MeHAF Announces $525,000 in Grants to Broaden Health Equity in Maine

MeHAF announces $525,000 in Health Equity Capacity Building grants to seven organizations: Arookstook Band of Micmacs, Mabel Wadsworth Center, Together Place Peer Run Recovery Center, New England Arab American Organization, Somali Bantu Community Association, Survivior Speaks USA, and Wabanaki Public Health. These grantees join eight funded last year to create a cohort of 15 that spans from Presque Isle to Portland.  The mission of each of the 15 grantee organizations addresses the needs of communities in Maine facing disproportionate barriers to health, based on any number of factors including race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability status, or homelessness. All have both leadership by, and involvement from, the communities they serve.

Barbara Leonard, MeHAF President & CEO says, “Life expectancy, quality of health care, and access to health promoting resources vary widely among different groups in Maine. We hope to change this by strengthening the organizations within the communities that experience the challenges – so that they can bring their unique assets to bear in developing solutions.”

The program provides unrestricted funds to support organizational initiatives including mission development, research, marketing, or board and staff development, as examples.

“By placing an intentional lens on health equity we begin to address systemic issues that result in poor health outcomes and reduce access to care,” says MeHAF Program Officer Jake Grindle. “Engaging and supporting organizations that know and understand the needs of their own communities begins the broader work of addressing the structural issues and problems that create health disparities.”

MeHAF’s Health Equity Capacity Building program is one of several initiatives that the foundation has taken on since identifying health equity as a key issue that must be addressed so that every person and every community in Maine is healthy and well.

The Maine Health Access Foundation’s mission is to promote access to quality health care, especially for those who are uninsured and underserved, and improve the health of everyone in Maine.

MeHAF works with nonprofit partners and key leaders in the public and private sectors to advance initiatives and policies that particularly help those who face barriers accessing health care services and achieving optimal health. Each year we provide approximately $4 million in grant and program funding to support activities aligned with our mission.

For questions, please contact Jeb Murphy, Communications Associate, at the Maine Health Access Foundation by phone at 207.620.8266×117 or by email at