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

Patty Wight / Maine Public

While hundreds of thousands in southern Maine lost power due to Sunday night’s storm, the state’s largest hospital was still up and running — but Maine Medical Center isn’t completely immune from power outages.

At any given time, Maine Medical Center cares for hundreds of patients. From moms giving birth to patients who need surgery and those with emergency health problems.

“Today, for instance, we have about 500 patients that are in the hospital, right now,” says spokeswoman Caroline Cornish.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Next month, voters will decide whether the state should expand Medicaid. At stake is health coverage for an estimated 70,000 Mainers as well as financial stability for hospitals.

Gregory Rec / Portland Press Herald/pool

The former state prosecutor who won a murder conviction against Anthony Sanborn 25 years ago was in court Friday to defend her work. Former Assistant Attorney General Pam Ames denied wrongdoing in the decades-old case that is now the subject of a hearing that could set Sanborn free.

Scarborough town manager Tom Hall has the ideal location in mind for Amazon’s second headquarters: the former Scarborough Downs racetrack.

Hall says the site, which includes about 300 acres of land to develop on, may have an edge over other proposals.

“Our angle, which may or may not be unique, among the hundreds, if not thousands of applications they receive, is that we have kind of a blank canvas, in many respects. And build to suit, if you will, instead of retrofit,” he says.

Obesity rates in the US and Maine appear to be leveling off, according to new data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control. But health experts say the numbers are still too high.

Insurers and consumer advocates in Maine are denouncing President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will stop payments to insurance companies that help low-income enrollees buy health coverage.

Though Maine consumers who purchase coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplace likely won’t feel any immediate effects, opponents of the action say it’s an attempt to sabotage the ACA.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Democratic state senator and former Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion is throwing his hat in the ring for the governor’s race.

At a press conference at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland on Thursday, he said Maine needs a governor who will lead through teamwork and persuasion, instead of provocation.

“Mine will be an administration that you can actually talk to. Will listen first and speak last. Will be an administration that will know priorities,” he said.

The Maine Medical Association and the Maine Primary Care Association are urging voters to support a ballot initiative on next month’s statewide ballot to expand Medicaid.

Their announcement at a press conference in Portland Wednesday follows an endorsement earlier this month by the Maine Hospital Association. But the medical community’s support is not swaying Gov. Paul LePage, who dedicated his weekly radio address to oppose Question 2.

Gregory Rec / Pool photo

A man who has spent nearly 30 years in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit was in Cumberland County Court Tuesday for a hearing to determine whether he can go free.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

When a child enters the foster care system in Maine, the goal is to reunite them with their parents — but less than half of the kids ever are.

More than 150 small-business owners in Maine are endorsing a ballot question to expand Medicaid. At a press conference in Portland on Tuesday, members of the Maine Small Business Coalition made the economic case for extending health care coverage to about 70,000 people.

When Portland-based developer Tim Soley looks at Medicaid expansion through a business lens, he sees the federal money that would flow into the state. Under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. government covers about 90 percent of the cost to expand Medicaid.

More than 150 small businesses that are part of the Maine Small Business Coalition are officially backing the state ballot question to expand Medicaid. 

At a press conference in Portland Tuesday, local developer Tim Soley said he supports extending health coverage to more people, for both moral and economic reasons.  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine released a report Tuesday that finds students of color experience widespread harassment in schools.  

The ACLU's senior researcher, Emma Findlen LeBlanc, says the results are based on more than 115 interviews with students, parents, and educators at schools across the state. 

"What we found was that students were facing more pervasive and persistent every day discrimination than I think even their families and their teachers fully understood," she says.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

A retired biologist living in Maine was awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology on Monday.

Dr. Jeffrey Hall is among three American scientists who won the prize for their discoveries about the body’s internal clock. He and his fellow laureates’ work launched new areas of research and reveal how important sleep is to overall well-being.

Scientists have known about the circadian rhythms that regulate the daily life of living creatures for centuries. But until Hall and two other scientists conducted their research on the matter, no one understood how those rhythms worked.

In response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas that has sent hundreds to Nevada hospitals, Maine Medical Center issued a written statement Monday saying its thoughts are with all those affected by the tragedy.

Hopsital officials say no health care facility can fully prepare for an event like what happened in Las Vegas, but that Maine Medical Center’s staff train regularly for mass-casualty incidents, which includes coordinating with other agencies and providers.

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