Welcome to the Office of Population Health Equity
Maine CDC’s Office of Population Health Equity (OPHE) advances health equity by illuminating and addressing underlying conditions and systems that limit the full potential of all Maine people to lead healthy, safe, and opportunity-rich lives.
Social determinants of health – the conditions in which we are born, grow, age, live, and work – affect health outcomes. All those factors have been shaped by generations of systemic inequity and discrimination, resulting in health disparities for some communities, especially, but not limited to people that identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color; immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers; those who are LGBTQ+; and persons with disabilities.
OPHE collaborates with programs across Maine CDC and partners with community leaders to ensure that Maine’s public health initiatives are informed by and reflect the needs of the people we serve with a focus on the promotion and protection of the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work, and play.
Community-Based Organization Resources for Lewiston Residents
Please note, this list is not comprehensive and includes organizations who partner with the Maine CDC Office of Population Health Equity (OPHE). List will be updated as needed. Last revised: 10/30/23.
Unless otherwise noted, these services are available during business hours. They are listed in alphabetical order. Maine CDC’s Office of Population Health Equity Community Care Referral Program can connect you with community organizations that provide culturally and linguistically specific resources, including supports for stress and anxiety. Click here to submit a referral.
- AK Collaborative: The Imam of Masjid Salaam Mosque is offering culturally and linguistically tailored emotional support to those in our community deeply affected by the tragedy. If you or someone you know would benefit from this support, please call (207) 344-9153.
- Gateway Community Services, Maine (GCSM): GCSM employs Community Health Outreach Workers and a Wellness Programs Manager to serve the immigrant, refugee, asylee, and asylum-seeking Greater Portland and Lewiston-Auburn communities. Call 207-536-1590 or visit www.gcsmaine.org for more information.
- Maine Access Immigrant Network (MAIN): MAIN accepts referrals from providers for community members in need of supports that will help with their overall wellness. Please use findhelp.org or the Community Care Referral Program to submit a referral.
- Maine Association for New Americans (MANA): MANA coordinates multilingual outreach and intentional peer support for immigrants and their families to facilitate further resilience-building and trauma management. Call (207) 387-0749 or visitwww.mana-maine.org for more information.
- Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services (MEIRS): MEIRS has several behavioral health services designed to support community members and has specific expertise in serving the immigrant population. MEIRS counselors are licensed clinical professionals who are trauma informed and trained to work with people from diverse backgrounds. Behavioral Health Services provided include individual and group counseling for children and adults. Call (207) 782-0260, email email@example.com, or visitwww.meirs.org and click the Referrals button at the top left of the webpage.
- New England Arab American Organization (NEAAO) provides youth healing circles for individuals ages 12 and up, resources for parents who want to address community violence with their children, non-clinical counseling, and information about how to tell misinformation from credible information. For more information, please call (207) 347-0249 or contact NEAAO online by visiting https://www.neaao.org/contact.
- New Mainer Public Health Initiative (NMPHI): Based in Lewiston, NMPHI employs Community Health Workers (CHWs) who educate, advocate and empower New Mainers on a variety of health issues and are trained to provide emotional support and psychological first aid. Call (207)241-0546, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nmphi.org. Services currently offered virtually as needed.
- Spiritual Care Services of Maine (SCS): SCS provides a free, anonymous, and supportive listening presence for people across the state of Maine. SCS Maine provides inclusive spiritual care for people of any faith or tradition or no faith or tradition. At least until Friday, November 10, SCS will have 24/7 hotline availability and calls will be answered by a clinically trained chaplain and if call goes to voicemail, a call back will be made as soon as possible. Call (207) 261-5200 or schedule a call with a chaplain here.
What is Health Equity?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) defines health equity as, “when everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible.”
Achieving health equity requires identifying and addressing social, economic, and other systemic barriers that create obstacles to accessing care and result in poor health outcomes, such as, poverty, environmental conditions, housing, employment, education, and cultural and language differences.
These barriers result from structural racism, discrimination, stigma, and disenfranchisement, and overwhelmingly impact communities that are underresourced, including communities of color, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, people who are currently or formerly incarcerated, those without homes, and those who live in rural areas.
These inequities do not just affect those groups that are hardest hit; they affect us all.
What is Population Health?
Population health is a collaborative approach to public health that encourages partnerships with non-traditional stakeholders, including community-based organizations, cultural brokers, educational institutions, and policy makers, to gain knowledge about the characteristics and needs of the communities and people we serve in an effort to identify ways to improve health equity and achieve positive health outcomes.
Population Health and Health Equity in Maine
- A Strategic Plan to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (PDF)
- The Way Health Should Be: Social Determinants of Health in Maine (2019) (PDF)
- Using Data to Promote Health Equity (PDF) (2016)
- Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment
Contact the Office of Population Health Equity
- Abby Harper, Health Equity Program Manager (Abigail.Harper@maine.gov)
- Abdulkerim Said, Health Equity Partnerships Coordinator (Abdulkerim.Said@maine.gov)
- Ian Yaffe, OPHE Director (Ian.Yaffe@maine.gov)
- Chanbopha Himm, Relationship Coordinator (Chanbopha.Himm@maine.gov)
- Eden Silverthorne, Community Care Coordinator (Eden.Silverthorne@maine.gov)
- Hamda Ahmed, Community Care Navigator (Hamda.Ahmed@maine.gov)
- Grace Tezo, MD, Community Care Navigator (Grace.Tezo@maine.gov)
Mail / Phone:
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Office of Population Health Equity
286 Water Street
Augusta, ME 04333–0011
Phone: Maine CDC General Information / Receptionist: (207) 287–8016
TTY users call Maine Relay 711
General Inquiries: email@example.com