Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown was joined by U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett for a visit to Community Clinic Inc.’s (CCI) Takoma Park Health Center to present nearly $1.9 million in grant funding, including a $280,000 grant provided by the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), and an additional $1,585,000 grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. CCI is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves low-income, underinsured, uninsured and culturally diverse populations of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.
CCI provides a full range of primary care services including well and sick care for children, adults and seniors, and services for homeless and/or disabled persons and people who are seriously mentally ill. Their seven clinics throughout Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties provide services including women’s health, family planning, behavioral health, preventive dental care, diabetes/nutrition care, patient outreach/care management, Medicaid eligibility screening and specialty referral.
“Strong communities are built, not born, and Governor O’Malley and I are committed to providing the critical resources that are helping to build stronger, healthier communities throughout Maryland,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “These funds will help enhance and expand care at Community Clinic for the thousands of vulnerable Montgomery and Prince George’s residents who cannot access life saving primary care anywhere else. I thank CareFirst for partnering with us to improve health care throughout our State, as well as the Community Health Resources Commission for their continued dedication to ensuring all Marylanders are able to live healthy and productive lives.”
“Maryland has been a national leader in the implementation of health care reform and today’s $1.9 million grant for the Community Clinics, Inc. just reaffirms our state’s commitment to providing thousands of low-income Marylanders with affordable, quality health care,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. “This funding will enable the CCI to provide health care in a more patient-friendly, family-centered setting.”
“I am pleased that Community Clinic is receiving this grant funding,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. “As one of our Montgomery Cares partners, their work and the work of our other safety net providers in making primary health care services available to our community’s uninsured residents is vital.”
“I’m pleased that thousands of Maryland residents will see enhanced and expanded care at Community Clinic, Inc. thanks to this $1.9 million grant,” stated Congressman Steny Hoyer. “I’d like to acknowledge CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission for their support of this effort to make affordable, quality health care more accessible in our community.”
“We are happy to support the work of Community Clinic and this funding will allow the organization to better address their patient’s health needs and to improve overall health outcomes,” said Maria Harris Tildon, CareFirst Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Community Affairs. “Safety net health centers have limited resources and great needs, so grants such as these can measurably enhance their ability to treat patients with chronic illness and help provide more coordinated, quality care.”
The funds will enable CCI to expand services for high-risk patients in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties as the organization integrates Community Health Workers and other staff into the delivery of primary care. CCI will also expand its use of electronic medical records to better track and manage patients with chronic diseases such as hypertension or diabetes. These advances will assist CCI in obtaining recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH), a new model of patient-centered primary care that is supported by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, Maryland launched a PCMH pilot program in 2010.
“This program goes beyond traditional primary care,” stated Dr. William Flynt, CEO of Community Clinic, Inc. “We will be collaborating with hospitals, social services groups, health plans, specialists and patients to develop well-coordinated plans for patient care.”
“Community Clinic is very appreciative to receive this support to receive these additional resources,” stated Donald McClure, Chair, Board of Directors, CCI. “CCI is excited to implement this promising model of care to address health inequities and improve the quality of care for all our patients.”
The state grant to CCI is one of 15 grant awards announced by the CHRC and Lt. Governor Brown in February, totaling $1.1 million, (click here for information) that are designed to expand access to primary care in underserved areas of the state, help reduce infant mortality, increase access to dental care for low-income children, promote access to behavioral health treatment services and assist providers in adopting health information technology. The grants are expected to help provide access to health care for more than 25,000 Marylanders in all regions of the state. The CHRC provided special emphasis this year on supporting programs that would help reduce minority health disparities and help prepare safety net providers as Maryland implements the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“The Commission is dedicated to supporting innovative and sustainable health care programs,” commented John A. Hurson, Chairman of the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission. “This grant to Community Clinic will help address health disparities in underserved communities in both Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties.”
"It is critical that we build capacity to deliver health care services for the hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who are presently uninsured," commented Frances B. Phillips, Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "The CHRC is a valuable partner in our efforts to expand access to needed care for all Marylanders."
The mission of the CHRC is to expand capacity in Maryland’s health care infrastructure by awarding grants to community health resources such as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), local health departments, free clinics and other safety net providers that deliver primary, preventative, and specialty care services in the community. In addition to the 15 grants awarded this year, the CHRC has issued 78 grants over the last five years, totaling $21.6 million, and these grants have provided health care services to nearly 100,000 low-income Marylanders, resulting in nearly 300,000 patient visits.
As Co-Chair of Maryland’s Health Quality and Cost Council and the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council, Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s health care efforts. Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has implemented reforms that have expanded health coverage to over 310,000 Marylanders and put the State in position to maximize the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).