Grant provides free tablets to local cancer patients

2 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — Through a Maine Cancer Foundation grant to the National Digital Equity Center in Machias, cancer patients at the Jefferson Cary Cancer Center at Cary Medical Center in Caribou will now have access to free technology.Eligible patients will receive a complimentary tablet and internet connectivity, allowing them to attend telehealth appointments, access their medical records, find resources, and connect with family and friends virtually. 

Patients at the MaineGeneral Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta are also included in the grant.

MCF is dedicated to reducing the harmful effects of cancer in Maine. As one of the most rural states in the country, Maine has many cancer patients who need to travel significant distances for medical care. With the rise in telehealth visits and the increased use of connecting virtually with one another, a cancer diagnosis for patients with limited access to technology can be especially challenging and isolating. 

To help ensure Maine cancer patients have access to technology that can assist in their care, this grant will provide equipment, cellular connectivity and valuable technical support to participants at no cost for two years. The experts at National Digital Equity Center provide instructions, individually tailored education and technical support for patients learning to use their new device. 

Participants will be able to attend telehealth appointments, participate in virtual support groups and programs, access their health records and stay connected with their personal support systems. 

“MCF is proud to partner with the National Digital Equity Center and our two pilot partner sites, Jefferson Cary Cancer Center and Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, on this project that will address digital inequities and help bridge the digital divide in Maine,” said Katelyn Michaud, Maine Cancer Foundation’s director of grantmaking. 

“We want to make sure Maine cancer patients have the best outcomes possible. Technological equipment and support can help make that a reality,” Michaud said. 

“Thanks to Maine Cancer Foundation and the National Digital Equity Center, our cancer patients will now have access to technology that will increase their access to care,” said Bill Flagg, director of community relations and development at Cary Medical Center. “Especially given the issues with COVID-19 and the transportation challenges here in The County, virtual care and telehealth have become advanced vehicles to deliver quality patient care.” 

Interested cancer patients are encouraged to contact the Jefferson Cary Cancer Center and speak to Kaitlyn Umphrey, cancer patient navigator, at 498-1667, or Audrey Hews, oncology rehabilitation specialist, at 498-1618. 

Cancer Center Staff are ready to assist patients in completing an application and, with MCF funding, the National Digital Equity Center will provide a free tablet and tailored education on how to use the devices safely and effectively.