The University of New England (UNE) Center for Excellence in Health Innovation received a $2.3 million contract from the Maine CDC to provide statewide substance use prevention services to Maine youth and young adults as part of Maine Prevention Services, a group of services overseen by the Maine CDC providing primary prevention of substance use and misuse, tobacco use and obesity with a focus on youth empowerment and engagement. The primary focus of the substance use prevention efforts are to reduce heroin use, alcohol use and binge drinking, marijuana use and prescription drug misuse.
As a part of the contract, UNE subcontracts with nineteen local community agencies that work with the District Coordinating Councils for Public Health to ensure complimentary and appropriate substance use and misuse prevention services occur throughout the State. In addition to focusing on youth and young adults, prevention services also focus on populations with an undue burden of substance use and exposure such as MaineCare members, rural Mainers, veterans, pregnant women, Maine’s Tribal members and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The educators providing prevention services under the grant will be certified prevention specialists or carry provisional prevention specialist credentials and will employ evidence-based prevention strategies.
The team managing the grant is assembled and includes Karen O’Rourke, MPH, Project Leader, who led the efforts to hire staff and contract with sub-recipients and now provides supervision to the Program Manager offering assistance in planning and oversight of the program. Doreen Fournier, MSW, is the Program Manager responsible for overall implementation of the program and is the lead liaison between the other Maine Prevention Services vendors and is the primary contact for the Maine CDC. Becky Ireland, CPS, is the Program Coordinator providing training and technical assistance to the central and southern district sub-recipients. Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems is sub-contracted by UNE to provide training and technical assistance to the northern and eastern district sub-recipients.
Funding for the grant is provided by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention with grants from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Partnerships for Success and SAMHSA Block Grants.