Talk with a health educator - MaineHealth Learning Resource Center Find health information - MaineHealth Learning Resource Center

MaineHealth Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare Foundation Award

PORTLAND, Maine – April 9, 2012 -- MaineHealth has been awarded a three-year $1.5 million grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation's Growing Up Healthy initiative for Let's Go! Healthcare, part of a nationally recognized childhood obesity program of The Kids CO-OP at The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center, which is implemented in partnership with MaineHealth.

The award is part of $4 million in grants and services recently announced by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation for regional organizations to combat childhood obesity and health disparities. MaineHealth will use the funds to broaden Let's Go! Healthcare to more than 190 primary care physicians and 14 hospitals in Maine, Grafton and Hillsborough Counties in New Hampshire and Worcester County in Massachusetts.

Introducing Let's Go! to healthcare organizations in specific counties of New Hampshire and Massachusetts will include providing healthcare professionals with resources, training, tools, techniques and support to work with children and families to help prevent, assess and treat childhood obesity.

"This substantial award is a powerful endorsement of Let's Go! and the valuable work we began six years ago," said Victoria Rogers, M.D., director, Let's Go! and The Kids CO-OP. "The commitment of our original founders, our community partners, the physician community, our schools and, of course, the many children and their families who embraced Let's Go! have all played an important role in the success of our program." She added that a public-private partnership between Let's Go! and Maine CDC/DHHS improves the health of youth and families through the work of the Healthy Maine Partnerships.

Deborah Deatrick, vice president, Community Health Improvement at MaineHealth, notes, "At a time when state and federal governments are grappling with daunting financial decisions that often impact health and social service programs, this grant recognizes the very significant role that prevention plays in improving the health of our population. We are proud to be recognized by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation for the outcomes of Let's Go! Healthcare's work to date and for our plans for the future."

In a press release announcing the awards, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care President and Chief Executive Officer Eric H. Schultz said, "Childhood obesity and healthcare disparities not only impact those operating within the healthcare industry but, more importantly, are issues which families across our region and country struggle with every day. At Harvard Pilgrim, we recognize our responsibility to support and expand innovative initiatives that inform, educate and engage children, their families, those on the front lines of health care, and the broader community, and help change behaviors and improve people's lives." Read the press release posted on Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare's website.

Let's Go!'s goal is to increase physical activity and healthy eating for children from birth to 18 through policy and environmental change. Let's Go! works to reach families where they live, study, work and play to reinforce the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. The program focuses on six areas -- school, afterschool, childcare, workplace, community and healthcare – and uses the 5210 message (5 or more fruits and vegetables, 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity and 0 sugary drinks, more water and low fat milk a day) consistently across all of these segments.

Let's Go! began in 2006 as a program of the United Way of Greater Portland when seven healthcare, community, and corporate leaders came together to create the Let's Go! program as a unique strategy to combat the growing problem of childhood obesity. The seven founding partners include, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, through the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation; Hannaford Bros. Co.; MaineHealth; Maine Medical Center; TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation; Unum and United Way of Greater Portland.

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 member organizations include Maine Medical Center, Miles Memorial Hospital, LincolnHealth – St. Andrews Campus & Healthcare Center, Southern Maine Medical Center, Pen Bay 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 New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland.


Name: Deborah Deatrick, MPH
Title: Vice President, Community Health Improvement
Phone: office (207-661-7505) cell (207-807-2445)



110 Free Street | Portland, Maine 04101 | (207) 661-7001