Grant Award to Help Create Healthier Communities in Franklin County
$220 thousand to go to Healthy Community Coalition over two years
October 9, 2012
On October 1, MaineHealth was awarded a grant of $2,425,220 for improving physical activity and eating habits and decreasing tobacco use in seven rural Maine counties. Healthy Community Coalition (HCC) of Greater Franklin County, an affiliate of Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) will serve as the fiscal and project lead for the Franklin County team.
The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) Community Transformation Grants (CTG) to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and control health care spending in small communities.
Through local partnerships, the MaineHealth award will benefit rural communities in Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and Waldo Counties. Called the HOMEtowns (Health of Maine Towns) Partnership, the project encompasses two of Maine’s nine local Public Health Districts, Western and Midcoast, and will reach over 344,000 Mainers—nearly one-third of the state.
“By focusing on rural areas, this CTG grant award will have a significant impact on the work we do,” said Rebecca Ryder, FCHN president, “particularly in light of recent funding cuts here in Maine that have resulted in fewer dollars for important disease prevention activities.”
$220,000 of the MaineHealth award will go to HCC over two years to implement an initiative to increase the number of no- or low-cost recreation programs available to county youth and will create a special initiative targeting non-athlete youth who are inactive and overweight. The HCC will add one full-time position, a program coordinator, to oversee the project.
“Through a media campaign and advocacy training, the project team aims to activate parent advocates and other community champions to push for improved policies and infrastructure relating to healthy living in communities currently lacking in no- or low-cost recreational programs,” said Jennifer McCormack, HCC interim director. “For example, parent leaders will be encouraged to attend town meetings where recreation department allocations occur and advocate for improved recreational opportunities.”
Community Transformation Grants are targeted to reducing deaths and health costs due to heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and other serious health problems by pursuing improvements in population health in the areas of weight, proper nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco use.
To learn more about the Community Transformation Grant Program, including a list of all awardees, visit www.cdc.gov/communitytransformation.
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