MeHAF Promotes Collaborative Rural Health System Change

MeHAF Promotes Collaborative Rural Health System Change

The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) announced today that it has awarded $270,000 to six organizations around the state to develop cross-sector collaborative approaches to improve health and health care access in Maine’s rural communities. Four “Catalyst” grantees will initiate new collaborative efforts, while two “Acceleration” grants support efforts developed during last year’s round of Catalyst grants to pilot programs to test novel ways of delivering essential health services.

Some of the activities to be undertaken by the grantees include: establishing or bringing new partners into a community coalition to focus on the rural healthcare system; building capacity through targeted operational and organizational integration; identifying and addressing service gaps; connecting this work with ongoing economic development planning; and educating and engaging the community.

This grant program draws from research commissioned from the University of Southern Maine, which compiled information from existing sources into a Statewide View of Rural Health, and related county-by-county profiles that provide a snapshot of the state of health and the health system to inform and promote local discussion and strategic planning.

MeHAF has also published a series of Rural Health Innovation Briefs that highlight promising approaches to finance, governance, workforce, health care delivery and behavioral health. One brief spotlights examples of innovation occurring in Federally Qualified Health Centers in Maine and elsewhere. The models and strategies identified in the white papers will help to guide the work of the grantees and are relevant for adaption or replication throughout rural Maine.

“Following the closure of health facilities in several of Maine’s rural communities, the foundation took action to better understand the rural health system in Maine, particularly the challenges facing small and independent hospitals and other health care providers in rural areas,” said Barbara Leonard, MeHAF’s President and CEO. “We are pleased to support the collaborative planning and piloting of efforts to advance integration and strengthen health care services in the ways that will best meet rural communities’ needs.”

MeHAF Rural Health Transformation Grants with local contact information:

Catalyst Grants:
Healthy Community Coalition
Strengthening Rural Connections to Increase Access in Rural Franklin County  $30,000
Janis Walker, Program Manager, 207-779-2750,

Healthy Peninsula
Creating Community-Friendly Health Systems  $30,000
Anne Schroth, Healthy Aging Program Coordinator, 207-374-3257,

Oxford County Mental Health Services
Activating a Community Response to Improving Health Outcomes in the River Valley $30,000
Stephanie LeBlanc, Executive Director, 207-364-3549 x312,

Penobscot Community Health Care- Jackman Community Health Center
Jackman Region Rural Health Collaborative $30,000
Heather Blackwell, Director of Grants & Development, 207-992-9200,

Acceleration Grants:
Mayo Regional Hospital - Mayo Community Outreach
Paving a New Way for Piscataquis $75,000
Hillary Starbird, Community Outreach Coordinator, (207) 564-4184,

Pines Health Services - Aroostook County Health Network (ACHN)
Continuum of Care Coordination in Aroostook County $75,000
Amy Kane, Project Director, (207) 498-2356 x2039,

About the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF): MeHAF is Maine’s largest private nonprofit health 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.

Media Contact
Charles Dwyer, Program Officer, Maine Health Access Foundation
(207) 620-8266 x 103|



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