PRESS RELEASES & Statements

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Maine’s Community Health Centers Celebrate National Health Center Week


Statewide celebration highlights critical role health centers play in ensuring access to
affordable, high-quality healthcare for all Maine people

 Augusta, MEAug. 14, 2017 – Over 30 events around the state are planned as part of National Health Center Week (NHCW). The statewide celebration runs August 13-19 with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of Maine’s 20 Federally Qualified Community Health Centers. 

One of the bright spots in Maine’s health care system, Community Health Centers serve more than 210,000 individuals (1 in 6 Maine People), a number that continues to grow along with the demand for affordable, high-quality primary medical, dental and behavioral health services, at over 70 locations throughout the state. With more than 2,000 employees, Maine’s Community Health Centers have compiled a significant record of success and compassionate care that includes:

·       Providing more than $16 million in uncompensated care in Maine last year;
·       Delivering $7.5 million in free and reduced cost prescriptions to Mainers;
·       Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency department;
·       Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency department visit;
·       Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent; and
·       Ranking in the top five in the country per capita in assisting the uninsured and underinsured gain health insurance.

 Health centers not only prevent illness and foster wellness in the most challenging populations they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in our communities. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and opioid addiction. Because of their long record of success in innovation, managing health care costs and reducing chronic disease, health centers have a proud tradition of bipartisan support among Maine’s congressional delegation.

There are NHCW events scheduled across the state, including health fairs, back-to-school drives, blood drives, 5K run/walks, tai chi and yoga classes, patient appreciation events, free health screenings and dental cleanings, and much more. To view a complete listing of NHCW events please visit: www.mepca.org.

Follow Maine Primary Care Association on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mainepca and Twitter: www.twitter.com/mainepca.

About Maine Primary Care Association

The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA) is a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers. For 35 years, MPCA has provided technical assistance and training, housed relevant programs and services and advocated on behalf of Maine’s safety net and the hundreds of thousands of patients it serves. In advancing its mission, MPCA hopes to strengthen Maine’s health centers and work to amplify messages shared among member health centers, bridge medical practices and the public health sector and provide linkages to community, state and federal partners including public health and allied agencies. For more information, please visit us on the web at mepca.org or call (207) 621-0677.

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Statement on United States Senate “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017”
Vanessa Santarelli, CEO


Augusta, ME June 27, 2017 "The Senate 'Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017' is anything but, and would be disastrous for Mainers, rural health care providers and our entire state's economy. This bill, drafted in secret and with no public involvement in the process, will raise insurance premiums for older and rural Mainers, reduce access to affordable coverage for tens of thousands of individuals who rely on subsidies in order to purchase insurance, allow states to eliminate coverage for many essential health benefits and undermine the ability of Maine's Community Health Centers to provide high quality, comprehensive primary and preventive care to those who need it most. Federal legislation that seeks to throw thousands of hard-working Mainers off their health insurance shouldn't be celebratedit should be soundly rejected. We applaud the leadership shown by Senators Collins and King in announcing their opposition to this bill and hope their colleagues follow their example by voting it down later this week."

Follow Maine Primary Care Association on social media: facebook.com/mainepca and twitter.com/mainepca.

About Maine Primary Care Association

The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA) is a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers. For 35 years, MPCA has provided technical assistance and training, housed relevant programs and services and advocated on behalf of Maine’s safety net and the hundreds of thousands of patients it serves. In advancing its mission, MPCA hopes to strengthen Maine’s health centers and work to amplify messages shared among member health centers, bridge medical practices and the public health sector and provide linkages to community, state and federal partners including public health and allied agencies. For more information, please visit us on the web at mepca.org or call (207) 621-0677.

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Maine Primary Care Association to Testify Against the Department of
Health and Human Services’ Proposed Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver, MaineCare Reform

 

If approved, waiver application will lead to a further loss of health coverage for thousands of Mainers

Augusta, MEMay 17, 2017 – Vanessa Santarelli, CEO of the Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), whose members include all 20 of Maine’s Community Health Centers (CHCs), will testify in opposition to the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver on MaineCare Reform at the Augusta Civic Center on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Collectively, Maine’s CHCs provide comprehensive, affordable, high quality primary and preventive health care services to approximately 210,000 Mainers, have over 2,040 employees and contributed over $311 million to the state’s economy last year.

