RURAL HEALTH

​Promoting rural health and expanding access in rural underserved communities are priorities of the Commission. The CHRC has awarded 99 of its 190 grants to support projects in rural areas in the state. These 99 projects which have been awarded $26.3 million and have collectively served more than 72,000 residents in rural areas of the state.

CHRC projects in rural areas have supported increased access to dental care services, integrated behavioral health services, including a specific emphasis in recent years on addressing the state's opioid crisis, and access to primary and preventative care services, as Maryland's rural communities are particularly impacted by higher incidences of chronic diseases than other areas of the state. CHRC grants have also piloted innovative strategies to tackle the social determinants in rural communities, including lack of access to transportation and workforce shortages. For a description of CHRC's rural health grantees, click here​.

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​​Maryland Rural Health Association/​CHRC White Papers ​​

The Maryland Rural Health Association (MRHA) and Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) partnered to produce three white papers on CHRC-funded expansion of health services in rural communities.   

The first white paper in the series, "Social Determinants of Health and Vulnerable Populations in Rural Maryland," was published in December 2016 and provides an overview of some of the key social determinants of health impacting vulnerable populations in Maryland's rural communities and offers several examples of initiatives that are underway to address these issues directly and expand access in underserved areas. ​

The second white paper in the series, "Bringing Care Where it is Needed: A Rural Maryland Perspective," was published in May 2017 and provides an overview of the difficulties in accessing health care in isolated rural communities and shows examples of current initiatives that are underway to provide health services  in non-traditional settings.​

In October  2017, the third paper of the series, "Dental Access in Rural Maryland: Innovative Approaches to Care,"​ was released, providing an overview of the challenges of accessing affordable dental care in isolated rural communities and examples of initiatives that increase access to dental care in vulnerable rural communities.
 
Lara Wilson, Executive Director of the Maryland Rural Health Association presented the findings​ of the first two white papers to the Commission on June 29, 2017.