone) in her outstanding beekeeper costume.
 
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The 12 days are back!

We knew it was going to happen—Snow. It seems like we just put the lawn mower away and already signs of winter and the holidays are upon us. The holidays are a season of goodwill and showing others a little extra kindness and gratitude. What better time to review the EMHS Values and Wicked Good Behaviors than during the holidays?

Mainers know when something is really, really good that we like to say it’s, "wicked good." Wicked Good Behaviors are actions employees can take that help us live the EMHS Values in our work life. Our values—passion, integrity, partnership, accountability, innovation, and respect—are at the heart of our work.

November 28 through December 16, the EMHS values team is presenting the 12 Days of Wicked Good Behaviors. Look for posters, emails, and daily intranet updates that represent 12 Wicked Good behaviors from the six EMHS values. As in years past, we are encouraging employees to submit real examples of Wicked Good Behaviors being used by coworkers to be shared with the organization. It is our opportunity, this season, to showcase the wonderful employees of EMHS and celebrate our values.
 
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Do Something Nice

On October 5, EMHS participated in the Employer of Choice’s first annual national, “Do Something Nice” day. When the Employer of Choice Team saw the opportunity to start a tradition, what better way than to start a “Do Something Nice” day right here at EMHS.

The day began with several leaders welcoming employees in the lobby upon their arrival with stress relief items such as Play-Doh, Silly Putty, and smiley face stress balls. Employees were asked to think of something nice that they have done or something that someone has done for them and send that in an email to the Employer of Choice Team for a prize drawing. The response was nothing short of amazing. Responses come from EMHS employees across the state and even those who were out of state on vacation.

During lunch hours, employees found leaders in the canteen handing out popcorn and offering the opportunity to work on a craft project with members of the Employer of Choice Team. “Greeting fellow employees in the Canteen to share bags of popcorn—along with smiles and encouragement reminded me that people truly are our most precious resource,” said Maria Kolenda, director of Organizational Effectiveness. "It’s always great to take a little time out to acknowledge and support one another."

At the end of the day, leaders and Employer of Choice Team members handed out mints and gum thanking employees for their hard work. We cannot thank leaders enough for their participation in this wonderful day. We received great feedback from employees and look forward to many more events in the future.

The winner of our drawing was a submission sent in by Angela Rogerson from Talent Acquisition who recognized Bonnie Staples for her hard work and dedication to the employees of the home office. “She is nice, but she also did a very nice thing," said Angela. "Bonnie cleaned up our kitchen after someone made coffee and left the room resulting in the pot overflowing all over the floor. She cleaned the kitchen, sopped up all the coffee, and insisted on no extra help. That’s worthy of a ‘nice thing’, I think! Not only did she do something nice for one person, but an entire floor!”

The Employer of Choice Team plans on making “Do Something Nice” day an annual tradition for EMHS.

For more information, or inquire about joining the Employer of Choice Team, contact Employeechoiceserveteam@emhs.org.

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Ask Yourself, “Is It Really Worth It?”

We have a safety issue at our Wilson Street location in Brewer that we need to draw your attention to. It’s called “lot cutting” and it is dangerous! We have likely all seen someone do it—zip through a parking lot, private property, to avoid a traffic light. Sure it may save 30 seconds or so but you are putting yourself and others at risk.
 
EMHS employees such as Beacon Health and clients of Results Physical Therapy are concerned about cars cutting through their parking lot to avoid the red light on Wilson Street and Dirigo drive. It happens frequently just before 8 am and again around 4:30 pm. While this move may seem harmless, the potential to harm your co-workers or a member of our community is real.
 
We’ve asked anyone who witness this behavior to jot down the license plate number. We’ve also asked Brewer Police to increase their presence in the area during those times. Please be safe and please obey all traffic laws – your coworkers are depending on you!

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Employees of Beacon Health out for an afternoon walk in the Wilson Street building parking lot.
 
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Thanksgiving Safety

Ah, Thanksgiving—turkey and stuffing, the house filled with the smell of pumpkin pie, studying the Black Friday flyers, and our eccentric relatives all talking over each other in the living room—it’s a great time of year. Safe travel and safe cooking will ensure a Thanksgiving that's memorable for all the right reasons.

As we approach this holiday, here are a few tips brought to you by Maine Emergency Management Agency.

Safe Travels
  • Be well rested
  • Avoid drinking and driving
  • Expect some delays during the weekend
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter weather with winter tread tires, updated windshield wipers, and make sure that the heater, defroster, lighting and battery are in good working order
  • Equip your vehicle with a blanket, shovel, booster cables, flares, and a bucket of sand or salt for winter emergencies (See our article about an emergency kit for your vehicle)
Safe Cooking

Cooking fires nearly double on Thanksgiving Day and according to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food—If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove
  • If you are simmering, baking, boiling, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking
  • Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of three feet around the stove
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat
While family is around, it's also a great idea to gather everyone's phone numbers and e-mail addresses—the first steps to a family communications plan. Stay safe and enjoy your time with family and friends!
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Make your own car winter survival kit

Now more than ever, EMHS Home Office employees are located from one end of the state to the other, but we all share the same struggles to drive our Maine roads in winter weather. Before we become buried in too much snow, now is a great time to think about a winter survival kit for your vehicle.
The Maine Department of Transportation recommends these items for your car as you prepare for winter:
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and broom
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • Tire chains or traction mats
  • Healthy snacks and water
  • First aid kit—here's what the American Red Cross recommends
  • Blankets
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Basic tool kit
  • Good spare tire and jack
  • Flares or reflectors
  • Battery jumper cables
  • Brightly colored cloth for emergency flagging
  • Cell phone and emergency phone numbers—program those numbers into your phone in advance
  • Extra boots, gloves, socks, and warm hat rain or waterproof gear
  • Sand or kitty litter to help with traction if you are stuck
  • Salt to help melt ice
  • Map to help direct rescuers to your location
 
If possible, make it a family affair and get kids or grandkids involved. This could be great opportunity to teach young ones about emergency preparedness. Taking a little extra time now could mean turning a bad situation into a better outcome for all.