Sunday, April 20, 2008

Press Release On Proud Dundalk Native and Well Known Writer Juliana L’Heureux

Juliana L’Heureux

For Immediate Release

Date: February 7, 2008
Contact: Chris Copeland, Executive Director
Tri County Mental Health
Telephone: 755-0036
Kelly Sawyer, Executive Secretary
Telephone: 621-4111
45 Memorial Circle Suite 103
Augusta, Maine 04330

Subject: Maine Association of Mental Health Services Announces Appointment of Juliana L’Heureux
as new Executive Director.

AUGUSTA - Juliana L’Heureux of Topsham, ME, is the new executive director of the Maine Association of Mental Health Services (MAMHS), in Augusta.

The MAMHS is a non-profit state wide association whose membership includes 30 community agencies. Members provide comprehensive services to thousands of adults and children throughout Maine. The Association supports access to affordable quality mental health care, behavioral and addiction services for Maine people of all ages.
Moreover, the association advocates for public policy at the state and national levels consistent with providing access to quality community based behavioral and mental health services.

Ms. L’Heureux is a native of Dundalk, Maryland and was born in Baltimore, MD. She is a registered nurse home care administrator with over 25 years experience in Maine’s health care systems. She is also a writer. Her website is

As the Executive Director of Community Health and Nursing Services (commonly known as CHANS), a non-profit Medicare and Medicaid certified home health and hospice program located in Brunswick, ME, for 10 years, her leadership oversaw rapid growth in staff, programs and revenues. She was also the Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance of Maine from 1995-1997, the statewide membership organization representing 32 certified home care and hospice agencies. L’Heureux is a reporter for the Portland Press Herald writing about Maine’s Franco-Americans.

Chris Copeland, president of the Association (MAMHS) and Executive Director of Tri County Mental Health Services in Lewiston, ME, made the announcement.

“We welcome Ms. L`Heureux to lead the Association. Her successful experience as a leader in health care administration will support our community programs. We appreciate her compassion for our clients and the people of all ages who depend on access to quality community mental health services,” says Copeland.

Copeland notes the accomplishments L’Heureux brings to her role as the MAMHS Executive Director. Her experience with strategic planning and communications will build a strong public policy program at a time when community programs are challenged by recent budget cuts in state programs to care for the mentally ill and disabled, he says. During her 10 years at CHANS, the agency doubled in size while developing new programs, he said.

L’Heureux is honored to lead the MAMHS. “This is an opportunity for me to make a difference in an organization where experienced leadership is valued,” says L’Heureux. “I’m delighted and honored to work with Maine’s dedicated mental health providers. We’ll work together planning an effective advocacy program to support Maine’s increasing needs for public understanding about mental illnesses and behavioral addictions programs,” she says.

“We will help Maine people to understand how Maine’s mental health system is struggling to keep people out of institutions. Our jails and prisons are not suitable mental health facilities,” she adds. “Community mental health services rely on the resources we need to help people when they need care,” she says.

“Our clients and their families rely on advocacy, as well. We are a unified voice in support of Maine’s community mental health care services”, she says.

Copeland says it’s important for mental health providers to work together to improve access to quality care. “Along with our community agencies and state partners, we will continue building a strong voice for assuring that adequate resources are available to meet mental and behavioral health needs. Maine’s community mental health agencies reach out to people who depend on receiving confidential care and support when they need us. We will work together to support quality care for Maine people,” he says.

L’Heureux is a member of the Government Affairs committee of the Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine and the Visiting Nurse Association of America (VNAA). She was a steering committee member of the successful ballot initiative for the widening of the Maine Turnpike and worked with the medical community’s partnership to defeat the Maine physician assisted suicide referendum. In September, 2007, L’Heureux was invited to Washington DC, by Senator Susan Collins to testify at a press conference in support of The Home Health Care Access Protection Act (H. R. 3865; S. 2181). She was appointed by Governor John Baldacci to the Board of the Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO) in Augusta, an executive branch agency whose mission is to create a health care data base for the purpose of improving the health of Maine citizens.

She is the past president of the Rotary Club of Brunswick, ME.

L’Heureux and her family lived in York County for 20 years before moving to the Mid Coast area. Her husband Richard is a native of Sanford.

MAMHS recently engaged the law firm of Doyle and Nelson in Augusta to work with the membership on legislative and advocacy development.

L’Heureux begins her position with the MAMHS in the agency’s Augusta office on March 10th. For more information about the Maine Association of Mental Health Services, check the website

The End

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