Conquering Cancer in Franklin County

Healthy Community Coalition (HHC) is known for creating innovative ways to reach residents in this low-socioeconomic rural area. Former programs HCC has created have been used as models in other areas of the state and nationally. HCC continually monitors and implements ways to reach residents. Tested and proven strategies used to develop and promote a system to support well water safety practices, increased colon cancer screening rates, increased fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in this community will be able to be replicated in other rural communities.

With this grant support from Maine Cancer Foundation, HHC will:

  1. In collaboration with partners, over 1,000 individuals will receive education and early detection through implementation of the following strategies:
    1. Provider-driven cancer education and screening.
    2. Public education using media including print, coffee sleeves at Dunkin Donuts and other local coffee shops, HCC’s HealthBeat Radio Show, HCC’s HealthBeat TV show on local cable access channel, HCC’s Healthy Life Message Billboard - the only billboard in the state of Maine located in one the heaviest traveled locations in Franklin County - at the intersection of routes 2 & 4, and social media to implement a community-wide campaign.
    3. Community education and screening outreach at local events, worksites, and gathering places of the target audience.
       
  2. HCC will continue to promote and use Fecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT). According to the Preventive Service Task Force, FIT has higher sensitivity than other fecal tests and has accuracy rates very near those of colonoscopy. FIT overcomes barriers of time, transportation, and lack of insurance and has been shown to increase colorectal cancer screening rates (Florida Department of Health, CDC Cooperative Agreement). Many physician practices have completed standing orders for their patients to receive and complete this testing so that kits can be distributed by staff at a variety of locations in conjunction with education. HCC will promote awareness and screenings through a variety of new ways including targeting businesses with a high number of male employees and targeted marketing including messaging on coffee cups at locations such as Dunkin Donuts and other local establishments.
     
  3. To further an initiative initially funded by the Maine CDC, HCC will conduct education throughout the county regarding private well water safety and recommended testing. According to studies cited by the American Cancer Society, drinking water accounts for most human arsenic exposures and individuals with high levels of arsenic in drinking water have higher risks of bladder and other cancers. The CDC funding provided a small amount of funding for education, but the barrier of access to testing kits remains for many families, in particular low-income families. Funding from the Maine Cancer Foundation will allow HCC to provide more education and also test kits to low-income individuals who could not afford the cost of a comprehensive well water test or water radon kit.
     
  4. Radon levels in Franklin County in the homes that have been sampled have shown alarming elevated rates. Local realtors have voiced concern over radon issues in homes in Franklin County. Funding from the Maine Cancer Foundation will allow HCC to provide air radon testing kits to low-income families who could not afford the cost of the test kit.
     
  5. HCC will introduce new innovative strategies to promote exercise, nutrition, and overall healthier lifestyles as a general cancer prevention strategy. Strategies include an Exercise Anywhere You Go Program and on site gardening instruction at HCC’s Hope Harvest Garden and container gardens at outreach events. The Exercise Anywhere You Go Program will provide monthly low-cost or no-cost recreational opportunities that can be done anywhere, eliminating the need for expensive equipment, transportation or facilities. The on-site gardening strategy will enable staff to teach individuals a lifelong skill of how to grow their own vegetables and fruits and increase access to these foods. This opportunity will also provide education about the importance of abundant vegetables and fruit in the diet as a cancer preventative measure. 
Organization: 
Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County
Grant Amount Given: 
$6,500
Year Issued: 
2015
Period: 
Spring
Grant Category: 
Screening
Types of Cancer: 
All
Colorectal
Lung

Maine Cancer Foundation Grants to this Organization:

Year Program Amount Category Organization
2017 General Operating Support $50,000 Prevention Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County
2017 One-by-One, CRC Screening and Navigation Project $99,832 Screening Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County
2015 Conquering Cancer in Franklin County $6,500 Screening Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County
2015 Tobacco Free Franklin $199,976 Prevention Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County
2015 Franklin's Navigator Program for Colorectal Cancer Screening $164,000 Navigator Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County
2013 Conquering Colon Cancer in Greater Franklin County $25,000 Prevention Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County
2012 Conquering Cancer in Greater Franklin County $10,000 Screening Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County
2008 Cancer Education in Franklin County $10,000 Education Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County
2003 Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign $5,000 Education Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County