Although 2020 was a difficult year for the Beth Wright Center, our community, and the world, we have adapted, responding effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We moved many of our programs to the online platform within just a few days. Attendance at many of our programs at the beginning of the pandemic was larger than our pre-pandemic events. People could now take part in these online Beth Wright programs no matter where they lived in the counties we serve. Additionally, people from outside our service area were also able to take part in our programs online.
However, despite our best efforts, the pandemic has had an impact on our ability to bring our services to the people that rely on us the most.
One of the major reasons the Beth Wright Center was created was to overcome the negative impacts of social isolation that many cancer survivors experience. During this time of social distancing, some of the people we serve are now more deeply affected by social isolation.
In the coming weeks, the Center is going to make a concerted effort to reach out more effectively to people who have not taken part in our online programs. We are going to make more phone calls to reestablish contact with those of whom we have lost touch with.
In addition, the Beth Wright Center is excited about the opportunity to partner with the National Digital Equity Center through its “Maine Digital Inclusion Initiative” in a pilot project to provide Samsung Tab A tablets and digital literacy instruction at no cost to cancer patients living in Hancock and Washington Counties.
For many of the people we serve, our online programs have been a godsend. Some of the people that we serve do not have internet access or the skills to use a computer or tablet. This project aims to address those issues.
This partnership with the National Digital Equity Center is just one of many that the Center has. We firmly believe that reducing the incidence and mortality rates of cancer in Maine requires us to join forces with other organizations. Working with our partner organizations and people with lived experience, enables us to create and develop resources that are needed to help people get through their cancer journey with positive outcomes.
The Center awarded $25,600 in financial assistance to 85 people, and more than 400 people took advantage of our programs.
Take Good Care,
Michael Reisman, Executive Director