A Local Healthy Maine Partnership
and a Project of Stephens Memorial Hospital
Healthy Oxford Hills (HOH) is a community coalition operating as a Healthy Maine Partnership. The Healthy Maine Partnerships (HMPs), funded primarily by the Master Tobacco Settlement are mandated to build coalitions and partnerships locally to improve nutrition and physical activity and to fight tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse.
Healthy Oxford Hills was started in 2000, and we are in our 13th year of working on community health issues. The new cycle of state funding has mandated HMPs to become more comprehensive in our scope and to begin to provide community education and prevention services not only for nutrition, physical activity, tobacco and other substances that are abused, but to support self-management of additional chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer and lung diseaseses, asthma and dementia.
This new cycle has expanded the number of towns in our service area. We’ve added to the Oxford Hills towns of Waterford, West Paris, South Paris, Hebron, Norway, Oxford and Otisfield, some new towns including Buckfield, Sumner and Hartford (the MSAD#39 towns) and 4 towns in southwestern Oxford County in the Sacopee Valley area including Porter, Hiram, Denmark and Brownfield. These last four came from the former Bridgton HMP which has not stayed in operation. Since these towns are quite a distance, we are working with our neighboring HMPs in York and Cumberland Counties to serve them.
HOH does this work by building partnerships with organizations and businesses in our community. These collaborations involve “knitting it all together” and without them we could do very little. Our Lead Agency, or sponsor, is Western Maine Health and our partnership with WMH is absolutely critical. Without WMH, we would be crippled in our capacity to perform in the community.
Our other major partner is the local schools. The Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) is a component of the Healthy Maine Partnerships, and we work closely with all the schools in our area. While Oxford Hills Schools no longer have the CSHP, we continue to collaborate with many joint efforts. The Buckfield schools (MSAD#39) are starting at CSHP and we are excited to be working hand in hand with them on improving school health.
Other key partners include the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Community Concepts, municipal recreation departments and libraries, the WIC program, the DHHS office, the Adult Education Program, the Western Foothills Land Trust, the Progress Center, local law enforcement agencies, Norway Downtown, local service clubs and faith-based groups, private counseling services, Fare Share Market, the Farmers Market and many more.