Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition: Jewett School Community Center

Phone: 207-469-6682  Fax: 207-469-7369

66 Bridge Street, Bucksport, Maine 04416

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The Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition: History of Accomplishments 

In 1998 Re-chartered the Healthy Community Coalition under the Town of Bucksport as the Bucksport Community Health Advisory Committee.  A Health Planning Office was created within the organization of the town. Johnson and Johnson awarded a $100,000 grant to the coalition to create a health plan for the Town. More than 140 community volunteers helped to create and implement the Bucksport Health Plan. The town donates office space and makes annual contribution to the work of the coalition. In 2010 the coalition became incorporated as a 501C3 non-profit corporation and works closely with the town on mutual planning goals.

The Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition is an integral part of the Town of Bucksport. Originally started as a Town Committee - this organization has blossomed over decades into an active force that provides and advocates for health and wellness programs for people of all ages in this region. In addition, the organization provides valuable input into municipal planning efforts, trains and utilizes dozens of volunteers annually to carry out the goals of the organization, and with limited paid staff - is responsible for significantly improving the lives of people in this region.

-Susan Lessard, Bucksport Town Manager

  • Sponsors Americorps Vista Volunteers who

    • facilitated development of Bucksport Health Plan,

    • established Bucksport Youth Council,

    • expanded recreation programs for 300 area youth, -launched town fitness programs.

    • organized volunteers to respond to the needs of nearly 50 older adults to live independently in their home as they age

 

  • Established Bucksport and surrounding communities as a Federal Dental Health Professional Shortage Area. The coalition convened a collaboration between Bucksport Regional Health Center and the Town of Bucksport to establish a freestanding dental clinic.  Today the clinic serves 2,500 patients.

                               

  • Assisted Early Childhood Committee, which is comprised of educators, child care providers, public and community health nurses, child development specialists, and adult educators, in defining “School Readiness” as well as planning an annual fair on this same topic. In order to address poor reading levels of young children entering school, committee members launched the First Book Program which provides free books to parents and young children to promote reading at home. The committee raised enough funds to distribute 3,228 books.

  • Assisted Housing subcommittee in preparing information for housing study. Received a $15,000 grant from the Bingham Program to study the housing needs of older adults.

    • Worked with the Town of Bucksport in planning to convert a vacated school building to a 26 unit housing complex for older adults.

While serving as the minister of the Elm Street Congregational Church here in Bucksport, I and key members of the church worked closely with the Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition and the Brookdale Foundation to begin a social model adult day care program for people suffering from mild to moderate dementia. Working in collaboration with the coalition we wrote a grant proposal, and ultimately received a grant from Brookdale, which ran for two years. The advice and guidance we received from the coalition’s Health Planning director was invaluable in helping us to get this program up and running. 

 

-Rev. Linda A. Smith (Pastor 2003 – 2012)

  • Assisted the Wellness and Fitness subcommittee and Bucksport’s Coordinated School Health Program in launching the “Move and Improve Project,” a program sponsored by Eastern Maine Health Care, to increase physical activity. More than 1,000 adults and children attended events during the 2004 Bucksport Bay Area Health & Fitness Week. The number of residents who registered for the Move & Improve Program increased from 164 in 2001 to 913 in 2004.

  • Senior Resource Committee members assisted Downeast Transportation Services to design a shuttle bus and Taxi service for Bucksport and surrounding communities. BBHCC received a $6,000 grant from the Maine Health Access Foundation and a $2,000 grant from Maine’s Department of Transportation to develop a pilot transportation service.

  • Received a three-year $229,500 grant from Maine’s Office of Substance Abuse to develop a regional comprehensive substance abuse prevention plan and program to reduce underage use of alcohol and tobacco by students between the ages of 12 –17. Through a community strategy of increased law enforcement on underage drinking and expanded teen prevention programs, cigarette use by teens dropped by 25.6%; teen alcohol use fell by 12.5%; marijuana use by teens was reduces by 41.9%; and binge drinking by teens fell by 20.7% from 2006-2008 as measured by the Maine Youth Drug Alcohol Use Survey (MYDAUS).

