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    (Annapolis, MD) -- The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) announced today seven grant awards totaling $1.3 million to help promote the activities of Local Health Improvement Coalitions and the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP).  Launched in 2011 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.  The CHRC grant awards are designed to expand access in underserved communities in the state, improve overall population health, and help reduce health care costs by reducing hospital admissions and re-admissions.  Attached is a list of the individual grant awards to Local Health Improvement Coalitions (LHICs).  Please visit the CHRC’s website (http://dhmh.maryland.gov/mchrc/SitePages/CHRC%20Support.aspx) to access copies of the successful proposals. 

    “The CHRC is delighted to support the State Health Improvement Process and build the capacity of Local Health Improvement Coalitions,” commented John A. Hurson, Chairman, Community Health Resources Commission. “We are looking forward to continuing to work with DHMH and others to help expand access and improve overall population health in Maryland.”

    'The CHRC grants are an important part of our efforts to expand access to care and reduce health disparities in our most underserved communities around Maryland,' said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. 'By providing resources directly to local communities that need them most, we are going to see improved health outcomes and a better quality of life for more Marylanders.'  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 375,000 Marylanders, half of whom are children, and leading efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act in Maryland.

    “The Commission’s support will provide valuable resources to the State Health Improvement Process,” said Laura Herrera, M.D, Deputy Secretary, Public Health Services, DHMH. “The CHRC is an important partner in our ongoing efforts to improve population health and reduce hospital admissions and re-admissions.”

    The CHRC was created by the Maryland General Assembly in 2005 to increase health care access in the most underserved areas of the state and bolster the capacity of safety net providers that serve low-income and uninsured Marylanders.  In addition to today’s LHIC grants, the CHRC has awarded 115 grants totaling $29.7 million supporting programs in all 24 jurisdictions of the state.  These programs have collectively served more than 110,000 Marylanders.  In addition to supporting the State Health Improvement Process, the CHRC is working with DHMH to implement the state’s Health Enterprise Zones (HEZ) Initiative, championed by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, which provides a range of incentives to expand access, reduce health disparities, and reduce hospital admissions/re-admissions.