The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) announced the award of a total of $320,000 ‘Thriving in Place (TiP)’ grants to eight organizations spanning the state from York to Aroostook County to develop programs that will help people with chronic health conditions stay healthy and in their homes instead of being hospitalized or institutionalized. The grants are part of MeHAF’s work to promote better patient-centered care that will improve the way health care is delivered, coordinated and experienced by patients.
“As the state with the oldest population and one of the highest rates of disability in the nation, there’s a pressing need to plan now for strategies that can help people, particularly those who are older, stay healthy and receive needed care and support at home,” said Dr. Wendy Wolf, President and CEO of the foundation. “It’s no surprise that older and disabled Mainers overwhelmingly say that they want to remain in their homes and communities; yet our current resources are not up to the task of meeting their expectations,” explained Dr. Wolf. “Through the Thriving in Place initiative, organizations will work together with local residents to determine how we can keep people out of the hospital or nursing home so they can stay in their community.”
All of the diverse organizations receiving this grant support will be working with health care providers and a broad spectrum of community partners, including social service agencies and community support organizations. Grantees must work with at least four partners; several grantees’ projects will involve over 20 community partner organizations. Working together, these partnerships will identify areas where better coordination of community resources could help people at risk of hospitalization or institutional care stay healthy and at home.
“The successful project proposals were ones that will use a variety of tested and creative strategies to tackle the expensive over-reliance on hospitals and assisted living facilities to care for older and disabled people with chronic health conditions,” said Dr. Becky Hayes Boober, the MeHAF Senior Program Officer who is overseeing the TiP program. “One of the successful applications will focus on developing a self-sustaining business model that can be shared with others; some projects will promote prevention and wellness programs; and still others will develop strategies around local networks of volunteers and the use of home technology,” noted Dr. Boober.
Grantees will participate in regular “Learning Communities” to share insights and identify challenges to implementing effective programs. Recipients of $40,000 grant support in the TiP program include Aroostook Area Agency on Aging, Inc.; Charlotte White Center; Child and Family Opportunities, Inc.; Coastal Enterprises, Inc.; Penobscot Community Health Center; SeniorsPlus; Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition; and York County Community Action Corporation.
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