Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Maine Rural Health Research Center, Population Health and Health Policy

New book features Maine Rural Health Research Center authors

Rural Public Health book cover

In this book, Rural Public Health: Best Practices and Preventive Models, invited authors from the Maine Rural Health Research Center discuss rural health from the perspectives of public health and prevention. Erika Ziller brings her expertise on rural access to medical care in the chapter she authored, in which she highlights the barriers to optimal care for rural residents.  David Lambert and John Gale discuss efforts to integrate primary and mental health care in rural areas, noting the increase in successful integration programs along with the persistent barriers to integration in rural areas.  Jennifer Lendardson, David Hartley, John Gale, and Karen Pearson co-authored the chapter on substance use and abuse in rural America, looking at the prevalence of substance abuse and efforts to prevent and treat it in rural areas.

Suggested citations:

Ziller EC. Access to Medical Care in Rural America. In: Warren JC, Smiley KB, eds. Rural Public Health: Best Practices and Preventive Models. New York: Springer Publishing Company; 2014:11-28.

Lambert D, Gale J. Integrated Care in Rural Areas. In: Warren JC, Smiley KB, eds. Rural Public Health: Best Practices and Preventive Models. New York: Springer Publishing Company; 2014:67-84.

Lenardson JD, Hartley D, Gale J, Pearson KB. Substance Use and Abuse in Rural America. In: Warren JC, Smiley KB, eds. Rural Public Health: Best Practices and Preventive Models. New York: Springer Publishing Company; 2014:95-114.

 

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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