As a result of my Public Health education, I have been aware of Maine Access Immigrant Network (MAIN) for some time now. They are a key resource and supporter of the new Mainer community, offering culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services to better the health and lives of our community members. They have become well known and respected for their efforts to provide client-centered access to healthcare and information. They also do a wonderful job educating healthcare providers, policy makers, and the community about the needs of our multicultural neighbors and how we can best support them. Their ongoing and expanding services are guided by their 4 program pillars: direct case support services; health education and outreach; public health research; and advocacy.
With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, MAIN became a key resource for the community to access health education, COVID testing, and vaccines. Throughout the pandemic they have administered over 1,500 COVID-19 vaccines for community members from all walks of life, speaking 14 different languages. They continue vaccines in their weekly clinics which also include infant COVID vaccines, flu vaccines, blood pressure testing, and HIV home test kits. They have also created a valuable community resource, COVID testing and vaccine information translated in multiple languages– those translated cards are shared here.
As part of their efforts to educate future health care providers to provide patient-centered, culturally competent care, MAIN has been involved in a health leadership program led by BIPOC professionals at University of New England. They also participated in an overnight health career camp for dedicated high schoolers, teaching them about various paths to future health care careers. MAIN was also honored to host Director of the Maine CDC, Dr. Nirav Shah, in August, to speak about public health issues faced by the new Mainer community, including COVID-19, housing inequality, and other obstacles to care and quality of life. We are honored to support Maine Access Immigrant Network as a MaineShare member group, and invite you to learn more about their amazing work here!
Images: Overnight health career camp at University of New England; Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the CDC, and the Maine Access Immigrant Network Team