DFD Takes the Dempsey Challenge

DFD is excited to support our communities and encourage others to walk, run or bike in support of The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in this year’s Dempsey Challenge.

When and Where does this happen?

The 2017 Dempsey Challenge takes place in Lewsiton-Auburn, Maine, Octbober 7-8.

What does it benefit?

Proceeds from the challenge go to the Dempsey Center. The Dempsey Center offers a vibrant and compassionate environment where an interdisciplinary team of oncology professionals improves the healing experience for those impacted by cancer. Through customized programs The Dempsey Center provides support services that complement treatments, support caregivers, patients and their families equally Source: Demspeycenter.org

How to get involved:

Anyone can get involved and there is an event for everyone.

  • Bike – 10, 25, 70, or 100 miles
  • Two-day 140+ mile bike ride presented by L.L. Bean
  • Run or walk 5K (3.1 miles) and  10K (6.2 miles)
  • Festival in the Park – Saturday 8 am – 1 pm, Sunday 9 am – 5 pm
    • Music Festival at Festival in the Park
  • Kid’s Fun Run and Family Ride
  • Survivor Walk

You can show your love for team DFD by donating your loose change at one of our coin jars at the front desk at each DFD Health Center location or to one of our team members using this link: http://support.dempseychallenge.org/site/TR/Events/General?team_id=5757&pg=team&fr_id=1130

To learn more about The Dempsey Challenge please visit:



DFD + The Pixel Fund

DFD Russell Medical Center is partnering with The Pixel Fund to promote dogs in need of homes in Maine.

The Pixel Fund is a nonprofit established to raise needed funds to support animal rescue and advocacy groups with “paws on the ground”. The Pixel Fund works to save the lives of animals by working to reduce shelter admissions through addressing the issues that cause people to give up their pets, support low and no-cost spay and neuter clinics and encourage shelter reform. The Pixel Fund’s mission is to save lives that would otherwise be lost to the shelter system.

DFD will be featuring an adoptable pet every other week.

This week we want you to meet Makayla.

She’s a sweet 2-year-old hound mix who loves her people. She enjoys leashed walks and playing outside with other pups. If you’re ready for a sweet and cuddly best friend, Makayla is the one for you.

Not only will you be saving a dog’s life through adoption, you can also see significant health improvements in your own life!

  1. Pets keep you active. A study by the University of Victoria showed dog owners were more likely to participate in mild to moderate physical activity. They walked an average of 300 minutes per week, compared with non-dog owners, who walked an average of 168 minutes per week.
  2. Pets can reduce stress. There is a reason therapy dogs are so effective. Spending just a few minutes with a pet can lower anxiety and blood pressure, and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine.
  3. Pets add meaning and purpose. Pets help prevent loneliness and isolation which is key in preventing cognitive decline and disease. Owning a pet provides responsibility to get up every day and take care of your furry friend.


To learn more about The Pixel Fund click here: http://www.thepixelfund.org/


National Health Center Week

 This month we celebrated National Health Center Week to raise awareness of the important role health centers play in our communities.









But, why just celebrate one week? Let’s spread awareness year-round about the positive impact health centers have.

Health centers serve 23 million patients in the United States, which is about one in fifteen people who utilize health centers as their health care home. As a Patient-Centered Medical Home, DFD meets and exceeds the healthcare needs of its patients through innovative, patient–centered primary care services.

Through our system focused on care coordination, patient education, and medication management, DFD Russell has seen a:

  • 20% decrease in non-preventative medical provider visits
  • 50% decrease in patient visits to the ER
  • 38% decrease in patients requiring hospital stays









Health Centers across the United States perform just as well or better than private physicians on 94% of quality measures and save an average of $1,263 per patient per year.

DFD is the highest-ranking community health center in Maine and the nation for its commitment to quality care. Each year DFD serves more than 8,000 local patients with 25,000 encounters.
But what makes DFD different from other providers?

  • More night and weekend hours
  • More likely to accept new patients
  • Community-governed
  • More services under one roof

Health Centers make a tremendous impact in our communities. DFD alone employs 54 individuals, providing over $3,900,000 in salaries and benefits that go back into our community each year.

Together, let’s raise awareness about the positive impacts health centers have on our communities, Share with friends and family on how DFD is supporting our neighborhoods and can help support them.

DFD’s Summer Safety Guide

Tips for a fun and safe summer.

Water Safety

  • Enroll kids in swim lessons. Risk of drowning is decreased by as much as 88% when children ages 1-4 take swimming lessons.
  • Swim with a buddy. It’s a best practice for swimmers of all ages and abilities.
  • Enter the water feet first. Serious injuries can occur from diving head first into unknown water like rivers and lakes.
  • Have a phone handy. No matter where you are swimming, the ability to call 911 could be a lifesaver.
  • Learn CPR. Knowing CPR could mean the difference between life and death. Click the button below to find a class in your area today.
    Get CPR Certified

Sun Safety

  • Cover up. Dress in loose clothing and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses that block 99% of UV light.
  • Lather up. Use broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen and reapply every two hours.
  • Find a shady spot. Limit direct sun exposure between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to avoid heat exhaustion, a life-threatening condition.

