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Healthy Acadia Recognized at National Cancer Conference

Washington, D.C. Healthy Acadia, a community health organization serving Hancock and Washington counties, received national recognition for its exemplary efforts to reduce cancer incidence and improve health outcomes for cancer patients. In a February 6, 2019 ceremony during the National Cancer Conference in Washington, D.C., the nonprofit organization received the national Leadership Award from Less Cancer for it’s efforts to reduce cancer incidence and mortality through community health education and programming, including the Downeast Cancer Navigation Program.

In 2017, Healthy Acadia and Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center, with funding support from the Maine Cancer Foundation* and the Jean T. Cummings Fund of Maine Community Foundation, launched the Downeast Cancer Patient Navigator Program in Washington County to help patients navigate the healthcare and social service systems and community resources to access appropriate diagnostic, treatment, recovery, support, and financial services.

Central to the program are Cancer Patient Navigators who work directly with patients and healthcare providers, offering a compassionate and dependable system of support to help facilitate timely access to quality healthcare, empowering patients to be in control of their healthcare and other aspects of their lives, thereby improving patient outcomes and reducing mortality. To date, program has served more than 160 patients and their families.

Healthy Acadia’s Executive Director, Elsie Flemings, who was in the Capitol to attend the National Cancer Conference, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

“This cancer prevention work touches me, and many of my team, deeply and personally. I have lost loved ones far too young to the tragedy of cancer, as I know many of us have. And like Less Cancer, we know that [many cancers] can indeed…be prevented or cured with the right access to healthy opportunities and high quality health care.

“My extraordinary dedicated staff, volunteers, and partners…work tirelessly to make healthy choices possible for all people, to build systems to enable all people to live healthy lives, and address the challenges we face in our rural and underserved communities. On behalf of all of them, thank you. I share my deepest gratitude for your leadership in preventing cancer and promoting health.”

In addition to the Downeast Cancer Patient Navigator Program, Healthy Acadia offers additional educational opportunities and resources designed to reduce chronic disease and promote well-being, including nutrition education, tobacco cessation classes, substance use recovery coaching, and promotes physical activity and mindfulness, with classes in tai chi, yoga, and more. Learn more at www.healthyacadia.org.

Founded in 2004, the next Generation Choices Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity known more widely as “Less Cancer.” The organization works to educate the public, create proactive public policies, and offer continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, and public health professionals regarding cancer, over 50% of which are preventable. Learn more at www.lesscancer.org.

*Maine Cancer Foundation’s grant is offered as part of their ongoing Challenge Cancer 2020 initiative, aimed at reducing cancer incidence and mortality 20% by 2020. They have awarded nearly $9 million since 2015 in support of this initiative, focused on prevention, early detection and screening, and access to care for all Mainers. To learn more about Maine Cancer Foundation, visit mainecancer.org, or contact Kristen Smith, [email protected], 207.773.2533

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