(White Plains, MD)-- Senator “Mac” Middleton, Chairman, Senate Finance Committee, and Joshua M. Sharfstein, M.D., Secretary, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, joined Dianna E. Abney, M.D., Charles County Health Officer, and other state and local officials to announce a state health grant for $125,000 to expand health care access in Charles County, establish a new Patient-Centered Medical Home in Nanjemoy, and support the Partnerships for a Healthier Charles County. The grant to Charles County is one of seven grant awards totaling $1.3 million provided by the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) this year to help promote the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP). Launched by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, SHIP provides the framework for accountability, local action, and public engagement to improve overall health in Maryland.

“Maryland continues to be a national leader in health care because we understand that a healthy community is a more productive community,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “This grant to Charles County will provide resources to local communities to improve health outcomes and will increase access to health services for underserved communities in the area.” The Lt. Governor leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s work to improve health care in the state, having helped expand health care coverage to more than 391,000 Marylanders, half of whom are children, and leading efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act in Maryland.

“This grant to Charles County will help improve population health outcomes in Charles County,” commented DHMH Secretary Sharfstein. “The Commission is an important partner in our ongoing efforts to expand health care access.” 

“We sincerely appreciate this grant from the CHRC,” commented Senator Middleton. “This grant is an important investment by the state to increase health care access in Charles County.” Senator Middleton authored successful legislation in 2005 that created the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission, and he has led ongoing efforts in the Maryland State Senate to expand access to health care services for low-income Marylanders and underserved communities in the state and in Charles County.

“The CHRC is delighted to support this important program in Charles County,” said Mark Luckner, Executive Director, Maryland Community Health Resources Commission. “We are looking forward to working with the Charles County Health Department and others as they implement this grant.” The mission of the CHRC is to expand access to affordable, high-quality health care services in Maryland’s most underserved communities. Since its inception in 2005, the CHRC has awarded 122 grants totaling $30.9 million, supporting programs in every jurisdiction of the state. These programs have collectively served more than 110,000 low-income and uninsured Marylanders, and the initial grant funding provided by the CHRC has enabled grantees to leverage more than $10 million in additional federal and non-profit resources. In Charles County, the CHRC has supported six grants, totaling $1.2 million, to expand access to dental services for low-income children, increase access to primary care services, and promote the integration of behavioral health services in the community.

“Charles County sincerely appreciates this grant to help expand access for underserved residents in our community,” commented Dianna E. Abney, M.D., Charles County Health Officer. “We will utilize this grant funding to support a much needed Patient-Centered Medical Home in an underserved area of Charles County.”

“This grant will support a critical public-private partnership in Charles County,” commented GeneRansom, CEO, MedChi. “MedChi is fully committed to promoting this new PCMH in Nanjemoy.”