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Community Health Needs Assessment | Financial Assistance

EMHS Obesity Grant Reaches More Than 40,000 Children

Release Date: 07/26/2012

Anthem Blue Cross Award Helps in Seven Maine Counties

BREWER, ME – (July 2, 2012) – When Eastern Maine Health System (EMHS) received the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation Youth Health Lifestyle Program (YHLP) grant two years ago, the hope was to touch 10,000 children across the Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems service area. Instead, the program reached more than 40,000 children in a seven county area. Here are a few highlights from the grant:
  • Ten healthcare practices and their providers were trained about Let's Go! to have meaningful conversations with families about weight and healthy behaviors. They were also provided with Let's Go! Tool kits free of charge.
  • Funding was used to support a physician’s time to help train other physicians.
  • "Healthy Favorite Cookbooks" which provided recipes and tools for healthy eating, shopping, and meal planning, were given to 2,500 children and families.
  • Seven community partners received mini-grant funding to expand the awareness of 5210 Let's Go! In their communities, these funds supported the development of an educational brochure, support of family educational sessions, promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors in tandem with already standing programs, and purchase of materials and resources for child care providers.
The Youth Health Lifestyle Program was created in 2008 as a childhood obesity prevention project. The program uses easy to remember consistent healthy lifestyle messaging throughout our communities in the form of 5-2-1-0: Five or more fruits and vegetables; two hours or less of screen time; one or more hours of physical activity; and zero sugary drinks, more water and low-fat milk.

Through the grant, EMHS has provided much needed resources and tools to children in Aroostook, Washington, Kennebec, Hancock, Piscataquis, Penobscot, and Somerset counties. As a Let’s Go! Kennebec dissemination partner in collaboration with EMHS, Inland Hospital in Waterville has implemented the program in their family practices to help their patients make healthier lifestyle choices. The hospital also supports local school efforts through their Community Benefit funding program and by participating in activities and events focusing on the 5-2-1-0 messages.

To learn more about Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0, visit: www.emh.org/5210 or www.inlandhospital.org.

EMHS is committed to helping the residents of the communities we serve have access to quality healthcare. By sharing resources and working together with all of our members, EMHS helps ensure that our aligned health providers have access to new technologies and the best medical protocols available, and the support they need to survive. This is why we say, together we’re stronger! A nationally recognized integrated healthcare system, EMHS serves communities from Greenville to Blue Hill and Waterville to Presque Isle. EMHS members include The Acadia Hospital, Affiliated Healthcare Systems, The Aroostook Medical Center, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Charles A Dean Memorial Hospital, Eastern Maine HomeCare, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Healthcare Charities, Inland Hospital, Rosscare, and Sebasticook Valley Health.