Maryland Community Health 
Resources Commission
March 28, 2019 | Issue 48
Larry Hogan, Governor 

Boyd K. Rutherford, Lieutenant Governor

Robert R. Neall, Health Secretary
CHRC Commissioners
Allan Anderson, MD, Chair
Elizabeth Chung, Vice Chair
Scott T. Gibson
J. Wayne Howard
Celeste James
Surina Jordan, PhD
Barry Ronan
Erica I. Shelton, MD
Ivy Simmons,PhD
Julie Wagner
Anthony C. Wisniewski
Mark Luckner, Executive Director
Tools and Resources
Funding Opportunity: Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants
Substance Use Disorder 
Closing date April 15, 2019
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. Applications submitted under this announcement should address how they will strengthen local capacity for:
1. Prevention implementing harm reduction strategies to reduce the number of fatal opioid-related overdoses and the occurrence of opioid use disorder among new and at-risk users.
2. Treatment-Implementing or expanding access to evidence-based practices for opioid use disorder treatment, such as medication-assisted treatment.
3. Recovery-Expanding peer recovery and treatment options that help people with opioid use disorder start recovery and avoid relapse.

For more information, click here.
Event:  Eastern Shore & Southern Maryland Minority Community-based Organization Summit: Strengthening Leadership Skills and Building Capacity 

Hosted by: Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Maryland Department of Health

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency, 100 Heron Blvd., Cambridge, Maryland, 21613

The purpose of the summit is to identify leadership and capacity building training needs among minority community-based organizations serving jurisdictions on the eastern shore and in southern Maryland to improve workforce development, community development, and outreach to minority communities.  Minority community-based organization leaders located on the eastern shore and in southern Maryland are encouraged to attend.  The summit is free of charge and lunch will be provided.

CHRC issues 23 grants totaling $6.7 million to expand access in underserved communities and serve vulnerable populations
Earlier this month, the CHRC awarded 23 grants totaling $6.7 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.  These projects are projected to serve more than 23,000 Marylanders  Click here for the media release announcing these awards and here for an overview of these programs.

The CHRC's FY 2019 Call for Proposals looked to support projects that are innovative, sustainable, and replicable in other areas of the state. This is the first cycle of grants awarded this year. The Commission may award additional grants later this spring.
Maryland State Senate approves
re-appointments of Allan Anderson, J. Wayne Howard, and Julie Wagner as CHRC  Commissioners 
The re-appointments of Allan Anderson, J. Wayne Howard, and Julie Wagner as CHRC Commissioners were approved by the Maryland State Senate for terms that will begin this coming July.  Dr. Anderson is a geriatric psychiatrist practicing on the Eastern Shore and has served as Chairman of the CHRC since August 2017.  Mr. Howard was originally appointed to the Commission in April 2016 and has been an active leader of community health on the Eastern Shore for more than 40 years. He formerly served as the President and CEO of Choptank Community Health System, Inc. and the Executive Director of Caroline Health Services, Inc.  Ms. Wagner was originally appointed to the CHRC in June 2016 and is Vice President of Community Affairs for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, where she has supported CareFirst's health care philanthropy and community affairs activities since 2009.      
CHRC submits annual report to Governor and Maryland General Assembly
The CHRC submitted its annual report for FY 2019 to the Governor and Maryland General Assembly earlier this month.  The report provides an overview of recent CHRC grants, describes these grants in the larger context of ongoing public health initiatives, and suggests the continued importance of safety net providers as they serve vulnerable populations.  For a copy of the latest report, click  here.

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital completes CHRC grant to reduce preventable hospital utilization and refer individuals to primary care 
MedStar Union Memorial Hospital completed a three-year grant with the CHRC to reduce preventable hospital ED visits and refer individuals to ongoing primary care services in community- based settings. The grant involved hospital-community partnerships and funded a patient navigator position who worked with 2,695 individuals over the three years of the program, linking them with a primary care provider. In a pre/post analysis of hospital utilization rates for program participants, the grantee reported the following:
  • 14.4% reduction one month after linking to primary care,
  • 9.9% reduction after three months; and
  • no reduction after six months.
These results suggest that while reductions in preventable utilization are seen in the months immediately after individuals are linked to primary care, more intensive follow-up with patients may be needed to sustain reductions over the longer term. Due to the promising results of preventing avoidable utilization, Medstar Union Memorial has indicated that it will sustain the program after the CHRC grant has ended.

The CHRC grant helped leverage additional resources for patients in the ED.  MedStar Union Memorial Hospital hired Peer Recovery Coaches in its ED to implement the evidence-based SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) to deliver brief interventions in the ED to help individuals reduce or stop alcohol or other substance use. The hospital has also implemented an Opiate Survivor Outreach Program (OSOP), called Blue Star. In this program, Peer Recovery Coaches provide a brief intervention focused on overdose prevention and education, and help refer and link patients to recovery support services and substance use treatment.

This CHRC-funded program was one of 17 grants totaling $5.2 million aimed at reducing avoidable ED visits and promoting care in the community. These programs have served more than 20,000 Marylanders. To learn more about these programs, click here.