Medicine, Islands & Education #253

How do Mainers access medical care? This depends on many factors, including geographic location and the availability of providers. The diversity of geography—from urban settings to offshore islands—presents some interesting challenges. Today we speak with several individuals who are rising to this challenge: Scott Planting and Sharon Daley of the Maine Seacoast Mission, and Dr. Peter Bates and India Stewart of the Maine Medical Center – Tufts University School of Medicine Medical School Program.

Photo by Matt Cosby


Scott Planting

Scott Planting has been President of the Maine Sea Coast Mission since 2010. During that time, his key accomplishments include expanding EdGE, the Mission’s academic and enrichment program serving over 700 Downeast children; establishing a comprehensive family development program to support low-income Washington County families; and organizing a college support program for nearly 100 Mission scholarship recipients. Prior to the Mission, Scott was the minister for a three-church parish in West Central Maine for 35 years, overseeing a multi-person staff and coordinating a larger parish composed of churches and outreach ministries.

Sharon Daley

Sharon Daly grew up on a farm in Missouri, and after attending nursing school in St Louis, moved east. She has worked at many various nursing jobs and loved them all. They include pediatrics at Mass General and Boston Children, home health in Boston and rural Maine, rehab nursing, doctor’s office, hyperbaric chamber, and hospice nursing, before joining the Maine Sea Coast Mission to start the telemedicine and island Health Program 15 years ago. She is the director of Island Health. She lives on Islesboro Maine, is married with two grown daughters and one grandchild.

India Stewart

India Stewart is a medical student at the MaineMedical Center – Tufts University School of Medicine Medical School Program.  She is from Harmony, Maine. She graduated from the University of Maine and hopes to go into OB/GYN.

Dr. Peter Bates

Dr. Peter Bates serves as Maine Medical Center’s Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Chief Academic Officer, and Academic Dean for the MaineMedical Center – Tufts University School of Medicine Medical School Program. In his role, Dr. Bates has oversight for all academic, research, and education activities, and participates in all strategic and operational decisions and policy as a senior corporate officer of Maine Medical Center.

Dr. Bates has been affiliated with Maine Medical Center in a number of roles since moving to Maine in 1987. In addition to his work as a private practice physician and co-founder of South Portland–based Chest Medicine Associates, he has held a number of leadership positions within the hospital, including Chief of Medicine for nine years and Chief Medical Officer for eight years.

Dr. Bates is a highly respected leader, known for his caring and insight. He was instrumental in the 2008 creation of the MaineTrack medical education program, which is intended to address Maine’s physician shortage, help Maine students overcome barriers to their medical ambitions, and develop an innovative curriculum focused on rural, community-based education.