Healthy Acadia will provide disease prevention services in Hancock and Washington Counties. IMAGE COURTESY OF HEALTHY ACADIA

Healthy Acadia wins state funding



ELLSWORTH — Healthy Acadia has been chosen to provide disease prevention services in four areas.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded funds to four statewide vendors to help Maine residents live safe, healthy and productive lives by addressing several primary drivers of chronic disease and addiction.

Healthy Acadia was selected by each of the statewide vendors through a competitive process to provide public health prevention services throughout Maine’s Downeast Public Health District, which includes Hancock and Washington counties.

As the sole subrecipient for the Downeast District, Healthy Acadia will receive over $350,000 to provide services across four health domains, including substance use prevention (as a subrecipient to the University of New England), tobacco use and exposure prevention (as a subrecipient to the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence), youth engagement/empowerment (as a subrecipient to The Opportunity Alliance/Maine Youth Action Network) and obesity prevention (as a subrecipient to Let’s Go!, a program of The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center).

Substance use prevention interventions will focus on youth and young adult populations with interventions aimed at reducing prescription drug misuse (including opioids and heroin), underage alcohol use and binge drinking, and marijuana use. Tobacco prevention strategies include prevention of tobacco initiation, prevention of involuntary second-hand smoke exposure and promotion of tobacco treatment available through the Maine Tobacco HelpLine. Education and prevention strategies will be implemented in partnership with schools, colleges, municipalities, workplaces, social service agencies, health care providers and other venues.

Youth engagement/empowerment activities include supporting the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) to create prevention-focused youth-adult partnerships and youth groups with the overall goals of increasing resilience among youths and reducing youth substance use. Youth groups will participate in researching and implementing public health policy change projects, as well as health and prevention-related efforts. This work will be grounded in positive youth development and social-emotional learning principles.

Obesity prevention efforts will focus on the implementation of programs and policies to prevent overweight and obesity through increased access to healthy eating and active living opportunities for Maine’s youth. Healthy Acadia staff will provide professional development and technical assistance to schools and licensed childcare facilities in order to increase access to physical activity and healthy nutrition offerings in those settings. Mini-grants will be available to support implementation of physical activity and nutrition policies and activities at schools and early childcare facilities.

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