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Governor Martin O'Malley Presents Public Health Priorities to the Congressional Delegation

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Governor Martin O'Malley Presents Public Health Priorities to the Congressional Delegation

Governor Martin O'Malley, joined by John M. Colmers, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), today meets with members of Maryland's Congressional Delegation to discuss priority public health programs at the U.S. Capitol forum hosted by Senator Barbara Mikulski. The top priorities for DHMH included public health emergency preparedness, cancer prevention and control, and maternal and child health programs.

"With this funding we will strengthen the priorities that safeguard the health and well-being of all Maryland families," said Governor O'Malley. "Working closely with our federal partners, this effort will enhance our ability to protect the welfare of our communities, secure a better future for all Marylanders and provide greater support for our most vulnerable families who need health care services."

DHMH has requested $24 million to enhance public health emergency capabilities. In addition, the Department has requested $5.9 million to further develop and coordinate a network of medical providers to provide breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services to program eligible patients and requests level funding of $12.5 million to support current maternal and child health program costs.

"These dollars will help fortify critical public health priorities, especially in these difficult economic times," said John M. Colmers, DHMH Secretary. "Maryland is very fortunate to have tremendous support from our federal partners in Congress who share our public health and safety goals and work hard to secure the resources we need to achieve these goals."

Maryland DHMH Public Health Program Background:
Public Health Emergency Preparedness -$ 24,000,000
The request will help sustain essential state public health emergency preparedness, including pandemic influenza, and certain special enhancement projects. The enhancements include incorporating more data, including school-based statistics, into Maryland's biosurveillance system, enhanced viral strain and sensitivity testing in the State public health laboratory, improve first responder stockpiles, provide for inventory management, and replacement of aging emergency equipment.

Cancer Prevention and Control Program- $5,900,000
The Maryland Cancer Prevention and Control Program involves three distinct programs: the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (BCCEDP), the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (CCCP), and the Maryland Cancer Registry (MCR) which is part of the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR).

BCCEDP: The State Health Department (DHMH) awards grants to local health departments or other agencies in all 24 jurisdictions in the state for the purpose of developing and coordinating a network of medical providers to provide critical breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services to program eligible patients. The program services over 12,000 women per year. Local jurisdictions identify program-eligible women, provide outreach and education to these women, coordinate the provision of breast and cervical cancer screening by private providers, and perform follow-up to assure that women with abnormal screening results receive diagnosis and treatment, if needed, and that women with negative results return for regular rescreening.

CCCP: This program expands the statewide network of cancer control to include partners from all public sector levels, private and community organizations, providers, and individuals to update and implement the Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan.

MCR: State law and regulations mandate the reporting of cancer cases (incidence). The MCR collects reportable diagnoses and required data elements prescribed by the NPCR, and links abstracts using CDC's Registry Plus data management system. Over 170 facilities including hospitals, medical laboratories, radiation therapy centers, ambulatory centers, and physician offices, report abstracts to the MCR.

Maternal and Child Health Block Grant - $12,500,000
The President's budget restores $91,607 to Maryland's Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, bringing the funding level up to $12,045,578. Approximately $500,000 in additional federal dollars will provide level funding and significant support to the local public health infrastructure to assure health care access for women and infants. Reducing infant mortality in Maryland by 10% by 2012 is among the Governor's strategic goals.

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