Federal grants boost Maine health centers

Posted Sept. 28, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.

Fourteen community health centers in Maine will be awarded $55,000 each in federal grant money to improve care and increase the number of screenings for cervical cancer.

The Maine health centers are among more than 800 nationally to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grants will help the health centers to become “patient-centered medical homes,” a model in which primary care doctors lead a team of health providers to coordinate patients’ care, including managing chronic diseases and hospital admissions.

“Our health centers are committed to providing high-quality health care services and today’s awards help continue these efforts,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press release.

The patient-centered medical home approach, which is designed to improve patients’ health and lower health care costs over time, also emphasizes preventive care.

The federal grants will support health centers in their efforts to increase the percentage of women who are screened for cervical cancer. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 4,000 deaths from cervical cancer will occur across the United States in 2012.

The Maine health centers receiving funding are located in Portland, Bangor, Bucksport, Leeds, Caribou, Lubec, Eagle Lake, Vinalhaven, Sanford, Parsonsfield, Waterville, Eastport, Patten and Princeton.

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