If approved and implemented, the substantial changes contained in the Department’s waiver application will cause thousands of Mainers to lose health coverage, reduce critical resources for essential health care providers such as Community Health Centers, hospitals, and nursing homes, and make no marked reduction in inappropriate Emergency Department utilization.

According to Santarelli, “With the current uncertainty in the health care marketplace, this waiver application couldn’t come at a worse time. It also follows the Administration’s biennial budget proposal which seeks to eliminate health coverage for all 19 and 20 years olds through the MaineCare Program, as well as drop parental coverage from 100% federal poverty to 40%. This is an economic issue as much as it is about access to health care. The state should work to expand health coverage, not keep cutting it at the expense of those who need it most.”

Follow Maine Primary Care Association on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mainepca and Twitter: www.twitter.com/mainepca.

About Maine Primary Care Association

The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA) is a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers. For 35 years, MPCA has provided technical assistance and training, housed relevant programs and services and advocated on behalf of Maine’s safety net and the hundreds of thousands of patients it serves. In advancing its mission, MPCA hopes to strengthen Maine’s health centers and work to amplify messages shared among member health centers, bridge medical practices and the public health sector and provide linkages to community, state and federal partners including public health and allied agencies. For more information, please visit us on the web at mepca.org or call (207) 621-0677.

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Maine Primary Care Association Announces Winners of the
2016 Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards
 

Bar Harbor, MEOct. 19, 2016 – The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards which were presented today at a ceremony during the organization’s annual conference in Bar Harbor. Now in its 11th year, the Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards were created to acknowledge the leadership and tireless efforts of individuals and health center advocates working to ensure access to affordable, high quality health care for all Mainers.

This year, MPCA recognized nine individuals for their exemplary service and distinguished accomplishments in support of Maine’s 20 Community Health Centers. The 2016 award winners are as follows:

  • MPCA President’s Award – Gordon H. Smith, Esq., Maine Medical Association
  • Physician Excellence – Susan Cheff, MD, Penobscot Community Health Care
  • Excellence in Oral Health – Phil Higgins, DMD, Penobscot Community Health Care (Dental)
  • Behavioral Health Excellence – Jennifer McCarthy, MEd, MS, LMHC, LCPC, Sacopee Valley Health Center
  • Nurse Practitioner Excellence – David Ulrich, FNP, Penobscot Community Health Care
  • Unsung Hero – Angela Fileccia, LCSW, Penobscot Community Health Care
  • Clinical Support Excellence – Jordyn Turner, Eastport Health Care
  • Physician Assistant Excellence – Kay Nash, PA-C, Penobscot Community Health Care
  • MPCA Staff Excellence – Andrea Watkins, Maine Primary Care Association

Vanessa Santarelli, CEO, Maine Primary Care Association, said, “Today, we celebrate and honor the significant and tireless contributions of the exceptional clinicians, administrators and support staff at Maine’s Community Health Centers. Their dedication to their patients and the mission to serve all who walk through their doors is second to none. We are pleased to hold a special ceremony in their honor to highlight the critical role they play each and every day.”

Follow Maine Primary Care Association on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mainepca and Twitter: www.twitter.com/mainepca.

About Maine Primary Care Association

The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA) is a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers. For 35 years, MPCA has provided technical assistance and training, housed relevant programs and services and advocated on behalf of Maine’s safety net and the hundreds of thousands of patients it serves. In advancing its mission, MPCA hopes to strengthen Maine’s health centers and work to amplify messages shared among member health centers, bridge medical practices and the public health sector and provide linkages to community, state and federal partners including public health and allied agencies. For more information, please visit us on the web at mepca.org or call (207) 621-0677.

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Awards $1.875 Million to the Maine Primary Care Association for the Continued Development of the
Community Health Center Network of Maine


Funding to Support Improvements in the Information Technology Capabilities of
Maine’s 15 Participating Community Health Centers

Augusta, MEAug. 22, 2016 – The Maine Primary Care Association (mepca.org) today announced that it has been awarded $1.875 million over three years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to further strengthen the state’s Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN), known as the Community Health Center Network of Maine (CHCNet). The $625,000 per year award will support 15 participating health centers across Maine as they work to make strategic investments in information technology that will lead to new operational efficiencies and a better care experience for their patients.

