I envision a health care system that provides access to quality, affordable care for all Mainers. As your governor, I will build cross sector coalitions to address Maine’s challenge of disparities in health care. I will champion efforts to improve our state’s preventative care: physical education for youth, healthy eating options in schools, and screening for curable disease.

School-based Health Centers

One way to make healthcare more accessible is to promote school-based health centers. These are well-used and effective in any Maine schools that have them in place. The Department of Health and Human Services recently cut $5 million in funding to these health centers. This funding needs to be restored and indeed expanded. Funding school-based health centers is an investment in lifelong health — lowering long-term healthcare costs and teaching young people how to lead healthier lives.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Maine’s opioid epidemic impacts everyone in the state. The costs to the economy and to the community are enormous. Our immediate challenge is to provide the treatment that addicted people need. My priority as governor will be to research and increase the number of accessible treatment options. Treatment is not the only solution; we need to work on the underlying issues of drug supply, prescription abuse, and socioeconomic barriers that all contribute to the problem.