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MaineHealth Awarded $2.3M DHHS Grant to Prevent Tobacco Use

Portland, ME — November 22, 2016  MaineHealth has been awarded $2.3 million from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to implement a new statewide initiative to prevent the use of tobacco and reduce second-hand smoke exposure.  The contract is renewable annually for up to five years. 

MaineHealth’s Center for Tobacco Independence (CTI) will be the hub of the new program, with regional partners to be designated in each of Maine’s nine Public Health Districts. EMHS (Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems) will implement the program in the four northern districts in partnership with MaineHealth.  The overall goal is to reduce Maine’s rate of tobacco use, which stands at 19 percent among adults over age 18.

According to Deborah Deatrick, MaineHealth’s Senior Vice President for Community Health Improvement, the new initiative means that many of Maine’s tobacco prevention, policy and treatment activities will be led by CTI, a nationally recognized center of excellence on tobacco issues. 

Activities that are supported by the new funding will focus on youth and young adults and specifically, preventing all kinds of tobacco use (including e-cigarettes); preventing all ages from exposure to second-hand smoke in public places such as housing, colleges and schools, and lodging; and promoting tobacco treatment through the Maine Tobacco HelpLine, which is also administered by CTI. 

The project will work with local community-based organizations to deliver a consistent set of evidence-based strategies in each Public Health District.  Examples of activities include increasing adoption of tobacco-free policies in schools, organizations that serve youth, multi-unit housing properties, colleges and hospitals, and increasing referrals to tobacco treatment from non-clinical settings.

CTI Senior Director Kenneth Lewis will oversee the new initiative for MaineHealth, and EMHS Chief Community Health and Grants Officer Doug Michael will lead the EMHS implementation team.  Lewis said, “CTI is pleased with the opportunity to strengthen our long-standing partnership with the Maine CDC to provide evidence-based tobacco treatment and prevention services to Maine residents. The collaboration with EMHS on these critical services will help make our communities the healthiest in America.”

In addition to EMHS, MaineHealth will partner with the following 14 agencies to meet the tobacco prevention goals:


Sub Recipient Name


Aroostook County Action Program, Inc.


Healthy Acadia


City of Bangor Public Health and Community Services Department


Midcoast Hospital Access Health
Penobscot Bay YMCA/Knox County Community Health Coalition
Coastal Community Coalition


Health Communities of the Capital Area
Somerset Public Health – Redington-Fairview General Hospital


Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County
Healthy Androscoggin
Health Oxford Hills


City of Portland, Public Health Division


Partners for Healthier Communities at SMHC


Wabanaki Public Health


Contact: Kathleen Taggersell
System Director, Marketing & Communications
(207) 661-7582

110 Free Street | Portland, Maine 04101 | (207) 661-7001