SPOTLIGHT ON GRANTEE: Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
In late May, the Fund visited the administrative offices of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England located in downtown Portland.
Grant funding helped to build PPNNE's public policy and grassroots organizing capacity, increase community engagement and organizing, demonstrate local and widespread support of women's health issues, and influence public discourse and opinion-making the connection between women's health and their economic security as well as the cost-effectiveness of investing in expanded access to family planning services.
Along with their allies, PPNNE works hard to advance women's health care access and ensure that reproductive health issues are represented and protected in Maine's policy making arenas. Furthermore, in the context of a rapidly evolving health care landscape, PPNNE is helping patients and other uninsured Maine women learn about their options for insurance and enroll in affordable plans or other programs.
Kelly Martin, Karen Geraghty, Bridget Mancini, Aimee Martin, Melinda Shain and Katie Allen
In 2014, there were approximately 125,000 uninsured Maine adults. Expanding Medicaid would extend coverage to an estimated 69,500 Maine adults, but this legislation has not yet been successful. However, with the new subsidies and tax credits available through the Health Insurance Marketplace, improvements are being made: Maine's uninsured rate dropped by more than one-fourth from 2013 to 2014. And, today 38% of PPNNE's Maine patients are uninsured, down from 43% just two years ago.
PPNNE continues to work for Medicaid expansion and to find opportunities to make sure that those who qualify for insurance coverage through the ACA are getting it. In partnership with the Maine Health Access Foundation, PPNNE is conducting outreach and public education about the Health Insurance Marketplace in southern Maine. Additionally, their Certified Application Counselor staff and volunteers directly help uninsured people with the enrollment process.
Involving volunteers in health insurance outreach and enrollment efforts is just one way that PPNNE engages volunteers in meaningful work. Grant funding also supported the creation of PPNNE's Maine Volunteer Action Team (MAT) in February of this year. Comprised of over forty committed members, they are building PPNNE's capacity for grassroots engagement through diverse activities like event planning, tabling, phone banking, mailings, door-to-door and event canvassing, lobby day, in-district meetings with elected officials, house parties, letter to the editor writing, electoral skills and message training, patient escorting, and group discussions. People interested in volunteering with PPNNE to help protect women's health care in Maine can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Providing access to, and enhancing the quality of, health care is one of the Fund's six strategic areas that advance the economic security of Maine women and girls. It was a pleasure to visit PPNNE and hear about their ongoing efforts to improve and safeguard health care access in Maine.
Posted 08.17.2015 under Press Releases