Healthy Acadia Teams Up with the Passamaquoddy Tribal Council, Washington County-One Community & UNE on $1.3M Grant to Improve Health
October 1, 2012
Healthy Acadia has teamed up with the Passamaquoddy Tribal Council at Indian Township, Washington County-One Community, and the University of New England to form the “Downeast Community Transformation Collaborative.” The Collaborative was awarded $1.3 million over two years to improve health and reduce chronic disease throughout Hancock and Washington Counties. The award comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC Community Transformation Grant.

“We are honored to have this opportunity to work in collaboration with our partners to make healthy living more accessible to all throughout Downeast Maine,” stated Doug Michael, Executive Director of Healthy Acadia. “The strategies in this initiative are based on community health plans developed through local participatory processes in Hancock County, Washington County and Indian Township. We are thrilled to use these resources to take action on health priorities identified by our community members.”

The grant enables the Collaborative to implement proven and sustainable strategies that promote healthy eating, physical activity, access to quality preventive health services, and social & emotional wellness.

Grant funds will be shared with the Collaborative Partners through sub-award agreements. Funds will be used to implement community-based activities throughout the region and to evaluate the project over time.

“This project is an excellent example of how dedicated local and regional organizations in partnership with a respected academic institution can create a cutting edge program to assist at risk populations to become healthier,” said Dr. Ron Deprez, Director of the UNE Center for Community and Public Health. Dr. Deprez leads the UNE team on this project.

The Collaborative will implement multiple strategies including:

· Increase the number of community outlets providing access to healthy, affordable, locally harvested food

· Expand Farm-to-School and healthy food experiences in schools

· Increase provision and promotion of nutritious food by food security organizations (e.g. food pantries and soup kitchens)

· Work with schools to expand school policies and programs supporting walking and bicycling

· Increase community locations for walking, cycling, or other forms of physical activity

· Work with schools to implement Coordinated School Health Program initiatives

· Increase transportation access to and from health and social service appointments for individuals in need

· Increase the number of children receiving preventive orals exams and treatment

“We are excited to move forward on these strategies, which will have immediate and long-lasting positive impacts on the health of our community members throughout Washington and Hancock Counties,” stated Eleody Libby, Executive Director of Washington County-One Community.

The Community Transformation Grants (CTG) are one piece of a broader effort by the Obama Administration to address the health and well-being of U.S. communities through initiatives such as the President’s Childhood Obesity Task Force, the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign, the National Prevention Strategy, the National Quality Strategy, and HHS’ Million Hearts™ initiative.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund, as part of the Affordable Care Act, is supporting the CTG program and other initiatives designed to expand and sustain the necessary capacity to prevent chronic diseases, detect them early, manage conditions before they become severe, and provide states and communities the resources they need to promote healthy living.

Healthy Acadia is one of only 40 organizations nationwide to receive an award through this Community Transformation Grant – Small Communities Program. Over 1200 grant applications were received for this program. Healthy Acadia is a non-profit community health coalition serving the Downeast Acadia region and is the Healthy Maine Partnership for Hancock County.