Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

News

Prevention of Drug Use and Treatment of Drug Use Disorders in Rural Settings

John Gale, Research Associate at the Maine Rural Health Research Center, participated in the development of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime's Guide entitled, Prevention of Drug Use and Treatment of Drug Use Disorders in Rural Areas. The Guide serves as an awareness-raising tool and guidance for policymakers, public health officials, local authorities and other stakeholders in dealing with substance use issues in rural settings in their respective countries. It lays out a policy framework as well as a system-level assessment, and supplies information on planning and implementation of both prevention and treatment strategies for rural settings. The Guide also provides an understanding of several key economic and social disparities driving rural substance use and the barriers to treatment experienced by rural people with substance use disorders.
President Cummings interviewing guests from the School of Education and Human Development and Portland Empowered on the set of the USM update

Replay: 'The USM Update' 4/3/2017

Get an update on USM's sustainability efforts and learn how USM students are being prepared to tackle the environmental challenges facing the planet. Also, hear how USM is preparing its educators to adapt to the changing demographics in Maine's classrooms. Plus, a discussion on the findings of the first in-depth analysis of Maine's juvenile records system.

Erika Ziller Published in Maine Health Access Foundation

Erika Ziller has just published a research brief with Barbara Leonard at the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF).

Barbara Hart Seminar/Retirement

On December 16, 2016, Barbara Hart, JD, presented a farewell seminar at the Muskie School of Public Service to a wide ranging audience that included advocates, attorneys, and activists. Barbara Hart recently retired from the Muskie School as Director of Law and Policy of Domestic Violence.

USM’s Muskie School of Public Service awarded a $233,000 grant to study cost-of-health-care pilot program

USM's Muskie School of Public Service in partnership with Maine Quality Counts and the Maine Health Data Organization has been awarded a $233,000 one year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine new ways of informing patients about the cost of their health care
WCSH-TV photo of Pious Ali

USM’s Pious Ali joins Portland City Council in ‘historic inauguration’ says WCSH-TV

WCSH-TV covered the swearing-in ceremony Dec. 5 of Pious Ali, a community outreach specialist for USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, as a Portland City Councilor. Ali became the first African-born city councilor in Portland history.
cover photo for Innovations in Rural Health System Developement

New reports presented at MeHAF Rural Conference

In an effort to inform and promote local discussions and strategic planning for transforming health and health care in rural communities, the Maine Rural Health Research Center, with support from the Maine Health Access Foundation, produced five issue briefs profiling innovative approaches to rural health. The briefs present innovative approaches from Maine and other parts of the United States to the provision of behavioral health services, recruitment and retention of health care workers, service delivery, governance, and health care payment and financing in rural areas. FMI: Andrew Coburn, PhD, Director, Maine Rural Health Research Center.

New Research Shows Inequality in Mainers' Access to Health Care

On October 17, 2016, the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) released a new research brief developed with the University of Southern Maine that found significant inequality in the ability of people in Maine to access quality health care. The authors, Barbara Leonard from MeHAF and Erika Ziller from the USM Muskie School, found that income, age and education are all closely associated with Maine people’s ability to receive appropriate and timely health care. Specifically, they found that among Maine adults 18 and older, those with family incomes less than $25,000 a year, young adults, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with less education are much more likely to: -Delay seeking health care even when sick; -Be unable to afford prescription medication; -Lack access to preventative check-ups and screenings or have a regular health care provider. In addition, their analysis also found that Maine people, of all income groups, have reported difficulties in paying medical costs. The brief is available for download on the Maine Health Access Foundation website.

New article on EMS Performance Measures by Rural Health Research Center staff

Developing Program Performance Measures for Rural Emergency Medical Services has been published online in Prehospital Emergency Care, and is available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10903127.2016.1218978. The authors are John Gale, Andrew Coburn, Karen Pearson, Zach Croll, and George Shaler. Building on national efforts to develop EMS performance measures, the authors sought to identify measures relevant to the rural communities and hospitals supported by the National Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program). The measures are intended for use in monitoring rural EMS performance at the community level as well as for use by state Flex Programs and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to demonstrate the impact of the Flex Program. Working with an Expert Panel, the authors identified 17 program performance measures to support EMS services in rural communities. These measures monitor the capacity of local agencies to collect and report quality and financial data, use the data to improve agency performance, and train rural EMS employees in emergent protocols for all age groups. FMI: John Gale

Gale presents on rural opioids at United Nations meeting in Vienna

John Gale, Research Associate at the Maine Rural Health Research Center, was invited to present at a three-day meeting of the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section of the United Nation's Office on Drugs and Crime, held in Vienna, Austria the first week of June.The focus of the meeting is the development of a model program for drug prevention and treatment in rural areas. Gale's current research on rural opioids provided the context for his presentation, "The Overall Situation of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Prevention and Treatment in Rural Settings."

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