2016 Colorectal Cancer Screening Grants Announced

We are pleased to announce the six recipients of our latest round of grant awards for a combined total of $155,364. This award period was focused exclusively on expanding screening programs for colorectal cancer in Maine. 

Colorectal cancer is treatable with a high success rate when detected in its earliest stages, and yet it remains the 3rd most common cause of cancer death in Maine. In addition, routine colorectal cancer screening tests are shown to prevent colon cancer by detecting and removing pre-cancerous polyps. 

Increasing cancer screening rates in Maine are a key part of our Challenge Cancer 2020 campaign and we look forward to the impact of these programs. In terms of lives saved, it is hard to beat this type of investment in our health. 

The grant award winners are:

Program Title Amount Awarded  Impact Category Organization  
Provide a Reminder and Recall System for Colorectal Cancer Screening $30,000 Screening Penobscot Community Health Care

Expansion of the Role of Community Health Workers to Increase Colon Cancer Screening Rates $29,937 Screening MaineGeneral



MaineGeneral Health


Developing Systems to Increase Colorectal Screening Rates through Patient Identification $29,848 Screening Mid Coast Hospital


Strategy for Identification and Screening of Unscreened Patients at LincolnHealth (LH) $29,235 Screening Lincoln County Healthcare


A Novel System to Increase Colorectal Screenings and Ensure Compliance in a Targeted Subset of Patients at Mount Desert Island Hospital $7,481 Screening Mount Desert Island Hospital


Building Capacity at MaineHealth to Enhance Colorectal Cancer Screening $28,863 Screening Maine Medical Center


Learn More about Challenge Cancer 2020


Grant Review Committee - Colorectal Screenings in Maine

Emily Dooling-Hamilton

Health Promotion Coordinator, Healthy Androscoggin

Emily brings a variety of health related experience to Healthy Androscoggin. She graduated from Springfield College in 2008 with a Master’s of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. She completed a master’s thesis: “Utilization of Service Learning in an Upper Level Health Course.” During her time at Springfield she also had a teaching fellowship and taught an undergraduate Health 100 course for four semesters. In addition, Emily served as a member of the AmeriCorps program while working towards her master’s degree. For credit hour she worked as a wellness intern at the global headquarters of Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT.

At the University of Maine-Orono she completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education. She is currently certified to teaching K-12 Physical Education in the state of Maine and Colorado. While at UMaine, Emily played Division I field hockey and was on the student athlete advisor board.

Tara Hill

Executive Director, Maine Cancer Foundation

Tara Hill is the Executive Director of Maine Cancer Foundation. She has been a leader in the nonprofit community for the past 25 years and has extensive experience in strategic planning, program development and financial management. Tara earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University and is a graduate of the ICL Leadership Intensive. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers Maine in Bath and also held positions at Deana’s Educational Theater (Stoneham, MA) and the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, MA). She lives in Cumberland with her family where she is active on school and town committees.

Katelyn Michaud

Program Manager, Maine Cancer Foundation

Katelyn Michaud is the Program Manager at Maine Cancer Foundation, where she is responsible for administrating the Foundation’s grants and programming activities.  Katelyn manages the grantmaking program and supports the Foundation’s membership.

Prior to Maine Cancer Foundation, Katelyn worked at various nonprofits in New Jersey and Maine in grant writing, development, marketing, and office management.  Most recently, Katelyn facilitated a youth leadership and engagement program focused on empowering Maine youth to create change in their communities.

Stephanie Peters

Director of Primary Care, Intermed

Stephanie Peters has been the Director of Primary Care at InterMed for the past year. She came to InterMed from the MaineHealth system where she supported strategic initiatives in the System Development Department focused on primary care, public reporting, physician compensation, and data analytics. 

Anita Ruff

Executive Director, Oasis Clinic

Anita ’s experience includes almost 20 years of government and non-profit program planning, administration, communications and marketing experience. She earned a Master of Public Health degree in Community Health Education from the University of Tennessee and is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist.  Anita has held leadership positions at MaineHealth, Maine Medical Center and the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also serves as adjunct faculty in the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service.

Jessica Shaffer

Health Program Manager, Maine CDC

Jessica Shaffer is the Program Director for the Maine CDC Comprehensive Cancer Control and Colorectal Cancer Control Programs. Jessica has worked closely with a variety of partners, including large health systems and community health centers, to improve colorectal cancer screening rates and increase access to colorectal cancer screening services, primarily through evidence-based policy and systems interventions to remove barriers to screening. Jessica has more than 15 years of experience in health promotion and education, public health program evaluation and chronic disease prevention. She has a Master’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C. and was selected for a graduate internship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) where she contributed to efforts to ensure that the perspectives of individual advocates, advocacy groups, and professional societies were included in NCI efforts to advance cancer research and improve patient outcomes.

Aysha Sheikh

Program Officer, Maine Cancer Foundation

Aysha joined Maine Cancer Foundation in the spring of 2015 in the role of Program Officer. Aysha works closely with the MCF leadership to develop the Foundation's strategic plan, as well as oversee grant funding requests and awards. A key aspect of Aysha's work is cultivating partnerships within Maine’s cancer community, and implementing new programs that serve the Foundation's mission.

Since moving to Maine in 2004, Aysha has focused her work on access to healthcare for low-income, uninsured Maine residents. In her previous position at MaineHealth, Aysha managed the Center for Disease Control-funded "Maine Colorectal Cancer Control Program" for Maine’s southernmost counties.

Aysha is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Boston University School of Public Health and the University of Southern Maine. She is also a Registered Nurse.

Caroline Zimmerman

Director of Grant Development, Maine Primary Care Association

Caroline is the Director of Grant Development at Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA).  Her primary duties include researching grant opportunities, partnering with MPCA leadership and staff to identify which opportunities to pursue, and drafting successful proposals.

Her prior work at MPCA involved supporting Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in ACA outreach and enrollment, tracking policy issues relevant to FQHCs, and focusing on access to care issues, including oral health and enabling services.

Caroline holds a BA from Bowdoin College and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016