NORTHEAST HARBOR — Maine Seacoast Mission was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, to fund the Mission’s Island Health program.
The overall objective of the Mission’s Island Health program is to improve the health and well-being of low-to-moderate income and under-served island residents.
Led by Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, the program makes available basic medical and behavioral care, free of charge, to about 700 people on seven remote, unbridged islands lacking health care and related services – Frenchboro, Islesford, Isle au Haut, Great Cranberry, Matinicus, Monhegan and Swan’s Island.
The Mission’s initial award of $10,000 was increased by $20,000 in late June. As part of the TD Charitable Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration, employees were given an opportunity to choose their favorite out of four possible initiatives, each aligned to one of the four drivers of the TD Ready Commitment, the bank’s corporate citizenship program. The initiative ranked highest in its metro region and was awarded $20,000.
“TD Charitable Foundation’s grant supports the continuity of care that the Mission has provided for decades. The Foundation’s award ensures the Island Health program will help residents in need have affordable access to vital health care and we are most grateful for the support,” Mission President John Zavodny said.
Based in part aboard the Mission’s 74-foot boat Sunbeam, Daley’s team provides telehealth appointments, health education, screening clinics, mental health counseling, in-home visits, professional referrals and follow-up care.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program administered vaccinations and boosters on the islands. Of the islands visited by the Sunbeam, over 90 percent of year-round residents depend on its programs in some way.
The program also supports facilities and caregivers for the elderly on seven additional unbridged islands in southern Maine to help island residents age in place. The Mission sponsors an annual Eldercare Conference for these island caregivers and maintains a year-round network for sharing information and resources.
The TD Charitable Foundation’s grant will help the Island Health program achieve its goals for 2022. The work happening this year includes flu vaccines across islands, COVID-19 boosters, telemedicine access via Sunbeam, visits by medical specialists for consultations, referrals for mental health counselors and AA meetings, continuing the Eldercare Network Care management by phone and digital channels, bridging islanders to off-island resources for health insurance information, COVID-19 testing, helping patients get off-island treatment and financial and food assistance.
Learn more about Island Health services, visit https://seacoastmission.org/sunbeam/island-health.