(Capitol Heights, MD) February 14, 2011 - Greater Baden Medical Services (GBMS), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), announced that it would begin providing access to prenatal services at its Walker Mill Health Center, located in Capitol Heights, as part of Baden's service expansion and renovation of this facility in a medically underserved area of Prince George's County. Expanding access to comprehensive women's health services for at-risk populations is a key component of the Governor's Initiative to reduce infant mortality rates in Maryland. Prince George's County has experienced some of the highest infant mortality rates in the state, and Baden's service expansion is supported by a multi-year grant awarded by the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC). The program is projected to serve an estimated 600 individuals in its first year of the program, and is designed to be sustainable after the initial grant funds are utilized.
"Prenatal care services, especially for women in underserved communities, are essential to improving birth outcomes," stated Dr. Sarah Leonhard, CEO, Greater Baden. "We are delighted to serve as a partner in the Governor's effort to reduce infant mortality rates in Maryland." Greater Baden Medical Services was first established in 1972 to help serve the rural residents of southern Prince George's County. Since that time, GBMS has expanded to six health centers and three WIC clinic locations, with sites in Prince George's, Charles and St. Mary's Counties. In 2009, GBMS provided health services for more than 11,000 individuals, the majority of whom were uninsured or low-income. The Walker Mill Health Center recently completed renovations, which will enable Baden to increase the number of patients who receive services at this health center.
"The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission is pleased to support Greater Baden," commented John A. Hurson, Chairman, Maryland Community Health Resources Commission. "This grant will expand access to comprehensive women's health services in Prince George's County." In addition to the grant to Greater Baden, the CHRC has awarded nine grants over the last two years, totaling more than $2 million, to help address infant mortality in Maryland and support the Governor's Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative. These programs have helped provide access to health care for more than 1,100 underserved or at-risk women and are projected to serve an additional 3,400 women in the coming weeks and months.
"This grant by the Commission is an important investment in a medically underserved area of the state," commented Frances B. Phillips, Deputy Secretary, Public Health Services, DHMH. "This program will help expand access to critical services, reduce minority health disparities, and improve overall birth outcomes."