Dr. Don Burgess, a pediatrician at Southern Maine Health Care, has received the Maine School Boards Association Distinguished Service Award for his dedication and leadership to keep children safe and healthy.
The award was announced at the Maine School Management Association’s Annual Fall Conference in Augusta on Oct. 24.
He was nominated by the RSU 21 School Board, which had this to say about his work:
“Don Burgess has been a tireless advocate for children in Alaska, Maine, and for the last 24 years, in RSU 21. Most recently he has led the charge for best practice regarding school start time. He brought research to a two-year effort to educate our community on the benefits of a later start time for high school students.”
Dr. Dora Anne Mills, the former head of Maine CDC, had this to say about Dr. Burgess:
“Don has dedicated his life to the health and wellbeing of Maine children. He has not only practiced pediatrics for years in York County, but has served as a pediatric leader for the entire state. He has led the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has driven the four-hour round trip to Augusta countless times to testify on legislation related to children's health. And when there was a hepatitis outbreak among some children in RSU 21 in 2008, he rolled up his sleeves, guiding the state's public health nurses, making sure that all children and adults who may have been exposed were vaccinated and provided guidance - regardless whether they were his patients or not. His partner in all of this is his wife, MaryLou Burgess, who is a family nurse practitioner, and who is the lead clinician at UNE's Student Health Center.”