Welcome to Smart Approaches to Public Health

Scott Gagnon

Scott Gagnon

Welcome to my new blog at the Bangor Daily News.  The purpose of this blog will be to share stories, research, and perspectives on matters of public health and public health policy in Maine.  My background is that I have worked in the field of substance abuse prevention for a decade.  I started my career as a prevention specialist at Day One and I am currently employed as the Manager of Substance Abuse and Tobacco Prevention services at Healthy Androscoggin.  On top of that I serve as the President of the Maine Council on Problem Gambling and as the volunteer Director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Maine (aka SAM Maine).  I also head up a project here at Healthy Androscoggin called VetCorps, where we work to increase community capacity to support the public health needs of our Veteran population.  So Veterans issues are also very close to my heart.

My goal with this blog will be to provide a perspective on Maine public health policy that is grounded in science.  I will bring to you the latest research on the public health topics of the day.  I will bring my professional experience to analyze and examine the current hot-button issues being debated in the halls of the Maine Legislature as well as over the Maine airwaves and at the water coolers.  And, as a political moderate, I hope to bring some level-headed balance (and maybe a dash of humor) to some of the more polarizing public health debates, such as whether or not we should legalize marijuana.  That last topic will be the subject matter of my first proper blog article.  Come back and check it out and let me know what you think.

I want to thank the Bangor Daily News for providing me with this great opportunity.  It is my hope that I provide you the readers with content that is usable in your communities, and helps broaden and deepen the understanding of the public health issues currently facing Mainers.  The cool thing about working in public health and in prevention is seeing the community change that can happen when we all come together and work together.  I hope the information I share can help in some way in your efforts in your community.  Thank you again for reading!

Scott M. Gagnon, MPP, PS-C

About Scott M. Gagnon, MPP, PS-C

Scott M. Gagnon, MPP, PS-C is a Certified Prevention Specialist and is the Director of Operations at AdCare Educational Institute of Maine, Inc. He currently serves on the Maine Substance Abuse Services Commission as well as the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention National Advisory Council. Scott volunteers as the Chair of the marijuana policy education and advocacy group, Smart Approaches to Marijuana Maine and is the current Board President of the Maine Council on Problem Gambling. Scott also serves as a Co-chair of the Prevention & Harm Reduction task force of the Maine Opiate Collaborative, the effort convened by U.S. Attorney Thomas E Delahanty, II to address Maine's growing opiate and addiction crisis. Scott is the recipient of the 2015 Maine Public Health Association's Ruth S. Shaper Memorial Award and 2015 Healthy Androscoggin Will Bartlett Award and is also the 2013 recipient of the Maine Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse Prevention Award.