Grants Foster Community-Based Approaches to Improving Health

Grants Foster Community-Based Approaches to Improving Health


MeHAF has selected eleven Maine communities to implement projects in the foundation’s “Healthy Community” grant initiative. The grants are part of MeHAF’s work to improve health and promote collaborative, locally led efforts that can help transform communities into supportive environments that enable people to live healthier lives. MeHAF is awarding $2,059,833 for the eleven three-year projects.

The grantees were selected from among sixteen communities that had three years of planning support from MeHAF to facilitate discussions among diverse stakeholders to identify health issues that are a high priority in the community.  Each local effort developed a plan that aligns the work of multiple sectors to address the selected issues. 

Communities plan to address health issues that include substance use disorder and behavioral health, obesity and nutrition, safe neighborhoods, and aging.  “The communities are using a variety of strategies to coordinate and align the appropriate organizations, sectors, and resources to address these critical health issues, while leveraging MeHAF funds with other sources of support to implement and sustain their projects,” said Barbara Leonard, MeHAF President and CEO.  

Charles Dwyer, MeHAF Program Officer overseeing the program, notes: “One of the most significant features of the projects is their commitment to meaningfully engage and develop the capacity of community members most affected by the selected health issue so that they have tangible involvement in framing the solutions.” 


The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) is Maine’s largest, private, nonprofit health care foundation dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, especially for those who are uninsured and underserved, and improving the health of everyone in Maine.  MeHAF uses its grant resources and expertise to identify and move forward key initiatives and issues to improve Maine’s health care system, so people across every region of Maine have access to quality care for better health.  

Healthy Community Implementation Grants:

Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Netukulimk Community Health and Wellness, $187,500
Project Director:  Dena Winslow, 207-764-1972, 

Aroostook County Action Program, Inc., Healthy Houlton, $187,500
Project Director: Susan Deschene, 207-554-4131, 

City of Bangor, Health & Community Services, Greater Bangor/Brewer Healthy Communities through Recovery Coaching and Collaboration, $187,500
Project Director: Jamie Comstock, 207-992-4466, 

Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, Health Opportunities through Poverty Elimination (HOPE), $187,500
Project Director: Tracy Harty, 207-779-2830,

MaineGeneral Health, Healthy Northern Kennebec, Healthy Waterville: Increasing Community Connections and Access to Healthy Food for All, $187,500
Project Director: Fran Mullin, 207-872-4127, 

Penobscot Bay YMCA, Knox County Community Health Coalition, Voices of Knox County…Working Together for a Healthy Community; $187,500
Project Director: Connie Putnam, 207-236-6313 ext. 1, 

Piscataquis Regional YMCA, Feel Good Piscataquis! Healthy Food for All, $185.334
Project Director: Erin Calloway, 207-343-0171,   

Redington-Fairview General Hospital, Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative, Achieving Better Health in Jackman, Maine: The Aging Project, $187,499
Project Director: Matt L’Italien, 207-858-8451, 

The Opportunity Alliance, Communities Promoting Health Coalition, Healthy Youth-Healthy Lake Region, $187,500
Project Director: Jana Richards, 207-553-5809, 

Western Maine Community Action, Healthy Neighborhoods Lewiston/Auburn, $187,500
Project Director: Shanna Cox, 207-615-2025, 
Western Maine Health Care Corporation, Oxford County Wellness Collaborative, Infusing Social Capital Development to Increase Effectiveness of Community Interventions, $187,500
Project Director: Jim Douglas, 207-890-5569,  

MeHAF Media Contact
Charles Dwyer, Program Officer, 207.620.8266 x103,   


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