Maine Seacoast Mission was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, to fund the Mission’s Island Health program. The overall objective of the Mission’s Island Health program is to improve the health and well-being of low-to-moderate income and under-served island residents by helping to build healthy, strong, and resilient communities.
Led by Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, RN, the program makes available basic medical and behavioral care, free of charge, to about seven hundred people on seven remote, unbridged islands lacking health care and related services: Frenchboro, Islesford, Isle au Haut, Great Cranberry, Matinicus, Monhegan, and Swan’s Island.
The Mission’s initial award of $10,000 was increased by $20,000 in late June. As part of the TD Charitable Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration, employees were given an opportunity to choose their favorite out of four possible initiatives, each aligned to one of the four drivers of the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s corporate citizenship program. The initiative ranked highest in its metro region and was awarded $20,000.
Upon receiving the grant award, Mission President John Zavodny said, “TD Charitable Foundation’s grant supports the continuity of care that the Mission has provided for decades. The Foundation’s award ensures the Island Health program will help residents in need have affordable access to vital health care and we are most grateful for the support.”
“We are proud to support to Maine Seacoast Mission and this grant will break down some of the barriers to care for these island communities and improve health outcomes so residents can feel more confident not just about their health, but their future,” said Sheryl McQuade, Regional President for the Northern New England Metro and Board Member of the TD Charitable Foundation.
Based in part aboard the Mission’s 74-foot boat Sunbeam, Nurse Daley’s team provides telehealth appointments, health education, screening clinics, mental health counseling, in-home visits, professional referrals, and follow-up care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program administered vaccinations and boosters on the islands. Of the islands visited by the Sunbeam, over 90 percent of year-round residents depend on its programs in some way.
The Program also supports facilities and caregivers for the elderly on seven additional unbridged islands in southern Maine. Helping island residents successfully age in place is important to the health and vibrancy of island communities. The Mission sponsors an annual Eldercare Conference for these island caregivers and maintains a year-round network for sharing information and resources.
The TD Charitable Foundation’s generosity will help the Island Health program achieve its goals for 2022. The work happening this year includes:
- Administering flu vaccines across islands
- Providing Covid-19 boosters as necessary
- Telemedicine access via Sunbeam
- Visits by medical specialists for consultations
- Referrals for mental health counselors and AA meetings
- Continuing the Eldercare Network
- Care management by phone and digital channels
- Bridging islanders to off island resources for health insurance information
- Covid-19 testing
- Helping patients get off-island treatment
- Providing financial and food assistance
The Mission looks forward to continued improvement through evaluation of the Island Health program’s impact and success in 2022. That evaluation is taking place, and will continue, through various methods. For example, Island Health has an annual program review, island public meetings, and informal check-ins following events. Partnerships with other health care providers help measure/monitor progress. The program is part of a Mission-wide initiative to become a more data-informed organization.
Maine Seacoast Mission thanks the TD Charitable Foundation for its belief in, and support of, its Island Health program. Learn more about the Mission’s Island Health services.