Mary Jude is proud of her Maine heritage – born and raised in a small central Maine town into a large, close-knit family. She received undergraduate degrees from the University of Maine at Augusta (ASN, 1975) and the University of the State of New York (BS/Nurse Practitioner, 1986), a certificate from the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks (Family Nurse Practitioner/Physician’s Assistant, 1983), a Master’s in Public Health from Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, California, 1992) and a Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Maine (2002).
Mary’s career has taken her from initial work as a Nurse Practitioner with the tribes of Maine at both the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy (Indian Township) reservations, to endocrinology and emergency medicine. She was the first FNP in Maine to develop her own private primary care practice – River City Healthcare – in 1997. Mary was an Assistant Professor at the University of Maine in the Graduate Nursing Program for several years, developing new coursework for FNP students and providing internship coordination for those students as well.
Since 2000, Mary developed and has successfully run a public health consulting practice where she uses her public health skills, and those of several close colleagues, to develop innovative approaches to public health issues facing the underserved residents of our state.
In 2002, Mary answered the call for a new challenge when the Department of Homeland Security begin funding public health programs focused on bioterrorism prevention and became the Tribal Bioterrorism and Infectious Disease Epidemiologist for the Maine Bureau of Health (now Maine CDC) and later went on to become the Director of the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness. She spent several years working for a large Federally Qualified Health Center as the Chief of Research and Development and was responsible for the development of a large public health dental clinic, a children’s mobile dental program, an integrated care model within a homeless health clinic and a clinic located in a subsidized housing project, in addition to volunteering as a National Health Service Corps Ambassador and, most recently, as a Hanley Health Disparities Ambassador.
Mary’s interest in the issues of health disparities in our state keep her constantly exploring methods to better identify and provide healthcare services to those most in need.