POLAND, ME | NOVEMBER 13, 2018 – Continuing its long-time support of STEM education and research at the University of Southern Maine (USM), Nestlé Waters North America, through its Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, has awarded a $25,000 “Good Neighbor Grant” to the USM Foundation. The grant will fund an upland watershed monitoring project conducted by the University’s Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) program.
“At Nestlé Waters, we are committed to the sustainability of our natural resources and the environment, both in our own operations and the communities where we live and work,” said Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager for Poland Spring. “Our ‘Good Neighbor Grants’ are awarded to projects with a focus on education, environmental conservation and other endeavors that help improve the future of Maine. We can’t think of a more appropriate recipient than USM’s Environmental Science and Policy program.”
The gift will specifically support internships and assistantships for ESP students working on the research project, located within the Tannery Brook Watershed/USM “Smart Forest” on the USM Gorham campus. The project entails building a network of environmental sensors that will be located throughout the watershed/forest. The sensors will provide researchers with better insight regarding the impacts of climate change and land use on small forests and mini-watersheds. Data collected at the site can be remotely accessed by the public, including educators, researchers, and interested “citizen scientists.”
Front Row, left to right: Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager, Poland Spring and USM alumni; Robert Sanford, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy; Ainsley Wallace, President & CEO, USM Foundation; Glenn Cummings, Ed.D., President of USM. Back Row, left to right: Josh Rowe, National Resource Supervisor, Poland Spring and USM alumni; Jeremy Qualls, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Science, Technology and Health; Joe Staples Assistant Professor of Environmental Science.
“All of the fieldwork needed to develop and maintain the environmental sensor network will be done by our ESP students,” said Robert Sanford, Ph.D., professor, and chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. “Poland Spring has stepped up as an important partner in this venture, enabling us to make paid watershed assistantships available to our students, who benefit from both financial support and valuable workforce experience.”
“USM is dedicated to working with the community to address real-world problems while imbuing our students with technical workforce skills,” said Jeremy Qualls, dean of the College of Science, Technology, and Health at USM. “Poland Spring’s gift is very impactful. It helps us get students engaged in the field and widens the pathway to STEM jobs here in Maine.”
Ainsley Wallace, president, and CEO of the USM Foundation said, “This investment by Poland Spring recognizes USM’s central role and commitment to growing Maine’s skilled and educated workforce. We are very grateful for this generous gift and the opportunities it affords our undergraduates.”
Since 2000, Poland Spring has given more than $7 million to local Maine community organizations, causes, and events through the Good Neighbor Grant program. Past grant recipients, include: The Ecology School, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Poland Spring Preservation Society, The Volunteer Lakes Monitoring Program, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham, and the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington, as well as numerous other organizations.
About Poland Spring
Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The brand, part of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis, and Kingfield. Additionally, Poland Spring maintains spring sources in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Poland Spring, Pierce Pond Township, Kingfield, Denmark, Hollis and Lincoln, Maine. Poland Spring also:
- Employs nearly 900 full-time and seasonal workers across the state, contributing nearly $49 million to the economy in annual payroll;
- Spends over $135 million directly with other Maine companies each year; and
- Invested over $7 million in community giving since 2000 to support schools, local non-profits, fire and rescue, environmental conservation, and many other local and statewide causes.
About USM ESP
The University of Southern Maine Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) is an interdisciplinary program offering a BA in Environmental Planning and Policy and a BS in Environmental Science. An accelerated program allows students in the BA program to work toward a master’s degree in Policy, Planning, and Management. For students who wish to become teachers, there is also a pathway leading to secondary science certification. The program also offers minors and/or certificates in Environmental Sustainability, Applied Energy, Environmental Science, Environmental Education, and Environmental Policy & Analysis.
About the USM Foundation
The University of Southern Maine Foundation engages with USM alumni, employer partners, and the wider community to encourage philanthropic support for the long-term benefit of the University and its students. The Foundation solicits and secures private funds for the sole benefit of the University and its mission. Acting as an independent, 501 (c)(3) corporation, the Foundation provides quality programs and services to USM alumni, donors and supporters and serves as the primary fundraising vehicle for the University of Southern Maine.
