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Health insurance organization awards grants to non-profits - Lewiston Sun Journal

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The organization is supporting six substance abuse disorder community initiatives.

Lewiston-based Community Health Options, a nonprofit, member-led health insurance organization, has awarded grants to six Maine nonprofit agencies helping people who are living with or at risk of substance use disorders, supporting people with substance use recovery and continuity of care, and reducing negative substance-related health impacts in the state.

The six grant recipients are the Community Resource Council — Addiction Outreach Program, Kennebec Valley Mental Health Center d/b/a Behavioral Health (KBH), Maine Access Points (MAP), Milestone Recovery, Northern Light Mercy Hospital — McAuley Residence Program, and the Portland Recovery Community Center.

“We were incredibly impressed with the many organizations that submitted applications,” said Kevin Lewis, president and CEO of Health Options, according to a news release from the organization. “From peer support training to community outreach and organizing outdoor, activity-based recovery support, it’s encouraging to see how community-based groups are assisting people in recovery.”

“There’s a great need for support and resources to address substance use disorders in Maine,” said Maggie Kelley, senior vice president and chief clinical officer. “One data point illustrating this need comes from the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine (Orono), which reports 247 fatal overdoses between January and May 2021. This number is 20% higher than the same period in 2020. It’s also far too many Maine people lost to substance use disorders. The COVID-19 impact on behavioral health needs has intensified the importance of supporting our community partners. The more that all Maine communities can pull together to help some of our most vulnerable people, the better it is for all of us.”