Educational Programs

Islanders and their friends are naturally curious with questions from personal health to a range of global issues. The Peaks Island Health Center offers community education programming on topics of both broad and specific health-related interest for individuals, their neighbors and family members. Often in collaboration with other organizations, these events can be lectures, informal talks or hand's-on opportunities such as blood pressure readings and hula hooping at PeaksFest. Past subjects have included the Vial for Life program, organ donation, end of life considerations and Alzheimer's Disease.


Tired of Counting Sheep?
Let’s Talk About Sleep in Health and Disease

DATE: SATURDAY, July 23, 2022
TIME: 10:00–11:30 a.m.
PLACE: New Brackett Church, 9 Church Street

Our summer community discussion series continues with a look at normal sleep, insomnia and warning signs of common sleep disorders,and how sleep quality and duration is powerfully impacted by age, health and gender from Dr. Geoff Phillips McEnany, Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. Bring your questions and learn strategies to enhance sleep and reduce the health risks associated with sleep deprivation.

Can't attend in person? To register for Zoom, go to

Past Educational Events

A community discussion:

Medical Marijuana

DATE: WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019
TIME: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
PLACE: Peaks Island Community Room

The Peaks Island Health Center and the Peak Island Library Friends are jointly sponsoring this program designed to bring you up to speed on medical marijuana in Maine. Catherine Lewis, president of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, will share important information about the medical, legal, and logistical issues surrounding medical marijuana.

Jason Adour, Safe Landing Instructor
Jason Adour, Safe Landing Instructor

A community discussion:

A Matter of Balance: Safe Landing Strategies and How to Soften a Fall

DATE: RESCHEDULED to Wednesday, April 17, 2019
TIME: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
PLACE: Peaks Island Community Room

Ever find yourself “off-balance” and wonder how to fall safely? Falling happens at all ages and can happen anywhere—we all take a tumble at some point. The Peaks Island Health Center and the Peak Island Library Friends are jointly sponsoring this program designed to help you feel confident and minimize possible injury.

Jason Adour, a physical therapist at the Maine Strong Balance Center in Scarborough, will discuss the anatomy and physiology of balance, provide tips to reduce your fall risk, and demonstrate how to fall safely. Jason’s professional experience includes geriatric medicine, sports medicine, and neurological rehabilitation after strokes or brain injuries—which all include a focus on balance.

A community discussion:

Home Improvements for Safety and Comfort

DATE: THURSDAY, September 21, 2017
TIME: 7:00pm
PLACE: Brackett Church

Creating a safe and efficient environment now can give you the peace of mind to live confidently and comfortably in your home as you progress in years. Guest speaker Tim St. Hilaire is certified by the National Association of Home Builders as an Aging-in-Place specialist. He has been sharing his expertise with Portland-area neighborhoods that are developing village-type networks to support older adults who wish to live in the residence of their choice for as long as they are able. In this program, the second in a continuing series exploring Aging on Peaks, Tim will discuss technological solutions and resources available to seniors, offer low-cost strategies that are simple and effective, and provide practical tips that any homeowner can implement. Presented by the Aging on Peaks steering committee in cooperation with the PIHC.

A community discussion:

The Best Retirement Home... Is Home.

DATE: THURSDAY, June 22, 2017
TIME: 6:30pm - 7:30pm

As Baby Boomers continue to reach the ranks of the elderly, the Aging in Place movement is growing. From Blue Hill, ME, to San Diego, across the United States communities are being formed to set the scene for those who live long, to live at home.

Relationships are key to independence in later life. An innovative way of aging in place is the Village model. The concept is to enable people to age in place as well as they can, for as long as they can, for as little as they can. A Village is a group of like-minded people in a geographic area who come together to figure out and develop the resources they will need to age comfortably in their own homes.

Join the board of directors of the Peaks Island Health Center for an illustrated talk by Len Freeman, a Mainer who directs his energies toward the development of Portland Area Villages. Chair of the Backcove Neighborhood Association, he has organized workshops for the University of Southern Maine's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute using the Village model for aging in place.

A community discussion:

Tick Talk

DATE: THURSDAY, June 8, 2017
TIME: 7:00pm - 8:00pm

TICK SURVEY REPORT: Maine islands have an exceptionally high incidence of Lyme disease. Carried by the deer tick, Lyme in our area is on the rise. Reported cases skyrocketed in 2016. This year’s count is expected to top last year’s as the winter’s snow insulated and protected the dormant ticks.

A field biologist with the Maine Medical Center Research Institute’s “tick lab,” Chuck Lubelczyk investigates the spread of disease-carrying ticks and mosquitoes in Maine and the disease agents they carry. The lab also develops new strategies for tick control.

In a timely and penetrating presentation, Chuck will report on the 2016 Maine islands tick survey. A focus of his program is prevention, including such measures as spraying property while considering the environment, wearing protective clothing and being aware of the tick habitat. Learn about the ecology of the deer tick and the special problems related to ticks on Maine islands. Find out what you can do to reduce your exposure to vector-borne disease, as well as that of your family and pets.

This lecture is co-sponsored by PIHC and PEAT

A community discussion of:

When Breath Becomes Air

TIME: 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Join us for a discussion of Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s best-selling memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, Thursday, March 9, 2017, 7-8 PM in the Community Room. The discussion will be led by summer residents Joy Mills and Buck Benedict. Everyone is welcome.

Why read and discuss this book? Perhaps Kalanthi’s wife answers this question best. “Paul wanted to help people understand death and face their mortality.” She goes on to quote an e-mail he wrote to a friend explaining that he wanted to help readers get into his shoes, walk a bit, and say, “so that’s what it looks like from here….”

Through his example, Dr. Kalanithi shows how to live fully into dying and how to interact with physicians and caregivers to make sure we get what we need to accomplish our goals.

Joy Mills is a retired Episcopal Priest and pastoral psychotherapist. Buck Benedict teaches public speaking at the University of Pennsylvania. Copies of the book are available at the library. We look forward to seeing you, Thursday, March 9 at 7 PM.

The discussion is jointly-sponsored by the Library, the Peaks Island Health Center, and the Peaks Island Cancer Support Group

Peaks Island Health Center and Peaks Island Branch Library present a screening and discussion of:

Consider the Conversation - A documentary on a taboo subject

TIME: 7:00 pm

Motivated by their personal experiences with loss, two long-time friends—one a hospice worker and the other a State Teacher of the Year—present a powerful and inspiring film on the American struggle with communication and preparation at the end-of-life. Consider the Conversation examines multiple perspectives on end-of-life care and includes interviews with patients, family members, doctors, nurses, clergy, social workers, and national experts from across the country.

The film runs 60 minutes.

Discussion will be moderated by the Rev. Larry Greer and Carol Schoneberg from Hospice of Southern Maine.

The Health Center and the Library have had a series of well-attended programs on end-of-life concerns, most recently the discussion of Being Mortal by Atwal Gwandi. The next planned program is a discussion of When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, which will be moderated by summer residents the Rev. Joy Mills and Buck Benedict on March 9, 2017. Everyone is welcome to attend these FREE programs.