Maryland Community Health Resources Commission News Release
Towson, MD (March 21, 2011) - The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) awarded the Baltimore County Department of Health a three-year, $350,000 grant to support its "re-entry" program for previously incarcerated individuals as they transition into the community. The County program is expected to provide behavioral health and intensive case management services to an estimated 900 individuals.
"The Commission is dedicated to addressing the most pressing health care needs in Maryland," commented John A. Hurson, Chairman, Maryland Community Health Resources Commission. "This grant to Baltimore County will help promote public health and public safety, and help encourage the integration of behavioral health services in the community."
The Commission has supported similar re-entry programs, awarding three additional grants totaling $1 million, which support innovative programs in Baltimore City, Harford and Prince George’s Counties. These programs provide health care and intensive case-management services to the dually diagnosed criminal justice population, and have attracted the support of public health advocates, law enforcement officials, and the judicial community.
"Thanks to the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission for giving us the means to provide a needed service," said County Executive Kamenetz. "Thanks also to the Departments of Health and Corrections for their ongoing, collaborative efforts to serve one of our most vulnerable populations. This grant will support a new approach to release modeled after previous successful re-entry programs."
In addition to the current re-entry grant, Baltimore County has received two other grants from the Commission, which have supported the County’s efforts to improve birth outcomes and expand a school-based health center program.
"Receiving this grant from the Commission is another step toward our goal of ensuring that we have healthy people living, working, and playing in Baltimore County," stated Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. "We now have an opportunity to embrace our prodigal sons and daughters with open arms, equip them with services and resources to help rebuild their lives, and empower them as they re-enter their families and communities."
"The Commission grant is an important investment to help us help those who are re-entering our communities," said Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary, Joshua M. Sharfstein, M.D. "This program will expand access to critical behavioral health services that can help reduce recidivism rates."
Over the last five years, the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission has awarded 78 grants, totaling $21.6 million, and supported programs in every jurisdiction of the state. These grants have provided essential health services to more than 81,000 Marylanders, and are designed to support the following priorities articulated by the Administration and DHMH: expanding access to primary care services; increasing dental care access; reducing infant mortality rates and improving birth outcomes; and integrating behavioral health services in the community.