The Star-Herald

Aroostook County Action Program receives support from Maine Cancer Foundation

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Aroostook County Action Program was generously awarded an initial two-year  grant of $35,000 for Project TEACH (Transportation, Education, Access, Care, Housing) from the Maine  Cancer Foundation to help realize the foundation’s mission of reducing cancer incidence and  mortality in Maine.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in the State of Maine. As a state, we have cancer rates that are  higher than the national average, and cancer kills more than 3,000 Maine people each year – that’s  more than Ashland, Limestone, and Stockholm combined! Research shows that 1 in 3 Mainers will face a  cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, with about 8,600 being newly diagnosed each year (for comparison, Presque Isle’s entire population is an estimated 8,939!).

Project TEACH is a comprehensive initiative for cancer patients of Aroostook County to have access to  the best care possible, regardless of their household income or geography. Therefore, beginning on Jan. 18, the MCF, with support locally from ACAP, will provide direct client benefits to Aroostook County residents who are undergoing cancer treatments. This funding may be used for gas cards, other  transportation expenses, food and lodging for a cancer patient receiving treatment in Aroostook County  or in a facility outside the local area.

Andrea White
(Courtesy of Aroostook County Action Program)

“This grant from the MCF came at the perfect time,” said Andrea White, ACAP community educator. “The residents of northern Aroostook drive on average over 100 miles to regional cancer centers, approximately double that of those who live elsewhere in the state.” She continued, “The need for the supports made possible by this partnership are growing based on the vast geographic size of Aroostook  County, combined with regional economic instability, coupled with the fastest growth rate of older  adults in all of Maine.” The award will ensure a growing number of individuals and families in Aroostook getting the care they would otherwise struggle to receive. 

“Maine Cancer Foundation is committed to reducing cancer in our state and ensuring all Mainers, regardless of where they live, have access to cancer care,” said Katelyn Michaud, MCF’s director of  grantmaking. “We are proud to support ACAP in providing transportation assistance to cancer patients in Aroostook County.” 

ACAP is encouraging anyone who is facing challenges attending oncology appointments due to transportation or lodging issues. to contact White at 207-764.3721 or awhite@acap-me.org to learn  more about the program. There are no income guidelines for this program and the goal is to ensure all cancer patients have the necessary tools to receive the care they need.

For 50 years, Aroostook County Action Program has provided the people of Aroostook County with  services and resources that help individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to  emerging human needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and workforce development services. Aroostook County Action Program continues to accept new clients  as well as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more about services available contact the ACAP Team at 207-764-3721.  

Maine Cancer Foundation’s grant is offered as part of their ongoing efforts to reduce cancer incidence and mortality in Maine. They have invested $15 million since 2015 in support of cancer prevention, early  detection and screening, and access to care for all Mainers. To learn more about Maine Cancer Foundation, visit www.mainecancer.org or contact Katelyn Michaud at katelyn@mainecancer.org or 207-773-2533.

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