Jennifer McCormack, MBA, BSN, RN, executive director of Healthy Community Coalition.

Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County (HCC), an affiliate of Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) and a member of the MaineHealth family, has been awarded a one-year federal $1 million grant to fund Healthy Community Coalition’s Hometowns Partnership.

The HCC’s grant award from U.S. HRSA (Health Resources & Services Administration) American Rescue Plan is one of 127 nationwide awards to support trusted voices in local communities in sharing information about vaccines, building vaccine confidence, and addressing barriers to vaccination for individuals in underserved communities.

The project’s target population includes the unvaccinated in the project service area (Franklin County, Androscoggin County, Oxford County, and bordering towns in Kennebec and Somerset counties) with a special focus on individuals with pre-existing conditions, the elderly, adolescents, young adults, members of faith-based communities and individuals working in occupations that do not allow them to leave work to be vaccinated or be educated on the benefits of vaccination.

HCC will coordinate and lead a network of community-based organizations to address COVID-19 related health disparities and advance health equity. These organizations will establish, expand and sustain community-based efforts to mobilize community workers, patient navigators, and other support specialists to increase vaccinations with a focus on grassroots outreach—a strategy that has been shown to be effective in addressing a variety of health issues in community and clinical settings.

Participating organizations include: Healthy Androscoggin, Healthy Oxford Hills, River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition, Franklin Memorial Hospital including NorthStar EMS and Franklin Health medical practices, University of Maine Farmington, Western Maine Community Action, and Western Maine Transportation Services.

The funding will enable HCC and the above collaborating partners to collectively add six full-time and six part-time positions.

“Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Jennifer McCormack, MBA, BSN, RN, executive director of Healthy Community Coalition. “This grassroots outreach effort with key community partners will build vaccine confidence in the hardest hit and highest risk communities to ensure that everyone has fair and equitable access to these vaccines to get the unvaccinated, vaccinated.”

For additional information contact at McCormack at 207-779-2926.

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