Spring Clean Your Health

You’ve scrubbed the floors, put away winter clothing and now it’s time to tidy up your health! Follow our tips below to give your health a fresh spring start.

Clean your home for your health:

Go through your medicine cabinet and safely dispose* of any prescription medications that are no longer in use or past their expiration date.

Wash your linens and blankets, and wipe down all smooth surfaces like ceiling fans to eliminate dust and pollen in your home. If you use forced air heating or air conditioning now is a great time to replace your furnace filters.

Go outside:

At the gym, people typically only spend about an hour or two exercising. Find an activity you enjoy outside, such as gardening, and you’ll find you might spend a whole afternoon getting in a natural workout.

Kill kitchen bacteria:

Your kitchen sink probably contains more E. coli than your toilet, and your sponge and dishtowels are breeding grounds for salmonella. Wipe down your kitchen regularly with a trusted cleaning solution. And don’t forget to regularly wash your reusable grocery bags, too!

Make an appointment with your primary care provider:

Many adults only visit the doctor when they’re sick. Make it a point to have regular check-ups with your primary care providers. Taking preventative measures now can prevent emergencies from happening later.


*Expired and unwanted medication is a significant public safety and health hazard. Androscoggin county hosts a drug take-back program every spring and fall. Visit healthyandroscoggin.org or call to talk to a DFD Community Health and Outreach Worker for more information.

DFD Raising Awareness: Colorectal Cancer

Did you know that 1 in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths, but if caught early it’s treatable and can even be curable. Some symptoms of colorectal cancer can include:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one
  • Rectal bleeding and blood in the stool, which may make the stool look dark
  • Cramping or abdominal pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

These symptoms could be caused by something other than colorectal cancer, but if you’re experiencing any or all of these, talk to your doctor.

Regular screening saves lives. DFD offers InSure FIT testing. A non-invasive test completed in the privacy of your own home to catch colorectal cancer quickly.

Nearly 75% of all colon cancer cases could be prevented with healthy lifestyles. Lower your risk by following the tips below:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise daily
  • Reduce consumption of red and processed meat
  • Get enough calcium and Vitamin D

Responsible Prescribing

DFD is working to keep our community safe.

DFD has been diligently managing the opioid crisis, leading the medical community in responsible prescribing. By taking proactive steps we are able to achieve goals of ensuring responsible, safe, and effective prescribing of powerful pain medications (when truly necessary and if other measures fail). We want to keep our community safe, while at the same time treating patients in need of pain management with comprehensive measures to help improve their function and quality of life.

Steps we have taken include:

  • Additional training in pain management strategies
  • Expansion of behavioral health-oriented pain management techniques
  • Stronger relationships with physical therapy partners
  • Enhanced risk-oriented monitoring programs

There is always room for growth and improvement, but with these changes, we continue to lead the medical community in responsible prescribing.

Put a Little Love into Your Heart Health

February is heart month, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be raising awareness all the time about heart health. Did you know?

Heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States each year.

Heart disease is more deadly than all cancers combined.

45% of heart attack victims are under the age of 45.

1 in 5 Americans will develop heart failure.

Each year, an estimated 785,000 Americans will have their first heart attack.

DFD is committed to stopping heart disease before it starts. By emphasizing preventative care, we’re here every step of the way to get your heart happy and healthy. Below are steps you can take every day to lower your risk for heart disease:

  • Know and control your numbers: blood pressure (BP), cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI).
  • Quit smoking: quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. DFD offers a smoking cessation program to provide support and resources to help you kick the habit for good.
  • Get active: just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
  • Manage stress: take 15-30 minutes of personal time each day. Understand stress triggers, and learn how to respond at home and at work.
  • Choose good nutrition: a healthy diet is one of the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Your diet should emphasize fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and should limit sugar and salt.

By taking these steps each day, we can change the stats of heart disease.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Join us in learning new ways to save money and eat healthy!

Starting Wednesday, March 8, we’ll be hosting educational classes where you can try and prepare new tasty recipes, take home prizes, and learn useful new information. 

The class is open to all DFD Russell Medical Center patients and families and will be held on the second Wednesday of each month from 4 pm – 5 pm. Classes will be located in the conference room in the basement of the Leeds DFD Russell Medical Center at 180 Church Hill Road, Leeds, ME. 

To learn more about SNAP-ED click here: https://www.mainesnap-ed.org/