The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that Healthy Acadia will receive $1,335,314 for a collaborative project designed to serve all communities in Hancock and Washington counties. Partnering with University of New England, Washington County-One Community, and the Passamaquoddy Tribal Council at Indian Township, Healthy Acadia will focus on targeted and proven strategies that promote healthy eating and physical activity, access to quality preventive health services, and social and emotional wellness. The funding announced today was made possible through a CDC Community Transformation Grant.
"I'm pleased this investment has been made in this very deserving initiative," said Mike Michaud. "Not only have the partners joined together to leverage resources, but they've also collaborated closely with the communities that will be impacted by their efforts. By taking concrete steps to promote the health and wellbeing of our communities, I believe this project can make a real difference."
According to Healthy Acadia, they have based the project's strategies and activities on the community health plans developed in locally rooted participatory processes in Hancock County, Washington County and Indian Township. For example, to promote healthy eating and access to healthy foods, they will increase the number of community outlets providing access to healthy, affordable food, increase the use of farm-to-school food production models in local schools, and increase the purchase and promotion of nutritious food in food pantries. To promote physical activity, they plan to work with schools to adopt policies and programs to support walking and bicycling, and expand opportunities for physical activity for the communities at large.
To expand and promote social and emotional well-being, as well as healthy and safe physical environments, the partners will work with schools to implement coordinated school health programs throughout the region. To increase use of quality preventive clinical services, they will work to expand transportation options, increasing the capacity of a network of volunteer drivers and collaborating with local healthful service providers to assist patients in finding transportation to appointments. They will also increase quality preventive dental care access for children.