From the Harford County Health Department:
The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) will be conducting a multiple-site visit on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 from 11:00 am to 12:30 to discuss Harford County’s innovative Healthy Options Provide Empowerment (HOPE) Project, a program funded by the Commission which helps inmates with complex health care needs transition into the community, and Harford County’s School-based Health Center Program at Edgewood Elementary School, a program also supported with CHRC funds.
The purpose of the CHRC’s site visit is to assess grantee performance and discuss how Harford County is utilizing these grant funds to help expand health care access. One of the grants that will be discussed during the tour is the Harford HOPE Program (Healthy Options Empowerment Program), an interdisciplinary public health and public safety partnership with local law enforcement to help link recidivating individuals into critical health care and support services, ultimately improving overall health outcomes and promoting public safety.
“Harford County is developing an integrated model of care and providing a blueprint for policy innovation in Maryland,” commented Mark Luckner, Executive Director, Maryland Community Health Resources Commission. “Harford County is showing the way, and they are to be commended.” In addition to the HOPE program, Harford County has received two additional grants from the Commission, a $435,000 dental grant and a $221,000 school-based health center grant.
The first stage of the site visit is scheduled to begin at 11:00am at Edgewood Elementary School, located at 2100 Cedar Drive in Edgewood, to discuss the school-based health center program located there. Participants are expected to reconvene shortly before noon at the Health Department Administrative Offices located at 120 Hays Street in Bel Air, to discuss the HOPE program.
Notables anticipated to participate in the multiple-site visit include Maryland State Delegate Mary-Dulany James, Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane, District A Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie, Harford District Court Judge Mimi Cooper, Harford County Office on Mental Health Executive Director Ms. Sharon Lipford, Harford County Health Officer Ms. Susan Kelly, and representatives from the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH). The Harford County Health Department has received several grant awards from the CHRC over the last few years, all of which support a comprehensive and coordinated system of care in Harford County.
Addressing the work of the Commission, Delegate Mary-Dulany James, Chair, Health & Human Resources Subcommittee, House Appropriations Committee, Maryland House of Delegates, comments, “These state resources are supporting worthwhile programs here in Harford County,” commented. “I am pleased that these grant resources are being invested wisely by the Commission.” The CHRC’s grant awards have enabled its grantees to leverage $4.8 million in additional federal and private/non-profit resources and the Commission is working with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene to help implement health reform.
Created by the Maryland General Assembly in 2005, the core mission of the Commission is to award grants to help expand access to health care for low-income Marylanders and help stimulate innovative projects such as the HOPE program in Harford County that generate the potential for systematic reform in Maryland. The Harford HOPE Program also has generated interest in other jurisdictions. The CHRC awarded two new grants this year, one to Baltimore County and another to Prince George’s County, to support similar re-entry programs in these jurisdictions. Over the last four years, the Commission has awarded 78 projects, totaling approximately $23.6 million, collectively serving more than 60,000 low-income Marylanders.
“We appreciate the Commission’s commitment to Harford County,” states Susan Kelly, Harford County Health Officer. “These grants from the Commission have put us in a position to initiate and maintain these programs, thereby providing valuable public health services to our community.” In FY 2008, Harford County received a $484,237 multi-year grant from the Commission. It is the goal of the HOPE Project to identify 600 dually diagnosed inmates at the local detention center and link them directly into an integrated system of care, to include substance abuse counseling, psychiatric services, medical home for primary care, and support services consisting of case management, housing, entitlement program eligibility, that starts during incarceration and continues post-release. Harford County reports identifying 439 inmates to date, generating approximately 2,000 clinical appointments in the program.
For more information on the HOPE program, contact Ms. Beth Jones, Acting Director of Harford County Health Department Addictions Services at 410-877-2360. For more information about the School-based Health Center Program, contact Ms. Marcy Austin at 443-992-7670.