AUGUSTA –A recently awarded three-year, $1.2 million grant from the Administration for Community Living will allow Healthy Living for ME to strengthen its overall work, expand its Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) services in Maine and bring existing and new programming to a wider statewide population.

“With only two of these grants expected to be awarded nationally this cycle, this award is recognition of Health Living for ME’s work to help Mainers improve their overall health and wellbeing. The grant will allow our network to continue providing effective, evidence-based services to our existing participants, while also expanding our offerings,” said Gerard Queally, president and CEO of Spectrum Generations. Spectrum Generations, SeniorsPlus and Aroostook Agency on Aging have partnered to serve Mainers through the Healthy Living for ME Community Integrated Health Network.

Thirty-four percent of older Mainers live with multiple chronic conditions; in 2015, 132,000 Mainers had three or more chronic conditions. That number is expected to grow to 334,000 by 2030, which makes preventative and management programs increasingly important. 

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease estimates that between 2016 and 2030, chronic diseases will cost $183 billion in Maine. They also project that 5,400 lives and $409 million per year could be saved in Maine through modest behavioral changes including improved treatment rates, increased physical activity, and reductions in obesity and smoking. 

Healthy Living for ME’s evidence-based CDSME programs help participants make healthy choices, better manage underlying conditions, maintain independence and control healthcare costs. With the grant, current programming will be expanded to reach all adults 18+  and additional virtual classes will be added to benefit Mainers in rural and island communities and increase program completion rates. Healthy Living for Maine’s existing iPad loaning program will help even more people participate virtually.

In addition to the expansion of current CDSME programming, the grant will allow Healthy Living for ME to establish Living Well with HIV+, a new Positive Self-Management Program, as well as the new program of HealthMatters for Individuals with Brain Injury, Intellectual, or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). This will be the first evidence-based health and wellness program to be implemented statewide for the I/DD population.

“Maine’s DHHS, Office of Aging and Disability Services congratulates the Healthy Living for ME network in this grant award. This opportunity will strengthen and enhance a statewide integrated network to increase opportunities and empower older adults and adults with disabilities in Maine to improve their health,” said Paul Saucier, director, Office of Aging and Disability Services at Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services.  

The Maine DHHS Office of Aging and Disability Service is among the organizations that have committed to helping secure and/or provide funding to sustain the programs and network beyond the grant’s timeframe. Others include: Maine CDC, MaineGeneral Health, SeniorsPlus, Aroostook Agency on Aging and Spectrum Generations.

Healthy Living for ME (HL4ME) is a contractual joint venture partnership between Spectrum Generations, SeniorsPlus, and Aroostook Agency on Aging. HL4ME is a Community Integrated Health Network that connects adult Mainers with the resources they need to lead healthy, full and independent lives.