  • Convened a partnership between Child and Family Opportunities and the Town of Bucksport to relocate the Bucksport Head Start Program to a new location, which will double the number of students who can attend Head Start from 20 to 40 students.

  • In conjunction with the Bucksport Recreation Department, established the Challenging Choices Program, a teen enrichment program offering youth healthy alternative activity.

  • Received a grant for $47,355 from the Maine Office of Substance Abuse to implement a workplace wellness program for the Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and other community prevention programs. More than 20 local businesses participated in this program.

  • Advocated for the towns in the Bucksport Bay area to be a separate service area under the Healthy Maine Partnership Program. Received more than $250,000 in funding to support public health programs.

  • Established a collaboration between the Bucksport Police Department, Bucksport Recreation Department, Hancock County District Attorney’s Office, and Hancock County Sheriff’s Department to develop a Diversion Program for first-time juvenile offenders with a substance abuse related summons. To date 118 participants have completed the program, which represents a completion rate of 79%.

  • Co-sponsored with RSU 25’s Coordinated School Health Program development of the Get Fit – Let’s Go Program, a nine-week weight reduction and physical activity program for adults. The program has engaged over 230 adults to lose 1,536 pounds and increase their physical exercise by 4,325 hours.

  • Created a partnership between the town of Bucksport, RSU 25, and the Bucksport Senior Center to create a sustainable meal program for older adults. The coalition awarded RSU 25 a grant of $11,520 to implement the program.  More than 25,000 meals have been serves by this program.

RSU 25 has had a long and productive collaboration with Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition for more than two decades. Coalition volunteers have worked with school staff and students on numerous school health initiatives such as preventive dental hygiene, substance abuse prevention, immunization clinics, youth leadership programs, bully prevention programs, Move and Improve, 5-2-1-0 Let's Go, suicide prevention training, diversion programming and the Building Assets Reducing Risk Program. These efforts have truly had a positive impact on the lives of our students and their families. We look forward to continuing this important partnership.

-Jim Boothby, Superintendent, RSU 25

  • Received a $50,000 grant from the Maine Health Access Foundation to implement a Community Wellness Guide Program.

  • Facilitated a year-long workshop program called Healthy Living designed to help older adults plan well for aging in their own homes and we received a 2 year renewal grant from the United Way of Eastern Maine to continue the Healthy Living Program into 2017.

  • Helped to facilitate over 1,500 CARE volunteer driver transportation requests.

  • Received the WLBZ TV -- 2 Those Who Care “Agency of Distinction” Award for 2014.

  • Received a three year, $220,000 grant from the Maine Health Access Foundation to implement the Bucksport Bay Area Thriving in Place program.  Thriving in Place is a community-wide response program involving 15 local and regional healthcare and service providers, a Wellness Nurse, and a core volunteer support team to assist our aging, chronically ill, and disabled population, especially those who are uninsured and underinsured, so that they can live healthy, safe, and active lives in their own homes. 

"Over the past 4 years the Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce has had the privilege of promoting all the work that Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition does in the region.  We were particularly proud to help with the ongoing "Show You Care" campaign. The winters here can be harsh and having the ability to walk safely in the town benefits the businesses and the citizens. I personally, was so happy to acquire the big blue barrels that hold the sand that can be tossed for traction.  "Show You Care" encourages everyone to keep and grow accessibility year round. The Chamber will continue to look forward to partner and grow with BBHCC.”

-Leslie Wombacher, Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce

  • In 2015 created partnership with town of Bucksport, Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition to launch social marketing program, Show You Care. This awareness campaign educates community residents, businesses, and local government on the need to assess their buildings and grounds for potential barriers that may cause risk for children and adults who may live with a disability or for whatever reason may have mobility limitations. Senior Resource Committee volunteers successfully advocated for improvements at Rite Aid Pharmacy, Community Pharmacy, Buck Memorial Library, and along Main Street in Bucksport.
     

  • In August, 2016 assisted the town of Bucksport with their successful application to be recognized as an AARP Age-Friendly Community.

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