Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

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As part of the 2-day Sino-American International Research Forum, Dr. Erika Ziller and Dr. Brenda Joly of the USM Muskie School presented their research on Rural Implications of Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act and Partnerships to Improve Community Health. Participants in the forum will have their research published in the NAAAS monograph series.
Report Cover: New Jersey's Manage by Data Program
David Lambert and Julie Atkins present strategies that organizations can follow to change their culture by moving toward data-driven decision making. Their case study report examines the New Jersey Department of Children and Families' Manage by Data program, which was aimed at changing the technical capacity and agency culture to understand and use data to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families.
Join us on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. (EST) for a discussion of the new Veterans Choice Program. The Veterans Choice Program is a new program from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that expands access to healthcare to veterans by allowing them to receive care from non-VA healthcare providers. Link: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/vcp_webinar/ Call-in:1-888-831-8965 Passcode: 5914375
John Gale of the Maine Rural Health Research Center, USM Muskie School, will be co-presenting a webinar on rural behavioral health and primary care integration issues on 2/26/15 from 2-3:30 pm ET. Join this webinar to get an overview of integration models used in rural settings, planning best practices, financing considerations, and implementation strategies for primary care and behavioral health providers to collaborate and better meet the behavioral health needs of their communities.
Researchers from the Maine Rural Health Research Center present findings from their evaluation of the rural implications of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Book Cover: Rural Public Health
Rural Public Health: Best Practices and Preventive Models, published by Springer Publishing Company, wins second place in the 2014 American Journal of Nursing Awards. Research staff at the Maine Rural Health Research Center contributed chapters to this book. Congratulations to John Gale, David Hartley, David Lambert, Jennifer Lenardson, Karen Pearson, and Erika Ziller!
picture of: Amanda Burgess, Muskie School graduate student
Amanda Burgess, a graduate student in the Muskie School Public Policy and Management (PPM) program and a graduate research assistant in the Maine Rural Health Research Center, is the featured haiku in today's Kaiser Health News (KNH) briefing (http://kaiserhealthnews.org/morning-briefing/thursday-january-15-2015/)
John Gale
John Gale, Research Associate in the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the USM Muskie School has been appointed to the National Quality Forum's (NQF) Rural Health Expert Panel for the Quality and Cost Efficiency Measurement Efforts Directed at Small-Practice and Low-Volume Providers project.
Cutler Institute's Sue Ebersten and Julie Atkins at the National Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for Tribes
The University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service will design and deliver e-learning resources for the new National Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for Tribes. The e-learning resources will assist American Indian and Alaska Native child welfare directors across the country to build the capacity of their agencies to better serve native children in the foster care system.
MPH graduate student Trevey Davis describing the academic program to a conference attendee at Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference.
The Muskie School of Public Service, Graduate Program in Public Health, and the Maine Public Health Institute exhibited at the Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference and the concurrent Immunization Annual Conference on November 19, 2014.

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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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