MaineHealth Awarded $2.4 Million to Help
Create Healthier Communities in 7 Maine Counties
Affordable Care Act to improve health in states and communities,
which can control health care spending
Today MaineHealth was awarded a grant of $2,425,220 for improving physical activity and healthy eating and decreasing tobacco use in seven rural Maine Counties.
The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) Community Transformation Grants (CTG) to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and control health care spending in small communities.
“This funding couldn’t have come at a better time, fsays MaineHealth’s Senior Vice President for Community Health Improvement, Deborah Deatrick. “Recent cuts by the Maine Legislature to the Fund for a Healthy Maine resulted in fewer dollars for important disease prevention activities. These new funds will be a big boost to improve the health of communities in seven rural counties.”
Overall, HHS awarded approximately $70 million in prevention grants to 40 awardees focused on improving the health of small communities across the nation. MaineHealth’s award is the largest of four in Maine. Other grantees include MaineGeneral, Healthy Acadia, and the Maine Development Foundation.
Administered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CTG Program is a comprehensive prevention and wellness initiative launched in 2011 and funded through the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. These new funds will support areas with fewer than 500,000 people in neighborhoods, school districts, villages, towns, cities, and counties. Awardees represent organizations committed to improving health from a multitude of sectors.
Community Transformation Grants are targeted to reducing deaths and health costs due to heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and other serious health problems by pursuing improvements in population health in the areas of weight, proper nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco use. According to Deatrick, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death, disability, and health care costs in the US, accounting for 70% of all deaths each year and 75% of the $2.5 trillion spent annually on health care. She added “Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems in the country, they are also among the most preventable.”
MaineHealth will tackle improving physical activity, healthy eating, and tobacco cessation for children and families in partnership with local organizations in Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and Waldo Counties, many of whom are MaineHealth member or affiliate hospitals. Called the HOMEtowns (Health of Maine Towns) Partnership, the project encompasses two of Maine’s nine local Public Health Districts, Western and Midcoast, and will reach over 344,000 Mainers – nearly one-third of the state.
The Community Transformation Grants are one piece of a broader effort by the Obama Administration to address the health and well-being of U.S. communities through initiatives such as the President’s Childhood Obesity Task Force, the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign, the National Prevention Strategy, the National Quality Strategy, and HHS’ Million Hearts™ initiative. The Prevention and Public Health Fund, as part of the Affordable Care Act, is supporting the CTG program and other initiatives designed to expand and sustain the necessary capacity to prevent chronic diseases, detect them early, manage conditions before they become severe, and provide states and communities the resources they need to promote healthy living.
To learn more about the Community Transformation Grant Program, including a list of all awardees, visit www.cdc.gov/communitytransformation.
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, Goodall Hospital, LincolnHealth, Maine Mental Health Partners, Pen Bay Healthcare, Southern Maine Medical Center, Waldo County Healthcare, Western Maine Health, 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
Title: Senior Vice President, Community Health
Phone: (207) 807-2445 (cell)