Patty Wight

News Producer

Patty is a graduate of the University of Vermont and a multiple award-winning reporter for Maine Public Radio. Her specialty is health coverage: from policy stories to patient stories, physical health to mental health and anything in between. Patty joined Maine Public Radio in 2012 after producing stories as a freelancer for NPR programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She got hooked on radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and hasn’t looked back ever since.

Ways to Connect

After the death last week of the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan declared that the ACA was the law of the land for the foreseeable future. But that future is murky, with more reform attempts expected.

You never know if or when love might strike. As Americans’ life expectancy grows, there’s more time — and potentially more opportunities — to find a romantic partner.

The lack of support for the GOP health care bill has Maine consumer advocacy groups and health care providers breathing sighs of relief — for now.

Consumer and provider groups across the U.S., including many in Maine, opposed the Republican bill.

“I’m feeling relief for all of the people who would have lost their health insurance coverage if this bill had moved forward,” says Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is urging local sheriffs and chiefs of police to resist pressure from the Trump administration to participate in immigration enforcement. And the ACLU is warning law enforcement that if they do participate, they’ll face legal liability.

Under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump, local towns and cities are expected to provide direct support to U.S. immigration policy. If they don’t, the order threatens to strip them of federal grant funding.

LEWISTON, Maine - The Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen, an organization dedicated to combating breast cancer, is closing after 20 years. 

Former director Victoria Abbott says declining participation in Komen's largest fundraisers - its races - forced the branch in Bangor to close.

"This year we had 1,700 participants, which was down 1,100 from last year - it was 2,800," Abbott says. "And then we were down about a thousand from the year before."

Abbott says the Bangor branch will close at the end of the month.  

PORTLAND, Maine - A coalition of Maine individuals and organizations Wednesday launched a "Together for Medicaid" campaign to urge Congress to vote against the American Health Care Act. 

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree spoke on the U.S. House floor Wednesday in opposition to the Republican replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act. 

Pingree shared the story of Maine resident Ed Saxby, who has stage 4 cancer, and says he won't be able to afford health insurance without the ACA's tax credits. 

Patty Wight / Maine Public

This week, an Islamic women’s activist and global advocate for women’s equality is bringing her message to Maine. Zainah Anwar of Malaysia is meeting with students at several schools over the next few days and capping off her visit to the state with a public lecture Thursday evening at the University of Southern Maine.

Tuesday morning, she spoke to students at Deering High School in Portland, where several Muslim female students also shared their experiences.

Maine Public/file

David Rockefeller — banker, philanthropist and summer resident of Seal Harbor on Mount Desert Island — died Monday, just a few months shy of his 102nd birthday.

To mark his 100th birthday in 2015, Rockefeller donated 1,000 acres of land adjacent to Acadia. At the time, Rockefeller said he was compelled by his personal connection to Mount Desert.

“I realized that Seal Harbor, maybe more than any other location that I can think of in the world, has been important to me since I first came here when I was three months old, in my parent’s hands,” he said.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine - Nearly 400 people packed a health care town hall Sunday in Portland, convened by Maine 1st District U.S. House Rep. Chellie Pingree, to weigh in on the GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

Patty Wight / Maine Public

When faced with a terminal illness, some people might choose to fight it. But increasingly, doctors and patients are taking a different tack: Instead of creating a battle plan that focuses on the illness, they create an approach that emphasizes patient goals.

A Lewiston dentist whose license was suspended due to multiple complaints could resume practice this week. A disciplinary hearing has been postponed till after the suspension expires.

Dr. Jan Kippax received an emergency license suspension in February after
the Maine Board of Dental Practice received complaints that Kippax allegedly extracted the wrong teeth, continued with painful procedures despite distress from patients, and physically restrained patients against their will.

LEWISTON, Maine - A Congressional Budget Office report released Monday confirms Emily Brostek's concerns that the Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act will leave Mainers worse off.  Brostek is executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care. 

Courtesy MDI Biological Laboratory

Some animals have the ability to regenerate lost limbs. For humans, regeneration has been limited to the liver and skin. Researchers at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory say the ability to re-grow other human tissue – like the heart – may be more possible than you think especially with their latest discovery.

A medical tourism facility project in Auburn is at a standstill. The plan to build a 5-star medical recovery center was unveiled two years ago by a Chinese investment company. But the company is waiting for approval from the federal government.

The medical tourism facility - which would cater to wealthy Chinese tourists – was originally scheduled to open this year. But Ericka Dodge, spokeswoman for Central Maine Medical Center, says hospital officials have not been in touch with the Chinese company behind the project – Miracle Enterprise – for some time.