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Annual Leadership Award

2006 Recipient

Ann C. Gahagan

Family Nurse Practitioner and diabetes specialist Ann C. Gahagan of Caribou is the 2006 recipient of the Hanley Leadership Award.

The 4th Annual Hanley Leadership Award was presented to Gahagan at the Hanley Center for Health Leadership Award Luncheon on Friday, October 13 at Bowdoin College. Former Maine U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell keynoted the luncheon.

Gahagan, who practices at Cary Medical Center’s Pines Health Center, has devoted much of her 35-year career to improving diabetes care. She has received national recognition for her leadership in developing innovative and effective treatment, care management and patient education programs that have made a real difference in improving the lives of diabetes patients in her community and beyond.

The Hanley Leadership Award is named for the late Daniel Hanley, M.D., a highly respected physician leader who earned an international reputation for his courage, innovation and collaboration. Dr. Hanley headed the Maine Medical Association for 24 years, was the physician at Bowdoin College for more than three decades and was physician to the U.S. Olympic Committee. Hanley founded the Maine Medical Assessment Foundation and was a pioneer in the use of data to improve the quality of medical care and outcomes. In the late 1980s he worked closely with Senator Mitchell on legislation that established the federal Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Hanley Center for Health Leadership was established in 2002 to carry on Dr. Hanley’s legacy of leadership.

Gahagan developed an interest in diabetes early in a healthcare career that began in 1972. As a result of her leadership and innovation, Cary Medical Center in Caribou became a national model of disease management for patients with diabetes well ahead of the national focus on this growing disease. Cary’s diabetes program subsequently was named as one of the top four programs in the nation by the American Public Health Association. Gahagan’s efforts to formalize protocols for the care of people with diabetes, including routine blood tests, foot care and eye exams have helped to establish practice guidelines that have greatly improved the lives of hundreds of the region’s diabetes patients.

Gahagan also is founder and director of Camp Adventure, an innovative diabetes education camp that makes it possible for teenagers with Type I Diabetes to live in the wilderness while they learn the lifelong skills necessary to successfully live with diabetes. Young people from throughout Maine have attended the camp since its founding in 1996. “In founding Camp Adventure, Ann saw a need, had an idea and has collaborated with staff, physicians and other healthcare professionals, local supporters, and parents to make this camp a reality, explains Cary Medical Center CEO Kris Doody-Chabre.

In recognition of her leadership, Gahagan was named as the Maine Federation, Business & Professional Women’s “Woman of the Year” in 2005.

While raising a family of three daughters and working as a licensed practical nurse at Cary Medical Center, Gahagan pursued certification as a registered nurse. She later earned an undergraduate degree in Nursing in 1998 and a Master of Science degree in Nursing and designation as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2004.

Previous winners of the Hanley Leadership Award include Stephen Shannon, D.O., (then) Dean of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (2003); nationally known medical researcher John Wennberg, M..D. of Dartmouth (2004); and Franklin County clinicians Sandra Record, R.N. and Burgess Record, M..D.

Stephen Shannon, D.O. (2003)

John Wennberg, M.D. (2004)

Sandra Record, R.N. & Burgess Record, M.D. (2005)