Sacopee Valley Health Center receives Hero and Excellence awards

Updated: Jul 19

Sacopee Valley Health Center’s own Colleen Coates received the Unsung Hero Award, and Santana Eastman, RN received the Clinical Excellence Award.


The Maine Primary Care Association, a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers, announced its 2018 winners of the Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards which were presented recently at a ceremony during the organization’s annual conference in Bar Harbor.


This year, MPCA recognized eight individuals across Maine for their leadership, dedication and support of Maine’s Community Health Centers.  In this stellar line-up of incredible community health leaders were longtime Health Center volunteer and one of the original founders Colleen Coates, as Maine’s Unsung Hero Award.  Joining her at the podium at this year’s annual meeting was Santana Eastman, RN for Clinical Support Excellence.


Judy Ingram, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Health Center, excitedly celebrated the awards for what they mean to the communities served by the Health Center, Judy stated

“Sacopee Valley Health Center is here because of Colleen’s determination and leadership in bringing health care to this area and the surrounding communities and we are honored to have Santana as part of the Health Center family and thrilled that her dedication to our patients has been recognized as well as her commitment to the health for our community.” - Judy Ingram

The Unsung Hero award recognizes those not usually recognized through traditional awards criteria; folks who have contributed their skill, time and effort towards furthering the vision, mission, and strategy of their health center.


Colleen has devoted more than 42 years of life, so far, to serving the health center, in many capacities. Colleen who is a member of the local 21 Club, came up with a community project to start a health center upon the retirement of several providers who was serving the communities at that time. Her forward thinking, continued commitment to the health of the community, and her dedicated leadership are all revered by the center’s staff, volunteers, board members, and community at large.


The Clinical Support Excellence Award is given to the nominee who best exemplifies the best of primary care medicine or oral health for the underserved which includes achieving high standards of quality care and promoting greater access to care. Awardees must be innovators int their field and demonstrate leadership to advance primary care in Maine.


Santana Eastman, the health center’s Registered Nurse, arrived at the center more than a decade ago as a medical assistant. Growing up in the community, Santana began her family here with her husband Stephen, also a life-long resident. After graduating two years ago with a nursing degree from Southern Maine Community College, she has been able to actively continue her passion of addressing public health concerns in this part of rural Maine. Known widely as a strong patient advocate for the Health Center, Santana plays a critical role in providing top quality service to the community and health center’s patients.


The Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards were created in 2005 to honor the contributions and accomplishments of individuals and health center advocates working to ensure that affordable, high quality health care is available to all Mainers.


“Each year across the state of Maine we celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments and compassionate care provided by the administrators, clinicians, and support staff at Maine’s community health centers.   It is because of the tireless work of these remarkable professionals that people in Maine will always have someone to turn to for high quality, affordable health care when they need it most, and here locally, our entire Sacopee Valley Health Center family is thrilled to have Santana and Colleen as such integral players in delivering our mission.” - Health Center Executive Director, Lynn Kearney
The Health Centers service area has a population of 22,385. It is shaded in green.

Since 1976 the Sacopee Valley Health Center, has served neighbors living and working in the greater Sacopee Valley area and New Hampshire while pioneering Integrated Healthcare.  They have been recognized statewide and nationally as an innovative leader in delivering comprehensive healthcare services using an Integrated Primary Care (IPC) model.  The Health Center is a recognized Patient-Center Medical Home Level III.  The Health Center's service area has a population of 22,385. It is shaded in green on the map (left).