The Bingham Program is a charitable endowment established in 1932 to promote health and advance medicine in Maine. It is administered by Tufts Medical Center — a 501(c)(3) organization—with the guidance of an advisory committee comprised primarily of Maine residents. The Bingham Program is staffed by a senior hospital executive in Boston and two half-time senior program officers based in an office in Augusta, Maine. In Fiscal Year 2012, The Bingham Program had assets of approximately $13 million and distributed $683,040 through 22 regular and 25 discretionary
A major focus of The Bingham Program has been to improve health service delivery in Maine, particularly in rural areas. For its first several decades, the Program fostered a three-pronged approach to scarcity of health care resources in Maine: Maine-based postgraduate instruction for rural physicians provided by NEMC physician instructors, tailored courses for Maine physicians at NEMC, and provision of training facilities and experiences for other health care professionals. These activities were eventually integrated into a regionalized program through linkages between the small community hospitals in Maine, regional medical centers in Maine’s urban areas, and the Boston base—NEMC and the Tufts Medical School.
Bingham Program activities in Maine drew national attention. In 1967, the U.S. Congress established the Regional Medical Program (RMP), based on the Bingham model of medical education delivered to rural areas through regional collaboration of medical institutions. Millions of dollars flowed to states to replicate the Bingham model—Maine secured $8 million, which helped foster the development of medical and dental training programs in Maine as well as community service programs to address specific health issues. The RMP funds provided the foundation for much of the current health infrastructure in Maine today. For more information on our history, click here for the slide show prepared for our 75th
anniversary celebration held in Bethel in November 2007.
The Bingham Program currently initiates and funds programs in three high-priority areas:
• Health Professions Development—educational and demonstration projects that promote the efficient delivery of appropriate and quality care (e.g. health professional education, models of improved service delivery, health workforce planning).
• Community Health Programs—community-based efforts to promote health and wellness, with special emphasis on programs for high-risk and underserved groups (e.g. healthy community coalitions, model prevention efforts, consumer health projects).
• Public Health Policy Development—improving Maine’s capacity to identify patterns of illness and health, design appropriate population-based services, and develop adequate policies to promote health and prevent disease (e.g. advocacy efforts to improve access to care, education of policymakers regarding a specific health issue, health program evaluation efforts).
In each of these priority areas, The Bingham Program places special emphasis on initiatives that improve health and health care in rural, isolated regions of Maine. In addition, the advisors are interested in seeing program proposals that address how organizations can work within their own areas of expertise to expand the understanding, awareness and prevention of violence against women and children.
In addition to being just plain wrong, violence against women and children takes a huge toll on our state in terms of health and welfare, education and criminal justice costs as well as lost productivity in the workplace. The Attorney General estimates those costs at $1,000 per year per resident of Maine -- $1.3 billion.
To get a better picture of the long term effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences the CDC teamed up with Dr. Vincent Felitti to study 18,000 middle class patients in the Kaiser Permanente HMO in California. You can read about their startling findings here.
The Bingham Program has a long history of scanning the state's environment to see what impact we can have to improve health and to build organizational capacity to address what's needed for systems change to occur. We have identified violence against women and children as an area that has a profound effect not just on individual's health but on the economy of the state. In the past year we have funded a number of programs working to involve healthcare providers, educators, men and business in thinking about what role they have in preventing violence from occuring. We encourage applicants to explore ways of collaborating with organizations in your area which are working to prevent violence and promoting safe, peaceful families.
There are two types of Bingham Program grants available:
Discretionary grants are made throughout the year and awards are up to $5,000. There are no deadlines but grantees must call first to discuss the proposed project.
Program grants are made twice a year and generally range from $6,000 to $25,000. Occasionally higher amounts are awarded. Multi-year proposals of up to three years are accepted but the project should demonstrate logical growth over time. The application deadlines are April 1 and October 1. Grantees must call to discuss the project before submitting a proposal.
The Bingham Program will not fund: capital campaigns, direct care or reimbursable services, individual scholarships or grants. We generally do not fund equipment or one-time conferences unless there is a plan for developing action after the conference that will lead to health policy or systems change.