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Fall 2021 Grant Opportunity

Jun 21, 2021
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Community Health Options is pleased to announce that our fall 2021 Community Giving grant cycle will open on June 21, 2021, and applications are due July 23, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

The CBE supports Maine nonprofit, community organizations working to promote wellness and community health. Our fall grant priorities are focused on 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.

According to The Maine Drug Data Hub, a collaboration among several state departments, the Governor’s Office and the University of Maine, the state recorded 502 overdose deaths in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic created instability in the drug supply, use patterns, and the well-being of Mainers, leading to this new state record. The previous high was 417 in 2017. The rate is expected to trend upward with 81 confirmed and 19 suspected cases in the first two months of 2021.

“These data patterns show that many at-risk Maine people are still struggling with the stress and disruptions caused by the pandemic,” said Maggie Kelley, Sr. VP and Chief Clinical Officer at Health Options. “As a Maine-based, nonprofit health insurance organization with a vision to transform and improve individual and community health, we are committed to supporting Maine people experiencing or at risk of substance use issues.”

If you are involved with a nonprofit or know of local organizations that could benefit from grant funding that positively impacts the lives of Maine people living with substance use disorders, please help spread the word. Learn more at the Community Giving section of our website and apply here by July 23, 2021. Recipients will be notified in September 2021.


File Under Urgent

As of July 1, Amwell Urgent Care is at your service 24/7 at $0 cost to you

Using the phone or Internet to connect with healthcare providers for telehealth services is one of the best innovations to rise in popularity during the pandemic. And now, our expanded access to telehealth services for urgent care comes right at a time when you need it most. Starting July 1, 2021, Community Health Options will be offering urgent care through our partnership with Amwell® digital services. This Boston-based telehealth provider is one of the fastest-growing secure online systems for connecting patients to physical and mental health specialists in the country, and for the rest of the year, the urgent care service is at $0 cost to you.


Good to Know

According to, Amwell’s telehealth visits more than doubled in the first quarter of 2021 when the company facilitated more than 1.6 million virtual care visits. This huge jump in usage coincides with the COVID-19 crisis, and many trendwatchers are wondering if telehealth’s growth will outlast the pandemic. We hope it does because more (and easier) access to healthcare providers is good for everyone, especially when you live in a primarily rural state like Maine.


Need to Know

As of July 1, 2021, telehealth can be your go-to when you have urgent care needs like cold or flu symptoms, an ear infection, or other acute injuries. If you’re pretty sure your kid has conjunctivitis, for example, and you just want a professional to confirm, pick up your smartphone instead of your keys and wallet. For the remainder of 2021, telehealth urgent care visits are at $0 cost to Health Options members, even for those in HSA compatible plans.

Amwell can connect you with non-emergency medical care from clinicians trained in internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics. It’s available at any time of the day or night, and you don’t have to sit in a waiting room reading old magazines for hours to get the answers you need. With telehealth, you can get refills or new prescriptions for birth control, depression, hypertension, diabetes, and more. Log into your Member portal here; go to the Health and Wellness section, and create your account today.


More to Know:

As telehealth continues to grow in popularity, you can expect to see more specialty care services and digital platforms come into play. Text messages, apps, and remote health monitoring are just a few ways telehealth will grow and create better access to care, more health information, and greater transparency about treatment options. For more information, read about interoperability here. Unless you really like waiting rooms, this is great news.