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MeHAF Announces $600,000 in Grants to Support Health Equity in Maine

MeHAF Announces $600,000 in Grants to Support Health Equity in Maine

The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) announced today that it has awarded $600,000 to eight organizations around the state that exemplify community-driven efforts to improve health for communities that face disproportionate barriers to health and wellbeing. These nonprofit organizations work to improve health access and health status for communities facing health inequities based on factors including race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or homelessness. Each organization has primary leadership from among the people it serves.

The program will pair three-year unrestricted operating support grants with targeted technical assistance provided both in group and one-on-one settings. Technical assistance will focus on supporting the stability, effectiveness, and overall organizational capacity of under-resourced organizations and communities.

“Research consistently shows unequal health outcomes based on factors like race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, and homelessness, to name a few,” said Barbara Leonard, MeHAF’s President and CEO. “We believe that improving health requires addressing structural problems in our society, including by investing in the leadership of communities and groups most affected.”

“We’re very excited to begin a three-year partnership with these eight outstanding organizations,” said MeHAF Program Officer, Jake Grindle.  “We expect that they will help us shape our understanding and commitment to achieving health equity in Maine and we hope to be a resource in their efforts to build even stronger, more impactful organizations.”

In 2016, the MeHAF Board of Trustees and Community Advisory Committee (CAC) deepened the foundation’s commitment to health equity.  To this end, the foundation recently adopted a set of recommendations for changes in MeHAF’s programs and operations.  These recommendations emphasize the importance of investing in organizations that are led by members of under-resourced communities, and doing so in a way that builds the capacity of such organizations.

“So many people we know who are underinsured are suffering unnecessarily due to lack of access to medical care, treatment and recovery resources, and we are eager to seize this opportunity as a way to create pathways to these resources and equity for those who are currently marginalized,” said Brian Townsend, Executive Director of Amistad Inc, one of the eight grant recipients.

"Health care equality builds strong roots for immigrant women and families to thrive,” said Claudette Ndayininahaze and Abusana Micky Bondo, co-founders of In Her Presence, one of the eight newly announced grant recipients.  “This grant will help us to support our vision for true equality for all.”

MeHAF Health Equity Capacity-Building Grantees with local contact information

Amistad, Inc.: Brian Townsend, briant@amistadinc.com, 207-773-1956

In Her Presence: Claudette Ndayininahaze, saraclaudette@yahoo.fr, 207-347-9891

Maine Access Immigrant Network: Sarah Lewis, sarahannelewis@gmail.com, 207-331-6135

Maine Transgender Network, Inc.: Quinn Gormley, quinn@mainetransnet.org, 207-832-1719

Mano en Mano/Hand in Hand: Ian Yaffe, iy@manomaine.org, 207-546-3006

New Mainers Public Health Initiative: Abdulkerim Said, asaid@nmphi.org, 207-241-0546

Portland Outright: Osgood, portlandoutright@gmail.com, 207-558-2429

Wabanaki Health and Wellness: Sharon Tomah, stomah@wabanakihw.org, 207-992-0411

 

Media Contact:
Jake Grindle, Program Officer, Maine Health Access Foundation
(207) 620-8266 x 107| jgrindle@mehaf.org

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