News Feature

Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, November 29, 2012 and The Weekly Packet, November 29, 2012
Healthy Peninsula restructures
Director steps down

by Jessica Brophy

Amy Vaughn has resigned as director of Healthy Peninsula effective November 2. Vaughn, who held the position with HP since 2009, accepted a position as pastor of the Deer Isle/Sunset Congregational Church in Deer Isle.

Denise Black, community health coordinator, will direct and organize Healthy Peninsula’s projects with the assistance of a “working” advisory board and community volunteers, according to a press release. There are no plans to hire a new director.

Bery Kornreich, president of the Healthy Peninsula Advisory Board, said the working board comprises individuals with a wealth of knowledge and experience. There are retired and practicing health professionals, including a radiologist, nurse practitioner, home health specialist and a social worker, as well as a retired businessman.

“These are not summer people, they’re not people who were appointed to the board because they are wealthy,” said Kornreich. “These are people with wisdom and energy who have a willingness to work.”

Healthy Peninsula will have to be more selective with projects and grant applications moving forward, said Kornreich, without a director’s full-time support. “We will have to be choosy,” said Kornreich.

However, there are some new projects on the horizon, said Kornreich. In 2013, Healthy Peninsula will collaborate with Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems and other regional and local organizations to address “Healthy Aging” and concerns of older residents on the Blue Hill Peninsula.

Vaughn directed Healthy Peninsula for more than three years, and in 2011 presided over the transition of Healthy Peninsula from a state-funded Healthy Maine Partnership grantee to a community-based, grassroots, public health organization under the fiscal sponsorship of Child and Family Opportunities in Ellsworth.

“I had a wonderful experience working with Healthy Peninsula and am grateful for my time with the organization,” said Vaughn. Healthy Peninsula’s model for engaging the community in collective efforts to improve health and wellbeing is a model that works. You will continue to see excellent work and great results from Healthy Peninsula.”

Over the past 18 months, Healthy Peninsula launched the Ready by 21 program in Deer Isle, Stonington, and Sedgwick to create a cradle-to-career pipeline of supports for children and youth. Healthy Peninsula is no longer financially responsible for Ready by 21, said Kornreich, though he said he expects some project overlap in the future.

Kornreich said Healthy Peninsula has incubated and launched other programs that are now on their own, such as greenhouses in area schools and early work on what is now Friendship Cottage, an adult daycare facility. “We often get projects running and then turn them over to others,” said Kornreich.

Other collective projects managed by Healthy Peninsula include the peninsula-wide Early Childhood Workgroup and the annual Castine Conference on Early Childhood issues. The Good Food Project and Magic Food Bus have also been two of Healthy Peninsula’s successful projects for several years.

Kornreich said Vaughn offered “exemplary service.”

“We could not have found a more dedicated, competent, and inspiring executive director than Amy Vaughn,” he said.

For more information about Healthy Peninsula, visit