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 / MPBN

Seeing the doctor is now only a few clicks away, thanks to new apps that allow you to do virtual visits on your computer, smartphone or tablet. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced today that it's covering video visits for most of its Maine members when they use the Internet tool LiveHealth Online. Many see the development as a major step forward in convenience and access to health care.

Patty Wight / MPBN

Cancer treatment has traditionally involved intravenous chemotherapy. But that's starting to change. Research has shown that chemotherapy pills can be more effective. The problem is that chemo pills can cost thousands of dollars per prescription, which puts them out of reach for some patients. But a new law in Maine will soon change that.

Donna Brookings has fought cancer twice. The first time was in 2005. It was breast cancer, and once a week she would go to the hospital and sit in a chair for 3-4 hours while intravenous chemotherapy pumped into her veins.

A group of residents of Owls Head will continue to have access to a beach following a Superior Court decision this week. A New York couple who owns a house in Owls Head had filed suit against the town and their neighbors to try to limit access to what they believed was their own private property.

Patty Wight / MPBN

Going to the doctor is not typically at the top of anyone's want-to-do-list, especially for teenagers, who are considered an underserved population in health care. But adolescence is considered a critical time for physicians to connect with young patients as they confront risky behaviors. To build stronger relationships with teens, medical students are increasingly training with simulated, or so-called "standardized patients" for practice.

Third-year medical student Allie Tetreault opens the door to an exam room at Maine Medical Center and greets her 16-year-old patient.

Patty Wight / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine — The list of ingredients in cosmetics, lotions and soft vinyl plastics could soon have a new addition. The Department of Environmental Protection today took up a proposal to require manufacturers to report use of phthalates. Phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that can cause developmental and reproductive problems. More than 2,000 concerned Mainers say it's time consumers know what's in the products they're buying.

Mal Leary / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage says in the wake of a recent failed bid to qualify for federal certification, Riverview Psychiatric Center here should consider operating without it. Riverview lost its certification last September due to safety issues, and along with it about $14 million in federal funding, according to state estimates. The hospital has been working to improve ever since, but problems persist.

Patty Wight

President Obama recently thrust a Maine businessman into the social media spotlight. The president used Facebook and Twitter to link to an online video of Auburn businessman Jim Wellehan supporting a hike in the federal minimum wage. Wellehan has gained recognition for the way he treats his own employees at Lamey-Wellehan Shoes.

Patty Wight

Sometime next month, Portland Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld plans to move to Israel. The region has seen a surge in violence since the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens in June and the subsequent killing of a Palestinian teenager.

Patty wi

Arsons accounted for more than 150 fires last year in Maine. They killed three people, injured more than a dozen and caused more than $4 million worth of property damage. The state Fire Marshal's Office investigates thousands of fires a year to determine which are crimes, and increasingly relies on arson dogs to help with the investigations.

Oxford County sheriff's deputies say they are among the lowest paid in the state. With a starting salary just under $15 an hour, they want a $3 an hour pay raise. The group has been working without a contract for two years and will picket in front of the South Paris courthouse tomorrow morning to draw attention to their situation.

Patty Wight

The popular TV singing contest program "American Idol" sent its scouts to the Maine State Pier in Portland today, where would-be stars braved the blazing sun and long lines for a chance to compete.

Patty Wight

When Somali immigrants come to the U.S., they often leave many family members behind. Many Somali immigrants serve as a lifeline for these family members, sending more than $200 million back home every year, according to OxFam America.

Tom Porter

The Portland City Council tonight is expected to repeal an ordinance that allows for a protest-free buffer zone around a downtown health clinic that provides abortions.

Patty Wight

Finding meaningful work can be tough in today's job market. And finding it as a refugee with language and cultural barriers is even tougher. One Maine program is working to connect refugees to work that they already know: farming. And one farm in Lisbon has proved to be crucial training ground to help refugees become self-sufficient.

Martin LaBar

Bee-lovers who ply nurseries for welcoming plants may be bringing home more than just beautiful blossoms: A new study finds that as many as half of garden plants sold at top retailers contain neonicotinoid pesticides. "Neonics," as they're referred to, have been linked to recent declines in the honey bee population. 

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