Portland woman recipient of AARP’s highest honor

Portland resident Star Pelsue is the winner of the 2020 Andrus Award, the most prestigious award AARP can present to an individual.


“The AARP Maine Andrus Award acts as a symbol to our members and to the public that we can all work together for positive social change,” said Pat Pinto, AARP Maine volunteer state president, in a prepared release Oct. 15. “We are deeply proud to be presenting this year’s award to Star Pelsue, whose record of achievement, service and commitment provides an excellent example of one person making a significant difference in the lives of others.”

The honor is named for AARP’s founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, and Pelsue’s “extraordinary public service actively embodies Andrus’ motto ‘To Serve, Not To be Served,’” Pinto said.

After more than two decades as a developmental therapist for young children, Pelsue left teaching to move in with her brother to help his family during a medical crisis. Upon her return to Maine in 2009, she started to volunteer and hasn’t looked back.

“I didn’t want to go back into the workforce, as I wanted the flexibility to go and help my family when needed,” she said. “My work as a volunteer truly expanded.”

Pelsue volunteers for several organizations, including Ronald McDonald House, AARP Maine, Wayside Food Programs, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Victoria Mansion.

“The challenge is to remember not to spread myself too thin!” she said. “There are just so many worthy groups that need support.”

Pelsue is also a frequent participant in AARP Maine’s advocacy work, and serves as part of a group of dedicated activists and volunteers who meet with legislators, attend committee hearings and testify on issues of concern to Mainers 50-plus.

“Star is a tireless and highly-regarded volunteer across a myriad of tasks that she performs on behalf of our state office,” Pinto said. “She never hesitates to offer her time and talents on behalf of others. What a privilege it is to know her and to work with her!”

Hires, promotions, appointments


Mid Coast Hospital welcomed two new directors this month. Alison Lampke, MHA, has been named director of diagnostic imaging. She previously worked as an operations manager in nuclear medicine at Lahey Hospital Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, as a team leader in nuclear medicine at Boston Medical Center.

Kevin Dumas, PharmD, will serve as the health system’s new director of pharmacy, a position he also filled at Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital in Maine; he also worked as a clinical pharmacist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.


Northern Light Mercy Hospital has welcomed two new providers. Jodi Newcombe, M.D., joins Northern Light Mercy Primary Care, Yarmouth and Corinna Campbell, a nurse practitioner, joins Northern Light Mercy Primary Care, Windham. Prior to joining Mercy, Newcombe worked at Central Maine Medical Center in Topsham as a primary care provider in two rural clinics and she provided urgent care at ConvenientMD in Westbrook. Campbell was a nurse practitioner at the urgent care at St. Mary’s Regional Hospital in Lewiston.

Leah Trommer will be joining OUT Maine’s team as its youth engagement coordinator. She worked for Tanglewood for 11 years as an open air classroom coordinator and lead teacher and also holds a Montessori Education Certification.


Sebago Technics, a Maine-based, employee-owned, engineering consulting firm, has added six new professionals to the team: Chris LaMotte, senior surveyor; Francine Nason, billing and contracts specialist; Jeffrey Pollard, civil engineer; Oscar Keydel, surveyor; Christopher Taylor, senior project engineer; and Aaron Radziucz, civil engineer.


Tim Gatz of Falmouth has been hired as the Maine Tourism Association’s membership sales manager. Most recently, he served as director of membership for Visit Portland and also served for 13 years as radio group vice president/station manager for the 107.5 FRANK-FM, 99.9 The Wolf, W-BACH and Rock 106.3 group of radio stations.

Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland announced the arrival of Emily C. Jones as director of religious education. Emily began serving the congregation last month, coming from First Parish UU in Kennebunk.