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

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.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

The fate of a Lewiston dentist accused of putting the health and safety of his patients in jeopardy likely won’t be known for several months.

Maine Medical Center in Portland has earned state approval to expand and renovate.

The $512 million project will add nearly 130 single-patient rooms and about 20 modern procedure rooms. The hospital also plans to move its main entrance and build a new parking garage for employees.

Maine Medical Center president Richard Petersen said in a written statement that the hospital needs to expand and modernize to provide the best possible care for its patients.

Hospital officials hope to break ground next March and expect construction will take four years.

Darron Cummings / Associated Press/file

A major insurance company has announced that it's pulling out of Maine’s individual health insurance exchange for 2018.

Maine is seeing a significant increase in sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Maine CDC epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett says that follows a national trend.

“So far this year we’ve had 55 cases of syphilis. At this same time last year, there were only 22,” she says. “We’re also seeing very large increases in the number of gonorrhea cases. So far this year, we’ve received reports of 400 cases of gonorrhea.”

Vice President Mike Pence spoke to radio station WGAN in Portland this morning about Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ decision to vote against the latest GOP attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“We’re certainly disappointed that Sen. Collins has chosen to vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill,” he said. “We think this is the best opportunity that we’ve had to give the people of Maine, the people of America, a fresh start on the failing policies of Obamacare.”

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced Monday she’s opposed to both versions of the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.