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University of New England to Conduct Health Survey for
OneMaine Health Collaborative
 

Portland, Maine - June 1, 2010  - Three of Maine's health systems have joined forces to conduct a statewide study to better understand community health needs. Working together under the name OneMaine Health Collaborative, the partnership brings together Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS), MaineGeneral Health and MaineHealth. Combined, the three systems serve all sixteen Maine counties.

Earlier this year, the OneMaine Health Collaborative announced a competitive request for proposals to find a consultant to conduct the community health needs assessment. UNE's Center for Community and Public Health, with a team including the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine and the survey firm Market Decisions, was selected.

"Health consultants at the University of New England and the Muskie School developed an excellent plan to include a full range of data collection, analysis and dissemination," said Deborah Deatrick, vice president of community health for MaineHealth and chair of the  selection committee. "We are fortunate that OneMaine's collaboration provides us with top-notch experts throughout Maine who are passionate about this project," Deatrick added.

Later this month, UNE will conduct a telephone survey with 6,400 randomly selected households throughout Maine to assess health status as well as perception and use of healthcare services. All information gathered will be kept strictly confidential.

The information gathered will enable public health officials, healthcare providers, community organizations and others to effectively develop new or expanded resources and plan health services for Maine. Results of the study will also be used to help develop Maine's State Health Plan, published every two years.

This initiative is especially timely as the recently passed federal health reform legislation requires all non-profit hospitals to conduct community health needs assessments every three years for planning purposes. The findings from the household survey, combined with existing public health and other data, will help healthcare providers throughout the state in fulfilling this new requirement. Jerry Whalen, vice president for business development at EMHS said, "The 2010 statewide health needs assessment will provide more information as health systems, communities and public health agencies work together to improve the health status of all Maine residents."

Comparative county-level findings will be available for public use in early 2011.

About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit family of leading high-quality providers and other healthcare organizations working together so their communities are the healthiest in America. Ranked among the nation's top 100 integrated healthcare delivery networks, MaineHealth's member organizations include Maine Medical Center, Miles Memorial Hospital, LincolnHealth – St. Andrews Campus & Healthcare Center, Southern Maine Medical Center, Stephens Memorial Hospital, Waldo County General Hospital, Spring Harbor Hospital, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Maine Physician Hospital Organization, NorDx and Synernet. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Medical Center, Mid Coast Hospital, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and Penobscot Bay Medical Center.

Contacts:
Susan Pierter, UNE, (207) 221-4375
Brian Robertson, Market Decisions, (800) 293-1538 ext. 102
Kimberly McCall, MaineHealth, (207) 541-7582

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