Public Engagement

MeHAF constantly reaches out to engage and solicit advice from Maine people so our programs, initiatives and support for advocacy and policy reforms are directly shaped by the people we serve.

Informing and Engaging Maine People about Health Reform (2010-present)
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, it was clear that Maine people needed to understand and know how to access benefits created through the new law.  Shortly after the ACA was enacted, MeHAF awarded over $400,000 to support 10 grantees and two consultants to build an outreach and education collaborative.  Working closely with a seasoned program officer with policy and advocacy experience, these organizations worked to develop, test and adopt mutually agreed upon simple and effective messages that were tailored for MeHAF's priority populations.  Simple, clear messages have been developed by the group, and grantees are continually providing feedback on the effectiveness of the strategies and messages they are using to inform ongoing improvements and maximize collective impact.  While over 100,000 brochures were distributed in 2011, the grantees found that messages were most effective when delivered one-on-one.  This year's group work plan focuses on maximizing personal conversations and asking the people reached to help us spread the word.  Two new organizations have joined the collaborative to help engage and inform communities with diverse language and cultural needs.  In 2012, MeHAF is investing another $400,000 and program staff time to continue and evaluate this work.  Representative grantees include:  Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Somali Culture and Development Association. For more information, contact Morgan Hynd, Program Officer, or (207) 620-8266 x116.
Bi-Fold Brochure
One Page Brochure

Improving the Health of Maine People: Getting Down to Basics (2009) 
One of MeHAF's most important roles is to ensure that Maine people have direct input into policy changes and reform efforts.  In 2009, we worked with the Department of Health and Human Services and seven grantees to solicit suggestions from Medicaid (MaineCare) members about how to improve the program's impact and value.  The group researched and shared local and national best practices, and gathered input from nearly 1,000 Maine people on proposed improvement strategies to produce the report Improving the Health of Maine People: Getting Down to Basics.  Those interviewed offered straightforward, practical solutions to common challenges such as transportation and appointment scheduling and reflected on the need to include broader community resources in maintaining health. 

Maine Integrated Health Initiative: Maine People Speak about Health Care Integration (2007)
This report summarizes the opinions of more than 1,400 Maine people from across the state who told MeHAF about their most urgent health needs. MeHAF is now applying lessons learned from grantee experiences and research to generate ideas for policies that will promote integrated care.

Integrated Health Care in Maine: Vision, Principles and Values, and Goals and Objectives (2007)
MeHAF convened a large group of key leaders and stakeholders from across the state to help develop a consensus vision for care integration that would truly define what patient-centered care would look like, and to outline the structural changes in care delivery that would need to occur to make the health care system responsive to patient needs.  Ideas generated from this process and report have formed the foundation of our ongoing work and funding to advance integrated care. 

State-wide "Tough Choices" Discussion Guides Maine's State-Based Reform Efforts (2005)
MeHAF provided $500,000 for the statewide "Tough Choices Town Meeting" convened by the Governor's Office of Health Policy and Finance (GOHPF) in 2005.  This public engagement strategy solicited input from Maine people, asking them to help design a health care system that would be responsive to people's needs and reflect our collective values about balancing cost, quality and access to care.  Through the use of videoconferencing and high speed computer linkages, over 300 Maine people met for a day-long discussion and decision-making process in Biddeford and Orono.