Vanessa Santarelli, CEO, Maine Primary Care Association, said, “CHCNet plays an important role in improving health center operations and quality of care through the integration of critical health information technologies. This funding is both timely and much needed as it will enable our community health centers to advance population health and streamline operations at the same time.”

Health Center Controlled Networks are designed to improve access to care, enhanced quality of care and provide cost efficiencies for health centers through the strategic adoption of health information technology. The Maine Primary Care Association has operated the CHCNet since 2005. CHCNet supports Maine’s health centers in ongoing and comprehensive practice transformation in addition to assisting with Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and other transformative accreditations.

This funding will support, among other things, the transition to value-based care, implementation of certified electronic health record technology, enhanced data analytics to support more informed decision-making, increase staff and patient engagement and overall improvements to clinical and operational quality.         

Since its founding, CHCNet has grown into a network of 15 participating community health centers with a total of 66 sites throughout Maine. All of Maine’s CHCNet members are Health Center Program Award Recipients and are collaboratively working to improve operations and provide high quality healthcare to Maine residents. A listing of the network’s health centers follows below:


About Maine Primary Care Association

The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA) is a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Community Health Centers. For more than 30 years, MPCA has provided technical assistance and training, housed relevant programs and services and advocated on behalf of Maine’s safety net and the hundreds of thousands of patients it serves. In advancing its mission, MPCA hopes to strengthen Maine’s health centers and work to amplify messages shared among member health centers, bridge medical practices and the public health sector and provide linkages to community, state and federal partners including public health and allied agencies. For more information, please visit us on the web at mepca.org or call (207) 621-0677.

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Maine’s Community Health Centers Celebrate “National Health Center Week” with Fun, Informative Events Statewide


Augusta, MEAug. 8, 2016 – Today kicks off National Health Center Week (NHCW) and the Maine Primary Care Association (mepca.org), whose members include all 20 of Maine’s Community Health Centers (CHCs), is proudly recognizing their collective mission and accomplishments. One of the bright spots in America’s healthcare system, CHCs reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine in addressing some of our most pressing healthcare challenges.

In Maine, CHCs are “Health Homes” for approximately 200,000 individuals (1 in 7). There are over 70 CHC locations throughout the state which are open to everyone regardless of insurance or socioeconomic status. CHCs offer the highest quality of care and are local leaders in innovation with over 90 percent of Maine’s CHCs participating in pilots and demonstration projects to test new models of healthcare delivery.

Vanessa Santarelli, CEO, Maine Primary Care Association, said, “This week we celebrate over 50 years of care, commitment and innovation provided by our Community Health Centers. Maine’s CHCs are leaders in delivering high quality, compassionate health care to those who need it most. For people of all ages, CHCs offer a unique, holistic approach to health care, providing critical primary, behavioral, and dental health services that not only help prevent illness but also foster wellness in our rural and underserved communities.”

There are a variety of free, family-friendly activities scheduled statewide during National Health Center Week and throughout the month of August. Events include teddy bear/baby doll check-ups, farm stands, health screenings, blood drives and wellness seminars, among others. For a list of featured NHCW events, visit mepca.org/national-health-center-week-events-2016.

For information on a specific Community Health Center in Maine, please click on its URL below:


About Maine Primary Care Association

The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA) is a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Community Health Centers, known as Maine’s health care safety net. For more than 30 years, MPCA has provided technical assistance and training, housed relevant programs and services and advocated on behalf of Maine’s safety net and the hundreds of thousands of patients it serves. In advancing its mission, MPCA hopes to strengthen Maine’s health centers and work to amplify messages shared among member health centers, bridge medical practices and the public health sector and provide linkages to community, state and federal partners including public health and allied agencies. For more information, please visit us on the web at mepca.org or call (207) 621-0677.

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Media Contact:
Bryan Wyatt
Director of Communications
Maine Primary Care Association
FB/Twitter: @MainePCA
(207) 621-0677 x203