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 — formerly New England Medical Center (NEMC) — with the guidance of an advisory committee comprised primarily of Maine residents. The Bingham Program is staffed by two half-time senior program officers based in an office in Augusta, Maine. In Fiscal Year 2016, The Bingham Program had assets of approximately $14 million and distributed $456,000 through 19 regular and 16 discretionary grants. All of our work is focused on creating a healthy Maine.
The early focus of The Bingham Program was 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.
The 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.
Much of our work over the past 10 years has been to increase awareness across multiple sectors of the long-term beneficial results of positive early childhood experiences and we see the prevention of Adverse Childhood Experiences is key to creating healthy Maine people and a healthy Maine economy. In November, 2016, the Bingham advisory committee decided to continue to focus on this work for the next 10 years.