Maine CDC Press Release

September 19, 2008

Maine DHHS Programs Receive Federal Grant Support

AUGUSTA – Several Federal grants have been obtained by programs within Maine Health and Human Services Departments recently.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that Maine was one of six states chosen as a recipient of a Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) grant. Maine’s Community Caring Collaborative will receive $916,000 each year for five years. The funds will help expand prevention programs for underserved communities in Washington County, including 2,000 Passamaquoddy tribal members. In year one, about $600,000 will be spent in Washington County to address early maternal and child health interventions, substance abuse, mental health and primary care.

Project LAUNCH is a new grant program designed to promote the wellness of young children ages birth to 8 by addressing the physical, emotional, social and behavioral aspects of their development. “These Project LAUNCH grants will enhance and coordinate key child-serving systems in communities across the country,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick, DDS, MPH. “By providing young children with supportive and nurturing environments, we can promote healthy development and prevent problems before they occur.” In order to model the cooperation it requires from grantees, SAMHSA is working in partnership with other agencies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to guide the development of the initiative and integrate Project LAUNCH with other federal programs. This partnership includes HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Resources and Services Administration. The programs selected for LAUNCH grants will receive approximately $900,000 each year, over the course of the next five years. The actual award amounts may vary, depending on the availability of funds and the progress achieved by the awardees. The program will be administered by SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services.

Maine was also one of 10 states nationwide to be awarded a grant for nearly $265,000 from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau for an innovative demonstration project to improve awareness of and access to resources for new parents and families.

This project--the Maine New Family Initiative--is a public-private partnership with joint DHHS leadership from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of Child and Family Services, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the United Ways of Maine, tribal communities, the Watching Place productions (media partner) and other community providers.

The New Family Initiative intends to incorporate the voices of Maine youth and families in its messaging and social marketing efforts, while supporting 2-1-1 staffing to monitor and update resource listings that are geared to families with young children.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) recently received a $943,020 award from the U.S. CDC to begin the development of an electronic death registry in Maine.

Electronic death registries are considered essential in a pandemic or other widespread public health emergency to assure the rapid and accurate identification of fatalities.

U.S. CDC was also awarded $508,567 to support the development of an electronic system to securely transmit laboratory results from the MeCDC Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory to the medical providers, state public health intervention teams and federal surveillance partners as appropriate. In a pandemic or in the investigation of infectious diseases in general, the electronic transmission of data from the laboratory is a critical component of an effective public health response.

For more information, please contact: John Martins, Director, Employee and Public Communications 207-287-5012