There were two compelling stories underlying Thursday evening at Down East Magazine’s reception honoring the recipients of its “Maine Top Docs” survey, featured in its January issue.

We gathered at the Prime Mercedes Benz dealership in Scarborough to celebrate those Maine physicians rated tops in their field by their fellow doctors and medical practices across the state. And we left feeling moved and inspired by the stories of two men whose work intertwines with and magnifies the importance of these doctors to folks all across the state.

“‘Top Docs’ is first and foremost about our readers,” explained Kathleen Fleury, editor in chief of Down East. “All of what we do at the magazine is built on the trust of our readers, and that’s why we use a peer-reviewed survey. The doctors actually tell us who they would recommend in every area of specialty. That makes the honor especially meaningful for the doctors, too.”

As physicians and their families mingled in the dealership showroom, enjoying custom cocktails created by Maine Craft Distilling and sweet and savory treats by Little BIGS, that very sentiment was top of mind.

“It feels good to be recognized,” said Donald Endrizzi, an orthopedic surgeon with Maine Medical Partners in Falmouth. Endrizzi was joined by his wife, Penny Pennoyer, an allergist-immunologist based in Scarborough who was also recognized as a top doctor in her specialty.

“It’s a very nice thing that they do,” said Pennoyer, clearly humbled and yet tickled by the recognition. “There are so many deserving people!”

Jonathan Torres, a physician in occupational medicine at St. Mary’s Health System in Auburn, enjoyed the evening with his wife, Joan.

“It’s always a great honor when your peers congratulate you,” said Adam Owen, an anesthesiologist at Mercy Hospital’s Pain Center, who attended with his wife and fellow physician, Kim Owen, a pediatrician at Central Maine Medical Center. “And I grew up here in Maine, so it’s a real privilege for me.”

Joining the Owens were Peter Sedgwick, recognized for his work in sports medicine at Central Maine Sports Medicine, and his wife, Amy, an emergency department physician at Central Maine Medical Center.

“It’s truly the highest compliment and a wonderful honor,” agreed Sedgwick.

Figuring prominently at this reception were five paintings from the personal collection of Maine artist Eric Hopkins, who was also in attendance.

“We tell Maine’s stories at Down East,” explained Fleury. “When we were planning this reception for the doctors, we wanted to make sure we integrated a story that brought medicine to life.” As the reception kicked into high gear, she took a moment to thank those in attendance, and introduce Hopkins and Thomas Judge, executive director of Lifeflight of Maine, to say a few words.

“My story started a long time ago… last March, my son Evan drove his truck off the road and died instantly. When the call went out to Lifeflight, both helicopters were busy,” Hopkins said solemnly. The artist, who has donated one of his paintings of North Haven to Lifeflight of Maine in his son’s memory and in honor of the North Haven EMS and fire departments, hopes to help Lifeflight raise enough money to purchase a third helicopter.

“Two hours is too long to wait,” he went on to say. “We are all so connected and we need to help each other. Life and light. Lifeflight. It’s very important.”

“We see patients from in utero to the most complicated critical care, and we are running at point of capacity all the time,” said Judge as he thanked the audience for its support. “These helicopters are like little hospitals unto themselves. Just today, we’ve been in Fort Kent, Houlton, Skowhegan, Ellsworth, Rangeley and Bridgton, and the day isn’t over.”

“This whole evening made me really proud,” Fleury said later. “There are so many talented, dedicated people that care about the well-being of all Mainers.”

For more information about Down East Magazine’s survey for Maine’s Top Doctors, visit www.downeast.com

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be contacted at:

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