Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown this
week traveled to Southern Maryland to announce that the Greater
Lexington Park Health Enterprise Zone would receive $750,000 in state
funding to help reduce health disparities in the area.
MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in
Leonardtown, Md., a trusted leader in the community for providing care
and advancing health, will partner with community organizations to
manage the Health Enterprise Zone (HEZ).
The hospital plans to
create a new community health care center and add primary care
practitioners, social workers and a psychiatrist.
Officials chose Greater
Lexington Park as one of the first five HEZs at an event in Annapolis
earlier this year. The HEZ Initiative is a four-year pilot program with
an annual budget of $4 million. The purposes of the program include
reducing health disparities among geographic areas and racial
minorities, improving health care access and health outcomes in
underserved communities and reducing hospital admissions, readmissions
and health care costs. Community coalitions embracing the initiative
receive a range of benefits, incentives and grant funding to address
persistent health disparities.
The proposal for the Greater
Lexington Park Area strives to improve public health outcomes in the
Lexington Park, Park Hall and Great Hills communities of St Mary’s
county. Those communities combat severe shortages of primary care
physicians. The proposal also includes making a 16-mile “health care
transportation route” addressing health care access barriers in
These changes aim to reduce
preventable hospital emergency visits, admissions and readmissions for
chronic diseases in the Greater Lexington Park Zone.