The Maine Public Health Association is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in Maine and has been working to improve public health since 1984. MPHA aims to protect those who live, work and play in Maine from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion, disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in Maine. MPHA represents a broad array of health professionals and others who care about their own health and the health of their communities.

MPHA builds a collective voice for public health, working to ensure access to health care, protect funding for core public health services and eliminate health disparities, among a myriad of other issues. We are a member based non-profit organization governed by a 16 member Board of Directors and guided by our mission and bylaws. MPHA has deep and vast support from many organizations throughout Maine and is an affiliate of the American Public Health Association.

December 19

LePage Rejects Federal Investment in Lifesaving Cancer Screenings for Maine Residents

PRESS RELEASE Dec 18, 2015
Administration turns down nearly 2.5 million dollars in federal funds to increase
colorectal cancer screening

AUGUSTA – December 18, 2015 – Earlier this week, Governor LePage indicated he would turn down nearly 2.5 million dollars over the course of five years from the federal government aimed at increasing lifesaving – and ultimately cost-saving – screening rates for colorectal cancer.

Earlier this year, Maine was chosen as one of 24 state health departments to receive a competitive federal grant to increase colorectal cancer screening rates through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP). Historically, these funds have proven instrumental in saving lives across the country, including in Maine, by increasing cancer screening and early detection rates.

Colorectal cancer is largely preventable with routine screening, yet it remains the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and women combined and the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in Maine. The American Cancer Society estimates that 610 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and that 240 people will die from the disease in Maine this year.

“In the past decade, there has been unprecedented progress in reducing colorectal cancer incidence and death rates, largely due to the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer through screening,” said Hilary Schneider, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in Maine. “As an organization dedicated to making the fight against cancer a state and national priority, it is unfathomable that Governor LePage would reject an investment that could help prevent cancer and save the lives of hundreds of Mainers. Despite strong bipartisan support for cancer prevention early detection programs and funding, the Governor has chosen to forego this critical public health investment.”

“These are Maine’s taxpayers’ dollars that belong back in the state of Maine, to save Maine lives,” said Tina Pettingill, Executive Director of the Maine Public Health Association. “To continue to make progress in the fight against cancer, we need to continue to work in partnership with the state and federal governments. Maine received this grant because of our successful state and private sector initiatives in colorectal cancer screening and prevention, yet the Governor has elected to discard the opportunity to enhance the systems of care that could save the lives of Maine men and women.”

“Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem in Maine, and adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it. However, we have found that many people aren’t getting tested because they don’t realize they are at risk, don’t understand the testing options or don’t think they can afford it,” said Tara Hill, Executive Director of Maine Cancer Foundation. “By rejecting this federal funding, we are risking the health of our friends and neighbors and asking the state to take on the financial burden. The key to cancer is catching it early when it’s treatable and beatable. The CRCCP does exactly that.”

A broad coalition of organizations in the state have joined together to bring attention to the Governor’s rejecting nearly 2.5 million dollars over five years in CRCCP investment in Maine lives. The coalition includes physicians and practices, the American Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the Maine Osteopathic Association, Maine Medical Association, Maine Primary Care Association, New England Cancer Specialists, Maine Public Health Association and the Maine Cancer Foundation.

October 20

MPHA releases 2015 Legislative Report

MPHA is pleased to present our fourth annual public health legislative report. This report summarizes our work at the State House during the first regular session of the 127th Maine Legislature. With the help of many partners, we achieved some tremendous victories for public health in 2015 that will strengthen our communities and make Maine a healthier, more productive place to live, work and raise a family.

MPHA was proud to be part of many inspiring and courageous legislative efforts. Every day our partners showed us their dedication and perseverance, and every day Maine people came to the State House to speak up and speak out for policies that would improve their lives and those of their families and neighbors.

From passing new standards to reduce childhood lead poisoning, to eliminating the use of e-cigarettes in public places, protecting the Healthy Maine Partnerships and School Based Health Centers from virtual elimination, and rejecting an effort to rescind Maine’s seatbelt law, MPHA brought our commitment and our passion to Augusta at every opportunity.

We hope you will take a moment to review our 2015 MPHA Legislative Report and share it widely with community, family and decision makers. Together, we are the Voice of Public Health in Maine.

October 20

MPHA Fall Conference

Join us at MPHA’s 32nd fall conference scheduled for Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 at the University of Southern Maine. The theme and details of the conference will be guided by the Conference Planning Committee and we welcome new members! Email committee chair Meg Nadeau FMI.

July 8

Adding E-cigarettes to Maine’s Smoke-free Public and Workplaces Laws a Victory for Public Health

AUGUSTA, Maine– July 8, 2015 – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American Heart Association (AHA), American Lung Association of the Northeast (ALA) and the Maine Public Health Association (MPHA) are celebrating legislation that will restrict the use of e-cigarettes in public places where smoking is prohibited becoming law 90 days after the legislative session recesses.

Read the full Maine e-cigarette press release