Maine Cancer Foundation, based in Falmouth, has announced its most recent funding awards totaling $1,572,000 to be distributed to 12 organizations throughout the state.

Grant awards are given to Maine-based nonprofit organizations working to further the MCF mission to reduce cancer incidence and mortality in Maine. This round of funding supports patient navigation, HPV vaccination efforts, operational needs of selected partners, and a breast cancer detection diagnostic tool, according to a news release from the foundation.

A total of $758,000 of the grants funds are allotted to five organizations across the state to underwrite five new patient navigator positions. Patient navigators work individually with cancer patients and community members to help them access prevention information, appropriate screenings and logistical support to access the best possible care.

Organizations selected for Patient Navigator Grants:

• Bangor YMCA, Caring Connections Patient Navigator Program, $110,386;

• Central Maine Medical Center, Lung Screening Navigator, $164,000;

• MaineGeneral Medical Center, Navigators for Kennebec and Somerset counties, $161,562;

• Mount Desert Island Hospital, New Patient Navigator Program, $161,614;

• Pen Bay Medical Center, Patient Navigator Program, $161,388.

The foundation also allocated $264,000 to Maine Quality Counts to work with primary care practitioners to increase the HPV vaccination rates among Maine youth. Quality Counts, based in Manchester, is a regional health improvement collaborative that brings together people who give care, get care and pay for care to improve health care quality throughout Maine.

This two-year project will increase HPV vaccination rates in 11- to 13-year-old girls and boys by implementing evidenced-based interventions through quality improvement strategies in eight primary care practices in Maine.

In addition, the foundation is awarding $175,000 in operational grants to five organizations whose missions support MCF’s overarching goals of reducing cancer incidence and mortality in Maine, and who have demonstrated excellence in programming in the past. These grants are not tied to a specific project or outcome, but allow trusted partners to further their mission and reduce the burden of cancer on Mainers.

Operational Grant Recipients:

• Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center, Ellsworth, $15,000;

• Sarah’s House, Holden, $10,000;

• Healthy Acadia, Ellsworth and Machias, $50,000;

• Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, Augusta, $50,000;

• Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, Farmington, $50,000;

Lastly, the foundation is providing $375,000 in funding to University of New England in support of the work of Dr. Srinigar Mohan to advance his research into a blood test to detect a biomarker that indicates estrogen-negative cancer at extremely early stages. The two-year award will focus on developing a less-invasive, blood-based indicator for estrogen-negative breast tumors.

“We are proud to invest in such a broad array of programs working to prevent cancer in Mainers, and to help those who face a diagnosis receive the best possible care. We are fortunate to have so many trusted partners who will utilize these funds effectively and help further the MCF mission of reducing cancer in our state. We look forward to following their work and tracking their successes,” said Aysha Sheikh, director of Programming at MCF, according to the release.

For more information about the foundation, visit mainecancer.org.