Health Foundation funds four nonprofits to help the uninsured

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AUGUSTA — The Maine Health Access Foundation has awarded $198,566 to four nonprofits, including organizations in western and downeast Maine, to support the development of better strategies that can expand access and improve care for people who are uninsured.

The awards represent the second group of planning grants in MeHAF’s “Access to Quality Care” program. The goal of this program is to ensure that grantees are developing community-based, collaborative approaches to providing health care services for people who will remain uninsured after the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“People who have an ongoing, trusted relationship with a doctor or other primary care provider receive higher quality care, and are generally more satisfied with the care they receive,” said Dr. Wendy Wolf, MeHAF’s president and CEO. “However, establishing and maintaining a relationship with a primary care provider is very challenging for people without health insurance. These awards will help ensure that everyone in Maine receives quality care, whether or not they are insured, for improved health.”

The four organizations receiving support will join five other organizations which received planning grants to develop similar community-based solutions last year.

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The grant recipients are:

• Franklin Memorial Hospital, Farmington: $48,566 to fund a community collaborative planning project designed to strengthen community-based services for the uninsured.

• Health Access Network, Inc., Lincoln: $50,000 to develop plans for advancing access to health care for uninsured individuals in rural central Maine.

• HealthReach Community Health Centers, Bingham and Madison: $50,000 support of planning for the development and coordination of health care services, especially behavioral health, for low-income and uninsured patients.

• Washington Hancock Community Agency: $50,000 planning for “CareNet” for Washington County to ensure all community members gain access to responsive, high quality health care.

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