“Serving the Whole Community”
“Health is education, good nutrition, self-esteem, immunizations, exercise and fitness. Health is prenatal care, vitamins, clean water, moderation, stress management and a caring family.
The basic fabric of health is people discovering the capacity within themselves, within their communities, to solve problems.”
— Kresge Foundation Position Paper, 1992
If it is to fulfill its mission of improving the health of communities it serves, Houlton Regional Hospital must do more than treat illness. As healthcare planners, we must do more to prevent incidents of illness and help people take charge of their own health and well being. We believe that communities have the capacity to help themselves to modify their behaviors, to find solutions to problems that affect not only their own lives, but also the well-being of subsequent generations. First however, we must give them the tools to fulfill this goal and shape the vision of 21st century medicine.
Since knowledge is power, it is through education that the good health of this community will prosper.
In pursuit of that ideal, the Houlton Regional Hospital took a significant step towards identifying the health related issues specific to our area and convened a Community Health Education Steering Committee composed of 17 members representing the hospital, local social service agencies and other health care providers. They began gathering comprehensive data about the region’s most prevalent health problems and prioritizing a plan of action based on a needs assessment. It quickly became apparent that an extensive program of community health education was desperately needed in the area. However, it also became clear, that current facilities were inadequate to accommodate these multiple initiatives.
Encouraged by the Steering Committee’s endorsement of the Community Health Education Program, the Trustees of Houlton Regional Hospital supported the need for a meeting facility to house the expanding community health operations. In May of 1997 the Board approved the construction of a new education center to be housed on the third level of the Medical Office Building.
The creation of three separate conference/meeting rooms, each accommodating auditorium or classroom style seating with removable dividers provides seating for up to 150. Each room is equipped with the most modern audiovisual technology available, including projection, video, assisted listening devices and satellite links to allow for teleconferencing. The Center is available for use by dozens of agencies and health care providers throughout the region.
Audio/Visual equipment installed for the center cost $125,000 and annual program support costs are approximately $50,000. Since there are limited dollars available from operations to support the total costs, the Health Services Foundation stepped forward to help. Created in 1983 as a charitable organization, “to solicit, receive, administer and distribute funds for the benefit of nonprofit health care in the Southern Aroostook region.” The Foundation accepted the challenge of raising a total of $625,000 — not only to equip the center — but establish a $500,000 Endowment Fund providing annual support for the programs.
In the future we must take steps to keep our community healthy by giving individuals the tools of education to improve the quality of their own lives. With the continued generosity and support of the community, we will help make this vision a reality.
The mission of the Center for Community Health Education is to provide comprehensive educational programs which promote health and wellness for the communities we serve.
The Vision of the Center is to be…
v a health education leader in the state of Maine.
v a source of the highest quality state-of-the-art health education programs.
v a supportive partner to the community in the pursuit of wellness.
v a resource for health education in the community.
The Center for Community Health Education will…
v conduct ongoing health education programs based on the changing health needs of our community.
v seek and present experts in their respective field, while recognizing the skills of our community members, physicians, and organizations.
v provide a comfortable, state-of-the-art facility, incorporating the latest audio and video technology available.