MaineHealth Grant Award to Help Create Healthier Communities in Oxford County
National award means local funds to improve community’s health
As a result of a $2,425,220 grant awarded today to MaineHealth, Western Maine Health will gain support for activities to improve physical activity and healthy eating and decrease tobacco use in Oxford County.
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.
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.
“This funding will be used to help create a healthy and safe physical environment in Oxford County communities. We will be specifically working to increase the number of communities in Oxford County with bicycle and pedestrian awareness, education and “way-finding” programs. Way-finding involves mapping routes and providing road signage for non-motorized transportation. The communities we will be targeting are Oxford Hills, Bethel, Rumford, Mexico and Sacopee Valley,” says Carl Costanzi, Let’s Go! Oxford County Program Manager.
Overall, HHS awarded approximately $70 million in prevention grants to 40 awardees focused on improving the health of small communities across the nation. MaineHealth’s award is the largest of four in Maine. Other grantees include MaineGeneral, Healthy Acadia, and the Maine Development Foundation.
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.