April Newsletter

April Newsletter


April 27, 2015  |  Issue No. 7

Legislature approves full funding for CHRC in FY 2016

The FY 2016 budget submitted by the Hogan administration this past January fully funded the CHRC’s request, and the budget approved by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2015 legislative session maintained this request.  The CHRC will have approximately $1 million to award in new grants in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015.  The CHRC will begin to work on the FY 2016 Call for Proposals over the next few months, for potential release later this fall/ winter.  If you would like to be added to the CHRC’s distribution list, please click here.  Since 2006, the CHRC has awarded 154 grants totaling $52.3 million; over this same time period, the Commission has received 593 requests for $276.2 million.  The CHRC has supported programs in all 24 jurisdictions, and these programs have collectively served more than 196,000 Marylanders.  The $52.3 million awarded by the CHRC has enabled its grantees to leverage $15.6 million in additional federal and private/non-profit support.   

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CHRC issues FY 2015 grant awards

The Call for Proposals issued by the CHRC this year had three strategic priorities: (1) Building capacity; (2) Addressing health disparities and promoting health equity; and (3) Reducing avoidable hospital utilization.  The Call for Proposals generated a total of 43 applications requesting $18.6 million.  Following evaluations by independent reviewers and presentations made to the CHRC in February, the Commission voted to award 11 grants totaling $1.1 million in year-one funding.  These applicants project serving more than 28,300 Marylanders during the course of the programs.  Several of these grants involve innovative community-hospital partnerships, which are designed to help promote care coordination and reduce avoidable hospital costs, all in support of the state’s new All-Payer Model. 

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Maritha R. Gay appointed as new Commissioner to CHRC

Earlier this year, Governor Larry Hogan appointed Maritha R. Gay, Kaiser Permanente, to serve as a Commissioner on the CHRC.  Ms. Gay succeeds Kendall D. Hunter, who served as Kaiser’s representative on the Commission since the creation of the CHRC in 2005.  Ms. Gay has more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry and is Executive Director of Community Benefits and External Affairs at Kaiser, a position that she has held since 2010.  

Commissioner Gay
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HealthCare Access Maryland receives CHRC grant to partner with Family Health Centers of Baltimore

HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM) received one of 11 grant awards from the CHRC to support a three-year program that targets frequent users of hospital emergency departments. HCAM will work closely with Family Health Centers of Baltimore (FHCB), a federally qualified health center, and will collaborate with the Mercy Hospital Emergency Department. HCAM will use grant funds to hire a manager and a care coordinator, who will be stationed at the FHCB’s Mead Building location in downtown Baltimore. The program is designed to increase access to primary and preventive care services and reduce avoidable use of hospital services.

HCAM is currently implementing the Access Health program, which is supported by a previous CHRC grant. Access Health is an innovative community–hospital partnership with Sinai Hospital that targets high utilizers of emergency department facilities and provides extensive care coordination services to patients. A three-month study conducted eleven months into the Access Health program shows that ED utilization fell by 200 visits compared with visits measured during the same three months in the year prior to the intervention. The reduction in ED visits equates to estimated $239,000 in avoided charges. 

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Access Carroll completes dental grant with CHRC

Access Carroll received a two-year grant ($300,000) from the CHRC to provide dental services to low-income residents of Carroll County.  Grant funds were utilized to open a full-time dental clinic, and Access Carroll leveraged an additional $162,451 in capital support from the Weinberg Foundation.  Over the life of the program, Access Carroll reported serving more than 2,100 clients, with an estimated value of more than $1 million in dental services.  Access Carroll reported receiving an average of 40 calls per day during the course of the grant and worked closely with the Carroll Hospital Center to place emergency department referrals who were uninsured or “self-pay” patients into care as soon as possible.  In addition, Carroll County received the designation of a Medically Underserved Population (MUP) from the federal government, and Access Carroll may utilize this designation to pursue FQHC status and/or other efforts to promote long-term financial sustainability.

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Esperanza Center receives second primary care grant from CHRC

The Esperanza Center, a Volunteer in Medicine clinic, offering free primary care services in Baltimore City to the uninsured immigrant Latino residents, received a two-year grant from the CHRC earlier this year.  Grant funds will be utilized to cover the salary costs of a 0.5 FTE medical director and a 1.0 FTE medical assistant/LPN and will enable the clinic to expand its service delivery from 17 to 28 hours per week.  This is the second CHRC grant awarded to Esperanza, which was leveraged to obtain another $200,000 grant from the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation.  The first CHRC grant, awarded in 2012, enabled Esperanza to hire a bilingual nurse practitioner and serve more than 3,150 patients. 

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