MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – Health care organizations in Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut are getting $830,000 in grants to further dental and mental and physical health programs.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced Wednesday it is giving $420,000 to the Maine Mobile Dental Health Center, the bulk of the grants.

In addition, the Urban League of Greater Hartford’s Department of Community Health will receive $185,000, Ammonoosuc Community Health Services in Littleton will get $150,000 and the New Hampshire Health Access Network will get $75,000.

It is all part of the national Cover the Uninsured Week 2004 this week.

The Maine grant supports the continued operation of the Miles for Smiles mobile dental unit that brings oral health services to children.

Since its introduction late last year, it has treated 1,400 children and traveled 7,600 miles.

The Connecticut grant helps a program that includes substance abuse prevention, child and adolescent health programs, chronic disease management for cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes and other preventive health screening programs.

The Ammonoosuc money will be used to help fight depression among residents in northern New Hampshire through better diagnoses. the program also will be expanded to better diagnose diabetes.

Norrine Williams, the executive director of the program, said depression is a problem in the area, particularly because many elderly people live there and are more likely to suffer from the affliction.

The program services about 6,500 people in five communities – Littleton, Franconia, Whitefield, Haverhill and Warren. It already has identified more than 360 patients with major depression.

The $75,000 grant goes to help the efforts of New Hampshire’s 26 community hospitals, several specialty hospitals, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock medical system, community health centers and many physician practices.

AP-ES-05-12-04 1536EDT



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