Cumberland County will receive a $1.4 million annual state grant to advance public health initiatives such as combatting tobacco use, substance use disorder and obesity.

The 10-year grant will use state dollars on prevention work and to “promote healthy eating and active living across Cumberland County” as part of the Maine Prevention Network, according to a county news release. The grant, in addition to tackling tobacco use and substance use disorder, will also fund school-based behavioral health programs and encourage expansion of bicycle and pedestrian usage.

Federal American Rescue Plan dollars will also fund a $32,000 Community Health Improvement Plan, a “guidance document for a wide coalition of public health providers in the region to better address the health needs of people and communities with the greatest barriers,” according to the news release.

Public health efforts in Maine are largely operated by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, with a few exceptions such as Portland’s public health department. Now Cumberland County is launching its own effort.

The grant will fund new positions at the Cumberland County Public Health Department, the city of Portland, The Opportunity Alliance, Mid Coast Hospital and OUT Maine.

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