Meet Steve Meister, 2020 Giraffe Award Winner

This is one in a series of profiles on the 2020 Giraffe Award winners. Each week leading up to the Champions for Children virtual celebration on November 17th, we will feature a profile of a 2020 Giraffe Award Winner and showcase how they “stick out their neck” for Maine children, youth, and families. This week, we are pleased to introduce you to Steve Meister.

Throughout his career, Dr. Steve Meister has continuously sought ways to innovate services on behalf of children and families. His efforts have ranged from taking on challenges of behavioral health and family problems within pediatric care, to meeting the needs of underserved children and youth in foster care, to leading child traumatic stress resource development, to guiding program and policy development within regional and national health care reform.

As Steve has been a leader in advocacy on the state level, he has also encouraged others to lead. He is well known by his colleagues for his eagerness to share information and to work in collaboration, as well as to offer himself as a mentor to others.

Within Maine General’s Pediatric Rapid Evaluation Program (PREP), Dr. Meister helped evaluate service models from around the country and identify what would work best for Maine children entering foster care. The PREP started by him led to the development of statewide medical and psychological evaluations of all children coming into foster care.

Recognizing a gap in services for children who experienced trauma, Dr. Meister developed and served as Principal Investigator for the Mid-Maine Child Trauma Network, a community practice center of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). He contributed to the development of a Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress Toolkit. He now contributes to a second NCTSN community practice center at Maine General, focused on evidence-based trauma treatment.  

Along the way, Steve completed a master’s degree in public health and brought this to a position as Medical Director for Child and Family Health in the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There, among other things, he was active in advocating for best practice screening services for children with autistic spectrum disorders and advancing children’s health care reform.

As chair of the Maine Child Death and Serious Injury Review Panel, Dr. Meister spearheaded the development of a comprehensive model for safe home delivery in Maine. And as part of the steering committee for the Coalition for the Advancement of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Steve was pivotal in getting the state to update its review of youth behavioral health services in Maine.  

Steve has also been a guiding force within the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, serving as both member and President. During his tenure, the Maine chapter was recognized particularly for its community-based initiative to address adverse childhood experiences and advance the Maine Resilience Building Network. Now as the Medical Director with the Edmund N. Ervin Pediatric Center at MaineGeneral Medical Center, Dr. Meister continues in his lifelong service and advocacy for children and their families.  

Steve Meister will be awarded a 2020 Giraffe Award for his lifelong work and commitment to improving the quality and access of health care for Maine children on November 17th at our Champions for Children celebration.

Don’t forget to join us for the 2020 Champions for Children and Giraffe Awards event! And keep an eye out for upcoming profiles featuring the rest of our 2020 Giraffe Award winners. 

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