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    Community Health Resources Commission Issues Grants to Expand Access to Health Care and Promote Health Services for Vulnerable Residents   
    The Grant-Funded Programs are Projected to Serve More Than 14,000 Residents
    Baltimore, MD (March 22, 2018) – The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), an independent commission within the Maryland Department of Health, recently announced 15 grants totaling $3 million to expand access to health care in underserved communities, reduce health disparities, and increase the capacity of safety net providers to serve vulnerable residents. The grant-funded programs are projected to serve more than 14,000 Maryland residents. This is the first cycle of grants awarded this year. The CHRC may award additional grants later this spring.
    This year, the Call for Proposals supported three types of projects: (1) promoting the delivery of essential health services for vulnerable populations, including chronic disease management, dental care, and women’s health services; (2) supporting efforts in local communities to increase access to substance use treatment services and promote integrated behavioral health, in support of Maryland’s ongoing efforts to address the opioid epidemic; and (3) promoting food security and addressing family obesity.  
    “These grants support projects that are innovative, sustainable, and replicable,” said Allan Anderson, MD, CHRC chairman. “The Commission is looking forward to working with our grantees closely as they implement these programs in the coming weeks and months.” 
    When making its grant award decisions, the CHRC emphasizes public-private partnerships that leverage additional investments from the private sector to sustain the programs after the CHRC grant funding has been expended. Of the more than $60 million awarded by the CHRC, grantees have leveraged an additional $21.4 million— $17 million of which has been committed by local and private resources.
    The Call for Proposals generated applications from 46 organizations with funding requests of nearly $19 million. Of these, 19 organizations were first-time applicants or had not received a grant from the CHRC in the past.  
    “The grants awarded by the Community Health Resources Commission directly support the Maryland Department of Health’s ongoing efforts to expand access in underserved communities, improve population health, and combat the opioid epidemic,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert R. Neall. 
    In addition to the grants awarded today, the CHRC has awarded 190 grants totaling more than $60 million, which support programs in all 24 jurisdictions of the state. These programs have collectively served nearly 400,000 Marylanders, most of whom are low-income, uninsured/underinsured, and face complex health and social service needs. Projects funded by the CHRC have offered creative and innovative ways to address barriers that exist in underserved areas. Grantees have developed partnerships that address transportation challenges in rural areas; overcome workforce shortfalls via telehealth to provide Medication Assisted Treatment; and reduce avoidable EMS and hospital utilization through Mobile Integrated Health Programs.
    For questions, contact CHRC Executive Director, Mark Luckner at 410-260-7046.