Multicultural Resources

Health Services

City of Portland Minority Health Program
Portland Public Health Division, Health & Human Services Department
Contact: Kolawole Bankole, M.D, M.S, Minority Health Program Coordinator
389 Congress Street
Portland, Maine 04101
Phone: (207) 874-8773
Fax: (207) 874-8913

Ultimate goal: To decrease the health care disparities in the minority communities in Portland, Maine.

The Minority Health Program (MHP) of the Public Health Division, Health and Human Services Department, City of Portland, was established to help address the health related issues and desires of all minority communities (New Mainer minority, sexual minority, social minority, low-income earners, and the mentally challenged, e.t.c.) in the Greater Portland area of Maine.

The MHP currently focuses on the largest eleven New Mainers ethnic/language groups: Khmer, Arabic, Spanish, Acholi, Somali, Serbian/Croatian, Vietnamese, Nuer, French, Chinese, and, Russian.

1. Improve New Mainers community health indicators (access to health care, physical activities, tobacco use and nutrition, asthma health, mental health, drug and substance abuse, e.t.c.) at the community, family and individual levels.
2a. Increase capacity of community groups to establish health and well being priorities and to implement a locally defined community health agenda.
2b. Strengthen informal and formal social networks and sense of community focusing on the strengths and assets of the Portland’s largest eleven ethnic/language groups.
3. Ensure that institutions, including the Public Health Division, are more accessible and responsive to the community interests by building an integrated channel of information through the establishment of a network of community health outreach workers.

see also: Community Health Outreach Workers (CHOWs)

Community Health Outreach Workers (CHOWs)
Contacts: Nélida Berke (Central and South America/Latino Communities)
Phone: (207) 756-8452
Fax: (207) 874-8913
Deqa Dhalac (Somali/ Sudanese Community)
Phone: (207) 874-8943
Fax: (207) 874-8913
Roles and responsibilities of the CHOWs:

  • Provide health education, information, & current resource materials.
  • Assists individual/families in obtaining appropriate resources.
  • Serves as a link between individuals and health & social services.
  • Promote community participation in health promotion & disease prevention activities.
  • Conduct surveys, collect community and health related data.
  • Contribute information on community needs and needed resources.
  • Cultural broker and Mediator between community members and services providers.
  • Promote health outreach events

HIV/STD Program
India Street Public Health Center
Portland Public Health
Contact: Elna Osso
103 India Street
Portland, Maine 04101
Phone: (207) 756-8091/(207) 874-8446
Fax: (207) 756-8087

Portland Public Health offers the following services through their India Street Public Health Center:

  • HIV Testing, Counseling and Referrals (Anonymous and/or confidential) by appointment only Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic (confidential and comprehensive STD screening and treatment) on a walk-in basis on Tuesday and Thursday: 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.;
  • Needle Exchange (comprehensive anonymous on-site and off-site syringe exchange, harm reduction education and case management services)—for more information call 756-8077;
  • Adult Immunization: Free Hepatitis A and B vaccinations offered on a walk-in basis as a part of STD screening during the STD Clinic for all who qualify Tuesday and Thursday: 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.;
  • Confidential and free Hepatitis C testing and referral services for all who qualify, by appointment only, Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;
  • Health Services and HIV/STD Awareness for the International Communities of Portland.

Maine Medical Center
International Clinic
Dr. Nathaniel James, Director
22 Bramhall Street
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 662-2911
Fax: (207) 662-6308

MMC's International Clinic is the central site for health care services for newly arriving refugees. Their experience in working with multi-ethnic and multilingual populations is a valuable resource in meeting health care needs. Clinic staffs are also available for consultation and education.

Maine Migrant Health Program
Barbara Ginley, Director
P.O. Box 405
9 Green Street
Augusta, ME 04332-0405
Phone: (207) 622-9252
Fax: (207) 626-7612

The Maine Migrant Health Program's (MMHP) mission is to improve the health status of migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs) and their families by providing culturally appropriate care and services. The MMHP serves MSFWs across the state, including those working in broccoli, blueberries, eggs, apples, forestry, and wreath making. Our organization provides mobile medical, voucher and nursing care, outreach services, case management, health education, transportation and operates a farmworker resource center (Rakers’ Center). Primary care is provided directly by MMHP in worker camps, worksites and community sites. Our voucher system allows MSFWs to access care in their local communities which is then paid for by MMHP. Care accessed through the voucher system includes dental care, prescriptions, primary, specialty and emergency medical care.

In 2005, the MMHP provided medical care for over 1,000 people, of whom 60% were limited English proficient. All direct services are provided in outreach settings (i.e. camps and other community sites), where bilingual providers and/or outreach staff ensure that language is not a barrier to care.

Office of Minority Health, State of Maine
Lisa Sockabasin, Director

Key Plaza, 8th floor
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
PH: (207) 287-4844
TTY: Maine relay 711
Fax: (207) 287-9058
Web page:

The Office of Minority Health promotes health and wellness in Maine's racial and ethnic minority communities.

Priority Areas

  • Data Collection: Enhance data systems and improve the collection of racial and ethnic data in order to better understand and identify existing health disparities.
  • Cultural and Linguistic Competence: Address cultural and linguistic barriers to accessing all health services resulting in improved systems that are both culturally and linguistically competent.
  • Partnerships and Collaboration: Service to inform, advise, and assist in prioritizing actions to efficiently and effectively address racial and ethnic health disparities.

Public Health Nursing - Maine Center for Disease Control
Department of Health & Human Services

Public Health Nurses are professional registered nurses providing individual and population based services to Maine residents. Services include: health assessments, health education and counseling, assistance locating health care providers and social service supports, and support to families in stress. PHN services are provided in client homes, schools, and specialty clinics. Services are provided to refugees, immigrants, and migrant workers in a culturally appropriate manner utilizing interpreter services as necessary.