Unveiling the Public Health Services Projects in Columbia, Maryland

The state of Maryland is planning to use federal funds to expand their public health services with a new behavioral health clinic next to the University of Maryland Health Center in Largo. This clinic will be equipped with the latest IT infrastructure and equipment to meet the demands of 21st century students and professionals in their work to support the Bay. Melwood will also work with hiring organizations to ensure successful candidates are retained and have growth opportunities. CRISP Reporting Services (CRS) is another initiative that provides secure access to Maryland healthcare data and related analysis tools to help healthcare organizations improve patient care across the state.

The Best Buddies in Maryland Inclusion Project is another project that supports student-led activities to create friendships between students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their peers in 16 middle and high schools across the state. Federal funding will also help hire and train the workforce needed to reach older people and people with disabilities in rural areas across the state, as well as standardize the referral process to connect older people to primary care providers and hospitals, as well as non-clinical services and programs. The Center for Health Care Strategies (CCHS) is another project that will offer virtual and in-person training, coordinate the accreditation of doctors in various disciplines, and increase the number of highly qualified mental health care providers in Maryland. Federal funding will also expand current services in Washington and Frederick Counties, including the development of a volunteer and internship program, re-entry services and case management in partnership with the Office of the Public Defender, strategies for sustainable employment, peer support services, harm reduction and education services, family support services, and wellness programs for recovery and re-entry.

In addition, federal funding will be used for archival research and public education to highlight the role of black Marylanders in the global fight against discrimination and injustice. The Maryland Health Care Commission has formally designated CRISP as Maryland's statewide health information exchange. Two new child care centers based on high-need public high schools in Baltimore City will also be supported by federal funding. Finally, Allegany College of Maryland will take advantage of a program by partnering with Garrett and Hagerstown community colleges and three western Maryland school districts to train more local facilitators who will work in schools and through community partners to address mental health challenges and build resilience.

This project is based on research from the UNESCO Slave Route Project, which identified Middle Passage ports of entry, including five ports of entry in Maryland.

Annita Meijer
Annita Meijer

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