U.S. Senator Ben Cardin today joined Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown 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.
"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," Senator Cardin. "This funding will enable the CCI to provide health care in a more patient-friendly, family-centered setting."
"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."
"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."
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.
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.