PORTLAND, Maine – December 30, 2014 – Two successful programs that target tobacco use and access to care have been awarded community benefit grants totaling $125,000 from Maine Community Health Options (MCHO), a non-profit health insurance cooperative based in Lewiston, Maine. The awards to the Center for Tobacco Independence (CTI) and CarePartners/MedAccess programs, both led and administered by MaineHealth, the state’s largest health system, recognize their well-established track records in improving the health of Maine people.
CTI received $100,000 to expand tobacco treatment services for individuals and in hospitals and physician practices throughout the state. Tobacco use is associated with one of every five deaths in the United States, making it the leading cause of preventable death in the country. In Maine, the rate of tobacco use among adults varies widely, from 20% among all adults to 32% among those ages 25-34.
Since 2000, CTI has supported evidence-based tobacco treatment through direct counseling and medication decisional support, technical assistance to health care providers and policy makers, and extensive training activities that have increased the number of clinicians who provide brief and intensive interventions.
Grant funds provided to CTI by MCHO will be used to facilitate and expand provider-initiated referrals of patients to the Maine Tobacco HelpLine through the use of electronic medical record systems.
CarePartners/MedAccess received $25,000 to support and expand its work of coordinating access to primary and specialty care services and medication assistance for low-income, uninsured residents in seven Maine counties (Cumberland, Lincoln, Waldo, York, Knox, Oxford and Kennebec). Maine’s uninsured population rose from 135,000 individuals in 2012 to 147,000 in 2013, an increase of 12,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. In 2014, approximately 13.3 percent of Maine adults were uninsured.
CarePartners is a unique partnership between physicians, community hospitals and other healthcare providers who donate their services to adults who do not qualify for public or private healthcare coverage programs. MaineHealth has administered CarePartners since 2001 and MedAccess since 2005 and has led the expansion of both programs over the years in collaboration with its member hospitals and local partners.
“These significant awards recognize the long-term impact of these two programs in improving the health of Maine citizens. We are honored to partner with Maine Community Health Options to achieve our shared vision of promoting better health outcomes for individuals and communities throughout the state,” says Deborah Deatrick, senior vice president for community health improvement at 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 member organizations include Maine Medical Center, Franklin Community Health Network, LincolnHealth, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Memorial Hospital, Pen Bay Healthcare, Southern Maine Health Care, Waldo County Healthcare, Western Maine Health, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Maine Physician Hospital Organization, NorDx and Synernet. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Health, Mid Coast Health Services, New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland and St. Mary's Health System. www.mainehealth.org.
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