For Poland Spring:
Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager,
For USM Foundation:
Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations
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SOURCE American Sleep Apnea Association
New report describes findings from survey of 5,630 patients and testimony at day-long meeting with FDA
WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — A comprehensive report issued today by the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) details the magnitude of human suffering, barriers to diagnosis and treatment, and unmet needs described by people living with sleep apnea and family caregivers. “Raising Voices for Progress in Treatment and Care” is based on first-person accounts conveyed at the June 8, 2018 AWAKE Sleep Apnea patient-focused medical product development meeting attended by 465 people (in person and by live webcast) and a Patient & Caregiver Survey that attracted responses from 5,630 adults of all ages from around the country.
“This report, released as part of ASAA’s annual Sleeptember awareness events, is essential reading for anyone dealing with sleep apnea – diagnosed patients, symptomatic individuals and those at risk for the condition, family members, healthcare professionals, drug and device developers, researchers, and regulators. It is the most complete account of sleep apnea from a patient point-of-view in existence,” asserted Adam Amdur, ASAA’s chief patient officer. “The powerful testimonies delivered on June 8 and through the survey illustrate the good, the bad, and the ugly of the patient journey with sleep apnea; these testimonies also chart an advocacy agenda to address our community’s many and varied unmet needs.”
Key findings of the AWAKE Sleep Apnea Initiative, as detailed in the report, include:
- Patients rated fatigue (80%) and daytime sleepiness (78%) as the top two symptoms with the most severe impact. Ratings by patients adherent to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy were higher (fatigue – 81% and daytime sleepiness – 79%) than those not using CPAP (fatigue – 75% and daytime sleepiness – 75%) for these and other symptoms identified as having moderate to severe impact.
- Barriers to diagnosis include low awareness of the condition among the public and medical professionals, lack of access to specialists and sleep testing centers, misperceptions and stigma related to the condition and its treatment, burdensome testing procedures, and financial constraints. Many participants described being symptomatic for years – or decades – before getting diagnosed.
- Obstacles to effective therapy include problems associated with diagnosis as well as uncomfortable or inconvenient design of therapeutic devices, side effects and other challenges tolerating treatments, inadequate or punitive insurance coverage policies, misdiagnosis and/or other medical complications.
- CPAP was the most-cited therapy in response to the open-ended survey question, “What have you found that helps the most,” yet there were many caveats and persistence was required to determine and maintain effective machine settings, find a well-fitting mask and good seal, and to properly clean and maintain equipment. More initial instruction, ongoing support, and better customer service were sought by many CPAP-treated individuals.
With 5,630 responses, the AWAKE Sleep Apnea survey is the largest undertaken in conjunction with a patient-focused medical product development meeting conducted in collaboration with FDA. ASAA used a combination of traditional and social media channels to attract respondents to the 32-item survey; 12 partnering organizations helped extend outreach. ASAA also partnered with Evidation Health to deploy the survey within Evidation’s consumer health “Achievement” platform. Fifty-six percent (56%) the survey responses came through ASAA and partnering nonprofits and the remainder came through Evidation. In general, respondents via the Achievement platform were younger, less severely affected, less likely to have been diagnosed by a physician, and were using fewer medical treatments. Where significant differences were found between the two cohorts, they are reflected in the report.
The AWAKE Sleep Apnea education and empowerment initiative launched on April 24, 2018 in preparation for the June 8 meeting with FDA officials. It was the first campaign of its kind for sleep apnea. ASAA applied to host the meeting as part of FDA’s expanded patient engagement efforts to help regulators understand what individuals living with various conditions experience, which symptoms present the most difficulty, which treatment benefits matter most, and how they perceive potential risks and harms associated with treatment. The report and survey results will be submitted to FDA’s Patient Experience Resources archive. Additional data analyses will form the basis of manuscripts submitted to peer-reviewed publications.
Nearly 18 million Americans of all ages have sleep apnea, a disorder that causes people to stop breathing during sleep and leads to daytime sleepiness, poor productivity at work or school, and increased risk of accidents on the job and on highways, consequences described in vivid detail in the report. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 50-75 percent of adults with symptoms of sleep apnea have not discussed their concerns with a physician. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have severe health ramifications and is linked to increased rates of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and other serious conditions, as meeting and survey participants described.
Founded in 1990, the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) is a patient-led, nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of sleep health through research, advocacy, and education. To read the report, visit https://www.sleepapnea.org/awake-sleep-apnea-initiative/. For more information about Sleeptember awareness activities and other sleep health resources, visit www.sleeptember.org.